Small living room Feng Shui mistakes — 5 things messing up your flow

Avoid these small living room Feng Shui mistakes and your place will feel so much fresher

Small living room Feng Shui mistakes are worth avoiding. Here is a bright living room with blue curtains, white chairs with blue pillows, and open French doors into the sunny garden
(Image credit: Prestigious Textiles)

If you want to bring positive vibes into your space, it's worth knowing the small living room Feng Shui mistakes to avoid. Happily, there are simple and subtle changes you can make to help the room instantly flow better.

We've chatted with interior designers to find out what you should be saying no to, and what your go-tos should be. Luckily, incorrect large or awkward furniture placement, and dark lighting can all be fixed easily.

Keeping these in mind when looking for small living room ideas will help you create a space you can fully relax in.

Small living room Feng Shui mistakes

Get your small living room Feng Shui energy in order by saying bye-bye to these mistakes, and hello to the solutions.

On points where our experts have suggested buys, we've also found a few of these to help you get fixing that Feng Shui ASAP.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article.

1. Using too much furniture

A small living room with green walls, a gray couch, yellow table, and a side table

(Image credit: Arlo & Jacob)

It can be easy to get carried away when choosing furniture for a small living room. For the best Feng Shui possible, it’s best not to throw everything into it.

“This is one of the most common small living room Feng Shui mistakes I see,” says Keely Smith, lead interior designer at JD Elite Interiors.

A picture of Keely Smith in a black top, next to a black and white wall
Keely Smith

Keely Smith is the lead interior designer at JD Elite Interiors. With more than 10 years experience, Keely has helped numerous businesses and individuals realize their interior design goals.

She continues, “It's best to edit down to only the essential furniture pieces needed — a couch, coffee table, and side table may be sufficient rather than overfilling the room.”

If you have any pieces you don’t need, you can donate them to secondhand furniture stores, so someone else can get better use out of them.

2. Not making use of natural light

A living room with a brown couch, wall art, a table, and white walls

(Image credit: Arlo & Jacob)

When you’re working with a small living room, it’s best to be as mindful of the light flow throughout, as you can darken the room very quickly with the wrong placement.

“Make use of natural light as much as possible and also ensure there is sufficient circulation of air,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight.

Artem Kropovinsky
Artem Kropovinsky

Artem Kropovinsky is an interior design expert and founder of Arsight, an award-winning interior design studio based in New York.

To avoid this, he suggests moving heavy furniture away from the windows. Move any obstructive pieces, and hey presto — you'll have lightened up your small living room instantly.

3. Choosing dark colors

A pink living room with a gold arched mirror reflecting the room

(Image credit: Loaf)

Blacks and dark jewel tones are colors to avoid in small living rooms, as they can absorb light and make the space feel even tinier. We love making our small living rooms cozy, but when the space is already little, darker shades are no-gos.

“Dark colors can make a room feel claustrophobic, so I always recommend using light, natural colors for a feeling of spaciousness,” Artem explains. 

For those who have dark walls they can’t paint over (we feel your pain, renters), there is a clever piece of decor you can use to minimize the effect of this.

He adds, “Employ mirrors with discretion to make the space visually larger, but do place them carefully so as not to reflect negative energy.” We recommend placing them against a wall facing a window to give it as much sparkle and shine power as possible.

4. Incorrectly arranging furniture

A living room with blue curtains, white chairs with blue pillows, and open french doors leading to sunny leafy garden

(Image credit: Prestigious Textiles)

As well as making sure you haven’t got too much furniture, our experts also recommend being mindful of the placement of it. Keely explains, “Leaving some breathing room between furniture and walls allows for better flow of chi (energy).”

She adds, “I also recommend arranging pieces so there is clear walking space and easy lines of sight across the room.”

Doing this promotes a calming, open atmosphere you can fully relax in. After all, nobody wants to be weaving between furniture every day — this is way too much effort, in our opinion.

5. Forgetting the elements

A living area with a white couch and white coffee table with forest green and taupe ridged lit candles

(Image credit: H&M)

You may have focused on glitzy treasures and trinkets in your small living room, but for Feng Shui, you need to bring in the natural world, too.

Keely says, “Feng Shui considers the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, and you can bring some of these in through decor choices to balance the energy. I love using indoor plants (earth) and decorative water features (water)."

The latter are an especially brilliant way to bring Zen in, as the trickling effect will add soothing sounds to your space.

For the fire element, you could light a few candles in the evening. Head down to a store like H&M or Anthropologie, have a sniff of the scents, and see which ones resonate with you most. The team at Real Homes has rounded up the best candles, tried and tested by us.

These mistakes are all quick to fix, so it won't be long before Feng Shui flow in your living room is tweaked to perfection.

If you're worried about the energy in other areas of the home, remedy small entryway Feng Shui mistakes next, making the welcome guests enjoy that much more special.

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.