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Designing Tiny Living Room, Make it Perfect


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Designing Tiny Living Room, Make it Perfect

Designing Tiny Living Room, Make it Perfect

All small spaces present design challenges, but as the living room is where you probably spend the most time (and certainly the one guests experience the most of), designing a small one can be especially tricky. How do you strike a balance between making the room feel as spacious as possible while also squeezing in extra seating? What furniture should you choose, and where do you put it? Here are 15 design tips for making the most of your space, plus 10 specific furniture layout ideas for small living rooms. Let’s get started.

use mirrors and wallpaper
A small living room, especially if it’s short on windows, can feel a bit boxed in. Create a focal point, boost light and add depth all at once by papering a wall and hanging a mirror on top. If you can position the mirror across from a window, all the better — the mirror will reflect the view outside, giving the impression of an extra window.

Centre the love seat on the papered wall, flanked by a pair of matching side tables and lamps. A large woven ottoman can work as a coffee table or an extra seat. If there’s room, you could work in an extra (small-scale) chair or two across from the love seat in this arrangement. Seats: two to four.

Add hidden storage

Add hidden storage

Add hidden storage

Pick furniture with built-in storage to limit clutter. A trunk or storage ottoman as a coffee table works well. Along the perimeter of the room, try a small chest of drawers instead of a console table to boost storage options.

Choose small-scale furniture
There is more to living room furniture than full-size sofas and bulky armchairs. Antiques shops are a great place to look for small-scale furniture, because the average room size was typically quite small until the last half century or so. Look for small sofas, love seats and chairs that can work for your space.

In this photo, the love seat is centred in front of the bay window, with petite tables on either side. A pair of Louis XVI armchairs sit opposite the sofa, with a trunk as a coffee table in between. An antique recamier is positioned on the wall diagonally across from the sofa, with a slim console table opposite it. Seats: six.

Look up
If your small living room is blessed with high ceilings, take full advantage of that extra space! While vertical space doesn’t help with squeezing in an extra seat, drawing the eye upward does help give the impression that your room is far larger and grander that it would otherwise seem. Fill the vertical space with an eclectic art gallery.

Completely fill a corner
It’s a bit counterintuitive, but if you have a small corner living room space, sometimes going with the largest piece of furniture possible can actually make it feel bigger. Why? A generously sized corner sofa (like the one shown here) is comfortable and able to seat loads of people — but because it reads as just one piece, it helps the room feel uncluttered. A modern corner sofa with clean, straight lines works better in a small space than an overstuffed version.

In this room, a tailored corner sofa is in one corner, with a pair of leather folding stools pulled in close to form a conversational group. Fill out the group with another small chair if you have the room. Seats: seven or eight.

Downsize the sofa

Downsize the sofa

Downsize the sofa

In some spaces a full-size sofa just won’t do. Try a slimmed-down love seat or a petite sofa on for size instead. Choose one with clean lines and exposed legs for the airiest look.

The layout
A small sofa floats in the middle of this open-plan space, facing a media center on the wall. One armchair and an upholstered ottoman (that can double as an extra seat) round out the group. Seats: three or four.

Try a backless sofa
In an open-plan space, sometimes the best position for the sofa is not on the wall but in the middle of the room. But unless your sofa is quite small (see previous photo), a sofa in the middle of a small room can really gobble up space. A backless sofa is a very chic alternative and can be used from both sides — quite a bonus when seating options are limited. And if you want to use it in a larger room someday, it can act as a divider between two seating areas.

Add plants
Like wallpaper and mirrors, plants are a wonderful way to add depth to a small living room. Lush greenery softens corners and fools the eye into thinking there is more to the room than there really is. Plants are especially effective in corners and beside or behind chairs and sofas.

Here, a backless sofa floats in the center of this open-plan space. A pair of upholstered armchairs with a small table between sits beneath a bank of windows opposite the sofa. A small side table that can double as an extra seat sits beside the sofa — and during a party, the backless sofa can handle two people perching on each side. Seats: four to seven.


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