4 Living Room Updates You Can Make Right Now

Do you feel like your living room can use an update? The living room is often the most-used room in the house, especially if this is where you’ve placed the entertainment center. The problem is, when you’re in the room all the time, you might feel that you need to change things up. The good news is that updating the living room doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are some simple changes you can make that will freshen things up:

Buy a New Couch

The couch is often the center point of the living room which means that its constant use can make it look worn and outdated. Buying a new couch is a simple way to give the room a new look. To make the décor look extra fresh, consider switching things up drastically. For example, if you once had a dark leather couch, consider buying a bright-colored piece to freshen things up. Before selecting a new couch, consider what else in the room you’ll want to change, too. Make sure that your new couch matches your décor before you buy it.

Hang Mirrors

Mirrors can really give a room new life, yet they’re often overlooked. The truth is, adding mirrors is a simple and inexpensive way to give a room new life, and this is a good option if you don’t want to make any major changes. Hanging mirrors can make the space look bigger, brighten up a dark room, and also add an interesting element to your existing décor.

Change the Colors

One of the simplest ways to give your living room an update is to change some of the colors. By swapping out your throw pillows, hanging different wall art, changing your curtains, and buying new area rugs, you can refresh the room without making too many changes or spending too much money. Another great way to change up the colors in the room is to refinish your existing furniture to make everything look like new.

Get Customized Furniture

If you’re not completely happy with your existing living room furniture, you should consider getting some pieces custom made. Although this is considered to be a bit of an investment, going the extra step to make sure you are happy with your furniture will help make the room a lot more enjoyable. When you are dissatisfied with your furniture, it can be hard to make the time to spend in your living room and making small changes won’t help. Take the time to furnish the room with exactly what you want. Custom pieces are the best way to guarantee that the living room is perfect.

If you feel like you need a change, these simple updates can make your living room appear just like new! Visit https://www.gothiccabinetcraft.com/ for ideas on the different kinds of furniture you can use to update your living room.

How to Choose a Mirror for Your Living Room

589_BR51a__64758.1357246098.864.850When decorating the living room, we often gloss over the little details, such as what to hang on the walls. We treat these details as an afterthought only after we’ve already selected the major furniture pieces that will go in the room. However, there is more to decorating than that. Little details, such as decorating with mirrors, can really enhance a room. Here’s a look at how to choose the best mirror for your living room:

Know the Purpose of the Mirror

Before you can successfully choose a mirror for your living room, you need to decide on its main function. Will it be purely decorative or do you need it to serve an additional purpose, such as making the room look a little bigger? Knowing how the mirror will be used can help you select the right one. If you need it to make the space look bigger, for example, you will want to make sure that the mirror is large enough to make an impact. If it’s purely decorative, you will simply need to choose one that matches the décor.

Determine the Size of the Mirror

Once you know exactly what the mirror will be for, your next step is to decide on the size. As mentioned above, the purpose will often determine the size. If you need the mirror to create an illusion of space, it will need to cover a larger area. If the mirror will be used for decorative purposes, size doesn’t necessarily matter. Your main goal is to make sure that the mirror matches the décor. In both cases, however, you’ll want to measure the area where the mirror will go and buy one that fits the space.

Consider What Else is On the Wall

Another thing that can impact the mirror you choose is whether or not you will be pairing it with other wall art. If a mirror will be alone on a bare wall, you can get away with a mirror that is larger or more ornate. If the mirror is sharing the space with other pieces of art, you will need to take these other pieces into consideration. You will make much different choices depending on what’s close to it.

Know the Big Picture

Overall, you need to find a mirror that makes sense with the overall look of your living room. While it is a good idea to take factors such as the size of the mirror, the purpose of the mirror, and whether or not it will share a wall with other items into consideration, it still needs to look great in the room as a whole and match the existing decor.

Before buying a mirror to hang in your living room, it helps to put some thought into it. By doing that, you are sure to select a great mirror that you will truly be happy with.

Coffee Table Styles to Choose From

3_piece_occasional_table_sets_701508_b__58466-1354906067-864-850The coffee table is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your living room or family room. In addition to being a focal point in the room and enhancing the décor, it’s also highly practical. You can put your feet up on the table, use it to store items such as books and the remote control for the television, and it can also be used as a work surface. Because it is so important, it’s necessary to select the coffee table that matches your décor and also best meets your needs. Here’s a look at the types of coffee tables that you have to choose from:

Traditional

Traditional coffee tables tend to be a little more formal than other styles. They usually have ornate detailing and are the ideal choice for a formal living room or for a family room that has a more formal look to it. If you suspect that your coffee table will get a lot of use, traditional styles may not be the best fit. However, if you have a formal decorating style, a traditional coffee table is the perfect choice.

