Decorating a Small Living Room - How to Create More Space

Decorating a small living room can be challenging. Sometimes no matter how you arrange the furniture, the room would still look more cramped and cluttered rather than welcoming and relaxing. Well, don't give up on it! The following living room tips will teach you how to make the best out of the small space you have.

"Widen" the Floor

No, you don't really have to hammer down the walls and expand your living room. You can, however, make your small living room appear more spacious by choosing the right flooring materials. Try not to use carpet in a small room. Carpet flooring makes the room look warmer and cozier, but it also cramps our vision of the floor. Laminate wood flooring is a much better choice; it can fool the eye, and give a lighter and larger appearance to your small living room. Tiles can also trick us into seeing the room bigger than it actually is, by adding horizontal lines to the floor and accordingly highlighting its width. It is really all about the visual effect!

Nifty Seating

Bulky big couches are not a very nifty choice when you try to decorate small spaces. They can make your living room look all cramped. You should opt for lightweight-looking armchairs or small loveseats instead. The spaces between chairs will make the place appear more roomy.

Stripes and Stripes

In the fashion world, a dress with verticle stripes makes the wearer look taller and slimmer, whereas one with horizontal stripes can help the person appear less skinny. The same theory also works for room decoration. Painting narrow, verticle stripes on your living room walls will give the impression that the room is loftier. This trick is great for rooms with low ceilings. On the other hand, if you want to stretch your living room widthwise, just turn the stripes sideways. Try to choose colors that are coordinating, not contrasting, unless you want to create a dramatic look for your living room.

Get Out of My Way!

For a narrow living room, you may want to keep the walkway clear and get rid of the central coffee table completely. Small side tables can be as practical and help you save much more space. Also, keep in mind that slender glass tables are more effective for creating the sense of space than thick wooden ones.

Double Vision

A mirror is a quick fix for a small space. You can either casually prop a vast mirror on the wall or stylishly decorate the top of the mantelpiece with a row of small mirrors, and you will be surprised at how effectively mirrors can work as a space enhancer. Besides creating a sense of spaciousness, a large mirror can also increase the light and brighten your dull living room, especially when it is positioned opposite to a window.

Stand Tall

No, I'm not talking about you, but your cabinets and chests. Lean and tall cabinets will make your living room arrangement much easier, as they are more space-saving and can fit into narrow spots that are often left unused. Save your wide cabinets, chests and bookcases for other bigger rooms. Imagine cabinets as human bodies. How does it make you feel when you step into an elevator full of overweight people?

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No More Floor Hogging

Some accent furniture such as bookcases and CD racks may be practical but they tend to make a small living room look crowded. So try to utilize the space on your walls a little more. Adding a few floating shelves and wall-mounted CD holders to your living room walls will provide extra storage space for your favorite books, games, CDs, toys, etc. Plus, some wall-mounted shelves are so interestingly designed; they can also be creative items for living room decoration.

Blinds Wide Open

Large windows can make a small living room look bigger. The idea is to maximize the light. If you really want to supersize the look of your room, you should turn the window into a floor-to-ceiling glass door. It won't cost too much and will add much more liveliness to your room. If your living room has small windows, try to keep them neat. Don't put too many knick knacks on the window sills, as they will create a cluttered look. Heavy draperies are not ideal for a small room. Shutters, Roman blinds and sheer curtains are better options.

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Comments 68 comments

readabook profile image

readabook 7 years ago from Texas

Excellent hub. I never realized about carpet but looking around my house I can see what you mean. Floating shelves do look better in small rooms. You are so right about furniture size. I knew someone with a tiny home who just loved Early American furniture and it was lovely furniture but made the living space look so tiny.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by, readabook. My living room is very small, so I learned all those tips from first-hand experience :)

Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

very nice ideas good hub

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

Thanks :)

Princessa profile image

Princessa 7 years ago from France

Lovely rooms. I like a room full of lights, mirrors and windows. A few years ago I had a studio in front of the beach, it was tiny but it had this enormous windows from wall to wall with an ocean view; I loved it. The windows and the view made all the difference!

fortunerep profile image

fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

I love those little living rooms. I have a very large one and it will never be that clean or decorated for a three year is a dangerous thing sometimes. Great Hub!!!


