What color sofa makes a small living room look bigger? Designers explain

These couch shades will make your small living area appear brighter and more spacious

A small living room with a gray couch, coffee table, and wall art on a shelf
(Image credit: @simplysanfordco)

Wondering what color sofa makes a small living room look bigger? The couch is a key part of any living area, so it’s important to make sure it’s working as well for your space as possible. 

In smaller rentals and apartments, every piece of furniture and every color choice counts. If you want your living room to appear lighter and airy without the need to open a tin of paint, making the right choice with your couch color is the way to go. 

Been scrolling through small living room ideas, and want to upgrade your couch to one that will really benefit the space? I’ve spoken to experts to find out what color one you should go with, plus picked out buys that will help you match experts’ advice.

These are the sofa colors that will make your small living room look larger

If you want to make your small living room look bigger, these are the couch colors you should keep in mind. 

What color sofa makes a small living room look bigger, according to experts

A white couch in a small living room

(Image credit: @aloftlife_)

In smaller living rooms, the number one rule for making them look bigger is using lighter colors. “When it comes to choosing a sofa for a small living room, the same principle can apply,” says Ana Coddington, lead interior designer at Archival Designs. If your sofa takes up a big chunk of space in your small living room, you can use light-colored sofas to make the area look more open and less cramped. 

A picture of Ana Coddington against a gray background
Ana Coddington

Ana Coddington is the lead interior designer at Archival Designs. She has over 10 years of experience with consultations, CAD software, and space planning, helping to create unique and stylish homes.

There are a few different colors that will work for this. “Lighter shades like white, beige, and light gray can bounce off natural light, making the space appear more open and airy,” explains David Mason, interior designer and founder of Knobs.co. Pastel shades such as baby blues and pale pinks will also have the same effect. 

A black and white picture of David Mason wearing a fedora hat
David Mason

David Mason is an interior designer and the founder of Knobs.co. He has 10+ years of experience in home improvement, architecture, and interior design.

If you already have a bold sofa that you just can’t part with, there are ways you can incorporate it without making your room feel smaller. “When choosing a statement sofa in vivid color, be sure to balance it out with neutral colors, such as on walls and with furniture pieces,” Mason adds. 

What other sofa features can make a small living room look bigger?

A gray couch with white throw pillows and a blanket with a magazine on it

(Image credit: @simplysanfordco)

As well as color, there are a few other factors to keep in mind when choosing a sofa that will make your small living room appear bigger. “It's best to choose a smaller sofa that fits proportionately in the space, rather than an oversized one that takes up too much room,” explains Mason. 

It’s also a good idea to be mindful of your couch’s material. “When picking a sofa, consider materials with a slight sheen or texture,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior design expert and founder of Arsight. “This subtly redirects light and adds depth to the room.” Satin and velvet couches are great options for this.

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.

Choosing a sofa with legs instead of a fully upholstered one can also create the illusion of more space as it allows for light to pass through. “This can create a sense of openness and give the appearance of more floor space,” Coddington tells me.

3 couches that will make your small living room appear bigger

If you want to make your small living room look larger with the help of a couch, these stylish seats will help you do that. 

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

FAQs

What is the best color sofa to make a small space look bigger?

White is the best sofa color to make a small living room appear larger, as its brightness and lightness will make a space appear more open and airy. 

Do low sofas make a small living room look bigger?

 Low sofas don’t make a small living room look bigger, as they take up more space and block light from coming through. Instead, choose a sofa with legs, as these will make your small living room look more spacious. 


Now you know the right color for your couch, you might be wondering how else you can use it to your advantage in your place. This is the best place to put your couch in your small living room, according to interior designers.

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.

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