How to Decorate a Small Living Room

17 Creative and Beautiful Ideas

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    How to Decorate a Small Living Room

    Too small living room
    Eoneren/Getty Images

    Don't let your small living room pinch your style. No matter how small your space, it can still look stylish whether you own or rent. Discover the ​best small-space décor tricks for personalizing the most lived-in spot in your home.

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  • 02 of 18

    Embrace Your White Walls

    White room with white furniture and house plants
    Ikea Ideas Lab

    White walls can be dull, but then again they can create a calming mood. Consider embracing a white-on-white interior. Pairing your walls with equally pale furniture is an elegant and straightforward way to make any small space feel brighter and larger.

    For character, add pops of colors and splashes of texture. Interior designer Mercedes Daczi personalized this white living room with a range of colorful and textural accents including houseplants and wicker furnishings.

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  • 03 of 18

    Work Your Weird Angles

    Oddly shaped living room with a gallery wall
    Alvhemmakleri.se

    An awkwardly shaped living room can be baffling to decorate, but no space is ever too odd for beautiful decor.

    You can turn a weird wall into a focal point. The owner of this apartment turned the vertical space around her bedroom door into a salon-style gallery wall.

    Not sure where to put the sofa? Choosing wallpaper with a bold pattern can establish a center point in an oddly shaped area. Here wallpaper featuring peonies anchors the living room.

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  • 04 of 18

    Pile on the Textiles

    Two shots of a small living room with creative fabric decor
    Happy Interior Blog

    Turn a cramped living room into a boho haven with fabric. In this design from ​Happy Interior Blog, houseplant expert Igor Josifovic piles on the textiles in his tiny living room with a cotton tapestry and Kilim pillows to dress up a budget sofa. The Turkish rug makes sitting on the floor more inviting. Next to the woven wall hanging is a framed kitchen towel that was too cute to use. 

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  • 05 of 18

    Graduate from Living Dorm-Style

    Small living room with couch, floating desk, and bike
    Homepolish

    Does your living room scream overgrown teenager? This small bachelor pad from Homepolish is brimming with tips for "adulting" an apartment.

    The elegant bike shelf keeps wheels up and out of the way while turning the bicycle into a decorative wall hanging. Another smart idea that doesn't squander floor space is the floating desk that spans the left side of the room. Its built-in drawers provide a good deal of storage. But what transforms this 500-square-foot studio into a cozy grown-up home are the various details and décor styles that add a one-of-a-kind character, from the colorful prints to the refined furniture.

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  • 06 of 18

    Add Living Color

    Gray couch with bright fabrics and plants
    Candy Pop

    Nothing prettifies a living room like decorating with plants. Blooming perennials like daffodils or tulips add lovely color, while leafy beauties including ferns and spider plants bring interesting texture (plus they clean indoor air!). Don't like gardening? Try a few low-maintenance options from the succulent family and put them in cute DIY planters.

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  • 07 of 18

    Transform That Boring Box-Shaped Space

    Living room with a dark purple accent wall
    Joe Human

    If your living room is lacking architectural detail, it's easy to create an affordable and unique touch without undergoing a costly renovation. Show off your personal style by creating a feature wall like this one from Joe Human that transforms your room into an eye-catching focal point.

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  • 08 of 18

    Find the Perfect Sofa for a Narrow Space

    Narrow living room with sofa
    DecorAid

    A living room that's both narrow and small can be particularly challenging to decorate. However, as in this bright and airy space redone by Decor Aid, a carefully chosen sectional sofa can make the most of the precious square footage. When shopping for a sofa, look for one that is long and can lean up against a wall to give your living room more depth.

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  • 09 of 18

    Raise the Ceiling With Vertical Stripes

    Living room with blue walls with vertical stripes
    Sheer and Company

    If your low ceiling is cramping your style, then take a good look at these walls in a home decorated by Sheer and Company. The subtle vertical stripes make the low ceiling in this compact living room seem higher.

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  • 10 of 18

    Glam It up With Gold Decor

    Living room with gray sofa and gold accents
    Havenly

    Glamorizing a small living room isn't a problem if you watch the scale of your furniture. For instance, an overstuffed couch will make any small space feel minuscule. However, an apartment-size sofa that's also close to the ground (as shown) will have the opposite effect.

    Keeping scale in mind is also important when adding the Midas touch. All of the gold décor shown in this small living room designed by Havenly work with the low-profile couch. And, because the transparent coffee table doesn't take up visual residency, it creates the illusion of more floor space.

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  • 11 of 18

    Create a Jewel-Box Living Room

    Ornate living room in silver tones in London
    David Long Design

    The small living room in this luxe London apartment designed by David Long Designs is the epitome of regal chic. A silvery-gray palette sets the stage for a layer of beautiful accessories in rich colors and lush fabrics. The cherry on top is the commissioned portrait that makes the room feel bigger by drawing the eye up.

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  • 12 of 18

    Mind the Gap Behind the Sofa

    Living room with shelves behind the couch
    Designs by Human

    Adding a bookcase or shelves behind your sofa is a sneaky and effective way to add visual interest and storage to your living room. In this design, light colors and a large window also help to maximize apparent space.

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  • 13 of 18

    Inject Shabby Chic

    Shabby chic living room with pink accent wall
    Alvhem.com

    Here's a teensy living room that beautifully illustrates shabby chic style noted for its light colors, white slipcovered furniture, and vintage accents. The design features a comfortable love seat, pink Fleurette armchair, and an enchanting fun-size chandelier.

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    Use a Modern Style

    If you're looking to start decorating your space from scratch, the living room in this 600-square foot apartment decorated by Havenly reveals a simple formula for small space decorating.

    First, stick with low-profile furniture in neutral colors. Leggy pieces like the coffee table create a sense of spaciousness because you can see more of the floor. For pops of color, add a houseplant or two and patterned rug. Next, fill that big blank space over your sofa with a statement-making print or oversized mirror. Need a floor lamp but don't have an inch of horizontal room to spare? Consider something wall-mounted.

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    Decorate Like the French

    Small living room in Paris
    Paris Perfect

    The petite living room in this Paris apartment from Paris Perfect triples as the dining room and kitchen too without feeling crowded or skimping on old-world style. A few smart decorating tricks made it possible.

    First, furnishing it with just the bare essentials–a sofa for lounging and a dining set for eating or working doesn't squander a drop of square footage. Second, a small selection of formal embellishments from the crystal chandelier to the ornate mirror melds Parisian chic with practical function. 

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    Pair Perfect Pieces Together

    Teal couch in a small living room with mirrored wall
    Black and Milk

    Many Midcentury designs, like the dining set shown on the left, are low-slung and leggy, which looks proportionally better in little rooms. Large mirrors, like the floor to ceiling mirror behind the sofa, also pair beautifully with small square footage because they visually expand the size of an area.

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    Anchor the Living Room With Furniture

    Living room with couch, chairs, and nesting tables
    IDF Studio

    When it comes to decorating rooms of all sizes, an alpha object is what anchors a space. In this living room designed by IDF Studio, it's the plush pullout sofa which doubles as a guest bed. The nesting tables and upholstered storage ottomans also have dual purposes for entertaining and hosting.

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    Avoid a Matchy-Matchy, Boring Look

    Mismatched furniture in a small living room
    Alvhem Makleri

    This living room feels grander than its actual size thanks to low-slung furniture. Give your space more texture and personality by incorporating mismatched furniture and decor from different eras. Like the contemporary sofa and vintage leather chairs in this room, different textured pieces can look just as seamless as a complete set.