The living room is the most versatile corner of the house. It’s a place where we read, work, contemplate or simply chill on the couch for hours and hang out with our family. You don’t need a huge space to create a dreamscape.
All you need is a solid plan and some clever ideas to get the most out of the teeny space you have. For inspiration, we have sifted through hundreds of small living room decoration ideas.
After hours of discussion with our team of experts, we have narrowed down to 30 brilliant ideas that trick your eyes, making the room seem grander and roomier than it really is.
Ready to transform you drab and cramped up living room into an uber-chic and multi-functional hangout spot? Let’s begin:
In this article:
- #1. Cozying It up
- #2. Backless and Armless Sofas
- #3. Swing Chairs Are Cozy Perfection
- #4. Keep Spare Seats Available
- #5. Swap Ottomans for Coffee Table
- #6. Choose Low-seating Furniture
- #7. Curtains for Privacy
- #8. Transparent Sheer Curtains
- #9. Let There Be Light
- #10. Contrast and Conquer
- #11. Power of Geometry
- #12. Tuck Away Excess Things
- #13. Make the Most of Your Ceiling
- #14. Make Your Furniture Multipurpose
- #15. Up Your Furniture Arrangement Game
- #16. The Magic of Mirrors
- #17. Built-in Storage
- #18. Floating Shelves
- #19. Library on the Wall
- #20. Replace Your Big and Clunky Coffee Table
- #21. Mix and Match
- #22. Or Just Match Everything
- #23. Hang the Greenery
- #24. Merge the Living Room with the Kitchen
- #25. Wall-mounted TV
- #26. Big Rug for Small Room
- #27. Hit the Antique Furniture Shop
- #28. Display Your Makeshift Pantry
- #29. Mind the Proportion and Angle
- #30. Go Monochrome
- The Bottom Line
#1. Cozying It up
To make the most out of your space-crunched living room, keep the seating close by incorporating a sectional sofa instead of separate sofas and armchairs.
This actually makes small living rooms more cozy, intimate and at the same time, it helps to avoid crowding the space as well. Cover the floor around the seating area with a soft rug to bring a warm snug comfort to your family living room.
#2. Backless and Armless Sofas
A full-size, space-hungry couch at the center of a small living room is a very bad idea. Think of giving your dull and impossibly small living room a cool makeover with a sleek and modern backless sofa or a chic armless sofa instead.
Armless sofas remain a few inches away from the wall and can easily make a seating space for two. In an open-plan living room, a luxe backless sofa floating right in the middle adds great depth to the small living room.
A great advantage of having a backless sofas is that they can be used from both sides, making it ideal for a room with limited seating space. Quite a bonus during a house party, isn’t it?
Related: 52 types of sofas and couches
#3. Swing Chairs Are Cozy Perfection
Swing chairs or hanging chairs would be a nice little addition in a quaint farmhouse living room. They add extra seating space without occupying tons of space.
Modern indoor swing chairs are one of the hottest home design trends today. And why not? Swings are fun, comfortable and super stylish, that’s pretty much all we need.
#4. Keep Spare Seats Available
Stash a couple of stools or poufs under your bed or floating sofa so that you can easily take them out when guests come over. This will eliminate the need to cram up your already short floor space with tons of chairs or full-size couches.
Alternatively, you can also keep a couple of spare folding chairs handy when you are expecting company.
#5. Swap Ottomans for Coffee Table
A large coffee table floating at the center of a tiny living room can gobble up a lot of space.
Two accent color upholstered ottoman sitting right opposite your sofa can serve as both a coffee table and an additional seating space. And when it’s chilling time with your friends and family, these ottomans can double up as footrests.
#6. Choose Low-seating Furniture
A low-seating sofa, lounge, settees or a small loveseat can visually expand the square footage of your room by creating the illusion of higher ceilings.
#7. Curtains for Privacy
Here’s another cool minimalist living room idea for small studio apartments. Use internal curtains to separate the core seating area from the rest of the room space.
