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small living room design

9 Foolproof Small Living Room Design Ideas

If you’re struggling with your small living room design, you’re not alone. Many small space dwellers find it trickiest to decorate their living rooms, according to our Modsy designers. They previously shared some of their best hands-on tips for decorating small living rooms. Still, it’s a common design struggle that perplexes many homeowners—and we can totally see why.

First, when you’re already pressed for space in your home, the living room needs to function as a catchall area, meaning it needs to be designed for entertaining, lounging, dining, and even working. Second, because you’re working with limited space, you have to get creative with your decorating, be it small space hacks or sneaky storage solutions. Finally, you want to make sure you bring all the comforts of a normal-sized living room design into your pint-sized one, which is no simple feat. It all needs to add up to a space where form meets function meets comfort.

Below, we’ve rounded our best small living room ideas to help inspire you. Keep reading for our favorite foolproof tips for tackling this tricky space!

small living room design

1. Optimize Your Vertical Space

Take a page from this mid-century-meets-boho space, which makes clever use of all the wall height. This will help add vertical storage and make your ceilings look taller. Decorate at least two walls in a living room that has tall ceilings to balance out the room visually and add a sense of well-rounded warmth.

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Design Ideas To Try

Add double bookcases. With any apartment living room design that doesn’t come with built-in storage or wall shelving, tall open bookcases will create extra storage for baskets and bins. Fill it with your favorite decor and objects so that it doubles as a functional and stylish display.

Hang a large tapestry. This helps create the illusion of a more spacious living room. It does so by drawing the eye up and making the ceilings feel higher than they are. And even if you don’t have super high ceilings, hanging a tapestry will cozy up your living room by giving it some warm visual texture.

small living room design2. Prioritize Dual-Function Furniture

If you’re dealing with a smaller living room that’s also long and rectangular, be sure to maximize the whole space. Finding furniture that fits and serves multiple purposes will be a game-changer for your small space.

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Design Ideas To Try

Look for a small space sectional. In a tiny living room, find a piece that maximizes your main seating by choosing a sofa that fits into a corner and touches both walls (width of space). Before you rule out sectionals as too big for your space, keep an eye out for loveseats with a detachable ottoman. This opens up the rest of the room to better flow and more walking room. Learn more about sectionals versus sofas here.

Seek out storage tables. This is one of those living room ideas that work in any size room but especially in small spaces. Go for pieces with hidden storage to make the most of your space. A storage ottoman or coffee table that has a top that lifts off and a deep compartment for stashing away blankets, books, pet toys, and remotes. It’s a stylish way to keep spaces clutter-free.

small living room design3. Make the Most of Awkward Spaces

When you’re working with a small space, every unused corner is a design possibility. For instance, in this relaxed contemporary living room, a stair nook is made into a comfy reading corner that extends the living space. You can do the same with any awkward living room corner.

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Design Ideas To Try

Find a comfy reading chair. With a small living room, pulling out an armchair for a separate reading corner can make the space feel much bigger. With this stair nook, the armchair is all you need to carve out a cozy spot for one that doesn’t feel removed from the larger living room. Get more ideas for a nook under the stairs.

Sneak in floating shelves. Adding function to unused walls is one of our favorite living room ideas. It makes the most use out of awkward corners and stairwell nooks. Get creative with what you store based on how you want to use your nook. Organize books if you make it a reading corner or use it for craft supplies if your nook is going to be a play space for your kids.

4. Pick Pieces That Reflect Light

Use mirrors and glass to amplify natural light and open up the look and feel of a small living room, like this contemporary spot. Combine it with glass surfaces and accents, which will let light shine through and add to the overall brightening ambiance.

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Design Ideas To Try

Large round mirror. If there’s one accent piece that totally changes the perspective in a small living room, it’s a statement mirror. It bounces light around a room and also gives the illusion of space. Think more mirror, less frame, which for us means a chic round option.

Get in on glass and acrylic. Whether it’s the surface of a console table, the legs of a side chair or the base of a lamp, glass and acrylic designs add a light and airy effect. Light will shine right through these transparent pieces and continue the visually open and airy look of the living room.

5. Lean Into a Limited Color Palette

With a small living room, busy patterns and bold colors can easily overwhelm the space. Instead, limit the palette to a few neutral shades, then build on those hues. Case in point: This clean-lined mid-century living room, where gray walls make for a perfect neutral backdrop.

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Design Ideas To Try

Stick to solid shades. Solid neutrals are best for small spaces as they keep everything visually streamlined. Use soft hues for your walls, then work in shades like white, tan, black and pops of light or crisp blue. If you want to work in patterns, use them in small doses on art and pillows.

