Do you feel at ease, even excited to invite people into your home and relax? Or do these excuses sound more familiar – “I’m sorry it’s such a mess!” and ”We’ve just been so busy; We’ll get around to fixing this room up eventually.” Of all the rooms in your country home, the living room is the most central and communal. Let’s focus on creating a room that is an extension of your personal country style; one where you can truly live.
First, sit down and list what your country living room is used for and how often. Is this room family central? Does everyone migrate here after dinner? Is it the main room for watching TV? Does it double as a home office or craft station also? Do you often throw parties? Perhaps your children use it to study, or you house exercise equipment in there.
Answering this question will help you define what your living room’s purpose is. This is a vital step in the design process, as you want your decor to be supportive of the activities and atmosphere in your country living room. Remember to answer the question, “How often?” Is there another room in your house that is frequented more, leaving your living room less used? If so, why? Is your living room not welcoming? Perhaps you will consider using your furniture and decor to create a more inviting atmosphere. Love to Know has an article with a great section (about halfway through) on country style living room design tips.
Next, decide on the color and design scheme. For many people, this brainstorming step is the most fun part of the entire process. An important question to ask in this stage is, “What do you already have in the room that you want to keep?” Is it a treasured couch or a lamp that you love? Maybe you have an antique trunk handed down from your grandmother that you are using as a coffee table. If there are certain pieces of furniture and country decor in your living room that you want to keep, now you have something to focus the rest of your design scheme around. In this stage, my best advice is to buy or make a bulletin board or design book where you post pictures of anything that inspires you – not necessarily just photos of country homes or living rooms. If you do want some inspiration from other homes, though, Country Living has a jam-packed slideshow of Decorating Ideas for Living Rooms.
Finally, set a budget. How much money can you realistically afford to spend on this project? Time is also a huge factor here. If you don’t have a large amount of cash right up front, perhaps you can spread the project out over a longer time frame, where you can continually add to your budget. Maybe you don’t have a lot of time, however, to put into this. Are you going to account in your budget for hiring outside help, such as painters or a design expert? Think about investing money in quality pieces of country furniture, too, that can last for a lifetime. For more advice on budgeting, see this article on Establishing an Interior Decorating Budget.
Keep in mind, even if you set a short timeline for this living room redecorating project, this is a LIVING room. Country style is an extension of your individuality. As life moves on, circumstances change, children grow, old habits die off and new ones begin. As you live your life, you will be continually adding new elements to your country living room to coincide with the changing of times.
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