Small apartments undoubtedly are immensely cozy, affordable, adorable, and inviting. When the living room is the heart of your home, you will without a doubt want to design it absolutely fine. But small spaces come with their unique set of challenges, especially when thinking about small apartment living room ideas. However, worry not; with the right ideas, tips, and subtle creativity, you can make the most of your small living space. From clever furniture choices to creative storage solutions, we will provide you with all the information you need to maximize your space.
Here are some great ideas on how to decorate a small apartment living room to make the most of the compact space while still making it look chic and functional. So let’s get started on transforming your small apartment into a stylish haven!
How Do You Lay Out a Small Apartment Living Room?
When it comes to living in a small apartment, the challenge of creating an aesthetically pleasing and functional living room can be slightly daunting. To make the most of your limited space, it is crucial to carefully consider how you will layout your small apartment living room.
For example, instead of placing all your furniture tightly with your walls, leave some space. Let the walls breathe. Bring your furniture a little closer to the center. Add long drapes, hang a centerpiece on a wall, and place a couple of plants in the corners.
Another example to plan your layout is by deciding on a focal point like an accent wall, fireplace, or TV unit. And place your furniture such that it highlights that focal point. Once done, the overall living room will look stylish and comfy.
With careful planning, the right furniture pieces, and creative solutions, you will effortlessly create an inviting, functional, and comfortable space reflecting your persona and style while making the best use of your available space.
Design Tips for Small Spaces
Now, let us look at a few crucial design tips and tricks to maximize your small space to make it more comfy, inviting, multifunctional, and aesthetically pleasing.
- The first and foremost tip to keep in mind is the color combination. The more nude color palette you use, the more spacious and airy your living room will appear. So, opt for white, beige, cream, yellow, or similar shades to give depth to your small space.
- Use textures instead of plain walls. From zig-zag patterns to vertical strips, you can select one wall to highlight as your accent wall. This wall will give an edge and uplift the overall ambiance of your living room, making it appear crisp.
- Mirrors, centerpieces, or big portraits create an illusion of visually larger spaces. Moreover, these also work best to create a focal point as your center of attraction, around which you can plan your furniture.
- Minimalism is the key to livening up your small living room while making it appear spacious. So, stuffing your compact living room with unnecessary furniture, decor items, and rugs only because they are trending is a big NO. Instead, invest in multifunctional and hidden storage solutions. For example, couches with storage and an ottoman that is also a coffee table. Also, try to avoid bulky furniture as they will make your living room appear weighted and smaller.
- Try to keep free space on your floor. For example, use hanging or wall lamps and sconces instead of floor lights. If you love plants, invest in wall stands and place miniature potted plants to amp up the design while giving height to your otherwise small living room.
- Lastly, invest in long door curtains and drapes rather than smaller ones (yes, even for the window). These long drapes of polyester, silk, or cotton will work as a vertical element, thereby creating an illusion of height and making your space appear taller and breezy.
To sum things up, every furniture, furnishing, and decor item that you put in your home serves a purpose. And with clever planning and attention to these design tips, you will effectively create an uncluttered, cheerful, practical, and delightful living room.
39 Best Small Apartment Living Room Ideas to Make It Look Bigger And More Inviting
1. Focal Point Is Immensely Crucial
The foremost point to consider before decorating a small apartment living room is your focal point. A focal point is an engaging element that draws the eye of the viewer and directs it to a specific area of interest in the room rather than the entire space. The focal point is typically the largest centerpiece or a couple of artworks (paintings, family portraits, dream catcher, etc.) that you can hang on one of your walls and arrange the furniture around it. So, the moment a guest enters your living room, that focal point will draw their eyes and they will be in awe of the grandeur of the room, regardless of its size.
2. Play with Lighting
Lighting is the next significant thing to consider when planning to decorate a small apartment living room. While the correct lighting can brighten the area, the wrong lighting can make the area feel dark and cramped. From floor lamps and recessed lighting to ceiling fixtures and spotlights – you can take your pick from the many options available and make your living room look just the way you imagined it!
