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How to make a brand new living room feel like yours - without blowing your furniture budget

From textiles to candles, here’s how to make your living room comfortable on a budget.

Caroline Foran of GAFF Interiors is well versed in helping new homeowners make their new property feel like home. Each week in our series, My New Place, she’ll be working through some of the biggest decisions you’ll tackle on the house hunting and buying journey.

YOU’VE MOVED INTO your new house, made the necessary investments in your bed and your sofa, and chosen kitchen appliances that should see you through the next decade.

With your budget all but wiped out, the days of going out for dinner are put on hold for a while, and you’ll need to embrace the idea that staying in is the new going out. Your living room is where it’s at.

But how, on a shoestring, do you make your living room room feel inviting and homely?

These simple steps should do the trick. 

7adc5a1c2eba435b2e488a8aaca5675a-2 A kitchen/living room in Glenveagh Homes' Taylor Hill.

First add texture with cushions and textiles:

Adding texture is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make any room feel more welcoming. With an incredible array of choice on the high street these days, you can add hints of velvet, faux leather, sheepskin or linen to your living room without spending too much.

Mix and match your cushions with different textures to add depth to the space. Pick up cushion fillers at IKEA or on H&M Home, and try out different cushion covers which you should be able to find for less than €20 each. Add even more cosy texture with your rugs (try rugs.ie or rugvista.com) and footstools (Sostrene Grene is your best bet for these).

Then bring in lamps and candles: 

Never underestimate the power of candlelight to add instant atmosphere to any room. To make your living room feel lived in, homely and inviting, choose one large three-wick candle that gives off a scent you like. If you want more candles, opt for scentless tealights in cheap and cheerful candle holders, but definitely limit yourself to one dominant scent per room.

Turn off the overhead lighting and opt for accent lighting with table and floor lamps. Wicker or paper lantern lamp shades, easily found in IKEA, are very effective and will be more affordable than something porcelain or metal. 

Create extra seating options:

You might only be able to splurge on one two-seater sofa, but you want to invite your friends around for a bottle of wine. What do you do? Invest in an ottoman or two. Ottomans are a lot less expensive than a sofa, they don’t take up a huge amount of space, they can work as a coffee table, a foot stool, and some of them even come with storage.

Best of all, ottomans double as additional seating when you have people over. Other options for extra seating are floor cushions that can be stored away (you’ll find some stylish options at Urban Outfitters, for one).

Glenveagh Homes understands that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life – but we want to make it your easiest. That’s why we produce high-quality homes in great areas at competitive prices. Click here to learn more and discover the Glenveagh home that’s right for you.

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