Create an ideabook for your next remodeling project!
Browse more than 1,000,000 photos from top designers and save your favorites
Dilemma: Awkward flow
Solution: Rethink your furniture arrangement.
If it feels awkward to move through your living room, it may be time to roll up your sleeves and move that furniture. If you want to save yourself some unnecessary heavy lifting, draw the new layout on paper first or use a free online tool (search "free floor plan"). When you are ready to get moving, here are some things to keep in mind:
• Seating should be positioned close enough that conversations are easy, but with enough room to easily get into and out of the seating area.
• Pull your furniture away from the walls to create a more dynamic arrangement. If you have the room, placing a long narrow table behind your couch can help avoid that "floating" feeling.
• Notice the path from the door to each seat in the room. Is it a straight shot, or do your need to swerve around furniture? Aim to have a gently flowing path to each seat.
Dilemma: Feeling the crunch in a small space
Solution: It's all a matter of scale.
It may seem counterintuitive, but if you have a very small room it can actually seem larger when filled up with big, comfortable furniture. The key is to seek out pieces that fill the space without overwhelming it. An L-shape couch works particularly well in tiny rooms, and a straight-backed armchair feels substantial without taking up too much floor space.
On the other hand, avoid needless space wasters, such as overstuffed chairs, rolled-arm sofas and gigantic coffee tables.
Dilemma: Poor or unflattering lighting
Solution: Add more light sources but lower the wattage.
You would be amazed at the difference proper lighting can make. Strive to have at least three light sources in the room, and frankly, more is better. Overhead fixtures can be great, with the caveat that they're on a dimmer switch and supplemented with table or floor lamps.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when lighting your living room.
• Sconces are a great option when table and floor space is tight. Swing-arm lights work well as task lighting over reading chairs.
• Fill dark corners with small pools of light. Lighting the corners of your room will make it feel bigger.
• Use lower-wattage bulbs but more lamps to create a warm, glowing effect.