The first step when lighting any room is to ask yourself: what happens here? Different activities require different types and levels of light. A well-lit living room will have three different types of lighting: general, task and accent. These are used at different times of day and for different purposes, and key to a functional lighting scheme it to know how and when to mix and use them. Not all homes have a ceiling fitting in the living room, and if you have lots of natural light during the day, you might not need overhead light at all. But if you have the fitting, a central pendant or chandelier helps to zone the space and create a focus. Similarly, potlights or angled spotlights will create a even layer of overhead lighting. In the absence of any overhead lights, a large, arced floor lamp will do the trick.
Problem #4: Too Much Color or Pattern. Red walls are not for the slight of heart, nor for slight spaces. Neither are large patterns. Dark woods, dark furnishings, and dark paint shades will make even the largest space feel smaller. It's easy to overwhelm the space with too much color and too much texture or pattern. Solutions: When it comes to color in small living room decorating, stick with light shades and neutral tones. Small spaces work best with a three-color (or less) palette and do especially well with an all-white decorating scheme. When choosing larger furnishings, like a sofa or shelving system, stick to solid colors and lighter woods. To enliven your space, use brighter colors and small patterns in your decor and small furnishings. If you just can't bring yourself to limit your walls to neutrals, consider an accent wall or a simple wall decal, stencil or painted design.
Problem #5: Not Enough Light. It's particularly important in the living room, where we often spend quite a bit of time. However it's a tricky space to strike the right lighting balance, thanks to the many different functions the living room serves. Small homes are often lacking natural light because of two reasons: Builders know that windows are expensive, and they also know that they take up valuable wall space, and well, there's only so much of that in a small space already. Solutions: Don't take up too much valuable floor or table space with lamps. Choose recessed, wall-mounted, hanging or shelf-mounted lighting. Floor up-lighting is also a great way to enhance a small space. When decorating a small living room that doesn't have a lot of natural light, choosing light shades of flooring, furnishings, walls and decor can do a lot to brighten your space.
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