It’s a good idea to start with the basics when decorating a small living room. First of all, any small space looks even smaller when cluttered. Before you begin decorating have a cleaning and a clearing. Remove unnecessary items from the room and commit to organizing the items that remain. You can select decorative items that offer storage space as well as beauty. Another basic concept that applies to a small room is that it needs to have a unobstructed flow to it. Having to navigate around or dodge pieces of furniture in order to move about the room is both frustrating and unattractive.
If you plan to begin the decorating process by painting, your color choice can affect how spacious or small the rooms appears. Lighter colors are the best choice for a small room. That doesn’t mean you are limited to white or beige. Lighter shades of blue or green work well in a small living area. Use bolder, brighter colors on a smaller scale such as accent rugs or pillows.
Lighting is important in any room but even more so in a small room. If your living room is located in an area where it receives a lot of natural light, let this work in your favor. Keep window treatments light and airy so that the natural light can shine through. For evenings or in a situation where natural light is minimal, you can add various types of lighting to the decor to maximize each area of the room. A dark corner can be brought to life with the addition of an accent table, small rug, single chair, and table lamp. Wall sconces are an excellent way to illuminate a space that is too small for furniture. A beautiful painting hung on a softly lit wall can transform an empty space into an area of beauty. Pendant lights of various sizes can be placed throughout the room to diversify your lighting options.
A small living room should not be decorated with lots of little items. This will draw attention to the fact that the space is small. A large picture hung on a wall is better than a collection of small pictures. Mirrors and reflective objects are good choices for a small living room. A collection of crystal vases placed on a mirrored tray would look wonderful on a side table or coffee table. A large floral display or a container filled with tall, dried, nature related items would look nice on a table in the living room. A tall plant could liven up an unused corner of the room.
A storage bench or ottoman would be nice items to include in a small living room. Magazines, remotes, and other small items could be stored out of sight while you gain extra seating. Bookcases provide a great amount of storage. In a small room you might need to use two narrow bookcases rather than one large wall unit.
A small living room doesn’t require that you buy numerous pieces of furniture. A sofa and possibly an additional chair should provide sufficient seating Adding numerous small tables or accent pieces would make the room appear cluttered. A coffee table or side tables with storage drawers or space for storage baskets underneath would work well in a small living room. You can successfully add a large item such as an armoire to a small living area. This would be a great place to house an entertainment system or computer and home office station.
When decorating a small living room, one concept to keep in mind is that simplicity is better than chaos.
Darren Urman became a professional writer 15 years ago, when he retired as a building contractor. Darren joined the THF team of writers in July, 2009. He enjoys cooking, writing, and traveling.