living room

  • How to decorate with mirrors in the living room

    Often used both for functional and decorative purposes
    in areas such as bathrooms and bedrooms, mirrors can enhance virtually any space in
    your home. When it comes to your living room, you may have already selected
    chairs, bookcases, pictures, ornaments, lights and other pieces of furniture to
    lift the look and feel of the space, but you may be wondering what you can add
    as a final component to tie it all together.

    An attractive mirror could be the answer. These accessories possess many benefits, such as making rooms lighter, creating an illusion of extra space, and covering up any unwanted imperfections. In this guide, we look at how you could introduce a mirror into your living room and how doing so could take your interior design to the next level.

    How to hang a mirror on a wall

    In a bedroom, freestanding mirrors can help to accentuate the space and give you a chance to see how you look in your outfits from top to toe. However, in a living room, a mirror is generally better suited to being hung on a wall. Whether it’s positioned opposite a window to bounce more natural light around the room or to work alongside other mirrors in an interesting pattern, you’ll need to make sure that your mirror is firmly secured on the wall.

    To hang a mirror:

    1. Start by planning where you want it to go and check that nothing is behind this space in the wall that could prevent you from hanging it. There are tools that you can use to scan the chosen area. This equipment will alert you to any live wires or pipes that could potentially harm or obstruct you during the process of hanging your mirror.
    2. Hold your mirror up to the wall and mark where you want it to go with a pencil. The marking will either be an indication of the top of the mirror, the sides of the mirror or where the nail will go behind the mirror.
    3. At this point, you can choose how you want to hang your mirror. There are a number of methods, and some mirrors are fitted with a small hook on the back to save you the trouble of deciding the most appropriate option. However, in terms of large or awkwardly-shaped mirrors, it would be advisable to put a hook on either side of the mirror about a third of the way down the frame. Hammer a nail into the wall a few inches down from the top centre of where you want the mirror to go. You can then attach string to the hooks, allowing it to flow down by a couple of inches, and use it to suspend the mirror from the nail.
    4. Once you’ve hung the mirror, check that it’s straight by using a spirit level. If the mirror isn’t completely flat to the wall, you can secure it by putting mirror hanging strips, adhesive tape or even something as simple as Blu Tack in the corners or several areas along the back. Just be aware of how these methods might mark your wallpaper.

    A living room with a decorative mirror hung on the wall.

    A comfortable sofa and modern decor.

    Although this is the most traditional method of hanging
    a mirror, there are other techniques that are better suited to mirrors of
    different shapes, sizes and styles. Read on for help on hanging your mirror to
    a door or tiles, or hanging a frameless mirror.I

    How to attach a mirror to a wardrobe door

    Attaching mirrors to wardrobes, cabinets or other pieces
    of furniture designed for storage is often something done in bedrooms. However,
    as some living rooms also have these items of furniture, it’s a worthwhile
    consideration if you feel that a mirror would upgrade your furniture or
    disguise imperfections.

    How you attach the mirror onto the door of your wardrobe
    will depend on the mirror itself and the type of wood you’re fitting it to. For
    example, if you’re looking to fit a frameless mirror to a thin, hollow door,
    you could use an adhesive glue as long as you’re happy for the mirror to be
    permanently attached to the door. If you’re fitting a framed mirror on a thick
    door, you would be able to fit the mirror using small screws or nails
    connecting the mirror to the door through the frame.

    How to mount a mirror on tiles

    Tiles are rare in living rooms, but if the downstairs of
    your home is open plan or if you have a tiled wall for contrast, you may need
    help with hanging a mirror. Obviously, the concern with hanging a mirror on a
    tiled wall is that the tiles will split, crack and suffer damage.

    However, you’re actually able to use the same steps as
    you would for hanging a mirror using hooks and a nail as long as you use a
    drill bit that is designed for penetrating tile without damaging it.

    When it comes to drilling the hole (or holes if you’re
    mounting your mirror in a different way), you should start by wetting the drill
    bit before carefully drilling into the tile. To minimise the risk of damage,
    take regular breaks and apply more water during the drilling process to cool it
    down. After drilling the hole, you should fit a wall plug as this will help to
    prevent any damage once the nail or screw is fitted.

