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16 Feb 2017

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If your new year’s resolution is to live in a beautiful space, but you don’t quite have the budget or time, then you’re reading the right article.

We’ve come up with 7 amazing ways that you can brighten up your sitting room without having to take a week off work (or a chunk off your savings). In fact, each of these ideas could be executed in 30 minutes. Being creative and giving half an hour every evening will brighten your living space with minimum effort in only a week. You’re welcome!


First thing’s first; banish that clutter. No amount of painting or decorating will give you a swoon-worthy house if it’s stacked with clutter. Start the year off right by purging unused or unwanted stuff. For some inspiration, make sure you check out our EBS Pinterest board outlining Marie Kondo’s Top Tips for a Happy Home.

To keep clutter at bay, invest in some decorate storage baskets and boxes. You can pick these up inexpensively in the likes of Ikea or Dunnes Stores. Or why not fashion a DIY storage box by covering some old shoeboxes in wallpaper remnants? These are great for storing DVDs, magazines and so on. If you have kids, make sure you keep an empty “toy box” basket or chest on standby for easy tidy-up.


A change up of textiles is one of the quickest and most effective ways to makeover your living room. For an airier vibe, switch heavy curtains out with inexpensive sheer panels.

Come next winter, you can change them back. And no matter what time of the year, every couch needs some comfy cushions and cosy throws for those much-needed Netflix binges. If you were feeling extra thrifty, you could take advantage of sales to stock up on duvet sets. You can cut them up to make some cushion covers.


The fun part! Once you’ve put away your Christmas decorations, why not play around with your accessories?

Create new vignettes on your mantelpiece by adding pieces from around your home. Your coffee table, bookcases and console tables also make great blank canvases upon which to build. The best arrangements comprise of varying heights, textures and shapes. A mix of old and new, manmade and natural is also important to create balance. On each surface, try to include one of the following; a lamp, a stack of books (tattered leather-bound books are great for adding character. And they make you look clever and well-read!), a plant or vase of flowers and a small sculptural object. On the coffee table, place everything on a tray so that it can be cleared away easily when a clean surface is required.

Gallery wall

Gallery walls are so much fun to create and can be adapted to any style and budget. Print some black and white family photos, frame some tear-outs from magazines like National Geographic or Vogue or even just build and eclectic display of charity shop finds. Keep your mind open. If something catches your eye, consider how it can be adapted to décor.

Furniture reshuffle

Whether you follow feng shui or just need to reshuffle to create extra space, a furniture rearrangement could be just the thing your living room needs to give it that extra ‘wow factor’.

Irish living rooms are often designed with the seating facing the TV. We know it might sound daunting-slash-heart-breaking, but if you’re guilty of this, try to break this habit. Creating a square shape with couches and armchairs facing each other will encourage conversation and intimacy, and adds an atmosphere of warmth to a room.


This is probably the most obvious decorating tip, but it’s still worth mentioning again. Consider painting not only your walls, but furniture or skirting boards too.

If you wanted to try something new, maybe you could even paint your ceiling? This is an incredibly chic way to add drama and character to a room without compromising on space. If you’re lucky enough to have a ceiling rose around your light fixture or some ornate cornicing, all the better. A pop of colour alongside them really makes them stand out. If you ever find yourself in the ultra-poplar Dublin homeware store, Article, look up to find some inspiration in their stunning Wedgewood blue ceiling.


Again, an oldie... but an absolute goodie. Not only is lighting an amazing way to add atmosphere to a room, it’s also an excuse to decorate with lamps. No matter what your budget, you’re bound to find some amazing table lamps, floor lights and pendants to suit your space. Scour flea markets, charity shop and even your granny’s attic for some interesting pieces. Add a simple drum shade and bam! You’ve got atmosphere.

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The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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