How to Decorate a Small Living Room: A Quick Guide

How to Decorate a Small Living Room

Are you trying to get the most out of a small living room?

It might seem impossible to make a tiny area beautiful and spacious. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks to turn a small area into a gorgeous corner of your home. A lot of it involves smart decorating tricks and good use of the space you have.

Don’t wait any further. Learn how to decorate a small living room with our list below:

Murphy Beds

Using a Murphy bed is one of the most crucial bits of small living room decoration advice. This type of bed allows you to place a comfortable resting spot in your tiny living room without getting in the way. These beds fold into the wall and some even feature built-in shelves.

This makes them ideal extra sleeping options for guests. You can keep them up during the day and then pull the bed down when it’s time to rest. If you stay in a small studio apartment, this automatically turns your living room into a bedroom without the need for more space.

Not all apartments and houses come with built-in Murphy beds. You may have to get one custom-built for your living room.

Everything is for Storage

Whatever you see in your living room should have two or more functions. A good way to decorate a small living room is to use items and furniture that not only look good but also offer storage space.

For example, use a square or rectangular stool that you can open up for extra storage. Got a long couch or recliner? Make sure there’s some storage space inside it for blankets or pillowcases.

Don’t simply get a console table for your TV and gaming devices. If you’ll use one, make sure it comes with drawers, shelves, and other options to display and store what you need. Not only will this save space, but it will also give you more areas to decorate.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Decorating a small living room is all about maximizing the limited space you have available. A good trick is to take advantage of natural light. With the right positioning and the good use of a window, you can make a small living room appear bigger and more spacious.

This doesn’t mean you have to remove all dark furniture, curtains, and carpets. Yes, these don’t reflect natural light much, but you can still strategically place them around your living room. Let these items complement the light instead of blocking it.

Play around with your windows too. Instead of drapes, try using blinds. These can work wonders, especially if you have an alcove or a tall window.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Vertical Decoration

The difficulty with decorating a tiny living room is the limited area. By square-areas, you won’t be able to put everything you need. A good workaround is to use the height and vertical space available to you.

This means using the walls for shelves and the ceiling to hang lights (more on that below). Mount your TV and decorate the walls with posters, shelves, mirrors, and other things you can mount or hang.

Of course, you need to check the structural integrity of the walls first. Make it a habit to get the facts about your living space, to know whether or not the walls and ceiling can take the added weight.

Illusion of Space

One of the goals of great small living room decoration is to create the illusion of space. When someone steps into your living room, they shouldn’t realize how small it is until you point it out to them. Your tiny living room should look and feel bigger than it is.

Using brighter colors and letting natural light in are good starting points. Hiding storage spaces with the methods above are great too.

However, you can create a masterful illusion simply by using smaller furniture and decorations. Take out the big couch and recliner and replace them with a folding sofa, bean bags, or a few stools.

Hang Your Lights

As mentioned, take advantage of your living room’s verticality to optimize the space you have. Don’t settle with regular lights, however. Get creative with your lights so you can use them both as a source of light and as decorations too.

For example, why not get fairy lights or lights hanging from a rope? These can give a nice, old-fashioned rustic feel to your living room. On the other hand, you can try chandeliers to give your living room a classical feel.

Do you want to stick with modern LED lights? The good news is you can find hanging ball string lights that look like old-fashioned copper wire bulbs but run on LED technology. These are safer and more energy-efficient alternatives.

Remove the Clutter

You can’t decorate a small space if you have too much in the way. Get rid of the clutter instead of stuffing every figurine, lamp, and painting into your living room. Not everything has to go on display.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start. You can use a professional small living room decoration guide, like the one popularized by Marie Kondo in her Netflix series. She focuses on keeping only what sparks joy while getting rid of any unused items cluttering your home.

Furniture Blocking

Can’t get rid of some of your furniture? That can present a bit of a decorating challenge. However, you can still make it work simply by changing the arrangement in your living room.

Learning how to block and arrange furniture is one of the most important small living room decoration tips out there. Unfortunately, it’s not an art you can easily learn and master.

Always make sure there’s a clear pathway. Don’t block the television and always leave space in case of an emergency. You can also try methods like Feng Shui to get creative.

Now You Know How to Decorate a Small Living Room

Don’t fret if you have a small space to work with. Learning how to decorate a small living room can become a breeze if you follow the tips listed above. Use light appropriately, take advantage of vertical space, and look for more storage opportunities.

Of course, decorating a small living room is only one part of maintaining a happy home. For more tips and advice, we suggest reading more of our guides today. We cover a variety of real estate and home topics, as well as advertising and marketing tips too!

How do you host a party in a small living room?

We all like spending time in the living room and having guests from time to time. Just because your living room is on the smaller side doesn’t mean that you should give up hosting parties. Instead, you should get creative and follow all the tips you can to have a pleasant time with your family and friends.
How do you host a party in a small living room

Clean, clean, and then clean some more

When you prepare your living room for a big gathering, you should start by putting all non-essential décor and clutter away. Make sure that the bathroom is spotless and put away any personal toiletries. Don’t go with a deep clean inside the whole house, but rather make sure to vacuum and dust. Don’t forget to vacuum the upholstery if you have pets.

