5 Ways To Freshen Up Your Family Room

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Men laying new hardwood flooring

By Shandra Hill Smith, Photos: Doug Smith Photography

If your family room — or the less-formal living room that you treat as a family room — is starting to wear on you, it may be time to trade it in. Professionals recommend that you redo your space around every five years — seven tops.

By refreshing the area with new touches such as from paint, decorative pillows and lamps, you may stretch it to seven years. “Family rooms normally take a lot more wear and tear — particularly if there are kids and pets, or if it is the only community space in the home,” says Angie Thompson, principal interior designer of ATLdesigns in Roswell, (404) 861-1393.

With more homeowners taking on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, you may elect to go it on your own. Still, some professionals like Thompson offer services for those who could use a bit of expert design direction.

Here, Thompson outlines some suggestions to help liven up your family room:

  1. Sofa If you have the budget to replace furnishings and accessories, start with your sofa selection. There, you can go with a neutral color, says Thompson, that you top “with stronger color from pillows or accessories around it.”
  2. Accents Perhaps your biggest investment after furnishings will come in accessories such as vases, finials, frames, candle holders and floral arrangements. “Otherwise it’s just a stark room; it doesn’t feel lived in,” says Thompson.Have fun with pillows, which could stand to be “changed out quite often,” she adds. Also, don’t get caught up on being “matchy-matchy” with furniture or accents. “Think about not having matching lamps or not having your pillows match exactly. It just kind of adds a little bit more character, a bit more imperfection to the room. Just like people aren’t perfect, spaces aren’t perfect either.”
  3. Artwork Fill those bare walls with artwork, either from photography art you create from meaningful photos or framed canvas or matted prints. “Think odd numbers — three or five — of artwork hung horizontally across or vertically stacked.”
  4. Lighting Your room should include two to three forms of lighting, advises Thompson. This includes “overhead lighting, lighting on a chest or end table and task lighting. All of those are going to help with the mood of the room and the shadows in the room.”
  5. Paint Paint proves a quick and inexpensive fix. “A change in paint color completely changes the feel of the room,” Thompson adds. “It is one of the cheapest ways to make a very dramatic change.” Since it is one of the least expensive changes, it’s best to wait to choose paint colors at the end, she advises.

Check back later for more information on the family room pictured above, one of Thompson’s local makeover projects. If you have a knack for decorating on a budget, be sure to enter Atlanta Home Improvement’s “Decorating on a Dime” Contest for the chance to win some fabulous prizes! 

Shandra Hill Smith is a freelance writer in Atlanta.

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