How to get your living room ready for guests

The sun’s shining, the pubs are open once again, and that May milestone is on the horizon where we can, finally,
throw open our front doors and welcome friends and family back into our homes

We asked paint professions at Lick to share their ideas on reinvigorating living rooms in time to  entertain guests in a few weeks. These are their seven steps to help you revamp your post-lockdown living room, just in time for when your guests arrive.

Idea #1: Give your living room a fresh lick of paint

@thesewalkerwalls-Pink-02

Image credit: @thesewalkerwalls

Where better to start than with paint? One of the most transformative (and cost-effective) updates you can make to your décor is a lick of paint. It will press the reset button and shake you and your home out of its lockdown state. Fancy tapping into the Japandi interior trend or giving your living room a Scandi style makeover? Paint can take you there in a heartbeat. 

Even if you were one of those who went big on home updates this time last year when we were all adjusting to spending so much time indoors, the ways that you can get creative with paint are boundless. How about painting your woodwork or fireplace surrounds to introduce another accent colour? Or if you have a feature wall, a year’s not too soon to try a new hue. Did you leave out your ceiling last time?

Don’t forget that it’s your fifth wall and can work wonders when it’s given some TLC, whether that’s through light paint colours to make a small room feel larger or a patterned wallpaper that can make your palette feel super immersive. Talking of wallpaper… 

 

Idea #2: Liven up your living room with wallpaper

Lick x Natasha Coverdale Electric Poppies 02 Wallpaper2Living_Room_JRF_Chinoiserie-01

Image credit: Lick

Gone are the days where wallpapering a room would cost an arm and a leg and feel a bit on the scary side to undertake yourself. Lick's wallpaper collection is all about ease – easy to hang, easy to care for, and easy to be around. 

As much as a patterned cushion, an ikat footstool or vintage kilim rug will bring character and colour into your living room, wallpaper takes that energy to another dimension. If your living room’s on the snug side, going all in with a busy pattern will actually work in your favour; it’ll feel all the more cosy and intimate. See our artist collaboration papers like Palm leaf 02, Enchanted Forest 01 or Electric Poppies 02 for inspiration.

But if you’ve got a spacious sitting room with loads of natural light pouring in and high ceilings, you can still use a patterned wallpaper to maximum effect, but consider a more delicate design like Chinoiserie 01 – with a ceiling painted in Blue 02, your room’s mood will be fresh, uplifting and 100% zen.

 

Idea #3: Introduce atmospheric lighting

@wiltshireamy-@boroseblooms-Pink-02_1@insidesixtythreelliving-room-1

Image credit:@wiltshireamy, @boroseblooms & @insidesixtythreelliving. Room is painted in Lick Pink 01

Scene set, now’s the time to look at how you might want to play with tone, the mood, the vibe. Lighting’s your ally here because it’ll let you dial down the intensity of a colour or a pattern if you want things to feel moody and ambient or brighten things up. 

Lamps, whether floor lamps or table lamps, will get their glow in the morning, noon and night to add softness to your room, so add a good few into your living room. The key’s to have layered lighting at different heights so your lighting flows and isn’t too heavy at any one level. And look into switching up your light switch to a dimmer if you can to give you more control over the brightness of any ceiling and wall lights. 

 

Idea #4: Create conversation areas with furniture

@welovehomeblog-living-room

Image credit: @maxinebradystyling

One word – zoning. 

Step back and reassess your living room’s layout and look at whether you can rejig anything. Picture this – you’ve got a large L-shaped sofa and then a sheepskin rug by the fire. Would adding an ottoman in-between give people a place to perch and chat while someone else is lounging out on the rug and the sofa’s already occupied? Or is there room for an occasional chair or two so there’s another pocket for your guests to gather?

 

Idea #5: Bring the bar into your home

Terrace Bar Cart_West Elm

Image credit: @maxinebradystyling

Maybe you want to take the (small and socially distant) party back to your place, or maybe your little group doesn’t fancy venturing out and would rather form an orderly queue at your bar trolley – either way, having a makeshift bar in your living room is always going to be a hit. Bar cart, section of a bookcase styled with bottles of this and that, a side table packed with mixers and cocktail paraphernalia – anything goes.

 

Idea #6: Declutter

Feature blog image (41)@thevictorian.home-grey-01

Image credits: @bethathome & @thevictorian.home

And finally, the golden rule – have a good, old-fashioned clear-out. It’s good for the soul, it’s cathartic, it’s cleansing and your living room will feel like there’s a summer breeze flowing through it even when the windows are shut. You can then go forth, decorate and prepare for when the compliments roll in about ‘what you’ve done with the place’!

 

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