15 small living room TV ideas – how to fit a screen into a tiny space without overwhelming it

The best ways to fit a screen into layouts lacking space as recommended by interior experts

A grey-painted living room with a wood burning stove in the fireplace and a TV placed in a side alcove
(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

If your living room is on the smaller side, getting all the traditional elements of a living room in - the sofa, the coffee table, the armchairs, the TV etc. - without making the space appear cramped can be a challenge. But if you’re struggling to squeeze a television into your tight living space then we have a few small living room TV ideas and tricks up our sleeve.

Small living room ideas call for ingenuity, creativity and great problem solving – so consider your tiny living space an opportunity to exercise all of the above. And where you could and should be putting your TV if you’re lacking space is no different as our interiors experts reveal, providing us with some of their top tips on how to incorporate a TV in a small living room.

Small living room TV ideas

From choosing the right TV for the amount of space you’re working with to the correct way to set up the TV or even creating the right type of storage around it, there are several ways in which you can seamlessly integrate without overwhelming your small living room.

1. Don’t make your TV the focus of the room

A green living room with a patterned rug and a TV placed with a built-in alcove bookcase

(Image credit: Future PLC)

How you arrange the furniture in your small living room can truly make or break the room. And since a TV can be too imposing on a small living room - not to mention it’s usually not the prettiest of things to look at when you’re not actively watching it - it’s best not to make it the central feature of the room if that’s at all possible.

‘We typically avoid making the TV the focus of a room,’ says Polly Aspinall and Emily Harrop-Griffith, interior designers of Oscar Wren Studios. ‘However, in saying that we also appreciate that for many homes that isn’t always practical or possible in the space available. Where feasible, we try to keep the TV out of the line of sight when entering the room and also try to avoid having every piece of furniture directed towards it.’

2. Utilise an alcove

A grey-painted living room with a wood burning stove in the fireplace and a TV placed in a side alcove

(Image credit: Future PLC/Talbot Photography)

Housing your TV in one of your living room alcoves instead of (or alongside) books is an excellent and resourceful alcove idea in our and experts’ opinion.

‘Alcoves are common in many homes, but they can be a tricky and awkward place to put furniture, so they are often ignored,’ says Melissa Denham, interior stylist at Hammonds Fitted Furniture. ‘However, a bespoke media unit could be a great idea to fill in an alcove and turn it into something useful without encroaching on your living space.'

'Many people use the upper part of their chimney breast to attach a TV bracket too, so it makes perfect sense to transform the alcoves either side of it into an attractive media storage unit. This will help to create a home cinema feel in your living room, as well as offering essential space to house DVDs, remote controls and games consoles.’

3. Conceal the TV with a painting

A living room with a TV placed above the fireplace and concealed with fold-away artwork

(Image credit: Future PLC/Simon Whitmore)

As already mentioned, a TV is not necessarily the nicest thing to look at at all times. So why not conceal it while it’s not in use? One way to hide a TV is by covering it with a painting or an artwork, much like TV presenter Laura Jackson has done recently. And we’re obsessed with this solution.

‘Our favourite way to disguise a TV is to place it inside a joinery with a door that can close (sliding or hinged) so that when you don’t want to have it on display you can shut it away. Some clever designs go one step further, disguising the doors as a framed painting,’ Emily and Polly say.

4. Choose a proportionally sized TV

A two-tone painted living room in navy and white with a navy velvet armchair and a TV in an alcove

(Image credit: Future PLC/Georgia Burns)

Just like with any other living room furniture, the TV should, too, be proportional to the size of the room. So be careful not to go for a TV that’s too large. When it comes to pieces of furniture, interior experts often refer to the golden ratio interior design rule to work out how big each piece should be. But this rule also works with the TV.

‘The TV should feel proportionate to the room or the wall that it is placed on. A good rule of thumb is that the TV size should be half the distance between the sofa and where it is displayed, the smaller the room, the smaller the television should be,’ Emily and Polly say.

5. Place the TV in a corner of the room

A living room with black fireplace and a sun-shaped mirror hanging above it with a TV on a stand in the corner

(Image credit: Future PLC/Andrea Childs)

Corners are often underutilised areas of most rooms, living rooms included. So why not make better use of one of your living room corners by filling it with a stand with your TV on it?

