Even if space at home is limited, that doesn't mean you need to restrict your imagination and style.
Think laterally about your small living-room design, and you could find great storage solutions literally at your feet. Making your furniture double up as storage is a fantastic way to maximise your space and your seating options. Footstools stylishly combine storage space with useful additional seating.
Starting in the living room, it's fair to say that a white sofa would be utterly impractical when there are children in the home. Those that have already embraced the modern look have combined practicality with style by bringing grey fabric seating arrangements into the home instead.
Similarly, a smart sofabed can turn your living room into a spare bedroom when friends or family come to stay. And stylish storage accessories, such as boxes, baskets or shelving, cut down on clutter.
Lighting a small room
Light is key to making a room – especially a small one – feel bright, spacious and airy.
Make the most of the natural light in your living room by choosing simple, elegant curtains and blinds. In the evenings, aim to create a relaxing atmosphere with lamps that complement your furnishing colour choices. Keep the brightness level down – by night a tranquil, lower-lit atmosphere is soothing.
You can enhance the intimate setting with lights that create small pools of illumination – a dramatic standard lamp looks stunning beside a showpiece leather sofa. Add to the room's glow by positioning smaller lights on occasional tables.
How to make a small room look bigger
Echoing the colours and textures of outdoors creates an illusion of spaciousness in an interior. Picking up the hues of the natural world in your living-room decorating ideas will make the space feel fresh and vibrant – and colours inspired by nature will give your layout and design some zing. You might opt for earth tones, a verdant, springtime green or the warm russets and reds of autumn. Alternatively, you could choose a playful floral print. And a plant or vase of flowers in the window completes the effect.
Colours for small rooms
When you're planning your ideas for decorating your living room, you needn't necessarily shun brights. It's a commonly accepted design precept that whites and neutrals make a room feel larger. Yet a feature wall or stand-out piece in a bold colour can draw the eye and become a real talking-point.
It might be a single, gorgeous tub chair or recliner. Or you might prefer to contrast neutral furnishings – a luxurious leather sofa suite, say – with stronger colours in your decorative touches, such as artwork or curtains. Either way, colour adds dynamism to a small living room.
A mirror is the easiest quick fix for a small space. Hang a mirror – the larger the better – on one wall of your living room, and you will instantly throw reflected light into the room and conjure up the impression of extra space.
There are all sorts of designs to choose from, from clean, ultra-modern looks to ornate gilt pieces. If vintage is your style, you could trawl the antique shops or hunt for a bargain you can upcycle. If you're going for a shabby-chic aesthetic, there's no reason why you shouldn't mix and match.
It needs to be hard-wearing, but whether you prefer the cosiness of a wool carpet, chic seagrass, cost-effective laminate or the luxury of real wood, what you choose to walk about on will have a surprising impact on the look of your living room.
Busy patterns and overwhelming dark colours are probably best avoided in a small room. But neutrals and natural shades can look fantastic – and you can always break up the effect with a vivid rug. Your floor should be a blank canvas for your living room design ideas.
Tidying away miscellaneous items will prevent a small living room from feeling as cluttered and cramped. Sideboards and cupboards provide useful storage solutions for living rooms and act as a handy place to stash china or barware as well as a useful surface for serving drinks.Whether free standing or wall mounted, glass shelving is unobtrusive and will help reflect light in a small room.
Once you've achieved your perfect living room, you'll want to enjoy it. And whether you're entertaining or just chilling out at home, small, elegant furniture pieces will make it complete. A nest of coffee tables is a practical option for a small lounge as the smaller spare tables can be tucked underneath to save space when not in use.