There are a couple of things to consider for an effective small apartment living room design. Regardless if you are working or relaxing, storage and good seating are key considerations to make this space meet your needs.
Aside from being the place where you spend most of your waking hours, living rooms also function as a buffer zone between the refuge provided by your home and the outside world.
Living rooms, therefore, need to be easy to use, flexible and welcoming. Whatever your gut tells you, do not, at all, attempt to over- or under-furnish this very important space.
Living Room for the Living
Whether large or small from the total floor plan, living rooms are often multi-functional, including listening to music or watching television. Aside from these, most of us pay the bills, pursue hobbies, eat, and even work in here.
Therefore, furnishings that you use must be top-notch and hard-wearing. Being the most public part of a home,it should also be comfortable and adaptable (think of the frequency you entertain guests or last minute sleepovers from guests).
Despite its several uses, the living room need not be the biggest room in your apartment. For example, it is a better idea to turn the main room into a combined general family area and kitchen; as a result, just devote a smaller room for the television.
If you have another floor (loft-style), why not put the living room on an upper level, where the view and filtering natural light from the window are optimal?
When space is of great concern, you may want to try to expand it. If there is an adjacent hall, why not replace the wall between the two areas with decorative screens? Doing so will make it feel less poky, while still maintaining an overall feeling of privacy.
If a room is leading onto a terrace, you can replace an ordinary door with ornate French windows to make it brighter and feel bigger.
Strategic Apartment Content Management
Once you are contented with the location and shape of the living room, it is time to be mindful of the contents. As the room is primarily a place for relaxation, the most important of these is seating.
While the number and shape of chairs is a matter of personal preference, taste and budget, it is always a good starting point in acquiring at least 1-2 properly upholstered pieces. Forego a three-seater sofa for a two-seater sofas, as its more compact design they make it easier to experiment with the layout of the room while still serving the purpose.
If you plan to sit a substantial amount of time, divans, floor cushions and old dining chairs do not provide adequate support and comfort for the average back. A wiser choice will be director-style or wicker chairs, as you can also use them around the dining table.
You may find an upholstered ottoman or footstool useful, as it provides storage and extra seating. It can also function as temporary storage for magazines and newspapers. If this (or similar low tables) is to be placed in front of an armchair or sofa, try to leave about 18 inches for the legroom. Going for less than this will make the area unwelcoming and feel cramped.
Other Points to Consider
Not surprisingly in small apartments, the dining table may sometimes function as a hobby area or a desk. So better choose a sturdy one capable of withstanding spills and regular knocks. Its size should not deter it from being mindful of the space.
For instance, rectangular trestle tables ideally suit narrow rooms and hallways, while a round table can be pushed on one a corner when you are not using it.
Storage and seating should be combined wherever possible. But at the same time, you should provide extra space for books, compact devices and the other necessities of modern living.
Freestanding storage has the edge of mobility when you move house, and can be used as a space divide or an excellent focal point. On the other hand, built-in units make the best use of space, and they can be custom-made to respond to your needs. They are also costly, however, unless you choose simpler types of open shelving.
Last but not the least, pay attention to decorative clutter, as it can all too easily mess a room. To counter this, organize your stuff in the form of themed groups or displayed collections, and limit them in a specific area.