In many homes, the living room is where families and their guests go to kick back and relax after a long day. In many homes, this room is also where the television, computer and other knickknacks come together and choke the space. This is even truer in a small living room, which fills up after putting just a few pieces of furniture inside. Because of this, many people think that having a larger space is better but that isn’t always true. The secret to making a small living room look good is to take advantage of the living space you already have.
Tiny furniture isn’t a must, but there’s also no need to fill the space with a giant couch or table. Try to resist the temptation to fill up the space when you don’t need to. This will just make you and your guests feel like you’re being crowded out. Design elements like shelving, hidden storage, accent lighting and a solid color scheme also go a long way in making a small space seem larger. These 50 small living room ideas will give you some new ideas the next time you feel your own space needs an upgrade.
Check Out the Best 50 Living Room Designs for Small Spaces for 2016
1. Eclectic Elegance
This little beauty highlights how each piece in a space can be wildly different yet still be harmonious. Visual interest is abundant in this small living room interior, from the golden leather ottomans to the glass and driftwood coffee table. On the wall behind the sofa, the chinoserie wallpaper and golden mirrors work together to give the room a touch of flash without overstating their presence and drowning the sofa out. Each piece is like a unique cast member in a stage play or television show. Every piece in this room is small, but each piece still has immense personality.
2. Earthly Pleasures
This room has a money-saving secret in its design. Can you spot it? If your eyes went to the rug, then you’re right. The rug is actually a piece of broadloom and can actually save you quite a bit of pocket change if you are designing on a budget. Unlike most ordinary carpets, you can also cut have the broadloom cut to a specific size, meaning you can fill oddly-shaped spaces you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Best of all, your guests likely won’t notice the difference at first glance, meaning it can be your little home decor secret.
3. Recreational Activities
Have you ever seen a room in a magazine that was just so stunning that you had to have it in your own home? While you may not be able to recreate it perfectly, decorating a small living room doesn’t have to break the bank. Print the picture out, take it with you to your favorite furniture stores and have a little fun trying to match each piece. You probably won’t find perfect matches, but similar pieces you do find will feel much more personal and make the final space much cozier. For visual interest, try some thrift store finds.
4. Monochrome with Color
If you just want to spice up a dull space, that one visual oddity can make all the difference. This is especially true in a small living room since there normally isn’t much to look at. The rug in this room is a great example because it breaks up the plainness and uniformity the room otherwise has. It also accomplishes this without being overly intrusive. It also forces you to look down at the floor, then up at everything else in the room, ensuring you see every bit of the room’s contents. The right accent pieces make all the difference.
5. The Fine Line
This next room illustrates why decorating a small living room is tricky. When you want to make a room stand out but are unsure how to do so, you may think of adding some visual interest pieces like pictures or pottery. In a small space like this one, however, there is a very fine line between making your space look lived-in and making your space look messy. This room walks that line spectacularly with an array of shapes, sizes and colors that make it look like someone lives here already. Make sure each piece has a purpose and a function.
6. A Marriage of Styles
What do you do when you don’t agree with your spouse on what to do with a space? This is a very common problem that just leads to hurt feelings and an empty wallet. Rather than try to push your style over theirs, figure out what elements each of you likes and incorporate both of your tastes into the room. This small living room design is a marriage of masculine and feminine with an exceptional mix of bold lines and pastel accents. The ceiling light is also a perfect representation of the two merged styles, being both geometrical and curvaceous.
7. Wooden Wonder
Whether you are working with a small living room or a large living room, balance makes all the difference in the world. This room proves that you don’t need outrageous shapes or colors to create a beautiful space. The untreated dark oak floorboards and the earthy color scheme come together to provide an elegant balance of light, shapes, textures and colors. Nothing in this room aggressively screams, “Look at me!” but the room also has just enough visual interest to command your attention. If a room like this does not give you several small living room design ideas, nothing will.
8. New York Shorty
Decorating a small living room is one thing, but decorating a small New York living room is a task and a half. This tiny abode is an exceptional study in taking advantage of what you have. The exposed brick wall, wood floors and tall, sunny windows were already there when this designer showed up. The only thing it was missing was color, and this darling space is the result. This space is all about contrast with the plain white animal busts on the brick wall and the colorful sofa and armchair complementing the earth tones of the floor and wall.
9. Sunlight and Shadow
This space demonstrates why color choice has such a large impact on a room. It shows that sometimes, achieving a stellar small living room design is as simple as using black and white. Using black, white and grey as your primary colors and adding a pop of color here and there would be a dramatic departure from the norm. The eye is drawn to color by nature, so it can be used to draw attention to specific areas of the room or it can be placed all over the room to provide a concise tour of the room in moments.
10. Mirror, Mirror
When you have to work with a room with an awkward shape, implementing the small living room designs that you love becomes a major challenge. It may not look like it, but this room had some incredible design challenges, including a cramped dining area. To remedy this, the designer decided to hang some mirrors in the dining area. Not only does the space look larger, but it also transforms the way the dining area looks. By putting the chairs on one side and the mirrors on the other, the dining area doesn’t look nearly as small as it truly is.
11. Seabird’s Nest
This cozy little space shows how small living room decor can quickly become an art form given the right pieces. In this room’s case, the abstract white sculptures on one wall and the feather painting on the other would probably point to an oceanic theme, but when you get to the blue area rug and notice the flowers, you begin to wonder if the room really is following a specific theme. Without those pieces of wall art, the room would look stale and a bit generic, which shows how even one piece can transform a room’s look in unexpected ways.
12. From Warsaw
When it comes to a small living room organization is crucial. This tiny Warsaw home’s living room is no bigger than your average trailer and includes the dining area and bedroom, meaning space is at a premium. This is why the accent wall in this room uses vertical stripes: to make it look taller. Not a single piece in this room is without purpose, from the shelf the television sits on to the small office niche at the end of the room. For instance, the track lighting in the ceiling replaces bulky floor lamps that would take up valuable space.
13. A Thousand Words
Interior design for small living room is all about balancing and contrasts, which this next home has plenty of. This home, described by the designer as “Scandinavian Rustic,” further shows how one element can change a room dramatically. This room possesses a wealth of 2D and 3D elements as well as polygonal and round elements. The eye-catching wall art literally defines how the space should feel, while the long and narrow sofa coupled with the two spool-like tables take advantage of the limited dimensions. The phrase “opposites attract” appear to be this room’s motto and it adheres to it well.
14. Urban Jungle
In home design, one practice that novice designers avoid is mixing and matching patterns or textures. Many beginning designers stick with a uniform and consistent look in order to play it safe. While that isn’t necessarily bad, this room shows how rewarding it can be to get creative and take a few risks. Leather, glass, metal, wood and even water join forces with lovely neutral tones, zebra print, jagged stripes and a spectacular art piece to create a small living room sure to get guests talking. There is so much going on in this room, but it isn’t overwhelming, either.