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21 Small Living Room Decorating Ideas

Your living room is small and cramped, and you hesitate to invite people over, because it feels crowded with guests around, and any decorations you add make it look cluttered instead of elegant. Maybe you've got grand decorating ideas, but they're too grand and won't look right in your space. Try some of these Small Living Room Decorating Ideas to design a welcoming living room you're proud to invite people into.


1) Avoid Clutter

You don't want a small space to be cluttered. This makes it feel even smaller, and any neat decorations you have will get lost amidst the rest if they're too crowded together. Instead, decorate your room with a few carefully placed decorations, and use color and furniture choices as part of your decor. Using white furniture, carpets, and paint can also make the room feel less cluttered and overwhelming and more open and clean. This will help you and your guests feel more comfortable despite the small room.

2) Vibrant Curtains

You need curtains for your living room, and they might as well be decorative. This way, you can get a splash of color in your living room without wasting table space on decoration. The vast sheet of color created by this brilliant curtain from Amazon will break up the monotony of your living room and act as space-saving decor. Look for curtains in styles and colors that match your existing living room textures and decor.

3) DIY Decorative Containers

If you don't have a lot of room for decorations or don't want to waste space, you'll want to make practical decorations like this decorative box. While it has a simple design, the handmade box will improve a rustic living room while providing small-item storage or acting as a catchall as you walk into the room. This is particularly useful if the living room doubles as a mudroom. You can use this video by Brett Withjack to make a box like this and even change the dimensions to make a larger box to store throw blankets.

4) Patterned Wallpaper

Since you don't have a lot of space for table decorations, or even for wall hangings, you'll need to find another way to incorporate interesting patterns and attention-getting decor. One way to catch people's attention without taking up any extra space is to have patterned wallpaper with designs like the faux brick in this picture. This makes the room look more interesting, and the white brick gives the feeling that there's more space than there actually is.

5) Big and Dramatic Wall Art

It's essential to have various mediums, formats, and textures of art to make your room look interesting. This will include some wall art, but how can you make your wall art look good in a cramped space? The key is to use a few big pieces instead of many small ones. Multiple small pieces can make an area look cluttered and add to the feeling of being hemmed in, so get one big painting or photograph to fill a spot instead. Try a vibrant piece of art like this to really catch somebody's eye.

6) DIY Reflective Decor

Small rooms always come with the risk of feeling cramped, so how do you combat this using your decor? One way to do this is to add light using reflective decorations. The reflective decorations will stand out and look brighter when light from the windows hits them, and they'll reflect both natural and artificial light to make the room seem lighter and more open. This lifts the mood of the whole room if you prefer a sunny place to relax.

7) DIY Floating Shelf Display

Since you have limited space, you'll probably want to avoid having a lot of table and shelf decorations. These types of decorations take up space that you could be using for coffee table books, drinks, or other things. Shelves could take up walking space, depending on how small your living room is. If you add shelves, make them floating shelves so that you can fit as many decorations as possible without visible supports taking up room. You can use these instructions by Brandon from Man Made to make the shelves or hire a contractor to design and build them.

8) Brilliant Colors

Small rooms are a gift and a curse, so to speak; there are many advantages and disadvantages when it comes to decorating them. One advantage is the option to have lively colors! Large rooms filled with bright colors can quickly become overwhelming, but small rooms with pieces of striking furniture like this jewel-toned purple couch feel exciting rather than suffocating. Don't worry about using toned-down variations since you're only covering a small space no matter what.

9) Wall Clock Decals

Practical decorations are excellent when you need to conserve space, and a wall clock is an outstanding way to do so. Instead of buying and hanging a generic wall clock, get something you can customize to your room like this wall clock decal. The sticker can go directly on the wall, or you can make almost any wall art into a clock with it. Place the pieces closer together to make a smaller clock if you need to, and create a unique living room decoration. Think about painting a decoration directly on the wall behind it.

10) Mirrors

Adding mirrors to a small room will make it feel brighter and more open. They reflect the sunlight that comes in to brighten dark corners and keep the room from feeling tight and uncomfortable for you and your guests. If you have decorations that are reflective or vibrant-colored, they'll also look more lively and create a happier mood for the entire room. That said, there are ways to place mirrors for maximum effect. You can use this article by Kaodim to make sure you avoid making serious mistakes in your mirror placement.

