Problem #2: Too Much Furniture. Your room may feel bigger with all the furniture pushed up against the wall, but if you find yourself having to shout across the room to have a conversation, it may be time to rearrange. In this living room, the sofa "floats" in the middle of the room, but it's closer to the fireplace and the chairs, which creates a cozier conversation area.A small living room may not fit a sofa, two chairs, two end tables and a coffee table. And in a small home, furniture can easily become a drop zone for clutter. Solutions: By removing some of your furniture, you may kill two problems with one stone – you'll increase floor space and reduce clutter. Start with a clean slate by clearing the room. Bring in your sofa first, and slowly add pieces from there. When you have a layout that you like, stop. Anything leftover needs to find a new home.
Consult your mood, ask yourself if this color palette will make you happy. "This is really and truly the most important question," says Han, "and it's a gut response." Baron agrees. "It's always a good idea to start by thinking about colors that make you happy." So don't over think it. Pick a wall color, now that you've selected your inspiration piece, decide which of its colors might look good on your walls. Pick up free paint color samples from any paint store and tape them to your walls. Experiment with different shades of your original color selection. "Remember, your favorite color comes in many different shades," says designer Sophia Stone of Chateau Sophie in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. "Selecting one that compliments all seasons is my first step in picking a color palette for the living room — you want to love it all year long and for years to come.
If you have an open plan dining area in your living room (as many new homes do), ensure about 4ft distance between the table and the wall, or the dining space will feel cramped and lessen the dining experience. If you want to unify the different components of different spaces in an open plan living room, such as the dining area or reading nook, you can use area rugs to almost create “wall-free” rooms within the large room. Experiment! Move things around, measure them, look at your room from all angles and picture it from an aerial point of view for an idea on available floor space. What's important is that it's comfortable and feels like home. Having the bookcase there allowed me to display some family photos and a few more decorative items that would otherwise just be stored in a box. It also works well because there's no back on the bookcase which allows the light to shine through and not close in the space. Of course I would love to have something that fit exactly and looked more built in but this is just a rental for the year and I'm all about making things work and look nice, even if it's only temporary.
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