8 Tips for Decorating a Small Living Room

8 Tips for Decorating a Small Living Room


By Forgie Home Staging & Redesign


Decorating a small living room can be a challenge. A well-defined style, great color palette and paying close

attention to the final details or finishing touches, will help to pull your look together.


Tip # 1 Color Choice

Often, our choice of color will be dictated by mood. For example yellow is a cheerful, bright color while pale blue is

cool and subdued. We recommend you choose your color palette before you do anything else.


Tip # 2 –Room Purpose

Most small living rooms share a variety of purposes – you may relax here, listen to music, watch TV, eat, read or

entertain friends. Besides color, some important things you should consider include:


  • Seating arrangements
  • tables
  • doors and windows
  • storage and shelving
  • wall and floor finishes, and
  • Finishing touches

Tip # 3 - Seating Arrangements

Every living room needs comfortable and versatile seating. In a small room you won’t have the luxury of creating 

more than one seating area, and size will dictate on how much seating you can accommodate. Look at what

you’ve got and what you want or still need.


A good way to assess layout of existing furniture, including seating, is to measure and draw the room to scale and

then make template cut-outs of each item, drawn to the same scale. Be sure to accurately mark the position of

windows and doorways – and which way doors open and close. Then position the templates on the plan. You

should try to imagine what different layouts will look like. The templates will help to ensure that the furniture will fit

– but still use your imagination.

Generally people like to sit in circles, so they can look at one another and talk. If the room is to be used for

watching television, don’t let the TV set dominate the room. This can be a particular challenge in a small room, but

positioning it to the side of the circle often works well.

Once you know what seating will fit, you can decide whether what you already have needs to be reupholstered or

redone in any other way to fit the look or theme – or just to make it look bright and cheerful again.


Tip # 4 Tables

Tables are always useful in a living room, for drinks, paperwork, books, even for eating on. If you plan to use the

room for eating, then a reasonably large table is a good idea, as long as it doesn’t dominate. Aim to separate

couches and so-on from a dining table. What often happens is that some people will group around the table while

others sit more comfortably on couches. That in itself creates two distinct seating areas.

If space is at a premium, nesting tables are often a good idea. And a coffee table or even a chest that will double

for storage is always useful in front of couches.

There isn’t usually much room for other furniture in small living rooms, but sometimes a decorative sideboard can

find its place and improve the appeal of the room as a whole.

Always remember your sense of purpose and make sure that what you choose will fit in and look good.

Tip # 5 Doors and windows

Doors and windows improve the quality of light in any living room. If there is a good view from one or more

windows, this can become a focal point when you arrange your furniture.

But decoratively speaking windows come into their own with window coverings, in particular, curtains and blinds.


Consider style as well as pattern and texture when you make your choice.

Tip # 6 - Storage and Shelving

Storage space is always useful in the living room but it isn’t essential. Before you consider bringing in an

entertainment unit or hanging shelves, consider what it will look like. If storage space is at a premium, you might

have to find storage space for books or other items in the living room. If so it often helps to make them a distinct
decorating feature. You can do this easily by creating pretty and simple displays.

Tip # 7 – Walls and Floors

Both practical and decorative, wall and floor finishes can spell the success or failure of any living rooms décor.

Although these surfaces are considered the shell of the room, they do so much to make the room feel cool or cozy.
Walls present the simplest way to introduce color to a room, while floor surfaces will sound-proof, insulate and

add warmth to the room. Generally neutral colors are easiest to work with on the floor, but rugs can add a

welcome splash of color and pattern.

Tip # 8 – The Finishing Touches

The finishing touches are the items that finally tie your entire room together. When it comes to decorating a small

living room think carefully about what these finishing touches mean to you. You might want to place a special

painting on the wall, or create a display of your favorite treasures on the mantel. A vase filled with bright flowers or

some scented candles, are all examples of some of the finishing touches that can complete your look and create

the living room you love!


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