Taking a break from the traditional sofa-and-table setup can create the negative space a room needs. Removing traditionally placed furniture is not about minimalism and empty spaces, but rather about liberating areas to highlight elements that personalize and add character, as shown in this tranquil room. A pared-down arrangement may seem bare at first, but your eye will quickly acclimatize to a cleaner, calmer look. Alternatively, negative space can de-emphasize architectural features that you don't wish to draw attention to, such as awkward angles or a too-high ceiling. When you offer plenty of visual interest at floor level, hardly anybody looks upward. Depending on perspective, negative and positive areas may swap places. Viewed one way, the four-petaled floral shape on these tiles is positive, and the white becomes negative space. The illusion is reversible, revealing a pointed white diamond in a black circle.
Anchor floating furniture. If your sofa sits in the middle of your living room, anchor it with a sofa table so it doesn't look like a floating island. This will make the area seem more structured and substantial instead of looking as though something is missing. You can put a lamp or two on the table to create a reading spot where side tables won't fit. Plus, a sofa table draws your eye away from unsightly upholstery seams or lesser grades of leather on the back of your sofa. Ideally, the table should be a bit lower than the sofa back. Tables substantially higher tend to look a bit off and can knock the back of heads. Embrace nature's softer side. Slick and polished surfaces can feel hard, and their reflections have a tendency to cause eye fatigue — not exactly the hospitable feeling you want in your living room. Texture will add visual warmth and a richer, more tactile experience.
Aim for flexibility in lighting. Similar to dressing in multiple layers in winter, layering drapery panes over shades for maximum light adjustment in your living room will make it more pleasant to use at different times of the day and year, as well as for various activities. Drapes also visually soften the hard-edged appearance of Venetian blinds while adding style. This living room, for example, would look a bit bland without the light blue drapery. Wrap yourself up. A cozy throw is perhaps the easiest and cheapest living room addition. It'll get loads of use in the winter, and even in the summer by guests who may not fully appreciate your AC setting.
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