Mix warm neutrals. Employing deep neutrals is one of those living room ideas that instantly cozies up any space. Off-white and beige hues will add warmth while charcoal and fog gray make great contrasting tones. It all adds up to a palette that’s both cohesive and calming.

small living room design6. Go Big With Small-Space Furniture

You may have hundreds of small living room ideas, but first you need furniture that’s proportionate to your room size. Make it a mission to find small space furniture that’s scaled to your room. Start with the key pieces (sofa, coffee table) and finish with the accents (armchair, ottoman, side table).

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Design Ideas To Try

Find double-duty small furniture. Tiny spaces are exciting to work with because the furniture often has secret functions. For instance, the compact sofa that’s also a sleeper or the coffee table that doubles as a bench. These dual-function designs are key in a pint-sized living room.

Pull in moveable pieces. Whether it’s a side chair or an ottoman, think of these versatile pieces as the mini workhorses of the small living room. They’re your multitasking accents that can be easily tucked away or moved to the side as needed when you need to free up space.

small living room design7. Add ‘Airy’ Furniture

What we mean by airy is furniture that has open bases and appears to take up a smaller footprint. Think minimal designs like tables with tapered legs and chairs that have open backs and arms. In a small living room, these details will make things look lighter and roomier.

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Design Ideas To Try

Seek out slender sofa silhouettes. The best kind of sofa for a tiny living room is one that’s sumptuous but doesn’t come off as bulky or visually heavy. That means going for streamlined designs and sofas that have tall legs, which will make it seem less chunky in a smaller space.

Go for leggy tables. Narrow your living room tables down to pieces that are heavy on top and light and airy at the base. A coffee table with a carved wood surface and splayed legs will take up less visual space than one that has a bulky base.

small living room design8. Get Lifted Furniture

In the same vein as airy furniture, look for designs that are raised off the ground, such as a sofa with an open metal base, and tables and floor lamps that can be tucked into larger pieces. The idea is to draw the eye upward to open up the look and feel of your small living room.

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Design Ideas To Try

Open up your seating. Of all the tried-and-true small living room ideas, prioritize having a mix of seating that’s versatile and moveable. A sofa with four legs that raises its profile off the ground will do the trick, just as a few low poufs can be stacked or moved around. Combine those with an airy side chair and you’ll have upped by the style and perspective in your space.

Tuck in your accents. Mix in a C-side table that can be pulled up and into your sofa along with slender nesting tables that can be stored within itself or spread out across the living room. Or opt for a floor lamp that can be sidled up next to your sofa or moved into a corner when not in use. These space-savers will keep a tiny living room looking stylish and flexible.

small living room design

9. Maximize Your Layout

Coming up with a functional furniture floor plan is crucial in any small living room—and especially if it’s a small apartment living room. The ultimate goal is to open up as much floor space as possible in the middle of your living room, as in this rustic modern space.

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Design Ideas To Try

Avoid floating furniture. Unless you’re using your sofa as a divider between your living room and dining/kitchen areas, try not to suspend your larger pieces in the middle of a room. It’s great in large spaces, but it can end up making a small living room look cramped. Keep furniture against the walls and in corners instead to open up the room from all angles.

Make it a point to layer rugs. With a chair in one corner and a sofa against another wall, your furniture can quickly feel disparate in a small space. Layer rugs on top of each other and across your room to connect the different areas. This is a great way to add a bit of comfort underfoot, but most of all it will warm up your small space by making it feel cohesive and tied together.

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modern entryway

5 Modern Entryway Ideas That Make a Stunning First-impression

 modern entryway

Your entryway is the first thing someone sees when they walk into your home and helps set the tone for the rest of your house. And not only does it create the first impression for guests but it’s also the first place you see when you walk through the door and the last thing you see when you leave the house. All that to say your entryway should be a welcoming sight at the end of a long day! But it should also be functional. There’s no use in a beautiful modern entryway design if it doesn’t actually serve your needs!

What furniture do I need in an entryway?

So, what are the key ingredients of any successful entryway? From our perspective, it’s storage, seating, and style.

Depending on your needs, entryway storage could include a range of things—from coat hooks and baskets for easily stashing accessories, to a credenza with closed doors, or a storage bench to hide clutter. Or it could even be a simple console table where you can stash mail, takeout menus, and your keys. The storage items you choose depend on who lives in your home, what your getting-out-the-door routine looks like, and even what time of year it is. (Winter boots and coats take up more space than sandals, so you might need to slightly adjust your entryway season-to-season!)

Speaking of shoes—for most people, an entryway is a place you put on or take off shoes on your way in and out of the house. Having a place to sit can be super helpful—especially if you have young kids and are still helping them tie their shoes! Some seating options we love in entryways include benches, a stool or two, a dining chair, or even an armchair if you have a larger foyer-type entry to fill.

How do I personalize my entryway design?

