31 Brilliant Living Rooms Ideas for Small Spaces

Are you searching for living room ideas for your small space? A small space should not in any way limit your creativity, but of course they do have some challenges. It can be tricky to find the right furniture, decoration pieces and color scheme. Storage solutions is another angle that needs attention. I had such a dilemma when I first moved in to a small apartment but with the right mindset I was able to pull it off.

Are you searching for living room ideas for your small space? A small space should not in any way limit your creativity, but of course they do have some challenges. It can be tricky to find the right furniture, decoration pieces and color scheme. Storage solutions is another angle that needs attention. I had such a dilemma when I first moved in to a small apartment but with the right mindset I was able to pull it off.

1.Decorate According to Your Lifestyle

scandinavian living room

When decorating your small space, think of what you like to do the best in your living room and choose a design that will fit into your lifestyle. If you like to entertain a lot of people in your living room, choose living room ideas that focus on the comfort of your guests

Create a design that is cozy and warm enough to spend relaxing hours with family and friends. Choose furniture that is comfortable and lighting that will set the mood for creating lasting memories.

2. Make Your Living Room Reflect Your Personality

Your living room should be yours to own and not someone else’s.  It is your sanctuary. It is the space you come home to every night after a hard day’s work. Make sure that every piece you place in your living room is something you want to see day in and day out.

Are you a perky person? Do you like to read a lot? Are you the type who captures every important event in photos? Taking a close look at your personality will give you a lot of living room ideas to work with.

3. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirrors always magically make any room look large. You can either go for wall to wall mirrors or to add some mood, you can use one or two smaller mirrors and come up with a statement wall.

Position a mirror near a light source, may it be a lamp, pendant light or a candle. The mirror will extend the reach of the light and create an illusion of a larger space.

Another of the great living room ideas for small spaces when working with mirrors is to place it across or beside a window. The reflection of the outside view on the mirror is similar to having another window in your living room.

4. Neutral Colors Trick the Eyes

You will never go wrong with living room ideas that make use of neutral colors especially when you are dealing with a small space. Walls, ceilings, floors, and upholstery in neutral colors (soft hues, pastels) will reflect more light allowing the space to look larger.

Neutral colors feel light and bright, thus translating to a visually larger space. Neutral colors also bring a lot of sophistication and create a calm ambiance.

Read More About Best Cooler for Room

5. Go for Light

When choosing furniture for a small living room, always go for those that appear lightweight. Heavy looking furniture will make your space appear smaller than it already is. Be conscious of the visual weight of the furniture.

Choose furniture with light or pastel upholstery.  Furniture with legs, as well as a glass center and end tables create an illusion of openness and will therefore make your living room appear larger. More visual space is your goal and bulky furniture will tend to overstuff your small living room.

6. Substitute the Sofa for a Love Seat

A love seat requires lesser space than a full sized-sofa. It is cozier and warmer, too. Choose a loveseat with pastel upholstery.  Accessorize your loveseat with small, printed throw pillows.

Loveseats make very good living room ideas because they are easy to lay out. Should you decide to have a change of arrangements, loveseats are light and easy to move around your living room.

7. Consider a Backless Sofa

backless sofa

Sofas are not limited to be positioned against the wall or near a wall. You can position a sofa in the middle of the room. It is one of the best living room ideas for open spaces.

Should you see the need to position your sofa in the middle of the living room, go for a backless sofa. It will make your living room look larger, and it will provide additional seating options. The nice thing about backless sofas is it can be used from either sides.

8. Have a Window Seat

Small living room ideas should include a window seat that will allow you to make an otherwise unused space become functional. It is an additional seating space when you have guests. It can also be your own private nook.

Decorate your window seat in patterns that are coordinated with the rest of the furniture. Go for subtle stripes in a living room that is overflowing with plain –deigned pastels.

Adding some storage space below your window seat to make it more functional is a brilliant idea. When you have guests, move the other furniture closer to the window seat so everyone is seated close to each other.

9. Wood for a Lighter Feel

wood living room ideas

Fully upholstered furniture is not your only option. Wooden furniture exudes a visual effect of being light and is one of the small living room ideas you may want to consider. Be careful in choosing wooden furniture though because there are ones that really are and look bulky.

The color of this wooden furniture is refreshing as it is not in the usual brown or black varnish making it appear extremely light. The mint green upholstery makes the room appear lighter. The matching wooden side table and shelves, as well as the glass top center table give an illusion of more visual space.

