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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As far as color is concerned, the Ardens are happy with their designer's advice to choose a dark hue for the walls in their small space. Jodi initially assumed dark colors would instantly make the small space even smaller; however, she's thrilled with the overall effect, stating: "Believe it or not, the peacock blue on the walls makes the room feel larger. It's almost like the dark blue walls fall back and let the furniture and bold apple green jolts of color take center stage." All three zones carry the blue tone through accents, including the graphic art and a shag area rug in the formal dining area as well as baskets and accents in the office.
One of the key elements aiding in the successful design of the Ardens' dining space is their 42-inch round pedestal tabletop. Round tables in small spaces allow more seating than square tables, since there are no harsh corners to make a spot uncomfortable for guests. Jodi and Matt can seat up to six guests comfortably at the table. Also, the open circle cutouts in the pedestal base allow Jodi, Matt and guests to see directly through it, creating the illusion of slightly more space. The brown of the aged-leather upholstery on the vintage 1960s dining chairs carries over to the bookshelves, reflected in the wallpaper that was added to the back panels. The bookshelves, which also serve as room dividers, keep most of Matt and Jodi's tableware organized and within arm's reach. In order to add lighting to the dark corner, two swag hooks were screwed into the ceiling to allow a swag pendant light to hang directly over the table, then swing back to the wall where it's plugged into a nearby outlet.
Both the dining area and family room/lounge area are separated from the apartment's entry and private office by two pairs of ready-made bookshelves bought at a local office supply store for $49 each. By securing them to the walls and floor with L-brackets, adding wallpaper to the back, then trimming the exposed sides with 1x3 MDF (medium density fiberboard) and luan, the money-saving storage solution doubles as an architectural feature. One side has been dedicated to holding dining room supplies, while the other is a dedicated organizer for office supplies, bills, important documents and, most important, Matt's pair of Emmy® Awards. Matt comments, "Not only do I love the fact that we now have a fully functioning home office, but I find my favorite household items in it the moment I walk through the door: my dogs and my Emmys."
On a budget of $7500 and a timeline of three weeks, the Ardens are now living large in their small space. From the open storage solutions in the office and formal dining areas to the concealed storage of their media center, the apartment is staying tidy and organized. And with their great room complete, the couple has started saving and planning for the next phase of their small apartment's design, its 120-square-foot bedroom. Perhaps a Murphy bed will be in their near future?
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