Top styling tips for transforming your living room into a space you adore…

Go big – Bigger is often better when you want to raise the bar on style and elegance in a living room. So says Tracey-Lee Gradige, Interior Decorator at Casarredo.” For instance, using a rug that easily fits under all of your essential furniture (sofa, coffee table and any armchair) will make your room feel bigger and help to showcase all of the furniture.” She advises the same with wall art and mirrors: “When it comes to artwork in the living room, the bigger the canvas or framed art, the more high-end the room will feel. Large artwork creates a gallery look, which appears expensive, while mirrors are the quintessential accessory to add light, the illusion of more space and a luxe feeling. Try hanging at least one large mirror above a sofa, console or showcase feature, such as a fireplace.”

Add colour and texture – Still on the theme of size, Dulux Colour Consultant Palesa Ramaisa advocates opting for neutral shades that are able to create a space that appears larger than what it may actually be and also adding a splash of colour to one wall. “Accessorize with metallic elements to create a sense of luxury, introduce the outdoors with small interior plants and bring in accents of wood, which will add warmth and rustic luxury,” she says. “Bring in various textures with the introduction of patterned and coloured throws and cushions made of luxe textiles,” says Tracey-Lee Gradige, adding that using a few smaller accessories in luxe materials is a favourite designer trick to give a room a more glamorous feel. And don’t forget to consider the instant effect that wallpaper can achieve – whether it’s for an accent wall or used to update a piece of furniture.

Play with the light – “A lighting source can also be a statement piece,” says Tracey-Lee, “so try adding drama using oversized lampshades or even a modern crystal chandelier.” If you don’t have the budget for something more opulent, a simple dimmer switch can also do wonders to the mood and tone of a room, as you can control the amount of light to target certain areas or simply throw a warm glow over everything. Lighting layered at different levels can also be very effectual. Or simply update your window treatments to add in more light and/or to introduce plush drapery.

Organise and streamline – Sometimes transforming your living space can be as simple as tidying up, de-cluttering and re-organising what you already have. From streamlining your book and magazine collection to scaling down on ornaments and other objects, pick your favourites and confine them to a couple of shelves on the wall or create an eye-catching arrangement on the coffee table.

Automate it – The pièce de résistance when it comes to achieving total living-room envy would be, without a doubt, to control the whole room with the mere touch of a button – to dim the lights, play music, turn up the heat, close the blinds, switch on your home theatre etc. “Home automation is fast-becoming the biggest trend in making our lives easier and our homes smarter,” says Kara Gouveia, Marketing Manager at Homemation. “Using your smart phone or tablet, you can command virtually any system and device, from anywhere, at any time. Start small by automating just your living room. Or go big with whole-home automation. No matter what the application, the experience is unforgettable and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without home automation.”

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