While you may not want a stiff and stuffy living room, you also don't want to turn the space into a catch-all space, either. If your living room is starting to look a lot like a junk room, it's probably time to clean house. We don't mean decluttering. Rather, it's time to re-assign certain items from your living room (like the treadmill) to a more appropriate place in your home. Once you reclaim your living room space, it'll be the perfect spot for entertaining and relaxing. And you won't have to apologize to guests for the state of the space!
Ditch the Futon
A futon mattress folded onto a futon frame seems to be a rite of passage for young people living on their own for the first time. They're not the most comfortable piece of furniture and not the most stylish, either. But, futons are heavy, durable, and they function as extra bedding or seating when necessary. Re-home your futon from the living room to a home office, den, playroom, or other space where there's a little corner perfect for a quick snooze.
Ban the Bean Bag
Face it, bean bag chairs are for kids. Yes, they're comfy and easy to move around. But that was then in the dorm, and this is now in your adult home. A real chair with a hardwood frame and cushions filled with high-density foam is better than a bean bag chair that'll just wreak havoc with your posture, anyhow.
Store the Exercise Equipment
Tossing a cozy, comfy throw over your treadmill doesn't make it count as furniture. A treadmill or stair-stepper machine would probably do a better job doubling as a clothes holder in your bedroom. Jokes aside, if you use a yoga mat or balance trainer in the living room, more power to you, but find a place to store the evidence afterward. Or better yet, carve out a space, even if it's in your garage, for a true home gym. You don't want to trip over exercise gear or constantly be reminded while you're sitting in your living room that you haven't hit the circuit in days.
Scrap the Sports Memorabilia
Decking out your living room for game day is pure fun. You get to show the world how loyal you are to your sports team. But, not so much after the game. In addition to banners and framed autographed jerseys, all of your sports trophies and ribbons from your glory years don't count as decor now that you're an adult. Unless your living room is a man cave, move your sports memorabilia to a family room, home office, or maybe even storage.
Dispose of Dried Flowers
In the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, which places items with good energy around a home, dried flowers are usually considered to be dead. They lack any energy to bring good luck to a home. They're also brittle, full of dust, and messy. Instead of displaying dried flowers, it's more auspicious to bring in fresh flowers that are full of life.
Minimize the Inspirational Words
You can never have enough inspiration in your life. Inspirational word art has evolved over the decades from funky posters and neon lights into more elegant forms. From framed calligraphy to freestanding pieces of art carved into words, these smaller modern and more sophisticated versions of word art fit right into any style living room. The key: Keep inspirational word art to a minimum in the space. One word or a short saying goes a long way.
Move the Oversize Photos
Wedding and maternity photoshoots are beautiful ways to capture important times in your life. But, they're personal. Move the super-size portraits into a more intimate space, such as your bedroom. If you want to share your family history in your living room, create a display with a better scale. Consider a gallery wall of smaller groups of family photos in the hallway or running up a staircase wall rather than hanging a Goliath portrait over your sofa or mantel.