Sometimes an empty space can look just as awkward as a cluttered space does. Having nothing at all in an area of the room can appear as disconcerting as having something that looks woefully out of place.
This is especially true in our living rooms.
The living room is the place we gather to entertain guests and the space we relax in together as a family. It’s also the first room in our house that most visitors will see, so it’s important to make sure it looks at its best.
Typically, we find that empty spaces can be found near corners of the room – as if our decorative flourishes somehow run out of steam as we approach the edges.
Wherever they are, these empty spaces can create a jarring impression. But the good news is they are often very easy to fix.
Here are 11 ideas to decorate any dead spaces you have still lurking in your living room.
1. Add some foliage
Particularly in older houses, the vertical heights of large living rooms can make the space feel rather bare and lonely.
Tall plants offer a way to populate the heights of your room and add a sense of freshness and life to the empty heights.
Simply place your plants beside windows, next to the TV or anywhere that looks a little bereft at the moment.
Alternatively, you can use small floating shelves on your walls to break up spaces and place plants on them. For variety why not choose some that reach up and others that drape down?
2. Scale the heights
If you are not particularly green-fingered or plants aren’t really your thing, then the expanse of walls created by high ceilings can be filled by oversize artworks like Swyft's collection of abstract modern art prints.
Another option here is to create a gallery of photos of your family. This adds topical and visual interest to an otherwise empty-looking wall. In many ways having a few photos can create more conversation – and bring back more memories for you – than having one large work of art placed proudly on your living room wall.
3. Sculpt your space
Still thinking about artistic ways to fill space, bland and empty living room corners can easily be transformed into a talking point by displaying a unique art sculpture in them.
Sculptures are much more physically present and tactile than paintings and, whether placed on a pedestal, adorning a high table or displayed floor standing, they offer an instant way to add interest to an unexpected space.
Be sure to choose your sculpture carefully. Select a piece which doesn’t need to be seen from multiple angles because one side will hardly be viewable. Once it is in place use lighting to make the most of your feature.
4. Create a room with a view
Spaces under windows are often left noticeably under-utilised. Which is a great shame, because nothing could be simpler than adding a window seat to offer extra storage or a storage ottoman and provide the perfect spot to while away a sunny day, reading a book or just watching the world go by.
Particularly where your window is near the corner of your living room, building out a window seat beneath it provides a spot to luxuriate in. It transforms a dull space into an attractive feature that you’ll find yourself always drawn towards.
5. Lighten up
The far corners of our rooms can often appear rather sinister and foreboding, as the main lights of the room struggle to banish the darkness that lingers here.
Layered lighting is a simple solution to this. Using a combination of floor, wall and ceiling lamps you can atmospherically brighten up these dark corners.
Make sure you are also using feature lighting to place the main focal areas of your room (such as the sofa) in an attractive light. The aim here is to banish dark spaces, but not over-emphasise the corners of your room.
6. Create a cosy reading area
Large living rooms, where space is not in short supply, can be used to create separate areas for different activities.
It’s not always necessary to screen these areas off – although dividers can be an attractive option – as you can give the area its own identity using carefully chosen furniture and, perhaps, a different wall colour or wallpaper.
Reading rooms are an obvious choice – use a bookcase, a couple of comfy armchairs, a rug to mark out the space and a small, round coffee table for your favourite books and a drink to help wash them down.
7. Bookshelves are not just for books
Empty walls cry out to be shelved. It’s a great way to add visual interest and personality to an empty space.
Alcoves, in particular, offer an attractive option for storage in your living room. But, do bear in mind that you don’t have to be a bibliophile to have bookshelves.
Your shelving can be filled with plants, ornaments, magazines, family photos, awards and any trinkets you have collected in your journey through life or your travels around the world.
8. Get down to business
Another ‘room-within-a room’ idea is to create a home office for when you are working from home or for the kids to knuckle down and get that homework finished.
Alcoves, again, can be an ideal space for a floating desk with shelves above, but any wall can take a thin table and chairs. If your workspace is situated close to your sofa why not use matching stools or ottomans to tie the room together?
9. Tread softly
Area rugs are great at demarcating sections of the room and adding visual interest, especially when your living room has wooden floors.
You can easily fill up the empty space on the floor by adding a couple of matching rugs. Just make sure you use an anti-slip rug underlay so that everyone can tread softly and tread safely.
10. Knock it back a tone or two
We all know that lighter colours can help to open out an enclosed space, but we also quickly forget that darker colours on the walls and ceiling can help close-in the impersonality of a large space.
For large living rooms, painting the walls and ceiling in darker tones will make the room feel snugger and will give the illusion that the ceiling is not so high.
11. Surround the surround-sound TV
Wall-mounted TVs can look fairly stark, but they can be drawn into your overall decorative scheme if you ‘frame’ them with shelving.
This offers you more storage as well as subtly blending your TV into the room as a whole.
Decorate the dead spaces in your living room
They say that nature abhors a vacuum. And, in many ways, so do homeowners.
Those solitary-looking empty spaces niggle away at us as we sit in our living rooms.
Hopefully you’ll find inspiration here to fill these dead spaces with something that adds real value as well as banishes spaces that are bereft of life.
Have a look and see what a Swyft sofa would look like in your home today.