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A Simple Design for a Living Room

Start with this formula, then add your own ideas


Contrasting Paint

Contrasting Paint Makes a Quick Design Statement

Photo: Mark Lund - Getty Images

Are you have designers block? Can't think of where to start to redecorate? Do you want a simple way to add drama to your living room in a day? This technique is fast and anyone can do it. It is just a simple formula, but yields big results. Ready?

Start with a freshly painted room and a solid colored sofa, then:

  1. Paint a simple, but large, geometric on your wall. A big square (say 4'by 4' or 3' by 3') in an accent color above your sofa or on the opposite wall adds a visual statement and focal point. Not a square person? A circle adds movement to your design, but is harder to execute.
  2. Add 5-7 small picture frames with mirrors or family photos inside the frames. Paint your picture frames the original wall color. Group them inside the square. It will tie in the original wall color and create a cohesive grouping framed by the square. If you don't like frames, do it with any collection you currently have that can be hung on the wall (posters, plates, etc.).
  3. Create new pillows incorporating the color of the walls, the color of your biggest piece of furniture, usually the sofa, and the color of the painted square. Make the pillows in stripes, geometrics, or trim. These will also add a cohesive element to your design.
  4. Add one big area rug that blends with the square or accent color and the wall.

You can vary the patterns, but it is best to have the wall, accent color, and the color of your biggest piece of furniture in any floral or pattern. Of course, this formula is a simplification, but if you are stumped for a design for your room, it is a great place to start.

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