The role of the living room in the apartment is changing, so the approach to its design is changing. Previously, this room was a gathering place for relatives and friends for all special events and holidays. Now, when the celebration of many events is transferred to cafes and restaurants, the living room is becoming a more individual, homely and cozy space. Here you can decorate everything so that you feel comfortable spending time there with your family, and not emphasize your status. Unfortunately, the living room in many apartments does not differ in a large area, therefore, on modest square meters, you have to equip a recreation area, and often also a work area. You can choose absolutely any style of interior, but when arranging a small living room, remember a few rules, thanks to which the boundaries of the space magically move apart, and the living room becomes quite spacious and functional room.
Many designers are very familiar with the problem of small living rooms and have amassed many ideas and solutions. Everyone will be able to take effective advice, and as a result, instead of their small and cramped living room, they will get a high, spacious, bright room, where there is a place for all the necessary furniture, and for free movement.
# 1. Correct color
To organize the space of a small living room, it is better to use light shades that seem to erase the boundaries of the walls. The ideal option would be painting in white, beige, sand, cream, peach, as well as all light and pastel shades. You can also use light wallpaper in a small pattern, a large bright pattern is contraindicated in this case – it will only emphasize the limited space.
Using only light shades can turn a living room into a rather boring space, so bright accents are a must. So, you can paint one wall in a contrasting color, use bright pillows for the sofa or blankets, hang a bright picture, etc.
You can create a contrasting wall using paint or wallpaper of a slightly different shade, photo wallpaper, etc. You can choose a very distinctive color, or work within the same color.
The ceiling and floor should also be as light as possible: sand, yellowish or gray is suitable for the floor, and it is better to make the ceiling white. It is justified in this respect to organize glossy stretch ceilings, in which the room will be reflected and, accordingly, doubled.
Living room floors are now often decorated with small rugs that only cover a specific area. It is better to choose a carpet in light shades, and so that it does not get dirty so quickly, pay attention to the lint-free options.
# 2. Sufficient lighting
The more light in the room, the more the living room will appear. That is why you need to make the most of natural light, and do not clutter the windows with heavy curtains and curtains, the best option is light tulle, roman or roller blinds.
Artificial lighting should not be limited to just one chandelier in the center of the ceiling, otherwise individual areas will be very poorly lit, which means that the corners will show the clear boundaries of the room. It is better to use zone lighting in combination with a central one, so the rest area, work area, some cabinets can be illuminated separately using floor lamps, lamps or sconces. You can use LED strips that will illuminate the area with a TV, some painting or photo wallpaper. Wall murals, especially those with a pronounced perspective, are another great way to visually enlarge the living room space.
As you know, a mirror is capable of reflecting light, so it will make the room visually more spacious. A mirror can generally double the space of a room, so its presence in a small living room generally becomes a necessity. The size of the mirror surface can be different: it can be an oval or rectangular mirror in a frame, it can be several mirrors hung on one wall, it can even be a mirrored wall, a mirrored wardrobe, a mirrored ceiling, etc. A well-placed mirror surface creates an unrealistically believable feeling of extra space.
No. 3. Compact furniture
Probably, it is not worth explaining for a long time that in a small space it is better to use compact furniture, which, with its functionality, will take up as little space as possible. That is why it is better to give preference to a two-seater sofa and compositions of small soft poufs, rather than a huge soft corner. It is worth sticking to minimalism, and choosing furniture with laconic, simple forms, without any pretentious elements. The number of pieces of furniture should also be kept to a minimum. Pay attention to those options that simultaneously perform several functions. For example, sofas, which have storage space, coffee tables that can be expanded, ottomans, which also have space for folding all kinds of small things.
By the way, the rule of using compact furniture in a small living room is explained even by the theory of Titchener’s circles. He noticed that the same figure appears larger if surrounded by smaller objects, and smaller if larger objects are used around. We perceive the sizes of objects in relation to each other, therefore compact furniture creates the feeling that the living room is getting bigger.
It is important to create an optical focus in the living room so that the space is balanced and harmonious. This focal point might be a sofa surrounded by other seating areas.
Folding chairs can be used as additional seating, which can be removed as unnecessary. Remember that transparent and translucent furniture dissolves in the room, since it does not block any part of the living room from your view. Perhaps you should opt for plastic transparent chairs or a glass coffee table?
