Small living room ideas for gorgeous spaces

Unlock the potential of your small living room with these easy decorating ideas

If you are looking for small living room ideas, take inspiration from our gallery of beautiful small space designs to make the most of your compact living room.

When you are redecorating, one of the easiest ways to make a small living room feel more spacious is to inject soft, pastel shades into your design scheme to keep the room warm and inviting – check out our ideas for living room colour schemes for more inspiration.

Want more living room inspiration? READ: Living room colour schemes brimming with character

Small living rooms need to be kept fresh and uncluttered with well-chosen storage. A great way to make a small living room feel larger is to keep it meticulously tidy and in order to do that, everything in the room needs to have its proper place. Floating shelves are perfect for small rooms because they can hold a lot of things on a wall or in alcoves, or choose bespoke fitted, floor-to-ceiling shelves and cupboards that make use of every inch of spare space.

Make the most of natural light in the room by keeping window dressings simple. If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, full-length curtains are a good choice as they’ll draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of space, even if the square footage in your living room is a bit meagre. Subtle stripe designs add to the feeling of extra depth. If you do choose curtains, make sure they can be swept away from the window for light or alternatively go for Roman or roller blinds.

Add large wall mirrors and furniture with reflective surfaces into your design scheme to maximise the amount of natural light in your living room to make it feel bigger and brighter.

Does your storage need an overhaul? READ: Living room storage ideas to bring order to your space

If you like your living room cute and cosy, try clustering colour-co-ordinated objects together – from pictures to cushions – to create a coherent look.

Think about living room wallpaper designs to complement your lounge. Make the most of a compact home with these clever room brightening and space-saving decorating tips for small rooms.

Get cosy

Image credit: Polly Eltes

Whether it’s a bijou country cottage or a studio flat, it can be tricky to create a relaxing bolt hole when your front door opens straight into your living room. Take the emphasis away from the entrance by creating a focal point with thoughtfully arranged seating. Here, a neat two-seater and comfy armchair have been placed at a 90-degree angle to a slim side table and lamp. A cool neutral palette works beautifully with the rustic plasterwork and the roller blind makes the most of a recessed window to add extra square inches to the room.

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Rug, Woven

Reach for the sky

Reach for the sky

Image credit: Paul Raeside

Take that décor up high when floor space is limited. Here, a small corner of a brilliant white room has been transformed with a column of geometric pattern that pulls the eye upwards to make the most of a high ceiling. The pattern is echoed at the window in a sheer voile, which allows the natural light to filter in for a clean and bright effect. The neat base of a marble floor lamp negates the need for a side table while providing great task lighting for when the sun sets.

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Similar fabric, Korla

Pare it back with wood

Pare it back with wood

Image credit: David Brittain

Think about alternatives to traditional living room furniture, such as the three-piece suite. It’s still possible to have a cosy area for relaxing and reading with less space-greedy furnishings. Swap an upholstered armchair for a wooden rocker with cushions; and bookcases for slimline ladder-style shelving. Wash walls and accessorise with subtle colour.

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Buy now: Similar chair, John Lewis

Get creative with space

Get creative with space

Image credit: Brent Darby

Before decorating or furnishing an awkwardly shaped living room consider how best to optimise the space available. Think about an L-shaped sofa in a tight eaves space teamed with trunks that can function as coffee tables as well as handy storage. Keep a dark room white to make the most of what little light there is.

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Similar sofa, Sofa.com

Want to include a TV in your scheme but think they are unsightly? READ: 10 Ways to disguise your TV

Factor in textural pieces

Warm up white

Image credit: Brent Darby

Decorating with white on walls, ceiling and floor can leave a space feeling clinical and stark. Take the chill off a compact nook with a homely leather armchair, red floor lamp and woollen rug – all circled around a log-filled fireplace. A tactile cushion and soft throw in viridian green add a final designer touch.

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Similar armchair, Sofa Workshop

Make use of an awkward space

Make use of an awkward space

Image credit: Emma Lee

In a small living room, every piece of furniture has to earn its keep so it’s a great excuse to make a bold statement with striking modern chairs. These acid yellow beauties don’t overwhelm the space due to their fine steel frames, which allow you to see underneath and through them to make the room feel bigger. Continue the graphic theme with a round black table, monochrome rug and minimal floor lamp.

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Similar chair, Chaplins

Use lighting to your advantage

Use lighting to your advantage

Image credit: James Merrell

Mark out a living space with an overhanging pendant light and carefully positioned round coffee table. The two pieces work together to create a focal point around which you can sit a couple of chairs and add floor cushions or stools when guests visit. Here, a selection of accessories and books are displayed on industrial-style open shelving to create a relaxed feel without hiding the beautiful texture of a slate feature wall.

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Similar wall tiles, Walls and Floors

Show off interesting objects

Hang them high

Image credit: Lizzie Orme

Just because your living room is verging on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you should hide away all your favourite belongings in storage. If you have objects that are worthy of showing off then display them along an open shelf, above the sofa. This idea is great for when floor space is at a premium.

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Similar shelving, Ikea

Warm up white

Stamp your personality on your room

Image credit: Paul Raeside

Give a white room heaps of character and personality by adorning it with artwork that you just can’t live without. A crisp, clear wall is a good backdrop for styling with colourful accessories and won’t make the space feel cluttered. Keep to a palette of one or two colours to keep the look consistent and cohesive.

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Rug, The Squiggle rug by Vivienne Westwood at The Rug Company

Place your pattern to create a theme

Place your pattern

Image credit: David Brittain

Pattern can work as well in small living rooms as it does in large, but it pays to think carefully about where you put it. Wool fabrics are made for cosy country-style firesides, but keep tartans, checks, paisleys and florals confined to throws and cushions on sofas and armchairs, leaving walls for plain paint finishes. Add a natural flooring rug to bring the two sides of a room together.

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Clock, Graham & Green

District the eye with characterful furnishings

Image credit: David Brittain

While banishing clutter might help a smaller living room feel more open, if you’re a fan of the cosy, lived-in look such a pared back scheme will do little for you. But small doesn’t have to mean bare and characterless. Try the classic combination of dark leather armchair and traditional fireplace – there’s nothing like it for creating a warm, cosy environment. Add much-loved items and accessories – in an interesting, character-filled scheme, no one will be thinking about how small the room is.

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Similar armchair, John Lewis

Make the most of the space under the stairs

Image credit: Jamie Mason

Make the most of the unused space under the stairs by incorporating everything from storage to quirky accessories. If you have space issues in your small abode and need to make the most of every nook and cranny then turn to that nimble spot under the stairs into a warm and cosy living space. Here, a built-in bookcase and sofa tucks in neatly in that often unloved and underused area.

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Similar sofa, Sofa.com

Work with original features

country-living-room-with-fireplace

Image credit: Colin Poole

Give architectural features a modern update with a fresh coat of paint and light retouching. Here original features have been painted to give this living room a modern edge. The black fireplace remains the focal point, and adds a sense of cosiness along with the chunky sofa and rustic wooden coffee table. A wool rug brings texture to the scheme and enhances the inviting feel of the room.

Video Of The Week

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Paint, Fired Earth

Will you be incorporating any of these decorating ideas into your scheme?

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