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Smart layout ideas for your small living room

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Let's cast aside the notion that you can't truly have a fabulous living room unless it is gargantuan in size. In fact, let's really start the rumour that all the best spaces are a little more bijou and take some extra thought and consideration to get the best out of them, as we think that is the case.

While lashings of room to play with can be a benefit, it can also be a chore. How can you really be sure that everything is cohesive and perfectly proportioned if you are working to such a large scale? We say a hearty hurrah for the small living rooms that are lovely in their demeanour and stature and offer us the chance to get really creative with our layouts. 

Take a look at our ideas for really getting the most out of a small living room and see if you might be tempted to have a little furniture switcheroo this afternoon!

Try a small sofa against the wall

We totally understand the desire to treat yourself to the biggest, comfiest and most squidgy sofa out there but when you have a small living room, it pays to be a little bit sensible with the settee purchase. After all, how relaxing would you find it to have to clamber all over your other furniture just to get seated on it in the evening? 

We think this picture, from Donde Design, really shows the potential that a small living room offers to be stylish and chic as well as comfy. By selecting a small sofa and placing it against the wall, full movement is maintained and you can get comfy with some luxe cushions!

Don't neglect the corners

Victorian armchair:  Living room by Linney Hughes
Linney Hughes

Victorian armchair

Linney Hughes

You might look at your small living room and wonder what you can do with the space to make it comfortable and welcoming enough for a few people but it's more than likely that you are neglecting the corners, like we all do. We seem to be programmed to ignore their potential.

Corners are the perfect spot for high-back armchairs and small occasional tables so, for a quieter area that will suit the bookworms in your family, don't forget to delve into them to add a little comfort and light. You'll be shocked at how much space they really offer.

Opt for one sofa and smaller chairs

 Living room by malee



When you have a small living room you might have to accept that multiple sofas are not a possibility for you and that a far more sensible and practical use of the space would be to have one sofa and some complementary armchairs instead. 

We actually think that the days of needing more than one sofa are pretty much over unless, of course, you don't like sitting with other people or you have a very large family. If that is the case we think you'll have a larger living room anyway. Armchairs and sofas are the perfect partnership!

Have built-in storage

St John's Wood:  Living room by Patience Designs
Patience Designs

St John's Wood

Patience Designs

If you have no extra floor space that you are able to willing to sacrifice for storage then start looking to your walls for a little inspiration. Built-in solutions are fantastic as they can house everything you need but take up little to no extra room while doing it.

We think that in a small living room built-in storage close to and surrounding the television is a fantastic idea. It allows you to place all your DVDs and set top boxes close to where you need them without requiring you to give up any of your precious space.

Don't think you can't add a rug

Seaford Court:  Living room by Recent Spaces
Recent Spaces

Seaford Court

Recent Spaces

While we are telling you what works for a small living room we wanted to quickly debunk a myth for you. Don't believe that having a small living room means that you can't invest in a lovely rug. It won't shrink the space nor will it look too busy if you choose something classic and understated. 

We think a rug can actually be a lovely addition to even the most bijou of lounges as it adds a touch of extra luxury and really highlights where the relaxation is supposed to begin. So, put those stereotypes of interior design out of your head! 

Stick to small chairs

Fiona Gold Velvet Cushion:  Living room by Ragged Rose
Ragged Rose

Fiona Gold Velvet Cushion

Ragged Rose

If you really do have a small living room and nothing seems to make it feel more spacious, why not simply stick to a number of small chairs?

Easier to place, position and change up, smaller chairs, such as armchairs and even fun rocking chairs, as seen here, offer you comfort without hogging all the available space. After all, there's no rulebook anywhere that states you absolutely have to have a sofa in your living room so why not write your own living room rules?

For more small living room tips, take a look at this Ideabook: Expert Tips For Decorating A Small Living Room. Perhaps you need to consider your paint colours, too…

How have you made the most of your small living room? Have you used any of these ideas? Share your tips with us...
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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