Managing Space in Living Room Efficiently

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's an expression of your personality, on display to all visitors – and it makes both the first, and the last, impression. It's also where family members congregate to lounge around, to watch television, to read or simply for a relaxed chat. Designing this space correctly is crucial.

FURNITURE: Consider the focal point and arrange the rest of your furniture around it. If you have an imposing statue, for instance, or a grand piano, let this be the center of attention, and set the other furniture around it. It's important to consider traffic in the area; does the arrangement allow free movement and give an uncluttered look? Try off-square angles, for a warmer and more casual look. Also, instead of having your sofa touch the wall, you could consider placing it a foot or so away and install a plant or a lamp. To create a “lived-in” aura for your living area, position small furniture in the room. This can be a small bench, or a low sofa table. Place magazines, journals and newspapers under the table. Placing flower vases, baskets and small plants on your table also creates beauty and livens up the room.

For people who have space and want to make a statement, a 12-ft running sofa in artificial leather and off-white will get your guests talking. There is a growing preference for antique furniture used in consonance with contemporary furniture – for instance, a straight-line sofa set with an ornate center table. Today, furniture suitable for different segments of society is available.

COLOURS: Do you want your hall to be a vibrant, or a restful, space? Colours can intimidate, invite or irritate. Green is a relaxing colour and there are several shades to choose from. At the other end of the spectrum, there are people who like orange and red on their walls. Choose a shade that goes with your personality, and ensure your carpets and furniture are well-coordinated. Of course, for the most classic, elegant look, creams and whites always work best, providing the perfect canvas for experimentation with upholstery and furniture.

MIRRORS: If your room is small, particularly, mirrors can add space and depth.

LIGHTING: This can really create or affect the mood in your living room. Don't go in for harsh tube-lights in your living room; they may seem more practical, but do not do anything to bring in a soothing atmosphere. Try focus lighting for items like artifacts and paintings.

WORKING WITH A BUDGET: If your budget is low – say, about a lakh for the living room, opt for basic, minimalistic furniture – cane sofas can also be truly elegant. Colourful mosaics or simple kotah or Jaisalmer stone slabs should be used for flooring to give warmth. Rugs or colourful chatais or durries can be dramatic. Use earthy cottons for upholstery so that stains aren't too visible, and stack colourful cushions around to make your space welcoming. Carry the terracotta theme further with pots and other artifacts. Straight lines, with minimum maintenance and materials are quick to work. Try ceramic or vitrified tiles in an economical range. For the walls, velvet touch emulsion paint can be used.

Instead of opting for expensive materials like marble, play with colour and texture. Avoid false ceilings since they can be expensive and will need maintenance. Of course, if you have a high budget, there is nothing like Italian marble and expensive artifacts to make your living room special.

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