Those pesky small living rooms always have us stumbling and second guessing what we should do to make the most of the floor plan. If you’ve ever struggled with how to arrange your furniture, how to fit in more seating, how to get in more light and beyond,
Here are 35 rooms from genius teeny spaces full of inspiration to larger living rooms with plenty of ideas to borrow showcasing the best ways to expand your square footage without any demolition.
Thanks for visiting our small living room ideas photo gallery where you can search hundreds of small living room design ideas. This is our main gallery where you can browse hundreds of photos or filter down your search with the options on the right. We hope you find your inspiration here. We add new designs every week.
- 1 Decorate a Small Living Room
- 2 Embrace Your White Walls
- 3 Work Your Weird Angles
- 4 Pile on the Textiles
- 5 Stop Living Dorm-Style
- 6 Green With Envy
- 7 Compact Seating
- 8 Floor to Ceiling Bookshelves
- 9 Grey Snug
- 10 Mirror, Mirror
- 11 Get Your Reflection On
- 12 Fill ‘er Up
- 13 Go for the Wow Factor
- 14 Keep things Linear
- 15 Make the Best of Strange Angles
- 16 Keep It Cozy
- 17 Add A Hammock Chair
- 18 Go All White
- 19 Float Furniture
- 20 Bring In Dramatic Color
- 21 Use Stools as Seats
- 22 Invest in Multi-Functional Furniture
- 23 Draw Attention Away from the Door
- 24 Decorate Vertically
- 25 Get Creative with Space
- 26 Add Living Color
- 27 Transform That Boring Box Shaped Living Room
- 28 The Perfect Sofa for Narrow Living Rooms
- 29 Invite Tiny Keepsakes & Treasures into Your Space
- 30 A Wall of Books
- 31 Use Lighting to Your Advantage
- 32 Show off Interesting Objects
- 33 Warm Up White
- 34 Make the Most of the Space Under the Stairs
- 35 Work with Original Features
Decorate a Small Living Room
Don’t let your small living room pinch your style. So what if it’s a tiny white box with zero crown molding? Or it’s scarcely big enough for a regular size sofa? No matter how small, it can still look stylish whether you own or rent. To prove our point, we gathered the best décor tricks for personalizing the most lived-in spot in your home.
Embrace Your White Walls
Can’t paint your white walls? Consider embracing a white-on-white interior. Pairing your walls with equally pale furniture is an elegant and straightforward way to make any small space feel brighter and larger.
For character add pops of colors and splashes of texture. Interior designer Mercedes Daczi personalized this white living room with a range of colorful and textural accents including houseplants and wicker furnishings.
Work Your Weird Angles
An awkwardly shaped living room can be baffling to decorate, but no space is ever too odd for beautiful decor.
You can turn a weird wall into a focal point. The owner of this apartment turned the vertical space around her bedroom door into a salon styled gallery wall.
Not sure where to put the sofa? A bold pattern can establish a center point in an oddly shaped area. Here peonies wallpaper anchors the living room.
Pile on the Textiles
Turn a cramped living room into a boho haven with fabric. Houseplant expert Igor Josifovic piles on the textiles in his tiny living room with a cotton tapestry and Kilim pillows to dress up a budget sofa. We love the Turkish rug that makes sitting on the floor more inviting. Next to the woven wall hanging is our favorite décor: Igor framed a kitchen towel that was too cute to use.
Stop Living Dorm-Style
Does your living room scream overgrown teenager? This small bachelor pad is brimming with tips for “adulting” an apartment.
The elegant bike shelf keeps wheels up and out of the way while turning the bicycle into a decorative wall hanging. Another smart idea that doesn’t squander floor space is the floating desk that spans the left side of the room. Its built-in drawers provide a good deal of storage. But what transforms this 500 square foot studio into a cozy grown-up home are the various details and décor styles that add one-of-a-kind character from the colorful prints to the refined furniture.
Green With Envy
Adam Sykes’ London house was inspired by the houses he saw while living on America’s west coast.The armchair, bought at a mid-century show at Lord’s cricket ground, is covered in Claremont’s ‘Drap de Soie’.
The bookshelves and fireplace have been built into the wall in this Somerset railway cottage, making the most of the space in this narrow room.
