Any room design project involves many challenges. Space planning is a critical step for any design process – interior design, refurbishment, room design, everything.
When your room is small, planning becomes a bigger challenge.
And when the room is your living room, the room you ‘live in’, the room where guests and visitors gather, it becomes very important to plan the design carefully.
Is there a basic idea behind all these design tips?
There are two basic ideas behind all the small living room design strategies that we will discuss in this blog.
One is that you must do careful space planning. The main point in a small living room is the lack of space which means that whatever space is available must be used creatively and with an eye on aesthetics.
Two is that anything that diverts attention from the cramped nature of a small living room is a welcome addition. This could be anything from a lighting arrangement to a bold color scheme.
#1 – Try to have a seating arrangement of chairs all around a table
For example, if you have a table that is rectangular, have 4 chairs one for each side of the table.
That way, whichever chair someone sits on, he or she will always be able to see a chair across the table. This adds depth to the room.
#2 – If you have a sofa, try your best to fit it into the room
It will allow more people to sit inside the room. You can understand that quite a few people being present inside a room naturally makes the room appear accommodative.
But there is something you need to be careful about.
Make sure that everyone has a clear way out of the room. If people have to ask other people to shift or move to make way for them to exit the room, it will make the room appear small and cramped.
#3 – Look for innovative storage solutions
You can modify your existing stuff to serve other purposes.
For example, if you have a number of books lying around, stack them neatly in a pile – you have created a small side table for yourself.
A trunk can double up as your desk.
You can also think of investing in multi-purpose furniture.
For example, we just discussed having a sofa in your living room. You can buy a sofa that has drawers built into its base. This gives you storage space that is discreet – that is not openly visible – as opposed to openly visible spaces like shelves built into the walls.
Shelves built into the walls is something we recommend to many of our clients looking for drawing room design solutions. However, you can understand that such shelves are immediately visible to someone entering the room and they may make the room appear small and not cozy.
A good alternative to shelves built into the walls would be tall cabinets, which take advantage of whatever vertical space is available while occupying less floor area.
#4 – Maintain a plant within the room
This is something we have observed many times in our interior design career.
A plant can make a room appear bright and inviting. It makes a visitor feel welcome.
#5 – Ensure adequate lighting. Wherever possible, opt for natural light
If the room is lit up adequately, it will seem warm and inviting.
Use bright, especially white or near-white colors on the walls. It will boost natural sunlight.
If there is a window to the outside, leave a clear path for sun rays to enter the room through the window. If possible, try to hang a mirror opposite the window that will further reflect the sunlight.
Use ‘sheer’ curtains on the window. They will filter adequate sunlight through while maintaining your privacy whenever necessary.
#6 – Select furniture that is proportionate in size
This is one of the trickier aspects of decorating a small living room. We too often have to think carefully about furniture selection.
The problem is that if you get furniture that is too small, you will end up moving many pieces of furniture into the living room, reducing floor space and making the room look uncomfortable.
On the other hand, you clearly cannot use furniture that is too large.
The only advice we can offer you here is to think carefully before buying your furniture. You can think of consulting a qualified decorator on this aspect.
#7 – Use antiques
You don’t need to be an interior designer to know that everybody loves antiques.
If you can use antiques to decorate your living room it will be a good move because it will give the room a grand look. People won’t bother whether the room is small or large.
#8 – Utilize corners
This is an easy trick but one which people neglect.
If you can make even a small table fit into a corner, you can keep a potted plant on it, which will brighten up your room.
#9 – Keep spare seats handy
A small living room may not have space for more than a sofa and a few chairs.
But if a lot of guests decide to turn up, you will have to offer them seating arrangements. You can’t give them the excuse that you are following Imagine’s guide to decorating your living room and so they can’t sit down.
So, have foldable chairs on standby that can be used to provide extra seating capacity whenever necessary.
The main thing is to plan your decoration thoroughly before you buy any furniture. You should see exactly how much space your living room has and what you can fit in that. And remember to use space creatively.
Colour schemes can be kept near to white to allow sunlight to reflect throughout the room. And finally, keep extra seating arrangements handy to accommodate more guests if necessary.