13 Ways to Make a Small Living Room Look Bigger

Make your tiny living room look and feel larger than life with our smart design tricks, from clever multifunctional furnishings to room-expanding paint tips.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
April 16, 2015

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

©Sarah Dorio Photography

Get the Most Out of a Small Space: After

This small living room was enhanced and visually expanded by covering the walls, trim and ceiling in different shades of seaglass tones and using properly-scaled furniture.

Get the Most Out of a Small Space: Before

Prior to its makeover, the living room seemed even smaller due to its bulky furniture, ill-fitting accent pieces and inconsistent color scheme.

Same Color, Different Shade

Homeowners typically leave the trim and ceiling white in their living rooms when painting. Since the trim and ceiling both have as much impact as the walls, it's important to tie them in with the rest of the space, otherwise they'll stand out too much. A smart way to use one color consistently throughout a common area is to choose a slightly lighter shade than the wall color for the ceiling and a slightly darker shade for the trim.

Hard-Working Console Table

In small living rooms, especially those with awkward layouts, common furniture arrangements won't work effectively. When space won't allow for end tables, consider using console tables nearby instead. Mirrored console tables were placed in front of the living room's two windows to offer extra surface space for table lamps.

Consistently Neutral

When designing common areas, it's just as important to consider the adjacent areas as the main spaces. An excellent way to tie smaller spaces, such as hallways and entryways, into the common areas is to use one neutral tone throughout. Here, the greige tones of the entryway and hallway are tied together with the sisal rug of the living room.

Oversized Mirror

Designers often use oversized mirrors in small spaces to help reflect light and make the spaces feel larger than they actually are. A twist on this idea is to choose architectural-style mirrors which create the illusion of an extra window or door.

Entryway Reflection

When designing living rooms with a cramped entryway, use decorative mirrors to keep the room light and bright. A trio of antique mirrors were installed to reflect the living room and bounce natural light into its otherwise small, dark entry.

Double-Duty Coffee Table

When space is limited, it's best to choose multipurpose furnishings. Here, an upholstered storage ottoman was used in place of a standard coffee table, allowing the homeowner the option to use it as a table or as extra seating.

Concealed Storage

Upholstered storage ottomans offer homeowners the ability to keep clutter hidden discreetly. Since the top of this ottoman is upholstered in the same houndstooth fabric as its base, it appears solid and seamless, camouflaging the fact that it's more than just a pretty piece of furniture.

Drawers for Clutter

Opt for light, airy console tables with integrated drawers. These mirrored pieces support much needed task lighting and keep everyday necessities out of sight.

Decorative Storage Boxes

There are so many items around the house which can quickly clutter up a small space. By adding decorative boxes, homeowners can enhance tables while also adding extra storage for small necessities.

TV as Art

Wall-mounted, flat panel TVs are a must in small spaces, but they can also have a negative impact on a well-decorated room. To put a decorative spin on flat panel TVs, choose those with Bluetooth technology, allowing images from other devices to be displayed as art.

Custom-Cut Rug

Spaces with odd dimensions are often hard to furnish with ready-made area rugs. In order to properly cover the wood floors of this living room, a sisal rug was custom cut and bound to fit around the fireplace. The effect looks more like wall-to-wall carpet, creating a cohesive feeling throughout the room.

Raised Furniture

Raised furnishings are ideal for small rooms since they create the illusion of more space. In this living room, a mix of open-bottom and skirted armchairs keeps the space feeling more open and airy.

Conversation Pieces

Personal touches make a room more inviting and conversational. Consider filling any dead wall space with a grouping of medium-scaled, one-of-a-kind accents such as framed art, photos or sculptures. When grouped together with similar colors, the contrasting pieces will read as a collection.

Adjacent Spaces

Neighboring spaces have a significant impact on the design of living rooms. Before deciding on a color scheme, first take into consideration the hues of other rooms visible from the living room. Here, the seaglass blue of the living room works harmoniously with the navy blue dining room since both are covered in different shades of the same color.

Shop This Look

More from:

Smart Small Spaces