Many small living room ideas revolve around tricking the eye into making the area appear more spacious. Such strategies can transform an area that feels cramped and claustrophobic into one that feels cozy and aesthetically pleasing. Decorate in a way that maximizes light and space, and pay attention to how you use color, scale and weight. It can make quite a difference.
It’s interesting to try new things. Sometimes traditional ideas about living room decor aren’t the best solution for a small space. Instead of using blinds for window treatments, use long, flowing drapes because they draw attention to vertical space, thus expanding the area of the room.
Your living room, regardless of size, should be able to function as a space for relaxation and entertaining. Here are some of our favorite ways to make it feel more spacious.
Designers often place mirrors strategically in small places in order to make them feel larger. One of the most common small living room ideas is to hang a large mirror in a central location to create a focal point. To reflect light and add a nice ambiance, put it behind a light source like a candle or pendant lamp. If possible, position a mirror across from your window, so it will reflect the view and give the illusion of another window.
A room has a vertical dimension as well as a horizontal one. If your living room has a high ceiling, make the most of the extra space by decorating it in a manner that draws the eye upward. Floor-to-ceiling drapes are a stylish way to accomplish this goal. Another idea is to fill the vertical space with a menagerie of small to midsize artwork. This technique will make the room feel larger than it actually is because it invites the eye to roam beyond the eye level horizontal space that may feel confined.
One of the most popular small living room ideas is the use of neutral colors on walls, floor, ceiling and furniture upholstery. A palate of off-white or beige will expand the space by seeming to push back the walls. Soft hues also tend to illuminate a room by reflecting light. In addition to enlarging an area, a neutral palate also imparts instant sophistication and creates a calming environment.
When you shop for furniture, consider its visual weight. This concept refers to the perceived heaviness of an object based on size, color and design. Pick out pieces that have a lightweight appearance, as heavier ones will seem to constrict a space. Opt for paler colors over darker ones, and select pieces that have legs while avoiding those that are boxy. Glass and brass coffee or end tables will take up less visual space than wooden ones because the eye can travel through them. Any furnishings that don’t obstruct views will make an area seem more open.
A list of small living room ideas would not be complete without the recommendation to select furniture that won’t overpower the room or appear to dominate the space. A sofa with thin arms and a tightly upholstered back is preferable to one with substantial arms and a multi-cushion back. If space is tight, you could do without a couch completely, either choosing a loveseat or opting to position four chairs around a coffee table. When picking out chairs, consider armless ones because they will take up less space than a model with arms.
Sunken living rooms were all the rage in the 60s and 70s, but they can still be just as comfy and stylish in the aughts. With so many of us opting for open plan spaces these days, creating a casual but defined “conversation pit” is a fun way to break up your living room into manageable zones. Read on for some of our favorite inspiration rooms featuring cozy sunken living areas that we’d love to nestle up in. The soaring ceilings of this bright and airy Texas home are further exaggerated by its recessed seating area. The raw look of the wooden ceilings and concrete floors are softened by strategically placed pops of color and plush pillows.
Speaking of “less is more” design, if your shelf offers little display space, consider opting for one or two standout items to showcase rather than a slew of small finds. In the next image, we see the Magical Thinking Peaks Shelf, crafted from glass and aluminum. Then again, there’s something charming about a curiously cluttered look, especially if items are thoughtfully curated. The Magical Thinking Pyramid Shelf below holds treasures and curiosities. When your shelves make a sculptural statement, don’t overwhelm and block them with clutter. After all, when the design is as fabulous as the Bamboo Step Wall Shelf in the next featured image, you certainly don’t want to cover up the bold form of your shelving.