5 ways to revive your living room

Bright jewel tones repeated in furniture, rugs and art help pull this room together visually.
JANE USSHER/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

Bright jewel tones repeated in furniture, rugs and art help pull this room together visually.

You don't need to rip down a wall or get out the paintbrush to freshen up your living room.

These simple steps will help you reinterpret what you have, and add a little liveliness to your living area.

REVIEW YOUR ACTIVITIES

Interior designer Nicola Manning suggests evaluating what you use your lounge for before you begin a makeover.

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Is your living room a high traffic zone or a chill out area?
JANE USSHER/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

Is your living room a high traffic zone or a chill out area?

"Be aware of how use the room," said Manning. "Is it sitting with friends and family talking, or is it watching TV? Or is it reading? Because that can really influence how you consider a room and the furniture that you need in there."

How you use your living space may also change seasonally. To keep in step, she suggests you change out cushions and throws and perhaps move furniture.

FIND THE FOCAL POINT

Coordinated books and cushions are used to bring colour to a monochromatic lounge.
JANE DOVE JUNEAU/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

Coordinated books and cushions are used to bring colour to a monochromatic lounge.

"It's an important thing to sort out, the focal point," said Manning.

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"People find it difficult if the focal point of a room is split; if they have a fireplace and a TV that aren't in the same place."

With a glamourous fireplace like the one pictured in this Kapiti coast home, it would be worth relegating the television ...
PAUL MCCREDIE/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

With a glamourous fireplace like the one pictured in this Kapiti coast home, it would be worth relegating the television to a smaller space.

To remedy this, if you have a fireplace that you like to gather around, it might be worth wall-mounting your television above it.

Or if you prefer your living area as a conversation space, consider relocating your televsion to a smaller alternative space such as a den, study or breakfast nook.

REFRAME YOUR ART

The Asian panels and wall-mounted TV centred above the fire create pleasing symmetry in this space.
TESSA CHRISP/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

The Asian panels and wall-mounted TV centred above the fire create pleasing symmetry in this space.

Got art you already love? Give it a new look.

"The other thing that I think can make a huge difference, and actually I've just done it in my lounge, is look at the art that you've got and see if it needs reframing," said Manning.

"Because reframing doesn't actually cost that much but can really transform art."

If you love your art, look after it by reframing periodically.
JANE USSHER/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

If you love your art, look after it by reframing periodically.

"Say if you've moved and brought art from a previous house, maybe the framing doesn't suit the new house. It may make a significant difference to how it pulls together the room."

COORDINATE COLOUR

Anthea Baker, director of Homebase, suggests making your living room exciting again by bringing in a lively, feature colour.

Matching the frames of your art to your furniture furnishes is a sneaky trick to pull a room's look together.
JANE USSHER/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

Matching the frames of your art to your furniture furnishes is a sneaky trick to pull a room's look together.

"I think just adding colour is always the best thing," said Baker, "and probably the most inexpensive way would be to add some cushions or some artwork or a few accessories, just to brighten it up."

For triple the impact, choose one colour and bring it throughout the new additions.

"Coordinating the three would certainly help," she said.

Bright linen cushions complement the ottoman in this stylish living room.
JANE USSHER/NZ HOUSE & GARDEN

Bright linen cushions complement the ottoman in this stylish living room.

ADD A FEATURE CHAIR

Baker also recommends recovering an existing armchair in a contrasting fabric, or adding a feature chair and ottoman in two different shades.

"If they have a neutral sofa, they could bring in a single chair with a different fabric on it. There's some beautiful velvets and things around at the moment, so maybe even an ottoman as well, which could be done in a separate colour."

A mix of patterns and textures come together in this cool-toned, contemporary living room.
GETTY

A mix of patterns and textures come together in this cool-toned, contemporary living room.

Colours to consider are bright jewel tones.

"So you might bring in something in a bright purple or a chartreuse, something that's just going to add some vibrancy to the room."

The eye catching blue ottoman adds drama to this living space.
GETTY

The eye catching blue ottoman adds drama to this living space.

 - Homed

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