6 Tips to Refresh a Drab Living Room

I’m delighted to have Emily from Zillow as a guest on the blog. Zillow has been my go-to site during our recent move and search for a home. If you are buying, selling, or simply want to know the market in your area then check out Zillow. See Zillow Digs for inspiration too!

Enjoy these tips by guest writer Emily Creswick:

Home styling is not typically a high priority for busy families. When schedules are packed, living in outdated or disorganized environments becomes the norm. In turn, this causes unnecessary clutter and household stress that can be avoided with a little effort toward interior design. Making small updates to high-traffic living spaces can dramatically change a home’s atmosphere and the moods of its residents.

Refreshing a drab living room creates a functional and inviting space where families and their visitors can relax and mingle. Even with limited budgets, it’s easy to make a positive impact. Check out these six tips to learn how.

1.      Define the Purpose

It’s common for a living room to become a dumping ground for kid’s belongings, gym bags, shoes and random items after the family comes home from school or work. This causes unnecessary clutter and takes up valuable living space. The first step to update an area is to define the purpose of the room and remove the items that don’t belong. When reducing the purpose from catch-all to family room, be sure to create new homes for the typical overflow items. For instance, add a table, cubbies or shoe rack to the entry hall. Once random clutter is removed it’s much easier to see the entire living space available.

2.      Aim for Open Layout

A common design mistake is to overcrowd the living room with furniture and accessories. Too many items results in clutter and confusion. To refresh, adopt the design notion of “less is more.” Assess whether furniture pieces are required or unnecessary. When it comes to accessories, keep it simple. Adding decorative mirrors and modern, oversized canvas prints on the walls are great ways to create open space while incorporating artistic decoration.

3.      Increase Storage

Storage is essential to keeping the living room tidy. Create dedicated storage spaces for items not in use, such as TV remotes, magazines and books. Lucite and acrylic trays are trendy and modern while functional as storage solutions. Include side tables with decorative coasters for safe placement of beverages when watching TV. Consider using a fashionable trunk with storage space for blankets instead of a coffee table. If the room doubles as a kid’s play area, invest in some durable and attractive baskets to store toys.

image from Zillow Digs

image from Zillow Digs

4.      Eliminate Outdated Pieces

If the living room has a lumpy couch, any faded, floral prints or sun damaged curtains, then it’s time for an update. Do-it-yourself re-upholstery projects are great for reinvigorating furniture while saving money. New curtains are a cost-effective purchase that instantly add vibrancy to a drab living room. If a larger budget allows, splurge on a comfy new couch or durable rug for the high-traffic area.

5.      Get Creative with Color

Painting a bold feature wall can be intimidating. Do some research on Zillow Digs to spark design inspiration. For a lively feel, choose a bold color. Select a muted or lighter color for a classic, softer look. Work in cushions and throws of similar hues for balance.

6.      Keep it Fresh

Rooms are more inviting when they smell fresh and clean. Adding scented candles is a great way to freshen up the room while adding style and ambiance. Another option is to use air-refreshing plugs that discreetly hide in wall outlets. For safety purposes, ensure candles and air fresheners are out of reach of little hands and pets.

A fresher and more inviting living room is only a few easy steps away. For more great style tips and solutions check out staged homes on Zillow.

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12 Days of My Favorite Holiday Things

Tomorrow is DAY 1 beginning 12 Days of My Favorite Holiday Things. I’m going to share favorite finds for the holidays. I’ll share gift ideas, pins and post I’m loving, and other goodies. So, check back daily and share what you’re loving too! (Subscribe here to get the post sent directly to your inbox)




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Simply Savvy Introduces:: Love the Space You’re In Workshop Series 2013

Do you Love the Space You’re In?

Planning is underway for the first Simply Savvy workshop in the series Love the Space You’re In. I am very excited to have the platform where I get to meet with so many fabulous people for some fun and sharing time–along with special guest. Join in for one or for all! So much more to come on this so keep checking back! {Registration will be required as space is limited for these Memphis workshops}






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Simply Savvy: Blue + White = Relaxing

If you want a fresh space that is streamlined, simplistic, and soothing, trying using white and blue decor.

