Creative Ways to Decorate a Small Living Room 

Trista - August 28, 2020

Even when someone likes cozy, little spaces, they usually want don’t prefer a small living room. Everyone needs a some essential room. Not only does it help you have enough space so you can have a seating area, television, and other forms of entertainment, but it also lets you decorate your home. Show off your interior design skills and knick-knacks, antique furniture, hobbies, artwork, and other possessions.

But, when choosing a home, you can’t always choose the size of your living room. Even if a prominent place is a priority, you might easily fall in love with a house that has a smaller than average living room space. You might also want to downgrade after your children move out of the home and find that you have too many items for your smaller room. No matter the case, there are many ways to decorate a small living room that will make you feel happy with the space and willing to show it off.

White walls are perfect for smaller rooms because they will make them seem bigger. Shutterstock.

Love the White Walls

Some people feel that white walls are dull when it comes to their rooms. They want to have more color in their life or find paint that will match their furniture well. However, white walls are a blessing for small living rooms because they can make them seem more significant.

White is the color of elegance, and this is what guests will see when they walk into your living room, especially if you have light-colored furniture. Furthermore, the space will seem brighter and give off a calming mood that makes every feel relaxed. Of course, you can always add a little character by putting splashes of color in the room from an accent wall to the artwork.

When it comes to small spaces, you can never let in enough light, so aim for a big window and keep your blinds open during the day. Shutterstock.

You Can Never Have Enough Light

If your living room can receive an abundance of natural light, don’t block it out with blinds or dark curtains. Open them up and let all the sunlight into your room that you can. This home hack naturally helps the room look bigger and also gives it a fresh and natural look that makes you want to spend as much time in there as possible.

If you don’t have large windows that let in a lot of natural light, do what you can and turn to other ways to brighten the room. You can focus on lighter colors and add a few lamps to help keep the space bright during the day.

Smaller couches can help keep your living room looking spacious. Shutterstock.

Look for a Smaller Couch

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to smaller living spaces is that they turn to larger furniture. Not only will this quickly fill the room and make it seem overly crowded, but it can make you feel mentally and emotionally cluttered as well.

It’s always best to focus on having less furniture and smaller pieces of items when you have a smaller room. For instance, look for getting a loveseat couch instead of a full sofa and stay away from sectionals. Staying away from items like coffee tables or ottomans are also a good idea as they can quickly fill up the space.

Mirrors can give your space an illusion that it is bigger. Shutterstock.

Don’t Forget the Mirrors

You might not be a person who likes to have mirrors around your home for various reasons, but they can help when it comes to the room’s size. You don’t need to hang up many mirrors in one space. One larger one or a couple of smaller ones is perfect when it comes to your living room.

Using mirrors might be the oldest trick in the book, but you will find that it works wonders. The mirror will create the illusion of space by reflecting backlight and any decor that you have in the area. This home hack makes it seem like you are doubling up in space.

You can also place a table in the middle of the room to give your living room a different and more creative look. Shutterstock.

Think About the Layout

No matter what size your living room is, it would help if you looked at how you can best layout the space, so it creates a cozy and comforting atmosphere. After all, this is the space where your family and friends will spend much time, so you want to ensure that it looks inviting to everyone.

For instance, if you purchase a loveseat, you will set it on a papered wall and then buy two small end tables that look the same and put them on each side of the couch. You can work in a bookcase or another table to develop decor and mount the television to the wall. If there is room, you can incorporate a couple of other comfortable chairs.

Finding a couch that fits your room perfectly is the key to creating a cozy space. Shutterstock.

Sometimes It’s Best to Fill the Room Up

Many people think that you need to keep to limited furniture, so your room doesn’t look too busy to the eye. While there is truth in this, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get that sectional couch that you’re dreaming about. If you wait to find the perfect one, you can fit it into your space with ease and create a creative and pleasant look.

The key is to take useful measurements so the couch can be snug in against your wall and a corner. You will then focus on having a few accent pieces to help your room pop, such as a blanket on one side of the couch or pillows. You can also have a small end table with a lamp on one side of the couch and a tiny table in front of the other end.

Accent walls can give the room a unique and creative look. Shutterstock.

Work Your Odd Angles

The one factor about living rooms, especially smaller ones, that many people don’t find pleasing is the weird angles that they don’t know what to do with. For instance, you might have a side where the ceiling is lower or have a small nook that creates decorating trouble because you’re not sure what to fit in that space.

When you’re working these angles, take time to play around with them, and get as creative as possible. You can create an accent wall with pictures and artwork. Making this space the focal point can help make the room seem more significant. You can also put wallpaper on this wall and hang up a mirror.

A large rug for a small living room can help make the room seem bigger and brighter. Shutterstock.

Look for a Large Rug

You don’t need to have carpet in your living room to make it look bigger or give it a sense of coziness. You can do this by having hardwood floors and then purchasing a larger rug to boost the size and creativity of the small space.

