The winter is officially over, and you might be chomping at the bit to get that springtime feeling well established in your home. Your living room is where much of the action of the house takes place, and it makes sense to start your warm-weather makeover there. Here are some tips to beat out those winter doldrums and lighten and brighten the living room.
1. Let the Sun Shine In
While heavy draperies made sense during the cold months when drafts could sneak in through the windows, now the sun is making its appearance and it's time to let it in. Pull the curtains off to the side, open the blinds, and, if it's mild enough weather, open the windows to let in the fresh air, too. If you have summertime curtains, now is a good time to switch out your window treatments.
If you don't have lighter curtains, you don't have to break the budget giving your windows a more seasonally appropriate look. If you know how to use a sewing machine, buy thrift store or discount store flat sheets at only a few dollars and turn them into light window treatments. You could also switch to mini blinds only, hang a sheer fabric in the window for minimal coverage, or just pull the heavy curtains off to the side with tiebacks. For further options, visit a store like Sylvans & Phillips Drapes and Blinds.
2. Get More Lighting
If your living room feels dark and not springlike, consider bringing in more lamps or having overhead lighting installed. Depending on the style of your living room, recessed canisters or a ceiling fan or two might fit in just right. You could also buy halogen lamps fairly inexpensively. Avoid using fluorescent lights, though, as they will not only look jarring after being outdoors, but they can also buzz annoyingly and even raise the temperature in the room by a couple of degrees, which is not what you want once spring turns to summer.
3. Bring in Fresh Flowers
Nothing says spring like flowers, and having plants and flowers in your living room can go a long way to banish those winter doldrums. You can cut lilacs from your own backyard or just stop by the grocery store to pick up a bouquet. Change the water regularly to keep your flowers looking great for a week or more at a time. One word of warning: Avoid poisonous blooms if you have young children or pets who might want to try a nibble.
4. Brighten Your Walls
The obvious way to make your walls lighter is to choose a lighter paint color. Paint is inexpensive and easy to change. If you don't want to take on that type of project, however, there are other options. Try using a large batik sheet as a wall hanging or filling one wall with framed children's art. These will break up a darker wall and introduce color to a space that might have been lacking visual interest.
You could also hang mirrors to help reflect light. Again, there's no need to spend a lot of money. Visit yard sales and thrift shops to pick up mirrors in various frames. Hang them all on one wall or position them across the room from one another to reflect light back and forth. Experiment by propping them up in various places before you start pounding nails in the walls.
Now that spring has sprung, take the time to update your window treatments and add light, color, and interest to your living room. Not only will you make your guests feel welcome, but you and your family will feel more at home in a space that reflects the season.