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.
Look to other areas of your life for hints. What is an area you do know your style or tastes in well? Clothes? Cooking? Look for characteristics in these other areas to give you hints as to what you might like. If you like a minimal wardrobe, for instance, you might prefer a minimal interior, too. Take a walk in a neighborhood. Stop and pause at the homes that you seem drawn to. Are they traditional looking? Modern? An eclectic mix of both? Observe what catches your eye and feels nice to you, even the way folks decorate their porches and patios. Stop and pause in front of the homes that pull you in. If you like a traditional style of architecture, you might like clean lines and muted colors in furniture and accessories.
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.
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