Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to living rooms. By executing some time-tested small living room ideas with a little ingenuity and flair, you can transform a tiny space, to appear much more spacious than it really is.
This is especially important because your living room is probably the space you spend the most time in. It’s where you relax, hang out with friends, read and have meals. If you love playing host, sprucing up your living room will give your soirees a lot more edge.
Without any further ado, here’s our pick of some great ideas on how to decorate a small living room, and truly own your living room space.
Table of Content
20 Smart Decor Ideas to Spruce up Small Living Rooms
1. Let the Sun Shine In
There’s nothing like early morning sunlight to jumpstart your day! An instant way to light up any small space is to allow the natural light to just flow in. Make sure there is no furniture obstructing the windows, and nothing cluttering the window sills.
When choosing curtains, ideally choose a lighter shade. Dabbling with sheer materials adds a festive touch and also ensures that the sunlight flows in. As an added tip, you can experiment with eclectic curtain holders that let you draw back the curtains easily, especially in the morning.
2. Paint the Walls White
One of the most widely used small living room paint colours is white! It creates the illusion of spaciousness and works as a beautiful canvas for the rest of the room. The thumb rule here is to complement the white walls with furniture that come in lighter, neutral colours like beige and grey.
It also helps to make sure that some furniture, lamps and a few other accessories are also white to create a sense of balance. Contrast this by introducing home accessories that add splashes of colour, such as some house plants, books and wall art.
3. Introduce Some Mirrors
A simple way to make sure a room looks larger than it really is is to introduce mirrors. A full-length mirror that covers an entire wall instantly makes the room look double its size.
Mirrors also add a fun element when you decide to entertain. Just make sure that you install a good-quality mirror, and also decorate the room aesthetically, so it looks classy and homey.
4. Throw in Comfy Textiles
Fabrics can play a really interesting role in making your living comfortable and inviting and promote a cosy atmosphere. Invest time in choosing the right materials, as well as designs, depending on the weather, look and feel you are going for.
Curtains, sofa rugs, cushion covers, tablecloths and napkins, are all good textile-based accessories that lend a personal touch to your living space. Looking at aspects like the thread count ensures that your fabric choices are as soft and comfortable as possible.
5. Save Space With Pocket Doors
Swinging doors tend to occupy a lot of space, so if that’s a hangup for your living room, try a contemporary solution such as the sliding pocket door. The pocket door is a real marvel because it slides into the wall, and hence, occupies no extra space.
It comes in several designs, and you choose between a single sliding door or two sliding doors. On top of that, pocket doors can be designed from glass, wood and other materials, based on what complements the rest of the room.
6. L-Shaped Sofas Are Perfect
One of the smartest small living room furniture ideas is the L-shaped sofa, which can be snugly lined up against a wall corner. It opens up the rest of the room, so you have space for activities like dancing, exercise, or to throw in a big floor rug.
An L-sofa is not just comfortable but is large enough to accommodate three adults, kids, as well as cuddle with your pets. Finish off the look with some boxes that can double up as coffee tables.
7. Throw in a Large Rug
Spruce up the floor by throwing in a large rug, which also adds to the illusion of space. When choosing a rug, make sure the colour and fabric complement the overall look of the room.
A statement rug with a bold design in the centre can also be the centrepiece of your living room and a conversation starter.
8. Get a Hanging Chair
Another idea that instantly lifts up the vibe in any room is the hanging chair, suspended in the middle of the room or even in a corner.
A hanging chair never fails to impress: it not only looks great, but is also a great space in which you can unwind with a book, or just swing gently when you want to meditate or need space to think.
It comes in sleek contemporary designs as well as traditional handwoven patterns.
9. A Chic Coffee Table
Every living room undoubtedly needs a coffee table, and these days, small coffee tables in chic designs are all the rage! One of the best tiny living room ideas is to get a small coffee table that can be dismantled into several small tables. Some coffee tables even double up as stools.
Such innovative designs make a coffee table a useful accessory for your small living room, especially when you are planning to have guests and do something entertaining.
10. Explore Smart Storage Options
Storage is a major concern when people dabble in small living room design ideas. Optimising storage in a small space is a must. For example, you can build storage higher up towards the ceiling, so it does not occupy space on the floor or even the wall. Built-in storage occupies less space, as opposed to buying a cupboard or bookshelf.
You can also experiment with bookshelves that can be fitted on the walls, or tables that can be rolled out when it’s dinner time or for guests. Buying sofas that come with storage is also a great space-saving solution. Floating shelves, as well as custom-design shelves that occupy awkward spaces, are some other fantastic alternatives.
11. Furniture That Floats
The concept of floating your furniture is a great way to turn a small living room into a versatile space. This is also one of the small living room arrangements that are trending around the world. Instead of placing all the furniture against a wall, you can shift them around for a wide variety of settings.
