10 design tricks to maximise space in a small living room

If you’ve been browsing through Pinterest and Instagram, you’d be forgiven for thinking that living rooms with huge open spaces, high ceilings and multiple sofa areas are the norm.  The reality, for many of us, is that we’re living in smaller homes, so every room needs to work extra hard for us.  If your living room is on the petite side, there’s no reason why it can’t be an amazing space that is perfect for everything from box set night ins, to entertaining a group of friends.  Here at The Wooden Furniture Store, we’ve thought about ways to maximise space in a small living room, with everything from space-enhancing furniture to clutter-clearing storage solutions.

Start by getting the scale right

11 ideas of maximise space in a small living roomImage from miamidesigndistrict.eu

When it comes to selecting furniture for small spaces, scale is everything.  Rather than decorating your living room with a large, overstuffed sofa, choose from furniture that is smaller in scale to match your room’s size.  We think that there is more to living room furniture than full-size sofas and bulky armchairs – look for small sofas, love seats and matching chairs that can work for your space.

Get the furniture size rightImage from brit.co

If you want to play with scale a bit, pair smaller sized furniture with an oversized light fixture or larger art pieces for the wall which will fool your eye into thinking the space is bigger than it is.

Add some breathing space

12 ideas to maximise space in a small living roomImage from apartmenttherarpy.com

A common mistake in small lounge designs is to push all your furnishings up against the wall but this can often make the space seem even more cramped. It’s actually better to pull the furniture away from the wall and keep it more central which adds volume to the room.  The more floor you see, the bigger the room will appear.  Add to the illusion with a glass coffee table or sofas and chairs with visible legs rather than floor-length upholstery that obscures the floor.

Think about colour

9 design ideas for a small living roomImage from reviews.farrowandball.com

If you have a small living rooms, picking out paint colours can be a little tricky.  On the one hand, painting the whole room white can open up the walls and make the small room feel a little more airy.  On the other hand, limiting yourself to just one stark color can put a cramp on creativity!  Almost any paint colour can work if you have the right lighting and accessories.  Don’t shy away from dark colors as they can add drama and architectural interest to a small room.

Choose furniture that offers extra

12 design tricks to maximise space in a small living room

When choosing furniture, look out for pieces that offer a little bit extra.  A coffee table with drawers will provide some storage for things like remote controls, books or board games.  Lift the lid on the Signature coffee table and you’ll find a generous storage space inside – it’s an ideal place to store throws or cushions that could be pulled out in cooler weather.

12 design tips to maximise space in a small living room

As we’ve said before, nests of tables like this one from our Rushbury range, can come in handy as well – the smallest table can be used as an extra surface when needed but easily stowed away when not in use.

Think about curtain length

9 design ideas tio maximise a small living room

Full-length curtains will draw the eye upwards adding height to your living room.  If you aren’t blessed with floor-to-ceiling windows, however, don’t worry.  Simply hang curtains high above the top of the windows and let them fall all the way to the floor.  Keep window dressings simple to make the most of the natural light in the room.

Storage is a priority

9 designs ideas to maximise a small living room

A great way to make a small living room feel larger is to keep it tidy and in order to do that, find a proper place for everything with well organised storage.  When your floorspace is limited, consider going up instead.  Tall, slim bookcases can create additional storage in awkward spaces like alcoves. The Urban Chic alcove bookcase makes good use of the vertical space in the room and provide plenty of storage to house books, pictures and accessories.

Don’t let the TV dominate

9 design ideas to maximise a small living roomImage from mariakillam.com

Don’t be tempted by that big screen TV if you can barely fit a sofa into your living room.  In a small room, mount the TV on a wall to minimise its impact – it should be at eye level when seated, but no lower than 120cm from the floor.

9 design ideas to maximise space in a small living room

If you have a fireplace, keep that as the focal point by positioning the television in a corner.  Ditch your clunky TV storage stand for something smaller designed especially for awkward spaces that include storage too – just like our Rushbury corner TV unit. 

Add some reflection

9 design ideas for maximise a small living roomImage from instagram.com

While mirrors won’t create space where there is none, one will give you the illusion of a bigger space.  Place a mirror across from a window and it will bounce light back into the room.

Give the space character

9 design ideas to maximise a small living roomImage from sheerlux.com

Just because your living room is on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you should hide away all your favourite belongings in storage.  If you have objects that are worthy of showing off then display them along an open shelf, above the sofa.  This idea is great for when floor space is at a premium.

Don’t forget the green!

9 design ideas of maximise a small living room

Like pictures and mirrors, plants are a wonderful way to add depth to a small living room.  Lush greenery softens corners and fools the eye into thinking there is more to the room than there really is.  Plants are especially effective in corners and beside or behind chairs and sofas.

We’ve got plenty more furniture ideas for small living rooms if you click here. What design tricks do you use to maximise space in a small living room?  We’d love to know, use the #woodenfurnituresmallideas on our twitter, facebook or instragam feeds to show us how you’ve styled your space.