How to Stop Your Living Room From Looking Dated—No Renos Needed
Sure, decorating is fun, but it's also expensive. This is why, no matter how much we love scouring Pinterest for our favourite rooms and furniture, we also want to decorate once (in an ideal world) and be done with it. However, this strategy guarantees that the room will need a complete overhaul in seven to 10 years. Instead of decorating for your decade and having your living room décor room feel dated after only a few years, there are a few small design principles to apply that will ensure your space will never go out of style.
Did you recently look at your living room décor only to realise that your paint is scuffed and discoloured, your pillows have seen better days, and your sofa could use a refresh? It may be time for an update—but don't start without applying these clever décor hacks first. Want your room to stand the test of time? Your living room décor will never look dated if you follow these rules.
Steer Clear of Trends
Courtesy of Elizabeth Roberts
Just like an outfit composed of high-waisted flared jeans, white sneakers, and a bomber jacket might look outdated in a year, ultra-trendy interiors tend to age very quickly. To keep your space from getting stamped in time, avoid decorating only with the season's hottest trends. That's not to say that you should avoid them entirely, but rather that you should use them sparingly and take your time to figure out if your beloved item will stand the test of time before purchasing it—especially when it comes to larger items. Which brings us to our next point: Keep your base neutral.
Keep a Neutral Base
Courtesy of Benjamin Vandiver
We're all for adding a jewel-toned throw pillow here and a marble side table there, but when it comes to the bulk of your room, it helps to keep it neutral and timeless. Consider the 80/20 rule: 80% of your room should stand the test of time, this includes walls, floors, and large furniture like sofas and beds. Have fun with the remaining 20%. Add a trendy accent, experiment with art, throw in a colorful rug. As long as the majority of your room is completely timeless, you'll be able to refresh it easily to keep it from looking dated.
Don't Neglect Small Repairs
Chipped paint, broken fixtures, or malfunctioning hardware can be easy to overlook when you live with it day to day, but to the outside eye, these small details make your room look tired and dated. Don't let something that can be so easily repaired age your décor; instead, address these promptly. You'll be glad when you're not staring at that empty art hook for months or when your curtains can actually glide easily instead of getting stuck each time.
If you follow our aforementioned rule, the base of your design should already be timeless enough not to need a refresh. This brings you to the other 20%. Take a moment seasonally to assess your accessories: Can you update your pillows, add greenery, hang new art, or swap a few accessories? This is not to say you'll need to refresh each item every few months, but even just focusing on one aspect that could use updating can give you a whole new outlook on your living room.
Courtesy of Wrede
Speaking of accessories, how many do you own in your living room? To ensure that your living room décor stays timeless for a long time, try limiting your accessories. Toss every unnecessary item that you don't completely love, and keep your styling simple. It'll be that much easier to update when there are fewer items in the room. In this case, more isn't necessarily better.
Always Include One Modern Piece
Even if your style leans more classic, adding one contrasting modern element will ensure your living room stays current and fresh. Similarly, adding an antique to an all-modern room can break up furniture that might otherwise feel like a set. Keep mixing your periods and style to ensure that your room never stays stuck in one decade.
Scuff marks, scratches, and discoloration can happen to even the most resilient paints, but it's a surefire way to tell that your room needs updating. To avoid having your paint betray the rest of your décor, paint your room with a fresh coat every few years. You don't even have to change the colour if you don't want to—just keep it feeling fresh with a new coat of paint. It'll give your room a whole new life.