Small Spaces Living Room Ideas Clever Solutions For Small Rooms


Living in a small space can present challenges when it comes to decorating and organizing your living room. However, with some clever solutions, you can make the most of your limited square footage and create a stylish and functional living room. This article will explore some of the best small spaces living room ideas to maximize your compact area.

From utilizing multifunctional furniture to playing with perception, there are many innovative ways to make a small living room appear larger and feel more spacious. With the right layout, furniture choice, and decorative accents, even the tiniest of spaces can become a beautiful and inviting living room you’ll be proud to show off.

Keep reading for small space living room ideas ranging from simple tricks to major layout changes. With these clever solutions, you can design a small yet stylish living room perfect for relaxing, entertaining, and enjoying time with family and friends.

Choose Multifunctional Furniture

One of the keys to designing a small living room is selecting furniture that serves multiple purposes. Multifunctional pieces allow you to get more use out of less space. Here are some of the best multifunctional furniture options to consider:

Sofa Bed

A sofa bed or futon is the ultimate space-saving living room furniture. During the day, it functions as a standard couch for seating. But at night, it easily folds down into a bed to host overnight guests. Sofa beds come in many sizes and styles, so you can likely find one to suit your décor that will blend seamlessly into your living room.

Ottoman Storage Bench

An ottoman bench or storage chest provides extra seating when needed, while also offering hidden storage inside. Look for one with a lift-up top to stow away blankets, board games, DVDs, or other living room items you want to keep close at hand but out of sight.

Nested Tables

Nesting tables are two or more tables in graduating sizes that can nest together when not in use. You can separate them as needed when you require more surface area. Opt for nesting tables on wheels so they can easily move around.

Convertible Coffee Table

A convertible coffee table transforms to meet your needs. For example, lift-top coffee tables raise to dining height for eating while others include storage cubbies to help keep clutter concealed.

Convertible Desk

In a small living room, you may occasionally need a workspace. A convertible desk provides a useful work surface when required but tucks neatly out of the way when it’s not needed.

Storage Ottomans

Storage ottomans serve multiple purposes, providing extra seating, surface space, and hidden storage all in one. Lift the lid to stash items inside or remove the cushion to create an impromptu table.

Strategic Layout Changes

Altering the layout of your living room can vastly improve its functionality and flow in a small space. Consider making these strategic layout changes:

Create Zones

Divide your living room into designated zones or areas for watching TV, conversation, and dining. Use area rugs in coordinating colors to help define each space while maintaining an open feeling.

Float the Furniture

Avoid pushing all your furniture against the walls, which can make a room appear smaller. Instead, float furniture like your couch, chairs, and coffee table toward the center of the room. This can make the space feel more open.

Limit Large Pieces

Stick to one anchor piece like a loveseat or small sectional to prevent your living room from feeling cluttered. Skip the oversized couch or giant entertainment center that will overwhelm a compact area.

Think Vertical

Use vertical space to open up floor space. Mount flat screen TVs on the wall, install floating shelves, and choose tall but narrow storage furniture. Floor lamps and tall plants are also great choices.

Multipurpose Area Rugs

Use area rugs to define spaces and pull your furniture arrangement together. Make sure they are large enough so all furniture legs fit on top. This makes the seating feel more connected.

Furniture Choices to Maximize Space

From the coffee table and sofa to storage pieces and chairs, your furniture selection plays a key role in a small living room layout. Here are some of the best options to maximize space:

Slender Profile Pieces

Furniture with a narrow footprint fits more easily into tight spots without crowding the room. Look for Living Room Ideas Clever Solutions For Small Rooms options like a skinny console table or narrow bookshelf.

Compact Sectionals

Sectionals provide ample seating, but oversized options eat up valuable square footage. Compact sectionals with a small footprint can comfortably seat multiple people.

Folding Chairs

Chairs that fold up and can be tucked away take up less space when not in use. Folding chairs are great options for extra seating.

Round Coffee Table

A round coffee table is an ideal shape for small living rooms. Unlike a bulky rectangular or square table, a round table with a slender pedestal base takes up less visual space.

Lightweight Furniture

Since you’ll likely need to move pieces around frequently in a small living room, lightweight furniture makes rearranging painless. Plus, smaller items tend to weigh less. Look for furniture made from tubular metals, thin woods, and hollow core construction.

Create Spaciousness With Mirrors

Hanging a mirror is one of the easiest ways to make a small living room feel more expansive. The reflective surface creates the illusion of more space and brings in more natural light.

Strategically Place Mirrors

Position mirrors across from windows so they can reflect the outdoors indoors for a double dose of light. You can also place mirrors to expand certain areas or corridors.

Go Big

In a cramped living room, a small mirror gets lost. Opt for an oversized mirror for maximum impact. Lean it against the wall or hang it salon-style for lots of reflectivity.