Try to use a minimum of furniture in the living room and get rid of everything that is actually not so necessary here.
No. 4. Using diagonals
There are a number of simple rules that can be used to achieve amazing results in furniture placement.
One of these rules is the diagonal rule. Most of us arrange furniture parallel to the walls, but try to break this habit and place, for example, the TV at a 45-degree angle to the walls. Diagonally from it, you can arrange two sofas at an angle or one large corner sofa: everyone sitting on it will watch TV at a right angle, and the distance from the eyes to the screen will be optimal. A large distance from the sofa to the TV will benefit the living room, and it will appear more spacious, especially if the center of the room is also free.
No. 5. Reflection method
The reflection method consists in the fact that paired identical objects are used for decorating and arranging the territory. These can be elements of decoration or furniture. Buy two identical small sofas, two flowerpots, two identical coffee tables, etc. They are placed opposite each other, as in a mirror image. If all this is supplemented with mirrors, which are also capable of reflecting, then in the end it is possible to confuse the brain so that it initially perceives a miniature living room as something more spacious, comfortable and cozy.
No. 6. Create the illusion of perspective
The human brain is very complex, but some tricks can deceive it and disrupt the correct perception of space. To do this, you can create the illusion of perspective, as if to dissolve those objects that are further away. To move a wall, an object, you need to decorate it in smooth light colors, and bright colors and textures are needed for those parts that need to be visually brought closer.
If you need to create a sense of perspective, then in front of those entering the living room there should be no unnecessary objects cluttering the space, and the path from the door to the windows should be free. In this case, the gaze involuntarily penetrates through the window, into the external environment.
No. 7. Horizontal and vertical lines
Professionals have long proven in practice the influence of lines on the perception of space. So, for a living room with low ceilings, you can use vertical striped wallpaper, or paint one of the walls in a similar way. The room will be transformed beyond recognition, and you will feel more space for your own life
If the height of the ceilings suits you, then the horizontal strip can slightly expand the room, creating the illusion of more space. Not only wallpaper, but also decorative items with a pronounced vertical or horizontal pattern can also change the perception of the space of a small living room.
It is worth noting that there is still debate about the direction of the stripes and their effect, since many scientists prove the opposite effect: they claim that the vertical stripe expands the territory, and the horizontal one makes it higher.
No. 8. Zoning without partitions
Very often, the living room combines not only a family recreation corner at the TV screen, but also should accommodate a mini-office, or even a dining room. To delimit these zones, many designers recommend using all sorts of effects for zoning: screens, partitions, podiums, the use of different finishes, etc. But scientists have long proved that you can do much easier by playing on the features of our brain.
At the beginning of the last century, the Italian psychologist Caniss proved that if you place all the furniture in a room at the vertices of an imaginary triangle or square, the brain unconsciously closes this figure and delimits different zones. Real physical separators are no longer required – the features of perception will do everything for us.
No. 9. Balance in jewelry
A living room devoid of accessories will look boring and uncomfortable. That is why vases, paintings, photographs, plants, etc. can be used to decorate the space. – there are a lot of options. But it is important not to overdo it, because the abundance of accessories will make the small living room even smaller. It is better to use one large picture than a dozen small ones, then it is she who will attract the eyes of the person who entered, distracting from the main drawback – a small space. The more details in the room, the more the eyes diverge, and the less the already small living room seems. Therefore, in our case, less accessories means more space.
No. 10. Storage locations
If the living room is very small, then it is better to use only the most necessary furniture for this room, and this is a sofa, a table and a TV. If there is space for a wardrobe, then this is very good, but the main thing is not to take it all the free territory. To preserve the necessary items, you can use dressers, a system of shelves, places in sofas and poufs: this way the walls of the room will remain free, which means that the space will seem visually larger.
Ideal for a small living room – combining it with the kitchen into one space, separated by a bar counter or an arch. But if this is not in your plans, then there are many other tricks that can turn even the smallest living room into a convenient and comfortable space for family relaxation and conversation. Moreover, it seems such a living room will be slightly larger than it actually is. Hurry to use the accumulated experience of many professionals in the design of your own living room.