5 Ways to Add Color to Your Living Room Today

Take a look around your living room. Are you a bit...underwhelmed? Chances are, all the room needs is a quick pick-me-up to regain its this-is-the-room-I'm-proudest-of-please-sit-and-stay-awhile status. And adding color is arguably the quickest and most cost effective way to give your living room the boost it deserves.
Just check out this room featured on Apartment Therapy -- full of living room color ideas. Nearly all of the color was incorporated through the use of vibrant accessories -- the rug, the wall art, the knick-knacks. Isn't that something you could do in a day? Why, yes.
We spoke with decorator extraordinaire Eddie Ross about how to incorporate a few living room color ideas into your space, and he gave us five ingenious ideas. Read on for his juicy trade secrets.
1. Intensify artwork
Weary of color? No need to go all out for significant impact. Eddie often swaps out staid, white picture frame mats for brightly-hued stunners like an 11-inch by 14-inch pre-cut mat (for an 8 x 10 print) in deep yellow or china red from GoldenStateArt. "Colored mats add sophisticated, understated pops," he says. "You'll find so many fun options that nicely complement something simple -- like a bright turquoise mat for a black-and-white etching -- on a quick trip to Hobby Lobby or Michaels."
2. Embellish window treatments
A little ribbon goes a long way. "To add color quickly and inexpensively, buy a yard or two of grosgrain trim from a store like M&J Trimming, and attach it to the bottom edges of existing drapes," says Eddie. "It's a really luxe-looking upgrade and a trick lots of designers use." Use Dritz's Stitch Witchery bonding tape ($3 for 20 yards) to get the job done fast; the heat of an iron is all you'll need to permanently unite two fabrics.
3. Transform lampshades
Blah white shades are a dime a dozen. Instead of keeping yours status quo, Eddie suggests buying an affordable cotton shade, like IKEA's Asele ($15), and coating it with latex, spray paint or pretty paper (with spray adhesive). "Pull a vibrant color from the carpet or walls," suggests Eddie. "A black lampshade would look so chic with a Kelly green-painted interior." You might consider adding spray-mounted paper borders along the top and bottom edges for added color and a high-end decorator feel. Eddie shops The Accessory Store for a wider selection of shades and lighting supplies.
4. Adorn flat surfaces
One of Eddie's tried and true stylists' secrets involves sprucing up unassuming coffee or end tables. Measure the length and width of each table and order a piece of tempered glass, cut to size, from a professional glasscutter. "People always think it's so expensive, but that's only when you're talking beveled edges and special detailing," he says. OneDayGlass charges about $28 for a clear tempered-glass 2 ½ foot-by-1 ½ foot pane with a standard-seamed edge. From there, you can either create a stunning back-painted glass effect by spray painting just one side of the pane, or simply slide a yard of graphic fabric underneath for a quicker boost. Sharon's Antiques Vintage Fabrics sells kitschy geometrics and 1950s and '60s prints for a song -- from $18 a yard. Eddie puts clear adhesive protector-tabs (about $2 for 20), like the ones found at FactoryDirectCraft, on each corner to ensure glass stays put and doesn't scratch.
5. Brighten the ceiling
Sure, anyone can slap a few coats of latex on the walls (or furniture) and call it a day, but there's something much more satisfying -- and clever -- about a room that reserves paint for accents rather than focal points. Eddie likes to save gentle bursts of color for ceilings: "In an all-white room, a very slight tea green, robin's egg blue or pale purple-y orchid color would look just beautiful on the ceiling -- it's using paint in a different way, and it's so unexpected.
Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy

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