Side Tables - Side tables tend to be an afterthought but they're actually very important. The number you need will depend on how much seating you have. Everyone should be able to comfortably set down a drink without having to get up and walk over to a table. Try to have one on either side of the sofa (unless there isn't enough space – in this case people can use the coffee table), and between pairs of chairs. The key is to have enough surface space without overcrowding the room. The tables should be approximately the same height as the arm of the chair or sofa they're next to. From family game nights to book club gatherings, the living room is a social hub. The proper placement of the room's furniture goes a long way toward making the space feel welcoming.
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.
Similarly, by keeping wall hangings low the empty space at the top of the walls will help to make the ceiling look taller and therefore the room feels physically bigger or “airier”. Of course, you will also want to bear in mind where your windows are and work actively to not block them with furniture. Different shapes and sizes of living room all present their own challenges. Narrow living rooms and L-shaped living rooms can often feel tricky when structuring a furniture layout. In the layout diagrams above, each square room can be applied to different sizes and shapes of living room and act as more of a main furniture guide to the layout and not a conclusive layout that only works for small, square living rooms. But they should give you a basic idea of the simplest living room arrangements.
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