Living room love: cheerfully eclectic

For those who have always stayed true neutral colours and few patterns in living rooms, especially if the room is small will be pleased to know that this year those views have been thrown out of the window. Cheerful colours can be used successfully with many interior design styles, including eclectic, and you'll find the vibrancy of cheerful colours will change the dynamics of your living room in an instant.

If you're new to using colour in your living room now is the time to take steps to make a more visually exciting place to be. You can still have plain white walls, roller blinds and white curtains, simply introduce colour into other areas such as the floor, seating and accessories. The colours don't have to be overly bright, although these will give the most impact, mid-tone ranges are also suitable and won't give such a visual shock when you enter the room.

Choose fabrics and materials which sit comfortably next to one another, but also choose a variety of patterns and textures to break the monotony. Cheerfully coloured cushions are a great way to experiment with different colours and patterns along with different shapes and sizes, they won't cost a fortune and they can bring a fresh look to sofas and chairs. Again try and choose colours which have a link to the rest of your accessories.

Don't be afraid to experiment and use colours that are new to you, if you've always erred on the side of caution you can always ask for fabric samples from suppliers before you jump in at the deep end. Lay them out on your seating and you'll see which colours and patterns work best together. Simple touches such as adding coloured tie-backs to curtains or adding a trim in a cheerful colour to your curtains will make a real difference and gently ease you out of your usual choices.

Look for table lamps which have cheerful colours on the base or the shade. Other accessory up-dates can include changing the colour of picture frames or using large rugs to give colour and comfort to your flooring. It's worth noting that although an eclectic style allow you have different styles and design in the same room there does have to be some correlation between them, otherwise the room can look confusing and if you're not careful the room will lose its identity.

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