11) Decorative Side Tables

Tables and other furniture aren't just places to sit, store things, or hold decorations; they can be decorations, too. Get or make a decorative side table like the one in this image so that you don't have to set aside space for decorations. You can then use the table to store items, place lamps, or even use it as extra space for more decorations. Make sure you don't let it get too cluttered since clutter in a small room can quickly make it feel claustrophobic.

12) DIY Coasters

How can you add personal touches to your living room without wasting space that could be used for other things? One way to do so is to make something that you need for your living room but make a more personalized version. Use this video by This Life, By Us to learn how to make coasters with photographs on them. You can use this method to make coasters with personal photographs or cool images and patterns you found on the internet. The best part is that you can use the coasters to protect your furniture from water stains.

13) Light Colors

If you don't like the tight feeling of a small room and want your living room to feel bigger, you can't necessarily change the size without a major renovation. Instead, make the room seem bigger by using light colors for the walls, furniture, and floors. If you don't want to repaint, you can get light rugs, throw blankets, or couch covers for less money. White is the best color for making a room feel more open, but if you're worried about stains, try a light grey or off-white.

14) Accent Wall

If you have limited room for furnishings and decorations, the walls themselves can be decorations. If you don't want to paint bright colors or add patterned wallpaper to every wall, think about designing an accent wall using the advice in this article by Imagineer Remodeling. An accent wall is a single wall that stands out from the rest due to wall hangings, different colors, or unique patterns and textures. The article writer includes several tips for making your accent wall, such as choosing a single color or making a wallpaper accent wall.

15) Recessed Shelves

If you have too many knickknacks for your room and run out of space to put them, you can gain more room by installing recessed shelves like the ones in the back right corner of this picture. You can build these by adding shelves between the studs inside your wall, as long as the wall isn't insulated, which should be most of your interior walls. Then, add some small lights to the top of each shelf or cubby, and see how your decorations stand out without taking up any space in the main room.

16) Barn Doors For Closets

Living room closets are another opportunity to turn everyday items and furniture into decorations instead of adding new decorations that take up space. You can replace your current doors with small, sliding barn doors using this video by The Unprofessional. Since they slide, they won't protrude out into the living room as far, saving space compared to other doors. You’ll need to leave wall space free next to the doors, so decide whether you're better off with an attractive barn door or a decorative swinging door.

17) Cove Lighting

Cove lighting improves a small living room in many ways since it functions as a light and a decoration at the same time. It doesn't take up space that you’d be using for anything else, so it's an excellent small-room decoration. The light it provides makes the room brighter, giving the impression or a larger room, and it highlights the ceiling and upper wall decorations. Use these directions from Family Handyman to install cove lighting, and pay attention to how it interacts with your other decorations to make sure you get the greatest effect possible.

18) DIY Three-Way Nesting Coffee Table

Nesting Coffee Tables have neat space-saving designs that are also attractive and modern. The tables are designed so that one fits underneath the other, allowing people to use multiple tables, then slide one under the other if they need to stand up or walk past. This makes it so you can effectively have a bigger coffee table than your space allows. They're also pretty, and you can make one that matches almost any theme using these building plans from Pneumatic Addict.

19) Decorative Throw Pillows

Throw pillows like the vibrant ones in this picture are a comfortable way to outfit a couch or plush chair, and they can double as decorations. While they take up some room on your couch, you'll have to decide if you want to trade that space for comfort. These types of pillows are also a cheap and effective way to add a lot of color to your room since you can pick vivid colors without overpowering the sense. These spots of color are attractive but also practical so that it doesn't hurt as much to give up that sofa space.

20) DIY Decorative Pendant Lights

Your living room should be well-lit since good lighting makes a room feel more open. Think about adding or replacing pendant lights with more decorative fixtures. You can make pendant lights using a variety of cheap household objects and a simple kit from Amazon. Watch this video by Glam, Inc. to see a walkthrough of a few pendant lights you can make using everyday household objects, and think about what household objects could create lights that fit your decor. You don't necessarily have to use the same items that are in the video, if they don't fit your decorating scheme.

21) Coffee Table Book Weights

You don't want your decorations to take up much space, but you want a variety of types of decor, so you'll need both wall and table or shelf decorations. Try getting weights to put on your coffee table books, like the weight in this picture. These don't take up extra space since they're helping to hold down books that were already taking up space, and they'll keep your books from being damaged by wind from open windows. Make sure the weight is heavy enough to be effective, and choose one that looks good, of course!


Did we find an idea that you haven't heard of yet? We'd love to hear where you get your inspirations from! Tell us about your small living room design journey in the comments below.


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