Floor to Ceiling Bookshelves
A small space on the first floor of textile designer Christine Van Der Hurd’s house has been made into a library-style living room. The fluted ceramic vases by the window are by Joachim Lambrecht, from Willer, and above these is a blind in a new fabric of Christine’s: ‘Crazy Paisley’in the cherry colourway. The Fifties elliptical coffee table at the centre of the space was a find from the Lillie Road.
The snug in this Bray house decorated by Christopher Howe has grey walls in a linen and horsehair fabric. Christopher sourced the Forties jajim rug from Woven Accents.
Mirrors: They have them in lifts for a reason. It’s a well known trick that clever placement of mirrors completely transforms a design scheme, bouncing light back around the room and creating the illusion of more space.
Designer Ann Boyd’s tiny London pied-à-terre is packed with useful ideas, including making use of natural light and mirrors to expand the space. The walls were transformed with MDF and mirror-glass panelling, the square design inspired by the windows. ‘I am partial to MDF panelling; it hides a multitude of sins,’ she says.
Get Your Reflection On
Mirrors are one of the best ways to make your tiny space feel open and airy. This space from West Elm shows off the dramatic impact multiple mirrors can play, plus they reflect any and all light available in the room.
Fill ‘er Up
In a tiny space, you might be afraid of overwhelming things with too-large furniture, but oftentimes, if you go full throttle with a large sectional that hugs the walls, you’ll get a room that #1 seats a ton of people and #2 feels super welcoming and cozy. Take notes from this home we toured in the UK that fits a family of four.
Go for the Wow Factor
Sometimes the best way to visually increase the square footage in a space is to keep the eye constantly in motion (so you don’t notice how small it is). Take a cue from entertaining expert Lulu Powers in her LA bungalow seen on One Kings Lane: pattern on pattern, bold color next to bold color—cozy perfection!
Keep things Linear
Try implementing varying geometric and linear prints, as seen on Design*Sponge. This gives a small space a sense of structure while also providing the illusion of additional length and width.
Make the Best of Strange Angles
A feature wall is a great way to properly weigh and focus a room with awkward angles, like in this room from Alvhem, that uses a bold floral wallpaper to pull the attention to the seating area.
Keep It Cozy
“Cozy” is always the keyword for “cramped” space, but in this case, leaning into what makes a room feel genuinely cozy — as in, an enveloping cocoon from the sh*tshow that is the real world — can be totally soothing. Keep seating close together and intimate, and choose a plush, soft rug. Don’t you want to just curl up and relax?
Add A Hammock Chair
Hammock chairs are super trendy right now, but they’re also a life saver in a small living room. You can add seating without taking up a ton of floor space, like you would with a traditional armchair.
Go All White
Keep walls and floors all white to brighten up the space. A gallery wall with wide-matted art and white frames blends in with the wall, so the effect is eye-catching — yet not a bit cluttered. That way you can make a colorful piece of furniture the focal point of the room, so it’s not like the walls are closing in on you.
Resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls. If you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is.
Bring In Dramatic Color
Dark, glossy walls create a sophisticated backdrop for simple, clean-lined pieces. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel-box.
Use Stools as Seats
The first thing you should never do if you have a small living room is cram in too much furniture. Instead, choose a sofa that’s proportional to the size of the space, and if you’re still in need of more seating, use stools. They’ll take up far less room than bulky armchairs, and can be easily manoeuvred. If you like your living room cute and cosy, try clustering colour-co-ordinated objects together – from pictures to cushions – to create a coherent look.
Make the most of natural light in the room by keeping window dressings simple. If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, full-length curtains are a good choice as they’ll draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of space, even if the square footage in your living room is a bit meagre. Subtle stripe designs add to the feeling of extra depth. If you do choose curtains, make sure they can be swept away from the window for light or alternatively go for Roman or roller blinds.
Invest in Multi-Functional Furniture
When it comes to small living rooms, hard-working, multi-functional pieces of furniture are your friends. Take this coffee table, which doubles as a storage bin, allowing you to clear away any clutter at a moment’s notice. You could also invest in lidded stools, or even a sofa with storage under the seat. Add wall mirrors and furniture with reflective surfaces into your design scheme to maximise the amount of natural light in your living room to make it feel bigger and brighter.
