As much as some of us would love to live the dream of owning a house big enough to host a grand living room, that isn't always possible. Reality always manages to whack us in the face -- one way or another, and even the best of us get stuck trying to figure out how to make the most of the space that we've been given.
Truth is, you don't need to have opulent furniture or an expansive floor space to turn mundane comforts into something cozy and stylish.
Yes, your small living room in what you think is a cramped apartment can be turned into something homy. And all you need is a bit of DIY initiative and interior designing tips borrowed from the experts.
How to Create Homy Living Rooms for Small Spaces
We're used to the formula for a living room. And that mainly comprises of a couch and a coffee table between the entertainment system and the seating areas. But the general rule of thumb for small living room areas (especially in apartments) is to make the most of what you've been given.
No need for costly renovations. You can work on a budget and still decorate your living room that stuns guests and maybe even yourself.
#1 Embrace white
Image Credit: Wearefound Home Design
Dark spaces serve to make spaces look smaller. For this reason, your small living room needs to embrace the neutrality of white and the many variations that come with it.
In particular, we mean classic white, cashmere cream, light gray, beige, neutral tan, silver, earth-toned ochres, muted gray, etc.
Image Credit: Mineheart White WallPapers
Lighter hues of green and blue are ideal too -- in addition to bigger spaces, you can have a calming and relaxing atmosphere too.
Image Credit: Mineheart Green and Blue Wall Papers
And for character, add splashes or pops of color and texture.
#2 Invest in tasteful mirrors
Image Credit: Mirror Lot
If you want to trick the eye and make the room appear bigger than it really is, then it's a good idea to invest in some mirrors. In addition to the effect of lighter colors, they make tiny spaces feel airier and more open.
You can have it hanging above your sofa to occupy empty wall space, or have vertical mirrors next to the door.
Multiple mirrors make any room look bigger, and they also do wonders for reflecting any available light in the room.
#3 Embrace the use of wall shelves
Image Credit: Ashley Winn Design
A small living room with a storage area is necessary sometimes. But when it comes to that, avoid cramping up the space even more with large and bulky bookshelves that look like they belong in a mansion's library.
Go for wall-shelves. Not only are they an efficient use of space, they're also quite fashionable to look at depending on their arrangement.
#4 Tuck some pieces of furniture in
Image Credit: DigsDigs
Small living spaces need to make the most of each space as efficiently as possible. If your living room has enough space for a coffee table, don't waste the space under it. You can tuck extra seatings, like the pouf, under there for more space and better usage.
#5 Use floor-to-ceiling drapes
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One of the quickest ways to add an illusion of instant height to any type of space is to purchase a set of floor-to-ceiling drapes. Hang them where your wall meets the ceiling, and allow the drapes to puddle on the floor.
#6 Experiment on different furniture layouts
Image Credit: Surrey Painting Group
Traditional furniture layouts can get boring. If you want to give your small living room as much possibility to be stunning and as interesting, you might want to try taking an angle approach arrangement to things like your coffee table, or the living room chairs.
#7 Decorate with a bunch of textiles
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Your small living room can be gifted with a splash of personality and vibrancy with boho interior design. Boho is famous for textures and patterns. It's also a more affordable way of decorating a small living room -- dressing up furniture. Get rugs riddled with patterns to.
#8 Include nature in your living room designs
Image Credit: HGTV Canada
Make your room look even more beautiful with the addition of nature -- more specifically, greens and flower-producing plants. Daffodils, tulips, or asters add that lovely pop of color in the home; while ferns and spider plants introduce interesting textures.
In addition to aesthetics, having plants around also contributes to cleaner indoor air. And if you don't like gardening that much, you can always go with low-maintenance plants -- like the ones from the succulent family.
#9 Make the walls interesting
Your walls (or one part of it, rather) don't have to be bland and merely covered with paint -- no matter how attractive and aesthetically pleasing the paint color.
Image source: London Painting Group
You can opt for choosing interesting wall paper for one entire wall -- both to make furniture stand out and to give more personality.
Image Credit: Mineheart Wallpapers
Or if you don't fancy the idea of remaking an entire wall by yourself, you can invest in useful canvas art. These can hang above the TV stand, your couch, or above notable pieces of furniture.
Image Credit: Mid City East
You can show off your personal style and taste this way. Transform a bland wall into something that features eye-catching wall decor, and simultaneously turn it into a focal point for the room.
#10 Layer the lighting
Image Credit: Hirshfield’s
If your apartment living room is naturally big and spacious and hosts big windows, then you're in a prime position to take advantage of lighting.
Another way to do it is to keep lights at multiple levels (task lights, chandeliers, floor lamps, etc). This creates mood, but nevertheless ensures a well-lit space.
Keep Your Room Simple and Personal
If you don't have tons of room to do with as you wish, don't treat it like an impossible task. Inject some color into the room, make use of light color palettes, play with texture, experiment with lighting, and make the most of what you have.
It takes a bit of effort. But no one says a small or narrow space can't be homy and stunning.
Alison Brown is the brains behind Panel Wall Art -- one of the world's biggest creators and manufacturers of high-quality canvas art prints. She manages a team of highly creative professionals, designers, and skillful artists. Aside from writing about fine art, she's also really into improving home decor, and Star Wars.