If your lounge area is looking rather ho-hum, why not redesign the space? There are just a few factors to consider when starting this process, but with some thought, planning and a bit of muscle, you can turn your relaxation area into an oasis of comfort and calm.
Where are the windows? Are there overhead lights, or do you prefer table lamps? How about a fireplace?
The placement of lighting, both natural and electric, is critically important to where you place large pieces of furniture and the purpose of the piece. For example, if you love to curl up in an armchair with your favorite paper book, you’ll need easy access to a lamp. For those who only read Kindle, lights become helpful but not necessary features. Why not invest in something striking, such as a geometric fixture?
Will you spend time in this space listening to music or watching television? Is this the family gathering space on movie night?
Any time there’s a television in the space, you’ll need to focus on several factors. For example,
- you’ll need access to electrical power
- you’ll probably want a cable outlet near the television
- the screen will have to be placed to avoid glare from any windows
- seating will need to have easy access to the screen
If this is the spot for the family to gather and watch a favorite show or movie, there will very likely be snacks involved. No matter how much care you take, there will likely be crumbs and there may be spills over time.
Plan for this. Consider investing in a rug that can be easily cleaned to define the space. While this room is used for eating, try not to purchase an expensive piece that will be destroyed by a spilt soda or dropped piece of pizza.
Invest in soft furniture coverings that can be easily removed and washed. A pretty new Lovesac cover can be quickly removed and washed in the event of a mishap, and you can drape other furniture in soft throws that can be easily washed up.
Of course, your coffee table will need to be durable enough to manage the heat of a pizza box and the occasional grape juice spill.
Define the Space
If your home is open and spacious, you may need to add a rug under your lounge area to define it. For those who prefer a bit more formal feel, don’t have small children and likely won’t be eating in the lounge area, the sky is the limit.
Whether your rug is modern or an antique Persian, take advantage of the variety of colors in your chosen rug. Consider adding cushions to your existing couches and chairs that tie back to the rug. This will really define the space and make the rug and furniture combination feel special.
Rearrange for Display
If you’re going to rearrange anyway, why not put your very favorite things on display? For example, consider moving some books off of the bookshelf and give yourself space to display a pretty row of dishes, glass art or your collection of minerals.
There are a couple of ways to do this. While the plates may need to be in a row for best effect, separate objects can look great when set up one per shelf beside a collection of books. Bookends will be a must, of course.
There’s no better way to clean space than to paint it. You have to move everything from the walls anyway, so why not give yourself a fresh new artistic canvas while you paint?
This is a simple process that takes very little time and yields big rewards in your redesign project.
1) Move all furniture to the middle of the room, or at least three feet from the wall.
2) Remove all art and shelving from the walls.
3) Clean all frames and shelves before placing them on the soft furnishings.
4) Cover everything in the middle of the room with plastic or an old sheet.
5) Remove all nails and hanging hardware from the walls.
6) Spackle all the holes in the walls.
7) Let the spackle dry, then sand smooth.
8) Wipe down woodwork, apply masking tape to protect trim.
9) Paint the walls.
You now have a perfectly smooth, gallery style walls on which to build your redesigned lounge.
Use What You Have
While the paint is a game-changer and very cost-effective, a new coach may not be an option. If your furniture is worn out, do your best to replace what you can. However, if your furniture is just boring, do your best to fall back in love with it.
There are several things you can do to make a perfectly serviceable couch or chair more interesting. You can
- change out or recover the cushions
- add an additional small pillow in a contrasting color or visually captivating texture
- drape a throw over it
- tuck a scarf or blanket over the seat
- paint or change out any visible wood on the piece
It’s important to remember that not all throws need to be heavy or even warm. There are several suppliers of mandala fabric that make it easy to add a great deal of visual interest to your existing furniture with a lightweight, brightly colored throw.
Other Focal Points
What if you don’t have a television in your lounge? If your focal point happens to be a different piece, such as a fireplace, there are many steps you can take to brighten this or make it more interesting during warmer weather.
Many electric fireplaces or fireplace inserts offer home designers the chance to introduce a variety of colors into the dark gap left by an unused fireplace. If you don’t want an insert, consider investing in some twinkle lights, electric candles or other light sources that will brighten the space.
You can also add a fireplace screen over your unused fireplace. Consider getting a tri-fold screen featuring stained glass, then put an electric light in the fireplace for a beautiful display year-round.
With just a little money and some thought, you can turn your tired living room into a cosy lounge. Enjoy your new space!