Breathe New Life into Your Living Room
Whether it’s an enclosed formal space or a wide-open great room, your main living area serves a wide range of functions. A place to while away a quiet afternoon with a good book, watch your favorite game on TV, or host a holiday gathering, it needs to be comfortable, attractive, and make you feel at home.
If your living room is a bit tired and is not meeting your needs, there are dozens of small ways to bring it back to life. A focal-point fixture, picture lights, and decorative switch plates are easy ways to up your lighting game. Stylish door sets, vintage picture hardware, and solid-brass registers will showcase your design savvy and attention to detail. Read on to find ideas to transform your living room into a space your family and guests will enjoy day after day.
If your living room has higher, or even vaulted ceilings, a chandelier may be just the right lighting centerpiece. Evoking a sense of elegance or drama, tradition or modernity, this single item can define the character of your space. As the primary source of illumination, it must also meet your lighting needs. Each arm on a chandelier typically holds one socket. The larger your space, the greater the number of bulbs needed to light it sufficiently. Once you have determined the optimal size for your room the fun begins! Rather than be bound by a specific style, browse all your options, and let your heart be your guide.
In contrast to multi-armed chandeliers, pendants are defined by a singular shape - globe, drum, cylinder, bowl, etc. They run the gamut in size, from ultra mini to mega, and in style, from minimalist to grandiose. Pendants are ideal for rooms with high (especially vaulted) ceilings, creating a strong and singular focal point.
Up and out of the way from the bustle of daily activities, flush mount lights are wonderful solution for living rooms with standard ceiling heights. Providing bright and even illumination from above, they also offer a bold dash of style. Whether your style leans traditional or modern, you’ll find an endless array of design and finish options to choose from.
Wall sconces are a classic way to add subtle lighting to the perimeter of your living room. In former times, wall lights invariably matched the style of the home and paired with the chandelier. Today, sconce lighting is an opportunity to showcase your personal style. You can mix modern with traditional, opulent with understated, or rustic with elegant. With literally hundreds of exciting designs to choose from, it’s easy to get creative!
A ceiling medallion is the crowning accent to your chandelier or pendant. A common feature of high-end homes in the 18th & 19th centuries, they have come full circle once again. An elaborate medallion paired with a strikingly modern fixture may be unexpected but is surprisingly sophisticated! A medallion not only sets off your lighting, but it also adds a decorative flourish to your ceiling - typically the least interesting surface of your living room.
Switch plates are the simplest way to add dash of style to your living room. With designs ranging from ornate to understated, you can coordinate with your door hardware, your lighting, or the era of your home. When considering lighting, don’t forget dimmers! Lowering the light from your overhead fixtures and sconces establishes a warm and inviting atmosphere, ideal for relaxing or entertaining.
Lamps are the go-to lighting option for most living rooms. Requiring no special installation, they may be positioned throughout a space - on end tables near a sofa, standing beside your favorite reading chair, or accenting the perimeter. A mixture of floor and table lamps creates a variety of light levels and a more intimate atmosphere, ideal for relaxing or entertaining.
To showcase your most treasured artwork, consider adding picture lighting. Mounted directly to the frame or to the wall immediately behind, these adjustable lights shine directly onto the surface of your painting, photo, or print. In so doing, they add a warm and mellow light to your room, complimenting your overhead lighting and wall sconces. To learn more about the possibilities for your living room, see our comprehensive picture lighting shopping guide.
If you have a home built before 1940, chances are you have picture rail in some rooms. If you do not, or if your home is newer, picture rail is one of the simplest moldings to add yourself. Designed to support picture hanging hooks, it allows you to display art without damaging your walls. Reproductions of several antique molding profiles offer options for homes of any style, from High-Victorian to Colonial Revival. For more information and ideas see our handy picture rail guide.
As your main entertaining space, the dining room is often home to your most treasured wall art. Our reproduction picture hanging hardware will showcase each piece with classic period style. Using antique picture hooks, silken cord or chain, and picture rail molding, you can create a display of art worthy of a gallery. What is the real beauty of vintage picture hanging hardware? The flexibility to rearrange your art easily and as needed, without damaging your walls. For ideas on how to hang your art, see our “how-to” video here.
Brass wheels for the feet of furniture were introduced in the early 18th century. Making it easy to move heavy furniture for cleaning or events, they are still a useful idea today. If your antiques have broken or missing caster wheels, or you want to mobilize your end tables, sofa, or club chairs, visit our handy guide to choosing casters to find just the right solution for your home.
If your dining room has furniture or built-ins that could use a facelift, new pulls may be just the thing. Trading out metal for glass, or modern for vintage (and vice versa), is a great way to breathe new life into an end table, TV cabinet, or console. For ideas and help navigating the many choices, see our guide to selecting knobs & pulls.
Living rooms, especially in older homes, often have pocket doors opening onto other spaces, such as the dining room, library, or entry hall. Sliding into the wall, they require hardware that is flush to the surface to fit into the pocket. Although the hardware is low profile, it need not be lacking in style. If your pocket door pulls are lackluster, update them with beautiful reproductions or sleek modern looks - explore all your options here.
Some living rooms have doors leading to the entry hall, an adjacent room, or the garden. When updating your space evaluate your door hardware to determine if it’s up to snuff. If a replacement is needed, door sets that match the style and era of your home are always a safe and tasteful choice. If you are going for a whole new look, the options are endless - modern, classic, rustic, glass... Examine your doors to see what you need, then find a style that speaks to you!
Worn, rusted, and painted-over hinges can be an eyesore. If restoring them is out of the question, upgrading to new butt hinges will transform the look of your doors. Choose from plain or decorative styles, with finishes to match every type of door set.
Inconspicuous as they may seem, doorstops are an essential item in the living room. Mounted on the floor, baseboard, wall, or hinge pin, they protect your walls, furniture, and built-in cabinets from damage by a swinging door. See our handy doorstop shopping guide to find just the right solutions for your living room.
Floor registers may be the last, but not the least important design choice you make for your living room. Although they serve a utilitarian function, their presence can enhance your space. Upgrade from boring builder styles to something that shows your true design savvy.
If you have original sash-over-sash (double-hung) windows, you’ll find that the locks and lifts have lost their looks with time. Installing new brass hardware with a gleaming finish will brighten your windows in an instant. If you are going the extra mile and undertaking a complete window restoration, you’ll find pulleys in matching finishes, as well as cord, chain, and weights. If your living room has old-style out-swing casement windows, find everything you need to update them here.
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Have a question about your living room updates or any of our products? Our Hardware Specialists are here to help - call 888-223-2545.