Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Ideas for small living room arrangements


Q: We're newlyweds, and my husband and I are moving into our first apartment together. I am so excited, but we don't have much money. My parents gave me their old living room set with a matching sofa, love seat, and an armchair with an ottoman, but our apartment is kind of small and I can't figure out where to put the love seat. I look at magazines and furniture websites, but not many even show love seats anymore. Should I keep it? - Leah
A: Congratulations on your wedding and your first house. I love helping people, especially young couples, learn about decor. In fact, for a while I was on the HGTV show My First Place as their designer. And, for a long time, I didn't have a lot of money to decorate, so I know about being resourceful.

Your parents' furniture is a great start. And you're right, love seats are less common these days. Or they're in a very small room, or maybe a bedroom or office, as the sofa. If it's not working in your apartment, ask your parents to store the love seat for you or ask them if they are OK with you donating it.

For a very small living room, keep the arrangement simple. It can be just the sofa, the chair to the side, and a bench or a pair of stools or poufs that you can easily move around. An end table with a lamp between the sofa and the chair, and a coffee table, will complete the arrangement. This would be cozy enough for just you and your husband, and flexible enough for a social group of six or seven.

Is the fabric a pattern and color you like? If not, premade slipcovers or fabric by the yard draped over the furniture can be a quick solution, though it's a very casual look. Reupholstering the set probably is too expensive, and therefore not an option.

Add a few throw pillows and a blanket to make it your own style. And send me a picture.

@JenniferAdams Jennifer Adams is a designer, author, and TV personality.

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