The living room is the life of every house and we all want ours to be stylish and practical. Large living rooms are easy to decorate; there is plenty of room for experimenting and playing around with different colors and features. Arranging a small living room is the actual challenge.
Nowadays people prefer to live in a nuclear family setting, which means the number of studio apartments and small house dwellers is increasing. Living in a small home is about making the most of limited space, whilst making sure all of your family’s needs are met. Setting up a small living room follows the same principle – you don’t have to fill it with expensive furniture; you just need to maintain the right balance and making it look welcoming and comfortable, instead of stuffy and untidy.
The best thing about small spaces is that they look cute, welcoming, and cozy effortlessly. You just have to do some research, incorporate features that add light and space to the room and go for an arrangement style that uses all the space in the best possible way while leaving sufficient walking space. The key is to decide on the major aspects first and then work on the type of décor and small elements that will add personality to the room.
Whether you are arranging the living room of your new apartment or just revamping your existing space, there are countless ways to go about it. You just need to take some risks, experiment with new ideas and be creative.
We have put together a few of our top tips and ideas on arranging a small living area. Hopefully, our compilation will help you in arranging your space in the best way.
1. Select sleek and compact furniture pieces
We understand how appealing it is to get your hands on all the expensive and grand furniture pieces, but you need to choose pieces that fit in your small space without cramping it.
Sleek tables, sofas having straight backs, and club chairs are the best furniture options for a small living room. The straight lines give out a controlled and neat look. Since there is no room for wasting space in a small setup, use wall-mounted alternatives. For example, use wall scones in place of floor lamps and wall-mounted shelves in place of heavy décor tables. You need to save as much floor space as possible.
2. Figure out the room’s best features and draw attention to them
Every room has a set of best features. Those features may not always be obvious to you at first but the key is to find them and make them stand out.
For instance, if your living room gets too much light and ventilation from a particular window, you can style the arrangement to use that light and make the whole space look expansive.
If the room has a feature that can be used as a focal point, use it in the best manner. This can be the entertainment center, an accent wall, or a fireplace. If you think that particular feature would make a good focal point, arrange everything else in such a manner that nothing takes away the limelight from that element of focus.
3. Create some magic with the layout
Once you get on with arranging your living space, there is so much that can be done. It is like you have a magic wand and you can create whatever you wish.
One very practical feature to add in a small living area is built-in banquettes. If you are unaware of what built-in banquettes are, they are built-in wooden benches, similar to the ones found in restaurant booths. The beauty of built-in banquettes is that they can easily fit into narrow and small spaces and they also have storage trunks underneath them. If decorated correctly, these banquettes look very modern and classy. Imagine a U-shaped built-in banquette by a large window with a table in the center.
Alternatively, if your place is long and narrow, you can place sofas back to back in order to divide and create multiple conversational areas and make it appear bigger.
4. Add the right decor
A compact living room needs small décor elements to liven it up. You need to choose your elements and decide on their placement wisely. If your place looks a little dull, consider adding a piece of art on your wall to add color to your space. The artwork should be big enough to make up for the absence of color but shouldn’t look too big for the small area. Similarly, using wallpaper on the main wall can change the overall look of the whole room.
If your living room is small and has no or few windows it can look a bit boxed up. Use mirrors on the walls that would reflect light and give a sense of vastness to the room. You can use a mirror on the wall opposite the window in the room. The view from the window will be reflected through the mirror and give an illusion of the room having two windows. for a more spacious look consider having picture windows installed it also allows natural light to come in.
You should also use items that take zero visible space — a table with a glass or acrylic top wouldn’t make your space look cramped while serving its purpose.
5. Use multifunctional furniture
In a small space, every piece of furniture needs to be worthy. What can be better than something that comes with multiple uses?
For example, you can get rectangular ottomans to be used as coffee tables. These can serve as seats when needed and they also tend to have storage space underneath them.
Sofa-cum-beds are also a very popular option nowadays. These are normal living room style sofas that can be turned into a guest bedroom with a single pull of the hidden lever.
6. Use Light Colors
If you paint your walls in darker colors, they will shrink your room, whereas paler colors will open it up and make it look lighter and brighter. If your living room is really small, for instance, opt for white or magnolia. Treat the walls and ceiling as your background so that you can use alternative colors to dress it up. The same is true of flooring, as a dark floor will make your space look smaller, while a paler one will make it seem larger, as if by magic. Pale-gray French oak floorboards look fabulous, a vinyl plank flooring or simply paint existing darker boards in a lighter color, making sure that you have permission if you don’t happen to be the homeowner.
Even a large room that is cluttered and untidy will look smaller, so aim to be scrupulous about clearing away things that you don’t need to have lying around in your living room. Opt for a minimalist style, on the basis that less is more – less clutter means more space. Get rid of bric-a-brac and unwanted ornaments, or, if there are things that you want to keep and to display, opt for a storage unit that suits your room.
For example, if floor space allows, use a freestanding cabinet made of glass, on the basis that being able to see the wall on the other side makes your room seem bigger, or use a compact unit that fits neatly into a corner with a surface that can serve as a base for a lamp. If that doesn’t suit, consider wall-mounted options, but avoid deep cabinets unless you can also mount them in a corner.
8. Use window shutters instead of heavy curtains
Small living rooms can benefit from over-door storage, as even if your ceiling happens to be very low, a simple shelf can hold attractive storage boxes or baskets. Make the most of your windows by using shutters as a finishing touch, rather than hanging bulky curtains. Window shutters are elegant and will add a streamlined effect to your minimalist décor. You can choose a color to match your walls or opt for a contrasting accent shade to bring together the other elements in your room, such as scatter cushions, artwork, or a small area rug.
9. Right Positions
Positioning items around the perimeter of the room will help make it look larger, and small side tables next to your couch or chairs can be better than a central coffee table. If you prefer a central unit, however, at least go for one that has built-in storage to help you keep the room tidy.
10. Don’t forget to use mirrors
Apart from any wall-mounted storage that you may have chosen and any artworks that you like to display, don’t forget to make the most of mirrors. They not only reflect light from your windows but also enhance the impression of spaciousness. Use them strategically so that you get the best possible results, remembering that bigger sizes will mean that you will increase the impression of a larger space. You can place a mirror behind a console or a cabinet in such a way as to draw the eye towards it, thus reflecting more light and any objects in view. A mirror placed between two windows will help to increase the natural daylight as well as give the appearance of more space.
The Final Word
When it comes to setting up a small living room, the ideas are unlimited. You just need to prioritize things and choose what works best for you and your family. Every problem comes with a solution and every solution provides new learning opportunities.
Your home speaks a lot about you. Decorate it in a way that reflects your personality while keeping things practical. Good luck!