‘If you own a small to medium sized living room, it would be ideal to place your TV on a small cabinet or stand (typically around knee height) in one of the corners adjacent to the windows as this will give you optimal positioning whilst removing the possibility of glare,’ Melissa says.

6. Build TV storage along one wall

dark grey living room with storage wall unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

Incorporating all your living room storage into one area will create a more cohesive look, as too many smaller individual pieces of furniture can make a small living room feel crowded. One large unit spanning an entire wall in a small living room layout with TV can house the screen, media equipment, books and other essentials, with everything in one easy-to-reach place.

While fully bespoke built-ins are costly, this smart and solid solution from The Dormy House, simply involves choosing from a menu of top and bottom sections. Just choose a combination to fit your modern small living room ideas and it comes assembled and pre-painted, ready to put into place at home.

7. Blend the TV into the background

small living room tv ideas with black built in storage

(Image credit: Sharps)

Setting the TV against a dark backdrop is a clever way of camouflaging it in using living room colour schemes so that it doesn’t dominate the space entirely. Painting the wall black, navy or a very-dark grey, will help the small living room TV ideas merge into the background, so that the 'big black box' isn’t the first thing that grabs the attention every time you enter the room.

And having one dark end wall in a small room, will also give the effect of the wall receding, which will make the living room feel more spacious too.

Distract from the TV further, by setting it into a wall of storage, with built-in shelving for display pieces that will pop against the dark background. Drawers and closed-in cupboards will give extra hidden storage for other media kit and equipment.

‘If you are looking for discreet storage, fitted furniture has the advantage of being built to suit the particular need of your room,' advises Rachael Hutcheson, national retail manager at Sharps. 'From the configuration through to the finish, made to measure furniture ensures you make best use of available space and tailor it to your unique requirements.'

8. Get the perfect fit by making your own TV bench

small living room tv ideas with freestanding shelving unit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jo Henderson)

If you’re struggling to find the right small living room TV ideas or tight space, take the DIY option and make your own bespoke TV bench tailored to fit the exact amount of space available. This example is an imaginative, totally affordable IKEA hack!

Made using two Ikea Bekvam step stools as a base, simply fix a plain white wardrobe or panel of slim MDF to the top of the stools to act as the worktop. Then slot a second panel through the middle of the both stools to work as a shelf for game consoles or other media equipment. Adjust the length of panels, making them longer or shorter, to suit the intended spot.

9. Adapt modular storage to suit the space

small living room tv ideas with staggered unit

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

When standard-sized furniture doesn’t fit, modular units can offer the perfect solution. Whether it’s a small living room, awkward alcove, or tricky recess, putting together a mix of different-sized modular pieces can solve the conundrum, with a configuration that suits non-standard spaces perfectly.

In a small living room with sloping ceiling, arrange modular storage in a staggered formation, starting low and ending high, to follow the lines of the room. A mix of open and closed storage works well for TVs and media kit, with open areas that allow easy access and operation of equipment and remotes, plus closed cupboards to keep mess and clutter out of sight. This is a clever trick when tackling how to make a small living room look bigger.

10. Make a mini media centre

tv on the wall of neutral living room

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jo Henderson)

Create a compact set-up that will slot into the corner of a room without encroaching on floor space too much when considering how to arrange furniture in a small living room. Shelves above and below the small living room TV ideas will provide storage for consoles and players, with an additional drawer unit underneath to house games and discs.

Start by fixing a panel of MDF onto the wall and mounting the TV on to it. Then add two floating shelves, one at the top and one at the bottom. Paint the whole unit the same colour for a cohesive look, a couple of shades darker than the wall colour to make the area stand out. Add a couple of lidded ottomans under the lower shelf to provide extra storage and seating for game players.

11. Conceal the TV with sliding panels

Sliding panels revealing living room TV

(Image credit: Future PLC/Neville Johnson)

While all eyes might be on the TV in the evening when you’re getting stuck into a box set, during the daytime, a blank TV can be a bit of an eyesore. Hiding the TV away in a freestanding cabinet is one way of disguising it, or alternatively consider a bespoke set-up that includes sliding doors to conceal the TV when it’s not being used.

Sliding panels hiding living room TV

(Image credit: Future PLC/Neville Johnson)

Fitted furniture can be configured to cover one whole wall with the small living room TV ideas as the focal point. Though it may seem a bold move, consolidating all your media equipment and living room storage ideas into one area, will free-up extra space in the remainder of the living room and leave it looking less-cluttered.

