Friday, January 15, 2016 / by Vanessa Saunders
A living room is for l-i-v-i-n-g, not an opportunity for claustrophobia. If you're feeling the pinch of a not-so-spacious gathering area, take charge. Transform a small, yet soon-to-be-mighty living space into a welcoming license to chill with these tricks of the trade.
1. Draw the eye up. One way to accomplish this is with ceiling art. A sparse, light etching will complete the task without all the drama.
While you're up there, hang or install a shelf. If you're hankering for storage or display options, but the floor is occupied, rise up. Similar to the decorative ceiling option, a shelf high above the surface will command elevated attention.
2. Reduce the accommodation clutter. Instead of 15 seating options in your living room, fill small spaces with one expansive piece of furniture. Sectional sofas or traditional couches with large ottomans equip you and your guests with resting areas without the fuss.
3. Get clear. Anything transparent will fool the eye, creating the illusion of space. Glass-topped tables, or glass lamp bases, reduce definitive edges, allowing the line of vision a free pass to keep moving. Another permeable perspective for a larger space is see-through furniture. Lucite has reclaimed its respect and is back from the mid-modern days with fervor. Designers like Alexandra Von Furstenberg are adding contemporary updates to acrylic, bringing a classic adaptation into today's living rooms.
4. Mirror, mirror on the wall, are you the best option of them all? Maybe, maybe not is my immediate answer. Yes, they reflect light, but they also reflect unsightly elements as well.
First consider what the mirror will be reflecting. Feng Shui aside, because there are so many conflicting opinions of what is right according to the ancient tradition, look at what you are bouncing back twice. If it is lovely, then by all means, double the vantage point. But, if it's not an ideal vista, try something else. Do you have an east-facing window? Adding a mirror to an opposite wall will act as double shot of el sol.
5. Strategic art. An option to create space without reflection is an art piece with a vanishing point. Vanishing points are the artistic translations of infinity. You feel like you're walking down a long hallway, but in reality it's a two-dimensional creation made to look like unrestricted territory. Your eyes travel along this surreal corridor to places unknown while everything else stays put. Where will it take you?
6. Optical illusion. Yes, you can literally use smoke and mirrors to make any room appear bigger by putting a candle in front of a reflective surface, but if this isn't your taste, go a different route.
Make your living space reflect your style, above all else. If you're prone to dark colors, then go for it. Bright and packed to the gills calling your name? Have fun filling the room with fun and fancy. You be you.