How to Decorate a Small Living Room - 15 Small Living Room Decorating Ideas

15 Small Living Room Decorating Ideas on a Budget

Decorating a living room is no small feat as it is, but when you’re tasked with decorating a small living room it becomes even more challenging. Your living room and kitchen are the two rooms in your home that get the most traction – these rooms are where your family comes together and enjoys the majority of their free time. This is why it is so important to make your living room an inviting and enjoyable place to spend time, both from a comfort and design standpoint.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of 15 small living room decorating ideas that can be adapted to suit practically any budget. These decorating tips will help you design your small living room in a way that makes it feel spacious while still retaining its comfy and cozy charm. Keep reading for our favorite small living room decorating ideas that will make you fall in love with your little living room all over again.

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1. Invite In Natural Light

One of the main challenges when decorating a small living room is to make it feel spacious without having to skimp on the basics – you can’t have much of a living room without a comfy couch to longue on. A great way to create a feeling of space is to invite in as much natural light as possible. This means orientating your furniture in a way that doesn’t block light from filling the space, and using drapes or blinds that can be drawn completely to allow plenty of sunshine in. Make sure not to position your TV directly opposite your windows, however, as the glare from the sunlight can make it difficult to see your TV screen during the day.
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2. Anchor Your Space

Small spaces have a tendency to look cluttered and disorganized, even when they are kept completely organized and tidy. It’s unfortunately a part of small-space living, but there are ways to combat this – all you need to do is take a look at why this cluttered and disorganized feeling happens in the first place. You may notice that after you’ve put all your living room staples together, your small living room may end up feeling more like a loose arrangement of furniture than an actual living room. In other words, the room feels cluttered and disjointed. To counteract this, we use a decorating technique known as “anchoring”. Simply put, you use a rug both as a decorative element and as a design tool to visually anchor and designate the space, giving it a more grounded and organized feeling.
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3. Utilize The Space To Its Full Potential

Small living rooms and small apartments are usually a package deal, and that likely means that you need to budget your space wisely. If this is the case, take full advantage of the space by utilizing each and every corner. You can allocate a corner to create a home office, pet corner, or music corner. When done right, it’s easy to integrate spaces like these seamlessly into your living room – all you need to do is implement a cohesive design scheme that brings together your home office corner (or pet corner, music corner, etc.) and your living room. This means keeping the color scheme and core design elements consistent, and utilizing the same interior design style throughout the entire space.
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4. Create The Illusion Of A Bigger Space

A brighter space is a bigger (looking) space, and aside from natural light, employing light colors in your design scheme is another great way to make your small living room feel bright and airy. Bright colors, especially when paired with crisp white, naturally create a feeling of space in our minds and are a great way to make your living room feel bigger and roomier. When coupled with ample natural light, bright colors reflect light and prevent any corner of your living room from feeling cramped or gloomy. Utilize light colors punctuated with strong accent colors for a more dramatic look, or use light pastels, creams, and natural tones for a more toned-down take.
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5. Choose Sleek Furniture

The worst possible thing you can do when decorating a small living room is choosing furniture that overwhelms the space. Having a small living room doesn’t mean that you’ll have to make do with the bare minimum in terms of furniture, but it does mean that you will need to be more careful when selecting your furniture in the first place. In small spaces, it’s important to make sure that the furniture is not only not taking up excessive floor space, but also that it is not overwhelming and cluttering visual space. Furniture that is too tall or bulky gets in the way of your line of sight and breaks up your small living room into even smaller pieces, creating a cluttered and cramped feeling. When selecting furniture for your small living room, aim for furniture that is sleek and low profile, and consider opting for floating furniture whenever possible.
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6. Create Depth With Mirrors

Another way to create an illusion of a bigger space is by utilizing mirrors to add visual depth. Mirrors are a great way to add dimension, and have the added benefit of bouncing natural light through a space. Aside from the illusion of space that they give, decorative mirrors also easily and seamlessly integrate into practically any design scheme – from contemporary to traditionalist, farmhouse to midcentury modern. Before selecting a mirror to hang in your living room, take a look at which corners get the least amount of natural light or which areas simply feel “flat”. A correctly placed mirror will open these spaces up and add another layer of visual depth to your small living room with ease.
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7. Add Bold Statement Pieces

