Whether you live in a cozy apartment, suburban home, cottage by the sea, or cabin in the mountains, your living room creates a lasting impression for all who enter. More importantly, it makes you comfortable. It sets the mood for the home and should be a reflection of the your personal taste. How to begin?

STEP 1: Visit an art gallery and buy the work of art that speaks to you. Art is literacy of the heart. It is functional. You will use it every single day. Every time you look at it, it will lift your spirits.

COLORS: From that painting, pull your color scheme for accent cushions, rugs and throws.

LIGHTING: Lighting can either make or break a room. It can either make it look too dark and dingy or too bright and sterile. For a living room, aim for warm and cosy lighting and use it to highlight features. For a modern living room, sites like can provide amazing lighting to really set the mood.

THEME: If that painting moved you, obviously it will make you happy when you live with it.
Accent pillows, rugs, curtains can all reflect colors taken from your painting. Look at these three takes on the same room. See how the art changes the mood. If you’re part of a particularly patriotic family, you may want various pieces of Americana around the room to reflect this fact. You can continue this theme outside and boost your curb appeal by installing a flagpole. When selecting one, you’ll have to think about which height of flagpole works best for your home.

Locally, a wonderful gallery to view art (and the pieces used above) is the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC 27278. Click on images to visit website.