Wish your small living room was bigger? While we can’t magically fix that, we can help you make it seem bigger with our small living room furniture, décor, colour and layout ideas. The goal should be to maximise the space and make it feel larger. All you need is some smart buys, careful placement and clever illusion to create a spacious living room that you can relax and enjoy spending time in.

Furniture for Small Living Rooms

Go for slimmer and less obtrusive pieces:
When furnishing a small living room, it’s important to choose pieces that won’t overwhelm the space. This means going with furniture that is low, light, and slim. Look for things like small coffee tables and side tables and narrow armchairs. Avoid things like bulky ottomans and wide-armed couches, which will make the space feel crowded.

Look for multifunctional pieces:
With limited space available, it important to choose pieces that can do double-duty. For example, an ottoman or bench can serve as additional seating when needed, but can also be used as a coffee table or even a TV stand. A chest or cabinet can double as both storage and a sideboard/buffet.

Choose low seating:
Rather than opting for a bulky, high-backed sofa, consider going with low seating instead. This will create a much more modern small living room and won’t take up a lot of visual space. Choose couches with slim arms, like mid-century modern pieces with slender, tapered legs. You can also choose low slung armchairs, ottomans, or beanbags for additional seating.

Furniture with legs:
The more floor area you can see, the larger your room will appear, so opt for furniture with legs or floating furniture. This will create visual flow underneath, from one side of the room to the other.


Small Lounge Décor

Well-Used Walls:
Walls are your best friend when floor space is limited. Wall-mounted shelves, bars and even vertical wine racks are great choices for maximising space in a small living room. You can also use the walls to create a focal point with a large mirror or piece of artwork to draw the eye up and distract from the smallness of the room. Utilising mirrors is the oldest trick in the book for small spaces so hang two large mirrors opposite each other to give the illusion of extra space.

Hide Corners:
To avoid drawing attention to the edges of the room, strategically place décor like a large plant or accent table in the corners of your living space. This will hide the harsh edges so the walls of the room do not feel so defined, therefore making the space appear more expansive.

Maximise natural light:
A dark, underlit space will feel much more closed in than a light-filled and airy space, so you want to ensure you allow in as much light as possible. If you have the choice, floor to ceiling windows will flood your small space with beautiful, natural light from dawn to dusk. Also consider your window treatments carefully- thick, heavy drapes will dominate the space, so instead go for light, sheer curtains, blinds, or shutters.

No clutter:
The last thing you want in a small living room, is to waste precious space with clutter. Instead of lots of small décor items, opt for larger, more intentional pieces. These will help the space feel more organised, relaxing and less crowded.


Small Living Room Paint & Colour Trends

With many designers saying light, bright colours are a must in small spaces and others arguing that dark colours are just as great, who do you believe? What this really shows us is there is no right or wrong. It completely depends on your personal style and what kind of vibe you are trying to create. If you want a calming, airy space then yes, light colours will probably serve your purpose best. But if you’d prefer to embrace the modest size with a more cosy, intimate vibe, then a darker colour will set the mood perfectly.

The choice is yours- but whichever way you go, ensure the colours throughout the space are cohesive. Try to stick to a limited colour palette, because when you try to incorporate too many, the space will feel visually cluttered and confused.


Laying Out a Small Living Space

When deciding on the best layout for your small living room, it can be tempting to just cram in as much furniture as possible. This is a common mistake in small living room designs and should be avoided. Too much furniture will enhance its sense of smallness and lead to a space that feels stuffy and crowded. There are plenty of ways to get around this, like making use of the corners with a corner/sectional sofa which will provide a good amount of seating and look a lot better than two different sofas crammed together. There are other ways you can get in additional seating too, with window seats, beanbags or ottomans, which won’t take up too much space.

To ensure you’re layout still meets your needs, without being crammed, it’s important to define the purpose of your space. Living rooms can have so many different uses. Do you want a comfortable area to watch TV, or relax in the evenings, or a more sociable area for entertaining friends?

If it’s an area with a screen, choose an entertainment unit as your centrepiece, then you can face a sofa and possibly one or two accent chairs towards it, depending on the shape and size of your space. Add in a side table or coffee table and the space will look complete. If a TV is not your focal point, then maybe it’s a fireplace or a beautiful view- use this as an anchor point to determine the layout of your furniture.

For more conversational areas, use a coffee table as your centrepiece and arrange seating around it. A larger sofa facing one or two accent chairs works well in a small space, as the accent chairs will prevent the space from feeling too closed off, especially in open plan living, where it’s important to have flow through the entire room.


We hope our small living room ideas will help transform your home, and if you've got some more small spaces to tackle, feel free to check out our ideas for small bedrooms and small dining rooms as well.