It may seem counterintuitive, but large statement pieces are a great way to decorate your small living room. Think large prints, tapestries, or any other big piece of wall décor, as long as it doesn’t take up any otherwise functional space. If you choose to hang your statement piece, make sure to follow the 60 inches rule of thumb – the middle of the piece should be 60 inches off the floor to ensure that it is at the correct height to be at around eye level for the average adult. If you’re opting for a different piece of statement décor, such as a bold-colored rug or fluffy ottoman, make sure to put it at the forefront and showcase it somewhere where it can truly shine.
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8. Buy An Appropriately-Sized Couch

It’s all too easy to overwhelm a small living room with the wrong furniture, but an inappropriately-sized couch will especially stick out like a sore thumb. When selecting a couch for your small living room, make sure to choose one with a low profile and clean lines so as to not overwhelm the space. The location of the couch should be chosen so as to not block any natural light or impede movement in your small living room. Finally, don’t forget to use your couch as an opportunity to decorate. Add accent pillows, a textured throw, or even select a couch that is in a statement color and make your small living room design personal and unique.
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9. Utilize Furniture With Hidden Storage

In small living rooms space is at a premium, which means you’ll need to take storage wherever you can get it. One of the best ways to boost storage space without overwhelming your limited living room space with extra furniture is by utilizing furniture that doubles as storage. There are many variations of this out there – a couch with hidden storage compartments, a coffee table slide-out drawers, ottomans that open up for storage, the list goes on. When selecting furniture for your small living room, always try to choose furniture that provides you with hidden storage space that will help you keep your living room neat and organized.
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10. Use Vertical Space To Decorate

Take full advantage of your small living room’s vertical space by using it both for storage and décor. Small living rooms require a unique take on decorating their vertical space while also using it to your advantage, and one of the best ways to do this is by combining storage and décor into one piece. Choose bookshelves that will provide storage and also showcase your favorite items, or opt for wall-mounted shelves if you prefer a more minimalist look. Display your favorite photos alongside your book collection, your succulents beside your collection of knickknacks, and create a cohesive and unique element of design by using a single piece of furniture.
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11. Choose A Sectional Sofa

A great way to take advantage of your small living room’s available space is by utilizing otherwise unusable space to your advantage. The easiest way to do this is by choosing a sectional sofa instead of the standard pairing of a three or four-seater and a love seat, which often leave unusable blocked-off corners. Sectional sofas provide practically as much seating, while taking up much less floor space. They also add much less visual weight to your small living room, and maintain a single clean visual line that works to balance the space and to create a clear indicator of where your small living room begins and ends.
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12. Keep It Minimalist

In design in general, and particularly in small spaces, less is nearly always more. It’s easy to overwhelm a small space by trying to cram in too many things, decorative or otherwise, but from a design perspective this is sure to be a bad idea. When dealing with a small space, it’s important to remember that the fewer pieces you use, the better. This goes hand in hand with the concepts of hidden storage furniture and sectional sofas as opposed to sets: less – that is, fewer furnishings that take up space – is definitely more when it comes to small living room design.
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13. Choose A Bold Light Fixture

Small living rooms have a tendency to get “lost” in their surroundings due to their small size, especially in open floor plans or studio apartments. They sometimes appear as an extension of their surrounding space rather than a distinct space on their own, which makes them a less than appealing place to spend your time. To counteract this, choose a bold, statement light fixture that is can distinguish the living room from its surroundings. Don’t be afraid to go big, but make sure that the fixture is properly centered so that it clearly designates the living room as its own individual space.
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14. Utilize Every Corner

Even if you don’t plan on adding a home office or music corner to your living room, it’s important to utilize every corner available in your small living room. Empty and neglected corners tend to leave a space feeling unfinished and overlooked, and their emptiness is especially felt in small spaces. Take advantage of each and every one of your small living room’s corners and nooks to their fullest potential; even if you don’t utilize them for practical purposes, they should be just as thoughtfully decorated as any other more central space would be.
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15. Bring In Greenery

A surefire way to make any room feel inviting and fresh is by adding a few indoor plants, and this goes double for small living rooms. Small spaces are especially enhanced with a few strategically placed hanging plants or small tabletop succulents, because they allow these plants to truly shine in the space. When choosing an indoor plant for your small living room make sure that you choose one whose sunlight and temperature requirements can be met in the space. If your living room doesn’t get several hours of natural sunlight a day, choose plants that thrive in lower light instead of sun loving succulents and cacti, and vice versa. Whichever plant you choose, it is sure to be a beautiful addition to your small living room décor.

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