7 tips to make the most of your small living room | homify

7 tips to make the most of your small living room

Lily Cichanowicz Lily Cichanowicz
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It’s no secret that rents are rising just about everywhere. Alas, many of us are trading in more square metres for better location, higher quality of life, or other conveniences. While this can sometimes feel like a big sacrifice, we at homify believe there is plenty you can do to efficiently maximise the space you have. 

From taking advantage of vertical space to identifying the most clever storage solutions, it’s likely these techniques can make a huge difference in your home. One area that may feel a bit tricky to enjoy when it’s on the smaller side is the living room. This is typically a gathering space in the home that contains large pieces of furniture like sofas, televisions, and shelves. Luckily, there are some clear-cut ways to turn your small living room into your favourite place in the apartment.

Choose small furniture

For starters, if you embrace the small stature of your living room, it will open up new possibilities. Attempting to cram a sizeable corner sofa into the small room will likely serve as a constant reminder of the limited amount of space you have available. 

Instead, it’s best to go with smaller furniture. This way they room will look proportionate to the furniture rather than dwarfed by it. Plus, smaller furnishings can still work just as well in accommodating you, your family, and your guests. The best way to make this look work is to go with a few smaller pieces that complement one another. Better yet, choose furniture in different colours and styles to make the space feel more dynamic. We’re sure that nothing feels lacking in this petite living room comprised of a little loveseat and yellow armchair by Clorofilia.

Try different layouts

When deciding how to furnish your small living room, don’t be afraid to play around with the layout. Because most of the living room furniture is mobile compared to that in the kitchen or bathroom, you have a relative amount of freedom to test out different configurations. This is another reason why opting for a few smaller pieces of furniture rather than one large sofa will better serve the small space. 

If you have a studio apartment, for instance, you may want to arrange the furniture so that it is facing away from the rest of the space like we can see in this living area. This way it gives the space some more definition. Placing furniture flat against the wall will also allow for more floor space.

Completely fill a corner

It can be surprising how often small pockets of space within a room go underutilised. Fear of cramming too much in can keep us from effectively filling the space to its fullest potential. Once you find the right furniture layout for your living room, you may have actually freed up more space than you thought possible. Instead of leaving it vacant, this could be the perfect opportunity to incorporate some more things into it. 

You could add a cosy reading corner like this one, a small study, crafting table, an instrument or even an aquarium to the empty corner in your living room. Just think about what it is that you’ve always wanted to have in the home, but that you felt you couldn’t because of spatial constraints. In this way, employing strategies to maximise space in a small home can actually open up new opportunities and possibilities.

Built-in storage

Next, it’s time to consider one of the most common challenges faced when attempting to furnish a small space: the storage. After all the furniture is accounted for, storage can sometimes be left as an afterthought. The result is that important items get crammed into the space without any real place of their own. To avoid this pitfall, it’s especially important to come up with an effective storage solution for your small living room. 

One of our favourite ideas is adding built-in storage because this strategy keeps you from having to bring in additional furniture like a chest or bookcase. Some common types of built in storage include built-in shelving or a built-in cupboard like the one featured in this small living room. When the built-in storage blends into the space because it is made of similar materials or painted the same colour as the surrounding walls, it helps to keep the space from looking cramped or chaotic.

Low seats in front of the fireplace

Filiofocus Telescopique homify Living roomFireplaces & accessories

Filiofocus Telescopique


Having a fireplace in your small living room can feel a bit more like a curse than a blessing at first. It may seem like there isn’t enough room to enjoy the hearth or that this feature is just occupying precious space that could be used for something else. 

There are a few options to consider if you find yourself in this boat. For one, you can choose not to use the fireplace but instead to mount your television above it. (Just remember that using the fireplace could damage your TV, so you really have to commit if you choose this path.) Alternatively, taking the concept of using small furniture instead of larger pieces, we fancy the idea of situating some low seats in front of the fireplace. In fact, we think that huddling around a warm fire in a small space is just about one of the cosiest things you could do in the home! Some beanbags or cushions like these ones would do the trick perfectly.

Use mirrors and wallpaper

Country House, Hampshire Helen Green Design Country style corridor, hallway& stairs
Helen Green Design

Country House, Hampshire

Helen Green Design

If you’d like to use your fireplace, and are in the market for something to hang above the mantel, we suggest going with a mirror rather than a piece of artwork. You don’t even have to have a fireplace to apply this concept. Mirrors do a marvellous job of making a small room feel bigger. If you think about it, they quite literally multiply the existing space, at least in a visual sense. Mirrors also reflect light, and more light will also help make the living room feel expansive. 

Find a mirror with a frame that matches your style, and it can serve an additional function as a decorative piece. Another decorative trick that can help take the focus off of the size of your living room is to apply wallpaper. Wallpaper will help draw the eye and make the space look more dynamic. This tip works best if you use the wallpaper to create a feature wall rather than covering the entire thing.

Add plants

Figuring out how to decorate a small living room can actually pose one of the greatest challenges. This is because it’s best not to waste precious space by cluttering it with unnecessary ornaments and mementos. Instead, it’s important to be smart when choosing the décor. Stick to a few meaningful pieces, and favour plants over other decorations. This is because plants add a sense of harmony to the room. 

A plant or two can really tie the space together without weighing it down. Not to mention, plants help to improve concentration, relaxation, and creativity. You can choose one or two larger plants or multiple smaller ones. Just remember to choose plants that can handle the amount of sunlight your living room has to offer.

If you'd like to learn more about keeping houseplants, check out these amazing indoor gardening ideas

Casas inHAUS Modern home

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