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10 small living room ideas to make the most of your space

Looking for small living room ideas? Whether you have an open-plan living room layout or a small box-shaped sitting room, no space is too little to qualify for a brilliant decorating scheme.


As the most used communal room in the home, it's important to ensure your living room caters to your needs – even if you're working with a compact space.

Keep a clear passageway around the room

The more floor you see, the bigger the room will appear. Add to the illusion with a glass coffee table or sofas and chairs with visible legs rather than floor-length upholstery that obscures the floor.

sitting room, yellow sofa white shelf behind with a blue and yellow patterned rug on the floor

 Living Room Furniture 2021

Opt for light colours

small living room space with light walls and wooden furniture

 Living Room Furniture 2021

Smaller living rooms are best decorated with light, pastel colours. From dusty pinks to calm greys, a soft colour palette will ensure your room feels spacious. We love this creative combination of pink and lilac.

Choose one large-scale piece

stylish living room corner with leather chair and light

 Living Room Furniture 2021

Instead of filling the room with lots of statement objects, choose just one. It could be an eye-catching floor lamp — like in this room for example — or a pendant hanging from the ceiling. Decorating a diminutive living room can often be a challenge, but one large object could help give the illusion of a larger space.

Think carefully about flooring

small living room with white sofa

 Living Room Furniture 2021

'The flooring plays a key role in setting the tone in every space, but particularly smaller rooms, so choosing the right style is a must,' Sarah Escott, Amtico Design Manager tells House Beautiful UK.

'When decorating a small living room, it's important to focus on simplicity, as the space can get cluttered very easily. Light woods and stones are perfect to give the lounge an open and airy feel and draw in the natural sunlight from outside.'

Choose seating with legs

house beautiful darcy sofa at dfs, corner sofa

 Living Room Furniture 2021

When it comes to choosing your sofa, choose seating with legs so more of the floor can be seen, making the room appear bigger. It's a clever trick that works every time.

Add a mirror

living room deep and dramatic blue hues can sometimes feel overpowering, but soft neutral walls keep the look light and airy add contemporary warm toned wood furniture for a snug, inviting spacewalls painted in mortar absolute matt emulsion, £42 for 25l, little greene izzy sofa in deep turquoise pure cotton matt velvet, £1,640, sofacom cushions l r sueda, £100, habitat islington in navy, £55 velvet paint by one nine eight five, £85 both heal’s shown on cover frame cushion cover, £75, the conran shop percy armchair in deep turquoise pure cotton matt velvet, £790, sofacom furrow throw, £159, heal’s shown on cover everyday wool throw in caramel, £495, the conran shop banyan mirror, £325, loaf jug, £75, i  jl brown monarch rug, £1,495 oak shelving unit, £795 both graham  green bowl table by ayush kasliwal for mater, £399, heal’s cast iron kettle, £145 arita tea cup, £18 oak bowl, £46 all native  co log basket, find similar at garden tradingon shelving unit abaya blue and white vase, £15 esterban glass vase, £30 both habitat gold frame, £1650, oliver bonas block alarm clock, £59, the conran shop round shaker box, £34192 for five, james morgan at selvedge

 Living Room Furniture 2021

The secret to creating a larger living room space? Mirrors. A surefire way to create a statement — and enhance your space — is by strategically placing mirrors on the wall.

Whether you opt for large or small, mirrors cleverly reflect light and will make your small living room feel more spacious than it really is.

Don't be afraid of wallpaper

living room with wallpaper

 Living Room Furniture 2021

Choosing wallpaper for small rooms might be a little scary, but don't let it put you off. Botanicals and florals can create a tranquil look that's uplifting, while muted striped styles can make any room feel bigger.

'Don't be afraid to combine different patterns. Mix classic designs such as stripes or florals with exotic styles such as ikats and kilims,; says David Harris, Design Director at Andrew Martin. 'Avoid making the space look too busy by choosing patterns in colours that complement each other.'

Add a gallery wall

john lewis living with gallery wall

 Living Room Furniture 2021

On-trend gallery picture walls — a curated display of photographs, posters or prints — are a great way to make the most of empty wall space. Popular choices for both the living room and hallway, they instantly add impact.

Make sure there's plenty of light

Loft living room space

 Living Room Furniture 2021

A great way to ensure your living room doesn't feel cramped is by letting the light pour in. Even if you don't have large windows, opting for lighter furnishings will ensure your space feels bright and airy.

Wall features

small living room with a cabinet on the wall

 Living Room Furniture 2021

This space might be small, but it creates a big impact. Design a living room that truly captures your style. We've got our eye on Scandi-style shelving boxes, which have been artfully placed on the wall to make a statement.