How to redecorate your living room, according to an expert

Ciara McGinley
Photo credit: CreativaStudio

From Good Housekeeping

Whether you're sprucing up your space for the new season or going for a total makeover, when it comes to redecorating your living room it can be hard to know where to start.

To give you some living room inspiration and help you plan a seamless redecoration we spoke to interior designer Roxi Zeeman.

Roxi shared with us her top tips for living room decorating, from where to start to the surprising last point to consider.

Decide on a budget

Before you do anything else, Roxi said identifying a realistic budget is so important to keep you focused once you start shopping.

"It doesn’t have to be to the last penny and it will most likely change over time but you definitely need it as a starting point," Roxi said.

Photo credit: Getty Images

“Think about where you're going to shop, whether it’s The Conran Shop, Ikea or somewhere in between."

Make a floor plan

No-one wants to buy their dream sofa only to discover it doesn't actually fit in the space. That's why mapping out a floor plan is key and deciding on your furniture layout before buying anything.

"It will keep you focused when sourcing your furniture items because once you start shopping there will be so many distractions."

Roxi added: "Your floor plan will always bring you back to your end goal, help you keep your vision and will ensure you stick to the dimensions of the space you have – which is always the more important thing."

As well as helping you map out where your large furniture will go, a floor plan also helps you to see what is missing.

"Once you’ve done a floor plan you lose that feeling of being overwhelmed, because in reality you want up to five big items, then you want to see what space you have for your wall art. You’ll see if you need any plants to fill up any corners – so a floor plan is always a good starting point."

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What's the purpose of the room?

Do you want the space to be the main entertainment room? Do you want it to be a cosy place for you and your family to snuggle up and watch TV? Maybe you want to incorporate both?

Whatever you choose, Roxi said identifying the main activities of the room is key in the design process.

Photo credit: John Fedele

"If you have a think about how the room will be used, make sure that you keep the space functional and practical as well. Always think how you will be living in this space for years to come," Roxi said.

Shop your home

You can give your room a refresh without buying anything new by seeing what you already have at home. Shopping what you have at home will not only save you money but ensure you use what you already have and avoid any unnecessary purchases.

“I always encourage shopping from your own home," Roxi said, adding: "There’s often a piece of furniture, wall art or other décor items that aren’t used as well in other rooms that could now be reused or repurposed in this new design.”

Curate an inspiration board

Whether you pull pictures from a magazine or use Pinterest as a source of inspiration, pulling together a collection of images of homes or items you like will help you design a room you love.

“Curate and collect as many inspiration images as you can. You can easily make your own inspiration boards at home and this will help you visualise all the colours, textures and shapes in one place," Roxi said.

Photo credit: Morsa Images

She added: “I also always encourage clients to think back to places, to countries they have travelled to, hotels they have stayed in, restaurants they have visited. This will serve as inspiration that will evoke emotion to bring those memories back to your home.

“Instagram is a pool of knowledge at your fingertips. There are incredible interior designers sharing ideas, tips and inspiration daily. Some of my favourites include Rebecca Wakefield from Studio Fortnum and Amber Interiors."

Make the big decisions first

When it comes to investment items, Roxi recommends making those decisions first. So whether that's deciding to incorporate a fireplace into the room or buying a new sofa set, make your investment purchases first.

“Once you’ve made the big decisions you can really have some fun layering texture décor items and lights to the space," Roxi said.

Roxi's Top Tip: "In the living room I like to incorporate lights at eye level rather than on the ceiling, either using wall lightening, table lamps or floor lamps."

Think about paint colour last

If you always thought choosing the paint colour for a room was the first step, think again. Roxi said this should be the last step in your design planning process, coming after you've nailed all the other elements.

“Once you’ve decided on your furniture, your rug, you’ve even found the cushions, throw and art work you want to use then you can start thinking about paint and wall colour," Roxi said.

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“Obviously paint your walls before any new furniture is delivered, but think about the colour of your walls after you’ve pinned down the other elements."

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Roxi said at this point, it's also important to consider the colour of the woodwork in your room, including the skirting boards, doors, architraves and ceilings.

“I like to use a contrasting colour, so it will be a completely different or you can just use white, or paint the woodwork the same colours as the walls. All three of those methods will give you a totally different look, it’s a simple thing but it can make such a difference."

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