Alison answers your questions on getting your home’s hues just right.

Q: I’m looking for a timeless piece to anchor my constantly changing living-room style. What’s a classic must-have that will remain trendy?

A: A neutral coloured, comfortable and high-quality sofa should never be overlooked when refreshing a living room. Not only will they go with any decor you introduce, but they will provide you with years of use if carefully selected.

It’s important to be fussy when investing in a sofa, and cheap woods and materials simply won’t cut it. Opt for hardwood frames made from oak, ash or beech, and ensure the legs are held to the frame with screws or dowels. Though it may be tempting to choose a wild colour, it’s best to go with more neutral tones that will give you more freedom when decorating.

Q: I want to repaint my living room with a bold new colour but I’m terrified it won’t work in the space. How do I know that I’m making the right choice?

A: The old saying “try before you buy” couldn’t be more relevant when it comes to choosing paint. The architecture, shape and light of a room can contribute greatly to how paint appears. Once you’ve decided on a few shades, pick up some samples to paint onto a card or get hold of some nice swatches to hold against your current wall.

Test these samples throughout the day to check how they appear against changing light.

 

Overnight Update

Whether you’re refreshing the look of your living room with a few new additions or undergoing a full renovation, these practical tips will make the process a breeze.

Stack Up

Pile books of different sizes on top of one another either on your coffee table or in a basket on the floor
to create an intriguing makeshift end table. This look can be achieved with magazines, novels and coffee-table books, or a mixture of all.

The Golden Rule

Balance out the depth and mood of dark walls by using gold accessories and natural wood for a more homely feel. These lighter tones will add warmth to any room. Try a Mosaic Gold Frame for £22 at styleandlight.com

Mix Materials

Complement sleek cushions and lush fabrics by filling your living room with a unique blend of materials. From wire and brass to cork and glass, these various textures and colours will give your room real personality.

Alison Cork is a home expert and journalist who writes for the Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard and Readers Digest. She is the founder of the homeware brand Alison at Home and One Regent Place – an online outlet for heavily discounted furniture and accessories

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