Small Living Room Decorating Ideas
Stuck with a small living room? Turn it into a family room, lounge, dining room and office with these multipurpose decorating ideas.
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For their sofa, the Ardens decided to maximize seating along the family room/lounge zone's main wall by opting for an L-shaped sectional with a left-arm chaise. "I had no idea what a right-arm or left-arm chaise meant. But after realizing that a sofa back would sit lower than our family room's window, we decided the L-shaped sofa would sit both Matt and I, as well as our dogs, Baxter and Teddy, perfectly," Jodi recalled. "Something to keep in mind when deciding on which side the chaise should sit on is that right-arm and left-arm refer to what side of the sofa the chaise is on based on standing directly in front of the sofa and looking at it, versus where the chaise sits based on being seated on the sofa." Not only did Jodi and Matt love the look, feel and fit of their new sofa, they especially appreciated how it took full advantage of the 8-foot wall. Matt comments, "Every square inch of the wall is now packed with seating. It completely maximized the space. It's great for lounging and watching TV, or having five or six friends over for drinks."
The elements surrounding the L-shaped sofa were equally as important as the sofa itself. With a 6-by-3-foot open span of space between the inside edge of the chaise and the opposite end of the sofa, Jodi and Matt opted for a low-profile, generously-sized coffee table. "The coffee table is genius. Not only does it use all of the space in front of the sofa functionally, but the top also hinges up to reveal two personal table tops that pull up to the edge of the sofa just above our knees," Matt says. "In essence, we kind of have two dining tables in the great room." To add light above the sofa and eliminate the need for end tables, Matt and Jodi opted for a floor lamp with an adjustable arm. The family room was grounded and delineated from the other zones thanks to an 8x10-foot silvery-grey jute boucle area rug. To finish off the seating area in a personal way, the Ardens had an entire filmstrip negative of Baxter and Teddy printed, then framed professionally online through Larson Juhl. Jodi comments, "We were originally going to group several framed photos together, but our designer said the scale was wrong. Instead, he suggested we use one large-scale piece almost the same size as the sofa to anchor the space. It turns out large art is the best choice for a small space. Who knew?"
In order to house the plethora of electronics and video components associated with their 52-inch flat screen TV, Matt and Jodi found a $35 dresser on Craigslist that was nearly the same length as the 8-foot wall opposite their sofa in the family room. To outfit the dresser as a media console, they had the drawer fronts removed, then installed on hinges that flip down to allow the video components to be operated by remote control. To give it an updated look, they had the media console refinished in glossy apple green paint. "The color for the console was pulled from the green found in our Roman shade," Jodi comments. "I'd never have though to use apple green and peacock blue, which we used for the wall color, together but they worked perfectly in the shade's fabric. So we pulled them into the room with furniture and accents."
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