25 Best Small Living Room Arrangement and Decorating Ideas
by RJ Living | June 1, 2021
25 Best Small Living Room Arrangement and Decorating Ideas
When you’re looking for small living room decorating ideas, it’s easy to get lost in all the design ideas and photos online. With so many examples of interior design and creative solutions out there, it’s hard to see common traits all these designs share. These ideas can be the foundation for decorating a small living room that suits your needs and looks awesome at the same time!
1. Light Colors Make the Room Look Larger
To make the most of a small space, use a lighter color theme. Small spaces that have a dark paint color absorb a lot of light. This creates an effect that makes the room look more like a dungeon than a home! You should try to match your furniture to this lighter color scheme, too. That way, you create a consistent floor-to-ceiling theme throughout the space and set the tone for the room’s design.
2. White Accents Lighten Up the Room
If your small living space is already a dark color and you can’t change it, there’s a solution. Using white design accents, like white curtains or picture frames, can help lighten up the area. The white from these accents will catch the eye and create a contrast with the darker walls and furniture. It also helps if the accents are a different texture from the rest of the furniture. A fluffy, white blanket against a dark sofa or white metallic picture frames against a white wall create a bigger contrast. It all helps to create those interesting design elements that catch the eye!
3. Use Counters/Shelves to Store Seating
If you have any low shelves or counters in your living space, this can be an excellent space to store your seating! Stools, backless chairs, or another seating piece you like that slides under this counter does two things for your space: it creates a unique design element to the room and helps declutter the floor space for other furniture.
4. Use Wall Shelving for Decorating
A few floating shelves on the wall can add a lot of extra space back to small living rooms while still leaving room to add decor and character. Whether these shelves install into part of the living space or free-floating shelves, you’re adding in storage that frees up floor space for other pieces. The right shelves can also be the focal point of your living room. When you choose the right shelving for this, it’s best to use floating shelves that are the same color as the wall. This way, there is a seamless transition into the shelves, and the decor on the shelves can stand out without being too busy.
5. Use Small End Tables to Take Up Less Space
When it comes to small living room ideas, simple is key! End tables are great for creating horizontal storage space for decor and items you use. But, larger tables will take up space on the floor that could impede walkways and keep you from having other furniture in the living area. End tables with one or more drawers, or even just a shelf at the bottom, can give you the storage space you need without taking up extra space.
6. Install Lighting On The Wall
Standalone lamps can make great design features, but only if you have the floor space to spare in your living room. For small living spaces, it’s better to try and install lighting on the wall or ceiling. This way, you can free up space and keep from cluttering things up too much in your compact living room. Smart lighting that turns on and off under certain lighting conditions can be a fun design element that installs on the wall.
7. Buy Individual Chairs Instead of a Sofa
Big, comfy sofas are a welcome sight when you get home, but they take up a lot of space. If you opt for some individual chairs instead, you can free up floor space to keep the room from feeling tight.
8. Use a Large Rug for the Centerpiece
A floor rug can help tie a room together, especially if you match the rug to the room’s color scheme. A large rug will help anchor the space and keep the floor from being visually broken up. Corner seating benefits the most from this idea since you’re helping draw the eye to the seating with the rug.
9. Layer Coffee Tables to Suit Your Needs
Coffee tables that layer together let you have the amount of table when you need it, and then condense down when you’re done. This way, you can keep the living space feeling open. Plus, the layered look for coffee tables is a popular, modern living room design feature that can be a great centerpiece or focal point for a room!
10. Use Tall Curtains if You Have a High Ceiling
High ceilings in a small floor space give you a chance to use curtains as a fun design element. Tall windows can be accentuated with simple, full curtains to create a grander feeling to the living space. If you hang the curtains well above the window, they will help create a sense of openness in the room.
11. Create an Intimate Nook
If you want to create a seating space that doesn’t compromise the layout of the room, an intimate nook can fill that need. Living room nooks can be used for reading, early morning coffee or an unwinding space. You can put your own design spins on the idea easily with a cosy armchair. A pair of stools with a small table for reading or board games can make a great living space with minimal floor space used.
12. Be Consistent With Color Choice
Even if you decide to go with a darker color scheme for your small living space, you have to stay consistent. Too many different colors in a small area will clutter up the design and create a blend of the space’s hard to distinguish areas. Accents and decor should create pops of color that catch the eye, not confuse the eye on where to go next!
