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​10 design options to rescue your small living room

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
by Ale design Grzegorz Grzywacz Minimalist
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Not all of us have been blessed with giant homes, which means not all of us get to enjoy spacious rooms. In fact, a lot of us need to get by with very little legroom – but that should never be the excuse to flaunt very little style!

Thus, to help you out of a tight spot, we’ve gathered 10 design tips to help make your living room (the most sociable space in your home) look much bigger and much better. And no, you don’t need to pick up a sledgehammer and start swinging – it all depends on small factors like colour, lighting, curtains, etc.

Let’s see what your options are…

1. Change your choice of colours

Colours are more important than you might think. While darker colours tend to close in a room, lighter hues (such as whites, creams, greys, beiges, etc.) can make a space seem bigger.

Thus, opt for light neutral tones when it comes to the major surfaces, such as the walls, floors, furniture, etc. And never forget to scatter in some cheery tones like pinks, purples and blues into your décor, for they ensure some brightness and visual detail.

2. Rethink your lighting

No room, especially a small one, should ever be dependent on just one lighting source. So, by all means, bring in a table lamp, a floor lamp, or even wall sconces into that small living room, even if it already has some ceiling pendants.

3. Focus on a small amount of items

A myriad of keepsakes and décor pieces will just drown your small living room. Kill the clutter and resort to only a handful of pieces here and there. There’s a reason why the minimalist style is so popular. 

Besides, haven’t you heard that less is more?

4. Get some wood

Wood really is a blessing for the design world, for it’s so versatile in its appearance that it can fit into any design style.

That means if your living room seems too small, you can opt for some lightly hued wooden pieces to make the space seem more clean and open. 

Combine these with light colours (see number 1), and see what a dramatic change your room undergoes.

5. Use your lights for decorating

Those lighting fixtures shouldn’t be just about illuminating your space. Look how exquisite these glass pendants decorate this living room – they perform the part of both a functional piece and a beautifying one. 

Think how you can use your lighting fixtures to add beauty to your small living room (like adding in a bright colour via a lampshade).

6. Realise that window treatment is important

Those curtains or drapes are not just so you can hide from your neighbour or drown out sunlight – they add to the overall ambience of your space. 

Thus, if your small living room feels dark and closed in, maybe it’s time to switch out those dark and heavy drapes with lighter and pale-hued curtains?

7. Play with colour contrast

So, we’ve already touched upon the importance of lighter colours, but did you know that colour contrast can also ensure a visual paradise?

Notice the visual detail achieved in this living room by having lilac curtains combine with a blue wall – yet the dominating tone of this colour palette is still white (remember tip number one?). 

Always look for colours which offset one another in hue, such as cool tones (blues and greens) with hot ones (red, oranges and pinks).

8. Bring in more natural light

If your small living room has a window, then by all means use it to your advantage. Allow sunshine to stream indoor as often as possible, as it not only makes a small space seem more open, but also adds freshness to any room. 

If possible, hang up a mirror in your room to have that natural light bounce around. 

Need that expert interior (or exterior) look? Check out our range of professionals.

9. Use your vertical spaces

Not all furniture or décor items take up a lot of floor space. You can usually get away by placing a bookcase against a wall, or adding some floating shelves, which can hold numerous pieces (just don’t resort to a cluttered look). And wall art can always be relied on to add colour and style to a room. 

Just make sure that the décor pieces on your bookcase and floating shelves and against your walls flaunt tones similar to those found in your main furniture (such as your sofa, rug, scatter cushion, credenza, etc.).

10. Keep it small, yet elegant

For a really small living room, we recommend you go with the basics in smaller form (a single seater instead of a giant sofa), yet combine these with sleek materials to show off a light, contemporary style.

This can include glass for your lighting fixtures, stainless steel for your side table or TV unit, or even something as small and simple as a silver frame for your wall art / mirror. 

Right, that takes care of your room’s furniture and decorative items, but what about those walls? See these 10 wall colours that will lift up your small living room.

What other design tricks can you think of for your small living room?
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