3. Include a Mirror
From including a standing mirror to placing one on the mantel or wall, mirrors help to reflect the natural light in the room to create a more comfortable atmosphere, enhance the room’s lighting, and amp the overall elegance. Adding a mirror either as a focal point or as a decorative element to your small apartment living room also makes it feel larger and more open.
4. Use Multi-purpose Furniture
Investing in multi-storage furniture is one of the most innovative ways to make your small apartment living room appear bigger and more stylish. For example, opt for a coffee table with a built-in drawer or a sofa with storage space underneath. Moreover, you can also opt for wall shelves that serve to not only showcase your books and other accessories but also help to maximize your available space. If you are feeling really creative, you can also look into foldable furniture options that will further help you to maximize your living room space.
5. Take Care of the Arrangement
Not only does the style of your furniture affect your living room appearance, but also how your place those chic pieces of furniture impacts the look of your space. So you must be wise when picking the best furniture to decorate your small apartment living room because you do not want to regret it later. For example, pick a sofa with a long shape and use two small sofa chairs to add length to your otherwise compact space. Similarly, you can use an ottoman as your coffee table – when guests visit you can keep snacks on it and when they leave you can push it to the side and add a flower pot. This clever arrangement adds more space and urbanity to your living room.
6. Add a Centerpiece Or Artwork
One of the smallest yet most effective ways to style a small apartment living room is to simply place a centerpiece or artwork on the wall behind the couch. This can be achieved with a wide range of objects, from a single work of art to a collection of decorative items. Just make sure the centerpiece or artwork is high enough to create the illusion of height.
7. Add Plants
There is nothing better than placing a few plants in your small apartment living room to make it look more lively. However, we all know that it is not as easy as it seems to accurately select the right plant that best suits your theme and space. So, you have to do a bit of trial and error. Start by placing a pot on either side of your couch. Then add a miniature pot on a side stool or other small decorative object. Take a step back and look at your entire living room from a distance. If it does not look cluttered but manages to give the freshness you are looking for, you are on the right track. Also, remember to rotate the plants every few weeks to avoid the same plant making the room feel old.
8. Define a Color Theme
Color themes play a highly crucial role when decorating a small apartment living room. While choosing a color theme for your living room, you need to ensure that it should complement the floor and furniture of the room. The color theme should be such that it should make your space a colorful yet cozy place to sit back and relax and make it appear bigger than it actually is. Also, remember that while light colors create an illusion of space, dark colors make a room look smaller.
9. Follow a Minimalist Approach
Minimalism is the new interior style that is bound to be your best friend, especially when you want to style your small apartment living room. Minimalist design is the trend that is here to stay, and it is easy to see why. The simple reason behind this is that minimalist interior design can make any space look more spacious and elegant. Minimalist designs work for small apartments because they are not cluttered with unnecessary furniture and other stuff that can make your room look crowded. So, before starting to decorate your living room, ask yourself if you really need that extra table or chair that you have been wanting to buy for a while.
10. Make the Best Use of Furnishing
Most often people forget how crucial the role furnishing plays in uplifting a small space. With a bit of careful planning and selection of furnishings, you can make the most out of every square foot of space in your small apartment living room. Always try to choose furnishings that are not only elegant but also highlight your vibe and personality. Also, take extra care of how things look when put together. So, think of the entire theme before you go out shopping.
11. Opt for Open Shelves
Another small yet significant small apartment living room idea is to use open shelves instead of closed ones. We understand, open shelves are more prone to dust, but they are an easy way to showcase your stuff and give it a bit more depth. Moreover, open shelves also give an illusion of space because you can easily see the floor and walls through them. From wall mounted to standing shelves – choose the ones that best fit your living room design! You can also opt for a combination of open shelves and closed cabinets for your living room but make sure closed ones are lesser in number than open ones.
12. Use a Contrast Color Palette for Floor And Walls
Contrary to popular belief, you should not use the same color palette for your walls and flooring. Keeping your flooring and walls in different colors will give your living room a much more interesting and vibrant look. Moreover, always consider the hue or shade of the color you are using. For instance, if you choose a dark brown shade for your flooring, opt for nude, pastel, or cool colors for your walls. This way, your living room will appear more spacious, airy, and trendy.