13. Float Your Furniture
Floating furniture is when you have your furniture pulled away from the walls or in the center of the room. When furniture is away from the walls, it creates a sense of space or openness that can be hard to find in a small living space.
14. If You Buy a Sofa, Get a Small One
The main idea behind most very small living room ideas is to declutter as much as possible. Sofas can take up a lot of space, but a smaller sofa or loveseat could fill your seating needs without getting in the way.
15. Make the Space Multi-Purpose
When you have little space to work with, it’s best to use the space you have to serve many purposes. This could mean arranging your living space to be a home office and dining room or having furniture that can serve as a work desk and a dining table at once.
16. Try Ottomans Instead of a Coffee Table
While not as fancy as a layered coffee table, ottomans can be a good substitute for a coffee table. Many ottomans are hollow in the middle, giving you another space to store stuff and keep your living space organized. Also, since ottomans are small and portable, they can be stored under counters and tables with no issues.
17. Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Natural light is an easy way to make sure your living room feels open and airy. It gives you a view of the outdoors, which our mind associates with bigger spaces. If you have tall windows, then make sure to use that to your full advantage! Lighter shades of curtains or shades will allow light to come in without being absorbed or reflected by the window cover.
18. Add Mirrors to the Space
One of the oldest tricks in opening up a room is to use mirrors. Mirrors help small living spaces feel more open and airy since they reflect some of the room towards you. It’s almost like adding another section of the room onto the floor plan! Mirrors can come in many styles and sizes. That means it's easy to experiment with mirrors that add this openness while also adding unique character to the design.
19. Mirrored Surfaces Can Create the Illusion of Space
Like with adding mirrors, mirrored or reflective surfaces can add a grander feeling to a room. A lacquered wall or shiny tiles can bounce some of the light entering the room back towards you, making the room feel bigger like how a mirror does. This works best for areas that get a lot of natural light. Most mirrored surfaces will be a darker color, so some of the light will get absorbed or diffused by the surface. The more light that hits it, the more that will bounce back and brighten up the room.
20. Keep Furniture Close Together
A common theme in small living room decorating ideas is to try and keep everything close together. This way, you can compact the room down into as small of a space as possible to create the illusion of a bigger space. This effect also gives the benefit of keeping walkways in the living space open and creating a comfy, intimate space for your home.
21. Make Storage in Creative Places
In a small home or apartment, every square foot matters when it comes to storage. The more places you have to store your stuff, the less likely your stuff is to clutter up or impose on the space. Creative storage solutions, like floating shelves, storage bins under the couch, or hollow ottomans, give you a way to store stuff out of sight. This is one of the best small apartment living room ideas to help open up space without sacrificing functionality.
22. Get a Small Dining Table
A place for family and friends to eat together is wonderful, but it’s hard to find space for a dining table in a small living room. It’s better to use a smaller table that seats four people than to opt for a larger 6 or 8 person table so that you aren’t taking up too much space. If you do opt for a larger table, aim to make it multi-purpose. This table could also be the desk for the home office or a horizontal surface for your decor needs.
23. Mount the TV...or Hide It!
Small living room ideas with a TV often get ignored, but the right TV arrangement will make a huge difference. Media consoles can take up a lot of space in your living space. One of the easiest ways to get around this is to mount the TV directly to the wall and install some shelving to go along with the other electronics. Or, you can hide the TV and electronics inside a media cabinet. This way, you can open up the cabinet when you want to use the TV, and have space left on top to place other items or decorations. Using either of these options, you give yourself floor space that otherwise wouldn’t have been available.
24. Use Any Surface Space You Have
Any horizontal surface can be made functional with a little bit of creativity. Use any surfaces from shelves, tables, or cabinets to add style and function to your living space. Lightning, decor, or any other essentials you have for your living space can go on these surfaces, so take advantage of them if they’re there!
25. Try Out a Wall Desk
For those that work from home or want a temporary workspace, a wall desk is an option with a small footprint. Wall desks are a desk that mounts to the wall and folds up when they are not in use. Rather than having a bulky computer desk, you can bring your laptop or tablet over to this desk, use it, and then fold it back up and out of the way. Many wall desks also come with shelves that can be installed by or above the wall desk, giving you extra storage options.
We hope these small living room design ideas have helped you get motivated to decorate your space! No matter what kind of compact living room you’re working with, the right living room ideas for small spaces will turn your small house into a home.