30 décor tips to transform even the smallest living room

30 décor tips to transform even the smallest living room

This is the only guide you need for sprucing up the heart of your apartment

Chances are, you spend more time in your living room than anywhere else in your home. So the last thing you want is for your living room to feel cramped, cluttered or just downright small. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to use smart décor as a way of making even the smallest living room feel like a big, bright, light space that you actually want to spend time in. To save you the hard work of trying to come up with solutions, we’ve created this helpful guide of 30 ways to transform your living room into a spacious sanctuary.

Think your living room is already generously proportioned? Then why not make a few changes to make it feel even bigger?

Make magic with mirrors

Mirrors are rule number one if you want your space to feel light, airy and twice the size. Making use of mirrors can create the illusion that your living room is twice the size it actually is, whilst also making it feel lighter by bouncing any natural light back out into the room.

Chill on corner furniture

If you don’t want the centre of your living room taken up by seating, a single piece of furniture can be the answer. A corner sofa provides plenty of plush seating without taking up all your floorspace.

Know your angles

Every room has an optimum layout, but if you’re working with a smaller space you might need to think outside the box. Try positioning chairs and tables at jauntier angles to save room and create interest.

Trade tables for units

Not only do units look sleek and save floorspace when implemented into the wall, but you can also store items inside them to save even more space.

Learn the power of linear

Varying geometric and linear patterns can help give even the smallest space a sense of structure, as well as creating the illusion of additional width and length.

Make a statement

One way to tackle a smaller space is to make sure the eye is constantly moving. Use colour, pattern, material and accessories to turn your living room into a room where there’s always more than meets the eye.

Keep it simple

Alternatively, you can use simplicity to create a greater sense of space in your living room. A minimalist, light and uncluttered look will give you more room to unwind.

Go under it and over it

Use the space on top of and underneath your current furniture for storage. A table has plenty of room underneath and on top of its surface for displaying and storing other items.

Create literary luxury

A wall of books creates interest, colour and individuality without using any floorspace. You can even use it to inspire a stylish library look for your living room.

Show off personal keepsakes

This is your living room, after all, and should therefore be a reflection of your tastes and interests. Instead of checking out what’s trendy, use your favourite personal items to create a unique look that’s all your own.

Go green

Introducing nature into your living room is a quick and easy way to boost the atmosphere of the space. Whether through houseplants or a stunning floral display, natural greenery will instantly freshen up your living room. Just be conscious that plants that are tall and thin take up less floor space than those with broad droopy leaves.

Three’s never a crowd

Grouping items into threes is a great way to make your living room feel interesting but not cluttered, and it works on any scale — from small knick-knacks to larger items like end tables.

Stretch out your curtains

Instead of picking curtains that only cover the length of your windows, pick ones that stretch from ceiling to floor. This will create the illusion of height (a technique that has become increasingly popular in hotels).

Keep it monochrome

Monochrome has been a key trend in interior design for several years now and shows no sign of slowing down. A crisp, contrasting design can help you create definition in even the most compact living room.

Floor your guests with an oversized rug

Using a rug as a décor tool is clever in smaller living rooms, as you’re adding colour, pattern and interest without taking up space. If your floors leave something to be desired, cover them up with an eye-catching rug.

Make it attractive and useful

If your living room is a little on the cosy side, you don’t have the luxury of filling it with stuff which is solely there to look nice. Instead, fill with things that look good and which are also useful, like items which might relate to any hobbies you enjoy.

Scan for unused spots

Every room — no matter how small — has areas that are not being used to their full potential. Cast your eyes across your living room and look for any corners, nooks and crannies which can be made useful and beautiful.

Let there be (lots of) light

Layer your lights so you have several different options — bright central lights for maximum visibility and softer lamps for relaxing in the evening. You can also use attractive fixtures and shades to turn your lighting into a decorative feature itself.

Save space with shelving

Anything which uses wall space instead of floorspace is key to making the most of a more compact living room. Open shelving gives you extra surface space for knick-knacks, plants and books without making the room feel cramped.

Celebrate art

Wall art is another way to create interest without using up floorspace, and the possibilities are truly endless. You can choose a single large canvas, a collage of smaller prints, or anything in between.

Rethink tradition

There are things we feel we have to have in our living rooms, but ask yourself whether this is necessarily true. How often do you use that coffee table, or that extra armchair?

Use ‘Neutral with a Twist’

Neutral with a Twist refers to a décor trick giving you the best of both worlds — the universal pleasantness of neutral tones with the interest and individuality of bolder colours. Put it into practice by going for lighter, subtler hues of your favourite colours rather than just white or cream.

Fall for a feature wall

Like an oversized rug, a feature wall creates drama and interest without taking up space. It’s also a great way of creating focus in a smaller room.

Swap out tables for multi-purpose poufs

Poufs are a more versatile alternative to coffee tables, as they can be used as tables, footstools and even extra seating. This gives you less furniture to buy and therefore more room to play with.

Keep it clear with glass and acrylic

Delicate materials like glass and acrylic can help your living room shine, maximising the natural light available.

Hide your TV

To avoid a cluttered look, consider using panels or hidden cupboards to cover up your TV and all that comes with it (smart hub, DVD player, speakers) until you need them.

Decorate vertically with hanging plants

As well as wall and floorspace, you’ve got ceiling space to think about. Hanging plants are another way to add colour, freshness and excitement without using up space you might need for more practical items.

Choose subtlety and delicacy

Choose accent furniture with delicate frames as a way of avoiding bulk and keeping down the visual noise. This goes for aspects like lamps, picture frames and even table legs.

Use visual trickery

There are plenty of little ways to trick the eyes into thinking your living room is larger than it actually is. One nifty technique is to mount your shades a few feet above your windows to make them look taller.

Match shades across furniture

Making everything in your living room exactly the same colour is overpowering, but the space might benefit from linking shades across furniture items. Threading the same colour across your soft furnishings, picture frames and skirting boards creates harmony, stopping your living room from feeling cluttered and disorganised.

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