Living Room Fix-Its – Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About!

Once your guests have cleared the ‘security’ stop point of your foyer/entry area of your home, it’ time to introduce them to a more personal you. Invite them into your ‘Living Room,’ the one space where family and friends always seem to meet!

I suppose the name was assigned to this room because of the amount of time we plan to spend in it! What a tall order; to create a room, a single room, where an entire family can live in it and guests can feel welcome too.

Let’s do it!

First, measure your wall space and make note of window placement. Write it down; sketch a layout of the room, including doors and windows and their proximity to one another!

Before you decide what furniture will be included in this particular masterpiece of a room, think about it! Make a note about how it will be used in your family, what things are vital and nonnegotiable and what things can go if there is a pinch for space or design.

Next, decide on a color to set the tone and mood you want to achieve in this space. Remember there are shades and hues of every color; find the one that best suits you and your family, and your plan. You need only to determine what you want this room to feel like before selecting your color.

Find your focal point; then begin arranging your furnishings in a manner that will allow the space to be lived in comfortably while traffic moves freely about the room. This is typically a fireplace, a great view or some area of the room that will hold the most used items like the TV.

If you have a ‘cookie cutter’ style home, consider adding an electric fireplace (found at your local home improvement stores inexpensively) to create a personalized warm and inviting focal point. Seating should be grouped around your focal point; it should also be arranged to promote conversations between the people in the room.

Change the fans and chandeliers for replacement fans and lighting that suit your décor. Once the room is completed, you can add lighting on tables to compliment your design choices. Remember, it matters little what it appears to be when you start, your goal is to make it work for your family and your design style, affordably.

Measure the pieces you intend to keep in the room. If you can locate a roll of painter’s tape you will be able to measure the pieces of furniture and place them with the tape to see exactly how the floor space and traffic pattern responds to your ideas. This saves back breaking labor for plans that simply won’t work! Invest in a set of ‘moving coasters.’ These are available at Dollar Stores, discount department stores and all home improvement stores. The most difficult part of arranging a room will become a breeze with these coasters.

If your space is large enough, establish two focal points; combining two points of interest in the space will make it more inviting. This allows for the primary focal point and a secondary point of interest that typically includes a quiet time space to read, a desk or some other special area you want to create in the room. This area should be at the furthest distance from the hub of activity in the room.

If you are using a TV set as your focal point, place it in an attractive setting such as a wall unit, hanging above a media cabinet or in a hanging media cabinet that can be closed off when not being used while providing yet another conversation piece to enhance your décor. In other words, make it earn the cherished position of the focal point of your room. The largest of your art pieces should be placed with the largest furniture pieces; something that says I’m special! If you don’t see the perfect piece, head to thrift shops, yard and garage sales and Flea Markets. You know what to do!

Avoid overly large pieces of furniture; your goal is to make the space compliment your furniture and design ideas and make your furniture comfortable in the space.

Place your sofa in the area with the largest blank space open that also allows the people in the room to enjoy the focal point. Leave at least two feet between sofas, chairs and love seats and the coffee table. Anything less is uncomfortable, feels crowded and causes knee injuries and a painful experience in your home.

Avoid the matching sofa, love seat, chair settings. Choose the sofa as your primary piece and then complement it with different colors or patterns that allow all of the pieces to show off. One matching chair or even a matching love seat can be overcome by adding a contrasting piece to the grouping. Add complimentary throw pillows that introduce your secondary color choices into the space.

Consider adding a sofa table (even if it is a buffet in disguise that will add valuable space for storage, games, etc. that your family uses. When placed at the back of the sofa or love seat it frees up wall space, adds wood tones and a place to add lighting or candles and display space. Cut the legs off of an older buffet and create a special seating area by adding a pillow to the top!

Reject the idea of placing your sofa against the wall, in front of the window. So help me that look is the basis of the ‘House of Commons.’ It says, “I did not know what to do with anything so I just pushed it against the white walls and lined everything up!” That is not an original idea!

