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Arranging a Small Living Room

living-room-layout-toolLive large in a small living room by rearranging the furniture to create the illusion of more space. A well-designed layout is also more functional, aesthetically pleasing and safer. Integrate some professional decorating tips to help you make optimal use of the available space in your small living room.

Available Space

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When rearranging a small living room, it’s important to make good use of every inch of available space — both floor and wall. For example, design a functional accent wall to look like a built-in architectural feature by placing several tall shelving units adjacent to each other along a bare wall. Fill the shelves with hardbound books, your favorite framed photographs, woven baskets, pots of greenery and colorful pottery. Avoid cluttering the available floor space with excessive furniture; furnish your living room with only those pieces that you’ll actually use. In addition, keep the size of your pieces in scale with the small room size. And don’t overlook the design possibilities of a vacant corner as an ideal spot for a large potted tree, cozy reading nook or a small L-shaped sectional.

Focal Point

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Rearrange your furniture around a natural focal point in a small living room to fully enjoy the special element. For example, float a loveseat directly across from a fireplace focal point to take optimal advantage of the cozy architectural feature. When you float furniture away from a wall in a small living room, you also add visual volume. A large picture window with a spectacular view and a wall-mounted television offer alternative focal points for rearranging your furniture.

Space Guidelines

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Follow the recommended furniture layout guidelines used by professional decorators when you rearrange your small living room. Space guidelines help you design a better functioning room that is also attractive. For example, you should leave at least a three-foot clearance for frequently used main passageways, including the area in front of a sliding glass door. Allow 12 to 18 inches between a coffee table and the front edge of a sofa or sectional. Two furniture pieces need a minimum of 22 inches between them for comfortable passage. Position a couch a few inches away from the wall to offer a little breathing room while making a small living room seem larger.

Area Rugs

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Use area rugs to define separate spaces of a small, open-concept living room that’s furnished with hard-surface flooring. For example, divide a small living room into a conversation area and study space by placing an area rug at each end of the room. Center a large ottoman in the middle of one rug, surrounding it with four comfortable armchairs to create a square-shaped furniture grouping. Place a small desk and chair on the remaining rug to deliver the illusion of a separate study space. Leave at least one or two feet of exposed flooring around the perimeter of an area rug to avoid the cramped appearance of an even smaller room.