Your living room is often the hub of activity in the home. From entertaining guests during the holiday season to unwinding in the evening with the family; your living room has to wear a lot of hats so can often present a challenge when it comes to design and layout. If your living room is also on the compact side, finding furniture that accommodates your needs can be problematic too.
Don’t let space constraints stand in the way of unlocking the potential for your living room design ideas, we’ve got some layout and furniture advice which might just help you in your journey to creating a stylish yet functional living room.
Measuring your pieces for proportions
Think about the flow of the room. Where are the windows and doors? Where are the sockets and what furniture do you need near them? Think about the elements in the room that you can’t change (very easily) and measure the different areas and nooks – a corner sofa won’t fit right in the room if it’s going to block spaces to walk and grab a book to read. When selecting your furniture, use masking tape to mirror where the pieces are going to fit across the floor. It’ll help you imagine how much room will be taken up by coffee tables, TV stands or tall lamps.
Depending on the layout of your room, a 2 seater-sofa with an armchair might look better than a wider sofa, and a sofa with slimmer arms will let more room in for other pieces over something with a much chunkier frame.
Double checking the scale of your furniture will allow you to make the most of your space for the larger pieces. If you’re still struggling to achieve the look you want, try some design tricks to fool the eye into making your living room look bigger, like oversized light fixtures or large art for the walls.
Pick multi-purpose furniture
When you’re working with a smaller space, try and pick pieces that can do some doubling up and work for different purposes. A coffee table or lamp table with drawers are a perfect storage solution, or perhaps an ottoman that will let you store your throws and extra cushions in when winter comes and goes. Nesting tables also work wonders for when you’ve got guests visiting – the smaller table can be used as an extra seat or somewhere else to hold the drinks, and can be conveniently put away when not in use.
Be wary of the walls
Give the illusion of more space in your room by moving pieces away from the walls and into the middle of the room instead – it’ll create a more interesting flow to the room too. Moving the armchair or ottoman can create a cozier conversation space or a console table would work behind your sofa to show off pieces of decor or to use as a bar cart instead.
If you’re lacking in floor space, think about how you can utilize the walls instead. Floating shelves are ideal for adding extra storage space without taking up the floor. Fill up awkward alcove spaces with tall bookshelves or built-in storage to show off your book collection, holiday photos and pieces of decor.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
Again, if you want to trick the eye into making your space look bigger, mirrors are ideal for this. Placed opposite to a window, mirrors will bounce the light back into the space, giving the illusion of depth and making the room appear much larger in size.
Pick your colors wisely
Lastly, color is crucial in influencing how your living room looks. Darker shades will create a much cozier atmosphere and bold, patterned wallpapers will dominate the space and make it look a lot smaller. Lighter colors will make a room look bigger; think soft tones like off-whites, blues and greens. These brighter walls will reflect light better making the room feel a lot more open, even if it is on the smaller side.