How to Break Up a Large Living Room

One of the unforeseen circumstances of moving into the house of your dreams is that sometimes, those large spaces can be awkward to decorate. It's a very different challenge from the cramped quarters of your student days, but coping with the demands of large living rooms requires a degree of planning and creativity. Fortunately, some well-established techniques can help you carve out intimate spaces within the larger room.

The Dividing Line

Creating a virtual wall as a room divider is a well-proven technique. For example, if your TV is the focus of your room, place it on a stand as a room divider. Use a free-standing wooden or bamboo screen to conceal the cabling and protect the back of the TV, then gather chairs, a couch and incidental tables around an area rug to create your viewing space.

The L-Word

Few visual cues mark a space as firmly as a clean, sharp right angle. One of the most stylish ways to create that angle in your living room is with an L-shaped sectional. These versatile pieces of furniture can be as retro or as modern as you wish, and make a self-contained sub-space at the drop of a hat.

Get Low

Vertical dividers and sharp lines are common ways to divide a room, but you can be more subtle. Pick a piece of low furniture, such as a day bed or chaise, and position it between the spaces you've created. Guests at the chaise can feel a part of either space, as they wish, making it a versatile part of the overall composition. The horizontal lines of the furniture break up the room nicely, but without cheating it of its size and lines of sight.

Step Away From the Walls

It's perfectly reasonable to push your furniture to the walls in a small space, but large living rooms have their own logic. Pulling your furniture away from the wall fills space and also opens new traffic patterns—and new decorating opportunities—in the room. Create a private nook with small chairs and a table, or break up the swath of wall with art, draperies and tall potted plants.

Photo Credits: Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

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