Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Downsizing: Living Room Tips


Downsizing is a trend right now and can save you money and make it possible to live in a way greater apartment or area of town than you normally could afford.  But you might need Apartment Therapy's guidance to figure out how to make the move to a smaller space, especially if you find that your generously sized furniture can't fit in your new diminutive living room.

First, think carefully about what kind of seating will fit the space.  Go ahead and acknowledge that you can't provide chairs for everyone of your friends and don't stuff in a couch and lots of armchairs.  You may even find that a few armchairs are a better fit for the space than a couch.  Of course, your space may be one where a larger sofa or a sectional which is the focus of the room does work well.  So think about how you use the seating in your living room and what makes sense for your life.

Second, take a long hard look at your technology and find ways to streamline it.  A flatscreen wall-mounted television will save tons of space and if you decide to forgo the DVD player and go with an online movie service like Netflix or Apple TV, you've freed up even more room.  Also, a small but good quality speaker dock instead of a large sound system will give you tunes without hogging valuable real estate.

Now it's time to examine your table needs.  A coffee table often impedes traffic way too much in a small living room, so think about perhaps using a compact end table or two, or a set of modest-sized nested tables to do the job of holding drinks and other necessary objects.

As for lighting, you don't have room on end tables for table lamps, so choose a hanging pendant which really stands out in the space and has the ability to provide a lot of illumination.  If you don't have an overhead light, go for floor lamps.

Finally, you'll have to get rid of a lot of stuff to fit in a smaller space, but you're still going to have some possessions, so you'll need storage.  Get creative with where you put things.  Go up to use the walls to their maximum potential, and use storage ottomans and chests that can be both tables and storage.  As you buy new things, try to adopt a "one in, one out" policy for books, decorative objects, and the other stuff that accumulates over time so you don't burst at the seams of your great new space!