If you're at home, walk into your living room (those at work or away, close your eyes and visualize your living room). What do you see? A calming space that nurtures your design soul? Or a kind of cluttered room that's stressing you out a bit right now? Consider eliminating these six things from your living room today; you just might feel an instant design relief of your main living space.
They have become nearly invisible to you the longer you've used your space, but these annoying details of modern life stick out like a sore thumb to fresh eyes. Even if you don't notice them all that much now, we promise you will notice when you tuck them away and hide them; your whole room will feel just a little bit fresher and less cluttered, and the attention will go to your fun decor items, not the functional cords.
A couple of throw pillows (or a few things from a vignette)
Our living rooms are a magnet for decor items we don't have any other place for. We tend to add on to these rooms slowly and even mindlessly throughout the year. Excited to add a different feel to a space, these small items aren't dangerous and do tend to freshen the look of a room. But they can also add up after many months, turning into comically huge collections of things like throw pillows on a couch or a tabletop vignette. Take out and store a few of these extra items for a sleeker, more tightly arranged living room.
Clutter on the coffee table
From old dishes to four-foot tall design book stacks to remote controls and more, our coffee tables are a natural landing space in our living rooms for a whole manner of different items. But they're an anchor piece in this room; they are a surface that commands attention and often exists in the dead middle of a room. Keeping this surface a little less full than others in your space will set the tone in a living room (and no, you don't have to take everything off — just do a little streamlining).
Uncomfortable/poorly placed seating
If there's a seat in your living room that you don't like sitting in because of its too-firm (or too soft) cushions or odd-placement, why do you still have it? Replace any seating that's not calling at you like a siren with seating that fits you and your room's style and comfort level better.
Because the living room tends to be the heart of your home's decor, it's even more vital that you pay attention to this room's corners, which, depending on the size, layout and configuration may be a focal point or a barely noticeable spot. What corners shouldn't be are afterthoughts to your decor, especially in your living room when they really count toward the feel of the whole space.
It's one thing to try and bring in better lighting — you should be doing that in all of your rooms regardless. But if you brought in better lighting in your living room in the form of a nice table lamp or soft candles, go a step further and eliminate all together any bad lighting. Bulbs in fixtures that cast an institutional colored glow or even any light fixtures that don't work in the space.
Re-edited from a post originally published 6.30.15-nt