Small living room ideas

Size doesn’t always matter - discover big ways to maximise your style and space with these timeless small living room ideas.

Home sizes might have shrunk in the last couple of decades but that doesn’t mean you can’t maximise the space you have. With strategic design choices and a dash of creativity, our small living room ideas can transform your compact home into a stylish and functional space.

From practical layout ideas to stylish colour trends to sofa sizes, there are plenty of ways to work around your small living room design. Besides making every square foot count, our guide will also help enhance your interior and turn your living area into a welcoming retreat.

Read on to discover our tips and tricks, along with plenty of stylish visuals, to help you get started on your small living room. Once you’re done exploring our small lounge ideas, browse our range of 2 seater sofas which will be perfect for your compact space.

1. Maximise floor space with a sectional sofa

L-shape sofa in a small living room
Harlow L-Shape Sofa

Go for a spacious sectional sofa or an L-shaped sofa to make the most out of the living room. The distinctive design of these sofas allows them to fit within the corner of the room, freeing up floor space.

When it comes to style, the world (or your home!) is your oyster - turn up the elegance and charm with a handsome velvet corner sofa, or opt for a contemporary fabric centrepiece that’s equally cosy and inviting.

2. Create a focal point in your small living room design

Bold feature wall as a focal point in a small living room
Baltimore Sofa Set

Introduce a feature wall or statement furniture for major style points. Bold, vibrant colours and textures could easily transform that part of the living room, making it an eye-catching talking point with guests.

This is a fun opportunity to decorate with elements like framed artwork, photographs, and even cushions and paperweight. These small living room decorating ideas will help you create a stylish, homely nook that suits your style and personality.

3. Choose to use a compact sofa

Compact 2 seater sofa in a small living room
Chatham 2 Seater Sofa

On the other hand, having disproportional furniture can make a small living room feel even smaller and overwhelm the space. Take into account the measurements of your living room such as the height and width of your space when choosing the right sofa. Going for a compact two-seater sofa may just be what you need for a small lounge. Pick a simple silhouette with clean lines and a cosy shape to create an illusion of space. If you have a narrow living room, a sofa with deep seating and comfy armrests may be just what you need to make your space feel cosy and inviting.

4. Get creative with colours and textures

Small living room with vibrant colours and textures
Baltimore 3 Seater Sofa

Create an illusion of space in an interior by experimenting with different colours and textures. Styling with airy neutrals like whites and creams keep the space feeling fresh and vibrant, while earthy hues like browns, reds and green offer a natural, calming approach.

Alternatively, go for a playful pop of character with a vibrant motif, or introduce indoor plants and florals for a natural boost of colour.

5. Float your furniture in a small living room

Floating your furniture in a small living room
Manhattan 3 Seater Sofa

We’ve mentioned proportion already and this time it’s about the arrangement. Floating your furniture in a small living room will make your space feel bigger compared to it being awkwardly pushed up against the wall.

The key to floating your furniture is to decide on your layout beforehand and choosing the direction of where your furniture is placed. For example, placing your sofa in front of your doors (with a gap) will make your space feel more open creating ‘lanes’ and zones to walk around your living room.

6. Get on the colour drenching trend

Colour drenching trend in a small living room
Loren 2 Seater Sofa

Among all the small sitting room ideas, this one here helps you make a statement and that’s colour drenching. Choosing the same colour for everything from the walls to the accessories is one way to go all out. Experiment with different textures so the space doesn’t feel too one-dimensional. For example, going for a lacquer finish on the walls will make it look more glossy and contrast stylishly against a fabric sofa in the same colour.

7. Use storage furniture to stay neat and organised

Small living room with open shelving for storage
Furniture And Choice L-shape sofas

Ottoman sofas and footstools do double duty as comfy seats and bonus storage space. This is another clever way to work around smaller spaces while keeping all living room related-essentials neatly tucked away. Another way is to introduce open shelving which works for storage and also as a room divider to break up the areas into separate zones.

8. Use lighting to your advantage

Glamorous small living room with statement lighting
Baltimore 3 Seater Sofa

Make the most of the natural light in your living room by choosing simple, elegant curtains and blinds. In the evenings, create a relaxing atmosphere with lamps that complement your decor. Keep the brightness level down at night for a tranquil, inviting atmosphere.

You can also enhance the intimate setting with lights that create small pools of illumination – a well-positioned lamp will highlight a bold, statement sofa nicely. And for a softer, gentler glow, smaller light sources like candles are perfect additions to any space and can be moved around to change up a look.

9. Dress up the floor of your small living room design

Small living room with a cool chic rug
Hampton Corner Sofa

Introduce texture and details to the living room floor to anchor the entire look together. Whether you prefer the cosiness of a fuzzy carpet, cost-effective laminate, or the luxury and warmth of real wood, your choice of flooring will impact the look and feel of the room.

The possibilities are truly endless here, so don’t be afraid to spin the colour wheel for bold hues, or let the details come through with a neutral colour palette. And for an inexpensive way to jazz up your floor, express yourself with a cool, chic rug. These stylish pieces easily work in colour and texture, and can be switched out for a different look throughout the year.

10. Create space with a large mirror

Small living room with a mirror to reflect light
Harlow L-Shape Sofa (credit: @therichmondhome_)

A strategically-positioned mirror will instantly reflect more light into the room, conjuring the impression of extra space. Apart from brightening up the living room, they’re also an easy way to add a decorative touch to the area.

There are all sorts of designs to choose from: clean, minimal styles to ornate mirrors that are bold in appearance and personality. If you’re all about collecting one-of-a-kind decor, browse antique shops for a cool find, or better yet - hunt for a bargain that can be upcycled.


How can I make my small living room look spacious

You can make your small living room look spacious by maximising natural light, using light colours, and choosing furniture with sleek, minimalistic designs. You can also hang a large mirror to create the illusion of space.

How do you layout a tiny living room?

Arrange your furniture along the walls and leave an open space in the middle. Go with a compact 2 seater sofa or sectional sofa and keep décor to a minimum as you don’t want to clutter up the space.

How do you maximise space in a small living room?

Maximise space in a small living room by using multifunctional furniture like a coffee table with shelves or an ottoman with hidden storage. You can also utilise your vertical space with floating shelves or wall units.

How do you make a small room look elegant?

Choose a neutral colour scheme and incorporate luxurious textures like a velvet sofa or leather sofa. Add decorative items like abstract artwork or fresh flowers for that elegant touch.

What colours are best for a small living room?

Light, neutral colours or soft pastels are the best colours for a small living room as they reflect light to create a spacious and airy feel.

We hope these small living room ideas inspire you to decorate your space. Are you looking for more ways to maximise other parts of your home? Read our small dining rooms guide to make the most out of your space.

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