When it comes to your mobile home, what is more important than actually living in it? Though each room in the home is important, some can certainly get more traffic than others. For instance, in some mobile homes, the kitchen could be prime real estate. Alternatively, a bedroom might only get used at night (and then, you’re sleeping anyway). Naturally, the mobile home living room could rate quite high on a relative scale of use and importance.
Actually, it’s one of the common areas in your home that you’re more likely to share with guests, too. (Think about it—how often do you take guests into the laundry room?). Let’s say it sees constant usage from family and intermittent use from company.
So, you know you want the living room in good shape. Not only should it look good, but it should also be functional. In fact, for today’s purposes, let’s dub those the two main functions of a living room: appearance & functionality.
Don’t do it!
Now, digging into appearance and functionality could be a natural next step. We could talk about how you want that mobile home living room to look. Then, we could explore what you’re going to use it for and how that can help shape the appearance. But that’s not quite the plan for today. Instead, we’re going to take a backward approach.
We’re going to wax eloquent about the things you shouldn’t do to and in your mobile home living room. (With some do’s thrown in to balance out the don’ts, perhaps). Note: we know it’s relative, so keep in mind that this is somewhat opinion-based.
Sometimes, people say “listen and do.” Today, we’re saying “listen and don’t do.” So, pull up a chair for 16 mobile home living room mistakes.
#1 – Overcrowding
Spare everyone (yourself included) the visual and physical chaos that comes from putting too much in a single space. If your mobile home living room is small, pay even more attention to this one. While small can be challenging, it doesn’t have to be bad. But we say that if you load the room beyond its reasonable capacity, you’ll be highlighting its “small-ness.” And possibly making it look distasteful, too.
#2 – Failing to tidy
If you live in and actually use that living room, things won’t always stay in their original state. And no matter how perfectly-curated the mobile home living room looked initially, you can expect some changes. Of course, this isn’t a problem—it’s the stuff life is made of, after all. But it does become a problem when you never push back.
So, just be sure you stay on top of the gradual slip into messiness by setting things back to right on a regular basis. (Sure, they’ll decline again—you just have to accept the fact that regularly tidying up is a normal part of life).
#3 – Skipping the clutter-busting
Here’s a problem that’s a close relation to #1. Actually, it could lead to the occurrence of #1 in some cases. First, there’s the normal day-to-day clutter that occurs just from living, working, and playing. And we just finished addressing that in #2 above. But, here, we’re talking about a more long-range type of clutter.
This is the kind that can build up over a longer period of time. And it’s more insidious because you might not notice it. Actually, this kind can even look like “redecorating.” It could occur when someone gives you a gift of a decor item.
Sometimes, receiving decor from others can be sticky. But, you happen to love this particular piece and you immediately add it to the living room’s permanent look. Harmless, right? Right.
This one time, we can agree with you that it’s harmless. However, give that type of situation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or even ten years to build up. That’s when you could end up with a cluttery mess on your hands. Thus, declutter periodically.
Intentionally scale back if you’ve slowly added more decor, furniture, etc. than your room can reasonably handle. Now, you don’t have to throw it away necessarily. In fact, some of it may deserve to come out of storage in the future because it’s just that beautiful.
But, if you have a lot of lovely things, just be realistic. You don’t need to display and use them all at once. And note that decorating over time is fine—as long as it doesn’t become constantly adding, but never taking any away.
Lighten up, for goodness’ sake
When it comes to your mobile home living room, you may need to lighten up—in more ways than one.
#4 – Creating a living room for show only
Hint, hint—that word “living” in the name of this room—it denotes what you do in the space. You live there. Yes, it’s wonderful to have a beautiful living room. And it’s delightful to maintain it immaculately.
But it’s also space you’re supposed to be living in. And if you’re like us, you do terrible, horrible things in your living room. Things like eating chips in the wingback chair (accidentally dropping chip crumbs on the rug). Or catnapping on the couch (crushing the accent pillows and unfolding the throw blanket).
If your living room is so perfectly curated that you feel like you can’t even touch it, what good is that? Beautiful, maybe. Functional, no. So, lighten up and live there. (And no, this doesn’t contradict numbers 1, 2, or 3).
#5 – Leaving the room dim
Unless you’re intentionally trying to create a dim, bookish library ambiance, don’t leave your living room lighting in a lurch. Especially if you inherited a living room with dark wood-paneled walls and even built-in bookshelves. Don’t let the place (and the people who relax there) languish in the dark. Instead, revamp your living room lighting.
#6 – A horrible paint job on the walls
As wonderful as painted walls can be, they aren’t always beautiful. And not all paint colors are created equal. For instance, if you’re saddled with drab green walls or neon pink, you may already know that you want to change.
However, keep in mind that some colors are bad because they’re badly matched with their surroundings. What might have looked gorgeous in an inspiring online photo, could be lackluster or worse in your mobile home. Or maybe you moved into a mobile home, bringing along furniture from a previous home, creating a furniture-paint mismatch. If your walls are weighing down your entire room, it’s time to repaint that living room!