Transitional

Transitional coffee tables usually have a contemporary or modern look to them and also tend to be highly functional. For instance, a transitional coffee table may be designed with shelving or drawers underneath the table portion so that you can store additional items. They are perfect for those rooms in the home that get a lot of use.

Contemporary

Contemporary coffee tables are designed to follow current furniture trends. Incorporating materials such as metal and glass is popular with contemporary styles. For instance, many contemporary coffee tables have glass tabletops and metal legs. They look best in rooms that use modern or contemporary design schemes.

Parsons

Parsons-style coffee tables are characterized by a square shape and broad legs that come out from each of the corners. This style, which was originally developed in the 1930’s, is versatile and can include various design elements, such as upholstery and engravings. This means that they can fit with a variety of design schemes.

Round

Coffee tables don’t need to be square or rectangular. In some situations, round coffee tables make the most sense. They are perfect for rooms that have sectional couches and those that need to add some round shapes to offset some of the larger pieces of furniture.

When it comes to selecting a great coffee table for your living room, family room, or den, you certainly have a lot to choose from. Not only do you need to choose one that matches your décor, but there are practical reasons for choosing one style over the other, as well.

3 Creative Ways to Store Your Entertainment System

If you’re like most people, the entertainment system is at the center of your home. However, even if you have plenty of space, storing the system can be a bit of a challenge – especially if you want many of the pieces to remain hidden. Most entertainment centers have a variety of different elements, such as video game consoles, multiple speakers, and DVD and Blu-ray players, not to mention the multiple cords that accompany these things. How can you store every part of the entertainment center without creating a cluttered appearance? Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Have Custom Furniture Made

photo_19__73307-1437404488-864-850Sometimes, premade entertainment furniture pieces don’t quite get the job done. Although these units are specifically designed to successfully house most entertainment systems, there are situations that require special attention, such as a room that has a unique shape or if you need a piece that perfectly matches your existing furniture and can’t seem to find one that meets your needs. In these cases, it makes a lot more sense to have something custom made. There’s no need to settle for something that won’t quite meet your needs!

Convert Existing Furniture

Do you have a piece of furniture that fits perfectly in the spot where you plan on placing the entertainment system? If so, you don’t necessarily need to remove that piece before you set up your system. Another option is that you can convert this existing furniture piece to now accommodate your entertainment system. For instance, if you have a hutch that fits your television, you can make some simple tweaks so that it will now fit your television, cable box, and even your speakers!

Use Storage Cubes

Are you looking for a way to customize your entertainment center that will also save you money? If so, consider using storage cubes! Cubes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. They can include shelves, cabinets, and drawers. This allows you to easily combine them in a way that will allow you to effectively house your entertainment system.

Storing your entertainment system can be tricky, especially if you need to save space or if you’re looking for unique ways to conceal the different components in a way that adds to your existing décor. Consider trying some of these creative ideas when setting up your entertainment system!

How to Choose the Best Coffee Table

It’s easy to underestimate the importance of a great coffee table. At its most basic, it makes a room feel complete. Coffee tables are also practical because they can be used as a footrest, for storage, or as a workspace if space in your home is at a premium. However, there are so many different coffee table options out there, it can be hard to find the best one for your needs. Here are some of our tips for choosing a coffee table:

Choose Your Seating First

Resist the urge to buy the coffee table before you’ve selected the rest of the furniture. Even if you see a gorgeous coffee table before you choose your seating, it’s important not to get too eager. It is much easier to find a table that matches your furnishings than the other way around. For instance, you wouldn’t want to pair a couch set that has clean, modern lines with an ornate, antique coffee table unless mixing the two looks is an integral part of your décor.

Understand Your Space

915_OT1010__72078.1362594064.864.850Coffee tables come in different shapes and sizes, and not every style will work best for your space. Aside from the obvious, such as that you shouldn’t put a large coffee table in a small room, there are other things to keep in mind. The overall shape of the coffee table will also matter when it comes to arranging your seating. If your coffee table is round, you’ll want to arrange your seating in a circle around it. If you only have one couch that will be facing the television, a single, rectangular shaped coffee table may be your best bet.

Decide if You Need Extra Storage

If space in your home is at a premium, you might want to consider finding a coffee table that can double as a storage unit, such as those that have an extra shelf at the bottom or that have drawers. A great example of this type of table is the Mykonos cocktail table featured in this post. The extra drawers can be used to store items that you don’t have space for elsewhere in the room, such as books, games, and accessories for your entertainment system.

