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The living room is an important hub of the home. At the end of a long weekday, the whole family often congregates there to do homework, read, watch TV or play games. Even though it's often a large, wide-open space, it can be challenging to create a room that accommodates living room furniture including sofas, armchairs, coffee tables, TV stands and bookshelves. Fortunately, making the right purchases, thinking creatively about storage and reconsidering the layout can help make your living room functional, relaxing and aesthetically pleasing.

Invest in some double-duty living room furniture.

When the space you have isn’t quite enough, it’s important to find furniture that has more than one purpose. Adding double-duty pieces is a great way to conserve room and save money, especially with a large or growing family. Instead of buying a traditional sofa, choosing sofa beds or a daybed can also provide a sleeping area for overnight guests. An ottoman with hidden storage can act as extra seating, as well as a handy place to stash extra blankets and throws. Finally, a bench with room underneath for storing wicker baskets and attractive storage boxes can help with both organisation and seating.

Make the most of your entire family room layout.

The centre of a living room is often filled with sofas, armchairs, rugs, media storage and coffee tables, so the room’s corners can be used to create individual nooks. While a corner sofa is a great use of space, a bespoke reading area can also be created with a chaise longue, side board or console table and a table lamp. Another corner can become a work hub with a desk, chair, bookcase and/or shelving. And for the adults, why not turn a corner into a mini bar by furnishing it with a bar cart stocked with all the essentials.

Consider resurrecting your fireplace.

Working fireplaces can be luxurious and stunning features that add both a focal point and comfort to the home. If yours is filled up or disused, why not consider giving it new life? If this isn't an option, then wood burning stoves can be added to houses with existing chimneys while electric fires and gas fires are an alternative if you love the idea of a fireplace but your house isn't built for one. Even non-working fireplaces can be useful as a decorative feature - fill it with flowers, ornaments, photos, a mirror, art or lighting to make a beautiful centrepiece for your living room. Safety is key when bringing a fireplace into your home, so it's essential that the surrounding area is free of flammable materials and protected by fireplace accessories such as fireguards.

Offer plenty of alternative seating.

When you have a large group over during holidays or special events, it’s key to have enough seating for everyone. For a space-efficient option, small ottomans, footstools, poufs and cubes can also be supplemented with floor cushions and pillows for an extra large crowd. Benches and chairs placed along the perimeter of the room could be moved during a party, and ensure you have a basic sofa (or two) and armchairs. For even more seating, folding chairs are a space-efficient way to have more seating to hand.

Bring in decorative accessories.

There’s no need to skimp on the accessories, even when space is limited. Small things, such as colourful cushions, throw pillows, soft throws, shiny candleholders and candles, can pack a very large punch and can help your space feel like home. Picture frames and wall art are great ways to personalise a room, and area rugs and curtains can add larger blocks of colour.
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