From décor to storage solutions, here are 13 ideas worth stealing from some beautiful and functional living rooms.
decorating a small living room

Good design isn't dependent upon square footage. When decorating with intent, even the smallest living rooms can feel spacious. Whether you're moving into a new apartment or downsizing homes, these small-space decorating tips will help your living room (and you) feel less confined and more content.

Tip 1: Wall Lighting Using walls to their full potential is a must in small spaces. Instead of having a floor lamp take up your much-needed floor space, install sconces or a swing-arm lamp, as pictured in the living room below. When styled in pairs, the lights can add symmetry over a mantle or couch.

Tip 2: Decorate with Mirrors A well-placed mirror can create the illusion of more space. Position the décor piece across from a window to reflect light, or make it focal point in a central location.

decorating a small living room

Tip 3: Find the Perfect Fit One size does not fit all when it comes to furnishing a small living room. Decorating with furniture that's too large instantly cramps a space. Consider the scale of your pieces to assure there's plenty of room for walkways. Styling furniture in a floating arrangement, meaning away from the walls, can help make the room feel more airy.

Tip 4: Play with Pattern Don't let close quarters scare you away from using pattern. Whether they're vibrant or subdued like the dotted print embellishing the chairs below, patterns add an energetic focal point to the space. Invite them in through pillows, chairs or window treatments.

Tip 5: Create Your Own Storage If your living room wasn't blessed with built-in storage, don't fret. A pair of shelving units tucked on either side of the mantle mimics the look for less than custom-built pieces.


Tip 6: Make It Clear Transparent furniture and décor supply function without adding a lot of visual weight to a room. Source Lucite, glass or acrylic pieces to get the barely-there look.


Tip 7: Two is Better Than One Swap a large coffee table for a smaller, yet multi-tasking set of side or nesting tables. The clean-lined pair pictured below feels simple and uncluttered in the tight space. Best of all, they're easy to move when you need to create more room.

Tip 8: Let There Be Light Welcoming natural light into a room can feel like adding extra square footage. It's the same way drawing the blinds in the morning makes a room come alive. If your window options are dim, use a light paint color or mirror to help reflect what natural light you do have.


Tip 9: Art Works Artwork can be a magical tool in small spaces. Not only is it a beautiful decorative piece, but it also leads the eye up, making the room feel taller. Accomplish the look with one statement piece or a gallery wall.

Tip 10: Hang Curtains High High window treatments are another trick used to make a room appear taller. Fake tall ceilings by hanging curtains higher than the window frame, as seen in the beautiful living room below. The general rule is to position the rod at least halfway between the window frame and the ceiling, with 6 to 10 inches of the rod extended on either side of the window frame. To finish the lengthening look, be sure the curtains reach the floor.


Tip 11: Consider Structure To avoid cramping your living room with bulky furniture, look for pieces that have a clean structure or exposed frame. Being able to see the frame of a chair or the legs of a sofa makes the entire space feel open.

Tip 12: Find More Storage A couple of floating shelves turn an awkward nook into a smart and stylish storage space. Display books and knick-knacks as art, and hide other, not-so-pretty items away in baskets.

Tip 13: Sit Pretty There's more to the honeycomb side table pictured below than just good looks. It can double as a stool during get-togethers, too. Similar decorative furnishings like poufs, ottomans and benches work dual duty as seating and flat surfaces as well, and some even offer hidden storage space.