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From Start To Furnish

Please enjoy my musings on all things interior design!

The Top 5 Things To Improve Your Living Room

Last week I shared the five things you need to clear out of your living room NOW.

A lot of other design blogs will just point out what you're doing wrong in your decor, but you know I'm not like that.  I love my readers and my primary goal is to help you feel good in the spaces where you live.  So here are the things I suggest you add to your living room to make it a room where everyone is happy.

Useful AND Lovely

My Daddy always said "Be useful as well as ornamental," and I have always lived by the words of William Morris who said, 

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

All of that being said, let's replace those old dusty fake plants with beautiful usefulness, such as books that not only fill space but are useful, one of a kind vases that please you to look at empty or with real flowers or a fabulous lamp that provides the correct task lighting.  

A Flat Screen Television Atop A Fabulous Cabinet

Replace that old monstrosity of an entertainment center with a beautiful piece of furniture, whether it be vintage or new and top it with a big flat screen television to entertain everyone in the room.  It's okay to see the television.  They're now clean in design and fade into the background when not in use.  

One thing to NOT do, while we're on this subject, is to mount the TV over the fireplace.  Think about it.  You want it to be seated eye-level. When I see them over a fireplace, it gives me a crick in my neck just to think about binge watching a Netflix series in that setup.  

A Statement Piece Of Art

Not to worry - I'm not suggesting you take out a second mortgage so that you can buy a Picasso.  But do search for at least one awe-inspiring piece within your budget that makes the room.  Take your time and find something that makes your heart happy every time you step into the room.  I promise, if you make that emotional investment, it will also wow your guests. If you need help locating that piece, refer to my blog post about where to shop for art.  

Well Styled Furniture Pieces

It's better to go without for awhile than to just purchase any old stuff to fill the room.  Instead, make a plan for what sized pieces you need in the room and shop for them as the budget allows.  Select pieces not only based on their comfort and utility but also on their refined visual appeal and cohesiveness with the balance of your design. 

Also, change your thinking from we must fill a big room with big furniture to arranging the room into different zones.  So if you are fortunate enough to have a large living room, a little artful arranging of furniture and rugs and art can divide that room into spaces for television, conversation, and reading.   (If you need a space plan for this, it's just about my favorite thing to do - go here to work with me.)


It is back better than ever and there is something for everyone.  Grasscloths add a classic texture.  Beads bring the bling to the walls in a glam decor.  All sorts of patterns and colors for casual style.  YES, add texture to your walls with wallpaper.  

These are some small changes that you can make to your living room that will make a big impact.  Do them a little along the way and I assure you the end result will make your home so much more pleasing for you and yours.  

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Jill Ornelas