If you feel like your living room is always cramped and cluttered, you aren’t alone. Let’s face it—small living room design can be a struggle. Especially in light of the fact that it’s the room you likely spend the most time in and also needs to be super functional. But don’t let your small living room cramp your style!
Some people say the only way to make a small living room work is by avoiding dark wall colors or certain types of furniture. But we disagree. You don’t have to sacrifice your personal style to make the most of your small living room. Here are a few tried and true tips from our designers that are sure to help you ace your small living room design for a space that’s big on style and functionality.
1. Use Your Walls
If your living room is short on floor space, it’s time to get creative by using your walls! Wall-mounted storage options are amazing and they give you all the same functionality without taking up floor space. Think about using a bookcase to double as a side table or even try one with a built-in desk option. It reduces clutter, maximizes storage, and means you have one less piece of furniture to buy.
2. Go for Clear Furniture
One small living room design trick that often goes unnoticed is to use clear furniture. Clear, or even mirrored, furniture helps to reduce visual clutter which is a must-have in a small space. The optical illusion creates a more open and airy look instead of dense, heavy pieces that sit directly on the floor. You can get the same effect using furniture that sits on tall, tapered legs, as well. (Ever wondered why Mid-Century Modern design is so popular in urban spaces? Because it’s a great style for small rooms!)
3. Use an Organic Shaped Rug
Sometimes it can be a struggle to find a rug that fits into your small living room design. They often seem way too big or awkwardly small for tight spaces. Rather than drawing attention to the small size of your room with a rug that doesn’t fit, try using one with an organic shape. We love options like this cowhide rug. It has the same function and doesn’t need to follow any rules as far as room shape and size.
4. Hang Your Curtains High
One easy trick for making your small living room seem larger, is to hang your curtains up high! This gives the impression that your ceilings are extra tall and will draw the eye up rather than down. It’s a clever optical illusion that will make your space seem much larger than it is.
5. Skip the Coffee Table
In a room that’s already packed to the max, skipping out on unessential furniture items is the way to go. So we say get a little crazy and skip the coffee table. If you’re short on space, you can benefit from the open area to use in other ways, like this living room that uses two poufs to double as footrests and a makeshift coffee table. And they can be used as extra seats in a pinch!
6. Use Your Sofa to Divide the Space
If you’re doubling down on your space to create both a living and dining area, use your sofa to divide up the room. The back of a sofa creates a “zone” by partitioning the space into different areas. Having a makeshift wall like this helps to create a sense of rooms within rooms.
7. Make It Multi-Purpose
Having limited living room space means you need to get the most bang for your buck. Opt for furniture pieces that serve multiple functions—such as using a bench as a coffee table, or a bookcase as a room divider.
8. Maximize Every Square Inch
Another way to make your small living room look great is to make sure you’re using every square inch of space. Tuck in storage where you can, like these baskets hiding behind the open door in space that would have otherwise gone unused. Think about ways to work in extra storage, tuck in a desk, or even extra seating.
9. Add Sneaky Storage
You’d never guess that this coffee table has interior storage, would you?! Pieces like this are a great hack for small living room design. Instead of adding more clutter with bulky storage pieces, add furniture items that serve multiple functions. Enclosed storage is also great because it’s super low-maintenance—no one knows what kind of mess you’re hiding in there.