There are quite a few reasons you might want a spacious living room.
If you’re sociable, you might love the idea of hosting friends over for parties and brunches. On the opposite end, you might want enough room so you can kick your feet up as you binge-watch on the weekend. The ‘family room’ as it’s often called is also the origin of deep grudges held over board games and family movie nights.
But with housing prices as they are, especially in the city, space is hard to come by. You’ll have to hack your way into the spacious area of your dreams either by buying an open-concept home or by following these small living room ideas.
Let in light
A well-lit room, when its lit with natural light in particular, always feels well-ventilated and roomier. Floor to ceiling windows and skylights are best and immediately class a place up. But when you’re in a tiny apartment, you’re probably stuck with whatever windows it started with.
In that case, just try not to cover your light source. Avoid placing obstructing furniture in front of it. The couch in this living room is just as tall as the window sill, so you get as much sunlight as you can to filter through.
Keeping the side of the room with a window empty, then placing thin or light-colored curtains over it would work just as well too!
Blend your rooms together
Small apartments tend to mean studio types and open concept plans, and it can feel cramped when two steps separate your living room from your kitchen and bed space. You can make this work to your advantage.
Rather than try to distinguish each space, have a central color scheme or decoration theme throughout to blend the areas together. This apartment has similar aesthetics between the living room and the dining room, giving them the illusion of being just one larger space with broad walkways.
Grow some plant life
A feeling of cleanliness goes a long way into making a space comfortable. One quick and easy way to add freshness to your living room would be to add plants for decoration.
From succulents to leafy greens to certain types of flowers, there are a lot of indoor plant varieties to choose from. Most tend to be low-maintenance, such as cacti that’ll forgive you for forgetting to water them every now and again. A lot of them can purify the air in your home. And all indoor plants can reduce stress after interacting with them.
Plus, they make your living room pretty and adult. It’s a win-win situation all around.
Use mirrors to elongate the room
Mirrors reflect light, but they can also reflect the room to make it look like it’s doubled in size. The best way to achieve this effect would be by installing a mirror that covers an entire wall. A large and tall one, like in the photo, works in a pinch as well. Keep your decorations light and minimal to maximize the illusion.
Use your walls
We talked about built-in appliances for your kitchen, but the heat doesn’t just belong to the fryer. This built-in fireplace cum wood-fired oven is a sight to behold. Pale brickwork paves the way for the modular arrangement of tools, firewood, and even a floating shelf to top it all off.
It’s entirely novel to think the shovels and logs that might usually require their own shed can fit into a small crevice in the wall. It makes for a lovely focal point in your living room as well.
Draw the eye with color
When you want to distract your guests from the size of your living room, you can scatter colorful pieces to draw the eye. The mix of patterns on the throw pillows in this living room is distinct. But since the place itself is relatively clutter-free, it seems well put together rather than a mismatch.
Decorate with white on white
White, and equally saturated colors, reign supreme as the go-to paint color for when you want to make a room appear bigger and brighter than it is. Pairing it with white interiors, with pops of color, is a tried and tested method to make your small living room feel as elegant and spacious as a ballroom.
Install an entertainment center
Showcased here is another example of a built-in fireplace, this time with a mounted TV on the wall. The floating shelf in this living room is of particular note too. You can’t underestimate how much walking room you free up just by adequately utilizing your walls. And how much that makes a difference when it comes to creating space!
Create a wall nook for extra seating
Not only does this reading nook creatively add an extra seating area in your small living room, but it makes for comfortable lounging on the weekends too.
Look at it. Books lined neatly into shelves stacked against the wall, space enough to kick your feet up, an area overlooking a large window. It’s the most comfortable place to rest and disconnect from social media.
Keep close to the ground
The cloth draped over this single sofa falls to the floor. The cabinet is barely any taller than the plant in the room. The drawers are tiny boxes that could fit jewelry and trinkets at most.
When you play with the sizes of your furniture and keep them closer to the ground, it creates the illusion of high ceilings. Just be sure you still have all the storage space you need so you can keep your living room free of clutter.
Work with your corners
The architecture of this living room helps emphasize the fireplace and faux deer head by pushing them forward into the line of sight. But the smaller wall corners it creates can be troubling to fill in correctly. By fitting an L-shaped couch and a freestanding shelf into those corners, you can maximize the space.
Aim for intimacy
On the other hand, a small living room doesn’t always have to be a bad thing you need to fix. You can embrace it wholeheartedly.
Take a page out of some noir films: have a darker wall and dim lighting. This living room achieves the energy as a speakeasy. It has the level of intimacy that’s perfect for leaning close to your lover to divulge secrets or, well, just cuddle.
Install open shelving units
Two things to note in this living room. First, the open shelving unit and the hanging bulbs eliminate any need to have storage and a separate light source on the ground, freeing up space significantly.
Second, no one ever said living rooms had to have couches. Regular chairs and this cafe-style decor fit the room better while still offering a cozy space to sit and talk with a guest.
Find multifunctional furniture
Some examples of multifunctional furniture include ottomans that double as storage units, drawers that pull out into desks, and couches that lift up like car trunks. It vastly increases your storage space without eating up any more space in your small living room. Plus, it’s highly efficient.
Buy freestanding furniture
By “freestanding,” we really just mean they’re not placed smack dab against the wall. It seems to be one of the unspoken rules in living room interior design that you need to place your couch against a wall to make more walking space.
Alternate opinion though: by arranging your furniture tighter in the center, you make it more efficient for discussions over shared snacks. It may look crowded, but you’ll still have the space around them to walk in.
Downsize your furniture
There are a few ways to do this. You can opt for loveseats, stools, or even large pillows instead of the traditional couch. Your coffee table can be leaner, longer, and slimmer in case your living room itself is narrow but long.
You can even emphasize smaller proportions by decorating the room with bonsais and succulents to make it larger than life.
Use your odd nooks
Instead of being a straightforward square or rectangle, this space has an odd nook with even more unusual corners. While it’s still part of the living room, it’s separated from the rest of the space by its accent wall. This creates a rather effective-looking work area or writing nook with more productive energy.
Furnish with novelties
Design tips and tricks are great for getting the effect you want. Still, they don’t always provide guidelines for personalizing the space to your preferences. Don’t be afraid to pick patterns you love and appliances in colors that’ll be stark against the rest of your scheme.
Little novelties like your child’s paintings, portraits from your travels, notes, and calendars can distract the guest from your small living room too. But, this way, you’ll distract them by weaving a fantastic story they can get lost in.
Embrace the natural look
Of course, one sure way to create the most space in your living room is just not to bombard it with objects.
This living room features the many tenets of minimalism: plant life, natural wood features, symmetry, and a mat made from natural fibers.
It’s stripped bare, but not dull. Instead, it makes a twist to the usual minimalist interiors by adding color blocking and colorful art pieces.
Use the space under the stairs
On the off chance that your home has a wide staircase, you should cut into the side and install some sort of storage unit to save on space.
In the photo, they converted the side of the stairs into shelves, large enough to house everything from books to flowerpots. If the area allows, you can go the Harry Potter route and make a small shed or pantry room under your staircase.
A living room should feel lived-in without being messy and without the risk of stepping on your child’s Legos because of the limited space. Luckily, you can inject personality from ingenious use of space and color without needing to rely on novelty fixtures.
What do your living room interiors say about you?