By having the freedom to move stuff around, you can create a whole other mood and occasion in your space: be it an intimate, open, or romantic arrangement. Make sure your furniture is not too heavy so it can be easily shifted around and back to its original position.
12. Bring on the Green
When thinking of small living room decorating ideas, don’t forget one of the most tried and tested ideas. Introducing plants into your living room adds aesthetic appeal almost instantly, while also improving circulation in the room.
There are tons of indoor plants to choose from, but more importantly, you need to choose the right plant holders. Wall holders or even plant holders suspended from the ceiling are a great option, as they don’t occupy floor space. You can also upcycle old bottles into fashionable plant holders, instead of the traditional floor pots.
13. Making It Modern
Turn your small living room into a contemporary space by throwing in some modern wall art. An eclectic mix of cushions with printed pop art designs and a bar cart with your favourite drinks also bring some laid back vibes to your living space.
Stacking up on your favourite party games and some modern lighting concepts can really transform the mood of the room at a moment’s notice. A comfy but cool looking bean bag and some funky pouffes amp up the whimsy flair of the space.
14. Hide Your TV
There are several creative ways to disguise a TV. You can cover it up with some wall art that can be rolled back to reveal the screen or hide it behind a retractable mirror.
Another creative option to slyly conceal your TV is to make it part of a wall collage of rotating images, which also doubles up as a great use of technology in a small space. Many flat-screen TVs have a gallery mode that camouflages the screen, making it look like wall art!
15. Make the Most of High Ceilings
When a small space has high ceilings, there’s a lot of potential to make it appear larger than it actually is. For example, it helps to use textiles, accessories and wallpaper or textures with vertical lines to create the illusion of space.
Longer curtains, wall art that creeps up to the ceiling as well as hanging creeper-style plants complement high ceilings quite well. Painting the ceiling a slightly darker colour and adding a statement chandelier finishes off the look nicely.
16. Re-Imagine Awkward Spaces
Most rooms tend to have some awkward spaces that go unutilised. Long, narrow living rooms often look awkward if not decorated intelligently. Introducing a long sofa and mobile pouffes instead of coffee tables can be a great solution.
Angled walls can also be difficult to navigate as sofas don’t sit well in such spaces. To deal with such spaces, you can place plants or build a bespoke bookshelf.
17. Multi-Purpose Spaces
Small living rooms often double up as versatile spaces. For example, they can be guest bedrooms for someone who is visiting. Having a sofa that rolls out into a mattress is a great idea; it saves on space, is very comfortable and is a practical solution for when friends and family visit.
Your living room can also double up as your dining room. Having an expandable table comes handy during daily meals, or when you want to host an intimate dinner party. Another super accessory is a room divider, which can be used whenever you want to separate the room into two spaces. For instance, you can turn your living room into a small home office.
18. That Empty Space Under the Stairs
Often, the space under a flight of steps goes unutilised. However, it is possible to turn this awkward space into the cosiest corner in your living room. For example, you can easily fit a sofa into this space, allowing one to sit comfortably while not obstructing the use of the staircase.
You can also use this space to keep a small dining table since this is also a seating arrangement.
19. Hang Sheer Curtains
Lightweight, sheer curtains are a great fit for small living rooms. They create an illusion of space as you can see through them. If they have vertical stripes, that adds to the effect.
Opt for flowy curtain fabric or a more tailored look, whatever complements your space. Don’t hesitate to mix two or three shades, and add some charming curtain holders to complete the look.
20. Mix and Match
Having a mix of contemporary and vintage furniture, home décor and accessories, instantly makes a living room more interesting. Furniture and decor handed down to you from your parents or grandparents are not a thing of the past; rather, they are a trendy addition to your small living room arrangements.
Even some pieces found in a local antique furniture market lend character and old-world charm to your modern space and do away with the uninspiring matchy-matchy look. Try to find some common elements between all the pieces, so it looks cohesive in an effortless way.
Curate Your Own “Me” Space
Tons of small apartment living room ideas can help you transform your small living room into the ideal “me” space for you. If you design it mindfully, it can be one of the best spaces to unwind, get your creative juices flowing, enjoy your best good meals, hang out with friends, and just be yourself.
Try these ideas to make your living room comfortable and a reflection of you, so you feel at home at all times, size no bar. Happy decorating!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SHABANA KAUSER
Shabana Kauser is the dynamic owner of Emerald Doors, the famous door-selling company in the UK with immense knowledge and experience in working with architecture, interior design, and home decor. She continues to share tips and technical know-how of balancing interior elements, door fittings, room aesthetics, and the like. Personally, she loves coffee, always dabbling with several blends.