Consider A Table That Doubles as an Ottoman

Do you enjoy having a footrest available to rest your feet and legs? If this is the case, consider buying a coffee table that can double as an ottoman. These tables are often made with plushier materials and are designed for comfort while still being sturdy enough to hold other items, such as a filled coffee mug. Just look for styles that aren’t tufted and that are fairly flat on the top. You can also convert a nice ottoman into a coffee table by placing a large tray on top.

As you can see, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a coffee table. Your main goal is to find one that matches your décor, fits perfectly in the room, and possibly has a secondary functional purpose, such as providing you with more storage.

5 Ways to Use Ottomans

On the surface, it may look as if an ottoman has only one purpose – to provide a cushiony resting place for your feet. As a result of this, most people consider them to be an after thought when coming up with a decorating scheme. However, there is so much more to them than that! These days, ottomans come in all shapes and sizes and are used for a variety of purposes. Here are some of our favorites:

Extra Seating

Depending on how big the ottoman is, you can actually use it for extra seating. This is especially useful if you’re tight on space in your common areas but frequently entertain. The ottomans can be pushed out of the way until they’re needed. When the need for more space arises, you can simply position them in key areas to create more seating for your guests.

Storage

Many ottomans are designed to also be storage units. This is especially useful if you’re tight on space in your main living areas. For instance, you can use an ottoman in your living room to store items such as DVD’s, board games, and even craft supplies. They CM_AC122BL_open__37055.1472159170.1280.1280provide you with an easy way to store things without creating clutter. Since they come in many different sizes, you can easily find one that will meet your needs.

Coffee Table 

Do you think you don’t have enough floor space for a coffee table? Consider turning an ottoman into a coffee table, instead. While most coffee tables take up a lot of space, ottomans also create extra storage, which makes them an appealing choice for smaller homes. Not only that, but ottoman coffee tables are also highly versatile. They can be converted into a bed or extra seating whenever the need arises.

Bed

In a small home, it can be hard to find space for a guest bedroom. However, even if you aren’t able to devote an entire room for your guests, you can easily convert any room in your home into a guest room by getting creative. Some ottomans, for instance, can actually be used as an extra bed, depending on how big they are. Ottoman-style beds fold up into a manageable size and can then be used as extra seating or as a coffee table. When you have guests, you can simply unfold it and add bedding. Once the guests leave, you can easily tuck it out of the way until you need to turn it into a bed again.

Design Element

The clever thing about most ottomans is that they not only serve more than one purpose, but they’re also stunning. Most people purchase an ottoman as an after thought, and don’t realize that they can actually be the focal point of a room’s decorating scheme. Even if they aren’t the focal point, they can make a room more visually interesting.

Ottomans are an essential furniture item for your home, especially since they are so versatile. Whenever you have the need for extra storage, seating, or even an extra bed, ottomans are a practical choice.

My First Apartment Checklist – The Living Room

Fall is a time for transitions. In addition to the temperatures slowly falling and the leaves changing colors, the fall signifies the start of a new school year. Additionally September is also a busy month for real estate turnover. Many cities have apartments that start new leases on September 1st. For many college students, September 1st marks the start of their independent lives by moving into their very first off-campus apartments.

The moving process alone can be crazy. Follow this First Apartment Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your first place. We’ll start with the living room.

ccrbookcase__54628.1447786019.864.850Bookcases
Besides holding books, CDs, DVDs, and decorative items, bookcases also work to break up a room. For those living in a studio apartment that only has one giant room or an apartment with an open layout, bookcases can be used as room dividers. Adding a finished back to a bookcase allows you to set up the unit to separate the living area from the dining area of the office/study area from the living area. Plus, bookcases take advantage of vertical space, which helps maximize storage in the apartment.

Sofa or Futon
Besides the bed and the office chair, living room furniture gets an awful lot of use. From casually lounging and reading a book to having friends over for video game nights, the couch or sofa gets a lot of use. Because of the high traffic in the living room, you’ll want to make sure that your couch is made of quality materials and can withstand repetitive use. A lot of first time apartment owners will opt for a futon or a pull-out couch that converts into a bed for guests. Without the luxury of having an extra guest bedroom, the living room can serve as sleeping quarters for friends from out of town or mom and dad when they come to visit.

End Table
A living room set isn’t complete without a few end tables. Not only do end tables provide a space to place lamps for lighting, they provide a variety of storage options. End tables can hold magazines, remotes for electronics, and books. They are also a surface to rest drinks on when spending time in the living room.  Some end tables have drawers that can keep items such as stationary, pens, and batteries within arm’s reach, but hidden from plain sight.

