Multifunctional spaces are useful to everyone, but especially to anyone with limited space. If you don't have room for a separate TV room and a lounge/entertaining space, then you need to consider if your space if really doing all it can for you. One of the things that a good decorator or designer will do for you is not only make your space beautiful, but ensure that it is functional as well. To show you how this can be accomplished, we've created an example of a small living room that looks reasonably familiar to us.
We often see spaces like this set up with nice furnishings and fixtures, but not quite being all they could be. Let's take a look at some easy changes could be made to bring this living room from basic to so much better.
We've kept the colors in the space fairly neutral as we're not going to focus on those today. Instead, let's look at Four main things we can do to improve this room:
- Hang the drapes to take better advantage of the only window.
- Stop letting the TV hog valuable floor space.
- Put in a rug that is more appropriately sized.
- Take advantage of the left side of the room.
Right now, all we can imagine doing in here is sitting on the sofa and reading a book in front of the fire, or watching a bit of TV. And that not a bad thing, but what if you wanted to socialize or entertain a few friends in here? Without throwing away what you have, and by changing a few things and adding just a few items, the space could look more like this:
- Hang your drapes about 6 inches out from the window, and 6 inches above (space allowing). This allows the drapes to stay out of the window space when they are pulled open, and also makes the window look bigger and the walls higher. (We'll show you another angle of this below.)
- Mount the TV above the fireplace. This allows you to use that precious floor space to add a small armchair. We've also added a floor lamp. Having light come from different sources and different angles in the room is important. We're also using the wall space here to hang a few small pictures. Don't be afraid to group your pictures together in different configurations.
- Add a rug that connects the sofa with the table and the chair. This brings the space together. (We'll show you another angle on this below.)
- & 5. This space on the left was under utilized. We changed the standing shelf to something that offers display space as well as storage space, which the room lacks, and again used the wall space for a picture or some art. We also rehung the room's original painting, and added a small bench. This gives you a little more flexibility for seating in the space. You can also style the bench as you would a coffee table, with some books, cushions, a small tray with candles, etc.
To get a better idea of how small things can have a big impact on your space, here's a look at those drapes before and after:
And having a rug that is adequately sized really creates a change:
You don't have to throw everything out or buy a whole new living room suite to create big changes in a small space. Just take a few minutes to ask yourself what you need to the space to do for you in terms of beauty and functionality, and proceed from there.
If you're not sure where to start, take a look at our decorating packages - we'll give you all the tools and ideas you need, from color schemes to floor plans and buying guides, to transform your space into the room you've always dreamed of.