Be Your Own Designer: 10 Flawless Ways to Lay Out a Living RoomDesign Ideas
Our living rooms wear a lot of hats so it can be tricky to decide how best to arrange the space. Here are 10 furniture layout ideas to consider.
Apr 2, 2024
24 Room Divider Ideas to Give Your Space More FunctionDesign Ideas
Create more spaces with one of these genius room divider ideas.
Mar 26, 2024
You Can Totally Put Your Bed in Front of the Window. Here's How to Make it WorkDesign Ideas
You can't always avoid putting a bed in front of a window, but you can avoid making your bedroom an eyesore.
Dec 1, 2023
Design Lessons: How To Spot (& Fix!) an Off Balance RoomDesign Ideas
Balance is a tricky beast when it comes to interior design. Some people love perfectly symmetrical spaces, and others are utterly bored by them. Wherever you fall, you’ve got to admit that a balanced space — in terms of color, visual weight, pattern and layout — is perfectly pleasing to the eye. But knowing how to get there takes trial and error. For some examples, I’ve rounded up a few spaces that with a tweak or two, could be perfectly in balance.
Oct 3, 2023
How to Layout 4 Tricky Bedroom Floorplans with Two Twin BedsDesign Ideas
An interior designer sketches up four super smart solutions for fitting a pair of twin beds into room shapes that could prove difficult.
Jun 8, 2023
6 Clever Ways to Convert Your Closet into a BedroomOrganizing
There are plenty of ways to make the most of limited space with lots of clever conversions, like alcove beds to IKEA furniture hacks, and of course, a closet-turned-bedroom. Using a sizable closet as an additional sleeping space is a budget-friendly way to squeeze more life out of your existing space, even if it’s small. Take a look at these ideas to help you to eke out a bit more room, and create cozy sleeping nooks in the process.
May 27, 2023
Creative Ways to Rethink Your Living Room LayoutDesign Ideas
Could your living room use a bit of a shakeup?
Mar 29, 2023
Don’t Make These Mistakes When Arranging Your Living RoomDesign Ideas
Have you ever felt that a room was just "off" somehow, but you just couldn't place what it was?
Nov 17, 2022
5 Studio Apartment Layouts That Just Plain WorkDesign Ideas
A few lessons from real-life studio apartment layouts, created by real-life studio apartment dwellers like yourself.
Oct 18, 2022
The Best Decorating Tips for Long or Narrow Rooms and HallwaysDesign Ideas
Does your home feature a long, narrow living room, kitchen, hallway, bedroom or some other space? There are some decorating tricks and tips that can really help balance out a long and narrow space and make your room feel more visually balanced (and more comfortable to be in). Try one or more of these tips today. It’s not that you always have to match the shape or style of room you have when you’re looking for furniture.
Oct 14, 2022
The 10 Commandments of Furniture PlacementDesign Ideas
Sometimes moving a chair, shifting a sofa, or re-orienting a bed is enough to give your home a whole new lease on life.
Oct 14, 2022
Small Space Solutions from Our Tours: Multipurpose Rooms that WorkDesign Ideas
Living well in close quarters requires, among other things, efficient furniture placement. These studios, one-bedroom apartments, and one house show how you can make your home’s spatial quirks and shortcomings work in your favor.Studio apartments offer the obvious challenge of making one space function as several. In slightly larger apartments, the living room often works overtime as an office area, dining room, and entryway.
Oct 13, 2022
5 Ways to Arrange Furniture in a Small Bedroom (& 4 Bonus Tips for Making the Most of It!)Design Ideas
Plus four bonus tips for making the most of what you've got.
Oct 6, 2022
Calculating Optimum Distance from Sofa to TVOrganizing
In our previous apartment, the distance that we placed the sofa from the TV was essentially a nonissue — there was really only one spot where the placement of the screen worked, and it dictated the overall size of the TV. The sofa just went across from it, utilizing as much space as was available, no more and no less. But now, in our new place, everything is negotiable.
Oct 3, 2022
These One-Wall Kitchens Prove That Streamlined Spaces Still Pack a Big PunchDesign Ideas
Great for small spaces, this less-often used layout is worth a look.
Aug 21, 2017
7 Little Ways to Create Bonus Rooms in Your HomeReal Estate
According to real estate pros.
May 17, 2021
Before & After: This Cleverly Rearranged One-Bedroom Is Everything Apartment Therapy Stands ForTours
There are no doors or walls separating the living room, dining room, playroom, and kid's room, but each area of this one-bedroom feels like a separate zone.