13. Use Long Curtains And Drapes
Another significant factor to consider when decorating a small apartment living room is the length of your curtains and drapes. While long curtains can make a room appear larger and more spacious, shorter curtains can make a room look cluttered and feel smaller. Even if you have small windows, go for long fashionable curtains or drapes to make your living space more inviting!
14. Use Items to Add Height And Depth
While designing your living room make sure to add elements that accentuate both height and depth. For instance, a tall lamp placed on a low table can create the illusion of a higher ceiling or stacked shelves that appear to make your room appear larger than it actually is. Using a mix of design elements always works best to create a more interesting and layered look that will surely make your guest say “Wow!”
15. Say Yes to Decor items
When it comes to small apartment living room design ideas, most people only think about basic necessities like furniture and color. However, decor items are just as important as they give the room a sense of character. So, next time you start shopping for your small apartment, do not forget decor items like artifacts, wall hangings, vases, and other decorative pieces that showcase your persona. If you are artistic and creative, you can also indulge in some DIY crafts and showcase those in your living room to further enhance the appearance of your room.
16. Think About Your Rugs Or Carpets
Now while we are discussing the smaller elements to style your small apartment living room, we cannot forget rugs and carpets. Though not everyone is a big fan of them, they do elevate your room and make it look classy. But finding the right carpet and rug for your living room is a challenge. The main reason is the amount of space you have to play around with. For a small living room, it is better to pick a rug or carpet that is large in size. Contrastingly, you can also go for a smaller carpet and rug if it matches your flooring. Both ways can help you give your living room a fresh and more spacious look.
17. Avoid Over Textured Rugs or Carpets
Before you make up your mind on rugs or carpets for your small apartment living room, consider the texture and pattern. For instance, if you have geometrical flooring, choosing a textured rug will not balance your space. To avoid chaos, it is advisable to choose a rug that is devoid of any texture, patterns, or motifs, or has a fine print on it. Not only will it blend in with your interior design but it will also add a layer of softness and comfort to your room vibe.
18. Choose Your Furniture Wisely
We cannot stress enough on the importance of correct furniture for your small apartment living room. While it can be slightly tedious to make sure that the furniture you buy will work in your apartment, it will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your enjoyment, ambiance, and comfort of your space. Remember the point that your living room is already compact, try not to invest in bulky and big Chesterfield sofa sets. Instead, opt for modern sofa sets like a Settee or a trendy combination of sofa and chairs. Similarly, think twice about which coffee table will look good or if you even require a separate coffee table. Gather images that pique your interest and once you have a clear idea, get set shopping!
19. Decluttering Is Mandatory
Don’t we just like everything whenever we go shopping? How often have we ended up buying stuff that is irrelevant but cute? We are guilty of it too! However, one of the crucial points to consider while decorating your small apartment living room is decluttering as you go. Putting in elements however cute will only hamper your overall aura of the room, making it look crowded and unwelcoming. On the other hand, if you organize your components with a clear understanding and eliminate the visual clutter, your living room will appear neater, fresher, more comforting, and full of warmth!
20. Leave Open Floor Space
While you understand the importance of decluttering, also understand how significant it is to leave valuable floor space in your living room. Yes, negative spaces are mandatory as they create an illusion of a big, spacious, and airy room. So, if you place a Mid-Century or English Roll-Arm sofa, try not to pair it with equally heavy sofa chairs. Also, you can leave out the rug and one side table. This way, you will have the decor you love while carefully leaving out enough of that precious floor space so that no element makes your room appear dull and dense.
21. Angle the Items
Have you ever come across a living room interior that has all the elements in one straight line, leaving half the room cluttered and the other half boneless? It is because angles play an essential role in elevating the interiors, especially when you have a small and cozy living room. Before deciding on the furniture and other elements, work the angle of your small apartment living room. You can either create a triangle with three main furniture pieces or a circle with small yet trendy components. All you need to take into consideration is that the movement is smooth both for you and the guests.
22. Sleek TV Unit
Opting for a sleek TV console is yet another brilliant idea when thinking about decorating your small apartment living room. You can choose between a wall-mounted or a floating TV unit and include a couple of open ledges to store some of your essential TV accessories or showcase your artifacts collection. Not only is it going to serve the purpose of storing your television, but it is also going to add a great look to the overall space without making it look cluttered.
