Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
If you have plenty of space in your living room, you can add a smaller table with a couple of chairs arranged around it in another part of the room. Traditionally, parlor seating would have been a matching set, but we suggest that you introduce different colors and styles of furniture, while still creating a well-judged parlor feel, for a more eclectic living room interior.
A living room that's both narrow and small can be particularly challenging to decorate. However, as in this bright and airy space redone by Decor Aid, a carefully chosen sectional sofa can make the most of the precious square footage. When shopping for a sofa, look for one that is long and can lean up against a wall to give your living room more depth.
Dark, glossy walls create a sophisticated backdrop for simple, clean-lined pieces and even colorful, bold items. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel-box. Painting your ceilings the same color can enhance the sense of intimacy even further. Then have fun with brighter furniture throughout, as done in this small living room designed by Andrew Felsher.
You'll find affordable area rugs suiting every style at big box stores, discount home shops, and even home improvement centers (shop end-of-summer sales for outdoor rugs that can work inside). Use simple (and more affordable) large rugs to anchor a room's furnishings and smaller rugs to define conversational groupings or activity areas. Experts recommend that all furniture sits atop the rug and that an ample border of flooring is seen around the rug's perimeter.
When space is lacking, the only option is to get creative and make things multi-purpose. For example, if you don't have room for a separate living room, family room, and home office, combine each concept into one space. This living room and office by Leanne Ford Interiors proves that the right layout and pieces can look great, no matter what shape or size the room.
This floor-to-ceilings fireplace in a living room designed by Leanne Ford is taking style notes from the best of both worlds: A classic mountain chalet and the Malibu coast. Whether there's snow falling or waves crashing right outside that window, we want to be curled up on that linen slip-covered chair. This living room is also a testament to the perks of working with what you have. The fireplace was given a new life with a makeshift mantle comprised of reclaimed wood and a fresh coat of white paint.

We don’t need to tell you the benefits of nesting tables – the secret space saving speaks for itself. Three tables take up the space of one, but as soon as you have guests around, there is more than enough surface area for cups of coffee and glasses of wine. Our favorite styles at the moment are circular tables with metallic frames, and we’ve seen some hexagonal nesting tables that caught our eye too.
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