7 Tips for Adding Space to Your Small Living Room
Sometimes there's isn't a lot of room to perform your best decorating magic, like when your living room is under 150 square feet. But there are ways to decorate a small living room that will leave it comfortable, practical and stylish. Best of all, it will seem roomy in spite of the space restrictions. If you're calling your small living room a 'great room', then good for you! These tips will add the perspective and design appeal to make it look like a much larger space.
Mapping it Out
Before you start adding furniture and décor to your small living room, create a plan for where you want to put everything. Graph paper works well for this task since you can have each square correspond to a certain number of inches. This helps you get exact placement for the furnishings, and it also aids in visualizing how the finished product is going to look.
When you're looking for items to furnish your small living room, bring a tape measure. You'll need to be exact when planning where to put furnishings and whether they'll fit. It's also smart to measure the doorways to be sure the larger furnishings like the couch will fit through the door.
For the living room sofa, you might consider a mini-sectional style to add more seating. That's also one item of furniture that fools the eye into thinking the space is larger than it really is. And if you purchase a matching ottoman, you'll have the option of stretching out in a comfortable TV and gaming nook in one part of the room.
Walls & Floors
The classic advice for decorating walls and floors in a small room is to use light colors to make it seem more spacious. Ombre is one interesting wall painting technique that takes a color gradually from a pale shade to a darker one. In a small living room, you want to start at the bottom with the pale color to maximize the room's illumination. As the color gradually darkens, the eye is drawn upward, another technique that increases the perception of roominess.
Keep window treatments Spartan to bring as much natural light as possible into the room. Blinds or shades that can be raised to let the sunlight in are a primary design element. You can also add flair to the windows by outlining them with drapery elements such as swags or toppers. Paint the inside of each window frame with an off-white color that will reflect light into the room. An antique white or cream will brighten the room gently without looking stark.
A ceiling light is recommended for any major space like a living room, kitchen or bedroom. It won't be used that often, but when it's needed, it's a great convenience. Adding a dimmer switch gives you more options for the amount of lighting you'll need at any one time. Complement the natural light coming in from the windows by using natural- light-spectrum LED or compact fluorescent bulbs in the lighting fixtures.
One type of lamp that works well in a small room is the torch lamp. This standing lamp focuses all of the light on the ceiling, allowing it to diffuse into the rest of the room. It adds a lot of illumination to a small living room, but without the harshness of an overhead light.
This is a tried-and-true trick for making a small space seem larger. If there's a wall in the room that's mostly unbroken by furnishings, that's where you want to add your mirror wall. For a living room that doesn't have adequate wall space for this technique, you can achieve a similar effect by hanging a large, framed mirror. In either case, try to place the mirror across from a window to reflect as much outdoor light as possible into the room.
Last Tip: Be Versatile
Small living room decorating needs to be multi-functional since you'll most likely be using the space in a variety of ways. Limited space can be larger in practice if you plan well. Stacking end tables have a small footprint until you have guests over, and they can go a long way toward making the room comfortable and functional. The sofa ottoman can be temporarily pushed up against a wall to provide more seating. As you research your options, you're bound to find more ideas for maximizing the space in your cozy small living room.