Decor for Small Living Room

Sally Painter
Creative small living room design

The décor for small living room may seem like a challenge, but it can be easy and fun if you adopt the right approach.

Small Room Design Challenge

Whenever you take on the designing of a smaller room, you're naturally faced with several challenges. Space is the biggest issue in knowing how to make a small space feel larger.

Small Room Doesn't Mean Smaller Furniture

The first approach that many people take when designing a smaller room is to scale down the furniture to fit the room. While this might seem like a logical approach, it can make the room appear smaller and your design will be off-putting. That doesn't mean that you should overcrowd your room with oversized furniture, but you can use one or two larger pieces of furniture in the mix of the design. In fact, this design approach is preferable to the smaller scale design. The mix of larger furniture in a smaller space will create an interesting and a dramatic décor.

Décor for Small Living Room

The first thing you need to do in planning your decor for small living room room is take exact measurements of the floor space.

All about the Walls

Many times people are so focused on what furniture will fit in the room that the best resource for breaking up the space and creating greater design interest is overlooked - the walls. Wall space is the largest surface area of any room, so you want to pay extra attention to how you decorate it and use the space as a design tool.

Don't be Afraid of Color

Many people shy away from color whenever designing a small room. This is a mistake. You can use color. One of the best kept designer secrets for making color work in a small room is to paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. This technique blurs the line between the ceiling and the wall so your attention doesn't automatically go to the limits of the ceiling.

Draperies for Illusion of Height

One element in your room design that's often overlooked is your window treatment. You can give the illusion of height by hanging your draperies just beneath the ceiling line and let the drapery fall all the way to the floor. If your window is very small, you can increase the size by extending the rod and drapery beyond the edges of the window. Don't overlook vertical lines such as stripes and drapery borders to repeat the design element of height. If your room doesn't have windows, you can still hang draperies or curtains on key walls to create the illusion of windows. Breaking up the wall space with draperies keeps your living room from looking smaller. Layer your window treatment with draperies, a sheer and blinds or shutters for even greater depth.

Bookshelves or Cabinets

One way you can break up the wall space is to add a bookcase, shelving unit or cabinet. This is also an ideal opportunity to utilize mirrors behind the shelves to reflect light and create interest and create the feeling of a larger space.

Mirror Effect

Mirrors are a great design tool that you can use to make a room look larger. For a narrow room, place a large mirror or group of mirrors on one of the two short walls. Other reflective surfaces can also add depth and the illusion of expansion throughout your room.

Patterns and Prints

The use of patterns and prints are another great way to give your room a feeling of depth. You can use wallpaper, fabrics and rugs to layer your design with color, texture and patterns. Just make sure that you vary the sizes of these designs. For example, you don't want the main space like your walls and the floors to be competing for your attention, so if you use wallpaper and a patterned rug, make sure the patterns are different sizes. One of the best ways to achieve this is focus the largest pattern on the floor space and the smaller design for the walls, either as wallpaper or drapery prints or as a combination of wallpaper and draperies.

Create Design Interest with Art Objects

A perfect way to make a small space design work is to create interest within the room that will draw your attention throughout the room. Your focus then becomes the design elements and not the size of the room. This can be a grouping of paintings or photos. You can also use a flat surface like a fireplace mantle or a tabletop for statues and other art objects to create a grouping of various heights, materials and textures.

Narrow and Long Room

If your room is narrow and long, the last thing you want to do is put a couch on the long wall. This will only emphasize the narrow length more. Instead, break up the space with several chairs and a love seat, preferably in a light-colored fabric, on one of the shorter walls. You can counter the long narrow room effect with a lighter-colored paint on one of the shorter walls. Use shapes to help define and break up the narrow feel to the room. Add a round table or ottoman to diminish the linear effect of this type of room.

Sprinkle of Nature

Using natural materials such a bamboo or tall slender plants will aid in the vertical design that you created with your window treatment. Don't be afraid to use smaller sizes of plants like a lucky bamboo plant, which is a series of small bamboo-like stalks in a shallow bowl.

Larger Designs for Smaller Rooms

As you can see, by varying the sizes, styles, colors, patterns, and textures of the elements in your room décor then the size of your room is no longer the challenge and the end result is a great overall design.

Decor for Small Living Room