10 Tips that will Make a Living Room Beautiful and Inviting

You’re not alone if you can’t fit a 10-foot sofa or media console. Flat or urban dwellers have limited space. Having limited living space can be a creative design challenge.

Combining space-saving and multifunctional solutions with a personal style is key to small-space living. Smart decisions will give you space and make your room welcoming.

1. Increase the number of rooms
If you have a small living space, try to open up doorways and walls to merge adjacent rooms.

When walls are removed, a living room can combine living, dining, and kitchen space. Widening doorways to the ceiling creates an open feeling. If major structural changes aren’t possible, try removing doorways.

This improves sightlines, light, and movement in each room.

2. Put up shelves and furniture
Built-in solutions and appropriate shelving fit your space and needs. Custom units are ideal for small rooms because you can size each piece to fit and add features to maximize its use. Built-in sofas can have storage underneath.

If you can’t afford a carpenter or a bespoke piece, get creative. Could you fit a rollaway under your couch? For a desk, hang a deep shelf with brackets.

Instead of a custom-made media unit, arrange shelves on a wall. Install shelves vertically to create a pattern. Higher-placed design elements create more room volume.

3. Experiment with furniture and lighting.
Try separating functional zones with furniture. This defines room use. Place a desk behind a sofa to create a workspace, or arrange your chairs and sofa to separate the living and dining rooms.

Using different ceiling lights in each space helps define the layout. In the living room, you could choose a ceiling-mounted light and in the adjacent dining room, a pendant.

4. Open the windows
Natural light can brighten a room. Sunlight makes a room feel more open and eliminates shadows that make it feel smaller.

Placing a mirror near a window reflects natural light into a room. This will reflect light and add depth to the room. Place your most-used furniture, like the sofa or your favorite chair, so it overlooks the outdoors.

Track lighting can supplement low natural light. Bright light and flexible track heads can replace direct sunlight while saving table or floor space.

5. Strategically paint
Use white or pale colors to paint a small space. In this room, painting the woodwork and walls the same color draws the eye up and highlights the ceiling.

Use darker colors, too. Navy or charcoal grey can make a small space look stylish. To brighten a small room, balance a dark wall with lighter elements.

Put a light sofa against a dark wall. Add light furniture, accessories, and a rug.

6. Ditch the oversized couch
Oversized and heavy furniture will make a room feel smaller. Choose low-profile, streamlined sofas.

Low-profile furniture is ground-level. Low-profile sofas are short from the floor to the seat. This means shorter legs, slimmer cushions, or a narrow base.

Use your low-profile sofa’s extra wall space to balance the room with low-to-high art. Large-scale art or vertical shelves draw the eye up.

7. Select multifunctional pieces
When living small, ask if something has multiple uses. By using multipurpose pieces in your living room, you can save space. Console tables or wall units as desks and pullout sofa-beds are great examples.

Add storage wherever possible. Try a storage bench instead of dining chairs. Choose floating drawers over shelves. They’re the same and have extra compartments. As a coffee table, place a tray on top of a storage ottoman.

8. Large rug
Use a rug that extends beyond the furniture in each functional space.

A rug under a sofa, a coffee table, and additional seating will make a living room appear larger. A rug just larger than the coffee table can feel like a bath mat, making the living space feel small.

9. Focus
Use your living room’s small size to your advantage. Choose a room feature to highlight visually. This highlight will distract from the room’s size.

Feature walls behind sofas can be designed with color, texture, or artwork. Use a grasscloth, a mural, or framed artwork and mirrors on a bright wall.

10. Don’t repress yourself.
You can still be stylish while living small. In a small room, furniture can easily dominate.

Since we spend so much time in the living room, add accessories that tell your story. Personalize a living room with creatively framed photos, a special item from a grandparent, or your own artwork or collections.

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