Decor Tip: Awkward Living Rooms

Some rooms are just awkward.  Be they bedrooms or bathrooms, living rooms or dining rooms, some homes seem to have been constructed with little thought to cohesion or how a family might actually live in them.  Most rooms, however odd they may be, leave little space for interpretation.  Beds are non-negotiable, dining room tables leave few choices and bathrooms are pretty set with their fixtures.   Living rooms, though, can be quite a conundrum with many options.  And almost all of them have some feature that is apt to cause a struggle!  I've had some very strange living room configurations over the years, and here are a few things that have helped:

Tip 1: Planning is Paramount

The best way to deal with an awkward space, right off the bat, is planning.  Figure out what makes the space challenging (angled walls, wide pathways to other rooms, existing walls and nooks, etc).  Then figure out what you can't fix (for example my current living room has not one but TWO pathways to other spaces - it's complex!).  Map it out on paper if you can, and remember you need 36" pathways.  PRO TIP: Also map out where the electronic connections are.  If you want a TV in your living room, that really helps!

Tip #2: Divide the Space

There was a time, pre-pandemic, where most rooms had a singular function.  Now, multi-use spaces are all the rage!  Determine what functions your living room performs, and delineate space for each.  You can assign spaces using rugs, room dividers and even furniture.  PRO TIP: It's YOUR house, so there are no rules!  Maybe a settee and a couple of chairs suit your lifestyle better than a couch, or you want all unique Moroccan bean-bag chairs.  The purpose is to make it work for you and your family.

Tip #3:  Utilize Space to the Fullest

Certainly, there are some people for whom "awkward" can be described as "large."  And with that comes it's own set of issues.  But for most of us, our living rooms are awkward largely due to a lack of space, not an overabundance of it.  And when a space is super strange, it's easy to lose some of the square footage due to under-utilization.  Use every cranny!  Weird nook = cozy reading space.  Angled wall = fun space for art.  Strange column = potential for unique art.  Turn negatives into positives with personality!  PRO TIP: don't neglect vertical space!  Using shelving, tall lamps, fun wallpaper and unique art towards the ceiling brings the eye up and away from the larger furniture pieces.

BONUS TIP: When a space is small or awkward, it's easy to want to push all the furniture against the walls, making it feel even smaller and more awkward.  Let the walls breathe by floating furniture away from the walls, which will make the space feel more open.

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