Finally, style is an absolutely necessary ingredient in an entryway! This is a space that’s easily neglected when it comes to decorating, but as the first thing both you and guests see when entering your home, it should reflect your style and complement the rest of your space! This could mean adding art you love, decorative touches that feel personal, a stylish rug, or even a gorgeous mirror. (Because a last-minute outfit checks/makeup touch-ups area is a must!)

How to Design a Modern Entryway

If you’re looking for some tips on how to bring a modern touch to your entryway, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for five designer-approved modern entryway designs that are ready for spring and will make an amazing first impression!

The Look: Minimal Modern Entryway

Sleek forms meet simple styling in this minimal modern entryway. This entryway design has all the essentials of a good entryway, along with clean lines and minimal decor.

The Key Ingredients

The streamlined console has minimal form with interesting geometric details. And we love the wood and marble combo! This is a great piece if your style leans more minimal, because it adds decoration through materials and shape rather than through more stuff.

Next are a couple of practical touches. The leather stool is the perfect place to sit and take your shoes on and off and the natural fiber rug adds texture and is great for high-traffic areas like this. The baskets on the console shelf create some stashable storage—perfect for spring and warmer weather when you have less bulky clothing and shoes! And if you need even more storage, you could add another row of baskets on the floor below the console.

You can top off this minimal entryway with some cheery art and decor! We love the fresh palette of crisp whites punctuated by the pops of bright color in the artwork. Pro tip: it’s totally ok to mix up your art between seasons! So, if you love this painting in the entryway for spring and summer, but it doesn’t feel right for the fall and winter, simply switch it out for the colder weather and bring it back when it warms up! (Moving pieces from room to room throughout the year is also a fun way to mix things up without always having to buy new stuff!) Fun artwork like this—along with some fresh greenery—is our favorite way to welcome guests with the reminder that warm weather is on its way!

This is a perfect entryway if…

You prefer a minimal aesthetic but still want some cheery pops of personality

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The Look: Moody and Modern Entryway

Modern doesn’t always mean light and bright or clean and cool—and this moody entryway is proof of that! This is a slightly more eclectic take on modern, but the clean lines keep it grounded in a modern look!

The Key Ingredients

Overall, this space is all about the play of geometry—from the patterns and textures to the contrasting colors and even the shape of the console. This structured wood console is, in fact, the foundation of the space. We love the beveled edges which gives some subtle visual intrigue. And the multi-tier shelves and cubbies give you ample storage options for both horizontal and vertical items! (We opted for a tall basket on the left—perfect for stashing umbrellas for those spring showers—and additional baskets that can work as catchalls on the second shelf.)

Contrast is also key for this look. The wall color definitely sets the moody tone for this space, but the play of lights with the darker tones adds energy to the look. Adding some contrast through lighter pieces is specifically great for spring, especially if bright colors aren’t your vibe. It invigorates an interior in the same way bright colors would, but it keeps the look more edgy.

Subtle styling adds personality without going overboard—an essential in modern designs. The black and white landscape photo adds modern contrast against the geometric-patterned decor. You’ll notice we skipped the seating here, for simplicity’s sake—but you could easily add a stool or bench if needed! And a pop of greenery in a bright white vase is just what this set-up needs to welcome spring!

This is a perfect entryway if…

You have a modern aesthetic but gravitate toward a moodier color palette.

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The Look: Modern Rustic Entryway

If you love modern designs but want something a little more approachable (that’s still on-trend), then you might want to give modern rustic design a try! This is a look that plays with modern forms and ideas but mixes in rustic materials for a trendy but cozy aesthetic.

The Key Ingredients

In this space, you’ll see plenty of modern forms: the credenza, the pair of stools, and the sleek lines of the lamp and mirror. But they’re all rendered in natural materials, like wood, seagrass, and rattan, giving them a more rustic vibe. The combination of modern lines and rustic texture is what really brings this look to life.

This credenza is a great storage option if you need more room to stash away clutter. Having the option to close the door on miscellaneous, sundry items in your entryway keeps this look low-maintenance! (Unlike open shelving, which needs more attention to look its best—and regular dusting!) And the top can be used for decor, along with trays or bowls for your keys and wallet. The pair of stools—with their black wood bases and woven seats—adds a lovely pop of texture and contrast. We placed them across the room from each other for a more casual vibe, but you could also move them next to each other for a more formal, symmetrical look! The vintage-style design of this rug brings more rustic into the mix and lends an almost antique vibe—along with a delicious pop of color and warmth.

This is a perfect entryway if…

You want a look that’s functional year-round and can easily transition from cold to warm weather with only a few small decor tweaks!

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 modern entrywayThe Look: Modern Farmhouse Entryway

Speaking of trendy styles —modern farmhouse is taking the design world by storm and is a look we’re majorly crushing on for spring and beyond! It’s a combo of mid-century modern design elements and cozy farmhouse touches—creating a look that is on-trend but rooted in vintage elements with charming, countryside undertones.

