Free Up Space With 8 Small Living Room Decorating Ideas

Evelyn Long

Mar 1, 2021


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Did you recently downsize? If you went from a spacious open-concept home to a smaller apartment, you might feel shocked at how little you can fit in your living room. 

How can you make the most of a tiny space? When it comes to decorating, you can go minimalist without sacrificing sleek style. Here are eight small living room decorating ideas to explore before heading to your nearest home store. 

1. Loveseats Instead of Couches

small brown leather couch in a living room

If your living room is too small for a traditional sofa, but you still need a cozy place to watch TV, invest in loveseats instead of couches. These can create a sense of intimacy when you sit down for a cuppa with a friend. If you want the flexibility to host the occasional overnight guest, look for models that fold into beds. 

2. Mount Your TV 

Where on earth can you squeeze your big screen? You may need to part with your bulky entertainment center when decorating your small living room. Flat screens take up minimal space when wall-mounted, and if you have a smart TV, you can eliminate the need for a bulky box. Any telly with an HDMI port can accommodate a smart stick to stream the channels you love for a fraction of standard cable prices.  

3. Build Shelves

golden angled shelving hanging on wall to free up space

If you don’t have room for large coffee and end tables, where can you set your books and beverages? Look at your wall space. You can find easy-to-install shelves in adorable designs at nearly any hardware store. If you are a renter, heavy-duty Command strips can support a considerable amount of weight without putting holes in the drywall. 

4. Furniture With Hidden Storage

You can also stow away your winter throws, extra pillows and other miscellanies in furniture that doubles as storage. If you have a clowder of kitties, you can hide their litter boxes inside specially designed end tables. Kick up your weary dogs at day’s end on a stylish storage ottoman that hides your magazines and a current knitting project.  

5. Look to the Sky

four potted plants hanging by a window as a living room decorating idea

Maybe you thought nothing of installing an overhead pot rack in your kitchen — your ceiling can also do double duty in your living area.  You can find a hanging basket tree to suspend in an uncluttered corner — place stylish woven containers on every limb. Use them to hold everything from holiday greeting cards to children’s toys. 

6. Mirrors Make Small Spaces Look Larger

Sometimes, your problem isn’t too much stuff, but the claustrophobic feel of a too-small space. You can use mirrors to make your living area feel roomier. Wall-length versions can cost a fortune — try clustering a group on a wall opposite a window. You’ll enjoy a less expensive price tag and still maximize an open, airy feel. 

7. Open Up Your Windows

a brightly lit window in a living room

If you cover your windows with heavy blackout curtains, you have the perfect cave for hiding on migraine days. However, the rest of the time, the dim lighting will make your small living room resemble a shoebox. Another way to create the illusion of more space is to rip down the heavy window coverings and replace them with one-way film. This substance lets you see out but protects your privacy from outside eyes. 

8. Declutter 

Even a living room the size of Carnegie Hall will appear cluttered if piles of trombones litter every square inch. Study how to adopt a minimalist mindset, then take a room-by-room approach to declutter. Start with your living area. Sort all of your items into three piles — to keep, to donate or to recycle. If you find it heartbreaking to part with things that gather dust, imagine the joy the new owner will feel when spying your treasure on the thrift store shelves. 

Smartly Decorate Your Small Living Room 

If you recently downsized and need small living room decorating ideas, don’t throw up your hands in frustration. Follow these tips and take pride in your new home.

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