How to Create a Bright, Cheerful Apartment Living Room

Bright, cheerful, and inexpensive to put together, the modern apartments from leedon green look crisp, streamlined, and right up to date. Stylish as well as practical, it makes a room that’s fun to live in.

The modern apartment look is ideally suited to a first home where space is likely to be at a premium and funds are somewhat limited. To decorate the living room in this look use light airy colors to create a relaxed, spacious feel, as well as to provide a neutral background for brighter fabrics, rugs, and upholstery.

For a scheme that is neat and sophisticated yet easy to live with, it is important to make the most of the space you have by planning practical storage solutions to avoid clutter and choosing key items of furniture on a suitable scale for the room. If you are buying new furniture, select classically simple shapes that will look good anywhere. Look for hardwearing upholstery fabrics in happy, vibrant colors. Or hunt around for good secondhand pieces that you can cheer up with a fresh coat of paint.

Finally, add individual style by displaying a few of your favorite accessories. Eye-catching modern prints and bold ceramic vases in bright accent colors fit the bill.

Walls and ceilings

To achieve a feeling of spaciousness, paint walls and ceilings light colors. Dark colors always make a room look smaller than it actually is, and this is the last thing you want when space in your home is restricted.

Make good use of mirrors as they reflect light and give a sense of extra space. There are some lovely styles in different sizes around. Try positioning the mirror to reflect an attractive view. If you are particularly concerned about making the room look bigger and lighter, you could even fit mirror tiles over an entire wall.

Windows

Keep window treatments unfussy and window sill free of clutter. Roman, roller, or Venetian blinds all have the simple linear effect which complements the streamlined furniture. Alternatively, choose tailored curtains with a neat pinch or pencil pleat headings. Cotton prints in vivid, primary colors add a lively touch; or, for a more quietly elegant setting, choose colors that are strong yet soft, for example, use a crushed raspberry rather than a bright red.

Floors

For a clean, fresh look, go for wooden floorboards that are sanded and polished, or wood strip flooring. Brighten up the bare boards with plain wool or heavy cotton rug, or one with a bold abstract or ethnic pattern. Natural fiber matting is also suitable. It is inexpensive, hardwearing, and looks good with most furnishing fabrics.

For more comfort and warmth underfoot, choose the fitted carpet which blends with the walls, ideally in pale or neutral colors. Fitted carpet always makes a room appear bigger than it really is, even more so when you choose a light, airy shade, and a simple pattern.

Lighting

The numerous different activities for which the living room is used means that you will probably need to combine several kinds of lighting. Plug-in table and standard floor lamps are a good practical choice as they can be moved to highlight different areas. For a smart look choose sleek, modern designs.

If you prefer overhead lighting, avoid a harsh effect by hanging a pendant lamp on a long flex over a table or recessing downlighters into the ceiling. For effective accent lighting to highlight pictures, shelves, or plants, use adjustable wall or ceiling mounted spotlights which are available singly or in groups on a track. For extra mood lighting add plain plaster or ceramic bowl wall lights.

Furniture

Seating is classically stylish but casual. Upholstered sofas and chairs are often soft and unstructured, generally featuring low backs. Tall furniture can make a small room feel cramped. Go for cheerful fabrics in stripes, checks, or bold plain colors. Coordinating plain and complementary patterned cushions add comfort and interest.

The focal point of the room is often a low coffee table, perhaps incorporating a magazine shelf, set centrally within easy reach of the armchairs and sofa. Choose tables with simple lines, either white or black lacquered or made of light woods which you can paint, stain or leave natural. A glass-topped table is unobtrusive and opens up space in a small room.

Storage

Make the most of the fitted storage space. If you have a chimney breast, consider putting up shelves in the alcoves on either side; doors can be fixed to the lower shelves, for unobtrusive, concealed storage.

Freestanding, wall-to-wall storage units look smart. Self-assembly systems which consist of different individual units are the most practical. Usually white or black lacquered, or made of natural pine, units can be adapted to your needs, with open shelving for books and DVDs, space for lamps and ornaments, drawers for odds and ends or glass-fronted cabinets for china and glass. In a small living room, restrict such storage to one wall if possible, and avoid tall, dark units. Instead, opt for glass shelving which has a light and airy feel.

Hinged window seats, old chests, and wooden boxes could be used for extra storage as well as providing original side tables or extra seating. Trolleys, usually chrome or black metal, make flexible storage systems for hi-fi systems, DVDs, and televisions which can then be moved safely and easily if necessary.

Details

Accessories to complete the look should be carefully selected and displayed. Unnecessary clutter will ruin the sleek appearance of the room. Plain walls are the ideal background against which to exhibit colorful prints and posters or dramatic black and white photographs set in inexpensive plain wood, or simple glass-and-clip frames.

For instant color, fill bright ceramic vases with flowers or choose pot plants with glossy leaves which provide a year-long, green touch.

Novelty shaped candles are an inexpensive way of introducing colorful style to an apartment-style living room.

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