Furniture Arrangement Ideas for Small Living Rooms

If your home has a living room which is on the small side, you may feel cramped or even isolated, as though you can’t relax with your family or even entertain guests for fear of them feeling claustrophobic. You’re not alone, but there are actually a lot of tips and hacks you can use to make the most of your space. Not only can you make your living room appear larger, if you are savvy with your arrangement you can actually open up a lot more space – and that means enough room for both you and your visitors to feel cozy, but not cramped.

Tips for Making Your Living Room Spacier

Be Smart with Light, Shade and Color Palette

When you make use of white pained walls, subtle pastel furnishings, and tie it together with neutral drapes and carpeting, your living area will feel much brighter and lighter, which will result in it appearing much roomier.

Make sure that you make the most of the light entering the room, as this illuminates and further visually expands the space. The easiest way to achieve this is by keeping your window treatments as simple as possible to avoid obstructing the light from the windows. Using visually light furniture also goes a long way toward creating a light, open feel to your living space. Light wood, metal and glass pieces all fit very well with this approach.

Create an Unobstructed Path

A great way to create a free flowing space is to ensure that there is a clear path through the space. Be sure to arrange your furniture in such a way that it directs traffic centered around the conversation midpoint, as opposed to directly through it.

Functional Furniture

Let your furniture provide function as well as decor, and make the most of that functionality to maximize the space you can get out of it. An example of a very handy space-saving furniture piece is your bank of cabinets. This provides storage to de-clutter the room, and if it is a pale wood then it adds to the airy lightness of the room.

Choose furniture which is appropriate to the scale of the living room. For example, a small bench or ottoman can double as a coffee table without requiring additional space.

Let Your Decor Multi-Task

You don’t need so much furniture if your pieces have more than one purpose. For example, your window niche can become a small relaxing area, complete with a window seat, which can further provide storage functionality. You can even add extra storage space by building shelves in between your wall studs.

Choose a Focal Corner

Your living rooms space is determined by more than just it’s square dimensions, If you can arrange your furniture and decor to accentuate the vertical lines, as well as additional lines to converge at eye level, then your living space will never feel cramped or claustrophobia.

About the Guest Author

Apex Window Werks provides wood window repair services in Chicagoland area. Their specialists can replace a broken window glass, remove moisture from double pane windows and even replace your old windows. Feel free to get in touch with Apex for a free quote.

Color My World

Am I blue? Seeing red? Got a yellow streak?  The colors of our environment have a subtle, unspoken and profound influence on our lives.  So much so, that we’ve even named some of our emotions for different colors.  This article will concentrate on the effects of color.

It was Sir Isaac Newton who first coaxed colors out of white light and joined the two ends of the spectrum but it was Johann Wolfgang Goethe who investigated the emotional impacts of colors.  Goethe divided colors into two groups: the “plus” side of reds and yellows that he felt were exciting and cheerful, and the “minus” side of greens and blues that he felt denoted weakness and unsettled feelings.  Some of our emotional perception of colors has roots in our own biology.  We have fewer receptors in our eyes to perceive blue, so we see the color as unfocused and calming.

Here’s a litany of some common colors and the emotions often associated with them.

Blue, the color of sky and sea, is associated with trust, wisdom, confidence and faith.  This color is most favored among males and is frequently used to promote products associated with cleanliness.  Light blue is associated with health, tranquility and understanding.  Dark blue represents power, knowledge and integrity.

Green, the most predominate color in nature, symbolizes growth, harmony and freshness.  It has a strong correspondence with safety (think “green light”).  It is restful to the eye and suggests stability and endurance.  Dark green is associated with ambition and greed.  With yellow-green, we think of sickness, cowardice and jealousy, with aqua we think of healing and protection and olive green is the tradition color of peace (eg. the olive branch).

Yellow reminds us of sunshine and is associated with happiness, joy and energy.  Men may perceive yellow as a “childish” color and associate it with frivolousness.  It’s great for attracting attention, which is why it is used for cabs. Dull or dingy yellows designate caution and decay, while light yellow is associated with intellect, freshness and joy.

Red, the color of fire and blood, represents energy, danger, passion and desire.  Seeing it increases our heart rate and raises our blood pressure.  Perhaps appropriately, it is used to signal danger (red light) and eroticism (red lipstick). Light red represents joy, sexuality and love, pink is associated with femininity and friendship, dark red with vigor, willpower, anger and rage and the color brown denotes stability and masculinity.

Orange, combining the energy of red and the happiness of yellow, is associated with enthusiasm, fascination, encouragement, sunshine and the tropics.  My experience is that nobody is neutral about orange.  You either love it or hate it. Dark orange can signify deceit and distrust, gold meets up with prestige, illumination, high-quality and wisdom.

Purple combines the stability of blue with the energy of red.  It is the traditional color of royalty, connoting power, luxury and ambition.  It conveys wealth and extravagance.  Approximately 75 per cent of pre-adolescent children prefer purple.  Light purple, or lavender, evokes romance and nostalgia, dark purple can evoke gloom and sadness.