Coffee Table
If your apartment is lucky enough to have a decent amount of floor space in the living area, a coffee table is definitely worth the investment. Not only do coffee tables provide a surface to hold drinks and magazines, but they can also serve as a focal point for entertaining. You can spread puzzles, board games, and card games across the table and play with multiple people sitting on all sides of the table. Or if the apartment doesn’t come with a specific dining area, the coffee table can be used as the communal eating area too. A coffee table will come in handy on Friday nights when you and the roommates decide to order take-out and rent a movie.

4 Different Uses for a Bookcase

Bookcases are very versatile furniture. Like the name implies, bookcases are primarily used to hold and/or display books. Many homeowners also use bookcases to store DVDs, CDs, and Vinyl Records as well as a way to show off decorative items. However a bookcase can be used for more than just media storage. With some creative thinking and a DIY attitude, a bookcase can be reconfigured in many different ways. Here are four different ways you can use a bookcase.

Cover Up
GK41D__04399.1420040001.864.850A bookcase is the perfect object to cover up a wall that is a little worse for wear. Perhaps you live in an apartment that has a “no paint” policy, but one of the walls has some discoloration. Or perhaps there is a small dent in the wall or even a hole left over from a light fixture that used to be installed there. Rather than spending money on repairing and repainting the wall, you can use a bookcase to cover up the spot. Bookcases come in all shapes and sizes, so you are bound to find one that is tall or wide enough to cover up the mark on the wall.  The benefit here is that this quick fix isn’t permanent. You can always move and re-purpose the unit if you decide to repaint the whole room.

Closet Organizer
You can use a bookcase as a way to organize a walk in closet. You can add wicker or fabric baskets to the shelves to hold shoes or small items such as socks, scarves, and gloves. Or you can fold sweaters and sweatshirts and stack them neatly on the shelves. A solid wood unit is even sturdy enough to hold multiple pairs of jeans. Is there a room in your home that has a small alcove you don’t know what to do with? Turn it into a makeshift closet! You can stack items on the shelf, and install a few small hooks for items that need to be hung.

Desk
A pair of small bookcases can double as a fantastic desk. You can take two or three shelf bookcases and lay a board across the top to create a workspace.  The bookcases play two roles here. They act as the “legs” of the desk, but also double as storage. You can keep office supplies, software, and printer paper neatly organized on the shelves. Plus with the open shelve design of the bookcases; you can keep an eye on when you are running low on items.

Room Divider
A bookcase can also double as a room divider. Large open spaces are easily broken up into separate “sections” by placing a bookcase perpendicular to a wall. When using a bookcase as a room divider, you will have to take one extra step to make sure you have a finished back for the unit. A bookcase room divider is ideal for studio apartment owners who want to break up the large room into smaller sections, and add a little bit more privacy. It is also ideal for large family rooms that want to set up a separate area to watch televisions from the area where the kids play.

Turn Your Living Room into a Sports Bar!

Maybe not as permanent change, but wouldn’t it be great if you could make your living room the go-to-destination for the next big sports night with your buddies? Believe it or not, turning your living room into a sports bar isn’t all that hard provided you have the right furniture (and some very understanding roommates for the night). If you are looking to host a party the next time a big game is on, make sure your living room is ready to handle the crowds!

1. Add a bar.
3078_3079_3080_3078_b__26600.1433519797.200.200What would a sports bar be without an actual bar! A classic solid wood bar is perfect for entertaining guests. A great bar stores bottles, glasses and serving ware (pitchers, platters, etc) of just about any size so you’ll always have what you need close at hand. If you need help selling the idea of adding a bar to you roommates or significant other, just point out what a great help it will be during your next dinner party (a perfect buffet top!) and how extra much storage it provides.

If you really want to show your team spirit, you can buy an unfinished wood bar and paint it in your team’s colors or paint the logo right on the front of your bar! You’ll be the biggest super fan in the neighborhood.

2. Get comfy with the couches.
Since you probably don’t have room for a big leather booth in the middle of your living room, make do with the next best option and opt for a big, comfy couch. Dark leather is obviously the traditional choice for sports bar seating, but a dark microfiber sofa is just as comfy and luxurious, but really easy to clean in case your guests start celebrating the game winning homerun or touchdown and snacks and beer go flying.

