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Decorating Tips for a Small Living Room

A small living room can look amazing with the right décor, furnishings and decorating know-how.

It can be a challenge to open up a small living room to make it appear spacious. However, there are a number of easy things you can do to make the living room look and feel larger than it actually is!

Forget hiring a professional decorator to make over your living room – you can do it yourself, regardless of your budget.

With a few simple changes, a small living room can be transformed into a spacious-looking and comfortable domain.

Get Rid of Clutter

Even a large room can begin to feel cramped with too much clutter – and clutter in a small living room can make the space feel almost claustrophobic.

Focus on the main areas of the living room first, and organize collectables, books and other objects in appropriate spots. Get rid of items you no longer need or use to eliminate excess clutter and organize your shelves and tables.

Open up Space

A common decorating mishap involves placing furniture near walkways and other high traffic areas as well as placing items too close to a window.

Preventing the view into or out of a room will make a small space feel cramped. Move or replace furniture that is too large or blocks pathways. Alternatively, place large or tall furniture against a wall rather than in the middle of your living room to add the illusion of space.

In general, if you can see the floor the room will automatically look larger!


A well-lit living room will open up the area. Remove heavy draperies so natural light from outdoors can filter through the windows.

Adding one or two well-placed lamps can also add the illusion of space and make the living room more inviting.

Color Schemes

The bane of a small room is dark, heavy colors. Soft, light hues will make your living room feel open and airy. Avoid dark colors or a mish-mash of a variety of hues. Stick to a monochromatic color scheme and pick colors within the same family to decorate.
Similarly, coordinating the wall and furniture colors can add space to a small living room and match well compared to contrasting colors that would interrupt the flow of the room.

Add Mirrors

You may want to consider adding a large mirror to the focal wall of your living room. Mirrors always make a room look larger, and the mirror will reflect the light to add the illusion of more space.

If you don’t like the idea of a wall mirror, consider placing a mirror-top on your coffee table or end table. You’ll get the same room-enlarging effect without taking up a lot of wall space.

Avoid Bold Upholstery

Stick to neutral colors with your upholstered furniture. Avoid bold prints, stripes, plaids and anything else that would make your living room look smaller.

A small living room can automatically look larger with the right colors and furnishings. By avoiding dark hues and opening up the space with a lot of light and soft colors, your formerly cramped living room can be a cozy, intimate paradise.