19 Double-Duty Living Rooms
Change Up Your Front Room For How You Really Want to Live
I am an Interior Decorator in PA, stitching my urban roots into suburban spaces from NY to Philly. I am living my dream helping people achieve inspirational spaces. Visit me at www.loveyourroom.com and check out my blog for inspirational ideas.
I am an Interior Decorator in PA, stitching my urban roots into suburban... More »
My sis recently asked me for ideas on how she could use her living room other than as a front room that houses a formal sofa, chair and coffee table that rarely get used. The living room has traditionally functioned as a parlor to entertain in a more formal way. But in today's modern homes, although we may still have living room spaces, we don't entertain in them the same way, if at all. As a designer I find myself redesigning these spaces for clients into more purposeful rooms. Here are a few ideas that would give me new reason to hang out in my living room:
Library. Turn your living room into a library full of all the books and precious mementos; This one is a bright and airy retreat all in white and cream; feels like it has been around forever.
Add chunky large open shelves and you can display both books and custom art pieces for both a library to read in and a living room full of interest.
Add a fireplace, bookcases and a television and this becomes a family room, library and living room in one.
Club room. Get rid of the stuffy old sofa and use comfy chairs flanked around a small table to create a space to have long intimate conversations over tea and scones, wine and crackers, or to have a good card game. I can even picture a standup piano in the background, a bar, or built in bookcase.
Gallery. Turn your living room into a showcase. Display artwork wall to wall for interesting conversations.
Music room. Create a dramatic piano room out of your living room. Although this piano is large and sleek, it fits in like a glove through the rooms color scheme and positioning; it doesn't take over the space so the room can be used for hanging out by the fireplace without the piano being the center of attention.
This music room is living-room chic. Create functional built-ins that incorporate your favorite instruments, making a small living room perfect for letting out your musical side.
This living room functions as a music room, reading room and TV room. Creative thinking!
Tell us: Have you converted your living room into a music room, reading room, or something entirely different? Tell us about it on our Facebook page.
Wine room. Add a wine bar and change out your seating to create 'Camelot's Teeny Tiny Round Table'. I love seeing wine displayed as the focal point. And there are many clever ways to do it.
Pool room. Why not turn your living room into a hot place for pool? This one is a perfect example because it is kept dressy and posh by using a pool table with a white finish and black felt top. There are so many options available to customize a pool table. You don't need that traditional green felt and dark stained wood look.
Reading nook. If you don't have a large living room, this space is a good example of how to utilize real estate that is so often missed out on- the center of the floor! Floating a piece of furniture works. Don't you just want to curl up with a book in this space?
Meditation space. Create a calming space using natural materials and color palette. This one is so Zen.
Lounge space. Add some backless cushions to stretch out on and see the view out your window. I would always be in this simple, sunny room if it were my living room.
Working space. Create an office or homework space. If it's near the front door and you don't have a mud room, you can incorporate a spot for backpacks and even shoe bin.
Here is another example of adding a workspace to your living room and keeping it chic and clean.
This would make a beautiful living room to see as soon as you walk into a home. A desk floated on a cool printed rug becomes the main attraction. The rest of the space is dressed up in purple and blue, keeping if from looking office-y.
If you incorporate a work area into your living room, use built-ins to hide the clutter. These look great in a dark wood finish.
A fun kids' space. I love how this room uses a bookcase to incorporate kids' books and toys. A very fun chair, drape, and rug make this a sunny place for kids of all ages.
Ideabook updated on April 7, 2011.
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