living room ideas five



Instant Architecture

To show off a favorite furniture collection, first create a light-filled backdrop. Here, modern pieces blend with antiques to create the "good bones" upon which this living room is built.

Splurge On Big Impact

If you're looking for save money, splurge on big-impact accents, such as this artful iron chair, then save where you can--on a secondhand desk and framed poster, for example.

Relax the Look

Relax the look of fine antiques with airy patterns on light grounds set against white-painted backdrops.

Sew Your Own Window Treatments

To make your own living or dining room curtains, first purchase lightweight artist's canvas, a material which costs about $5 a yard and measures 60 inches wide.
To determine the width of the curtains, measure the area you wish to cover and double that width. Then, sew canvas panels together to this width, allowing extra for seam allowances and hems. Hem the panels.
To make the ties, cut strips of canvas 3 inches wide and 22 inches long. Press the raw edges under 1/2 inch; then fold the right sides together and stitch the ties together along the turned-under edges. To attach the ties to the curtain, fold the tie ends under, place the ties against the inside of the top edge, and stitch.
The curtains hang from wood knobs screwed into the plaster every 8 inches. The knobs are finished with a spray-on granite paint. To attach knobs, drill holes, insert plastic wall anchors, replace the knobs' screws with double-ended screws,then screw the knobs in place. Tie curtains to the knobs.

Weave In Texture

Weave texture into rooms where you don't want stimulating color or pattern, but where you do want visual interest and inviting warmth. Contrast textures--such as wicker with glass--for vitality.

Make Your Own Molding

Fancy molding? No, half-round and 1x4s add the look of hand-milled molding to this bookcase.