How To Decorate A Small Living Room

Easy ways to make that small space looks much bigger!

A small room can look functional and aesthetically pleasing.  It can also look cramped and uncomfortable. The line between the two comes down to décor.


Darker Makes The Space Smaller

Avoid all things dark: flooring, wall colors, window treatments. Particularly if you lack natural lighting in your living room, adding dark colors will close in the space and actually make it seem smaller than it is.

Instead, use monochromatic light colors for the larger pieces, with splashes of color in accessories, lamps and window treatments to add the warmth that keeps the space comfortable.

Alternatively, choose light colors and prints for flooring and area rugs, while maintaining a more neutral wall color. Ideally, the larger pieces of furniture will blend in with the walls a little, rather than be in total contrast, expanding the space visually.

If you do use prints on the floors or on accessories, make sure you don’t use multiple prints. Pick one and stick with it: too much visual confusion will close down the space.

The ceiling is like the floor: a light color up there, in contrast to the walls, will draw the eye upwards and give the appearance of size. A bright white ceiling really does help.

Mirrors and glass can also help a lot in adding the appearance of space and light. Combine them with well-placed lighting by way of small chandeliers and area lighting, and you can open up a space tremendously!

!nspire’s Morelia Console Table in Gold is the perfect combination of glass and metal to create a light effect that won’t eat up all your space. The clear acrylic legs take it a step further, giving the whole piece the appearance of floating and the long length of it will enhance a smaller space.

Morelia Console Table in Gold

Morelia Console Table in Gold


Furniture Should Be The Right Size For The Space

A tiny condo doesn’t necessarily relegate you to tiny condo furniture. You can have some sizeable and comfortable pieces but you need to be judicious in your choices. Materials matter: a heavy velour sofa will eat up the space, but a light chair with simple legs will not. Both are comfortable but only one improves the appearance of the size of the space.

In the same way that vertical stripes work better if you’re curvy, you can create a longer ‘lines’ in your living room by ensuring the path between entranceways at either end aren’t  blocked and that the furniture runs along the walls. Long area rug runners, oblong coffee tables, and a simple sofa can create that length. Just remember to allow enough space for people to walk around comfortably. If they’re climbing over your ottoman to get through, the impression will be that the space is tiny, even if it’s not. Placement of the furniture is just as important as size and quantity.

As always, furniture that can serve more than one purpose, like storage benches and ottomans, or nesting tables instead of large side tables, can make all the difference. It’s far superior to have a few good pieces of furniture that will stand the test of time, than a lot of pieces that you acquired over the years and haven’t bothered to get rid of.

WHi’s Anton II Storage Ottoman in Brown serves three functions. It has deep, functional storage; the top can be flipped over to make a tray; and the weight capacity for the ottoman is 200 lbs, so it can serve as extra seating in a small space too. We’ve shown it in brown, but this piece also comes in small-space-friendly white and gray. This is the kind of piece that will serve you will in a small space, for years to come.

Anton II Storage Ottoman in Brown

Anton II Storage Ottoman in Brown


Accessorize Right

The smaller the accessories, the more of them you’ll be tempted to add to your space and the more crowded that space will look.

In a small living room, opt for light storage, like floating shelves, and accessories that are no smaller than a small watermelon, to give the appearance of size.

Using a gorgeous accessory as a focal point is always a good way of drawing the eye so visitors focus on the piece, instead of the space as a whole. Consider a large dramatic print on the wall or an oversized floor lamp to do the job.

Keep a handle on clutter in a small living room and make use of the double duty furniture mentioned above to make it an easy task that everyone in the family can adhere to.

WHi’s Quby II Accent Table has an open geometric design that doesn’t overwhelm and can serve as a side table as well as storage for a few extras. Place two side by side when you need a fuller coffee table and separate them when you don’t. Space saving and elegant, all at once.

Quby II Accent Table

Quby II Accent Table


Do you have a small living room? What do you do to make sure that it’s still an inviting and not crowded space?