Disraeli Road, Putney:  Living room by Grand Design London Ltd

Small living room ideas that create HUGE potential

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton

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Coming up with small living room ideas, cosy or otherwise, can be incredibly tricky, especially when so many interior design magazines seem to focus on generous spaces that are easy to work with! That's why we've created this guide; to showcase some fabulous ideas for more modest lounges, which will create hugely stylish spaces that even those with enormous living rooms will envy!

From luxury lounge designs through to small living room ideas on a budget, the following tips are guaranteed to turn a diminutive space into a gorgeous showcase of generous proportions and designer chic. What's more, each of these suggestions can be made to work with any budget constraints, so there really are countless possibilities for making more of a modest home.

1. Use ottomans and stool as extra seats in small living rooms.

Family Living:  Living room by CATO creative
CATO creative

Family Living

CATO creative

When it comes to creating small living room designs, practicality and life-improving elements are the most important inclusions. With this in mind, maintaining clear pathways but always accounting for enough seating options can seem like an impossible balancing act, but by using clever furniture pieces, dual functionality can be taken advantage of. Take a large ottoman as an example of what we mean; handy footstool day-to-day and extra seating as and when needed. Clever!

2. Keep things neutral and bright in a small living room.

Living room : Neutral tones :  Living room by In:Style Direct
In:Style Direct

Living room : Neutral tones

In:Style Direct

Small space living ideas don't come more more simple, understated and elegant than embracing a neutral colour scheme, top to bottom. From wall paint shades through to furniture, rugs and everything in between, neutral colours, such as pale beige, light grey and good old fashioned white will instantly make a small room look and feel far larger. Not only that, but light flow will be greatly improved with light colours everywhere.

3. Draw the eye upwards in a small living room.

Small space living rooms require creativity and sometimes, a little trickery to look better than their dimensions. With this in mind, drawing the eye up, towards the ceiling, with clever tall accessories and eye-catching colour schemes. Tall candles, long-stemmed floral arrangements and high-level shelving will all help no end and create the impression of a wonderfully high ceiling and in turn, a large living room. 

4. Minimise the bulky technology items in a small living room.

Full House Renovation with Crittall Extension, London:  Living room by HollandGreen

Full House Renovation with Crittall Extension, London


It's no secret that a TV will usually be a central installation in any living room, but in a smaller space, innovative ways to integrate technology need to be thought of. Often requiring an entire corner to be sacrificed to house them, TVs are a blessing and a curse in a small living room, which is why a professionally wall-mounted option works SO well.

This picture is a great demonstration of how small open plan kitchen living room ideas can be really brought to life with sleek technology installations, practical furniture AND light colours. It's the best of every world!

5. Install multifunctional furniture in small living rooms.

Limetree, Plymouth:  Living room by ADG Bespoke
ADG Bespoke

Limetree, Plymouth

ADG Bespoke

Hopefully it goes without saying that transforming furniture is the key to honing in on some modern living room ideas that will really work and help a tiny space to feel exponentially larger. sofa beds have come a long way since their inception and now, can be used daily as living room seating and still be comfortable as an occasional bed and with so many styles to choose from, it would be short sighted not to see this is a good idea. Storage ottomans wouldn't go amiss either.

6. Maintain a focus on textures.

Truffle sofa:  Living room by Loaf

Truffle sofa


A cornerstone of gorgeous living room design is the ability to recognise when a little texture will go a long way. In terms of small spaces, it can be a deceptively good technique to make decadent and luxurious textile diversity the star of the show. After all, textiles don't take up a lot of space but can be wonderfully distracting.

7. Create a dynamic focal point.

Small living room decorating ideas usually need to be centred around a particular feature, so as to make for a dramatic and unavoidable focal point, which in turn, will absolutely detract from the bijou dimensions of the space. Add some colourful accessories or even some targeted lighting and a focal point transforms into a show-stopping part of a living room that will overshadow absolutely anything, even a less than perfect size.

8. Make art work harder.

Shoreditch Apartment 2:  Living room by YAM Studios
YAM Studios

Shoreditch Apartment 2

YAM Studios

A few pieces of piquant wall art never go amiss in any room of the home, but in a small living room, pictures, prints and even fabulous sculptures can really help to draw the eye away from annoyingly small proportions. Use the artwork to add in an accent colour or two as well and then things get really exciting and designer-chic!

9. Make the lighting something to really admire.

Queens Park House:  Living room by Honeybee Interiors
Honeybee Interiors

Queens Park House

Honeybee Interiors

A small living room doesn't have to be a big issue, if the finishing touches are given a huge amount of thought and chosen with va va voom in mind. If a little functionality can be combined with fashionable looks, so much the better, which is why a statement light fixture will never be a bad move. Drawing the eye up and away from a small floor plan, an eye-catching main light will also help to add some vibrancy to a small space. Two bonuses for the price of one light fixture.

10. Don't fight original features.

Richmond Full House Refurbishment:  Living room by A1 Lofts and Extensions
A1 Lofts and Extensions

Richmond Full House Refurbishment

A1 Lofts and Extensions

Finally, in a small living room, it makes no sense to try and fight period features when they can simply be integrated into the design. By giving some credence to original features, they can become natural focal points that detract from small spaces and can instantly perk up an otherwise very pared back scheme. Original fireplaces and decorative hearths are particularly effective.

Are you seeing the potential to make more of your small living room now?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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