How To Make A Small Living Room Look Bigger

When it comes to making the most of a small living room, every decision counts. From furniture selection to strategic placement and thoughtful design elements, there are numerous ways to create the illusion of space in a compact area. So, if you have a small space and want to find ways in which to make it look more spacious, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article we will examine how to make a small living room look bigger but these design principles can be used in any room in your home. Let’s take a closer look at each element to help you transform your cosy living space into an inviting oasis that feels larger than life.

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Slim Furniture Selection

The key to maximizing space in a small living room lies in the furniture you choose. Opt for pieces with slender profiles and clean lines to create an illusion of openness. Additionally, selecting a low-profile sofa can draw the eye upward, making the ceiling seem higher and enhancing the overall sense of spaciousness. Consider a two seater sofa rather than a 3 seater and add two slim armchairs for versatility of placement. Also, consider sourcing vintage furniture which often has a slimmer profile – it could save you money and it is a more sustainable approach to home interior design.

Lift Furniture Off the Floor

Beyond just the shape of your furniture, consider the impact of it’s legs on the perceived size of the room. Choosing a sofa with exposed legs, for example, creates visual openness by revealing floor space underneath.

      Lighten with Glass

      Coffee tables can easily dominate a small living room, but selecting the right one can make all the difference. Opt for a glass coffee table to allow light to pass through, minimising visual clutter and creating an airy feel. The transparent nature of glass furniture gives the illusion of more space while providing a sleek and modern aesthetic.

        Versatile Storage Solutions

        In a small living room, every piece of furniture should serve multiple purposes. Invest in versatile storage ottomans that offer extra seating while also providing a discreet spot to stash away blankets or books. By keeping clutter at bay, multi-purpose furniture helps maintain an open and uncluttered environment essential for creating a spacious feel.

        Strategic Furniture Placement

        How you arrange your furniture can significantly impact the perceived size of the room. Instead of pushing everything against the walls, experiment with placing furniture away from the perimeter. This technique creates visual depth and draws the eye inward, making the room feel larger. Consider angling your seating or floating furniture in the middle of the room to break up space and encourage movement.

          Blurring the corners

          Don’t overlook the impact of small additions like plants or lamps in enhancing the perceived spaciousness of your living room. Strategically placing greenery in corners or on side tables can draw focus away from walls, while well-positioned lamps can illuminate dark corners and create a warm and inviting ambiance. These subtle touches add depth and dimension to the room, making it feel more expansive.

          Harmonise Colour and Light

          The colour palette you choose can significantly influence the sense of space in a small living room. Light, neutral colours such as white, beige, or light gray have a brightening effect that can make the room feel airy and open. Consider painting walls, moldings, and even the ceiling in a single shade—a technique known as ‘colour drenching’—to eliminate visual boundaries and create a seamless backdrop that visually expands the space.

            Create Focal Points

            In a small living room, creating a focal point can draw attention away from its size and add visual interest. Whether it’s an inspiring piece of artwork, a gallery wall, or a carefully curated fireplace, a focal point anchors the room and gives it a sense of purpose. By directing focus toward a central spot, you can minimise the room’s small footprint and create a more balanced and harmonious effect.

              Maximise Natural Light

              Natural light is one of the most effective ways to make a small living room feel larger. If your space is blessed with ample sunlight, make the most of it by keeping window areas clear of heavy curtains. Opt for light window treatments that allow sunlight to filter through, creating a soft and inviting glow. By maximising natural light, you can instantly brighten the room and create a sense of spaciousness. Consider a broken-plan design for your home, using internal windows or archways to visually separate areas without blocking them off.

               Leverage Mirrors

              Mirrors are a designer’s favourite when it comes to creating the illusion of space in a small room. Placing a large mirror opposite a window reflects natural light and visually doubles the size of the room. Additionally, mirrors can be used strategically to bounce light around the room and create a sense of depth and openness. Whether hung on a wall or used as a decorative accent, mirrors are a simple yet powerful tool for enhancing the perceived spaciousness of your living room.

                By incorporating some of these strategies into your small living room design, you can create a space that feels larger, brighter, and more inviting. Remember, the key is to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics while maximizing every inch of available space. With thoughtful planning and attention to detail, you can transform your compact living room into a stylish and comfortable retreat that defies its size.

                If you’d like to delve deeper into these and more ideas on how to enhance your small spaces, take a look at these links below and be inspired!

                How To Make Your Small Space Look Bigger: 10 Design Hacks – Your Tube Kristen McGowan

                Top 16 Small Living Room Interior Design Ideas – You Tube D.Signers

                How To Live in Small spaces: Design, Furnishing, Decoration, Detail for the Smaller Home – Book by Terence Conran

                The Little Book of Living Small – Book by Laura Fenton

                Have you tried any of these approaches in your home? If you’d like to share your thoughts or ideas then please leave a comment below. i’d love to hear from you!


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                1. I loved reading these ideas for decorating a small room to look bigger! I live in a smaller house, so these ideas resonated with me. I’m not very good at design. I see people’s homes and think I wish my home could look like that. But then when I go to interior stores and see all the ideas, I never know where to begin! Your post does help a lot to assure me that it really isn’t all that difficult! 

                  1. Thanks for your comments Scott.  

                    I hope you feel inspired to try some simple steps.  As you say, it’s not too difficult – and it can be fun to explore different, inexpensive ideas.  

                    My simplest (and inexpensive) tip would be look for a large mirror in a thrift shop and place it in your room to reflect light.  If it doesn’t work, you havent had to spend much and you can donate it back to a thrift shop.  

                    Have fun trying your ideas!

                2. Wow Elaine ! This is a fabulous article full of beautiful ideas and tricks to make small rooms appear grander. I especially love all the darker wall colors; I do normally love whites and creams but that wall in the first photo looks so rich! Possibly if I do a half wall in that rich blue/grey color it would work …add a big mirror! I may start looking into something like that in my dining area which is smaller than I would like but since we don’t use it very often maybe I can play around and make it more fun! Thank you for providing a valuable and thought-provoking post to those of us who are square feet challenged in our homes :)) Well Done, girl!



                  1. Hi Stacey!  Thank you for your comments.  I’m pleased you found some of the suggestions useful and I hope you give some of them a try.  Definitely have a play around with some of the ideas!  That’s how we learn what works and what we like!  Happy decorating!


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