Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Design tricks for a small living room

Opting for furniture on raised legs is a clever way of fooling the eye - the more floor space you can see, the bigger the room will appear.

Generally the problem with small living rooms is overcrowding and cramping. It’s a tight space, which usually tends to be dominated by TV stands, shoulder to shoulder sofa arrangements, clutter and poor lighting.

To distance yourself from this pinched, uncomfortable setting, you’ll have to let go of single function furnishings and décor that boxes you in.

To get it right, you might have to change your whole living room setup; however, using all your time and energy to rearrange furniture will only amount to a good workout if you don’t have the right design tricks. Get some tips...

Furniture choices

Leggy pieces

For this project, your go-to pieces should have legs. Opting for wing back chairs, a small sectional couch, benches and coffee tables on raised legs is a clever way of fooling the eye – the more floor space you can see, the bigger the room will appear.

So wherever possible, avoid using furniture with skirts and allow your eyes to brush under each article for an unobstructed view of the floor.

Transparent pieces

Efficiently use your space by employing multifunctional furniture such as ottomans and coffee tables with extra shelves.

This principle also applies to glass and see-through coffee or end tables, which permit the eyes to freely move through your possessions, glimpsing more of the floor.

Multifunctional pieces

Decorating such a limited space means having to employ dual-purpose furniture. This takes away the need to add individual, single-function pieces, which take-up plenty of floor space.

Trendy coffee and console tables with tiered shelves or a single lower shelf make storing and displaying books and magazine’s easy.

Other options include furniture with doors and drawers. These make neat hiding places, and so do ottomans (with hidden storage), which double up as side tables and chairs.

To open up your space, match cool colour values with warm accents.

Colour options

Neutrals are a good starting point because you can use these to branch out into the cooler shades that are needed to enlarge a petite living room.

Mellow tones ‘withdraw into themselves’ but they’re still pretty enough to use as part of your décor. So use anything from the buttery cream and blush pink range, blue-greys, blue-whites and greens.

To shake off a completely cold and sterile look, use accent rugs and cushions to introduce a warmer, brighter colour value into the room.

Proudly display inherited figurines, books and other living room appropriate items on built-in cabinets and shelves.

Another helpful hint to remember is that small living areas benefit from a three or less colour palette. For a beautiful outcome, try to keep to your three-colour story and avoid any harsh contrasts.

Storage selections

Not everything can be packed away in fashionable little baskets and decorative racks.

Sometimes things such as inherited figurines, designer candelabras and exotic beach finds need to be proudly displayed. You’ll ideally have these and other living room appropriate items housed in built-in cabinets and shelves.

With the help of a professional you could actually have a custom made niche in the wall. This is also perfect for a flat screen TV because it can be mounted on the wall, into the recess. With the television and its cables neatly tucked away, you’ll have more room for décor planning.

Lighting picks

Lighting is everything when it comes to décor and without it, all your efforts will amount to okay designs.

Take advantage of natural light by draping your windows in airy curtains. You could instantly lift the mood and feel of a room by simply pulling these back and letting the light flood in.

Instantly lift the mood and feel of the room by simply pulling your curtains back and letting the light flood in.

Unfortunately not all living rooms get enough natural light to bring them to life, so use mirrors and furnishings with metallic surfaces to catch whatever light there is to create a similar effect.

Dark corners can be illuminated using floor lamps. Introducing them into your interior space means you can do without a side table for a table lamp.

This is also a smart way of placing emphasis on vertical lines. It’s the same principle that’s used in fashion - vertical stripes are slimming. Floor lamps, tall vases and full length draperies are some of the décor pieces you can use to cheat the eye into thinking you have more room than there actually is.

Dimmable LEDs, wall sconces and table lamps are all good matches for a small living room. These are some of the practical options which give off just enough warmth that any little space needs. – Katlego Sekano 

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