Use every inch of counter space

In a small living room, every surface area is essential. Remove any unnecessary decorations and put the empty surfaces to good use. Set up a buffet with decorative dishes and platters.

Have a designated place for coats and bags

Don’t have your guests throw their coats and bags on the bed or in a packed closet. Instead, rent or buy a coat rack. You should place it in an interior hallway near the door, where it won’t bother anyone from the living room. If the front door opens in the main living space, you can also place the rack on the porch or outside the apartment.

Add in extra seating/tables

Most of us don’t have a dining table with 12 seats in a small apartment. You should buy some ottomans or poufs for casual seating or look for alternative options around the house. Do you have a piano or a bench? Use them and bring the lovely vanity stool you have in the bedroom as well. Use your sofa as seating and put a table next to it. You can also try to fit a thin 30 to 36-in wide table or a piece of plywood cut to size and put it on top of the current table.

Control the traffic

When the space is small, some areas will get crowded. The most important thing to keep the foot traffic flowing smoothly is to avoid placing everything in just one spot. You can, for instance, put your bar on the console, the food on the main table, and the dessert in the kitchen. Avoid having all guests crowding at the bar and serve a signature that you can drink in dispensers/pitchers with cups right next to them throughout the living room.

Create ambiance

Most of the time, the mood turns a party into an epic failure or a total success. You can play the music that everyone likes and experiment with lighting. You should use the lighting to make the tiny living room sparkle. Stay away from bright overhead lights and use candles and lamps. You want to create lovely pools of light throughout the space. Every zone should have its lighting theme and you can replace the light bulbs with models with lower wattage. Add rope lights on the floor or hang from the ceiling a nice glow to give your living room a magical touch.


Spend some time to find new ways to use the space in the living room. Get rid of the books from shelves and use the space as a beverage station; windowsills are excellent for that too.

Stock up on wall décor

Table decorations and bulky centerpieces will take valuable space, and you can hang the decorations on the walls or ceiling. Choose to hang ornaments and free up the area as much as you can. Pick festive tablecloths, platters, napkins, or garnishes.

Use the TV

Unless you throw a Super Bowl party, you will probably keep the TV off during your party. Just because your guests won’t sit down and watch a movie doesn’t mean you should have a big black screen ruin the atmosphere. You can do a loop video or a film that everyone will like. Slideshow of photos from your trip to Europe, a movie that matches the party’s theme, or anything else that is interesting for a party should work.

Think up, up, up

Add height to the serving stations to make the most of the limited space you have in the living room. It’s dramatic and attractive and reduces the risk of clutter. You can use stacking cake stands, putting utensils in tall cups, and not displaying them flat. For small fruits and candies, you can use some lovely tall vases.

Separate food and drinks

If you have the food station and bar close to each other, your guests will cram sooner than expected. Try to scatter a few serving areas throughout the house to keep the foot traffic moving and make the small space less crowded. You can have the drinks near the door and place the food on the other side of the room. The flow will be nice and your guest won’t have to gather in just one spot.

Blur the line between indoor and outdoor entertaining

A living room with bi-fold glass doors can turn into an ample open space with a deck by simply opening the doors. You can add a tent and some fans to improve everyone’s comfort. Move the table outside for more seating and games. If your living room is small but has a generous deck, you can have the activities outdoors so that your guests rotate through the interior and exterior spaces. If the weather is cold, you can set up a propane heater so that your guests can still enjoy some fresh air from time to time.

Reconsider the guest list

The type of party you plan to have can tell you just how many people you can actually fit into a small house. If you have a dinner party, you should have as many guests as you can fit at the table. People tend to sit down more at daytime parties, so make sure you have seating for every guest. If the party happens at night, it will be all about the cocktails and hors oeuvres so that you can have three times as many people.

Frequently Asked Questions

How big is a small living room?

A living room around 130 square feet with dimensions of 10 feet by 13 feet is considered small. A medium living room is 216 square feet, and it’s 12-feet by 18 feet.

What’s the typical size of a living room?

Commonly, the living room is 12×18 ft. To better understand, a standard living room will fit 6 to 10 people in a conversation area with 5 of the seats facing the TV. Such space for the living room is expected to have in a 1500 sqft house.

Which type of sofa can you use in a small living room?

When you have to work with a small space, whether it’s a living room, a kitchen, or something else, you need pieces that can do double duty. Go for a sleeper sofa with removable seat cushions in your small living room. Sleeper sofas are multi-functional and great to save space. If you also intend to use the living room as the main bedroom, look for a sofa bed with built-in storage units.

Can you have sectionals in a small living room?

Sectionals are an excellent fit for small living room spaces since they come in a great variety of customizable options. Times when sectionals were gaudy and cumbersome are all gone. Today’s sectionals are stylish, sleek, and can be made to fit in your space.

How far up should TV be for a small living room?

Let’s consider the eye level height of a seated person (24inches) and the size of a sofa (18 inches). The center of the screen will be 42 inches from the floor, which means that you should set up the TV 23.5 inches above the floor level. There are several options to install the television in a small living room, so check them out before choosing yours.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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