Draw Attention Away from the Door
Whether it’s a bijou country cottage or a studio flat, it can be tricky to create a relaxing bolt hole when your front door opens straight into your living room. Take the emphasis away from the entrance by creating a focal point with thoughtfully arranged seating. Here, a neat two-seater and comfy armchair have been placed at a 90-degree angle to a slim side table and lamp. A cool neutral palette works beautifully with the rustic plasterwork and the roller blind makes the most of a recessed window to add extra square inches to the room.
Think about living room wallpaper designs to complement your lounge. Take that décor up high when floor space is limited. Here, a small corner of a brilliant white room has been transformed with a column of geometric pattern that pulls the eye upwards to make the most of a high ceiling. The pattern is echoed at the window in a sheer voile, which allows the natural light to filter in for a clean and bright effect. The neat base of a marble floor lamp negates the need for a side table while providing great task lighting for when the sun sets.
Get Creative with Space
Before decorating or furnishing an awkwardly shaped living room consider how best to optimise the space available. Think about an L-shaped sofa in a tight eaves space teamed with trunks that can function as coffee tables as well as handy storage. Keep a dark room white to make the most of what little light there is.
Add Living Color
Nothing prettifies a living room like plants. Blooming perennials like daffodils or tulips add lovely color, while leafy beauties including ferns and spider plants bring interesting texture (plus they clean indoor air!) Don’t like gardening? Try a few low-maintenance options from the succulent family and put them in cute DIY planters.
Transform That Boring Box Shaped Living Room
If your living room is lacking architectural detail, it’s easy to create an affordable and unique touch without undergoing a complete and costly renovation. Show off your personal style by creating a feature wall that transforms your room into an eye-catching focal point.
The Perfect Sofa for Narrow Living Rooms
A living room that’s both narrow and small can be particularly challenging to decorate. However, like in this bright and airy space redone by Decor Aid, a carefully chosen sectional sofa can make the most of the precious square footage. Look for sofas that are long and can lean up against a wall to give your living room more depth.
Invite Tiny Keepsakes & Treasures into Your Space
In this charming living room via Domino, your attention is occupied and delighted by all the personal accents and accessories that draw you into each area of the little space.
A Wall of Books
To turn a small, sort of sad living space into your favorite room, consider taking an empty wall and turning it into a top-to-bottom mini library. It’ll provide plenty of storage opportunities, but also makes such a statement and gives a luxe built-in effect. For an even more stylish push, pick a rich color, like the hunter green of this room, and add molding to polish off the custom look.
Use Lighting to Your Advantage
Mark out a living space with an overhanging pendant light and carefully positioned round coffee table. The two pieces work together to create a focal point around which you can sit a couple of chairs and add floor cushions or stools when guests visit. Here, a selection of accessories and books are displayed on industrial-style open shelving to create a relaxed feel without hiding the beautiful texture of a slate feature wall.
Show off Interesting Objects
Just because your living room is verging on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you should hide away all your favourite belongings in storage. If you have objects that are worthy of showing off then display them along an open shelf, above the sofa. This idea is great for when floor space is at a premium.
Warm Up White
Give a white room heaps of character and personality by adorning it with artwork that you just can’t live without. A crisp, clear wall is a good backdrop for styling with colourful accessories and won’t make the space feel cluttered. Keep to a palette of one or two colours to keep the look consistent and cohesive.
Make the Most of the Space Under the Stairs
Make the most of the unused space under the stairs by incorporating everything from storage to quirky accessories. If you have space issues in your small abode and need to make the most of every nook and cranny then turn to that nimble spot under the stairs into a warm and cosy living space. Here, a built-in bookcase and sofa tucks in neatly in that often unloved and underused area.
Work with Original Features
Give architectural features a modern update with a fresh coat of paint and light retouching. Here original features have been painted to give this living room a modern edge. The black fireplace remains the focal point, and adds a sense of cosiness along with the chunky sofa and rustic wooden coffee table. A wool rug brings texture to the scheme and enhances the inviting feel of the room.