Recently, my husband and I downsized to a house about half the size we were used to. Not only is the living room tiny, but it's awkwardly shaped. I'm not going to lie, I lay in bed a few nights panicking about how I was going to fit any furniture in it, let alone the sofa, settee, large ottoman and TV console that I already had!
We've been in the house for over a year now, and the living room that I dreaded has become one of my favorite spaces. Here are five tips I used to design a functional and inviting spot to entertain friends, or just curl up on the sofa with my hubby and our two pups for a night in.
1) PLAN YOUR SPACE. It will save you so much aggravation if you know exactly how the sofa you've been eyeing will fit in that tight corner, or how it doesn't fit before you purchase it. Of course, we can't always help the fact that we've inherited Aunt Sadie's hand-me-down coffee table, and that's ok. Just make sure you take some measurements, and know whether or not it's going to fit where you think you want it to, before lugging it into your new home. Choosing pieces that can do double duty is also a good way to maximize space. Two small ottomans can work as a coffee table, but can also be used as extra seating for guests.
2) FLOAT YOUR FURNITURE. This may not be possible, but if you can get your furniture away from the walls, I promise your space will not only look bigger but feel cozier at the same time. Notice too, that the chairs in the photo all have legs. Floating furniture off the floor takes up less visual space than a boxy sofa or recliner would.
3) GET CREATIVE WITH LIGHTING. Overhead lighting is great, and necessary most of the time, but perhaps there's space to add some task lighting to a reading nook. If your sofa does end up against the wall, maybe some sconces could add a little mood lighting to the room. Lighting at various heights, and with diverse intensity can bring some dimension to a small space.
4) DRAW THE EYE UP. Window treatments are a great way to trick the eye and make your ceiling feel taller, which can make your room look bigger. Try hanging your curtains about six inches between the top of your window and the ceiling. This works well if there are more than 12 inches between your window frame and ceiling. If your ceiling is low, try hanging them as close to it or the crown molding (if you have it) as possible. Just remember that no matter how high your curtains are hung, they need to reach the floor!
5) PLAY WITH PATTERNS. Don't be afraid to mix patterns, and textures in a small room. You can go bold if you're up for it, or more neutral if you prefer. One thing I will say about mixing patterns, it's a good idea to stay in the same color scheme. You want to be able to relax in your room, not feel like circus clowns are going to bust in at any moment! I personally like to stay neutral, and add layers of soft patterns or pops of color to give the space a warm and comfortable look.
Hope this helps if you're just not sure what to do with that small or awkward space! And if you're stumped or just don't want the headache of planning the room alone, please contact me. I'd be happy to help you turn that undesirable spot into a relaxing, cozy haven.
Comment below to share how you've turned your small or awkward space into your happy place.