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When you enter your home after a long day at work, does the “soul of the home” welcome and engulf you with peace and harmony?

The living room is the first thing you see upon entering most homes. It is important to create a warm and welcoming place for you, your family and friends.

 It needs a focal point as you walk in, e.g. a painting over a couch. Position furniture in an inviting conversational unit; the TV should not be the focal point. Current television cabinets provide ample solutions for storage of equipment, music and games. They offer open and closed storage to stash away or display favourite possessions but maintain an aura of calm. Fix flat screens to the wall and have low storage unit below it. Floating shelves on the wall can be used for display.

 Furniture of neutral colours make it easier to decorate – bear in mind long lasting comfort, softness, support and durability of style and materials. Confine strong colours to accessories. Throws or cushions bring in strong accent colours and warmth. Table lamps create ambiance. Embrace the bookworm in the family by creating a haven with a recliner, floor lamp, magazine holder and bookshelf.

 Seating should be uninterrupted by traffic, or “excuse me” will become the biggest stress factor as dad and his friends are trying to watch rugby and the children keep running through to the garden. Cube seats fitted with a removable top, trunks or baskets provide quick tidy-ups to conceal items when visitors pop in. Furniture with an element of storage, e.g. a coffee table with drawers or a shelf underneath will avoid clutter. Books on a table should be for reading or display.

 Paint is the cheapest decorating option and can make a huge difference to a room. Choose peaceful soothing colours. Create a feeling of space by painting the ceiling in a lighter colour.

 Space is normally at a premium and should be versatile and well planned. Well planned storage systems reduce a room degenerating into a mess.

Useful tips:

  • Use sideboards to store glass, table ware or liquor.
  • Book shelves must have sturdy supports to prevent sagging. Pigeonhole storage is a good solution.
  • Group objects together, balance colour, texture and form.
  • Maximise storage in old freestanding armoires and dressers by fitting metal track- and -bracket shelving systems.
  • Use cut flowers or pot plants.
  • Feed cables into cable tubes to avoid a scrambled look
  • Hang speakers or place them on shelves to optimise floor space
  • Keys must have a place of their own.
  • A counter between kitchen and living room that serves as a storage space and divider between the zones of cooking and living area, work better if it has doors on both sides.

 Keep the living room inviting and uncluttered: Keep a “box to give away” for items you decide you no longer want. Recycle junk mail and magazines. Schedule clean-up before dinner or bedtime. It takes a few minutes and you’ll be greeted in the morning by a wonderful, relaxing space.

 Enjoy this creative session it will be well worth it!

 Heidi Meyer Professional Organiser

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