Home Home Decor Small Living Room Ideas: How to Get the Design Right

Small Living Room Ideas: How to Get the Design Right

by Monika Bürger

Looking for small living room ideas to make a compact space feel bigger than it is? Or maybe embracing the cosy, snug vibe is right for your spatially challenged spot? 
Living rooms may have fallen out of favour in the last couple of decades with open plan living taking the home design zeitgeist by storm, but they are an important space to get right.

Offering a sense of privacy and intimacy that larger spaces lack, small living rooms are making a come back in a big way and whatever size of space you’re dealing with, there are some great ideas out there to suit every style of home that will make the most of every inch. 

We’ve collected our favourite small living room ideas, from cosy home cinemas to snugs with savvy storage solutions, to help and inspire you to plan layouts, materials and decor for your space.

1. Deciding on a Layout for a Small Living Room Ideas 

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Juande)

While a small living room should, in theory, be simpler to layout as there are fewer options for furniture positioning, taking care to decide what will be added to the room can turn it from cramped to cosy in no time.

The key to laying out small rooms is to have a clear idea of what they will be used for. Will it be an evening sanctuary away from the kids? Will it be a spot for the whole family to snuggle in while watching TV? Or, will it be used for teenagers to have friends over? 

Making these decisions early on will help inform what you need to prioritise in terms of rewiring work (for TVs, gaming set-ups etc), flooring materials (will you choose practical LVT or copy carpet?) and storage options

Choosing the correct orientation for furniture will also enhance the room. Narrow rooms, like the one above, can suit being sub-divided into usable chunks with an L-shaped sofa, while square and squat rooms often look better with small corner sofas or snuggly armchairs.

Our customers tell us ALL the time how soft and warm our Throw Blankets are (the secret: Sherpa fleece). Even better, they get softer the more you wash them. They’re a perfect addition to any living room couch. Featuring a crisp, vivid design on the front with a reverse white side.

<< More Textured Throw Blanket Styles >>

2. Transform a Small Living Room with a Great Lighting Scheme

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Mineheart)

Just because a living room is small, doesn’t mean the lighting design can’t be just as creative as in large open-plan spaces. 

This charming compact room ingeniously includes everything that a small space requires: statement pendant lights for ambient lighting, a cosy reading lamp for task lighting and accent lighting over the characterful gallery wall for added interest. Plus, on top of all that, a view out to the courtyard garden ensures the space gets natural light during the day. 

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux-down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

3. Embrace Natural Features in a Small Living Room

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Leaf Envy)

Small living rooms can feel cut off from the rest of the house, so be sure to give it it’s own personality to keep you coming back. This living room expertly maximises the natural light coming through the large window by using an above-fireplace mirror, while the natural timber floor and lush amounts of houseplants really brings the outside into the small space.

Built with mid-century modern styling, our coffee table complements any interior aesthetic—from vintage to contemporary. Best of all, the minimalist design lets the artwork shine as your new centerpiece. Legs are available in black or gold options.

<< More Coffee Table Styles >>

4. Give a Small Living Room Multiple Purposes

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Simon Maxwell)

If your small living room is seldom used, why not adapt it into a flexible space that can be changed to suit your needs? 

This living room-cum-guest-bedroom also includes a small desk (out of shot) and practical storage for children toys when it is used as a play area.

Find somewhere soft to land. Our floor cushions are the super comfy and style-forward option for the boho side of us all. They’re UV coated to protect against fading and water resistant so you can avoid scrambling to bring them inside whenever there’s a touch of weather. Grab a few to have on hand whenever seating is hard to come by or for a fun option for kids to use out in the yard.

<< More Floor Pouf Styles >>

5. Keep an Small Living Room Uncluttered but Featureful

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Snug Sofa)

Cramming too much into a small room will make it feel unusable, so be picky about what gets added to resist the feeling of a dumping ground. 

That being said, creating pockets of focal features will make the space feel curated. Think about adding a gallery wall, a statement fireplace or paintwork that shows off high ceilings.

