Ideas for a Small, Cozy Living Space

When you are redecorating, one of the easiest ways to make a small living room feel more spacious is to add soft, pastel shades into your design scheme to keep the room warm and inviting.

Use stools as seats

The first thing you should never do if you have a small living room is cram in too much furniture. Instead, choose a sofa that’s proportional to the size of the space, and if you’re still in need of more seating, use stools. They’ll take up far less room than bulky armchairs, and can be easily maneuvered. If you like your living room cute and cozy, try clustering color-coordinated objects together – from pictures to cushions – to create a coherent look.

Make the most of natural light in the room by keeping window dressings simple. If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, full-length curtains are a good choice as they’ll draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of space, even if the square footage in your living room is a bit meagre. Subtle stripe designs add to the feeling of extra depth. If you do choose curtains, make sure they can be swept away from the window for light or alternatively go for Roman or roller blinds.

Invest in multi-functional furniture

When it comes to small living rooms, multi-functional pieces of furniture are your friends. Pick a coffee table which doubles as a storage bin, allowing you to clear away any clutter at a moment’s notice. You could also invest in lidded stools, or even a sofa with storage under the seat. Add wall mirrors and furniture with reflective surfaces into your design scheme to maximize the amount of natural light in your living room to make it feel bigger and brighter.

Draw attention away from the door

Whether you have a country cottage or a studio flat, it can be tricky to create a relaxing bolt hole when your front door opens straight into your living room. Take the emphasis away from the entrance by creating a focal point with thoughtfully arranged seating. A cool neutral palette works beautifully with the rustic plasterwork and a roller blind can make the most of a recessed window to add extra square inches to the room.

Decorate vertically

Think about living room wallpaper designs to complement your living room. Take that décor up high when floor space is limited. A small corner of a brilliant white room can been transformed with a column of geometric pattern to pull the eye upwards to make the most of a high ceiling. The pattern can be echoed with a sheer voile on the window, allowing natural light to filter in for a clean and bright effect.

Pare it back with wood

Think about alternatives to traditional living room furniture. It’s still possible to have a cozy area for relaxing and reading with less space-greedy furnishings. Swap an upholstered armchair for a wooden rocker with cushions; and bookcases for slim line ladder-style shelving. Paint walls and accessories with subtle color.

Get creative with space

Before decorating or furnishing an awkwardly shaped living room, consider how best to optimize the space available. Think about an L-shaped sofa in a tight eaves space teamed with trunks that can function as coffee tables as well as handy storage. Make a dark room white to make the most of what little light there is.

Factor in textural pieces

Decorating with white on walls, ceiling and floor can leave a space feeling clinical and stark. Take the chill off a compact nook with a homely leather armchair, red floor lamp and woolen rug – all circled around a log-filled fireplace. A tactile cushion and soft throw in viridian green add a final designer touch.

Use lighting to your advantage

Mark out a living space with an overhanging pendant light and carefully positioned round coffee table. The two pieces work together to create a focal point around which you can sit a couple of chairs and add floor cushions or stools when guests visit. A selection of accessories and books can be displayed on industrial-style open shelving to create a relaxed feel without hiding the beautiful texture of a slate feature wall.

Show off interesting objects

Just because your living room is verging on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you should hide away all your favorite 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.

Warm up white

Give a white room heaps of character and personality by adorning it with artwork that you just can’t live without. A crisp, clear wall is a good backdrop for styling with colorful accessories and won’t make the space feel cluttered. Keep to a palette of one or two colors to keep the look consistent and cohesive.

Place your pattern to create a theme

Pattern can work as well in small living rooms as it does in large, but it pays to think carefully about where you put it. Wool fabrics are made for cozy country-style firesides, but keep checks, paisleys and floral confined to throws and cushions on sofas and armchairs, leaving walls for plain paint finishes. Add a natural flooring rug to bring the two sides of a room together.

Distract the eye with characterful furnishings

While banishing clutter might help a smaller living room feel more open, if you’re a fan of the cozy, lived-in look such a pared back scheme will do little for you. But small doesn’t have to mean bare and characterless. Try the classic combination of dark leather armchair and traditional fireplace – there’s nothing like it for creating a warm, cozy environment. Add much-loved items and accessories – in an interesting, character-filled scheme, no one will be thinking about how small the room is.

Make the most of the space under the stairs

Make the most of the unused space under the stairs by incorporating everything from storage to quirky accessories. If you have space issues in your small abode and need to make the most of every nook and cranny then turn to that nimble spot under the stairs into a warm and cozy living space.

Work with original features

Give architectural features a modern update with a fresh coat of paint and light retouching.  A black fireplace can be the focal point and add a sense of coziness along with a chunky sofa and rustic wooden coffee table. A wool rug can bring texture to the scheme and enhance the inviting feel of the room.

Maximize storage potential

Small living rooms need to be kept fresh and uncluttered with well-chosen storage. A great way to make a small living room feel larger is to keep it meticulously tidy and in order to do that, everything in the room needs to have its proper place. Floating shelves are perfect for small rooms because they can hold a lot of things on a wall or in alcoves, or choose fitted, floor-to-ceiling shelves and cupboards that make use of every inch of spare space.

Will you be incorporating any of these small living room ideas into your scheme? Make the most of a compact home with these clever room brightening and space-saving decorating tips for small rooms.

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