July 11, 2014
Living rooms are often the showplaces of people's homes, outfitted with their best furniture, beautiful hardwood floors like those in Anderson's Eagle Lodge hickory collection and collectibles that add character to the room design. But even those that haven't got much space can be expanded with well-known designer tricks.
There are ways to give the illusion of space and steps you can take to open up more square footage. Mirrors, colors and how you use your furnishings all have an effect on how much room you'll have at your disposal when you're done making over your favorite gathering place.
Start by analyzing your floor space and how much is taken up with things that can be put up higher, combined with other pieces or removed altogether. Fresh Home recommended clearing away things that are obviously clutter. There may be accessories or other non-essentials that you can do away with, too - some that could be replaced or others that may be given away. If you have bookshelves, be honest about whether they're keepsakes or books you will never read.
Do double duty
Look over your furniture to see what can be used for more than one purpose or replaced with new furnishings that do double-duty. Designers have embraced furniture of this type for apartment life, but they're also great space savers in older homes that sometimes have smaller living rooms, dining rooms and other common areas.
For instance, a large ottoman can serve as a surface to hold snacks and beverages when it's situated between two chairs. Many also have storage compartments underneath. You can also use the space under a coffee table for a storage case that matches the finish of your wood floors.
Create an illusion
Don't forget that light colors create an airy, expansive atmosphere within a room, giving the illusion that there's more space than really exists, according to HGTV. Paint the walls in a lighter hue and it will immediately give the sensation of being brighter and more open. Choose whatever color you like best, then add enough white, light gray or beige to form a lighter shade with a hint of your favorite hue.
That mirror on the wall can do the same trick for you as it has for magicians. In this case, the impression that you have double the space is reflected right at you from a mirror that's strategically placed. As a bonus, it also reflects light.