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Expert tips for decorating a small living room

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Who are the people that have enormous living rooms that are on a gargantuan scale? Not all of us, that's for sure and while we might think it would be nice to have some extra space to play with, we know that your lounge is already the perfect spot for some happy relaxation, if you get the decor right! If that feels like a lot of pressure, don't fret, as we are here to help you learn how to amplify the space in your home!

Take a look at our tips for making the most of a small living room and by the end of the article, we have a feeling that you will be casting your gaze over your space with a far more appreciative and adventurous eye!

Employ light and mirrors

 Living room by ÁBATON Arquitectura
ÁBATON Arquitectura


ÁBATON Arquitectura

When you have a small space on your hands it can be difficult to know how to make the best of it, but one tried and tested method is to use a little trickery to make the room appear far larger, even though the footprint will stay exactly the same. The best way to achieve this is by including either a lot of light in the room or mirrors, which effectively double the size of the room.

We think this small living room from Ábaton looks incredible and unless you are specifically looking to gauge the dimensions of this bijou relaxation area, you don't actually notice how tiny it is. Thanks to the vast amount of natural light that is pouring in, this elegant room feels far larger.

Keep everything in proportion

If you have a small living room to contend with, the last thing you should be considering is enormous pieces of furniture, or items that don't correlate with each other, scale wise. This might sound like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people think that  a large corner sofa is making the most of every available inch of space in a small room, when in fact, it is simply soaking up all the footprint.

Keep all furniture proportional to the room, as well as other items and leave enough access space between them as this will give an impression of spaciousness and vastness when in fact, it's all just a trick of the eye.

Add a little colour and attitude

 Living room by Sandra Dages
Sandra Dages

Coin salon

Sandra Dages

Don't worry that a small living room means you can't accessorise with some dramatic pops of colour, that's not true at all. We don't recommend that you opt to paint the walls in the brightest shade you can find, but adding them in small doses will actually help to give your space character and a feeling of largeness.

By keeping bigger pieces neutral in colour, accessories can really make them pop, so items such as cushions and small side tables, as seen here, are fantastic in funky, bright colours and help to detract from the rest of the clever styling, such as neutral wall and floor colours.

Less is more

A small living room can benefit from a more minimalist touch, but don't think that you have to create a very plain and sterile space to accommodate this tip! Minimalism simply seeks to make the most of usable space without giving in to the desire to fill it with ornamental or unimportant items that serve no practical function. Put like that, a living room would feasibly still have a comfortable sofa, media centre and even plants, but no extraneous pieces of large furniture that will soak up all the light and air in the room. 

Pared back simplicity can be stylish, warm and beautiful, not to mention perfect for a small living room!

Use curtains as room dividers

 Living room by Sandra Dages
Sandra Dages

Appartement paris 11 ème

Sandra Dages

If you are keen to make a small living room appear mush larger, one great technique is to soften the divides between other rooms in the house, as this creates a more open plan feel and allows the dimensions of other spaces to add to that of a smaller individual area.

Curtains make perfect room divides when you are looking to make a space feel larger, as they are fluid, removable and eminently more delicate than a solid wall with a shut door. We think this example is absolutely lovely and has transformed the seating area instantly. 

Include multifunctional furniture

When space is a sought after commodity and you have a small living room with not a lot of it, it's time to get clever with your furniture by embracing multifunctional items. We think the TV mount/media centre/bookshelf installation on the largest wall in this living room is inspired and manages to solve a host of problems with just one solution. Add to that the fact that it simply looks good, minimises the clutter throughout the rest of the room and makes it feel cosy but spacious and we think we've found some décor magic!

For extra living room inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 10 Elegant Living Room Ideas. Always remember that you don't have to follow the examples to the letter, so look for individual ideas that you can adopt!

Have you managed to make your living room feel larger with design? Tell us your secrets!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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