A lot of ink has been spilt over compact spaces and how they’re supposed to be a design nightmare. We think otherwise– compact spaces unlock creative potential and allow you to get clever with your designs. Small living room decorating ideas don’t need to be cookie-cutter or boring. That said, there are a few tried and tested tricks to designing a small living room to make it look spacious and put-together.

Small Living Room Decorating Ideas #1: Pick the Right-sized Furniture

small living room decorating ideas-blue sofa-wall art-white walls
These minimally designed sofas are just right

Designing in small spaces is almost all about playing with space and illusion. Too-small or too-big furniture can make your proportions look out of whack. Instead, focus on bringing in the right-sized main furniture. If these pivotal features are a perfect size, anything you add to the mix will only pull the room together.

Small Living Room Decorating Ideas #2: Layer Decor Items

small living room decorating ideas-blue sofa-patchwork armchair-metal partition-track lights
Nested coffee tables and throw pillows make it a cosy space

Small living room decorating ideas don’t necessarily need to be minimalistic; that said, they can’t always be over-the-top, either. To meet these styles in the middle, consider opting for minimalist decor items but layering them to create dimension. Therefore, area rugs, nested coffee tables and throw pillows are some layer-friendly options that don’t create visual clutter.

Small Living Room Decorating Ideas #3: Use Light Fixtures as Decor

small living room decorating ideas-wooden tv unit-pendant lights-floral chairs-grey sofa
Pendant lights that don’t take up any floor space

Floor space is valuable in a compact living room, so you don’t want to add to the clutter with lamps and fixtures. Instead, move light fixtures to the wall and the ceiling. The trick to making them function as decor pieces is to pick a design that is timeless yet chic enough to catch the eye even when the lights are off.

Small Living Room Decorating Ideas #4: Pare Back the Knick-knacks

small living room decorating ideas-blue ottomans-white sofa-wall paintings
Wall paintings and planters add a personal touch

Although picking decor might seem like a free pass to drowning your living room in knick-knacks, don’t let that come to pass. Picking timeless, unique pieces of decor is often the way forward because this way you display pieces that are offbeat and lend to the character of the room. If you have plenty of knick-knacks on hand already, consider rotating them such that not all are on display at the same time. This allows you to have ‘fresh’ pieces for each season!

Small Living Room Decorating Ideas #5: Bring in Metallic Finishes

small living room decorating ideas-metal partition-wooden console table-grey sofa
A luxe metal partition for the living room

Whether it’s in the form of a sconce or the legs of your coffee table, try to incorporate metallic finishes into your living room. These bounce light across a space, making it seem larger and more spacious. They also add to the luxe appeal; having such a theme can stay your hand on splurging on too many decor pieces.

Pro Tip: Keep the floor as bare as possible! Cluttered flooring can drag down a room, making it feel heavy and cramped. Pick out furniture with slim legs and designs to avoid bulk. However, if you’ve got furniture already, consider moving showpieces to the wall to keep floors as free as possible.

The best small decorating ideas are the ones that make the most of available space without producing visual clutter!

If you are looking to decorate your bedroom the same way, take a look at A Complete Guide to Designing a Small Room

Send in your comments and suggestions.

— editor@livspace.com