Easy Living Room Updates

Designer: Angela Murphy (with Havenly)

As we’ve been staring at our rooms this past year, I wanted to examine another space that gets a lot of use and may need some attention.  Our living rooms are where we spend so much of our time and they’ve really had to become multi-functional.  We’ve used it to relax, eat, entertain, play, and even work from home.  Let’s dive into a few places that we can easily update or edit to create a space that is functional AND makes us happy!

 For me, I’ve really had to examine my organization this past year.  I want to be able to get out and put things away easily and still look clean and neat.  There are several great tips for organizing your multi-functional living space!

  1. Remove visual clutter – all of those daily items that take up space and need a place to go.  Things like remotes, mail, magazines, stray toys, etc. all need a home that can be easily accessed but still hidden.  I’m a HUGE basket fan.  They’re great for hiding things and add visual interest with texture!  You could also think about trays on your coffee table to organize smaller items like books and paper. 
Image: jane-athome.com

Another great tip is to have one storage bin or basket that is your “put-away bin”.  These are items that get trapped in the living room that should be in other rooms.  When not in use, throw these items in the put-away bin and regularly sweep them away to the proper rooms to be put in their proper place.

Image: Lindsay Hill Interiors

Add a furniture pieces that have storage or can play double duty.  I love tables with drawers (and admittedly these become my “put-away bins”).  They can be used for all the little things you need close to you when on the sofa or in your favorite chair but don’t want out in the open.  A small storage ottoman is great for kids or dog toys or an extra throw!  And yes, baskets again!  A floor basket looks great with your extra textiles like throws or pillows and is super functional.

Image: Hayneedle

2. Change up your coffee table or shelf styling! I mentioned that trays are a great way to store paper, magazines and book.  They’re also a an  easy way to cluster items together for a visually pleasing approach. You can create vignettes by grouping items varying heights and textures.  Stack a few books, decorative box, candle and a plant and voila!

Image: Angela Murphy / MAKS Design Studio

Changing up your bookshelves is a fun way to keep things interesting too. After the Christmas decorations come down, I always like to move things around a bit.  I often get bored and sometimes want to bring out something I haven’t seen in awhile.  This is also a great place to add a little extra storage with some decorative boxes or more baskets (yep, I said it again!)

Image: Madison Nicole Design

3. Change or add artwork. Don’t forget your walls!  The art you surround yourself with can make a huge impact on your mood.  It should definitely make you FEEL something.  Think about borrowing pieces you love from another room.  Sometimes swapping things around can make just the difference you need.  You may want to consider updating those old family photos to more recent ones or adding new pieces could be the inspiration you need.  There are a lot of ways to display art too.  You  can add smaller pieces interspersed on shelves to add color and shape.  They can be hung and displayed on wall in different ways too.  Be creative!

Which leads us to our DIY of displaying art.  The following are some great ideas for creative displays of art in your home.  Have fun with it!

Magnetic Hanging Frame – Image: Design Sponge
Image: Angela Murphy / MAKS Design Studio

I love a good art shelf! It allows you to layer pieces for a big impact and the flexibility to change them out!

Image: Angela Murphy / MAKS Design Studio
Image: Apartment Therapy
Image: AVE Styles
Hang Art with Washi Tape! Image: Domino

Have fun with your space and remember it should reflect you!

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