Have you got a small living room that you want to redecorate, but worried that it might look too cramped? Worried that your space won’t be usable enough once revamped? Don’t be! There are a ton of creative ideas and techniques you can use to design your living room to make it look more spacious. Scroll through our discerning list below to get inspired!
1. Reduce Clutter
To make your room look more spacious, figure out ways to organise and store things out of sight, behind doors or neatly on shelves. Clutter always makes a room look more cramped. With things arranged out of sight, the space that is in view will feel orderly and open. A great tip to make your living room look larger is to arrange things on your shelves according to size or color or type. Anything that makes a group of smaller items look intentionally arranged will make it feel more streamlined. This works for books or anything else that is visible in your home.
Even when furniture and accessories block the view into a room, it will look cramped. By moving furniture out and away from walkways, you'll open up the space and make it feel larger. Similarly, if you can see the floor, the room will look larger.
Light, cool colors make space feel open and airy. Choose colors that are in the same family - for eg. keeping your wall, rug and furniture different shades of the same color creates a visual coherence that will make your living room feel open. Contrasting colors tend to break up a space, making it appear even smaller than it is. If you're not looking to buy new furniture online, adding a throw or pillows or accessories in the same shade can give you the same effect. Same for upholstery - use tone-on-tone upholstery adding texture for interest wherever you’d like.
3. Let in the Light
Your living room will look larger and well-designed if it's well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Instead of strong overhead lights, use different lighting elements like track lighting or smaller lamps to spread the light and draw the eye around the room. Get rid of heavy drapes and choose light, airy and sheer fabrics - they will allow light to pass. If you want something other than plain colors, find soft floral vines or simple stripes to keep the look simple. Leave your windows uncovered to give the room more depth.
4. Use Transparent Materials
By using materials that you can see through, anything beyond will appear farther away. Use glass or lucite for living room dividers or tabletops. With a sturdy base of wood, stone, or metal, the space around the table will open up the view beyond. Another very simple yet effective technique is to use reflective surfaces - use a large framed mirror on a wall, or stand an oversized framed mirror against a wall. You'll get the same room-enlarging effect as a mirrored wall, but with more style. The room and light will be reflected, resulting in a more open feeling. Top a coffee table or side table with a piece of beveled plate mirror, or purchase a mirrored chest of drawers for a similar effect.
5. Go Big not Small
An interesting design mantra is that decorative accents smaller than a cantaloupe crowd a room. Go for fewer but larger pieces of furniture or accessories in place of several smaller pieces, which makes a small space look cluttered. With open space and large blocks of color, the room will appear to be more calm and comfortable. Instead of a gallery wall, choose art pieces that are large and bold.
6. Illusion of Height and Length
Anything that draws the eye upwards will make your living room feel bigger. Paint or wallpaper the ceiling to make the room look taller. Use stripes to elongate the space. Just like vertical stripes on clothing, a striped rug will make your room appear longer. Orient the stripes to go the length of the room that is the longest for optimal effect. You could also use rugs to separate one room into smaller spaces, giving the illusion of more than one area in the room.
To design your small living room for maximum potential, decorate with furniture that can serve a dual purpose such as a sofa with pullout storage space, an ottoman that opens for extra storage, or a steamer trunk that can also double as a coffee or end table. Furniture that can be downsized is a great way to create space, too. Remove a leaf from a dining room table until it's needed, replace a full-size recliner with a medium-sized chair and footstool, or open up the top of a bar cabinet to create more counter space only when needed.
Use two or more of these ‘maximising’ ideas to design a living room that you’re proud of. A space that feels bigger and lighter than it is. A space that lets you stretch your boundaries of imagination when you’re in it. Think Big. Be Discerning.
At Discern living, we understand that the living room anchors your family together. Our designers work with you to build customized solutions, tailored to your spaces. Get in touch with us to transform your house into your dream home now!