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8 ways to design and lay out your small living room in 2020

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Scandinavian style living room by NF Diseño de Interiores Scandinavian
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Any space can present its fair share of design challenges, but as the living room is probably the interior zone where you tend to entertain, socialise, and relax the most, we’re going to be focusing on that one today – a small one, that is. 

But how does one strike a balance between making that small living room feel grand and inviting without resorting to clutter? Sure, you can hire a top-notch Interior Designer / Decorator to help you out, but you can also scroll down for these age-old tricks that still work in 2020…

1. Opt for mirrors and wallpaper

Violet Flowers Eclectic style living room by Pixers Eclectic

Violet Flowers


Beat that boxed-in feeling that so many small living rooms suffer from, especially ones short on windows. Choose a focal point, boost the interior light, and add depth by papering a wall and adding a mirror on top.

Bonus points if you can position that mirror directly across a window to reflect and maximise the incoming light! 

2. Add hidden storage

Furniture with built-in storage compartments are worth their weight in gold in small spaces! And pieces like trunks or storage ottomans doubling as coffee tables are true tried-and-tested gems.

For the perimeter of your small living room, consider a small chest of drawers or a tiny credenza as opposed to a console table to further enhance storage options.

3. Go with small-scale furnishings

Full-size sofas and bulky armchairs are NOT must-have pieces for a living room. Why don’t you scope out some antique shops for small-scale designs, as the average room during the last half century or so used to be quite small? Keep an eye out for small settees, love seats, and chairs that can enhance your small space without overcrowding it. 

4. Look up

Blessed with high ceilings in your tiny living room? Use it to your advantage by drawing the eye up with a vertical eclectic art gallery, patterned walls, eye-catching lighting fixtures, or even a neat ceiling design. It can give the impression that your small living room is much larger and grander. 

5. Fill up a corner

Sometimes choosing the largest piece of furniture can actually make a room feel bigger. How so? Consider the fact that many generously sized sectionals are quite comfy and can seat a number of guests. But as it works as just one piece, it helps to make the space feel uncluttered. 

If this sounds like a genius idea to you, just choose a modern sectional with clean, straight lines as opposed to an overstuffed, overly decorated model. 

6. Downsize your sofa(s)

If there’s no room for a full-size sofa, then there’s simply no room. Instead, go with a slimmed-down love seat or a petite sofa that has clean lines, exposed legs, and a subtle colour palette for the airiest of looks.  

7. Add some Mother Nature

Similar to mirrors and (the right) wallpaper, plants are a wonderful way to add depth and character to a small space. Lush greenery helps to soften corners and fools the eye into thinking there is more to the room than there truly is. 

And we especially love the idea of placing plants in corners and beside or behind chairs and sofas. 

8. Invest in some spare seating

Living room by WN Interiors Modern living room by WN Interiors Modern
WN Interiors

Living room by WN Interiors

WN Interiors

A very small living room might not allow you all the seating options you would like. But one way around this is to invest in some folding café chairs or stacking stools and keep them in a closet (or under a bed) where you can quickly grab them in case your guests are multiplying. 

On that note, we have these 10 fabulous colours to paint the walls of your small living room

Any other bright ideas you can think of for that small living room of yours?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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