Simplifying your home thus your life - part 4. the living room

Living room, family room or den, call it what you will. It's a place of gathering for fellowship, conversation, snuggling together on the sofa for movie night, and entertaining. However, if your living room is so cluttered that is isn't recognizable for the purposes mentioned above, then it's time we de-cluttered that, too.

First up, let me clarify that I'm not against children. I have children. I am, however, in favor of spaces that don't look like a toy store blew up in them. This is my home and I want each room of it to be a peaceful sanctuary for its occupants and visitors. My home is very open, so a mess in one room affects every other room. It's important to me that the living room maintain some sense of tidiness, despite the numerous and sundry pieces of Lego's.

living room:
1. What is the look you want for this room? How do you want your guests to feel when they enter it? For me, I wanted the environment to be peaceful, and I wanted to be reminded of the beach since that's my happy place. I'm just about the last person on earth to decorate with a seashell lamp. However, I brought the beach to my living room by decorating with color. My furniture is a creamy neutral that reminds me of the sand. I have a lamp and pillows with pops of blue that mirror the water. My walls are painted a pale grey and the rest of the rooms that flow into my living room are all the same color palette.

Beyond de-cluttering the living room, maybe it's time to consider a fresh paint job, new throw pillows or even removing a couple of pieces of furniture to allow for a more open space for people to gather when entertaining.

2. I mentioned here my disdain for cluttered end tables. How many objects are on the tables in your living room? Try removing at least one item. Tim Gunn, from Project Runway, says before you leave your house, remove one accessory or piece of jewelry. That's a great reminder to keep it simple and it can be applied to decorating as well. Many times we put more work into creating an amazing display when actually the pieces you have will stand out more when given the space.

Thanks to all my readers for participating in this series on simplifying our homes. I love hearing from you.

What is the most significant change you are making in simplifying your home?