Very fresh…


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Simply Savvy Spring Cleaning Series::Cleaning Round-up

Spring is in the air (cough, sniff..) and spring cleaning tips and sharing is everywhere! So, to continue with our Spring Cleaning series I thought I’d feature some great post that are sure to answer your questions, provide solutions, and make the chore of cleaning fun and fast!

It’s a Spring Cleaning Round-up


Ask Anna shares the many ways to clean with vinegar. Take a look at her great tips for appliances and laundry. You’ll get hooked on all of her great cleaning tips!!



Clean Mama shares her cleaning faves if you’re looking for some new products and tools to spruce up your home. I’m loving her spring cleaning checklist to keep us focused.


Funky Junk Interiors shares her spring cleaning tips for simplifying your cleaning supplies–simple is good when it comes to cleaning! Her creativity is amazing too!



A Real-Life Housewife shares 20 household tips that she’s tried. I said a lot of “oh, wows”! Here’s one of her tips on how to clean a shower head- check out the before and after.

One Final Share::

Are all laundry detergents the same? Well, according to the experts at Good HouseKeeping there are clear winners. See where your detergent ranks in their Top Laundry Detergent.


Did you see something that you can use? What spring cleaning tips do you have? Do you like to spring clean? Share your comments and visit these great sites!



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creativity with pegboards:: weekly product pick

This weeks product pick is really all about re-purposing and being creative with an affordable hardware store find, pegboards. They are a great option for vertical storage, can be hung on an interior side of a door, and are easy to paint and frame for a quick style upgrade.  Storage does not have to be costly, just be creative.


Better Homes and Gardens  is clever in their pegboard uses, take a look at these inspirational ideas.






I love what The 36th Avenue has done by creating a jewlery/accessory station.



Check out more resourceful ideas on the Simply Savvy Pinterest board.


What have you used pegboard for in your home? Do you like the look? Share your comments and leave a link to your project!





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blog series:: get organized for savvy savings:: toy storage

As I continue this series on tips to help you save by getting organized, I hope you see the savings potential of having order. A great place to start is with your childrens’ toys and their spaces. On the last post, hold a swap-out, I provided examples on how to hold a toy swap for savings. Not only do you save money by not making new purchases, but you rid the clutter in your space. Once you have completed your clean-up, it’s time to create a simple organized solution that you and your family can follow. Though there are fabulous designs to inspire us, I want to share some simple and affordable solutions, along with some must-haves.

The key to a successful toy space is for the children to participate in the process and find it easy to maintain. Here are a few ideas:


  • Choose your storage: Buckets, baskets, cubbies, and lockers all come in a variety of materials, colors and  prices. You can also be creative with what you already have in the home. For example, cover plastic bins, cans, or shoe boxes in fabric or paper and label.  It is important that your solution not require them to dig deep. If they can’t easily access items, they’ll be underused.


  • Hang it up: If space is an issue, consider a creative solution to mount storage bins or crates on the walls-be sure it’s within reach.


  • A place for everything: Staying organized means that all belongings have a home. Keep your budding artist in order by setting up a creative corner with caddies for supplies. Then, completed work can be displayed on wall mounted clips, magnet boards, or hung on twine…be creative.


  • Label it: Keeping storage labeled according to the contents is key to ensuring items make it back to their assigned home. Check out BHG free printable labels or make your own chalk labels like those shown on Hoosier Homemade.


  • Maximize your space: Consider an empty wall a wall of possibilities. Use hooks and a painted pegboard for hanging buckets, toys, and more.


  • Individuality is key: Children like their own spaces and have toys that are favorites. To head off sibling squabbles, create bins or buckets that are unique for each child. Be sure to create a meaningful label; such as, names, initials, numbers, or an object.


Start with some inspiration, review your space and needs, and select the tools to make it work well for you and your family. Keep it simple and affordable with a little creativity. Take a look at these…

See my Pinterest page for more ideas and photo credits. What creative solutions have you used? Be sure to leave a comment and share the post!

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