Channeling your inner art collector? Frameless and versatile, canvas prints can be hung on your walls or showcased on a flat surface. There’s just something about canvas that feels so much more arty. Canvas prints available in three sizes.

<< More Canvas Print Artworks >>

6. Make Small Living Rooms Feel Bigger with Glass Doors

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Snug Sofa)

Being able to shut away from it all in a snug is an important part of modern living, but if you’re conscious of the room feeling dark or gloomy, link it to other spaces using a glass partition wall and door. 

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux-down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

7. Double Up on Furniture Uses

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Benjamin Moore UK)

Small spaces suffer from being limited in how much seating or storage can physically fit comfortable inside, so try to maximise potential of every item added. 

Here, a window seat doesn’t just provide extra seating for guests, but also can store away blankets, toys and odds and ends.

Express your style all over your home with a feature-worthy rug. They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor. Rugs are one of the best, attention-grabbing pieces to design a room around. Use the colors within the rug to help choose art prints, furniture fabric, and accent pillows.

<< More Oriental Bohemian Rug Styles >>

8. Amp Up the Cosiness of a Small Living Room

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Fiona Murray)

From wall panelling and a wood burning stove to plump cushions and a warm rug, this small living room expertly creates an inviting and comforting environment.

IMPORTANT: make sure to order enough panels to cover your wall or surface (size options below). Our peel and stick Wallpaper is easy to apply and take off, leaving no adhesive residue. Featuring sharp, vibrant images, Wallpaper patterns are ideal for accent walls, flat surfaces and temporary installations (like parties!). Available in three floor-to-ceiling sizes.

<< More Wallpaper Panels Styles >>

9. Utilise Built-in Units for Small Living Rooms with TVs

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Sharps)

While it might seem counter-intuitive to box-off more space, adding built-in storage units to hide away digital boxes, wires and everything else that comes with a modern TV set-up is immensely helpful in small spaces

Plus, if you want to use the rooms for multiple purposes there are amazing range of cupboard designs to conceal screens, or as in this home, camouflage it within a dark scheme.

As experts in the field of sitting down, we thoughtfully crafted our Floor Pillows to be overstuffed, plush and firm. These cushions never lose their shape, and the high-quality print makes sure the design stays crisp and colorful.

<< More Floor Pillow Styles >>

10. Create a Small Living Within an Open Plan Space

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Benjamin Moore UK)

Modern living is all about flexibility, so designing a place within an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area that can be shut away to catch up on a box-set or have a private chat is becoming increasingly popular. 

Here a rustic barn door does the job, but sliding partition screens or minimalist pocket doors are also great options, depending on your home’s style.

From sideshow to show-stopper, our side tables will be a stunning modern accent to your space. Selecting from our wide array of artist’s designs printed with a satin finish on birch wood, you’ll take any room from zero to a hundred. Available in a square or round table top, and black or gold leg colors.

<< More Side Table Styles >>

11. Add the Ultimate Small Cinema Room 

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Simon Burt)

Home cinemas don’t have to cost the earth and can be achieved on a tight budget by using reclaimed seating. This simple set-up finishes off the atmosphere in the small space by using black-out curtains and hanging iconic moving posters. 

Invite the sun inside on your terms. Our blackout window curtains are a denser alternative to your standard window curtain, blocking out most light and proudly featuring your favorite designs. Whether you live in a busy apartment or a peaceful neighborhood, it’s always nice to have the option to shut out the sun and relax inside by candlelight. Available in either single or double panel options.

<< More Blackout Curtain Styles >>

12. Go Bold with Dark Colours

small living room ideas
(Image credit: Chris Snook)

For the longest time homeowners avoided dark colours in small spaces for fear that it would feel gloomy, but time and time again deep, jewel colours in cosy snugs prove that they are anything but.

Give your pillows the makeover they deserve. Whether it’s for your fancy new memory foam or your old go-to from back in the day, our pillow shams are sure to do your pillows proud. Whether you choose the natural fiber cotton or soft, premium microfiber—our pillows shams are soft and cozy with colors that really pop. Available in Standard or King sizes.

<< More Pillow Sham Styles >>

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