9 Small Living Room Ideas To Make Your Space Look Bigger

If you have a compact home then these small living room ideas will surely help maximize your common living area. We asked several professionals to give us their advice on making the living room seem larger. Beyond the typical responses, here’s what they had to say…

1. Declutter

One of the first rules of making any small space look larger is to remove the clutter. “A lot of clutter is going to make the room appear smaller and messy,” explains Marco Bizzley, a certified interior designer with HouseGrail. “You can do this by utilizing your wall space. Put up shelving where you can keep books and decorations. Hanging your television on the wall helps to create more space. You can also choose furniture that doubles as storage places.”

The Home Decor Lounge, an upscale home decor store shares, “For families with children, it is a great idea to dual-purpose furniture that can act as storage. For example, a storage ottoman can serve as a coffee table, footrest, additional seating, and of course as a storage bin.”

Deon Taylor Talks The Pathway serie...
Deon Taylor Talks The Pathway series with Alexus Renee on Celebrity Myxer

2. Less Is More

Another obvious rule is to not overcrowd your undersized space with furniture and decor. Zac Houghton, CEO of Loftera elaborates, “When it comes to design, less is more. Remove unnecessary furniture or decorations. You can also use stackable storage cubes or ottomans in order to have extra space for storage for your books, magazines, blankets, and anything else that you don’t want on display.”

Amy Lewicki of Three Daughters Home adds, “Enhance the flow with minimal furniture. When it comes to small living rooms, minimal furniture is best. We recently swapped out our two oversized couches for two smaller loveseats. This instantly made the room feel way more open!”

3. Go Big

Go big with a smaller living room

Go big with a smaller living room

Megan Dufresne, principal designer at MC Design would beg to contrast popular ideals explaining, “When it comes to small living room ideas, my top advice is not to shy away from fully using the space you have. Many people make the mistake of trying to go small in their decor choices in order to take up as little room as possible. But, in actuality, doing this makes the room look and feel even smaller.”

For example, using too small a rug emphasizes how small a room is. To create the illusion of more space, it would be better to use the largest rug a room can accommodate. In this way, you bring visual interest and warmth into the room without losing any actual space.

Along the same lines, tiny furniture ends up making an area seem cramped. Better to opt for the largest sofa that can comfortably fit in a room and still allow for side tables and walkways. This will help make the room feel inviting and cozy, rather than sparse or cold.

4. Brighten Up The Space

Brighten the room to create the illusion of a larger space

Brighten the room to create the illusion of a larger space

It’s not a coincidence when glazing at sunkissed picturesque views in magazines, they seem larger. Many interior designers would agree, adding more light can open up a space. “A bright space is an instant mood lifter,” describes Amy Lewicki. “One of the easiest ways to transform a space and make it appear larger is to lighten it up. You could also brighten a room with more natural light. Don’t be afraid to open up those curtains, and if adding natural light isn’t an option, add an accent lamp.”

5. Make A Large Rug Your Canvas

Small living room ideas - design furniture on top of a large area rug. Featured is the boucle style chairs and sofas.

Small living room ideas – design furniture on top of a large area rug. Featured is the boucle style chairs and sofas.

Just because the room is small, on the contrary, go bigger with the rug. Pushing everything against the wall can shrink the room. Amy Hillary of Wallsauce.com offers, “Don’t squash furniture against the walls. Funnily enough, this makes a space feel smaller. Instead, create a room within a room. Do this by having two small sofas or a sofa and a chair facing one another. Have a coffee table in the middle and a large rug bigger than all of these items put together. Basically, the rug needs to act as the canvas and the furniture on top, leaving a frame around the items. Choosing a small rug will only accentuate how small the room is so the bigger the better.”

6. Hang Higher

Maximizing the wall space can declutter as well as open an area too. “Do you love plants? Of course, who doesn’t? Instead of having pothos, basil, or any other plant on the windowsill you can get planters that you hang on the wall. This clears up floor and counter space,” details Beatrice A. Genco, licensed real estate salesperson at Triplemint. An illusion to elongate a space is to hang wall art higher on the wall. Genco explains, “Another tip is to hang your pictures and wall decorations higher up on the wall so your eyes naturally look up.”

7. Tall Shelving

Leonard Ang, CEO of iPropertyManagement expresses, “Go vertical! A small living room is a great place to take advantage of tall shelves as a way to maximize storage space without compromising square footage. A wall with a TV in the center, entertainment devices underneath, and bookshelves all around can be a great way to store and display everything you might need for entertaining.”

8. Use Mirrors

Chaucer Wall Mirror from The Home Decor Lounge

Chaucer Wall Mirror from The Home Decor Lounge

An illusion that tricks the mind into perceiving more square footage is the use of mirrors. The Home Decor Lounge advises, “Mirrors are one way to create a sense of depth in your home. For example, a large decorative centerpiece can mix with practical pieces such as a mirrored desk, console table, or even a glass top coffee table. Mirrors and glass surfaces allow more light to bounce the room, brightening and opening up the space.”

9. Hide The Big Screen

Asher Weinstein of ProjectorScreen.com offers an alternative to the flat-screen television, “Instead of using a traditional television, you can benefit from the power of projection. With a short-throw projector paired with the right retractable cinema screen, you’ll be able to save all the space a television would take up. When you pair your short throw projector with an ambient light rejecting projector screen, you get an image that would make this set up the perfect TV replacement. On top of saving space, you’re able to get a significantly larger screen size upwards of 100+ inches! And when you’re not watching TV or movies you simply roll up the screen allowing you to hang pictures behind it.”

Just because your pad is tiny doesn’t mean you have to fret. Try these fabulous small living room ideas from our experts and share your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo Credit: The Home Decor Lounge

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About the Author
Alexus Renée is a celebrity entertainment reporter covering celebs, music, movies, television, beauty, fashion, and sports. Offering national and international coverage; she has interviewed media moguls such as Tyler Perry, comedy stars such as SNL’s Kenan Thompson, and visionaries like director John Singleton, plus many more. Renée has covered star-studded red carpet galas for BET Networks, Urban One (including subsidiaries Radio One and Entertainment One,) OWN Networks, and AT&T. She serves as Host, Co-founder, and CEO of Celebrity Myxer.
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