5 ways to make your living room work for you
When you get home from a hard day’s work, the last thing you want to worry about is having to tidy up, put your cushions straight or make to-do lists for the weekend. You’ve worked hard and you’ve earned a break! But how inviting is your living room? How relaxing is your space? Do you feel that it truly works for you, or do you have areas that need attention? Ito make a room suit your needs, which is why we want to help.
By maximizing both space, storage and function, your living room can be a space that you WANT to rush home to, a space that you feel happy in and that you want to share with others. Let’s take a closer look at how you can transform a room with just a few minor tweaks.
Appreciating Your Space
It’s safe to say that over the last year or two we have all come to appreciate our homes a bit more. Whether they have turned into makeshift schools, temporary offices or simply a haven for you to feel safe and secure, spending all of this time in our living spaces has meant that the cracks have started to show (not literally, hopefully). Many of us now see that our spaces need to be multifunctional, need to be a safe environment and need to fill us with joy. This is why appreciating your space and investing energy into making it work for you is so important.
The three main criteria that we want in a space are:
Ensuring your living space is relaxing is vital for positive well-being and good mental health. When you return to a busy and cluttered home, it means that you can't just tune out and take time for yourself. This can lead to irritability, low self-esteem, and will ultimately wear you down. Putting some energy into creating a relaxing space can make a huge difference to your well-being. Of course, relaxation looks different for everyone and it’s important to note that not everybody finds candles, incense and ambient lighting relaxing. Just having a neat space to look at is calming in and of itself and worth the effort to achieve.
As we previously mentioned, our homes have taken on many functions over the last year or two. This may still be the case for you as many of us choose to work from home or to keep our kids home-schooled. But this is not a new phenomenon, many of us have lived in dual (or more) function spaces where one room can double up as a dining area as well as a living room. Another room can be transformed from a playroom to a workout space with a few clever storage solutions. It’s important to understand and consider the many functions of each space in your home when designing it and particularly when thinking about purchasing multi-functional furniture pieces.
- Social Space
In addition to being relaxing and functional, your space should also feel sociable. Whether it’s just you and a friend or whether it’s the entire family, designing a space that allows people to socialize and to interact with each other will make a whole difference. With all the hard work and effort you have put into your home, you will want to share it!
How To Make Your Living Room Work for You
Let’s get to it! Here are 5 ways to help make your living space work for you and your needs.
- Consider The Scale of Your Furniture
This may sound simple enough, but you’d be amazed by the difference that a simple change such as downsizing your coffee table or streamlining your desk space will make. People tend to buy furniture that gives a “wow” appeal without thinking about the scale of the piece in their rooms. For example, if you were to purchase an oversized 4 seater sofa only to realize that it took up most of your room, you would be frustrated.Instead, you could have bought a smaller loveseat and two side chairs that would provide much more space for coffee tables, floor lamps, and benches.
Taking the scale of your furniture into account is not always easy, especially when shopping online or faced with a perfect showroom. In cases like this, it is always a good idea to write down the dimensions of the products and measure them in your room. Compare them to existing furniture and see how much more or less space they take up. Do they consume a larger footprint in your already cramped space? Then don’t do it! Look for a piece that is streamlined and flexible.
- Think About Space
Similarly to scale, you also need to consider the space you are trying to work with. Do you have entryways that you need to keep clear? Does your room have a natural path of foot traffic that you need to allow for? Even considering where the light falls in your room all makes a difference to where you position your furniture. For example, placing a sofa in front of direct sunlight is going to cause sun damage and over time will affect the color of the fabric.
You need to think about the way you will move around your furniture and around the room. If you are tight on space the rounded corners and circular tables will help to minimize space and still provide function. If you are really stuck for space, then think about clever ways to add in the perception of more room such as playing with scale and adding mirrors for added impact. Not only will they look attractive, but they will also help to add light and the illusion of more space in your room too.
- Storage, storage, STORAGE
No one likes a cluttered room; it means that you aren’t able to relax properly or switch off from the day. This is why storage is so important in a living space. You might need to store away your paperwork, your books or even (in our case) craft supplies. Storage comes in a variety of options from bookcases to storage benches and can be very flexible.
