Hands up - who watches those American house reno shows, brims over with ideas only to have a rude awakening when you remember that your living room is just a fraction of the size...✋ We hate to break it to you but that 22 seat corner sofa is pure fantasy!

For us Brits, especially the city dwellers amongst us, space is a premium. Even when we're lucky enough to have a separate living room to retreat to outside of our main living space, it's channelling 'snug' vibes rather than 'home cinema'.

But never fear, we are here! Here are our 16 top tips to make the most of your little lounge.


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1. Stick with the same palette 

Small living room paint ideas | White panelled living room with blue sofa

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

When deciding on a colour scheme for your small living room, try to stick within the same colour palette so that your eye isn't constantly being broken up which will only emphasise its tiny proportions. 

Now this doesn't mean you can't go bold with colour in a small room (more on that later!) But stick to either cool tones or warm.


2. Get the scale of your sofa spot on

How to choose a sofa for a small living room

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

In living rooms of every size, it's very important to get the scale of your sofa spot on. Let's pretend that you even managed to fit a ginormous sofa through your door frame - it would only serve to make the room feel even smaller as the proportions would be completely off. 

Before you make the purchase, make sure you measure up.  But just because you can fit it in, doesn't mean you should! To get an idea of how it will feel in the room, lay boxes out to represent the new sofa and live with it for a few days. 

Struggling to choose a sofa? Check out our dedicated guide.


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3. Disguise your TV (as much as possible)

How to disguIse a TV with a gallery wall | Small living room ideasImage credit: My Bespoke Room

TV's are a necessary evil so there's no sense in trying to pretend they don't exist! Particularly in a small living room, they can stick out like a sore thumb! There are some clever tricks to help your TV blend into the background. 

You can opt for dark colours on the walls so that the TV isn't such a stark contrast against it. You can also frame it within a gallery wall which stops it from being such a focal point as your eye is then drawn to the pictures beside it.


4. Paint tricks for small living rooms

Paint ideas for small living rooms | Open plan interior design

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

There are a few paint tricks you could use that help to give the illusion of space. By painting the hallway or adjoining room a darker shade, when you walk into your living room you will instantly get a feeling of space.

Another paint trick is to use the same colour on your woodwork as your walls. This will give the illusion that your walls are taller and longer.

You could even take this a step further and paint your ceiling as well!


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5. Don't dismiss pattern

using patterns in small living rooms

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Did you believe that wallpaper would make your living room feel smaller? Wrong! Many prints can actually trick the eye to make it seem like there are hidden depths beyond, making the room feel larger. Any excuse for a beautiful floral print, I say!


6. Dual-purpose furniture

Multipurpose furniture for small living roomsImage credit: My Bespoke Room

In small spaces, every item of furniture you put in there needs to be thought through and purposeful. Why have a coffee table that's just a coffee table when you could have a coffee table that's a coffee table AND storage or seating!


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7. Think vertically

Storage ideas for small living roomsImage credit: My Bespoke Room

When floor space is a premium, look for any opportunity to lift your furniture off the floor and put it on the walls instead! Instead of a bulky shelving unit, hang shelves on the walls instead - you get the same amount of storage but gain back precious floor space. 

This applies to lower-level lighting too - we all love a floor or table lamp but going for a wall-mounted option instead will free up space. You don't always need an electrician either - there are plenty of plug-in wall light options out there. 


8. Just one feature wall

Feature wall ideas for small living rooms

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

In a small space, it can quickly feel claustrophobic if there's too much asking for attention as your eye doesn't know where to rest. Creating a clear focal point to draw you in is essential for rooms of any size but in a small one, try to scale it back. Pick just one wall to be the real show stopper, whether that's with wallpaper or a gallery wall


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9. Replace your door with a pocket or sliding one

Sliding doors for living rooms | How to save space in a small living roomImage credit: My Bespoke Room & Da Silva Design

Does your living room have that fun quirk where you open the door and it bangs straight onto the sofa behind it? Normal swing doors prevent you from putting furniture anywhere near them which takes up valuable floor space in a small living room. 

If your budget allows, consider installing a pocket door instead so that the door disappears into the wall when open. This also has the added advantage of giving the illusion that the room flows into the adjoining one, particularly if the floor finish is the same. 

If your budget doesn't allow for this, or you don't fancy the disruption, you can hang a barn style sliding door instead. 


10. Go big on the rug

What rug to buy for small living room? Online interior design

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Don't skimp on the size of your rug in your small living room! Choose the biggest rug possible as it will mean that the floor isn't visually broken up, helping it feel more spacious than it really is.


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11. Choose floating or slim furniture

Furniture ideas for small living rooms | Online interior designImage credit: My Bespoke Room

Steer clear of boxy furniture that takes up lots of precious floor space. If it's not possible to mount it on the wall, choose furniture with slim legs. If you can see more of the floor, the room will feel more spacious.


12. Declutter

Cosy blue living room with fireplace | Small living room ideas

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

This seems an obvious one but it's so often forgotten - having too many things in a room will make it feel cluttered and claustrophobic. Take everything out then only put back things that you really need or love.

Remember the earlier point about the scale of your sofa? This applies to the other furniture in the room as well as your decorative bits and bobs - an enormous vase will only serve to emphasise how small the rest of the room is so find a home for it in another room instead!


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13. Go bespoke to make use of every inch

Bespoke furniture for small living rooms

If you're in need of extra storage, but you're worried that adding more furniture will clutter up the room, consider going bespoke instead.

Bespoke fitted furniture is designed to fit into the quirks of your room so that you get maximum storage while taking up minimal space. Also, by painting them the same colour as the walls, they will disappear, unlike a bulky shelving unit!


14. Light up every nook and cranny

Lighting ideas for small living rooms

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

Make the most of the natural light you have by having sheer curtains or blinds so that you still have some light even when you want a bit more privacy.

A carefully considered artificial lighting plan is essential. Layer in lighting around the room making sure that every nook and cranny is lit up - having portions of your room in the dark certainly won't make it feel any bigger!

Watch our video with lighting pros houseof for more living room lighting tips. 



15. Use reflective materials

How to use mirrors in small living rooms to reflect light

Image credit: My Bespoke Room

It's an oldy but a goody - mounting mirrors on the wall will instantly make the room appear larger.

Using reflective materials in your furniture will also help, such a metallic side table which will help to bounce the light around the room.


16. Embrace the cosiness!

Cosy small living room ideas

So what if your living room is on the small side! It's much easier to create a comfy, cosy vibe in a smaller space, so embrace it! 

Paint those walls a moody deep hue, layer in lots of blankets and cushions then add warm, ambient low-level lighting and you'll have yourself a living room that will turn those American's with their cathedral-like living rooms green with envy!


Need help getting the most from your small living room? Book your room design today from just £395:

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