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Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

Princessa, your beach studio must be so beautiful :) I like huge mirrors and windows, too. Mirrors are not only good for decorating small spaces, but they can also be used for feng shui purposes (especially in the dining room and living room).

Fortunerep, I understand what you mean. A larger living room means more time to clean up. That's why I prefer small ones. Thanks for stopping by :)

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Some useful ideas, there. We have wood floors throughout our flat, I like them for lots of reasons!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

Thanks for visiting my hub, Londongirl. I like wood flooring, too, not only because it makes the room look bigger, but also because I hate vacuuming carpeted floors. lol

LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

yup, a quick rush round with the broom, and Bob's your uncle!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

Exactly =)

chyangba grg 7 years ago

nice but what about wall colour?

Morris Streak profile image

Morris Streak 7 years ago from UK

Many home improvements along redecor and rearranging your house focus on not just making use of the space, but in making space for you. Room to breathe, grow. A cluttered house stifles your soul. Good hub. You can definitely see the house's soul breathe in the pics you used. Good stuff. I'm into home improvement myself.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

chyangba grg, light or pale colors are good for a small room, as they reflect the light more than darker colors. Painting the walls with horizontal bands of coordinating colors will also make the room look larger.

Morris Streak, yes a cluttered house really stifles your soul. Very well-said :)

Balinese profile image

Balinese 7 years ago from Ireland

great idea- as i need to redecorate my living room



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Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

You're very welcome :)

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Erick Smart 7 years ago

It is amazing how small changes can affect the appearance of a room size. I recently put in a light colored hard wood floor to replace a dark carpet. This made the room look huge and brighter, it was great.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author

Yes, hard wood floor is nice, easy to clean and space enhancing. I'm glad you like the new look of your living room. :)

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hienergybrain 7 years ago

hmmm(thinking noise)...I bet I could apply some of this to my dorm room, thanks

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Om Paramapoonya 7 years ago Author're welcome :)

michelle.dragon99 profile image

michelle.dragon99 7 years ago

good idea..i like it:)

Suhana 7 years ago

Just the info i needed :)We were discussing a little while ago whether to place a carpet in our small living room and after i read ur hub......i know i should go for some change in our flooring, carpet is a big no living room would look cramped! Thnx a lot!!!

brsmom68 profile image

brsmom68 7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

We have a small living room, and have an area rug. Plus, we got rid of the big coffee table and just use the end tables. I also like the idea of the floating shelves. Thanks for the good ideas!

relica profile image

relica 7 years ago from California

You have some really good ideas for expanding space without actually moving any walls. It is amazing the effect furniture placement can have in a room. Nice Hub!

Jane Grey profile image

Jane Grey 6 years ago from Oregon

Great ideas! Many people are realizing that downsizing is the way to live more frugally, but yet they still want their homes to appear open and not crowded. These ideas would be perfect for any small room, not just a living room. Loved the pictures too!

LDC2010 profile image

LDC2010 6 years ago from Canada

beautiful pictures

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Rookie70 6 years ago

These ideas would be perfect for any small room, not just a living room.

HC0303 profile image

HC0303 6 years ago

I picked up many interesting ideas here. Thanks!

4tune 6 years ago

Very Informative. Thanks.

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KLeichester 6 years ago

I find this very interesting. I really liked it. Thank you for this hub!

poojabrahmi profile image

poojabrahmi 6 years ago

We want to give our house a new look, primarily by changing the flooring. My husband and I have a different taste, he likes wooden flooring and I like tile one. Wooden flooring is very high maintenance.

I love wall mounted shelves, but sometimes you bang your head against it if the space is too small.. ( Once I had a bad experience)

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago Author

@poojabrahmi - Yep, you've got to be careful with those wall-mounted shelves! If you place them too low, your head might be at risk for daily bruises. Good luck with your home renovation. :)

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

Om, the pictures are lovely. It's amazing how much of a difference placement of furniture can do for a small. Great hub.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks, KoffeeKlatch. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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janellelk 5 years ago

great tips! thanks!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks for the read, janellelk. :)

lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 5 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I will be using all of these ideas.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Very cool! Have fun decorating you room. :)

seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 5 years ago

Some very good ideas. I am thinking of downsizing so this is very useful. Voted up.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thank you. Glad you like these ideas. :)

PiaC profile image

PiaC 5 years ago from Oakland, CA

I really like the idea of striped walls. Is it a very time consuming process to paint stripes? Can it be done by amateurs or should we seek the help of professional painters?