Choosing a rug, especially one with a bold pattern, can play tricks with people’s eyes and make the room seem bigger than what it is. This home decor hack is because the size doesn’t break up the floor as much as smaller rugs, and it gives your room a staple piece that can make the whole area pop. It can also give you a bit more creativity when it comes to decorating because you might have more colors to work with. Furthermore, purchasing a rug of a lighter color can help increase the brightness in the room.

You don’t need to overcrowd the room with planters, but having one or two hanging in a corner or by a window is a great way to lighten up the room. Shutterstock.

Include a Couple of Hanging Planters

Don’t be afraid to go a little over the top, especially when it comes to decorating because it can leave your room feeling fresh and give it a different look than a regular place. Instead of looking at potted plants that you need to sit on a table or floor, purchase a couple of hangers so you can hang the plants from the ceiling.

This hack is one of the best ways to add function decor that can help brighten up a room without having to take up space on the floor or a table. Of course, you will want to select your plant carefully as some can’t live inside long and others that are great for hanging.

Having a small space that can hold all your media items, including a few books, can give your living room a creative look. Shutterstock.

Create a Small Space for Your Media

Media, such as television, computer, iPad, and other devices are essential in your life, and you probably have several that you want to keep handy. One way to do this is to create a small space where you set up some of your media. For instance, you might have a small table or bookcase under your television hanging from the wall.

This home hack will not only give your living room a unique look, but it will also help keep it organized. You can get a media center to hold your books and other items, so they don’t take up a lot of floor space. You might even find yourself on the lucky side and have some space in the center that you can use for hidden storage.

Show off your decorating skills by adding wall decorations from floor to ceiling. Shutterstock.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use the Top of the Walls

One way to make your living room look bigger is to keep looking up. Find some pictures of works of art and hang them on your walls, starting where the furniture stops and going up to your ceiling. While this might seem like an eyesore to some people, it can make your room look taller and give it a naturally larger look.

This hack is also an opportunity to add a splash of color, especially if your walls and furniture are light in color, such as white and white. You can add some darker shades to the light tones and then ensure you have some that give off some warmth.

One way to retain your room looking bigger is to add various colors and decorations that keep the eyes busy going from one space to the next. Shutterstock.

Keep the Eye Constantly in Motion

One way to make your small space seem larger is to add a “wow” factor. You want to create an area with many colors and do what you can to keep the eyes busy and gazing around the room. Bold, bright, and a variety of colors are usually the way to go.

For instance, if your walls are all white, try making an accent wall and buying furniture that is different colors but goes together, such as a pink chair and a blue couch. You can then get a colorful rug and add other pieces that bring in other colors.

One factor about dorm rooms is that they teach you how to hold your life in one tiny space, and this experience can carry over to your small living room. Shutterstock.

Create a Dorm Style Room

If you have lived in college dorm rooms, you know how much you can fit inside a small space. You can take the opportunity of your experience and create a living room that is similar to a dorm room, minus the microwave and mini-fridge you might have had. For instance, you can hang a rack on the wall to hold your bike and have a desk on one wall.

By creating this type of space, you’re giving yourself nearly everything you need to live within the small room. You might feel it is a bit crowded at first, and you can play with the space for a while, but you will also find that it helps make the room seem more prominent and creative.

Keeping a room cozy can make the small space more comfortable and welcoming. Shutterstock.

Focus on Cozy

One fun step to take when creating a small space is by focusing on the cozy. People who feel comfortable in a room will want to spend as much time there as possible because they feel cozy and relaxed.

One way to do this is by keeping seating space close together, even if you feel too close. People might not want to sit close on the couch, but when everyone each has their chair, they’re more likely to feel comfortable in close quarters. The key is to keep the room warm and functional.

Making a feature wall gives your living room a unique design to make it pop. Shutterstock.

Create a Feature Wall

Creating a feature wall in your living room is similar to having an accent wall, but you don’t need to focus on having different colored paint or wallpaper unless you want to. When you make a feature wall, you focus on a hobby or something that you like. You choose the items you want to show off when guests come into your home.

You might decide to hang up your impressive artwork, or you could even set up all your favorite smaller antiques. If you’re a traveler, you might showcase all of the souvenirs you’ve bought over the years. You can keep the wall simple and only add a few items, or you can put up as many things as you feel the wall can hold.

Even in a small space, you can make room to create a multi-purpose room to suit your needs. Shutterstock.

Make a Multi-Purpose Room

When you think of small living, fitting more than what you usually do in this area seems impossible. You might look at the room’s size and wonder how you can fit your couch, coffee table, end tables, and entertainment center. The thought of creating a multi-purpose room in a small space doesn’t usually cross your mind.

