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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Decorating Tips For A More Functional Living Room

While I'm sure many of us (other than the tiny house lovers among us) would love to have larger houses, this usually costs a lot more money, so many of us end up with smaller homes than we might ideally want. For that reason, space is often at a premium in our homes (I know mine certainly is!). These tips from Jim Shaw are wonderful ideas on how to maximize the space in our home, and specifically your living rooms so that way you won't wish you had a larger home. 


With today’s average houses and apartment-sized getting smaller, the idea of having each room more functional is getting more popular. A living room solely for the purpose of one function, such as watching TV, is pretty much a thing of the past even in homes that aren’t too small.

Together, let’s step into your living room area and see how you can make it more functional and multi-purpose, yet still, keep it chic and comfortable to be the room you can relax after a long tiring day.


Section Off

Even the smallest rooms can be sectioned off. Obviously, the smaller the room, the fewer sections you’ll be able to get out of it. But even if it’s just two sections, that makes room for two or more functions. One large open space is always going to be attractive and modern looking, but not as functional.

So, while there is one area for lounging around, another area can have a small multi-function table that can be used for eating, work, or any other task. Automatically, you’ll have two areas, emphasizing the sectioning off even more. If space still allows, a comfortable chair tucked away into a corner with its own lighting for reading or for work makes the third section. In essence, you will be sectioning off the tasks and activities you do in the room.

When using rugs, they need to be scaled to the room. Generally, rugs should take up about two-thirds of the floor space. You should also try to get most of your furniture pieces onto the rug rather than around it if it’s in the middle of the room.

Functional Furniture

It’s not just the room, but also the kind of furniture you put in it that will increase the room’s function. First, you’ll want to decide between a formal or informal style. You’ll probably have a lovely coffee table for any style, but instead of just a table with a surface, have one that also has a bottom shelf for books or magazines. There are plenty of options in multi-purpose furniture such as tables, ottomans, chairs, and sofas. Ottomans often have secret storage spaces, and almost any bed or chair now can fold out to become a comfortable piece of furniture to sleep on.

The throw pillows you add on a sofa plays a big role in providing an artistic look to the area. Lots of people ask what is the right number of cushions to put on a couch? Too many become overcrowded and awkward, too few make the couch and the entire area look bare. For a two-seat couch, you can go with 2 to 4 pillows, while a 3-seater can take between 3 and 6 pillows. The arrangement of the pillows will also dictate if you want a more relaxing or a more formal look. In design, an odd number of pillows tend to stand out more, but you also want to consider the size of the pillow, and you want the pillows to reflect the entire style of the room.

Create Easy Traffic Flow

It’s a living room, not a maze, so you want the people going in and out of the room to make their way easily. They shouldn’t have to zigzag through furniture and make U-turns to reach a chair. The placement of the furniture will often depend on the focal point of the room. It could be something architectural such as a fireplace or a window, or it could just be the TV screen. The most uncomplicated and functional living room furniture layout is to place the sofa across from the focal point with all other pieces angled facing the same direction. Then you’ll want to make sure there’s enough space between furniture pieces. Nothing is bolted down, so you can experiment to see the best and most functional arrangement of furniture.

Use Vertical Space

Since your home might not be that big, it will help you a lot to maximize your vertical space more than your horizontal space. Instead of working from the inside out, work from the bottom up. This could be adding a tall bookcase, for instance, which will stand out on its own, as well as give you more storage space.



From lighting to rugs, the amount of furniture in your living room and how bulk and accessory pieces are placed will add to the function of the room. The perfect living room will have the most used items within reach, easy to walk through, and simply beautiful to be in and look at. The purpose of the room and your lifestyle will dictate for you how to make a functional living room.

What are your favorite tips to maximize space in a small home, and specifically in your living room?

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