Many of us have rooms we rarely use: dining rooms with tables too large for our family of four; a sitting room used once a year at holiday times. Often, these formal spaces feel stiff and empty. Below are several top tips—gleaned from years of home staging—to make your formal spaces feel more like your own.
Make use of color. Often, formal rooms stick to neutral color palettes, like beige. Jazz up your formal space with a pop of color. This can be as extreme as one brightly painted wall, or as subtle as a pair of purple throw pillows on the couch or a deep green table runner.
Pick a statement piece. There’s no need to pick up completely new furniture, but keep an eye out for one unique piece to replace a more traditional item of furniture. A funky coffee table or even a bright piece of art will work.
Drape it right. An easy way to loosen up stiffness in a room is with fun curtains. If your furniture and color palette is basic, then pick a pattern you love for the drapes. Patterns seem too busy? A splash of color will do the trick.
Tailor to the time. Since often our formal spaces are used only a few times a year—say on Easter, or Hanukkah—feel free to customize the area for those holidays. Buy several throw pillows or table cloths in accompanying colors—pastels for easter, deep reds for winter holidays—and lay them out on that special day.
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