3. Make your TV the focal point.
Let’s be honest, even without a bar a sports bar would still be a sports bar provided it had a dozen flat screen TVs carefully positioned around the room. To really make your living room feel like a sports bar you’ve got to make your TV the center of attention. If you can’t hang your TV on the wall, a tall entertainment center is just the thing to make sure everyone can watch the game. You can keep your sound system, stereo equipment, HD receiver and other sports bar essentials hidden in the entertainment center as well.

The best part of a living room sports bar is that all three of these furniture pieces can work with your everyday life! You may not have an extra room or basement that you can turn into your sports den, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a little stadium feel to your living room.

4 Tips for Furnishing a Small Living Room

Having a small living room is a fact of life for many apartment dwellers. And while it may not matter when you’re the only one home, for people that like to entertain (or are starting a family) a small living room can be incredibly frustrating! How do you fit enough seating in your small living room without making it feel cramped and crowded? Where are you supposed to store all your stuff if you don’t have the space? If you are trying to furnish a small living room, here are four tips to ensure you are maximizing what little space you have to work with:

ottoman__78536.1446043952.864.8501. Ottomans are good choices for seating and storage.
An ottoman that doubles as a coffee table helps you maximize your small living room’s floor space without having to sacrifice storage. Some ottoman sets even break apart so you can have a small coffee table and extra seating at the same time and are perfect for entertaining in a small living room. Ottomans are also a great place to store extra pillows or blankets, which is especially useful if your living room sofa also happens to be a pull out bed!

2. Glass coffee tables can create the illusion of more space.
Since glass coffee tables are see through your small living room isn’t being cut in half by a dark and bulky coffee table. Although they are more fragile than solid wood coffee tables (something to consider if you have young children or pets), glass coffee tables essentially “disappear” in your living room, creating the illusion of more space.

3. Armless sofas give you extra seating to work with.
If you like to entertain, armless sofas can give you a little extra seating space to accommodate all your guests. While you may not be able fit the five piece sectional sofa in your small living room, you might be able to fit one more person on an armless sofa since you get a few extra inches of space on either end. If you go for two small armless sofas they can be rearranged into one big sofa as needed.

4. Wall mounted storage units don’t take up floor space.
Wall mounted storage racks and shelves are a great way to free up floor space without sacrificing storage capacity in your small living room. Storage racks and shelves are a great place to puts DVDs and video games, fun décor items, books or other household knickknacks. You could even create a wall mounted desk solution with a hutch if you need to make room for a home office in your small living room. If you have a really oddly shaped room, or “leftover space,” consider having a custom built wall unit installed! It’ll optimize every inch of space.

The most important thing to remember when furnishing a small living room is to take a lot of measurements! How much space do you really have to work with? A few inches one way or the other can make a big difference. Don’t forget to account for windows, doors, radiators and other things that might impact how you furnish and organize your small living room.

Rearranging Your Living Room Furniture Requires a Plan

One of the most common mistakes furniture shoppers make is they don’t measure their space before buying new living room furniture. There is nothing worse than coming home with your brand new sofa or coffee table or entertainment center and realizing that it’s not going to fit in your living room. It’s even worse for us New York apartment dwellers when we realize we can’t even get our new furniture up the stairs to our 3rd floor apartment! That’s why, before you start rearranging your living room furniture (or shopping for new pieces) you have to plan and map out the space you have to work with.

Mapping out your living room isn’t nearly as hard as you might think it is. All you need is a regular old piece of paper and a tape measure! Measure each of your walls and scale them down to fit on your piece of paper. Make sure you keep the scale the same throughout your sketching, so make it something you can easily convert and remember productscoastercolorellery_181734809_505771_b1__95456.1452545236.864.850(like one foot of living room equals one inch of paper). Once you have your room sketched out (don’t forget to include doors and windows), measure your existing pieces of living room furniture and make small paper cutouts from a separate sheet of paper. You can use these paper cutouts to rearrange your living room without having to do any actual heavy lifting. That way you’ll be 100% sure everything will fit before you start rearranging furniture. You might also want to mark where things like radiators, electrical outlets or cable hookups are since those influence how much flexibility you have with your living room design.

If you are looking to buy new living room furniture, be sure to bring your living room map with you to the store! If you know where you want a new piece to fit all you have to do is check the measurements of the display models and you can be sure it won’t be too large or too small for the space available. Furniture shopping can be a very stressful experience since you have so many options to sort through and hoping something is going to fit isn’t going to make it any easier. If you know exactly how much room you have to play with, that will help narrow down your options and focus your vision.

Making a quick map of your living room before you start rearranging furniture is a quick and easy way to save yourself a lot of time and hassle later!