10. You Can Manage Without a Sofa

no sofa living room ideas

There is no rule that says a living room needs to have a sofa. If you really have a tight space, go for living room ideas without sofas. Go for a couple of armchairs placed around a coffee table. This is an out of the box idea that is worth trying.

Armchairs around a coffee table in your living room consume lesser space than the conventional sofa with two armchairs. This arrangement is also conducive for conversations among family and friends because each one is seated across everyone else.

11. Slim Coffee Table

A coffee table is an essential piece of furniture in a living room. You need one to lay your drinks and food on when entertaining guests. What happens when you do not have enough floor space? You can always opt for a slim coffee table.

This slim coffee table will add a lot of charm to your living room. It is also convenient to rest your glass of wine. What is even more exciting is this leather upholstered slim coffee table can also double as additional seating space.

12. Go For Furniture with Thin Legs

Furniture with thin legs appear light. It creates an illusion of having more space because more of the floor is visible. Most modern living room ideas include sofas, chairs and coffee tables with exposed and thin legs.

The coffee table here, with its high and exposed thin legs, gives the room some breathing space. It creates an illusion of having more space for other stuff.

13. Sectional Sofa Uses Lesser Space

A small and narrow space is always a challenge for living room ideas. You need furniture that will not appear cramped and tight while trying to make use of every available space.

A sectional sofa will do the trick. It will not use up so much of your precious space, but it will provide a lot of seating space for guests.

14. Make a Rug Work for You

Placing an area rug underneath furniture makes awesome small living room ideas. Living room rugs present an illusion of a larger floor space when it extends pass the furniture. A larger rug will create an illusion of more visual space because it will make the eye see a wider space and therefore make your living room appear bigger.

A rug that is just small enough to fit underneath your coffee table will make it all the more obvious that your living room has very little space for it. Optical illusion is important when coming up with living room ideas. A large rug may sound weird but it works in making the living room appear larger.

15. Use Well-loved Items as Decors

You definitely have some treasured items that you will want to place in safe storage spaces. However if you are lacking in space for storage, display some treasured items in the open. Tastefully arrange them in a coffee table. You can also build a floor to ceiling shelf for your collectibles just like this shelf for a tea pot collection.

Your collection can make very good conversation piece for guests. Who knows they may just bring a tea pot or two on their next visit.

16. Make Every Piece Multi-functional

Sofa beds have long been used in studio type apartments to save on space. The same concept should be present in almost every piece of furniture in limited spaced living room. It is a must that our living room ideas should include an ottoman that is not only an additional seating piece of furniture but also doubles as a storage space and coffee table.

Having an ottoman in your small living room can limit or completely eliminate clutter. It can even be used for last minute tidying when someone unexpected comes knocking because you can toss almost anything inside an ottoman as long as it fits.

17. Do Not Neglect Corners

In a small living room, every inch of space needs to be maximized. You always need to take advantage of what you have. You can transform an unused corner into your own personal space where you can do some reading.

Fill the entire corner. Use a big furniture because it will be able to make the space appear larger. A corner should never be taken for granted and should never be left out when conceptualizing small living room ideas. If you do not need a personal corner, you can add a corner shelf for additional storage.

18. Have Floor-to-Ceiling Shelves

Ceiling shelves always do the trick of making good use of the vertical space behind your furniture. It is one of the best small living room ideas that can hold so many stuff but do not consume too much space.

In this picture, the shelf is placed on a wall that could otherwise have been used to hang some frames. Frames are great, but isn’t it more practical to have a shelf that could hold many of your stuff?

19. Use Corners for Shelves

Check the corners of your living room to check which has remained unused. Installing floating shelves is one of the best living room ideas you can think of for an unused corner. It will serve both as additional storage and an attractive spot for your books and other decorations.

Floating shelves do not look heavy. Aside from that, they also make your living room look neat.

20. Say it With Plants

You should always have plants in your living room. No matter how small your living room is, you will always be able to find space for plants. Green plants lighten corners and provide an illusion of a larger space.

Plants make your living room look refreshing. look great in corners and beside sofas. They will also look attractive in your coffee table and shelves. Living room ideas are never complete without plants, may you have a large living and especially so when you have a small one.

21. Hang Curtains From  the Ceiling

Hanging curtains from the ceiling instead of from the window itself will make the eye look upwards and will create an illusion of a larger space. Living room ideas should always work to trick the eye.

In a small living room, emphasis must be given to both horizontal and vertical dimensions to create an illusion of more space. In this living room, the vertical dimension was emphasized by the ceiling-to-floor curtains making the living room appear larger than it actually is.