Apr 1, 2021
Stylish Solutions for Awkward Spaces You’re Not Sure How to TackleDesign Ideas
Tight corners, the space under your stairs, the tops of cabinets—these awkward spaces are the great equalizers of design. We all deal with some or all of these things in our homes no matter what our budgets look like. Money may certainly give you more decorating options, but sometimes ingenuity is really all it takes to conquer these tricky areas. Here are some ideas to help you tackle your “dead zones”.
Jul 17, 2020
Design Inspiration: Making the Most of a Bay WindowDesign Ideas
A window niche is design feature many would welcome. While this naturally lit offshoot of a room appears dreamy and wonderful, it can also be difficult to furnish. Finding a balance between maintaining functionality of the space while also integrating it into the rest of the room can be quite a challenge.Here in San Francisco, Victorians with bay windows can be found at every corner.
Jul 17, 2020
Kim’s Before Photos: Tackling a Multi-Tasking SpaceDesign Ideas
Last year I cured my sparsely furnished bedroom and loved the results. This year I decided to take on a slightly bigger project, the main living space. We live in a quintessentially petite (read: tiny) San Francisco apartment and our “living room” is also our kitchen, dining room and my home office. We’ve lived in this space for almost two years now and are starting to settle in so things have started to accumulate a bit.
Jul 17, 2020
Raise the Roof: Kids’ Loft Bed InspirationDesign Ideas
When I was in college, my roommate and I got a loft bed system, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Not only did we have lots of floor space to hang out and study, I loved having the privacy and coziness of my own secret bed platform. For small spaces, a loft can be a great way to open up floor space, but even if you don’t feel you need the extra room, a loft can be a great hideaway for a kid.
Jul 16, 2020
Before & After: Simple Office Nook MakeoverOrganizing
Sometimes there is just not enough space – or money! With an upcoming wedding and two blending households of avid readers into a one bedroom condo (plus one curious object collector – me), we’ve got books and baubles coming out of our ears. This office area is one of my least favorite places in our home due its lack of light and wall space restrictions, so it was time for a cheap and quick fixer-upper!
Jul 16, 2020
Here’s What a List of “Home Goals” Should Look LikeLife
Do you have goals for your home? I think it’s really effective–in all areas of life–to write down your goals and share them with others. And your home should be no exception. Whether you rent or own, whether you plan to be there for seven more months or seven more years (or forever!), you should keep a list of things you’d like to get done for a happy life at home. To get the most out of your list, make it a good mix of goals.
Jul 16, 2020
Budget Garden Inspiration: 5 Modest and Lovely CourtyardsPlants & Yard
I’ll admit, when I think of courtyard gardens, I naturally think of sprawling estates with hidden outdoor rooms, bordered by perfectly manicured boxwood hedges boasting a grand urn water fountain. Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Downton Abbey, but courtyards aren’t just unattainable outdoor spaces limited to the wealthy.
Jul 16, 2020
Up Your Energy: Simple Workspace Feng Shui Principles to Try TodayDesign Ideas
When you’re busy working, it can be easy to let your workspace fall into a rut—I mean, who has time to redecorate their desk when they’re preparing for next week’s presentation? But because your work environment affects how energized you feel, taking a few minutes right now to optimize your workspace may just make your whole week more productive. Want to try it? Read through these five ways to improve and organize your desk according to feng shui—then get to work!
Jul 15, 2020
Before & After: Under Stair Storage RedoOrganizing
Like many other small space dwellers, we have almost no closet or storage space in my home. The tenants before us took the first step to maximize the dead space under the stairs by removing a partition wall to open up the area, and installed a drop down hatch under the stair. Unfortunately they didn’t install a railing and instead only those awkward, sharp rectangular boxes — after several falls down the stairs it was painfully obvious something needed to change!
Jul 15, 2020
Small Space Solutions: Off-the-Wall Room Dividers that WorkDesign Ideas
image:b1df9e6ce2d284f7eacdde073b54b87576d1c11c w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" I’ve always lived in small spaces, and even wrote about how I prefer it here. Not only do I like the design challenge of a smaller apartment, but living small also allows me to live in great cities, which can get pricey with more square footage.
Jul 15, 2020
Lofty Aspirations: Fifteen Lovely Loft BedsDesign Ideas
image:1560a13d9144f675dfc09219b2e853bc0a2492ad w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" In small spaces — and even in large spaces — nothing does double duty in vertical space like the loft bed! Whether it’s maximizing storage space, making the best of a crazy floor plan, or just because it looks cool, building your bed in the air is the way to go.
