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Designing a small living area



A small room can be challenging to furnish and decorate because there is limited space to work with. You may feel like you don't have enough room to execute your creative ideas. It can be tricky in that if you do too much, you can end up with a room that feels cramped, clustered and claustrophobic. But if you do too little, you may be sacrificing style and comfort.

A living room should be both stylish and comfortable. After all, it is the room you might spend most of your time in. It is usually where families gather to watch tv, where you entertain guests or just where you sit and relax.

So how do you organize a small living room to maximize space while still retaining all the elements that makes it a comfortable family area?

Follow these tips to make the most of a small space.

Furniture and layout

If you have a small living room, furniture is one of the most important aspects you should focus on. Big, extravagant pieces might be tempting, but in a small space they will only serve to clutter the room and diminish your floor space.

Club chairs and tight back sofas are good choices for small living rooms as they are less bulky. A full-sized sofa may be too big for your space, in which case a love seat can act as the main piece of furniture with two accent chairs.

Go for "leggy" pieces for chairs as opposed to furniture that seem to sit directly on the floor. If you must have a center table, choose one with a glass or see-through top. This will consume less visual space and make the room seem less full.

It may be tempting to push sofas and chairs up against the walls to leave space in the center of the room. This is a common mistake. However, "floating" or moving the furniture off the walls actually creates the illusion of more room and makes the seating area cozier, while directing foot traffic around the main seating area rather than through it.

When creating this seating area, play up any unique features in your living room by making it the focal point. For instance, furniture can be placed around a fireplace.

It will also help to choose furniture that have more than one use.

For instance, an ottoman can be used in place of a coffee table and can also be used for extra seating if needed.

If your living room doubles as a dining room but you can't fit a dining table and chairs, consider a small, round cafe table with two chairs in a corner of the room. This can be pulled away from the wall to accommodate more chairs in the event you have company.

Storage

Storage room is important in any home but in a small home, it can seem like there is never enough. You may need room to store books, children's toys or other items. Rather than placing a bookshelf that will take up valuable space, consider installing shelves directly onto the walls. These can be used to arrange books and ornaments. You can also select furniture that double as storage spaces. For example, a storage bench or trunk can be used as a stool or center table, while serving as much needed extra storage space for blankets, toys or magazines that would otherwise clutter the room.

Choosing colors

When choosing a wall color for a small living room, go for a light, neutral color. Whites or pale colors will brighten up the room by reflecting light. This will make it feel airier as opposed to dark colors which absorb light and can make the room feel heavy. If you're using wallpaper, avoid busy designs and go for a simple pattern or a solid color that will flow with the rest of the room.

The color of your furniture is important, too.

Light colored furniture will help to make the space feel more open. You can always add a touch of color with bold throw pillows, rugs or curtains.

Maximize vertical space

With a small room, a lot of focus is placed on how to make the most of the floor space. However, vertical space is important too. If your room is small but has a high ceiling, use tricks to draw the eye upwards. You can do this by hanging photos, paintings or wall ornaments and light fixtures. Shelves can help to break up a long vertical space while creating extra storage room.

If you have a low ceiling, you can consider hanging floor to ceiling drapery to give the illusion of height.

Unusually shaped rooms

Sometimes you not only have a small living room but one that is not a conventional shape. In some studio apartments, the living room is little more than a narrow hallway. You may feel like there is not much you can do in a narrow space like this. You can however make the best use of a narrow space by keeping your furniture to one side of the room, leaving a clear walkway on the other side. In this case, less is more. Know the limits of your room and don't try to cram too many pieces of furniture into an extremely small space.

Finally, before you begin to arrange your furniture, keep in mind the traffic flow in the room. Do people need to walk through your living room to get to another room? Leave a clear pathway for this purpose.

Arrange your furniture before hanging pictures or artwork.

Place your larger furniture items like sofas and chairs first and then smaller items like end tables and center tables afterward.

We know organizing a small space can be a frustrating task but if you follow these tips, it will make the process much easier. The end result will be a living room space that not only looks and feels more spacious, but doesn't sacrifice on style and comfort.

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