How to decorate a small living room

Use the right styles to create more space in your living room.

Colour schemes

One popular method to create the illusion of space within smaller rooms is through neutral colour schemes. Using off-whites, beiges and other light and plain colours on the walls, carpets and furniture will expand the room through a more appealing reflection of light, as well as seemingly pushing the walls back when it comes to aesthetics. This will heighten the relaxing atmosphere in the room, as a neutral palette immediately insinuates a sense of calm.


The strategic placement of mirrors around the room will inevitably make the space seem much larger than it actually is. Many opt for a large mirror in a central location within the room to create a focal point. To further the effects, invest in a light source to go in front of the mirror, reflecting light and adding a nice ambiance. Additionally, hang the mirror across from the window, which will then reflect the view and make it seem like there is more than one window. Mirrors are the perfect feature to any room, and are particularly effective during social gatherings, allowing a different viewpoint to the group and reflecting the good times that are being had.

Focus on the vertical

If your living room has a small circumference but relatively high ceilings, it is beneficial to draw attention to this extra space by enticing the eye upward. You can do this through a variety of ways, and it is an opportunity to get creative and unique in terms of your interior design. One great way to manage this space is by hanging floor to ceiling drapes as curtains, extending the height of the room and therefore making it seem a lot less cramped. Additionally, others tend to purchase slightly smaller variations of artwork, hanging them high, allowing the horizontal space to seem less confined.

Smaller furniture selection

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that larger variations of furniture will only increase the feeling of cramped within smaller rooms, as they take up the majority of what little quality space there is and does not seem to scale with the size of the room. This can be easily avoided through a careful consideration of which furniture styles best suit your home. Big, overpowering sofas should be avoided, as should large and unnecessary coffee tables and dressers. Try and find alternative areas for storage that are not directly related to the enjoyment of the room, and use minimalistic accessories to avoid it feeling cluttered. Furniture also holds a visual weight, so think carefully about your collection and the materials that it’s made up of. Daintier furniture, with a smaller requirement for floor space, is advised. 

Out with the old

Whilst many of us are guilty of hoarding possessions we don’t necessarily need, it is important to combat this trait if you are trying to decorate a small living room. Any family heirlooms could be stored in the loft, until you find a better place to put them, or consider passing them on to other family members until such a time arises. If the house is old, it may include several features that have more modern, less bulky counterparts for you to consider. For example, a traditional fireplace could be taking up more room than strictly necessary, particularly when considered with the coal/log container, fire tools and safety area that come with it. Opting for an electric fire, which can be mounted to the wall, will be a lot more space-saving when it comes to the aesthetics of the room, without sacrificing any of the advantages to owning a fire.

‘Invisible’ features

Materials such as glass, acrylic and Lucite are used time and time again for their space-saving properties in small homes. A glass coffee table maintains all the practicalities of its more traditional wooden counterpart, whilst also creating the illusion of more space. It’s important not to overdo the see-through look however, at risk of making guests uncomfortable or uneasy around your furniture.

So, if you’ve recently moved into a new home and are trying to make the most of your space, try any of these clever techniques to seemingly extend the area. Small living spaces can actually be more beneficial than those with larger spaces, due to the ease of achieving cosiness. Utilise your space through the correct positioning and selecting of furniture and features, to create a relaxing and calming environment that everyone can enjoy.

Image credit: TijsB


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