The living room is one of the most important spaces in the house. It’s a place for the family to relax together and you’ll end up spending a lot of your time in there.
That’s why it can be a big problem if you’ve got a small living room. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great space for you and the family.
If you don’t design and decorate it right, it’ll feel cramped and it won’t be a nice room to be in. But if you get it right, it can be just as nice as a big, spacious living area. You can’t just take the same approach that you’d take in a bigger room and scale everything down, it won’t work.
You need to think about the space that you do have and work out the best way to use it. If you’re struggling to get use out of your small living room, here are some great tips to help you.
Always Put Functionality First
Obviously, everybody wants their house to look great but in a small room, that has to come second.
One of the biggest decor mistakes that people make in a small living room is prioritizing style over functionality.
You’ve only got a limited amount of space to work with here and if you take up a lot of that space with things that look great but don’t serve much of a purpose, you’ll end up with a cluttered room that you can’t get that much use out of.
Start by thinking about what you want to use the room for and make that the basis of your design. Once you’ve ticked all of those boxes, you can start adding elements of style, ensuring that they don’t disrupt the functionality of the room.
While you might not have that much floor space in your living room, there is vertical space you can work with.
It’s all about creating the illusion of space so you need to draw the eye toward the areas where the space is. If you’ve got high ceilings, that’s a great opportunity.
If you decorate around the ceilings, it’ll make the space look a lot larger than it is.
Floor to ceiling curtains are a great way of drawing the eye upwards or you could use artwork and hang it higher up on the walls. Whatever you do, make sure that you’re making good use of that vertical space.
Bring The Outdoors In
Light is vital when you’re trying to open up a space.
You can do all of the usual stuff like decorating with mirrors etc. but the best way to really brighten up the space and make it feel a lot larger is to bring the outdoors in.
If your living room backs onto the garden, you’ve got a great opportunity there.
Put some patio doors in that open out into the garden, it effectively extends that space and brings it into the living room, making the area feel a lot less claustrophobic. Look around for the best option for sliding glass doors and get some installed.
They’ll let plenty of light in and when the weather is warm you can open them up and maximise the space in your living room.
Adding plenty of houseplants to the room will make the transition from outside to inside smoother and improve the effect further.
Nobody wants to use boring colors when they’re decorating their home but if you’ve got a small living room, you need to be careful.
Big bold colors, especially darker shades, are going to make the room dark and dingy.
However, if you use lighter, neutral colors, it’ll have the opposite effect. When you paint the walls with shades of white or beige and use the same for upholstery on the furniture, it appears to push the walls back and open up the space a lot more.
It’s also a massive help if you don’t have that much light in the room because the lighter colors will reflect it around, while darker colors won’t. That doesn’t mean you have to have a boring room with no color in it at all though.
You can inject a bit of color by putting artwork on the walls or putting colored cushions on the couch, just don’t go overboard and try to find a good balance between the two.
The visual weight of the furniture that you put into your small living room is important.
If you haven’t heard the term before, visual weight refers to the perceived weight of an object based on how big it is and the colors etc.
If you fill the room with lots of heavy items, it’ll make it feel a lot more cluttered. When you’re choosing furniture, you need to look for items with a low visual weight.
Go for lighter colors over darker ones and try to pick things that have legs rather than big, box shaped items.
Glass coffee tables are a great choice because you can see through them. Even though they’re taking up physical space, they aren’t taking up as much visual space, giving the illusion that the room is bigger.
As a general rule, try to avoid anything that obstructs your view of the room and it’ll feel a lot more open.
Storage can be a big issue in a small living room and if you don’t have enough, you’ll have things lying around everywhere and taking up all of that valuable space.
Putting in large pieces of furniture will be just as bad, so you need to start looking at multi-functional pieces of furniture.
You can get some great pieces of furniture that have built in storage so you’re taking up extra floor space but you can still keep the place looking tidy.
Having a small living room can be a bit of a pain but it’s not a lost cause. If you just follow these simple decor rules, you can create a great space.
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