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. Nothing is worse than living room layouts—no matter how attractive—where people have to perch against the walls, as if stuck there by magnetic force. Rather, push seating together so everyone can sit close and converse comfortably. How to arrange living room furniture in a rectangular room depends on the natural focal point of the space. In some rooms, this is architectural, such as a fireplace or a set of windows. In other living rooms, the focal point is a television. Once you determine this feature, orient the seating toward it. This feature now has the attracting qualities the wall is used to—let the furniture gravitate there. For a large living room layout, find ways to create zones in the space.
If you watch TV in the living room, choose the surrounding lights carefully to avoid television glare. It can be distracting to have a bright overhead light above or in front of a TV set, so ensure ceiling lights are dimmable, or use offset wall sconces or floor lamps instead. Specific task lighting, such as reading lamps, are important if you read frequently, have low levels of natural light, and especially if you ever work in your living room. A floor lamp spaced between two armchairs can also count as task lighting, as conversation is a task, too (at least in living room terms). Low-level table lamps and floor lamps help to create a cozy atmosphere in the living room, especially at night. Evenly space these throughout the room, usually toward the walls, to create an even, warm glow that bounces inwards. Think creatively about this type of lighting: groups of candles even fairy lights count.
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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