Homes and Property

Tried and tested ideas for a brighter living room

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It is easy for the living room to look dull over time and it is just as easy to brighten it up all over again. With flowers, sofa cushions or even adding a few pieces to the entertainment unit, the living room can get a fresher look. Photo By Edgar R. Batte 

By Esther Oluka

Posted  Wednesday, January 15   2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Have several shelves and bookcases in your home but are at a loss of what to do with them? Here are some ideas for you.

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A living room commonly known as a sitting room is ideally used for mostly interacting and entertaining visitors.
If you have been a visitor in different homes, there must have been a time or two when a particular one fascinated you, especially if they had well decorated living rooms. This shows why it is important for homeowners to make them as attractive as possible.
Also, because the living room is a space you see often, you the homeowner might start to find it dull and boring. Some of the different things you can do to make it brighter include:

1. Flowers
These could either be natural or plastic flowers. And if you have the same plastic flowers in your living room for a long time, change the vase or pots in which you place them.
On the best place to place them,Annie Mirembe, an interior designer at Annie’s Metal Craft, Interior and Exterior Designs in Kawempe, says: “Flowers look very nice when they are placed on top of any table positioned in the living room.” You can also place them in different corners of the house, especially for the pots.

The beauty about flowers is that you do not need to spend a lot on them. You can pick different varieties from your compound and place them in a uniquely shaped cup, which you don’t use anymore because it has a little chip.

2. Use bright paint and accessories
In case you are planning to repaint the living room this year, instead of using dull wall colours such as grey or cream, go for the striking ones instead such as yellow, pink and red.
“They easily grip one’s attention and are more fun to look at,” Pagril Marino, an interior designer from Design Klinic in Kiwatule explains. They are also less likely to get boring fast.

Marino adds that the same goes for the curtains and the centre piece rugs. The bright ones are normally more captivating to the eyes compared to those that have dull colours. So if your budget allows it, get yourself some brightly coloured ones.

3. Experiment with wall paper
This kind of paper comes in different colours and decorations. It is normally stuck onto walls. Marino explains that one could actually use a particular kind of wall paper that blends with the theme of their living room.
For instance, if the dominating colours of one’s living room are grey and black, one could find wall paper that bears the same kind of theme colours.

4. Furnish your entertainment wing
Instead of having only a television set plus a DVD player or decorder in your living room, go an extra mile and add other small entertainment items such as woofers and a music system
“At least when one is not watching television, they have the alternative of playing and listening to music,” Marino explains.
You can add a few mementos to the unit, for instance crafts, small sculptures and even things that may seem random, for instance salt and pepper shakers or your children’s toys that they outgrew, but make the place look nice.

5. The sofa sets
Nowadays, sofa sets come in different material, shapes, sizes and colour. In case you are daring enough, Marino says one could actually try the bright coloured sofa sets such as the yellow, purple, orange and red ones. For those who prefer to play it safe when it comes to colour, they could instead buy a sofa set that has a unique shape such as circular or even with a sophisticated kind of material such as leather.

If you are not thinking about changing your sofas, you can get get sofa covers or play around with different sofa cushions for a different look. And if you really want to be adventurous, you can get an expert to re-upholster them with new fabric.

6. Deck the walls
Pictures do speak a thousand words and when there are different kinds hanged onto the walls of the living rooms, they easily mesmerise the mind of anybody who looks at them.
“Hang portraits that tell different kinds of stories such as childhood and high school pictures,” Marino states.
Do not forget to hang portraits of those special people in your life as well especially parents and siblings. It shows how much one treasures loved ones.

These don’t have to be photos you have taken professionally. Print out some of the candid moments you took with your camera phone and create a collage inside a frame, these make for interesting art.

7. Experiment with different art pieces
These could be art pieces in form of antiques of different kinds such as face masks, animal models and wall portraits.
“These normally bear an African and nature symbolism and therefore enrich the whole living room setting,” Priscilla Kisawuzi, a home owner who has her house decorated with all sorts of art pieces explains.

Though expensive, Kisawuzi states that the advantage of using them compared to any other kind of decorative material is that they are robust, hence more durable.
You can also paint some of those nice-looking stones you collected on the beach using nail polish and place them on the shelves.

Just because someone has mentioned that antiques are quite costly, does not mean that you should have a dull living room. You could instead try any of the other options such as curtains, wall paper and flowers.
Any of them will definitely make a huge difference in your living room.

eoluka@ug.nationmedia.com