    How to hang a frameless mirror on a wall

    A frameless mirror can offer a luxurious appearance, easy maintenance and, because it has no frame, it can be simpler to hang as it’s likely to be lighter. Without a frame, however, you can’t simply attach hooks to the back and suspend the mirror from a nail in the wall as this would result in damage to the mirror. Alternative solutions such as adhesive tape or mirror hanging strips are quick and easy to use and, providing you fit them correctly, they’re just as reliable as nails. You could also consider an adhesive sealant, but this is a more permanent option and your wall is likely to be seriously damaged if you attempt to remove the mirror in the future.

    Fern xx

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  • How to arrange bookcases in the living room

    Not only does your bookcase provide a practical and convenient place to store your books, the content of your bookcase also illustrates your interests, style and personality. What you choose to display on your bookcase can say a lot about you, but while they’re widely recognised as suitable storage for your favourite reads, a bookcase can also offer another element to your home’s design.

    Along with sofas, coffee tables, lamps, plants, sets of drawers and ornaments, a bookcase is an important component of any living room. However, it’s only possible to strike a balance for the desired design of your living room by utilising these items in the correct way. Read on to find out how you can incorporate a bookcase in your living room.

    Where to put bookcases in a living room

     

    Before you choose the best location for your bookcase, you should consider a number of factors:

    Practicality

    An aesthetically pleasing bookcase is all well and good, but it’s not much use if it’s poorly situated. Consider putting your bookcase close to sofas or a dining set to make it easier to retrieve and read any of the books on it. That said, where you put your bookcase depends on how much you wish to read books from your collection or what you need the bookcase for. For example, if you frequently work from home, you may need specific books close to hand, but if you read casually but not often, overly easy access to your bookcase is not as important.

    Spacing

    Introducing another piece of furniture - however big or small - can alter the shape of your living room. You don’t want everything to be grouped together in the centre of the room just as you wouldn’t want everything to be at opposing sides of the area available to you, so it’s important to strike a balance by spacing everything out evenly.

    Purpose

    Aside from book storage and visual appearance, you have the option of making more uses out of your bookcase. It’s unlikely that you’ll want your bookcase to become a glorified drinks coaster, but if it’s situated near to sofas and chairs, it could be a good place to temporarily hold drinks, especially if you’re entertaining guests. Alternatively, if you have an entertainment system or games console in your living room, you could put your bookcase near to your television and use it to store DVDs, blu-ray and videogames.

    Coordination

    Even if you’ve gone out of your way to keep your furniture evenly spaced out around your living room, you may want to consider grouping your bookcase with another piece of furniture. This is likely to require some trial and error until you’re suitably happy, but if the design suits your sofa, fireplace, sideboard or television stand, it could be best suited near it.

    Shape

    Organising your living room in an effective manner is partly down to finding a harmony between every piece of furniture, alongside other components such as the flooring, colour and structural design of the room. It’s likely that you will have been wary of ruining this harmony when you first picked out your bookcase, but as much as you will want to make it work with how your living room is already set out, it’s also important to make use of the bookcase’s design.

    Introducing another piece of furniture such as a bookcase should accentuate the other elements that are already in your living room rather than making everything conflict with each other. For instance, if it was designed to be put into a corner, that’s likely to be the best place for it, and if it’s especially tall, it shouldn’t be put somewhere that it’ll stand out.

    A bookcase placed in the middle of a luxury sitting room.

    Can you put a bookshelf in front of a window?

    When you’re planning where to put your bookcase, you may consider putting it in front of a window. Whether it’s out of preference or simply due to a lack of space elsewhere, it’s worth considering, but you may be concerned if it would look clunky or block out natural light.

    Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid both of these potential issues by only partially covering the window with the bookcase. Tall bookcases are capable of covering just one side of a window, while short bookcases that block only the bottom of the window could also be utilized. Although not traditionally recommended, if a loss of natural light can be tolerated and you are struggling to find a better location for your book storage solutions, individual bookshelves that overlap across a section of the window could provide a good compromise.

