Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, "Don't break the law, but break the rules." I'm sure he wasn't talking about the rules as they relate to your living room, but either way he is speaking the truth. Just because you think you need to do something a certain way it doesn't mean you can't go in the opposite direction. Here are a few rules you can break without worrying about how your living room will look.
Use different wood
When people normally renovate their living room they'll pick out a particular type of wood they love and they'll use it to decorate the room. If you're happy with everything looking the same you should use this approach, but it will look boring and everyone will know everything was thrown together at the same time. Use different types of wood and it will look like your living room was slowly created over time and it will also look a lot more interesting, which is what most of us really want.
Don't create small areas
It's pretty easy to create different areas inside your living room and it can be done by strategically placing a few rugs on the floor. Instead of trying to create smaller spaces you should be trying to open your living room up. Some people are finally starting to knock down walls because they feel an open floor plan space is much more appealing, yet some of those same people will try to create smaller areas within one room even though it's the exact opposite of what they're trying to achieve.
Get rid of the coffee table
Even if you have a large living room a coffee table will take up a considerable about of space and you need to decide whether or not you need one. Would you prefer much more open space like we've already talked about, or do you want somewhere to rest your coffee when you're reading the newspaper? Do you want to circumnavigate your way around a large coffee table when you want to go through to the kitchen, or would you rather just walk in a straight line?
Alter antique furniture
If you buy an expensive piece of antique furniture in the hope of selling it for a huge profit in the future you might not want to touch it, but if you plan on keeping it you shouldn't be afraid to spice it up a little. An old set of wooden drawers might look amazing in their original state, but once they've had a lick of paint they might look even better. You don't need to start going crazy with the paint just yet, but I think you'll find you can make things look attractive by touching them up a little.
Top of the pyramid
Out of everything in your living room you'll always have something that stands out more than anything else. Why would anyone decide not to have a sofa? It's almost an unwritten rule your living room has to have one otherwise it's not really a living room. This isn't true and you don't want to put one in your room if you don't want it to be there. A sofa doesn't need to sit at the top of the pyramid, so if you want something a little different you might want to use three or four comfy pocket spring chairs instead.
Try to be different
It's your living room and you can do anything you want with it. Maybe some of those ideas you test won't pan out, but some of them will and it will justify your decision to try new things. Start trying to be more creative from now on and in the future you'll have a much nicer living room.
The author of this post is Nancy Baker, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Furniture for Backs, leading providers of pocket coil mattress. As an avid car enthusiast, she likes to go on long drives during the weekend. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.