Although black can be associated with death, evil and mystery it also summons feelings of strength, elegance and prestige (think formal attire) and its complement, white, is the color of purity.

Emotional responses to color are, in part, affected by our cultural heritage and personal experiences so don’t think of these as necessary responses to the color but rather how many people see them.  Next time, we’ll talk about how to combine colors.  And if you can find the right colors for your home, I’ll be tickled pink.

Shopping Case Goods

Let’s talk about the Great American Pastime…shopping…and how to find good furniture.  First of all, I’ll start with 3 axioms.  Everybody wants a bargain. Value is made up of both price and quality. And, lastly, you should buy the best quality piece of furniture you can afford.

Of course, there are exceptions to this last one.  If you’re moving every year, or on an extremely tight budget, you may want dispose-a-furniture, but for your sake and the sake of the environment, it’s better to get something that lasts.  It’s better to give something away than to throw something away.

We’ll start with case goods.  These are chests of drawers, vanities, dressers, sideboards, armoires, entertainment centers, think anything big and rectangular.

Low budget case goods may be made up of particle board or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).  Their finishes will be paper or vinyl veneer with the grain painted on or covered in house paint or enamel.  The joints are butt-lapped (end to edge) and held together with staples.  The back is likely to be cardboard (glued or nailed on) as will be the bottom of the drawers.  The drawer fronts will be attached with glue or screws.  If it’s an armoire or entertainment center, the doors won’t open all the way back to the sides of the case.  The carved details will be plastic or resin rather than carved wood.  Based on my own experience, expect three to five years of use.

Middle of the line pieces will be made out of plywood with multiple ply veneers and have a finish of colored lacquer or Formica.  The joinery may be a mixture but the best joints will have dovetails, dadoes or mortise and tenon joints.  The back will be recessed in a rabbeted joint and be nailed or screwed on.  Only the back of the piece will look different than the front or sides.  The drawer bottoms will sit inside a dado joint ( a little groove) and be either masonite or thin plywood.  The drawer fronts will be attached with a mortise and tenon joint.  The drawers will use metal glides and you’ll be easily able to access the back of the drawer.  The inside may be sanded and finished. Depending on use, you’ll have these items for ten to fifteen years.

Heirloom pieces, those which you can pass down to your grandkids, will be a whole ‘nother cat.  They’ll be made out of solid wood or may have up to 7 plys in the veneer.  The look will be a hand rubbed finish, although, truth to tell, most commercial finishes are sprayed on with a high volume low pressure (HVLP) sprayer these days.  The inside of the cabinet should have blocks in corners to increase stability.  The blocks should be at least glued and may be screwed.  Almost all the joinery will be dovetails, dadoes, some mortise and tenon and even some miter joints.  Like before, the back will be rabbetted in and sometimes will have a finish (although since this is rarely seen, not all do).  Under the drawers, which set inside a dado groove, you’ll see corner blocks and the bottom will be made of plywood or solid wood.  The quality of the drawer glides should be noticeably better and allow full access to the inside.  The inside of the drawers may be stained and finished.  The doors should have either piano (long) hinges or slide back into the cabinet (pocket doors) or be double hinged so they’ll open all the way to sides of the cabinet.

It’s worth noting that these are really ideals and you’ll frequently find a mix of better and lesser qualities (hey, just like me) in the same item.  A visit to an antique or used furniture store (shameless plug) is a good way to see a variety of techniques, woods and finishes.

And I highly recommend talking with your customer sales associate (aka salesman) if you have any questions.  Shopping is all about trust.  You trust that what you’re buying is worth your money.  The salesman trusts your check is good.

Old Furniture Deserves a New Life

If you want to have something truly unique in your home without wasting tons of money and, most importantly, increasing your carbon footprint, consider the art of upcycling and repurposing. Even the oldest furniture pieces can look dashing with a little bit of effort. Basically, you can figure out a whole new idea and purpose for an old chair or simply breathe new life into your furniture. There’s no reason to rush into consumer craze when your own creativity can achieve so much, both for your home and the environment.

Photo Credits: blog.confessionsofanewoldhomeowner.com

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Painting and refinishing

If you have some old, shabby-looking wooden furniture pieces, there are plenty of options in store. You can go for a really rustic look by simply sanding the wooden surface. You can leave the piece half-sanded and add paint for a true antique vibe, or refinish the entire piece and give it a fresh coat of paint all over. Of course, you’re not limited to only one color. You can mix and match different shades and patterns in order to get an amazing, unique piece. This project can involve old shelves, tables, chairs, cabinets and whatever else you want to spruce up.

Spray paint to the rescue

Another great way to give your old furniture a new look is to use spray paint. If you’re going to upcycle wooden objects, make sure to sand them first. Pieces made of stone and metal don’t require this step. Recently, metallic style décor has become really popular. In that respect you can add a touch of gold, silver, copper or rose gold to your old pieces in a jiffy. The best thing about this easy trend is that you can choose between matte and shiny spray finishes, and even combine the two. What’s more, there’s this trend of gluing little bits and bobs to larger surfaces, thus making something completely extravagant. Take a look at interesting home décor online to see if anything can be a good match for a such project. You can spray the decorative pieces as well to unify the look.

