If you’re a ‘Downton Abbey’ fan, you’ve no doubt marveled at the sheer grandness of the Abbey (Highclere Castle in real life). From the entrance foyer to the library where the family has some of its more serious and revealing discussions, it’s difficult to imagine how anyone even begins to decorate such grand spaces.
Interestingly, though many of the rooms in the Abbey are as big as a basketball court, they don’t feel ‘cavernous’ at all. Regardless of the floor space or ceiling heights, every room in the Abbey seems functional, even cozy.
When you’ve been living in a condo or apartment, dreams of a bigger home or loft are probably daily occurrences. But when you get there, you realize it’s not all ‘Downton Abbey’.
Decorating large rooms, including loft spaces, living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms, has its challenges. At first glance, those challenges might seem easy to overcome by adding furniture, accessories, wall hangings, etc.. But if you’ve ever tried to fill a big room by simply adding more stuff, you’ll know that even the largest room can feel cluttered and uninviting.
But fear not. You have an enviable problem and there are strategies for the layout and decorating of the largest of interior spaces to make them feel more comfortable.
1. Tall Potted Plants
You’re probably not just dealing with more floor space, but a far greater ‘volume’ in the room due to higher ceilings. Tall Potted plants help fill up all three dimensions, width, depth and height, with inviting greenery that, even by themselves, begin to make the room feel ‘decorated’.
You need to make sure you have enough light to support the plants, but, regardless of the rest of your décor, large plants will fit right in.
2. Wainscoting and/or Two-Tone Wall Colours
While tall plants help to fill up some of the height in your room, using two different colours or shades of paint on the walls help to take a little emphasis off of the height of the ceiling. If you don’t want to use wainscoting, you can simply tape-off a level line and paint above and below it.
3. Section the Room with Furniture and Accessories
In a large living or family room, you can create a comfortable sitting area for when you have guests and another area for reading or an entertainment centre. Separate the two with items like a console table behind a couch, a day bed or even an artistic privacy screen.
4. Sectional Couches
Go ahead, you have the space. L-shaped sectional couches offer more options for seating and comfort. Your sectional can also do double duty by becoming the room divider, either within the room or between the family room and kitchen.
5. Furnish the Middle of the Room
A large room means you don’t have to shove the couch into the corner to have enough space to get around. Consider two loveseats facing each other in front of the fireplace, or a games table to fill an open space.
6. Furnish the Walls
Placing furniture in the middle of the room can create the problem of having bare walls. Try adding a console table, chest, occasional chairs, or a combination of them against the wall and underneath your artwork, mirrors or wall hangings.
7. Use a Large Ottoman as a Coffee Table
Using the coffee table from your apartment will probably cause more problems with your décor than it solves. But the space between loveseats can feel too large without something between them. An oversized ottoman can work as a coffee table when needed, and to add comfort at other times.
From paint colours, to bookshelves and curios, there are many other tools and techniques you can use to make your large rooms more comfortable and cozy. Hopefully the suggestions above help you create the perfect space for your family and guests to enjoy.