If the kitchen is the soul of the household, then the living room is its heart. It’s where we take guests into our space and relax with family and friends; it’s a unique combination of private and public that calls for display and comfort, vulnerability and statement. This is where we place the art, decor and furniture that best define us as we want to be seen.
That’s all well and good, but what if your ‘statement room’ also happens to be spatially challenged? A cramped living room is the last place you want to spend time in, either alone or with guests. Fear not! There are myriad ingenious and clever ways to make your space work for you, no matter its limitations. After all, it’s not the size that matters, but rather, what you do with it. Using light and interior design to your advantage, you can make any space feel larger and well-proportioned!
Natural light makes any room feel more airy and spacious, so steer clear of dark curtains or shades. Choosing light or semi-sheer shades will ensure that you have privacy without blocking out the natural light you have access to. Save floor space by prioritising wall and ceiling lighting, which also help make space feel broader.
Use the walls to your advantage in your quest for space. Painting them white builds on the natural light coming into the room, and decorating them with large, eye-catching artwork draws the eyes away from corners and confines without making the space feel cluttered.
Playing with scale and using lower furniture can make ceilings feel higher. Sofas, couches or lounge chairs which are close to the ground create the illusion that they are surrounded by more space. Use lots of pillows to make sitting or lounging more comfortable if necessary – overlaying different textures over each other also draws the eye away from walls and corners!
Where space is at a premium, versatility is vital. Replacing a traditional coffee table with two or more ottomans means you can use them as storage, extra seating or a stand for food and drink.
While it might be tempting to push all your furniture as close to the wall as possible, leaving a gap between the two actually gives the impression of a wider room, and keeping your furniture closer together creates a more intimate and functional space to share with your loved ones.
Placing a large, boldly patterned or coloured rug in the centre of your living room increases the illusion of space. The bigger rug won’t visually break up the room, and the pattern will distract the eye from walls and corners.
Keep your colour palette coherent and minimal to prevent chaotic and overwhelming decor. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun: play with brights, pastels and patterns to your heart’s desire! Simply keep your fun within discriminating, tight and cohesive colour stories.