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I absolutely love my house. But I love it more for the acre of yard and the neighbors than I do the actual structure. Built 43 years ago by a woman who was caring for her ailing dad, the house boasts a huge, plain living space and 4 bedrooms including two master’s. While this is great for my kids sharing a huge master and having a playroom and separate children’s library, the living area that is very large and open with no personality has always been a struggle for me to figure out how to style. A few years ago I finally painted the dark paneled walls that made me feel like I was living in a coffin white. But with white tile floors, that made the space even larger and more empty looking. I did add some color in the furniture I chose but between the dogs and kids, the colors are becoming less exciting and more dirty. When I know someone is coming over, though, I like to try to make the room look less blah and more ‘AHA’! The first step, always, is to quickly clean it and give it a scent that is much better than dog. For years I have relied on Pledge® that I purchase at Kroger to not only give my house that distinctive aroma of clean but to add sparkle and shine to my living room surfaces. It also features Allergens Trappers® to remove dust and up to 90% of the allergens found in dust. That plus a few easy tips can make my living room company ready in 10 minutes or less!
Know Your Limitations
I can look through all of the online tips I want but the truth is, I have a huge open space with no walls to put the couch on and no tables to dress up the space. At least not yet. So looking for wall art to hang behind the couch or accessories to put on a cute side table are not an option for me. I have to decorate and plan with what I have. I also know that I don’t have thousands of dollars to go buy elegant furniture that will dress up the space with rich textures. So I have to know my limits and be willing to think outside of the living room box to give it some style!
Clean it Well
I only have a few surfaces in my living room. I don’t have a coffee table because I have never found one that I really liked. I want one that has storage and blends with any couch configuration but have been unsuccessful. I did update the TV area and book area with wooden storage units and kept a sofa table that holds photos. In the back wall, which still baffles me to this day with why that space is there, are dog beds and my children’s computer desk. I am telling you, there is no class or elegance in this large box that holds the couch. However, when I take out my Pledge® Lemon Clean and my Pledge® Orange Clean, I know that I will transform the dullness of these items and the aroma of the room instantly! The instant shine that these give wooden surfaces is unmatched and gives me an instant happy boost! The sofa table that has glass on it gets Pledge® Multi Surface Everyday Cleaner with Glade® Rainshower®! This all-purpose cleaner contains a worry-free formula that cleans up smudges and messes while safely leaving the finish alone. One product gives me the clean I need for the glass and the shine and conditioning I need on the wood portions.
This summer I am putting hardwood floors throughout my house. I think this will really warm up the living area, getting rid of the white, basic tile, and add depth to the area. So I am already stocking up on Pledge® FloorCare Products that I can simply squirt and mop to keep my floors clean new looking!
My blue couch that I love and so wanted came with pillows that were the same color as the couch. While nice to have the extra pillows, they don’t add anything for style or elegance. So I found some bright and colorful yellow and white pillows to add that have added another level of color to the couch. In addition, my cream colored chair that I HAD to have has no throw pillows. Adding a bright red one really updates the chair and draws the eye to it instead of the vast space. It is amazing how new throw pillows can update a couch and make it feel new again!
Get Creative with your Throws
We all have our favorite blankets that we curl up under while binge watching on the couch. Growing up, my mom always folded the blanket neatly and hung it over the back of the couch. I like that clean look but sometimes laying a throw over the back almost casually or laying it at an angle can add some warmth and depth to a space. I also like to layer plain colored blankets and patterned ones to draw the eye to the area. Plus, by being more casual it adds a sense of homy -ness and makes guests feel like it is OK to sit on the couch!
Use What You Have
Sure, we can all head to the store and spend hundreds on accessories that may or may not work in our space. Or we can open our cabinets and pull out stuff that has been crammed in the back, forgotten about years ago. I have a collection of very nice, decorative vases that I got for my wedding. Though I am now divorced, I still think they are beautiful and elegant. Pulling those out and adding fresh cut flowers to them, clustering them together on the table under the TV just adds a fresh, clean look to the living room. It did not cost me anything, the flowers are from my garden, and it adds style and classiness to a space that seems lost! Plus in a dark space, they add a little light!
Aside from hiring an interior designer and having them come in and do it for you, I would say that most living rooms are a work in progress. Mine has had many looks over the last six years and, once I knock out the back wall and make it french doors to the yard, it will have many more. As long as you are using quality products that not only clean but shine up your space, like Pledge® brand products, anyone coming over will be happy! But with a few small touches you can give new life to a space that seemed so plain and boring before!