It's important to consider the storage options in every room, regardless of whether you feel like you won't need it. Every room should have the ability to store the belongings that you don't want on display all the time. Other great options that don’t involve hiding your things behind cabinet doors are shelves for books under coffee tables or side tables. Being able to keep your favorite coffee table books out of sight without hiding them altogether will be a nice decor touch and will help create more space within your room as well.
- Functional Furniture
Following on from storage solutions, functional furniture can provide some very useful solutions to save space and at the same time act as a dual-purpose piece. For example, a lift-top coffee table with a hidden storage compartment inside can not only work to help hide your clutter, it can also act as a coffee table and even a work desk. It's like buying three pieces of furniture for the price of one!
Of course, it’s important to look at the design of these pieces when considering them for your space. There is no point in buying a functional piece when it doesn’t fit in with the style of your room, or when the design is so fussy that you’d rather look at the clutter. The key: try to pick functional furniture that is both attractive as well as functional.
- Adding Personality
Finally, when making your living space work for you, you need to make sure that you put your stamp on it. Add your personality into your room, after all, you are the one who is going to be enjoying it. For many of us, finding our personal style can be a bit of a guessing game. Do we like bold colors? Yes, well, in moderation. Do we like fussy prints? No, well, apart from that gorgeous rain-forest design. Do we know exactly what our style is? No. But don't let this put you off, because each and every decision you make about your design is a curation of your own style.
Our personality and style may often tie in nicely with today’s trends, with one such trend being sleek lines. Sleek, modern looks are popular because they help to keep the de-cluttered and spacious vibe going throughout the house. If you want to soften up these sleek lines, you can always add decorative objects such as flowers or some cozy textiles. Ensuring that you decorate with flexible add-ons will help you adapt your style over time without having to buy new furniture.
3 Elements To Consider When Choosing Furniture
For many of us the idea of investing in furniture is somewhat daunting. It can be difficult to know which brands offer high quality products, which will feel comfortable (especially when you are buying online) and what sort of price point you should be aiming for. Here are three elements to consider when choosing your furniture.
Smart style is not just about looking the part, it’s about acting the part as well. Look for items that are designed with both style and function in mind, as each item should not only work in any room scheme, it should serve multiple functions as well. With so many of us living in small apartments or being limited on space, it is essential that we think about dual function furniture to maximize the square footage we have..
In addition to this, we must choose a piece that can flexibly work with any style or design scheme. Natural materials and clean lines will fit into almost any scheme, making pieces flexible and adaptable to your changing style. It's not just about looking good now, it's about looking good forever and being able to adapt to each design trend as it appears (and disappears).
Of course it’s not just about the look, you need a bit of comfort too! Look for furniture that is made from high quality materials so that they will not just last longer, but also wear well as the time goes by. With more manufacturers prioritizing the care and consideration in the design of these pieces, comfort levels are a key element that will help them last over time.
When investing in your home, it is very important to consider the longevity of the furniture, especially given the effort you are putting into redesigning the space. It can take time and effort to completely select a home that reflects your personality and brings you joy, so why not respect that by investing in pieces "for life"? High-quality fabric and materials are the key!
One of the biggest reasons that people endure dysfunctional living spaces is because they worry that it will cost them a fortune to redesign the space. Fortunately, with a little thought and a smart choice, this investment doesn't have to be as high as you think. You can source high quality furniture at a price point that won’t break the bank with a little leg work.
If you are concerned that a piece is out of your price range, remember that this is an investment both for now and the future, so make sure you don't skimp on quality. If you're going to spend most of your budget on a specific furniture piece, it should be a durable, dual-function piece that will help your room work together in a more cohesive scheme. Not only will your furniture work for now, but you will also be investing in other design schemes (and who knows, possibly even new homes) in the future. Whether your budget is a few hundred dollars or a few thousand, be sure to focus a large percentage on furniture that will look stylish and work for you.
With just a little investment and careful consideration of the furniture you install in your home, you can create a living space that works for you and brings you joy. Why not take some time today to think about how you want your living space to function and what you could change to achieve it.