  • How to place furniture in a living room

     Arranging the layout of any room can be difficult. Bedrooms are somehow simpler because there’s usually a limited number of places the bed can go and the bedside tables are usually placed either side. But your living room has multiple uses and deciding where your furniture should go can be hard. There’s nothing more irritating than being faced with a room that just doesn’t ‘feel’ right and you can’t put your finger on why.

    If you feel like this, you’re not alone, and it could be the layout of your living room that is causing problems. We’ve outlined how you can rearrange the furniture in your living room to make the best use of the space.

    Measure the room

    First, use a tape measure to ascertain the exact size of the room, including the size of the alcoves and any doors or windows.

    Next, take a pen, pencil and a ruler. Using your measurements, create a scale drawing of the room. If your living room measures 10m x 10m, scale this down for your drawing and make your square 10cm x 10cm. Your drawing should include the doors and windows as well as any permanent fixtures such as a staircase or fireplace.

    Then, measure your furniture and draw the shape on a piece of card using your scale. Cut this out and this will provide you with moveable paper furniture pieces that you can move around your drawing to work out where things should go.

    Figure out your focal point

    Before you can decide on a layout, you need to consider what your living room will be used for. Is it a place to watch TV or the room you use for socialising? Is it a casual living room or will it be used as a more formal lounge? The layout could differ depending on your answers to these questions.

    If your living room is used predominantly to watch TV, the TV is the focal point and your furniture should be arranged around it. The viewing distance between you and the TV should be between two and a half and three and a half metres. The viewing distance could be extended for particularly large TVs.

    If your living room is used more as a socialising space, your sofa and armchairs should be arranged so that everyone can see and talk to each other, no matter where they’re sitting. Your furniture should have enough space around it so that you and your guests can easily manoeuvre around the room without walking into anything.

    Top Tip: Don’t put all of your furniture flat against the wall. It’s better to keep your furniture closer together when possible to create a more intimate space.

    Remember to leave space for any accessories that may come with your seating area such as side tables or lamps. You don’t want to relocate your sofa only to find that your lamp won’t fit in the corner you wanted it to.

    Adding accessories

    Now you’ve decided on a layout for your furniture and have moved everything into its correct place. You may have noticed that you now need to buy certain items to complete the space. For example, is there an armchair that’s placed too far away from the coffee table so people cannot put their drinks down? A small nest of tables next to the armchair would be a good solution.

    You can place lamps in the corners of a room to brighten them and create a feeling of more space.

    How to arrange furniture in a small living room

    If you have a small living room, you may want to arrange your furniture to make it feel bigger. Here are some recommendations.

    Use mirrors

    Mirrors are a wonderful way to visually increase the size of the room without having to physically extend it. Mirrors will reflect the other half of the room, making a room feel double its size. They can also be placed opposite a window to provide additional light and make a room feel brighter.

    Additional storage

    Many small homes have very little storage, which means clutter can build up and make your home feel smaller. To get around this problem, you could invest in multifunctional furniture. For example, you could buy a large coffee table that has a lid that lifts up for you to put DVDs/electronics in and, instead of purchasing an L-shaped sofa, you could buy a normal sofa with a footstool that you can store things in.

    Avoid bulky furniture

    Bulky, oversized furniture will only make your small living room feel smaller. Instead, choose small-scale furniture, like a love seat instead of a full sized sofa.

    Scandinavian design uses very sleek, simple furniture and is a good style to choose if you have a small home. Most of the furniture is on legs so you can see the floor underneath which makes the furniture item appear smaller than it is.

    Blue sofa in Scandinavian style living room with parquet floor Photo by Jarek Ceborski

    Note how the small chair can barely be seen because it fades into the background so much. You’ll also notice that you can see the flooring under the sofa and the unit on the wall. If the unit came right down to the floor, it would make the room feel instantly smaller.

    The curtains are positioned as high up on the wall as possible. This makes the ceilings feel taller and the windows bigger.

    Arranging your small living room is all about making spaces appear bigger than they are and investing in clever storage solutions. To find out more about how you can arrange your furniture in a small living room, see the helpful illustrations from  Home Edit.

    Fern xx

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