‘Sliding door systems are a great way to conceal technology in smaller rooms of the home so they don’t overpower the space,’ says Simon Tcherniak, senior designer at Neville Johnson. ‘Even with larger TVs, bespoke furniture designs mean that small living spaces can be transformed into luxury home cinemas within seconds, and then closed away just as easily.’

12. Hang the TV on the wall

Living room with blue wall and cream sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dominic Blackmore)

If it’s not possible to hide the small living room TV away, why not embrace it and make the TV more of a focal point. Try hanging the television on a central chimney breast wall, using a concealed bracket to secure it - which is an especially great narrow living room idea.

In a small living room layout with TV, positioning the screen above small living room fireplace ideas or inset fire is a trick that designers often use. By balancing the two, it can help give the room better structure, with alcove shelves either side also helping to add symmetry.

When it comes to wall colour, painting the background a darker colour will help to disguise the TV a little. Or simply match the wall colour to the rest of your decor if you’re happy for the TV to take centre stage.

13. Fill wall space to distract from the TV

TV on console table in living room surrounded by wall storage

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

A simple freestanding TV bench is probably the easiest and most space-saving option for small living room TV ideas, with room to hold both the television and assorted media equipment.

Divert attention away from the TV when it’s switched off, by filling wall space around it with artwork and decorative pieces. Hanging shelves and cubbyhole living room wall decor at staggered heights, gives space for books, greenery and favourite things that will make the TV less of a focus.

14. Turn your TV into a literal work of art

Living room wall with artworks and hung TV

(Image credit: Samsung)

Instead of trying to hide your small living room TV Ideas away, make it one with your wall and include it as part of a living room feature wall. Samsung’s Frame TV features interchangeable frames as part of the design and has a bracket that allows it to lay flat against the wall, much like a picture. There is also an ‘Art Mode’ which will display art work on the screen when the TV isn't in use.

Incorporate the TV as part of a picture display, with it positioned centrally on the wall. Mount the TV so that it is roughly 42 inches from the floor to the centre of the TV, which will give a comfortable viewing position when sitting down on a sofa. Arrange your own framed art work on the wall to surround the TV, using a mix of different styles and sizes so that it blends in.

15. Try a freestanding storage option

Freestanding wooden TV unit in front of wall panelling

Bronx oak effect storage TV ladder shelf, £275

(Image credit: Next)

Gain extra storage for TV and media equipment by opting for a slimline storage bench with add-on shelving above. Open shelving looks less cumbersome than bulky, boxed-in storage, so is a savvy option in small living rooms which can feel crowded with too many full-sized pieces of furniture.

Opting for freestanding furniture, rather than built-in shelving, is also less costly and gives more flexibility if you want a change of layout and want to move things around later on. And for renters, freestanding furniture is a better option as it requires no hole-drilling in walls and can be dismantled and taken should you move home in the future.


Where do you put a TV in a small living room?

‘Whether you're working with large or small living room TV ideas, the screen needs to be at the correct height in relation to your sofa,’ says Celine Erlam of Indie & Co. 'You shouldn’t need to look up to view. Ideally, place it central to the sofa.’

‘The size of the TV is a personal choice. Don’t rule out concealing your TV - you can even fit a projector in the ceiling, which drops down when in use, as well as concealed built-in speakers.’

‘And before you start any work, always think about the audio systems and TV that you have so you can conceal any cabling.’

A living room with a TV hanging on the wall and a black sideboard placed below it with a chair and a matching footstool

(Image credit: Future PLC/Douglas Gibb)

What do you put under a TV in a small room?

If you’ve opted for a wall-hung TV, it’s always worth taking the time to work out the small living layout with TV so that you're using the space efficiently. With a wall-hung unit, use the room underneath to factor in some extra storage for media equipment, games and discs, rather than leaving it empty. Compact TV units and benches offer low-level storage that won’t dominate the space too much, so are a sensible choice for small living rooms.

For small living room TV ideas, floating units are a clever space-saver to consider. Hung on the wall, with no supports or legs to distract the eye, it keeps floors clear and creates a ‘floating’ effect which aids the feeling of spaciousness. Consider corner TV storage too if space is really at a premium. Angled units fit neatly into a corner, leaving more floor space available.

Now all that’s left to do is grab the popcorn and indulge in your at-home cinema experience.

Lisa Fazzani
Deputy Editor

Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.

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