Unique Shapes

Mirrors don’t have to be boring rectangles. Get creative with round, oval, or artistic shapes to add style. An arch mirror over the sofa or a circular mirror in the corner adds flair.

Include Mirrored Furniture

Incorporate mirrored furniture like a coffee table, chest, or cabinetry. Built-in mirrored shelving adjacent to the TV provides ample reflection to make the room feel spacious.

More Mirrors

Add as many mirrors as you can for the illusion of a larger area. Place mirrors across from one another to double reflective surfaces. Cover the back of a bookshelf with mirrored panels for even more space-enhancing reflectivity.

Trick the Eye With Paint

Strategic paint choices can visually expand a room. Here’s how to use color to make a small living room feel larger:

Light Colors

Painting the walls, ceiling, and trim a light neutral shade brightens up the space and makes it appear more open. Soft hues like subtle grays, warm ivory, or almond work well.

Monochromatic Palette

Stick to a single color palette throughout the living room. Using tints, tones, and shades of one color gives a soothing, unifying look.

Bright Accent Wall

Adding a vibrant accent wall at the end of a narrow living room makes the space appear expanded. Opt for gloss paint to reflect light.

Ceiling Paint

Painting the ceiling a lighter color than the walls draws the eye upward, creating height to even a low-lying room. Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace is a popular ceiling white.

Paint Built-Ins the Wall Color

Paint any built-in bookshelves, window trims, cabinets, or paneling the same hue as your walls so they “disappear” rather than stand out. This prevents them from breaking up the space.

Play With Perception and Scale

By tweaking perception, you can influence how large a small living room feels. Here are some clever tricks:

Hang Curtains High

Mount curtain rods close to the ceiling to give the illusion of taller ceilings. Floor-length curtains also elongate the room’s proportions.

Narrow Horizontal Stripes

Dark horizontal stripes on walls trick the eye into perceiving a higher ceiling since horizontal lines draw the gaze outward. Wide stripes work best on tall walls.

Skinny Legs

Furniture with slender tapered legs, like a spindle chair, appears lighter and less bulky so it doesn’t overpower a petite room.

Glass Surfaces

Coffee tables, console tables, and shelving units with glass tops or shelves take up less visual space than all-wood pieces.

One Big Piece of Art

Rather than several small pieces competing for attention, choose one oversized painting or photograph to give a bold focal point without cluttering up the walls.

Repeating Patterns

Match patterns across fabrics like pillows, rugs, and curtains to create a harmonious look. The repetition makes the space feel orderly and expansive.

Clever Small Living Room Storage Solutions

Lack of storage is one of the biggest issues in a compact living room. Get creative with these storage solutions:

Wall-Mounted Shelving

Install floating shelves on blank walls to display photos and artwork while keeping tables and surfaces clutter-free. Stagger boxes and baskets on shelves for concealed storage.

Use Vertical Space

Floor space comes at a premium, so make use of vertical real estate. Floor-to-ceiling shelving units maximize every inch while displaying items.

Entryway Bench

An entryway bench tucked near the front door provides a spot to sit when putting on shoes as well as flip-up lid storage for items you take on the go like keys or umbrellas.

Under-Seat Storage

Many ottomans and benches provide handy under-seat storage. Or choose a trunk or lift-top coffee table to stash items conveniently out of sight.

Bookcase Behind the Sofa

Push your sofa slightly away from the wall and place a bookcase in the gap to store books, decorations, and media equipment while concealing the mess.

Hide Electronics

Minimize visual clutter of cords, boxes, and components by storing electronics in closed cabinets with wire cutouts. Use IR-friendly glass doors to allow remotes to work inside.

Small Living Room Décor Ideas

Decorating a small living room calls for a delicate balance. You want to infuse personality while avoiding overwhelming the space visually. Use these décor tips:

Edit Out the Clutter

Pare down accessories to the bare minimum. Keep only your most beloved items on display and stow the rest. A few meaningful pieces have more impact than a clutter of knickknacks.

Lighting Layers

Proper lighting is key in a small space. Include overhead, accent, and task lighting options on dimmers for flexibility. Reflected natural light brightens the room.

Slim Silhouettes

Narrow floor lamps, spindle chairs, and tall skinny vases conserve floor space. Look for furnishings and accents with compact outlines.

Tray Styling

Corral accessories like remotes, candles, and catchalls on trays to keep tabletops tidy. Opt for wall-mounted shelves with ledges to display decorative items.

Floating Shelves

Mount shelves high on the wall with plenty of breathing room between. Curate them minimally with just one or two items for a streamlined look.

One Statement Piece

Make bold art, an intricate mirror, or a striking light fixture the star of the show. Focus on one conversational piece to become the living room’s focal point.