Mar 29, 2020
The Best of Vertical Gardening: Inspiration, DIY, & ResourcesPlants & Yard
Last year I talked about design dilemmas common with the quintessential rectangular urban yard, and space (or should I say, lack thereof), is usually at the top of the list. From inspiration to DIYs, tips on products available on the market and where to source them — this post will surely have you dreaming up new ways to best utilize a small footprint in the garden. TOP ROW: Inspiration Look! Living Canopy on a Tiny Balcony Dwell On Design: Vertical Gardens Look!
Mar 11, 2020
Small Space Lessons: Floorplan & Solutions from Joann’s Truly Happy HomeDesign Ideas
Coming in at only 400 square feet, Joann’s teeny-tiny entry from the 2012 Small Cool Contest is filled with clever ideas for storage, furniture layouts, and small-space organization–not to mention that it’s also cute and colorful! In the living room, Joann figured out how to maximize seating so that she can host a number of friends, but no one feels cramped or closed in by an overabundance of furniture.
Mar 11, 2020
Small Space Solutions: Expand a Desk Up, Down, or Sideways for More SpaceDesign Ideas
As tasks at hand get bigger, the space available on your desk seems to become smaller. When your workload is outgrowing your desk, there are a few ways to expand usable space. Just look up, down or sideways and think out of the box. Add a hutch to an existing desk to expand usable space upwards. Shelves installed above a desk give the same utility as a hutch, with more customizable options and plenty of room for both storage and decoration.
Mar 11, 2020
Living in a Small Space: Three Things that Make a Big DifferenceDesign Ideas
Do you live in a small space? Do people sometimes confuse your bedroom for a closet? Can you reach your kitchen sink from your couch? If you’re looking for ways to make your space more livable without spending a ton, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three classic ways to make living little work for you: 1. Lighting Small is one thing, but small and dark is quite another. Almost nothing has the power to transform the a room like good lighting.
Mar 11, 2020
Small Space Solutions: Compact & Smart Home WorkstationsOrganizing
A clean, organized, and well-lit home work space is a must. And what better time to tackle this issue in your home than the fresh start of a new year! Many of us don’t have the luxury of a separate home office or studio, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create a healthy environment for working at home. Even if you don’t work from home, carving out a space for productivity is important and a smart way focus on specific tasks without distraction.
Mar 11, 2020
5 Double-Duty Room Combos that Always WorkDesign Ideas
Maybe you’re making room for a new baby’s nursery or that cave of collectibles you’ve always wanted. Or maybe you just like living small. No matter what your motivation is for maximizing your space, the best way to do it is by combining two functions into one room. Here are five classic double-duty room combos we see all the time, proving that when it comes to a thoughtful layout, you can kill two birds with one stone. 1.
Mar 11, 2020
Small Space Living: 12 Creative Ways to Use an Attic SpaceDesign Ideas
image:8d36dd161c963d2ebd41797e1e14b2aa732d095c w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" If your small home happens to have an attic, then you’re in luck, because you can get a little extra mileage by moving on up. Once you get the go-ahead from your contractor that your attic space can indeed be finished, you have so many options! Here are 12 creative ways you can transform your attic into an enjoyable and practical space.
Dec 16, 2019
Homework Heroes: 7 A+ Ideas for Squeezing in a Study SpaceDesign Ideas
Convinced you don't have room for a dedicated study space for your kiddos? Think again.
Dec 16, 2019
Before & After: A Laundry Room is BornProjects & Improvements
Timothy and Laura are busy folks – they have a blog (make that two) to run and a new baby. A secret to their “do it all” success? They know that one key to handling new challenges is to plan ahead and do what you can when you have the time to make life easier when you no longer have the luxury of that time.
May 6, 2019
Before & After: An Expanding Kitchen RenovationProjects & Improvements
This 80’s kitchen was in need of updated appliances, cabinetry, and an overall space adjustment. By taking extra space from adjacent rooms, the kitchen was opened up into a light and bright gourmet chef’s workplace. Check out the difference after the jump…Although it may not look like it from the before photo, this kitchen was very dark and narrow.