23. Let in Natural Light
One of the most crucial aspects while considering small apartment living room design ideas is to pay attention to natural lighting. There are numerous ways to make the most of natural light — for instance, positioning your furniture in a way so that there is a minimum obstruction between your window and the sofa. Furthermore, you can install a tinted French window treatment that lets you cherish the sunshine while keeping your interiors private. Allowing the natural light to embrace your cozy and compact living room will make it appear bigger, brighter, and more inviting!
24. Hang Mirrors Opposite Windows
Hanging a mirror opposite or adjacent to your windows or door allows you to further reflect the natural light into your home. Which, in turn, will make your otherwise small apartment living room appear brighter and bigger. Moreover, placing a mirror in these spots not only makes your living room more aesthetically pleasing but also wards off any unwelcome negativity or evil energy.
25. Embrace Cool Colors
When it comes to selecting wall colors, a lot of people subconsciously choose the colors they have been most exposed to in their day-to-day life. For example, the very bright yellows that you find in lots of grocery stores or the dark greens of nature. However fascinating the bright colors seem, always think twice before applying them to your home, especially if you have to amp up a small living room. Also, pairing your furniture with cool colors like gray, beige, or light blue will make your room appear more spacious and breezy.
26. Adorn Your Walls with Statement Art Or Portraits
Arts, portraits, murals, a photo gallery, dream catcher, tribal art, artifacts, vintage clock, and China plates are some of the decor items that you can use to adorn your wall space. Not only will such decorations add pops of color to your living room space, but they will also serve as beautiful conversation pieces for guests. Moreover, these serve as one of the best ideas to showcase your creativity and individuality!
27. Maintain Balance
Maintaining balance when decorating a living room is often an underrated skill and a challenge for many homeowners. To maintain a balance or rhythm in your living room, you must be aware of what styles and designs you are thinking of pairing together. While many homeowners love the eclectic style with chirpy colors and mix and match of elements, it can easily become overwhelming and messy. So, before letting your excitement and nerves get the better of you, think, plan, and create a mood board wherein you can put color samples, fabrics, pics, etc. to visualize how your living room will look. You can also opt to consult a designer or interior decorator for help in creating a mood board to help you get a clear idea of your living room design.
28. Embrace Modern And Hidden Storage Solutions
When you already have a compact living room, you have to be creative and find precious space for storage in it. An easy (but temporary) way to do so is to discard all the unnecessary clutter. However, for a more permanent solution to maintain that cleanliness you must embrace hidden storage solutions. For instance, you can utilize a stylish storage ottoman or pouf to stash away books or magazines. Or you can buy a sofa with a secret compartment to stash away your pillows, blankets, and other living room accessories. Another clever option to utilize is to hide your sofa in the wall. Not only do these clever design ideas make your living room look tidy, but they also make it look more spacious and open for other activities!
29. Opt for Low Seating Sofas
Now that we understand the significance of choosing the right furniture, let’s discuss the kind of sofa style that should be apt for your small apartment living room. While there are several sofa styles and types available in the market, going for a low-seating modular sofa is by far the best option. This is because of the obvious advantages it offers, such as easy storage and versatility. Moreover, you get a huge wall space that you can decorate to make your living room appear taller, spacious, and welcoming.
30. Say Yes to Texture
Now while keeping things plain and simple is effective, adding texture where necessary can really help you elevate your ambiance. There are numerous ways of incorporating texture into your overall living room design. From adding plants of various heights and shapes to selecting the right throw pillows and curtains – you can take a couple of textural elements and create a whole new atmosphere in your living room.
31. Monochrome Palette Works Best
Whenever you feel confused about the color palette for your small apartment living room design, go for monochrome palettes. A monochrome palette uses only one color for the entire room – it can be warm, cool, or neutral colors. If you can pick beige, you can use various shades of it in your living room to highlight different features. For instance, if you have a dark beige sofa, go for a lighter color of beige for the walls and the carpet. Moreover, use tan for the flooring and the ceiling, fawn pots, and so on. Not only will this monochrome palette give your small apartment living room a classy look and a touch of finesse, but it will also make the room look more lavish and sensual.