But, a multi-purpose room might be exactly what you need to create in your living room. For instance, you might notice that you have enough room for your furniture on one side and then an open space on the other side. What do you do with it? Maybe creating a workout or office space suits the room.

Hanging shelves can help you bring a unique look into your living room, especially if you have them for your feature wall. Shutterstock.

Purchase Hanging Shelves

One of the most popular shelving units that are easy to install is known as hanging shelves. They are shelves that you can individually hang on your wall in any place and order. For instance, you could purchase five shelves and decide to line them up vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.

If you want to place heavier items on the shelves, you will want to ensure that they are secured to the wall’s studs. You can create a whole wall of the shelving units or have a few. You might use them to show off your books. Hanging shelves give the room a better look at having bulky cabinets around your living room. Another possibility is also to purchase floating shelves or baskets for your walls.

Reading nooks help you bring a more cozy atmosphere into your small space. Shutterstock.

Build a Reading Corner

This tip might fit into the multi-purpose room, but you can also keep it more subtle. If you enjoy reading over other forms of entertainment, such as technology and movies, then you want to look into setting up a reading nook in your living room. This area doesn’t need to be fancy. A comfortable chair, small table, blanket, and a place to hold a few books is all you need.

A reading area can help break up your living room and give it a little creativity. It can also give you a place to relax and collect your thoughts if you need to take some time alone. Another significant step is to add a little more color and decoration into this area to make the whole room pop a bit, such as quotes from your favorite authors on your wall.

No law states you need to have a couch in your living room. Shutterstock.

Skip the Couch and Aim for the Chairs

Many people believe you need to have a couch in the living room; otherwise, it’s not a formal living room. They might feel that their company won’t be comfortable or won’t be able to truly relax without crashing on the couch after a hard day’s work. While this is strictly for taste, other people have found that skipping the sofa (even a small loveseat) meant more comfortable chairs and different design ideas that became perfect for a small room.

The key is this is your home, and you can decorate it as you please. You can skip the couch and choose five different chairs to include in your living room. You might find that this is easier to work with when it comes to comfort and pleasing the eye than a couch.

Glass coffee tables can help make your living room seem bigger. Shutterstock.

Go With a Clear Coffee Table

There are small living rooms that you might feel aren’t set up for a large coffee table, but it might be perfect for a smaller, round table. However, you also wonder if that will look too bulky in your room or cause people to feel too crowded. In this case, you might want to look for a specific type of coffee table – glass.

Glass is sometimes more pleasing to the eye and for the room because you can see through it. It doesn’t look like a giant wooden piece of furniture placed randomly in the middle of a room. Instead, it seems like an elegant piece of furniture that makes the room look more inviting.

A tall bookcase can help you set up additional items in your small space without taking up extra floor space. Shutterstock.

Choose a Tall Bookcase

A bookshelf is an object that you will probably have in your reading nook if you create one. Even if you don’t set up a specific area for reading, you might still feel a bookcase is necessary because you want to show off your books and even a few collectibles you’ve bought over the years. You might even have a couple of items from your grandmother’s house to display.

If this sounds like you, then you will want to choose a tall bookcase over a small one. This tip will not only allow you to hold more items in a small space, but it can make your room seem more prominent because the eyes will move up the wall.

Applying wallpaper with stripes will help trick the eyes into believing the room is larger than what it is. Shutterstock.

Get Wallpaper that has Stripes

Wallpaper is coming back into style. One reason is that it’s a bit easier to put up than it used to be. Another reason is that many people are using it instead of paint because they like the paper’s designs for the walls. They feel it gives not only the room but the home more character.

If you decide to get wallpaper, even if it’s just for your accent wall, choose a design that will make your room seem bigger, such as stripes that go across or up and down. Depending on the style, the eyes will follow the lines, and this will automatically give people the illusion that your living room is more prominent.

No matter what type of living room you have, ensure that all members of your household fall in love with it. Shutterstock.

Generally Love You Small Living Room

One of the biggest steps to take, more significant than any other tips in this article, is to embrace your small living room. You want to learn to love it just as you would the large dream living room you’ve always had set in your mind.

Take time to create your personal space that you’re proud to show off to your guests. Play around with your furniture and area a little to figure out the best design possible. Find ways to spend as much time as possible in the room, especially with your family. Maybe this means that you have a movie or game night. The more comfortable and happy you are with your room, the more you will love your space.


“How to Decorate a Small Living Room.” Deirdre Sullivan, The Spruce. June 2020.

“17 Styling Tricks That Make a Small Living Room Seem Larger.” HADLEY MENDELSOHN AND KELLY ALLEN, House Beautiful. June 2020.

“21 Ways To Decorate A Small Living Room And Create Space.” Shutterfly. August 2019.

“Small living room ideas – how to best decorate a compact sitting room, snug or lounge.” Tamara Kelly, Ideal Home. February 2020.