In an ideal world, every room in the house would have the perfect amount of living space. That, however, is not the situation for the majority of homeowners and renters. Often, there is at least one room in a home that never seems to be big enough. In many homes it’s the living room that seems to be lacking in space. The living room is often thought of as the hub of the home- a place where people gather and wind down from the day. When the living room is confining, it just doesn’t provide the proper levels of enjoyment and relaxation.
Creating a more open living room is at the top of many people’s home renovation wish lists. Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget to knock down walls and create more room. On the up side, there are numerous tips and tricks that can make a living room look and feel much more spacious than it already is, and they don’t cost a fortune or require a lot of effort. Here are some examples:
Downsize the Furniture
There is a definite comfy appeal to including oversized furniture pieces in the living room, but stuffing the room full of chunky pieces really cuts down on space. Furniture should be in proportion to the size of the room. If you absolutely must have larger furniture, then consider having just one or two statement pieces. As Better Homes and Gardens advises, “Consider scale and proportion when you decorate. Attention to these details will create harmony and make your rooms visually appealing.”
Play with Mirrors
Mirrors give the illusion of more space. Hanging an oversized mirror at one end of the living room will reflect light in the space and create the look of a longer room. Also, if you choose a mirror with a window frame design it creates the illusion of having additional windows in the room. This gives the room a lighter, more open feel.
Paint with Purpose
Bold, dark colors can be eye catching, but they can also make a room look more closed in. Opting for lighter, more airy tones can really open up a space. As suggested on HGTV, painting a room in several shades of the same light color has a visually expanding effect. You can use the mid shade for the walls, the lightest shade on the ceiling and the darkest on the trim. The differences between the shades doesn’t have to be dramatic. Having them just slightly off of one another will create dimension. If you’re installing new carpet, opt for lighter shades of brown in lieu of darker greens or reds.
Tie In Surrounding Areas
If a living room is somewhat open to other areas of the home, then adding elements that visually tie it to those other areas can create the look of more space. To do this, consider echoing colors from adjoining spaces in your room accessories or include pieces, such as area rugs or photography and artwork, that extend beyond the living room space.
When space is limited it’s best to include pieces that perform a variety of functions. For instance, having one or two longer tables tucked up against walls to hold table lamps and various decor pieces may work better than having multiple end tables and a coffee table. Also, including storage pieces such as chests or tables and ottomans that open up gives you a functional place to stash away smaller items when not in use. Adding these elements is one way to declutter the living room quickly.
See-through items give the illusion of openness. As advised on Buzzfeed.com, “Glass and lucite pieces are totally in style right now, and can provide an added function of not taking up too much visual space.” On that see-through note, furniture with exposed legs rather than legs that are covered up or that sit flat on the floor, give a semblance of openness.
So, if your current living room space is feeling cramped and you don’t have the budget or energy for a complete overhaul, give these tips a try. You’ll be surprised by how much you can open up a room without removing walls or completely changing locations.