32. Consider Furniture Placement
Not only the right furniture design but also the right placement makes a huge difference in a space. So, before you start buying furniture for your living room, give a thorough look at your floor plan. Figure out how much space you have and where you want to put your sofa, coffee table, plants, additional storage, etc. Also, make sure that you understand the shape of your room. If it is a rectangular one, you can place your sofa against the wall or in the center. But, if your room is round or angular, you will have to think twice before deciding on the furniture placement so that your living room does not look too cramped. Or skip the sofa and add isolated seating options instead.
33. Highlight Vertical Space
Highlighting vertical space is especially necessary when you have an oddly angled living room. Apart from the furniture being of appropriate size and shape, you need to make sure that there is ample space for your living room to appear warm and comforting. Here are a few ideas that you can use to highlight the vertical space in your living room. Firstly, you can use a tall plant stand or a flower vase. Secondly, place tall standing floor lamps on either side of your couch. Thirdly, you can use vertical stripes on the walls of your living room. All of these design ideas will surely elevate your space to a new level of elegance and beauty while making it look more spacious.
34. Pick Your Coffee Table Wisely
A coffee table might be a small element but it plays a crucial role in enhancing your living room. From a typical or traditional coffee table to a coffee-table replacement (like a pouf) – you can choose from a variety of styles and designs to match your living room furniture, decor, theme, and storage. Also, make sure to get the perfect shape and size that fits suitably with your sofa to avoid any mishaps later on.
35. Opt for Sheer Or Partial Partitions
A lot of homeowners do not have a separate room for dining. So, they use partitions that divide their living room and dining area. However, if you have to style your small apartment living room, then you have to be careful about the kind of partition you are choosing. While a thick partition will make your small living room look smaller, a glass or half partition will make it look bigger and more inviting. You can use this partition to make your room look bigger and as an elegant idea to store beautiful artifacts or statues in it.
36. Avoid Thick Blackening Curtains
Curtains do play a role in uplifting your living room decor. While a dark or blackening curtain or drape works best for bedrooms, they are a big NO for the living room. They absorb light and create a dullness making your living room appear gloomy and small. On the other hand, light or sheer fabric curtains allow the natural light to shine through your living room, making it appear bright and cheerful and full of positive vibes!
37. Say No to Assorted Color Theme
While the idea of using multiple colors in the living room seems tempting, it is not advisable, especially if you have a small space. It can make the room look too busy and can be overwhelming. What you can do is set a color theme for your living room, for instance, off-white. Now, while you work around this color theme, you can use a couple of elements of contrasting color like throwing bright yellow cushions, keeping a bright-colored ottoman, or hanging multicolored portraits. This mix-and-match style will also help you break the monotony of the white theme and give your room a new rejuvenating look.
38. Keep in Mind the Proportions
While too much furniture and elements make your living room look cramped, too few components make it appear empty and lifeless. So, you have to be careful while selecting furniture and other accessories to maintain that harmony. For example, a sofa with chairs and a coffee table would work well, but if you place only one elongated sofa with no tables or accessories, it would look odd. In short, be mindful of your space while decorating it to make your living room livelier and more inviting!
39. Consider an Accent Wall
If you do not want to spend a fortune designing your living room but want it to ooze lavish vibes, consider getting an accent wall. From wallpapers and wall decals to 3D panels and textured paints you can choose from a range of options that best highlights your theme and persona. So, while the rest of your living room adheres to a simple color palette, your accent wall can be loud and vibrant, throwing the “wow factor” your living room needs. Moreover, accent walls play a visual trick in redirecting your sense of space, making your small apartment living room appear bigger and more entrancing!
When it comes to small apartment living room ideas, the possibilities are endless, albeit slightly demanding. However, with a little creativity and some clever planning, you can turn your small living room into a cozy and inviting space. Whether you want to create a modern look or an eclectic style, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your small apartment living room. And the tricks and tips discussed here of the best small apartment living room ideas will unquestionably help you create an airy, stylish, inviting, organized, and spacious atmosphere while making the most out of your limited space!
What kind of interior design style do you like for your living room? Let us know in the comments section below, and we shall discuss decor ideas on it!
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