Blue Velvet Sofa in Living Room

Mike Garten

Whether it’s a complete overhaul or a quick refresh, spice up the family’s favorite room with these pro tips.

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Colorful Light Fixture

Update an unattractive, outdated light fixture with a few coats of paint, round bulbs and pom-pom fringe for a whimsical touch. Strong colors overhead pull together the room’s eclectic vibe.

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Streamlined Shelves

Refresh your storage by taking the jackets off old books (load up at yard sales) to expose the stitching or covering your collection with coordinating papers.

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Tilted Mirror

For a laid-back look on your mantel, rest a sturdy style against the wall – no hammering required.

SHOP MIRRORS

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Lush Leaves

Fill any underused nook or corner with a big, ol’ houseplant and it can instantly become the personality-packed focal point of the room. Tuck the pot in a cute basket for an extra punch.

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Painted Brick

Update an old-school brick fireplace (or wood paneling) with a coat of cream paint like this sunny home. Take that, ’70s-era decor.

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Soothing Palette

Let the vibes flow from room-to-room with another clever paint tip. “I often paint a home one color throughout,” says Susana Simonpietri, interior designer and cofounder of Chango & Co. “Or, I’ll try the softest hue in the room that gets the most natural light, then work through the rest of the home with deepening shades of blue and gray.”

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Slate and Copper

Mix metallic accents (we see you, adorable end table) with traditional wood pieces for added depth to your living room decor.

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Better Flow

It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. “In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees,” says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. “I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink.”

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Streamlined Screen

Don’t let your primetime viewing habits impede your style. “Go for a slim TV (mine is a Samsung), and use a thin mount that lets it sit flat against the wall,” says lifestyle blogger Carley Knobloch. “Then have the wires threaded through the wall so it looks uncluttered.”

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Velvet Sofa

Make the living room feel airer (and infinitely bigger) by replacing a bulky sectional with pretty seating. Besides, what feels more luxe than velvet?

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Dual-Purpose Bar Cart

Setting up a booze station on your bar cart is a no brainer β€” but using it as an end table (especially when space is limited) to display blooms, art and coffee table books is just genius.

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Low Furniture

Short pieces, like this tufted couch, keep an open floor plan cozy. Use area rugs to define individual “rooms” within the space.

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Navy Walls

Give beige a break. Dramatic hues can drench a large living room, like this inky wallpaper. The deep blue provides a surprisingly neutral backdrop.

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Comfy Seating

Your style may be posh, your furniture can still be cozy. Plush sofas and armchairs rule the roost in Ellen Pompeo’s L.A. home. “It’s fancy in a cool way, not in an ‘I can’t sit there’ way,” she says.

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Slim Footprint

Save square footage without sacrificing seating by using dining chairs in the living room. A rattan-and-cane perch takes up less real estate than a traditional recliner.

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Family-Friendly

Yep, white furniture can work in a house with kids. Just choose durable fabrics (a leather couch) and surfaces (the plastic rocker, the lacquer table) that wipe clean easily.

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Statement Rug

The key to subtle color lays at your feet. A patterned carpet plays up the neutral furniture in a New Jersey home, while a similarly-hued pillow adds another punch to the armchair.

SHOP BOHO RUGS

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Fast Fixes

Makeover a room by rethinking the pieces you already have. Use up leftover wall paint on the frame of an old chair or refresh curtains and pillows by sewing fancy trim along the edge.

SHOP POM-POM CURTAINS

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Subtle Pattern

Avoid future boredom with calm colors using texture and pattern. In a dreamy beach house, muted prints in the same palette keep a neutral room from looking bland.

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Sheer Curtains

The quickest way to let light in starts at the source. Replace heavy fabric curtains with gauzy ones, making sure the panels go all the way to the floor. To accentuate a tall ceiling, mount the drapes about a foot above windows and doors.

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Second Surface

Change up tired decor with this quick DIY. Add old wood planks to a coffee table as a bonus shelf. And skip painting β€” the weathered finish has more character.

SHOP FARMHOUSE COFFEE TABLES

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Easy Access

An open floor plan like in this Connecticut cottage creates one large space for entertaining. Two columns (garage-sale finds from years ago) stand at the corners of the kitchen, anchoring the room.

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Dark Accent

Look to the opposite end of the color spectrum to tie everything together. A moody blue grounds a windowed living room by Sarah Richardson without overwhelming it.

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Sneaky Furniture

Steal a space-faking secret from this tiny Brooklyn apartment. Choose a few full-size furniture pieces instead of cramming in lots of smaller ones. The living room will feel larger, and you’ll have a sofa you actually like to sit on.

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Bonus Materials

Don’t forget to punctuate color with natural texture. Sarah Richardson used wicker baskets, a wood-frame mirror, and an antique pine dresser to warm up this rustic cabin.

SHOP WICKER TABLES

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Blank Space

Start with an all-white canvas and swap in seasonal accents all year-round. This summery living room uses cool blues, jute accessories, and nautical accents for a beachy vibe.

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Light and Airy

Measuring just 250 square feet, a tiny guesthouse copies a staple of Scandinavian style. Bright white shiplap creates the illusion of added space.

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Cohesive Palette

HGTV host Emily Henderson uses a “hero color” throughout every room to pull it all together. In her Los Angeles home, blue with gray and olive accents creates a casual, layered look.

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Natural Textures

This Connecticut farmhouse nails country style. Underused neutrals rust and charcoal echo throughout with woodsy elements like oak, cedar, stone, and leather.

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