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Small Living Room Setup Ideas

A living room is arguably one of the most important spaces within a home as it’s likely where you spend the majority of your time with family and friends. All spaces present interior design challenges, but designing a small living room can be especially tricky. How do you strike a balance between making your small living room design feel as spacious as possible while also fitting in extra seating options? What furniture should you choose, and where do you put it? Should you place a sofa up against a wall or float it in the middle of the room? Read on to see our 10 family friendly living room ideas for making the most of your small living room space!

Use a Light Paint Color

Landing on a color palette should be one of the first steps to designing any space within your home. With an overwhelming amount of colors to choose from, it can be difficult figuring out exactly which hues will pair well with others. If you need inspiration to get your designing process started, don’t fret, we're here to help. While we do recommend using a light paint color, stark white is not always the answer. Instead, try neutral tans, light grays, classic whites, and rich blue hues for your walls to make a small room appear larger. If you’re looking to make more of a bold impact on your living room space, you can also go for a blush pink, dusky lilac, or muted green. Using a light paint color will make your small living room feel clean and inviting, and cozy, but not closed in. 

Create a Focal Point

When decorating a small room, you should highlight a focal point – one area or feature that will draw the eye, so there’s less emphasis on the room’s layout. In the living room, the focal point will most likely be the coffee table, as all of the furniture will be placed around it, so make sure that focal point is the attention seeker in your small living space.

Float Furniture

In any room that's tight on space, it's tempting to push all big furniture pieces up against the walls to create open flooring in the middle of the room. But while useful in some cases, there are some real advantages to floating pieces in the room to make the space better for conversation, and to give it more visual appeal. Floating furniture allows people to easily move in and out, making movement around the room a lot more natural. Leaving a perimeter of space around your furniture also creates an illusion of that space being intentionally unused. This, in turn, makes it seem like there’s a lot more square footage to boast of than in reality. In smaller living rooms, moving your grouping of furniture into the center of the room can really open up the space. This furniture arrangement is particularly good for conversation, and entertaining. We recommend no more than 8 feet of distance between people while chatting. Overall, floating your furniture in the center of your floor space can make the room feel much cosier and welcoming.

Carefully Select Furnishings

Furnishing a small living room can be challenging and since the living room is often the focal point of the home, you’ll want to maximize the potential of the room by carefully selecting a furniture piece that not only fits the space but can also serve multiple purposes. You can get more bang for your design buck by choosing a furniture piece that does double duty. For example, you can find a storage chest that can also be used as a coffee table, nesting tables that can stack up or expand as-needed, and folding chairs that can be tucked away when you don’t need them. You can also use a bar cart to not only store bar essentials, but to also house books, decor items, and lamps We also suggest using lean coffee and side tables to save space and going for wall sconces as opposed to a floor lamp to save additional square footage.

If maximizing seating is important to you, we suggest flanking two sofas, or pairing a loveseat with a set of chairs. Our Sofette is a great option for small living room furniture ideas. Available in 10 styles, over 100 fabrics, and several finishes, we’re certain you’ll be able to find the right combination for your living area. You can check out our Sofette collection here!

Strategic Shelving

Whether you inherit a room with an awkward layout or you're making some renovations to an existing space, you can build in shelves for extra decorating and/or a storage room in your small living room. If you opt for built-ins, you should keep them the same color as the walls to give the illusion of more depth. If you do not have wall space for a built-in shelf option, you’ll want to consider floating shelves. Floating shelves are another great option for extra storage space or to house decor items. You should hang these high on the walls to draw the eye up, and also keep them the same color and the wall for a sleeker look. 

Embrace the Light

Make the most of natural light in the room by keeping window styling clean and simple. Heavy, dark window treatments can weigh down a small living room. Use 2-3” blinds and leave them open to maintain an airy, expansive atmosphere. 

Add Height

You should never forget to think vertically when it comes to designing a small living space. You caen do so by decorating with tall mirrors, artwork, high shelves, and curtains. Consider mounting your curtains several inches above your actual windows to give the illusion of higher ceilings. Draperies are another quick way to add instant height to any living space. You should hang them where your wall meets your ceiling and let them drape a few inches onto the ground. This will again give the illusion of height and make your space feel more sophisticated. You can also consider hanging your artwork up a bit higher than usual to trick the eye. While a gallery wall may seem too busy for a small space, it can actually make it feel larger if you extend it all the way up to the ceiling.

Use Mirrors

Using mirrors within a small living room can make the room look a lot larger than it actually is. Mirrors create the illusion of a bigger space by reflecting what’s already there. They can reflect both natural and artificial light to make a room appear lighter and brighter during the day. Pairing wall mirrors with glass tabletops will make it feel like there’s a more open flow to the space. One of our favorite ideas is to hang a mirror on a wall opposite a window to reflect the outdoors and bring in some natural elements. You can also give the illusion of depth by using a focal point and angling your mirrors towards it. Don’t be afraid to put a mirror in an unconventional space either. Fun frames will serve as decor, or an unframed mirror seamlessly blends into the wall and will enhance the magnifying effect.

Utilize Storage Solutions

It is very important when deciding small living room arrangement ideas to make the most of every inch available. When it comes to storage, try and think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions that use free vertical space on walls and unused corners and nooks as an advantage. You can add a woven basket in an unused corner, or a coffee table with an opening to store extra blankets and pillows. You can also use a media center or console to store additional clutter and keep the space looking clean and uncluttered. A great way to make a small living room feel larger is to keep it neat and tidy and in order to do that, everything in the room should have a proper designated place.

Check out Inside Weather today for more home design ideas and how to buy furniture online! We’ve got all your interior design questions covered.