Balancing Act

Striking a balance between form and function can be a challenge. Especially in a small space. With several functions.

Because our home is fashioned in an open-living manner, their is one large space designated to the kitchen, dining and living rooms. While I love the architectural approach, it does lend to some design challenges. Function definitely won over form in our living room.

The current focus of this space (said living room, shown above) has been on the television. One sofa and ottoman. Two chairs. All in direct line of the tv. Unfortunately, this set-up has taken away from the room serving as an entertaining space. The arrangement is not conducive to entertaining more than a couple of friends. We need more symmetry in the room. A balance, with visual interest and proper function.

Such balance, as found in the these images:

The common denominator in these rooms, and an arrangement I find welcoming, are the facing sofas. There is symmetry and balance in function and form. These spaces encourage conversation and allow for television viewing (if that is relevant in your space).

While researching this topic, I learned a few additional rules to decorating a living room:

1. Anchor the space. Rugs should span nearly 60% of the space. An undersized rug will make a small room feel even smaller. Sofas with distinct legs, can sit slightly on the rug. Those whose legs are more substantial, can sit off the rug a few inches.

2. Coffee tables. The most versatile coffee table is an ottoman, topped with a tray. It should be two-thirds as wide as sofa and should sit a couple of inches lower. If the room doesn't allow for a wide coffee table, choose one that is long and skinny.

3. Mix of Patterns. Add unexpected pattern and texture to the sofa, rug or walls. Not all three. Too much pattern can be....too much.

4. Personality is Everything. Layer the space with decor that is personally relevant. Kids' art. Favorite books. Family antiques.

What do you think is the proper living room arrangement? A space that welcomes conversation and family television viewing. Does a happy medium between form and function exist?

Sources//Brad Ford ID//House Beautiful
Images from Top//1//2//3//4

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