22. Smart Lighting Enlarges the Space

smart lighing living room

Clever living room ideas make good use of every light that is available. Pastel or light upholstery reflect more light and makes the room bright. In contrast, dark colored upholstery will look heavy and will tend to make the room look smaller than it already is. Window treatments should always be kept to a minimum so as not to block natural light from coming in.

In a small living room, save floor space by using lighting that can be hanged on the ceiling or walls. If you have a floor lamp, place it in a corner so it does nor consume much space and at the same time you have maximized corner space.

23. Make Good Use of Space Under the Stairs

Although it can be a struggle, it is convenient to have additional storage space under the stairs.  The space under the stairs should not be limited to storage. You can use it as a working or study nook. You can also transform it into a cozy reading corner.

Smart living room ideas will always include making use of space under the stairs. Here, a floating table and some floating shelves have been installed. Storage cabinets have also been installed beside the tables and shelves.

24. Add a Mezzanine

Should you really need additional space in your small living room, consider adding a mezzanine. A mezzanine can make your living room appear larger than it actually is because the eye will tend to look upward to more space.

In your small living room, your mezzanine can be your entertainment area where the TV and components are. You can also make it into a mini office so all your work related stuff are in one place making your main living room clutter-free.

25. Add Storage Space Around Your Television

As you can see, it is possible. Wall mount your television and get additional storage from the space underneath. The space underneath is as precious as the space above a mounted television.  You can hang picture frames or install shelves.

Living room ideas around a television can be tricky when you have limited space. While you would like to maximize every little space you have, you need to be mindful so as not to block a good view of the screen.

26. Choose the Right Wallpaper Design

wall paper design

The wallpaper design you choose may make or break the optical illusion you may like to create for your small living room. You will never go wrong with a horizontal striped design.  A horizontal design always makes anything look larger than it actually is, thus wallpaper in this design will make your small living room look larger.

Here, the wall paper design is in horizontal pastel. It perfectly coordinates with the horizontal designed upholstery of the loose pillows of the sofa. In contrast the bulky single chair looks lighter because of its vertical designed upholstery.

Living room ideas must always take into consideration coordinates. Furniture that do not match will looked cramped and will make our small living room appear smaller.

27. Be as Minimalistic as Possible

Less is always more. While you would like to make use of every available space in your small living room, make sure, the furniture, shelves and storage areas do not appear cramped. If you do it the right, even if you fill up your walls with shelves your small living room will not appear small.

Of course, it is a no brainer that with less furniture and decoration, a small living room will definitely look larger. If you are one who is comfortable, with a minimalist home, by all means, opt for these living room ideas.

28. Keep it Cozy and Warm


It is often said that small living room ideas should be multi-functional so you can maximize every inch of the small space. The same can still be achieved while at the same time keeping your living room warm, cozy and extremely welcoming.

Here, the sofa and rug comes in pastel color and the center table and arm chair are in dark maroon. The furniture are well-placed so that even if they appear a bit big, they do not look cramped in this small space. The fireplace has added some drama to make this small living room warm and cozy.  Notice, too, the corner cabinet which serves as storage.

29. Place Shelves Above the Door

Maximize the space between the door and the ceiling. That space can be as small as a foot but nevertheless it can hold an open shelf or a slim hanging cabinet. The space above the door is seldom considered as living room ideas but it is a big help for additional storage and decorating area.

When you have fragile decors on a shelf above your door, just like the one above, make sure to always gently close the door. You do not want all those decors on the floor in pieces.

30. Decorate with Gold

decorate with gold

Gold pieces are perfect small living room ideas. You can do some glamorizing of your small space as long as you watch the visual weight of your furniture. Avoid overstuffing your sofa with throw pillows that are not coordinated. They will make your small space look even smaller.

Here, thin lines of gold accentuate the table lamp and the coffee table. Notice that the gold center table décor adds the finishing touch to this glamorized small living room.

31. Go Colorful

Colorful prints and patterns create a stylish look. When mixing patterns, make sure to coordinate them with a single color scheme.

Here, bright colors add to the lightness of the room. The bright colors create an illusion that the living room is larger than it is. The thin and exposed legs of the coffee table exposed more of the colorful rug adding more to the brightness of the room.


Having enough space is always an issue when you have a small living room. The size always makes you worried on how you are going to fit in all your stuff and still have a welcoming home. I had the same worries too when I first saw my small living room. Those worries were gone as I took to heart the living room ideas presented above.

Do you have any other ideas on how to make a small living room look larger? Share with us some of your thoughts in the comments section. I hope these living room ideas will be a big help to you as they were to me.

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