May 5, 2019
Before & After: Ashley & Greg’s Kitchen RemodelProjects & Improvements
When Ashley and Greg purchased their home they knew that a kitchen remodel was in their future. The existing space was poorly designed, with dated appliances, unattractive cabinetry, and a fair amount of plumbing and electrical issues. Starting from scratch, they designed and built a beautiful, modern, and functional space that makes you wonder – is this even the same house?!Not afraid to get their hands dirty, the couple did what they could on their own.
May 5, 2019
Design School Case Study: Sample Room Layouts for Ashley’s Living RoomProjects & Improvements
So the comments around Ashley’s makeover were… spirited, to say the least. A lot of you all had things to say about the floorplan, and this is your shot at diving into the options in more depth. When the furniture arrived, we re-arranged things a few times to see what might work, fiddling until I felt we had the best possible option… As a refresher, here’s Ashley’s living room as a 3D model.
May 4, 2019
Is a Nursery Even Necessary?Life
New crib, new crib mattress, new rug, new curtains, new rocker, new wall art, new bookshelves, new dresser, new change mat—no doubt about it, the nursery business is big business. But do we really all need to buy into it? I mean, is it possible to just do no nursery? Would that be okay? How would that work? Well, ultimately, the answer to that question is going to be personal. And by personal, I mean it’s going to depend on you.
May 4, 2019
You Asked, The Remodeling Pro Answers: How to Get the Most Out of a Semi-Finished Basement?Projects & Improvements
Sarah Kahl’s house in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago has four bedrooms on two finished floors. But she wants to get more out of the wide-open semi-finished basement. There’s already plumbing for a powder room, but Sarah wants a full bath down there. Her budget is $15,000 for everything. In this series, expert Alex Bandon answers your specific renovation questions.
May 3, 2019
Design Master Class: 6 Pro Tricks to Know When Arranging Your RoomDesign Ideas
One-click online shopping and free shipping has made the whole furniture buying process seem super easy and accessible. But what happens when you start unboxing pieces and realize you have absolutely no idea where to put them—or worse, whether they’ll even work with the rest of what’s in your room? Arranging furniture is really an art form, but the good news is there are several guidelines you can follow to help you figure out the process.
May 3, 2019
Help! How Do I Place Furniture in This Strangely Shaped Studio?Design Ideas
One of the most perplexing things about moving into a new place, especially a small place, is where to put the furniture. This apartment, with its curving wall of windows, presented a unique challenge. How do you create both a bedroom and a living space (and maybe a dining room and a study, too) in a place that’s so small, and so unusually shaped? We went to the drawing board to come up with a few ideas. First, an intro: This is an advice column.
Apr 30, 2019
One Minute Tip: Three Ways to Use Vertical SpaceOrganizing
Today’s One Minute Tip comes from Fay Wolf, with three simple ways to rethink vertical space. • The Star: Fay Wolf is a singer-songwriter, actor and professional organizer. She’s acted on shows like 2 Broke Girls and Bones, and her songs have been heard on shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Pretty Little Liars. Fay’s Los Angeles-based company New Order has been organizing lives since 2006, helping creative people deal with both inner and outer clutter.
Mar 12, 2019
The Smartest Studio Apartment Layouts We Saw in 2018Design Ideas
Our homes have to host many different functions for our lives, from sleeping to cooking to lounging to working, and even sometimes entertaining. It’s hard enough living in a small home, but when that home is literally only one room? It can be tough to relax when you can see every inch of your home from your bed. But some of the most popular studio apartment tours this year showed you don’t have to let the lack of walls dampen your home or living style.
Dec 29, 2018
5 Genius Ways to Arrange Furniture in a Long, Narrow Living RoomDesign Ideas
With some layout tweaks and a few visual tricks up your sleeve, you can learn to love your long room.
Sep 22, 2018
10 Smart Ways to Make the Most of a Studio with Room DividersDesign Ideas
One of the challenges of living in a studio apartment, or in any space short on interior walls, is separating a space into different uses: sleeping, cooking, dining, lounging. It’s possible to do this in more subtle ways, like with rugs, but if you prefer to create more concrete divisions, there are ways you can make room dividers work for you (even beyond how you think they can).
Jan 19, 2018
Before & After: A Family Home Goes from Cavernous to CozyProjects & Improvements
It’s not a problem that many people have in New York, but this Tribeca apartment was almost too big. Sans furniture, the side-by-side living rooms seemed intimidating and cavernous. Plus, the unusual proportions of the space, with windows sitting almost on the floor, made furnishing it tricky. So the homeowners called in Homepolish designer Alec Holland, who transformed the space into a cozy family home, using tricks that anybody can utilitze in a room that feels just a little too large.