This is a great way to utilize curtains for creating privacy and coziness in one-room flats. To take things up a notch, install electric blinds that you can open and close using a remote control or your smartphone.
#8. Transparent Sheer Curtains
Floor-length transparent or semi-transparent sheer curtains can be easily hung high up the wall. By diffusing the natural light during the daytime, it lends your room an airy, softer and brighter look, leading to the illusion of a bigger space.
#9. Let There Be Light
Darker shades and poor lighting tend to make small rooms appear even smaller. Choose a lighter shade of curtain to avoid blocking the natural light. Also, painting the walls white (or any neutral shade) will reflect more light, thus creating the illusion of a larger space. Choose wall or ceiling-mounted light fixtures.
Extravagant chandeliers can be the show-stopper of your room, instantly drawing away the attention from the lack of space in the room. Also, layer up the lighting with luxe swing arm lamps, elegant task lights to create a serene and relaxing ambience. Keeping lights on multiple levels make the room appear twice as big with the magic of forced perspective.
A cute nightlight would be a great addition if your kids also spend a great deal of time in the living room. Soft and relaxing nightlights instantly create a warm and cozy ambience for babies. Not only that, these unique lights can also make the room feel more open and airy. Click here for more interesting kid-friendly nightlight ideas.
#10. Contrast and Conquer
Sometimes, the best way to visually expand a small living room is to include multiple focal points in the room.
Furniture painted with multiple accent colors and large artworks against white ceilings and walls would keep your eyes constantly moving. That way, you won’t even notice how small your room is in reality.
#11. Power of Geometry
Transform an extra-cramped space into a gorgeously layered living room with bold stripes and stunning geometric prints. It creates the effects of a bigger room by adding lots of depth, length, and width.
#12. Tuck Away Excess Things
Tuck away all the small and large stuff such as your guitar, blankets, bean bag chairs under the coffee table, bed, stash them in the storage basket or hang on the wall. Do what you can to keep the clutter at bay so that the living space feels roomy and well-organized.
#13. Make the Most of Your Ceiling
If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, take full advantage of it to make your small living room appear larger and brighter.
Accentuate the high walls with stunning wallpapers or your impressive collection of paintings and designs to draw the attention of your visitors. Extra-long drapes hung 2-inches above the window brings unique charm and grandiosity to your room.
#14. Make Your Furniture Multipurpose
Multipurpose furniture is another clever way to get the most mileage out of a tiny living room. An Ottoman stool or a chair with a built-in book/magazine rack to make better use of every square footage of your room.
Look at the folding table in the picture below. When a large group of guests comes over, you can simply open the table to arrange a spacious seating for up to nearly 10 people.
#15. Up Your Furniture Arrangement Game
Grouping three pieces of furnishings together is one of the golden rules of setting up a small living room. For example, an armless sofa vibes well with a coffee table and a stool. It leaves the room feeling more open and airy.
#16. The Magic of Mirrors
Any interior designer worth his salt will tell you that mirrors are a must-have in small living rooms. They reflect all the light that gets into your rooms, creating a dramatic impact. Put up a large mirror across the window to boost the lighting and create the illusion of extra space.
#17. Built-in Storage
You can stash all the unnecessary items of your house in the built-in storage under your bed or in the chest of drawers.
This classic small living space hack helps to improve your narrow room’s traffic flow so that people can navigate freely without bumping into anything. If you feel the need for more storage, attach leg-free cabinets to the wall to save tons of floor space. Here are a few more vintage storage ideas to take a cue from.
#18. Floating Shelves
Sleek and beautiful floating shelves that are of the same color as your walls are another unique space-maximizing idea we simply can’t stop adoring. Floating shelves are a simple but very practical solution for cramped up rooms.
You can use it for displaying your huge collection of books, small artifacts, coffee mugs, trinkets and what not!
#19. Library on the Wall
This luxe and super functional mini-library built into the wall becomes an instant WOW factor, diverting everyone’s attention from the lack of floor space in your room.
