Hi, I'm Shirley

Welcome to my blog on apartment living.  You can also visit my food blog where I share Recipes, stuff on Food Talk and Cooks' Resource. 

Part I: 9 Elements To Create a Small Living Room That Inspires You Daily

Part I: 9 Elements To Create a Small Living Room That Inspires You Daily

Whether your home is a studio or small apartment, this is how you can create a tiny living room space that inspires you.  It's not how much space or 'stuff' you have but what you do with it that makes the difference between just a place to sit and a place that is home.

In Part I of 9 ways to create a small living room for a studio and apartment, I discuss the major elements:  wall storage units; the sofa and sectional; the side chair(s); and floor pillows, poufs and ottomans.  In Part II, I'll discus the cocktail and side tables; lighting; the area rug; and lastly, color, texture and accessories, and You.

Wall Storage Units

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"Storage, Storage, Storage, Oh where are thou!!"  (No, I'm not crazy but I do read Shakespeare now and then.)  For many of us, storage is one of the biggest issues when living in an apartment.  There is never enough storage.  Consequently, clutter becomes the norm.  Chaos becomes the decor theme.  

This is why I'm a strong proponent for a modular wall unit.  These units allow you to select the pieces you need; configure and reconfigure them as you wish; add new units as your budget allows; and easily move them around.  Yes, you will give up some wall space but that's not as painful as it may seem compared to what you gain.  And yes, you MAY not be able to park the sofa against a wall.  But who says you have to have a sofa up against a wall??

This module nicely separates the studio apartment living room from the bedroom, providing storage for books and accessories--and it is attractive.  Note how easy it is to reconfigure. 

The Sofa and Sectional

Cheap sofas are just that:  cheap.  They don't last long neither in appearance or shape.  In which case, they're not really cheap because it won't be long before you'll need to replace it--or wish you could.  I would rather sit on the floor with a bunch of pillows or just a rug and wait to purchase a sofa that will last and always look good.  But then, that's just me.  That rant being said, here some things to consider:

  • Size - 2 - 3 seat cushions.  When available space is priority, generally a 2 seat cushion will work.
  • Getting down to the important details, look for a sofa that has ......
  • Do consider sectionals.  Yes, they do take up a good deal of space.  However, really good sectionals often come with many seating and size options that will allow you to configure to the your space and needs.

Below is just one example of purchasing a sofa/sectional that offers

  • 7 seating styles for multiple configuration:  sofa, armless sofa, armless chair,  corner chair, left or right chaise lounge, left or right arm sofa; 
  • 2 two seating depths; and
  • multiple fabric selections. 
Restoration Hardware, the Maxwell Customizeable Sectional

Restoration Hardware, the Maxwell Customizeable Sectional

Prefer something more casual?  

Found on Pinterest for Ruemag

Found on Pinterest for Ruemag

Some other companies with similar offers and in this medium price range are Calico Corners and Pottery Barn. At a higher end and with outstanding quality is Henrendon.  Granted, there are many more companies but quality should be your primary concern.  Why?  Unless you have an unlimited budget, you can't afford to just replace a sofa/sectional every couple of years.

Ever thought of using a chaise lounge for your apartment seating?  Why not?

If, however, you much prefer the single sofa, give it some pizzazz and make sure it's comfortable.

The Side Chairs

Side chairs are used to give additional seating and comfort.  They also give an opportunity to add a splash of color and fun.  They're great for creating corner vignettes for reading or even adding two where a tête-à-tête is ideal.  For serious comfort, certainly club and wing chairs are great candidates.  Add an ottoman for total relaxation seating.  

Custom Edward Chair from Mod Shop.com

Custom Edward Chair from Mod Shop.com

Velvet Lyre Chesterfield from Anthopologie

Velvet Lyre Chesterfield from Anthopologie

Clarissa Arm Chair from AllModern.com

Clarissa Arm Chair from AllModern.com

Floor Pillows, Poufs and Ottomans

Poufs, ottomans and floor pillows are ideal for studios and apartments.  They add the convenience of being easily moved around to accommodate where seating is needed.  Poufs and floor pillows can also be stored away if necessary.  Okay, this may be a stretch when considering storage space.  Just an idea.  Still, any one of these pieces offer an opportunity to add color and texture to the decor.  Which ever design style you choose, you can find a pouf, ottoman and floor pillow to suit the overall effect. 

Here, this style keeps it casual.  It can translate to a bohemian even middle eastern style.  Love the wall unit!

But here, the contemporary decor style is accented with the additional seating of two poufs. 

When it comes to ottomans, I'm a strong proponent for one large one that offers multiple uses:  seating, a place to rest your feet and even as a  cocktail table.

You may  not want an ottoman this big but it's just too, too gorgeous for me to pass up sharing it with you.  
I love it!!  Let me repeat, I love it!!

If I have inspired you in any way to create a studio apartment or apartment that is a real home, giving you comfort and inspiration to meet the challenges of your daily lives, then I'm happy for you.  

About me, well as you may know I've downsized from a house (and it was beautiful) to an apartment--but only after having moved and lived in two different states!  Finally, my thoughts have turned to making my apartment more than just a place to park my belongings.  I'm looking for comfort, drama and great style.  As I've stated elsewhere, join me in this adventurous challenge.  Share your thoughts and plans.  I'd love to hear them.

Stay tuned for Part II 9 Ways to Create A Small Living Room.  I'll add a link here once it's published.

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