Sample Small Living Room Layouts

To bring all these small space living room ideas together, here are a few sample layouts and floor plans to inspire you:

Long and Narrow Layout

● Float sofa in the center facing the TV on the long wall to open up floor space

● Hang curtains high to draw eyes upward

● Add mirrors and reflective surfaces to expand space

● Place narrow console table behind sofa

● Use a round coffee table and glass-topped side tables

● Add sleek floor lamp in the corner

● Include multifunctional ottoman for seating and storage

L-Shaped Layout

● Nestle couch into the crook of the L shape

● Float armchair adjacent to couch at an angle

● Use a long console table behind the couch

● Place a slim bookshelf perpendicular to the TV

● Add a multifunctional storage ottoman as a coffee table

● Incorporate a slim floor lamp tucked beside chair

One-Wall Layout

● Float a loveseat facing the wall to leave floor space open

● Hang the TV on the wall with shelving on both sides

● Add a slim console table behind loveseat for storage

● Use a small circular dining table tucked beside couch

● Place a tall storage cabinet on empty wall

● Add vertical stripes and light paint to draw the eye up

Mini Layout

● Tuck a loveseat sized sofa bed against the wall

● Float a slim armchair facing the sofa at an angle

● Use a storage ottoman as a coffee table

● Add a narrow media console under wall-mounted TV

● Install floor-to-ceiling built-in shelving on side wall

● Include a multi-level tray for styling and display

Couple’s Micro Layout

● Tuck a slim rolled arm sofa bed against the wall
● Float two spindle chairs opposite the sofa
● Use nested side tables instead of a coffee table
● Add a long and low media console under the TV
● Install wall-to-wall floating shelves above the sofa
● Place a slim floor lamp in the corner behind chairs

Making the Most of Your Small Living Room

While small living rooms present challenges, they also spur creativity. With clever solutions like multifunctional furniture, space-enhancing layouts, and visual tricks, you can transform even the tiniest area into a stylish, comfortable, and functional living space.

The key is working with what you have rather than against it. Embrace the coziness, maximize every inch, and see your small living room as an opportunity to get creative. With the right approach, you can have an inviting living room in any size space.

Small spaces offer big rewards if you look beyond their limitations. We hope these small living room ideas provide inspiration to make the most of your petite space!

Frequently Asked Questions About Small Living Room Ideas (With Answers)

Living rooms come in all shapes and sizes. If you have a small living room, you likely have lots of questions about how to make the most of the space. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about designing a small yet functional living room.

What type of sofa works best in a small living room?

Look for a loveseat or compact apartment-sized sofa around 5-7 feet long. Avoid an overstuffed style, which takes up more visual space. Sofas with exposed legs or a raised base have an airier, less bulky aesthetic. Sectionals can work if you choose a small configuration.

How can I make a small living room feel bigger?

Use strategies like floating furniture away from walls, incorporating mirrors, painting with light colors, and opting for pieces with slim or transparent profiles. Avoid clutter and visually bulky items. Add tall lamps, plants, and curtains to draw the eye upward.

What size coffee table is best for small spaces?

Compact is best—aim for a coffee table with a diameter of 36-42 inches. Round, oval, or stadium-shaped tables take up less visual space than square or rectangular options. Tables that lift up or nest to move out of the way can also be helpful.

Should I get a large rug or small rug?

One large rug that extends under the front legs of seating creates a unified look. Size depends on room dimensions but aim for enough area for walking around furniture with 18-24 inches between the rug’s edge and the walls.

What is the best layout for a small living room?

FLOAT furniture away from the walls rather than pushing everything to the perimeter, which makes the room feel closed in. Place your sofa and chairs at angles rather than straight on to create an open flow. Zone areas with rugs but maintain an airy, connected feel.

How can I add storage to my small living room?

Use storage ottomans and benches, wall-mounted shelving, slim console tables behind the sofa, and cabinets to stash clutter while keeping it accessible. Built-in bookshelves around a TV work for media storage.

Should I get tall or short bookshelves?

The vertical space is your friend, so opt for taller, narrower bookshelves whenever possible. Floor-to-ceiling built-in shelving provides ample storage while drawing the eye up. Float shelves high on walls instead of overloading surfaces.

What colors make a small room look bigger?

Soft, neutral, or monochromatic color schemes keep the space feeling airy and bright. Paint walls, trim, and ceilings in a light color palette. Bold accent walls in glossy paint can elongate the room while adding style.

Should I hang curtains high or low in a small room?

Mount curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible—generally 6-12 inches below the ceiling for a spacious look. Extend rods a few inches past window frames. Floor-length curtains expand proportions.


Designing a comfortable, attractive, and functional living room in a petite square footage may seem daunting. But armed with clever solutions for furniture arrangements, multi-use pieces, perception tricks, smart storage, and décor ideas, your small living room can rival those in larger homes.

Use these tips and suggestions to transform your space into a welcoming oasis perfect for relaxing and connecting with loved ones. Don’t let a small living room limit your vision. With strategic layouts and the right scale furniture, even the tiniest area can become a beautiful spot you’re eager to spend time in.