To amp up the style quotient, choose a rich color that creates a perfect contrast against the soft tones of the walls. This is the ultimate hack for book-loving homeowners bound by tight quarters
#20. Replace Your Big and Clunky Coffee Table
Instead of allowing a huge and bulky coffee table gobbles up your restricted floor space, incorporate two small coffee tables side by side. When not in use, you can place one of the tables elsewhere to free more space.
Read more: Coffee table dimensions
#21. Mix and Match
We are totally digging the trend of mixing and matching textures to create a cohesive room. Bring your conversation room to life by combining classic wood fixtures with contemporary metallic-painted furniture. Play with the colors of drapes and upholstery to add a pop of color to your sad-looking living room.
#22. Or Just Match Everything
While mismatching colors and textures create stunning highlights, you don’t necessarily have to play by the rules here. The idea of matching the wall colors with floors and upholstery is very clever because it lends a soft, relaxing and airy vibe to the room.
For an intriguing Instagram-worthy look, add wooden fixtures with a shiny mirror finish or leather accents for a mesmerizing contrast.
#23. Hang the Greenery
Using plants to decorate studio flats and space-crunched living rooms is the greatest idea ever. Cute Bonsais and hand-painted pots add a natural, comforting element to your interiors. Create a vine-like atmosphere in your compact living room by hanging the greenery from the walls or ceilings.
#24. Merge the Living Room with the Kitchen
We recommend an open-plan living room for small houses. That way, you can tear up the wall between your living room and kitchen to get more room.
In case you are not up for demolishing the wall,try putting up a window between the kitchen and the living room to make the space feel much cozier. Think about it, that way, you won’t have to miss out on all the fun of the party while you’re making snacks for the guests.
#25. Wall-mounted TV
Re-imagine your living room with a wall-mounted flat-screen TV. Pick a color that highlights the texture of your wall and combine it with two simple shelves to display trinkets, pictures, books, and magazines. By keeping the floor space uninterrupted, it makes your interiors appear neat and well-organized.
#26. Big Rug for Small Room
Placing a large area rug on a limited-space living room automatically makes the room appear more spacious.
To avoid crowding up the room, make sure to put the minimum 10-12 inches away from the walls and a few inches away from your furnishings. Choose a bright color that chimes well with the white walls and minimalistic decor of your room.
#27. Hit the Antique Furniture Shop
You will find the most stunning pieces of small-scale furniture in antique shops because back in the day, most people owned small houses. Vintage tables and chairs with skinny legs and delicate frames have a small footprint which optimizes the sense of light and space. That’s all the convincing we need.
#28. Display Your Makeshift Pantry
Don’t have enough space in your small apartment kitchen for bulk grocery and fancy crockery? Fit a highly functional multi-tier shelf against the wall that can effectively accommodate all the dinnerware, huge bags of coffee beans, sugar and snacks.
If you don’t want to splurge on a shelf system, get yourself a rolling wire basket storage cart. It serves the same purpose but it has a small footprint and can be moved away to the kitchen to get extra space, if needed.
#29. Mind the Proportion and Angle
Placing all your furniture at an angle, slightly away from the walls is another creative way to make the room appear larger than it actually is.
Angular positions heighten the sense of light and space. Grouping the furniture on the side of the room helps you avoid clutter and maintain an unhindered traffic flow.
#30. Go Monochrome
A monochromatic color scheme can lend a jaw-droppingly beautiful, stoic and harmonious look to your small living room. In interior design, monochromatic scheme doesn’t mean painting the entire room with the exact same color. To break the monotony, play with different shades, tints and tones of one color.
The Bottom Line
So that was our list of 30 creative small living room ideas to help you redesign your home like a pro. You can actually do a lot with the limited space you have as long as you have a plan ready in your mind and you got everything organized. The rest will be a cakewalk.
Remember that the key to a cozy and welcoming living room is keeping things simple. You might have heard this a hundred times already but let us remind you once again, less is always more in this particular scenario.