Photo Credits: diysmartly.com

before and after 

 

Stencils and wallpaper

You can make something even more interesting and eye-pleasing than a simple repainted furniture piece. For example, you can use store-bought stencils or use pretty much anything you want for imprint in order to add a personal touch to your old furniture. On the other hand, wallpapers and decoupage technique can be used to jazz up the entire piece or to add decorative details. For example, you can refinish and repaint your cabinet, but also liven up the cabinet doors with decorative paper, wallpaper, pages from comic books as well as napkins.

Décor bits and pieces

It’s not all about giving a completely new look to your old furniture. Sometimes you just want to improve the furniture you already have. In that respect, you can reupholster your chairs and sofas instead of buying completely new ones. You can give a whole new look to your bed with some nice curtains, thus making a canopy bed. And sometimes, a few tiny tweaks here and there can transform any room. For example, check to see whether your furniture doors need new knobs. Moreover, you can bring old furniture to life by adding beautiful faux plants details that would match a vintage look really well. Also, you can use faux vines to decorate the beds and mirrors even.

Photo Credits: toneontoneantiques.blogspot.com

 old furniture

 Repurpose to your heart’s content

Have you ever thought about various ways you can reuse your old things? An old mirror frame can be used as a picture frame and vice versa. Old trunks, chairs and ottomans can be transformed into coffee tables and storage solutions. Your outdoor table can also be a desk, while that tall and sleek wardrobe can end up being a perfect shelf or cabinet. Window shades as well as ladders can be a great solution for vertical gardens, too.

There’s hardly anything furniture-wise that cannot be repaired or reused. In that respect, put your creativity to the test. Play with online ideas and inspirations or try your own out. You may find that the product of your own work is a lot more functional and beautiful than something you can buy.

For more useful articles, visit our blog at https://olyfurnitureworks.com/blog.

How Do Textures and Materials Impact Your Interior Design?

Interior design enthusiasts and professionals always stress on making the right choices – the perfect couch for the living room, a solid and beautiful dining table, the color of paint on walls and floors, etc. However, one essential aspect often gets overlooked, i.e. choosing the right materials and textures.

 

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Importance of Texture in Interior Design

Texture plays a huge role in creating the mood of a space, impacting its visual as well as tactile appeal. Here are some of the basic aspects to consider:

  1. Colors – The color palette you’ve chosen will help determine what type of textural elements you should use. Monochromatic and harmonious color schemes can be given more depth and visual interest when you add contrast with mixed textures. With complementary colors, the use of similar textures helps to create a more cohesive look throughout the space.
  2. Materials – Carefully select materials that help define and balance the space. For instance, a cowhide rug has an interesting mix of textures that lends warmth and sophistication to bedrooms, living areas and entryways. Cowhide accessories are great for children’s rooms too, offering both visual and tactile stimuli during their early development.

Practicality – While selecting materials, ensure they are both practical and versatile. For items placed in direct sunlight, choose materials that won’t fade. If a home has children or pets, choose durable leather rugs or cowhide furniture. These repel dirt, dust and fur, in addition to being stain-resistant and sturdy enough to handle heavy foot traffic.

How Textures Work with Light

Different textures interact with light by absorbing reflecting, or diffusing it. For instance:

  • Smooth Textures – When you use smooth, reflective materials such as satin or silk in a room, they reflect light to make the space seem larger and lighter. Mirrors, glossy-finish metallic elements and lustrous wall paint can have the same effect. These materials can make colors seem deeper and more saturated as well.
  • Rough Textures – Rougher textures that absorb light are perfect for creating a cozy and comfortable feel. For instance, floor rugs made of animal hide, fabric or wool make colors seem more subtle and refined. Unpolished stone or wood, frosted glass, and matte-finish metal or paint will also make the space seem warmer.

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Select the Right Textures for the Style

The “look” and “feel” of a room can be transformed with texture, as well as the materials used to create it. For instance:

  • Rustic Interiors – The key here is to play up natural elements that absorb light, such as wood, stone and leather. Hardwood floors, cowhide couches or armchairs, large sofa cushions and soft rugs help make the space warm and welcoming.
  • Luxurious Style – If you want glamourous interiors, use rich colors and textures that both capture and reflect light. Soft velvet upholstery creates a wonderful sense of opulence, and leather rugs add smooth sophistication to any space.
  • Modern Design – This style is defined by simple color schemes, reflective textures and glossy materials that make the space seem more open and airy. Lasered rugs paired with metallic elements can help you capture a sleek and modern look.

Remember, trends will change with time. Natural elements are always in vogue, so look for cowhide rugs online, along with other accessories that capture your style!

Author Bio: Caroline Modig works at Art Hide and oversees their marketing and promotional efforts. Her passion for interior design and the knowledge she gained over the years allows her to find time from her busy schedule to write informative blogs about interior trends, popular styling tips and everything related. When she isn’t working or writing, you can find her relaxing to some contemporary jazz while solving puzzles.

Find more useful articles in our blog at https://olyfurnitureworks.com/blog.
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