10 small living room ideas that you'll want to try ASAP

Make the most of your space with these small living room ideas

Living room with white rug, TV, and stand
(Image credit: @frau_sommerfeldt_wohnt)

Looking for some new small living room ideas to make the most of your teeny tiny space? We’ve rounded up a selection of all the best inspiration for creating an environment that’s warm, cozy, and wonderfully on-trend. 

It’s easy to assume that because your small living room lacks square footage, it also has to lack style, but that isn’t the case. Despite the size of your space, there is still a good selection of super creative design ideas to copy. 

From maximizing your vertical square footage to learning to embrace a room’s coziness, these 12 small living room ideas prove that big design concepts can come in small packages.  See our storage solutions and organization tips to make the most of your space.

Small living room design ideas

There's plenty you can do to make more of your small living room. To overhaul your space, start with the steps below. 

1. Experiment with texture 

Couch with pillows and cat

(Image credit: @mylilbohospace)

Instead of relying on many pieces of decor, focus on creating a cohesive design by focusing on various types of texture. By combining various textiles (like this super soft fluffy throw from Amazon that has over 14,000 rave reviews) and materials to create more visual interest, you can create a space that feels more comfortable and inviting for guests. By experimenting with texture, you can also help define your own personal style and incorporate pieces you find visually interesting.  

2. Use shelving to showcase your style 

A small living room bookshelf with stacks of books around it

(Image credit: @savvylit)

While your small living room could be lacking in space for furniture pieces or large decor items, shelving makes creating your dream space a breeze. With various types of shelving available on the market (like these space-saving corner shelves from Amazon), finding the right one for your small living room includes understanding what pieces you want to have on display in your space.  

3. Find the right lighting

Dining table with chairs and open window

(Image credit: @picsfromcandice)

By eliminating shadows and increasing the amount of space you can visually see, embracing natural light is one of the best tips to increase your visual perception of a room. Adequate light not only makes a space feel more expansive but it can also be mood-enhancing, connecting your indoor space with the outside world. Install a set of the best curtain panels so you can dictate how much light gets in. When it comes to taking advantage of your space, letting light in is one of the simplest and most affordable choices you can make.  

4. Consider using curves 

Living room with neutral couch and round jute rug

(Image credit: @maiaaounsayad)

Sharp corners on coffee tables and other furniture can make your interior design feel clunky, especially in a small space. By decorating with circular furniture pieces or options with rounded edges (like this set of two rounded-edge coffee tables from Amazon), you’re able to create a better flow in the room, allowing people to navigate the space more easily. Consider a round coffee table or circular rug to have a bit of fun in your space and soften the look.  

5. Think vertically with bookshelves

A bookshelf with plants on it

(Image credit: @readswithrosie)

When it comes to increasing the space in your small living room, the only way to go is up in most cases. Vertical design ideas, such as open shelves — like this six-tiered open shelving unit from Amazon — or large dressers, can increase your storage options while taking up less space. The less wide your furniture pieces are, the more space you will have freed up.  

6. Embrace maximalism in a tiny living space

Blue couch in pink room

(Image credit: @homewithhelenandco)

While it can be a good idea to pare down your belongings and create minimalist systems of organizing in order to reduce clutter, embracing your small space does not mean you have to let go of everything you own. If you prefer a maximalist design style (one that features a variety of colors, textures, materials, and patterns) then opt for featuring the things you love in a defined or organized way. This allows you to showcase your personality, style, and hobbies all while creating a cozy space.

7. Or opt for minimalism

Living room with white rug and TV stand

(Image credit: @frau_sommerfeldt_wohnt)

Smaller rooms need to feel cohesive in order to avoid feeling cluttered or overwhelmed with various styles. An easy way to do this is to try minimalist design picks in your space. This means incorporating a neutral palette, soft textures, and muted tones. In order to refine exactly what you like, create vision boards with Instagram posts, magazines, or Pinterest and when decorating, use those visual cues as a guide.  

8. Choose your furniture pieces wisely  

Warm living room with neutral couch

(Image credit: @sundayharris)

In a small living room, square footage is limited, meaning each of your big furniture pieces becomes even more important. Many times furniture becomes the entire focal point of the room. Be selective when choosing items, so you can properly create the style you have in mind. Moodboards are a great way of visualizing this, and don't be afraid to take your time with furniture and decor shopping. There is no rush!

9. Utilize clear and unique storage solutions

A clothes rack with colorful clothes on them

(Image credit: @simoneoaks)

There are plenty of unique storage options on the market, including some that might allow you to reduce the amount of furniture in your small living room. Storage options including vertical shoe racks (like this one that's available on Amazon), wall-mounted shelves, or under-the-couch options free up your space and allow you to display what most interests you.  

10. Establish the color scheme 

Green couch with purple cushions

(Image credit: @homedesignbyana)

Your small living room is an amalgamation of many different types of elements, meaning that your furniture, rugs, curtains, and sofa might not all match color-wise. Before purchasing any more items, design a color scheme that works with any existing pieces you have. Establishing coordinating or complementary colors beforehand allows you to better choose new pieces as you go through the design process. 


How can I make the most of a small living room?

A great first step to making the most of a small living room is to take note of the space you have to work with and decide on the design style you'd like to create. Then you can shop for multipurpose furniture and items that will maximize space, diminish clutter, and make your room feel cozy rather than cramped. 

What makes a small living room look bigger?

To make a small living room look bigger, avoid the build-up of clutter, add more light to the space, and incorporate reflective surfaces (think: mirrors, high-gloss paint, shiny tile, and lacquered furniture). These ideas will help you cast more light around the space and create the illusion of additional square footage. 

Feel like your small living room lacks some of the key essentials? Check out our guide to the six must-haves every small living room needs

Kate Santos

Hello! I’m Kate Santos, a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. In the design world, I got my start working as an Editorial Intern for Dwell magazine in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve written about design and architecture in many national magazines and online publications, including Playboy, Hunker, and The Culture Trip.

I grew up in a very old house in North Carolina and am still influenced by the rustic, charming, antique and aged elements of a home. Sustainability and longevity is extremely important to me and I believe learning to reuse materials or purchasing items you’ll love forever goes a long way. I also lean towards the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi when designing my own home, embracing the perfectly imperfect items I can find. 

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