Pull pieces into your grouping; leave the walls for spectacular wall hangings and accessories. Don’t be afraid to pull the chairs in and angle them to achieve a conversation area. It is uncomfortable and uninviting to have to bend your neck to make conversation with others in the room.

Place the pieces and sit down, have a ‘mock’ conversation and gently ‘live’ in the space before selecting the right grouping. You will be a force to be reckoned with if you achieve a comfortable seating arrangement!

People will enjoy their time spent in your home and leave not quite knowing why it was such a good experience. It is called being ‘comfortable.’

Personally, I am uncomfortable in spaces where there are no tables; no coffee tables, no end tables, nothing! Just sit right down, hold your coffee and tough it out!

I don’t understand this mentality; it inspires people to leave the space quickly.

Carefully examine the rest of your pieces of furniture. Make sure they do not overwhelm the space by excessive height or girth. Every piece beyond the primary sitting area is an accessory. Make them count!

Hang your pictures and wall decorations at eye level. This places the center of the picture at somewhere between 5′ and 5’6,” Hanging pictures with the center of the picture at 60″ is most desirable to create a warm and inviting space. Find one place in the room to place your largest wall hanging that will allow it to shine for you. If you look around your friends’ homes you are likely to discover that someone measured about a foot or a foot and a half down the wall from the ceiling and hung everything. It is impossible to balance a room with those kinds of heights. Eye Level, always!

If you want to visually tie a space together, like the seating arrangement, find a rug that is two feet wider than the conversation arrangement and center it on the rug underneath.

If you have a sofa that looks perfect against a wall, look for something that balances the size of the sofa with the room. As unlikely as it may seem, a single oversized piece will attract attention not only to your prized sofa but also to the entire room as it becomes the focal point.

Eliminate clutter, place only large items on the floor as a part of your décor get rid of ‘foo foo’ pieces that collect dust (a nice curio cabinet is good for these to be displayed).

Add candles in at least one area of your living room. When things are quieter in the house candles are very comforting to relax with. Display it attractively! Add a plant, tree or other accessory beside the areas that still feel austere to further designate it as your focal point. Whatever your plan, execute it with pride.

Create a special corner in any area and let the lighting, mirrors and candles set a special mood! You are ready now to ‘strut your stuff’ in your living room! Invite your friends and enjoy!

Optimize the Space in Your Living Room With Corner TV Cabinets

If you have limited space in your living room then you may find it difficult to store and display your television equipment. Modern televisions are large and all the associated equipment can take up a lot of room. TV stands can take up a lot of floor space in your living and could intrude on the overall design. A good solution is corner TV cabinets. These pieces of furniture are shaped to fit back into the corner of a room and make the best use of areas with restricted space.

Types of TV Corner Cabinet

TV corner cabinets are available in different designs so you should be able to find a style to suit your living room. If you have a modern décor then one of the glass, plastic or metal corner TV stands can be a good option. These smart, contemporary looking TV stands are widely available and come in a good range of different shapes and sizes. They are also affordable and are a cost effective way to store and display all of your home television equipment. If your home has a more traditional décor then a wooden corner TV cabinet can be a more suitable option. You should be able to find a finish to match your own furniture whether it is beech, oak, maple or pine.

Setting up TV Corner Cabinets

You will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions if you are setting up a corner cabinet from a flat pack kit. Once you have done this then you can install your television equipment.

Firstly you will need to make sure that there is adequate ventilation for your television equipment. DVD players, set top boxes and recorders can all get very hot as they are operating and so they need good ventilation if you are going to store them in a cabinet. Look for a TV corner cabinet that has plenty of air flow sections in the back or sides. Many wooden and laminate cabinets have only thin back panels so if you do not have adequate ventilation you could carefully cut a few air holes in the panel yourself using a jigsaw. Ensuring good ventilation for your television equipment will prevent it from overheating and increase its life.

Think about what height you need the television for comfortable viewing. If the cabinet is not high enough on its own then most modern televisions come with their own stands which you can use to adjust the height. You can also buy table top TV stands that can provide more range of adjustment.

