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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

15 Amazing Design Ideas For Your Small Living Room

15 Amazing Design Ideas For Your Small Living Room

Just because you have a small living room doesn’t mean it can’t feel grande. Here are 15 surprisingly effective ways to open up the space and brighten the mood of your home. Use some of this advice to your advantage and your guests will be wondering how you managed to create such a lively and energetic space. Once they step inside your newly improved living room they definitely won’t be bored by what they see. Check out these photos to see what I mean!

1. Create An Accent Wall To Add Warmth And Space To Your Living Room

accentwall

    Adding a colorful wall to your living room is a great way to create the illusion of space, as well as creating a fun and unique look to your living room.

    2. Make A Handy Ottoman For Added Storage Space

    ottoman

      If you struggle to find storage space in your living room, consider buying or building yourself an Ottoman. This gives you a seat or a coffee table with storage space hidden inside. It’s handy and attractive!

      3. Avoid Curtains To Create A Natural Light

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      windows

        If your living room is particularly small, use natural lighting to add an airy, spacious feel to the room. Swap dark and heavy curtains for light ones. Try to keep them open as often as possible to let that natural light in.

        4. Invest In An Adjustable Table

        adjustabletable

          An adjustable table is the perfect way to add space to a small living room or a dining room. Invest in a table that can go lower, giving you multiple options.

          5. Create A Fun Gallery Wall

          gallerywall

            Creating a gallery wall of pictures is a good way to keep art on your wall in a small space without the room looking too cluttered. You can use paintings, photographs, or anything else you can think of.

            6. Use Mirrors To Create The Illusion Of Space

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            bigmirror

              A big mirror will have the same effect on your living room as a new window, creating the illusion of space and air. This is a great idea if you only have a little window in your living room.

              7. Make A Mezzanine For Added Space

              mezzanine

                If you really want to add some space to your living room, consider using the top half of the room by building a mezzanine. A mezzanine is a beautiful way to add a second room to the room you already have. Ingenious!

                8. Use Floating Shelves For Extra Storage Space

                floatingshelves

                  If you are still struggling to find more storage space, floating shelves are an attractive way to add storage space without making your room look cluttered.

                  9. Create A Sofa Shelf To Add Space

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                  SofaShelf

                    Hide unsightly radiators by adding a sofa shelf using simple wooden planks. This often means you have no need for a coffee table, adding even more space to the living room!

                    10. Use Spotlights To Add Light

                    Spotlight

                      Spotlights can create the illusion of space. They can also be used to highlight your paintings and pictures. Consider using a white spotlight for a minimalist effect.

                      11. Create Hidden Storage Space Underneath Your Television

                      Storage

                        Wicker baskets are a cheap and effective way to create storage space. Storing them underneath your television stops them from looking like clutter or mess.

                        12. Get Furniture With Legs For A Spacious Look

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                        sofalegs

                          Furniture with legs is a genius way to create the illusion of space. Its effect multiplies when you do this with your sofa, chairs, and coffee tables!

                          13. Create The Illusion Of Space With A Small Print Rug

                          rugsmallpattern

                            A rug with a small pattern or a neutral print will add space to your room. However, you should avoid larger prints or bright colors, as they can make your living room look smaller or more cramped.

                            14. Use Bookshelves For A Quirky Effect

                            walltowallbookshelf

                              While bookshelves don’t always add space, if you have them running all the way around a wall or up to the ceiling, they will help to create a luxurious and spacious living room.

                              15. Keep Wall Space Free For An Airy, Spacious Effect

                              airyspace

                                Pictures are a great way to add color and personality to a room. Just make sure to leave some space on the wall to stop your room from looking too full.

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                                Amy Johnson

                                Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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                                Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                Video Summary

                                Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                  1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                  Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                  • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                  2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                    Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                    Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                    3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                      Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                      4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                        Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                        A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                        A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                        On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                        5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                          Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                          6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                            Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                            7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                              Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                              How to hold a plank position

                                              1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                              2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                              3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                              4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                              5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                              6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                              7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                              Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                              Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                • Prolapse
                                                • After prolapse surgery
                                                • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                • Previous childbirth
                                                • Overweight

                                                Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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