I ran into an college buddy the other night and we were talking about our dorm room from Freshman year. We considered ourselves quite innovative in the manner in which we made use of the limited furnishings provided and turned the beds into lofts (a few cement blocks may have gone missing in the local area) and squeezed a futon in. We thought we had quite the “pad” at the time. We laughed as we considered the whole set-up as deluxe accommodations. We thought the ladies would be impressed by our great room. We should have put the Star Wars action figures away. The things we know now…
Now, some 20+ years later, we are all required to be innovators when it comes to figuring out how to layout a room. It is even more difficult since I purchased an old Victorian home. We converted the former attic space into a great loft. The only problem is we have about 25″ of clearance to swing any furniture of scale around the corner of the stair landing. Thankfully though, in today’s world you can find small sofas, apartment sofas, sofas for tight spaces and all kinds of things that can help. The only problem is most of them are very complex, and difficult to assemble. In addition, the quality is suspect.
I did a great deal of research and landed on Simplicity Sofas. I checked them out, and was impressed by the reviews, and the videos which illustrated easy assembly. In fact, there is one with an eight year old putting together one of their sofas. We ordered some fabric swatches, and they were really free. They came in the mail with a catalog. We went on the website and built our sofa. We received a call, and everything was exactly as they said it would be. A few weeks later, UPS came, and a few hours later, we had a sofa in the loft. You can actually still rely on some companies in this day and age.
Well, it may not be my old dorm room, but I have to say the loft space is being enjoyed by the family. I can now enjoy a good book, and relax on my sofa. The family is enjoying the sofa, and that is all that matters. We did not get it assembled in 10 minutes like the boy in the video, but we still had it set and up within a half hour.
(SJR is a writer and lives in the Boston area. We thank him for his submission and appreciate his letting us post to our blog.)
A small sunroom is perhaps one of the most challenging areas to decorate in a home. There are many reasons for this and most of them relate to size restrictions and theme. Most people like to decorate their small sunroom in a particular style and this means that the furniture must also follow a similar theme. Traditional furniture choices usually get dismissed early simply because they are either too large to fit into the small sunroom or, because they do not keep with the feel and decor of the room.
This is the reason that many people end up going with cheap wicker furniture or outdoor options in their small sunroom. Fortunately, there are small sunroom furniture options out there that offer you the comfort of a traditional small sofa, while still keeping with whatever theme you decide upon.
For a small sunroom, you should first nail down the function of the room. It makes no sense to pick the furniture or even the decor before you know how you wish to actually use the room. Are you planning on using the room as a green room of sorts? In other words, are you going to keep live plants in the small sunroom? Is the sunroom going to be used as a getaway for your family? Is comfort or space more important to you? How many people do you think you will entertain in your sunroom most often? All of these are questions that you should consider before choosing your furniture for your small sunroom.
Have you ever been to a friend’s house where there was no thought of “Safe Space” room planning or design? What I mean by this is, every time you get up from the small apartment sofa or chair, you bang your knee on the coffee table or hit your thigh on the corner of their laptop desk? OUCH!
When designing for small spaces, you want to make sure you can get as much walk-around room as possible and as much seating for guests, while still maintaining “safe space.” That’s the term I use to create ample walking space between furniture pieces, cocktail tables, entertainment centers, door openings, etc., so when your guests come to visit and mingle, they leave with no bruises or band aids.
All furniture in the room needs to have some “Safe Space” around it …
You will need at least 2 feet and, in most cases I recommend 3 feet, between a sofa and chair.
Space planning is critical for any type of room, but when you live in a small apartment, studio or loft, designing the space is crucial. Most safe spaces are typically going to be about 2 to 3 feet between each of your furniture pieces. For instance, you need at least 2 feet from the front of your sofa to the front of the cocktail table. When you get up, you have ample room to move about and do not knock over pictures of your loved ones, the scrabble board or your favorite beverage.
Watch out where you place those accent tables or end tables, as “their legs” tend to get in the way of “yours,” in small spaces, too.
I recommend nesting tables that come in sets of three. When you don’t need the extra surface space, just slide the smaller two in place, one under the other, where they tuck away and allow the largest table to become your end table. When you entertain, pull them all out for more table top space.
Think about maximizing your seating space for small apartments very carefully when you are room planning. You can get really creative if you think out of the “box” just a bit.
When you’re designing your living room, add a couple of storage ottomans in place of a cocktail table. Place the two ottomans about three inches apart from each other to form a “table” in front of your apartment sofa. If you are entertaining guests, these pieces become a versatile option as they can be moved around easily to accommodate additional seating for two.
When you are relaxing at home, the ottomans give you hidden storage space for books, toys or magazines. You can use the ottomans when you’re not entertaining by placing a tray table on top to showcase your fresh-cut flowers or memorabilia and accessories. Or move the tray table out of the way and prop up your feet. The extra ottomans make for inviting versatility.
We don’t want you living in a box – we want to help you create a space that makes you feel open and alive!!!
We have so much to talk about and share … art and wall color … rugs and accessories – even what I am to do with my Grandma’s old rocker. (I have an idea for that one) I will share one of those space saving opportunities next; unless I “bump” into something else.
Let me know how you are making use of your small space, or if you need help room planning or designing. Here at Simplicity Sofas, we are here to help you create your space and we look forward to hearing from you.