The Key Ingredients

Modern shapes—with a strong emphasis on geometry—lay the foundation of this look. These geometric and modern shapes are found in the simple and sleek console table, the arched mirror (a super trendy shape), the sleek carved bowl on the tabletop and the modern shape of the lamp.

But then some organic shapes come into play with the materials—like the rustic woods of the table and bowl, the chunky woven basket, and the feathery pampas grass.

To finish off the look, we opted for a trendy take on a traditional spindle chair—a farmhouse favorite filtered through a modern design aesthetic. And the traditional patterned rug with subtle rusts and blues grounds the space with a sense of rustic coziness.

This is a perfect entryway if…

You want something modern and on-trend but also love a homey touch.

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The Look: Modern Boho Entryway

This final look is another take on a trendy, modern entryway. It also features mid-century modern design elements, but it combines them with a bohemian aesthetic. The casual vibe of this space emphasizes easy living.

The Key Ingredients

Core to this look is an eclectic approach to mixing different styles, materials, patterns and colors. But we used a simple but visually interesting bench as the foundation and main element of this space, which provides a generous seating option. The combination of the live-edge wood top with a galvanized steel base is a fun juxtaposition of materials.

A basket tucked underneath the bench (or to the side, if you prefer) is a simple storage solution. And you could even do a trio of bakets if you need a little extra storage! The pillows add some comfort to this set-up, and, along with the art and rug, they bring some color and organic patterns into the space. We chose pops of blue for all of these pieces to tie together the eclectic mix of patterns. And you can’t forget the plant—a hallmark of bohemian style and an essential decor touch for spring!

This is a perfect entryway if…

You have a laid back, eclectic style. It’s also a great design if you don’t have a proper entryway and need to designate part of your living room as an entryway space!

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Small-Space Hacks: 5 Ideas for Small Entryways

In our “Small-Space Hacks” series, you’ll find stylish solutions for tiny spaces as well as tricky areas that often get overlooked in the home. Not your typical DIY projects, these “hacks” involve simply rethinking furniture with a little ingenuity to create spaces that enhance your daily life.

small entryway

This week we show you great small entryway ideas that can make the most of a pint-sized space. Here are our 5 of our favorite tricks to turn your entryway into a welcoming checkpoint and functional storage spot.

Optimize Your Space With These 5 Small Entryway Ideas

small entryway ideas1. If you need extra storage…

Center your entry with a dresser with deep drawers for increased storage options. This is a great way to deal with storage overflow from other areas in your home where square footage is at a premium. Stash winter coats, extra pillows and big throws in the lower compartments and use the dresser’s upper storage for more practical daily items, such as books, scarves, hats, and even takeout menus.

You can easily round out the look of the overall space by adding personal art and objects along with a stylish table lamp on the dresser surface. And don’t underestimate the beauty of umbrella stands, which can double as sculptural accents in an otherwise utilitarian space.

Another idea? If you’re really pressed for space, consider the storage possibilities of a nightstand. One with drawers can provide the perfect mini catchall spot.

small entryway ideas2. If you’re (always) on the go…

A space-saving console makes for a convenient catchall for holding your wallet, car keys, and mail. Choose a console with drawers and cubbies specifically for mail that’s important; junk mail can go into baskets squirreled away underneath the console. In a small space, this can keep paper clutter from trickling into the rest of your home.

Treat the surface of the console as a vanity with a mirror and table lamp, and keep frequently worn jewelry and other accessories (phone chargers, headphones) neatly stowed away. This will create a functional spot that gathers all your everyday essentials as you dash out (or in) the door.

small entryway ideas3. If you have guests over often…

Your small entry should combine both function and style for an instantly welcoming spot. And just because you’re tight on space doesn’t mean you can’t go big with multiple pieces of stylish furnishings.

Look for storage pieces that have slim silhouettes as well as open-shelving constructions. A tall bookshelf can provide vertical storage that also helps to draw attention away from the small size of your entry, while a slim glass console will further lend a spacious look and feel.

small entryway ideas4. If you have high-energy kids…

There’s no furniture piece more practical than a storage bench for containing all the little things that can easily pile up in a small home, be it shoes, jackets, or toys.

Opt for a storage bench with a lid or one with cubbies, and arrange the space to mimic a mudroom; even in a small entry, you can set up hooks and baskets that give everything a place. The best part about a storage bench is that it’s also the perfect perch for your little ones to put on their shoes.

small entryway ideas5. If you have (very) little space…

Keep your entry minimal by pulling in a pair of dining chairs. They make for a much simpler alternative to storage pieces if you just need a place to put down your bag or to slip on shoes before you run out the door.

The best part is that chairs are versatile and movable, you can pull them into other areas of your home if needed. Consider using chairs that match those in your dining area so that they can easily pinch-hit as extra seating for guests.

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