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Hi, Pia. Painting stripes can be quite difficult and also time consuming. There's a lot of prepping and measuring. So I suggest you let a pro do it. But if you have enough time and ambition, you can still give it a try. It could be fun! :)

UniqueVanities profile image

UniqueVanities 5 years ago from Ohio

I painted stripes for my daughters nursery while I was 7 months pregnant (Of course, with pregnant-friendly paint)and actually didn't have too hard of a time with it. I measured first and pencil marked where my tape lines would be, then taped, then painted. It was personal project for me (for obvious reasons) so I did it myself and had it done in two days! It's worth a shot for anyone interested--believe me, I am far from a pro and did just fine!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Hehehe...that still sounds like a little too much work to me. Glad you enjoyed the painting experience. Your daughter is a very lucky girl! :)

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

More great tips on decorating from you! I hope to read all of your hubs. I am a huge fan! Thanks for sharing your expertise. :)

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thank you so much for your sweet comment, vocalcoach.

Carrara 2 hexagon 5 years ago

Thanks for such a comprehensive list! I really admire the amount of work you put into your blog posts, it’s what sets yours aside from most other blogs!


Carrara 2 hexagon

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Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks a lot for your sweet comment, Carrara. I'll try to keep up the good work. :)

led string lights 5 years ago

Great blog here.. It’s hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you.


led string lights

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks! :)

Jasmine 5 years ago

Um im only 9 my mom is coming home i want to make a spa Plalace for her :)

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

A spa palace? Hmmm...well, this article might be helpful

windowwellcover profile image

windowwellcover 5 years ago from Germany

It is absolutely beautiful hub, i like it very much, great idea.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thanks! =D

vovvarna 5 years ago

Thank you for giving me the idea for a wooden floor instead of carpet! We're one of those who down-sized three years ago. We are happy with our new bathroom, kitchen, hall/stairs/landing but absolutely cannot sort out our sitting room. The house was extended from about 3 x 3 m, to 6 x 3m, so the inner part is very dark. We also have brought with us 5 darkish pieces of furniture for that room Antique family pieces. Beautiful but too large ... but must stay. Any ideas? Thinking of lighting along the top of the walls ... but .... ??? Might then look like a museum!?

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Yes, that could make the room look a bit like a museum. I think recessed ceiling lights might be a better option; it's just more subtle. Maybe you should also consider repainting the room with a lighter color.

Mukesh Gawriya 5 years ago


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AurelioLeo 5 years ago

A wonderful hub........

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Thank you. :)

SEA 5 years ago

hello, i bought a leaning wall shelf with desk to put on my livingroom since we don't have a room for the laptop. i don't want to make it look like an office. Any ideas on how to decorate it? all i have on the livinroom is a tv mounted on the wall, a couch, 2 single seats and little tables at each corner to rest lamp and other objects. it looks to crowded and i thought that shelf wall will help to get rid of some furniture....

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

Your living room sounds good to me. If it looks too cramped, why not get rid of one of the chairs or end tables? To make it not look too much like an office, adding a few small accent pillows or cutesy wall decorations will probably help.

Anayansi 5 years ago

I have no central coffe table in my tiny livingroom (8 feet wide). Instead I placed a center rug that matched the pillows on the sofa. It gives the illusion that there is something in the center of the room, but it does not hinder traffic.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@Anayansi - Nice! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your personal tip :)

chard 5 years ago

hi first off thank you for the helpful tips! just wanna ask if is it ok to use two colors of tiles for a small living room. i'm planning to have white in the center and beige on the sides. will this idea work on a 22sqm floor? thanks in advance! ;-)

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago Author

@chard - I think that sounds fine and not too overwhelming for a small room. Both colors are light and can give the room a sense of airiness, so this idea should work!

toptenhome profile image

toptenhome 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia, USA

I love the pictures that you used. I really got some good ideas after reading your hub. Thanks again.

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 3 years ago Author

@toptenhome - Glad to hear you found these living room ideas helpful. Thanks for dropping by :)

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

Great hub. In my new apartment, it's carpeted and has blinds in every room. I only have one window, which is next to the doorway that opens up. Very useful for any small living room-dining room area.

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