June 13, 2021 2 min read

Probably the most important piece of advice I'd give on how to interior design a living room would be to make sure there's plenty of open space and that you don't cram way too many pieces of furniture too closely together.

Crowded living room filled with too much furniture too closely together.

LOTS OF FURNITURE + NOT LOTS OF SPACE = NOT LOTS OF FUN

People often try to pack too much furniture and too much stuff into too little a room. Leaving ample open space—so that the items in the room have "breathing room" so to speak—is crucial to making that room feel more comfortable. This doesn't just look better visually, but it actually *feels* better, psychologically, to be in a room that's more open and less cramped.

When there's a bunch of furniture packed into a small room, your walking pathways and your movements are actually constrained and limited. So even if you don't consciously notice it, subconsciously something will just feel off about that environment—similar to how, when you're on a crowded bus, you just intuitively feel like you're restricted and can't move around very much, even if you're not consciously processing it. While maybe feeling this way is unavoidable on a bus-ride to your airport terminal, this is no way that you should intentionally set up your own (or somebody else's) interior environment.

The "crowded bus effect": Interior design mistake.

CROWDED LIVING ROOM: BEFORE & AFTER

Fun fact: I actually had this problem in my own living room for a while! I couldn't quite figure out what the issue was, but something just felt subtly off about the room. What it took me way too long to realize, was that there was one particular end-table that was placed in such a way that it narrowed a high-traffic walkway. This basically set it up so that every time you entered the living room, you had to sort of constrain your movements and walk through that narrow pathway, creating the "crowded bus effect" that I mentioned earlier.

It's definitely not a good first impression for when you enter a room, to feel cramped and constrained right as you enter like that. After getting rid of that piece of furniture and creating more open space in the room, it doesn't just look better visually, but it actually feels like a psychologically more relaxing and more comfortable environment. That's my biggest piece of advice to anybody working on designing a living room: Open spaces are your friend, and cramped, crowded set-ups are your enemy!

Living room interior design with lots of space between furniture.


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