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From furniture arrangement to simple styling tricks, try these ideas in your small living rooms to get the best out of the limited space
For most of us, the living room is where we entertain guests, relax, have our meals and watch television. It can easily turn into the space that multitasks as a formal living room, a dining room and an informal family room. So, how do we make this room work for all our needs, especially in smaller apartments?
There are a number of easy to achieve living room furniture arrangement tips and design tricks that can work to use every inch and make a small living room look and feel bigger. You can also augment the appearance of space with certain living room furniture for small spaces. Read on for our tips and tricks to get the most out of the limited floorplan.
A gallery wall filled with smaller frames can actually make a small living room seem cluttered. Instead, opt for one or two large artworks on the wall to command attention. The effect is striking, clean and minimal.
Styling Tip: Instead of choosing a small area rug in the centre or under the coffee table, take a cue from this space and choose one that is almost the size of the entire room. Place all furniture including your sofa and chairs on it. Large, neutral rugs make a small space look bigger.
When choosing small living room furniture, we suggest turning to pieces that don’t take up too much visual space. Consider the visual weight and not just the size of the furniture. Light colours and those pieces with thin legs have less visual weight than darker colours or boxy items. Armless seating or sofas, sideboards, accent chairs and coffee tables with narrow legs work well to lighten the visual and don’t stop the flow of light. Choose open or floating shelves instead of a boxy bookcase and floating media units that blend into the wall work well.
Colour Tip: If you are stuck with for a colour palette, neutrals, pastels and whites with different undertones are all great wall colours for small rooms as they reflect light. Add at most two colours to the palette through décor items and soft furnishings.
This Indian living room employs quite a few ideas to make the most of the limited space but still providing a room that is aesthetically pleasing and comfortable. Each seating element is different yet the entire room has a cohesive look. The placement of the bench near the window is a winner – comfortable and extra seating that doesn’t cut out the view or light. Another trick is to use your furniture arrangement to section different zones in an open-plan or combined living and dining room. We like how the streamlined swing works to visually demarcate this space. Since the swing is minimal, it doesn’t shut out or close off the room.
For floor lamps, tall and thin designs work well with other living room furniture for small spaces.
Styling Tip: Accentuate the height of the room with floor-to-ceiling curtains. Place the curtain rod as close to the ceiling as possible and let the curtains drape to the floor. This gives the appearance of higher ceilings.
Another great layout idea is to add symmetrical balance to your living room furniture arrangement; it’s visually pleasing and makes the space look comfortable and organised. Organised spaces tend to appear less visually cluttered. You don’t need to have one side match the other like a mirror image, just create as many common features as possible.
Design Tip: By adding mirrors you add depth to a room, making the space look bigger. This mirror reaches the ceiling, drawing the eye up. Also consider layering vertical lines (like the wall treatment in this image) or tall, thin display units.
If your living room design feels too small for a big and deep three-seater sofa, consider a couple of two-seaters or a few single-seaters instead. By breaking up the bulk of a big sofa, you can still have enough seating without overwhelming the space. The key is to choose comfortable yet visually light pieces.
Layout Tip: For optimum arrangement of small living room furniture, especially for empty or awkward corners, we suggest placing a loveseat, chaise longue here. These pieces can fit up to two people and work well to fill up the space without cluttering the room.
In a small living room, you might not have the luxury of multiple seating. So, you need to make the most of the one or two pieces you have. The idea with this arrangement is to arrange all the seating facing one focal point, most commonly the television. Try placing your entertainment unit or television in a space or on a wall where it gets the least glare from the windows during the day and arrange the furniture to face this focal point.
Furniture Tip: A modular sofa (one that can be arranged in various ways to suit the room) or an L-shaped one can actually be the ideal living room furniture for small spaces. Also consider multi-functional pieces like a coffee table with extra stools that slide under or an ottoman that is used as a centre table which provides extra seating when needed.
Another way to arrange living room furniture is to pull the seating away from the walls. Make sure you still have enough space for easy movement and comfortable leg room though. Here, the biggest piece – the sofa – is placed parallel but not touching the window. That length is effectively used without cutting out the light. Other smaller pieces are placed closer to the centre table with enough legroom and space to move around behind the chairs.
Colour Tip: If you want to experiment with colour, try deep and dark ones like midnight blue, charcoal, black, emerald green. These colours absorb light to varying degrees and can work to make the room look bigger. You might want to stay away from bright, vivid colours like vibrant orange or tomato red; these tend to be overwhelming in a small space.
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