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Increasing living space

Increasing living space

The place where most of us spend most of the time, the living room tends to be one of the biggest areas in a home. How often have you seen a kitchen squeezed into a corner, a dining room knocked out of existence or a side return eaten up into an interior just to make way for a large, spacious living area? It is easy to see why this part of the home demands so much space today. It is where we unwind; where we chat with our friends; where we watch television; where we listen music. As our homes have become more informal and less divided places, the living room has become the ultimate multi – purpose space.

It would be easy for those of us with small homes to be put off by all those giant do – it – all living areas we see in glossy magazines and to think that we simply haven`t the space to create something similar in our own interiors. We should not be deterred, however. The fact that homes are no longer expected to contain a series of single – function rooms and, instead, can contain doubled – or even tripled – up areas ( the kitchen – cum – dining – cum– sitting room, for example) can only be a blessing for those of us with little space. There are also many ways you can make even a tiny, enclosed space seem bigger. We will give you a couple of tips:

If you need more space and have a reasonable budget to work with, think first about what changes you can make to the structure of your home. You can knock two rooms together (a front room and hall, perhaps) to create one larger living area. Even minor alterations, such as repositioning a door, can have an unexpectedly major impact.

What to do with an increasing amount of audio – visual gear is a perennial problem for any home owner, but it takes on more resonance in a tiny living room. What you don`t want is a collection of mismatched units stacked up in corner with cables trailing; what you should be after, instead, is a ordered or, better still, a concealed system which will reduce clutter and thus make your room seem bigger.

If you are completely restructuring your living room, try to get as many of the brown goods as you can built in. DVDs, stereos, videos, speakers and even the television can be hidden away in a cupboard built just for the purpose. Television cabinets may have had a bed press in the past, but the concept of concealment was a good one. It works especially well if you create not individual storage units for each item but a seamless wall of floor – to – ceiling cupboards which can accommodate all of them and more (this way, when the doors are closed, the cupboards become almost invisible). If you can`t afford to build new storage, make the most of want you have and think laterally. Place the television in that revamped fireplace – as long as the fireplace is not still in use – or put it on a pivoting arm and attach it to the wall or in an unused alcove. If money is no object, you could always buy yourself an almost flat plasma – screen television, of course, and hang it, like a painting, on the wall.

Books take up huge amount of space, and if you want to keep a collection you will need to create an effective storage system. Hide them, if you can, in built – in cupboards, or create a shelving system (though books on show will clutter up your room visually). If you have no space for cupboards or shelves, install a long low bench– like plinth along a wall and hide your books underneath or keep most of your collection stored away (in a loft, perhaps) and just stack up your favorites on the floor like a coffee table.

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