Identify your style… and your stuff,"First, you need to decide what kind of look you are going for," says Erica Lugbill of Lugbill Designs in Chicago. Do you envision a light and airy living room? Or do you prefer something calm and serene? Perhaps your style is simple and earthy, or bold and dramatic."Secondly, look at all of the items you own that need to be incorporated into the space," adds Lugbill. Consider your furniture, storage pieces and accessories, for example. Get inspired, Begin by selecting an inspiration piece. An inspiration piece typically has a palette of three to five colors. Try to envision those colors in your living room. "Choose something you love, such as your favorite outfit or a painting by your favorite artist," says Sehra Han, an interior designer at Scarlett Designs in Los Angeles. "Many people make the mistake of starting with a paint color," adds interior designer Robin Baron of Robin Baron Design in New York City. Instead, "find the one thing you know you want to put in the room… like a fabric," Baron says. "Even a favorite pillow is a good place to begin. Play off that item for your color palette.
Too much symmetry and your living room may feel more like a place of formality – which is fine if that's what you're going for. But for most, the living room is where you should feel comfortable kicking your feet up in your PJs. Using angles to arrange your furniture asymmetrically can help to make the room feel easier on the eyes, and not so rigid as you glance around the room. Leaving a little room between different items of furniture (and space between furniture and walls) will give more of an illusion of space, rather than squeezing everything together. You might be able to “fit more in” but you do this at the risk of making the space feel cramped which in turns make the room look smaller. Empty space contributes to the illusion of more space.
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.
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