When you are installing your equipment you need to think carefully about the cables and wiring. Corner TV cabinets have restricted access at the back so it may be easier to install all of the equipment with the cupboard slightly out into the room. Then when you have finished you can carefully move the TV cabinet back into the corner of the room out of the way.

Decorate Living Rooms With Mirrors

The living room is the most important and often visited placed by your guests, hence it is highly important to have a presentable and a visually appealing living room for more comfortable feel. There are various ways by which you can decorate your living room, and some of the top decors that can be considered are large mirrors, paintings, lamps etc. Among the top options mirrors are one of the classic ways to adorn your living room and they are cost effective too.

Large floor mirrors:
Floor mirrors are always a delight when they are placed in an appropriate area where they can be showcased well and can showcase other essential things in the room. The major benefits of placing floor mirrors are that, they give you a clear full-length view of your image. Caution need to be taken while handling the mirror and you can get help from someone when you are resting it on the floor. Placing a floor mirror opposite to a beautiful shelf will project it in a better way by providing a better focus. Also, you can make use of two identical floor mirrors in a small living room to add detail and to further enhance the looks of the room.

Rectangular wall mirror:
The usual sized rectangular wall mirror is one of the common things that you would have come across in many places, and yet they have their unique quality of remaining beautiful forever rather than becoming old and boring one. You can place the horizontal mirror behind the sofa set or in a place where a beautiful table is placed across the room.

You can also place a beautiful thick-framed horizontal mirror above the fire mantle where it can be better showcased and will fill up the empty unused space effectively and beautifully. Placing a beautiful mirror above the fireplace is one of the best places that you can choose in the living room.

Beveled mirrors:
Beveled mirrors are special kind of mirrors that look very grand and beautiful when used for decoration. You can make use of a single large beveled mirror in the living room or prefer to choose multiple similar pieces of mirrors and arrange them like a thumbnail to make it look unique and creative.

Implementing some of these styles in the living room will make it look grand and elegant by just making use of mirrors to decorate the place.

Living Room Designs and Ideas For Your Studio Apartment

Living in a studio apartment may limit you physically, but it doesn’t have to cramp your imagination. What you can or cannot do with your living room design is entirely in your hands. In fact, if you want to turn your living room into beach front property, that is entirely possible.

If you already have an aquarium, why not take advantage of that and turn it into a theme? A potted palm tree is surprisingly affordable and looks great inside. If you lay down a large section of artificial turf, the effect of the tree is enhanced ten-fold. A huge backdrop in the form of a beach painting will turn your studio apartment into a tropical hideaway. By the way, you don’t have to spend a thousand dollars at an art store for the painting. A search of the local thrift stores will usually turn up wonderful paintings, photos or prints for no more than twenty dollars. If you want to go all out on this beach theme, you may add a child’s tiny wading pool. Fill it a quarter-full with water and put play sand in the middle for a sandbar. Place a colorful pail of sand on top for an added touch.

One of the great things about living room design in a studio apartment is that if you can paint the apartment or wallpaper it in one day. If you are lucky enough to have hardwood floors, why not go for the Stockholm look? Paint three of the walls and the ceiling eggshell white. Apply a seal brown, or taupe-pattern of wallpaper to the fourth wall. Add curtains with a design similar to that of the wallpaper. A circular straw matt in the middle of the floor, and set off by a large floor vase of dried flowers will complete the look. By the way, this is an excellent design to use with a room divider.

In most cases, simple elegance is what gives an apartment studio a feeling of both charm and space. You can paint your central room old lace, and lay down a white sheepskin throw rug. A small, stately dining room set works well. You don’t have to buy a Hans Wegner set. A simple, well-polished oak table with matching chairs works just fine, especially if you top it with tall, white candles. A clock with Roman numerals works great in this setting, as does a stand with wildflowers.

Your studio apartment, if the living room design is done well, will be a place people want to visit. It doesn’t need to be a stopping off place for guests who wish to go elsewhere. By taking advantage of your creative side, your studio apartment may well be the envy of those with spacious houses and bigger budgets.