small living room

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Do you have a living room that makes you feel a little too cramped? Using the right design tricks can make the room feel more spacious. Often, you don’t even have to spend much money to reap the benefits. Start with the following seven design tricks to make your small living room feel more expansive and comfortable.


Main image above: Design by Rukmini, interior designer from East Midlands on Design for Me. See more here and shortlist them for your home project.

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Hang items low on the wall

A small living room’s walls offer prime real estate for storage space. Installing a few floating shelves can give you quite a bit more space for books, lamps, knick-knacks, and other items.

Filling a wall, however, can make a small room feel even more cramped because it makes the ceiling seem lower. You can make your room feel taller by resisting the urge to hang anything above eye level.


Group seats to make unique areas throughout the living room

How you use a space affects the way people experience it. If you cram in a lot of furniture that faces inwards, people will feel like the room only serves one purpose.

You can change that experience by creating unique areas throughout your living room. For instance, try a modular sofa which lets you move seats to different parts of the room. You can make a spot for watching TV and a separate area for conversation or reading.

Staging has a dramatic effect on a room’s purpose. The more purposes you give the space, the roomier it will feel.


Add mirrors to create a feeling of depth

Mirrors give you an easy, inexpensive way to create the illusion of depth. If you could turn an entire wall into a mirror, you would make the space look twice as large. Realistically, few people can afford – or want – to do that. You can still get excellent results by hanging a few mirrors in strategic spots. Try putting them in places where people will look often. A hidden mirror doesn’t get the job done.

Large mirrors usually cost more than small ones. You don’t have to buy a large mirror to get noticeable effects. Avoid the expense by purchasing several mirrors and hanging them next to each other.


Opt for blinds instead of drapes

You want to add privacy to your small living room, but you don’t want your window coverings to take up space. Choose blinds that sit right against the windows. They don’t take up any floor space.

You might like the way drapes look, but they do take up space in your living room. If you can’t resist drapes, get thin, billowy designs that don’t hang far from the window. The flatter your window treatment is, the better it will work in a small living room.


Choose colors that feel expansive

Some colors can make a room feel more expansive. Others can make large rooms feel cramped and claustrophobic. Colors that make rooms feel more expansive include:

  • White
  • Alabaster
  • Hazel
  • Cloud White
  • Skylight
  • Swirling Smoke

It only takes a couple of days to paint a room and wait for the final layer to dry. You could have a fresh living room that feels more comfortable by the end of the weekend.


Use the same color for your walls and trim

Trim can add sophistication to a room. Pairing the right colors can bring out elements in your furniture, flowers, and decorations. You should definitely explore color combinations for walls and trim when you paint large rooms.

For small rooms, though, choosing different colors for the walls and trim will only make the space feel even smaller. Just use the same color when you paint your room. If you want to add a splash of color, look for other options such as hanging artwork.


Embrace minimalism

If your small living room makes you feel uneasy or upset, consider changing the way you think about the space. You can’t change the room’s dimensions without undertaking a major renovation project. You can, however, use the small room as an opportunity to embrace minimalism.

Before you bring anything into the room, ask yourself what purpose it serves. If you don’t have a compelling answer, don’t buy the item or put it in another room.

Similarly, start looking around the room and thinking about items that you can remove. Is this really the best room for your stereo? Does it make sense to have that large, plush chair in this room? The more you remove, the more spacious your living room will feel.


Make the Most of Your Space

The internet offers dozens of design tricks you can use to make a small living room feel spacious. If you still find the project challenging, you can ask an interior designer to give you recommendations. Some interior designers even work remotely to give you advice without entering your home, so you have help whenever and however you need it.


Need some professional design advice?…

Design for Me is a free platform to help you quickly find the right design professional for your home project. My name is Emily Barnes and as a residential architect myself, I started Design for Me after finding that talented and innovative smaller firms and individuals, who are perfectly placed to design new homes, extensions and renovations, can often get buried under the online profiles of large commercial companies.

Before Design for Me, the right design professional was very difficult to find!

Once you register your project, we’ll match it with 100s of top architects or interior designers in your area and beyond, and you can see who may be available and eager to work on your project straight away.

  • quickly see who’s interested in your job
  • create a shortlist
  • invite up to three for a no-obligation consultation


Emily  Design for Me

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