The living room is often considered the premiere room for greeting guests, socializing and entertainment. But what if the room seems not just cozy (a good thing!), but downright small? Here’s where creativity meets trickery: you can make your living room appear larger! Conventional wisdom is right in this case: using mirrors effectively can make a small living room look larger.
Check Pinterest and look to the Internet for ideas to use inexpensive wall-decals artistically, a large-scale wall or half-wall-sized mirror can provide a contemporary look. Set the mirror across from a window for an even more expansive look. Use window treatments that open to create the effect of seamlessness between the outside and inside.
|Image by Oyvind Solstad via Flickr|
Speaking of window treatments, curtains are critical in making the living room look larger. Avoid fussy window treatments (too much swag and too many ruffles). Unnecessary details defeat the purpose of keeping the accessories streamlined, and achieving the desired effect, enlarging. That’s not so say you cannot opt for shades in lieu of curtains, or visa versa. In fact, you can create a unique window area using both. Research for shops online that demonstrate how the curtains will look like hanging in a home as well as choices of fabrics to coordinate with your home. A website like Montgomery ready made curtains will be very helpful and often offers discounts, special offers and quality clearance choices. One way to further create a greater sense of space is to match your curtains as closely as you can to the colour of the walls.
In regards to colour, it’s no secret that darker colours are usually reserved for a warmer, closer, cosier feel. That’s why you should opt for lighter, more natural hues and walls painted in the same, cohesive colour. An accent wall of a darker colour will only “cut” the room off and detracts from the goal of making the room seem larger. However, if you choose light, cool colours, the walls will seem to recede.
Whether you choose carpet, wood, slate or alternate flooring, a key method to opening up a room is to blend the floor, walls and curtains. Add a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in similar colouring to push both the walls and ceiling out. The bookcase provides an interesting focal point and is excellent for storage. However, it is important to not fill up every bit of shelf space. Allow for a more spacious and airy feeling by leaving empty portions.
This isn’t relevant unless you live in an older home or flat, but if there are doors separating two rooms, you can remove the door for a more flow-through feeling. You may also replace the traditional door with a pocket door, which can be hidden until necessary.
Scaled-down furnishings are ideal for smaller spaces and prevent the crowded feel that large and regular-sized furniture brings. However, avoid the temptation of filling the living room with too many small-scaled furnishings because it creates a cluttered feeling, and not the desired effect. Another way to further impress a spacious and airy sense is to choose sofas, couches and chairs with legs, rather then those that sit directly on the floor or are covered with fabric, giving the illusion of being right on the floor. Another great option which provides seating, visual interest, as well as storage, is a leather or faux-leather bench with a storage feature. It’s even better if you can double it as your coffee table. Bottom line: choose scaled-down furnishings with legs that will accommodate guests and don’t make the mistake of putting in too many downscaled pieces as it detracts from creating an open, airy space.
Avoid getting too attached to furniture. Be prepared to get rid, donate or switch what you have. Of course, if you have an heirloom piece and you’re worried about having to dispose of it, don’t. If you love something, or if it has familial significance, you can, literally, work around the piece or even design the living room with that family piece as the focal point.
*This post is contributed by Media Buzzer.