Ace of Space: Decorate Without a TV

decorate with no tvHave you noticed that most living rooms are oriented around the television? Imagine how different the design of your home could be without the TV as your main focus.

For instance, I gave my television away a few years ago and it changed my view of design and how I entertain guests. I didn't realize how much we oriented our living room around the TV set. Now when guests come over we're more likely to talk to each other, rather than watching a movie. In essence, our living space is conducive to entertaining.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you have to ditch your television sets completely but maybe they can play a lesser role in how you organize your space. Here are a few of the alternative design ideas we've used in our new apartment. I hope they inspire you to rethink the design of your living room.1. Orient your furniture around light sources
When we had a TV it was placed right in front of an amazing light source. We didn't want the glare of light on the television, so we closed the drapes and blocked the light. We neglected a space in our apartment that would have been perfect for reading, writing or a small breakfast nook.

2. Create a reading, breakfast, or craft nook
In previous posts, I often talk about the importance of using all of your square footage. Rather than letting your TV take up precious space, consider using 30 to 50 square feet for a dedicated reading nook. (Maybe store a small television set in a closet?)

3. Design a space where conversation is the focal point
Purchase furniture that is light and easy to move. This will allow you to rearrange the look of your living space often and when guests come over you can orient your chairs to face each other.

4. Make use of your laptop
Rather than keeping your traditional television, consider using your laptop for your entertainment needs. It's perfect to watch movies and listen to music. Plus laptops are portable and can be easily stored; whereas traditional televisions are hard to move or put in a cupboard.

Tammy Strobel blogs at RowdyKittens about simple living and is the author of Simply Car-free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life.

The Ace of Space is a biweekly column that will provide you with the tips and tools to live lightly and creatively in a small space.
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