It can be really difficult to maintain a focus on usability in your rooms, as decorative touches and fun items are hard to resist, but you could be drowning out all of the practicality of your spaces! Ask any interior designer and they'll tell you that it's vital to master a balance between beautiful and functional, which is why we're going to give you our Top 10 tips for upping the practicality of your rooms, without negating on style. Every room in your home can adopt these principles, though we think your living room should be the first port of call, so come and take a look at these tips and see what you need to do!
Don't just think in terms of building out, when you can use vertical spaces to your advantage! Tall bookcases are great for adding a little gorgeousness, as well as handy storage, but in other areas of the house, this rule can be applied more simply. How about wall hooks in your hallway?
Even the prettiest of rooms will be next to useless, if you can't get around them easily! Always look to set your furniture out in a common sense way, which will allow for seamless transitioning. Keep those walkways clear as well, so no clutter!
Speaking of clutter… if you don't use it and hate dusting it, pack it away! A few choice ornaments and additions are wonderful, but you need to stop before aesthetics totally drown out the usability and easy maintenance of a room!
If you have a bay window, that is prime real estate that shouldn't be wasted! We think that using the area to create a little nook is perfect, as you get the benefit of more seating, without making a big impact on the floor space. A built-in window seat would give you an opportunity to add more storage too!
Speaking of storage, try to include some clever pieces of furniture that add sneaky compartments to your rooms. Ottomans are perfect for this, as they can have lift-up lids that hide a wealth of cushion storage!
This really is key! Instead of trying to use a room as a do-all space, really hone in on the designated purpose! This will make your room really work for you, so stop trying to add a little home office area to the living room and just focus on relaxation!
If you have a more open-plan home, it can be tricky to segregate different areas, but a good rule of thumb is to store associated items within specific areas. For example, in an open-plan living and dining room, have a dresser next to your table to store table linens and always keep your remotes close to the sofa!
Coffee tables are great, but do you know what's even better? Coffee tables with extra shelves that can house books and magazines! Choosing pieces of furniture that have added innovative storage potential will always make a room work more efficiently!
Key to the functionality of any room is ensuring that you have enough surface space. Whether this is shelving, side tables or coffee tables, you need to know that you have the ability to house all your must-have items, where they are most needed.
Finally, the lighting you choose will directly impact on the usability of any room, which is why a layered approach is definitely the way to go! This applies to every single room in your home, so think about your main lighting, table lamps, spotlights and any other forms of lighting that will offer the right ambience for your rooms!
For more handy tips like these, take a look at this Ideabook: Your living room can become a multi-functional space.