We often think that pushing all the furniture against the wall and leaving a large open area in the middle of the room will somehow expand the space. However, unless you're blessed with soaring ceilings and fabulous architecture (and even then...), this rarely produces the airy, elegant effect we set out to accomplish. For the average low-ceiling-ed boxy apartment, character comes in knowing how to delineate the space into separate zones. Enter the bookshelf...
Adam, one of our participants in the Spring Cure, and mastermind behind the simple but genius living room solution pictured above, reminded us of the transformative power of the bookshelf. We thought his home cure was too good not to highlight again.
In addition to adding a rug to anchor his seating area, he used two interesting bookshelves to create a separate office space while still allowing light from his porch doors to filter into the whole space. Screens have often been used to a similar effect, but the functionality and extra storage space that a bookshelf provides makes it a very appealing option.
Here are a few of our favorite shelving options...
West Elm's aptly named Room Divider Shelf
The Woodwind from Room and Board, although they have many other wonderful additional options.
(Images: Adam from Denver via Apartment Therapy Spring Cure 2009)