#7 – Plain ol’ ugly furniture
It’s possible to have furniture and walls that are not well combined as we mentioned above. Yet it’s also possible to have furniture that’s just plain ugly in its own right. Whether they’re old, stained, dated, or radically-patterned, your couches and chairs could be doing you a disservice. But, this doesn’t mean you have to ditch them. Putting a slipcover on your couch or reupholstering your chairs could be options.
#8 – Weird wallpaper
Now that we’ve warned against strangely-patterned sofas, let’s talk about wallpaper. Possibly, some will cringe at the mere mention of this design option. Some might see wallpaper as an option that is defacto “dated” —in other words, as a non-option. But this isn’t necessarily true.
Actually, wallpaper can be a great design option when done well. But if you have ugly or out-of-style wallpaper, then naturally you can expect an ugly or out-of-style result. And if you have the ceiling wallpapered, too…well, then you have five “walls” dragging you down instead of four. And the math would tell us that’s an ugly wall increase of 25%. Where can the eyes rest without being assaulted?
#9 – Sickly-looking drapes
Actually, this one is fairly straightforward. Protect yourself from floor length drapes in ugly colors or drab, dated patters. Please, spare us… As with other design elements, drapes aren’t off the table completely. Take a look at our Choosing The Right Treatment: Curtains, Blinds, Or Drapes?
#10 – Tchotchke overload
Doubtless, your home is a perfect place to display your interests and hobbies. So, selecting design and decor that reflects what you like to do and see makes sense. But, turning your entire mobile home living room into a panorama of trinkets is another matter entirely. And we generally do not recommend it.
Lining figurines on top of the window framing in lieu of a curtain is a case in point. While it might feel like a fun reflection of your personality, it could easily create a tacky feel.
#11 – Living rooms that become bedrooms
Maybe you have a pull-out bed that sprouts from a sofa. Fair enough. Actually, these can be quite useful for one-off overnight stays if your mobile home is packed to the rafters. But, don’t turn your living room into a bedroom of its own, sprouting with suitcases, clothing, toiletries, and personal effects.
Likely, the more you fill your living room with items that typically go in bedroom closets or on nightstands, the less it will look like a living room. Still, we get that a shortage of space may force you to use the couch as your nighttime crash point. If so, just consider removing pillows, blankets, and other non-living room items when morning rolls around.
#12 – Towels on the chairs and couches
Here, some of you may be lost entirely. Who on earth puts towels on their chairs—and why? you’re wondering. On the other hand, some of you can envision this scenario. And maybe you’ll even recall a specific instance where you’ve seen it.
All we can say is, it’s one thing to have to cover your furniture to preserve it and prolong its life. But, must you use towels? Doubtless, there are other options. As we mentioned earlier, getting a slipcover could be one way to go. Or, make a slipcover, if that’s a better option for your situation.
#13 – Seating that isn’t seating
If at all possible, you want to avoid using vehicle bench seats (or bucket seats) instead of couches and chairs. Really, just take our word for it. Don’t. Do. It. Not only is it tacky, but it’s also tacky.
In fact, we’re not sure if there’s actually a way to redeem a living room that intends to keep using minivan benches instead of couches. Don’t expect to be taken seriously.
#14 – Questionable shag carpets
Unsurprisingly, some elements of your mobile home’s structure can become less appealing over time. And this may not just be a result of wear and tear. Actually, it could also be because trends change. Thus, something may have been the newest and best design-wise when your home was manufactured. But, today, it could be a completely different story.
And shag carpets in bad colors are definitely something to keep your eyes open for. Even if they’re clean and unstained, they could still be dragging down your living room decor. They simply may look like the product of another era.
#15 – Working with waaaay too many patterns
Now, let’s be clear—patterns can be great. Indeed, they can be gorgeous. But too many of them can also sink your operation. Is your mobile home living room trying to pair patterned carpet with patterned curtains, pillows, and wallpaper? Then, it’s time to rethink.
#16 – Color clashes
It’s perfectly okay to combine multiple colors in a room. In fact, just as we said with patterns a moment ago, it can even be beautiful. But you have to keep in mind that not all colors are combinable.
Even colors that are the same in theory (i.e. “they’re both pink, right?”) might clash when put together. And colors that are otherwise striking might cease to be if they’re sharing the space with too many others.
Get the re-designing show on the road
Now you’ve taken stock of what not to do (and also of some things to do). So, you might be fired up to roll out some changes. Before you begin, check out What You Need To Know About Living In A Mobile Home During Remodel. And if you’re low on room, head to Stylish Ways To Save Space: Loft Beds, Foldaways, Etc. Finally, if you really are a lover of collectibles and all things secondhand, then do it with style and read up on How To Incorporate Antiques Into Your Mobile Home Interior Design.