Nov 18, 2017
How to Set Up Your Living Room (Without a Focus on the TV)Design Ideas
Let's focus on another time-honored living room pastime: conversation.
Oct 17, 2017
Find Your Best Bedroom Layout with a King-Sized BedDesign Ideas
In this space planning series, Layout Lessons, we’ll be exploring layout options for different bed sizes within various shaped bedrooms because things can get tricky sometimes. We tapped Eleanor Büsing, a contributing writer for Apartment Therapy and an interior designer in her own right, for her expert opinion on the matter. Here, how to deal when only a King bed will do.
Oct 14, 2017
Find Your Best Bedroom Layout with a Queen-Sized BedDesign Ideas
Should you have one of the following four room shapes, consider these your cheat sheets for how to best arrange your queen-sized bed.
Sep 15, 2017
Are You Making These Common Furniture Layout Mistakes?Design Ideas
Furniture buying is hard; even harder still might be where to put it all and how to arrange a room. You might be inclined to just throw everything up against the wall, or set up your stuff the way your parents did in your childhood home. And though it might not seem like rocket science, the littlest tweaks in flow and placement can really make a colossal difference in the way a room feels and how you live in it.
Jul 16, 2017
Furniture Placement Ideas for an Awkward Living Room LayoutDesign Ideas
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment, particularly a small apartment, this situation probably sounds familiar: you’ve signed a lease, you’re so excited about your new place, and then you realize—you have no idea where to put the furniture. And that’s where we come in. In this new column, we’re tackling the weirdest and most perplexing space planning solutions. Did the Room Layout Doctor do a good job of fitting everything in? You be the judge.
Jun 26, 2017
Don’t Be a Wallflower: Why You Should Consider “Floating” Your BedDesign Ideas
Here at Apartment Therapy, we like to encourage design solutions that break the rules. A few months ago, Eleanor caused a bit of a stir by saying that, yes, it is totally fine to put your bed on a wall right in front of a window. But what if — what if you didn’t put your bed on a wall at all? Floating the sofa is a pretty common choice in living rooms, which tend to be larger and have multiple traffic paths that need to be considered.
Jun 18, 2017
You Do You: These “Rule Breakers” Prove You Can Use Rooms Any Darn Way You WantDesign Ideas
Use a bedroom as a living room? An extra office space as a den? A closet as a bedroom?! Yes—though rooms come with “historical precedent” of how they were used in the past, it doesn’t mean you have to use a space in your home the way it was intended. Not only do you have permission to use your home any damn way you please—it just makes sense to do so. Why not craft a home that functions just the way you need?
Jun 8, 2017
Ideas for Adding a Little Extra Seating to Your Small Living RoomDesign Ideas
Having a small living room can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you love to entertain. How do you fit in seating for all those people and still leave room to move?
Jun 2, 2017
Overcoming an Awkward Space: Smart Solutions from a Charming Rental BedroomDesign Ideas
If your current rental bedroom situation is awkward, lacking storage, or just bland then check out how Erin Walsh turned her funny-shaped bedroom into a highly functional and relaxing oasis. In writing about the inspiring ways renters fix up their rentals, I will sometimes get dinged for featuring rooms that already “have great bones”—meaning the renters had a decent space to begin with, which I agree makes both customizing and decorating much easier.
May 17, 2017
How to Make the Super Tricky “Shotgun” Layout WorkDesign Ideas
I recently stayed in a traditional shotgun apartment in New Orleans with my partner and one of my best friends. If you aren’t familiar with the shotgun home layout, it’s typically long and narrow, and made up of rooms that are directly connected to each other, directing you through each room to get to the next. The layouts were very popular in the South (especially New Orleans), but are also common in New York and Chicago.
Apr 9, 2017
Side-by-Side: Two Identical Lofts Decorated Totally DifferentlyDesign Ideas
Beyond satiating curiosity, getting to see how different people tackle the layout of homes with the same floor plan is also illuminating. Do the same people have the same design challenges? Do they use space in the same way? Does architecture have a strong affect on the furniture and accessories selected? Tirsh and Minky share a lovely North Oakland loft with their dog Arnie. As the owners of Hunter & Lew, a design studio, having a home that fosters creativity is clearly important to them.
Apr 3, 2017
Small but Mighty: 9 Genius Design Ideas From Stylish Rental StudiosDesign Ideas
Here's a reminder to us all that good things—including genius design ideas—really do come in small packages.
Mar 18, 2017