Furnishing large spaces can be just as tricky as furnishing a small space. Who doesn’t love more space, right? These days we seem to want our houses bigger and our back yards smaller.
But while having more space is appealing and seems like a nice problem to have, bigger homes can present you will some challenges. Many homeowners feel overwhelmed when confronted with a large room, especially a large, empty room.
It’s important to create a functional space where you can feel truly comfortable. Large living areas can be left feeling cold and empty if not styled and decorated correctly. But with a bit of thought, it’s possible to transform any big room into a cosy and welcoming space. One which works well for you and the way you live. Like anything in design getting the balance, layout and proportions right is key.
So today we thought we would share some tips for those of you struggling to fill your bigger spaces.
A good starting point when furnishing large spaces is to think about how you will utilise particular areas. Instead of just looking at is as ‘one room’ start thinking about creating two or three different zones. Having separate, designated areas in a large living room will make it feel more intimate and social.
You may want to create a cosy lounge-room with a reading nook in the corner? Or maybe you would like a dining area there instead?
Apart from promoting versatility to your space it also adds visual impact by providing a dimensional appearance. There’s nothing worse than having a large lounge-room with a couch at one end and some seating at the other.
Getting a feel for how you want the space to be used will enable you to start planning your zones. Then you can start thinking about furniture items and placement.
When trying to create zones it is important for you to consider access points and ensuring good flow of movement. Some areas you may prefer a little more privacy while others will need continual easy access.
Breaking Things Up
Once you have decided on what zones you would like to create in your space, you’ll then need think about how to go about that.
Obviously with there being no walls there you will need to create divisions. This will allow each area to stand alone. There are some clever design tricks that can help you to define each zone and break up the space as a whole. Let’s go through some of the different ways.
Layering rugs is one of the easiest and most successful ways to fill out your floor space and provide definition. Not only do they anchor a space but they also add detail and texture.
You can lay rugs under the sofa and coffee table, under your dining table and even under your bed. It’s a good idea to try and choose the biggest size your budget and space will allow. Positioning rugs beneath furniture will prevent them from floating aimlessly in the middle of the floor.
If using multiple rugs in one space it’s important to ensure they work harmoniously together. Try to mix things up a little and not be too repetitive and matching. The rugs don’t need to be identical, they just need to look unified. For example, you could consider choosing different shades of the same colour, or have one plain rug with a patterned one.
Another thing to think about when choosing your rug is the material – does it need to withstand lots of foot traffic or is it just to provide a little spot of luxury?
Using tall, leafy pot plants and trees indoors is a great way to help define zones, fill dead space as well as provide sound reduction and health benefits.
You can fill lonely corners with tall, flourishing plants or strategically place along-side items of furniture to create definition and privacy.
Another option for sectioning off areas of large living spaces is strategic furniture placement. For example, floating your sofa appropriately and placing something like a console table or daybed behind it works well. Doing this will mark a separation while still keeping a flow between zones.
Open bookcases and shelving units are a fantastic room-dividers that don’t block light and can provide interest to zones either side of it. Adding taller elements like these will add structure and stop your space from looking flat and one-dimensional. Using a couple of large pieces of artwork can also have a similar effect.
L-shaped sofas are also great for dividing between your living and dining areas in a large space.
Try to avoid pushing all your furniture back against the walls, especially in large rooms. Pulling sofas, chairs and tables in towards the centre will instantly create more intimate, social spaces. As mentioned before, be sure to leave pathways around your individual zones for easy access between them.
Pay Attention To Proportion
Talking of furniture, you need to pay attention to proportion when selecting items to fill your space. Think about the size and scale of the furniture, but also of the accessories and any patterns on fabrics or wallpaper. Getting this right is important!
You will make your room look out of proportion and feel empty and unfinished if you choose furniture that is too small for your space. Larger spaces tend to look more appealing with larger pieces of furniture, as apposed to lots of smaller items that can look abit cluttered. If you struggle to find pieces that are big enough, you can always double things up instead. Maybe try pairing two coffee tables together or placing matching chairs side by side.
Big, bold patterns work well in large areas so avoid small, repetitive ones that can get lost. When using big, bold prints or colour it’s a good idea to tie them together with the room by repeating the fabric throughout. For example, use the same fabric on an ottoman as well as some scatter cushions on the sofa. This will make the room look unified and more visually appealing.
Create Effective Lighting
Effective lighting is important in any space, especially in large or open-plan rooms. It’s vital to have enough bright light as well as incorporating softer mood lighting.
The very popular ceiling spot lights can give a harsh effect of a showroom. So, try using a variety of lamps such as floor, table and wall lamps in different areas to create intimate, softly lit zones.
Suspended pendants above bench tops and/or dining tables can create a focal point as well as providing good lighting solutions.
Think About Layering
Fill out your space by layering your furniture items, ensuring you keep space for good flow and thoroughfare. Use foot-stools and occasional chairs in addition to your sofa/s and coffee table.
If layering isn’t for you, then up-sizing big ticket items can help keep more a minimalist feel. Think deep and wide for your sofa, or two and a big dining table and pendant light.
Consider choosing a four-seater sofa instead of a three-seater, or add built-in bookcases to a large, expansive wall. There are lots of options available when furnishing large spaces.
Choose art and mirrors that are proportionate to the size of your walls. Opt for some big floating shelves?
Hanging smaller framed prints grouped together in an art gallery style is also an effective way to fill out your wall space successfully.
Create a vignette by a window or in a corner by grouping together an occasional chair and footstool with a side table and lamp.
It’s so important to visualise the size your furniture will appear in the space, you want the scale of the pieces to match the scale of the room – so why not grab a measuring tape and mark it out.
Finally, layering with texture by using cushions and throws will make a large space feel more inviting and homely. Incorporating a variety of materials and textures cohesively will not only add interest and warmth but will also have the added benefit of softening echoey acoustics larger spaces can have. Create some kind of common thread throughout, such as a palette of colours, specific materials or patterns repeated across different elements. This will help to connect the various areas and ensure they look unified, rather than resemble a series of separate spaces.
Styling and furnishing large spaces doesn’t have to be difficult and costly. Take your time, select proportionate sized furniture and accessories that suit your lifestyle and budget and don’t be scared to mix the old with the new. Be patient and HAVE FUN!