How to Decorate a Front Room

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The front room is an outgrowth of the parlors of days gone by. Both parlors and front rooms were rooms where the lady of the house could invite her guests for a spot of afternoon tea. The parlor has gone out of style in modern homes, but the front room --- in its modern evolution as the living room --- still provides you with a place to entertain visitors as well as to enjoy some relaxation time with family.

  • Play up the focal point of your room, such as a fireplace, a built-in bookshelf, a piano or a gallery of artwork. For example, you can paint the walls of this area a different color than the walls around it to make it stand out even more.

  • Introduce pops of color in a neutral room. This is especially important if you're trying a modern trend such as black walls. Accessories like throw pillows, a pottery collection or a colorful ottoman help add spots of color.

  • Make a bold statement with a patterned rug like a zebra print, bold geometric shapes or the fleur-de-lis. The rug can draw the eye to a focal area if it's large enough. You can position the couch, chairs and coffee table around it.

  • Paint the front door a vibrant color. This is one place in your home that doesn't always get a lot of decorating attention.

  • Create decorative displays. Pockets of decorative accessories provide clues to your personal taste. For something different, display antique costumed dress dummies in a corner, themed shadowboxes filled with old postcards, a cluster of musical instruments, a collection of antique movie and still cameras, or the cool painting that you found at an estate sale. These decorative accents make your home unique.

  • Work with a window seat if your room has one. Most rooms have one focal area, but some larger ones can have two; a window seat can be a second focal point. In addition to colorful cushions, dress your window seat with accessories that play up this feature of the front room.

  • Do interesting things with your artwork. Hang black and white pictures side by side without any space between them, or create a giant wall mural from one of your old photographs. The front room often gives visitors to your home their first indications of the type of art you like.

  • Show off your books by stacking them into end tables. Put the biggest books on the bottom, and stack smaller ones on top. You need to use a coaster or mat to protect the top book from anything wet or dirty you might put on it.

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