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Is your small living room cramping your style? Don’t worry! With these ten small-space tips, you can have a stylish living room that lives large and makes the most of every inch!

Make the most of your small living room with these expert tips.

Is your small living room cramping your style? Don’t worry! With these ten small-space tips, you can have a stylish living room that lives large and makes the most of every inch!

1. Clear the clutter (or at least hide it in baskets!)

In a small space, you can’t afford to have excess clutter fighting for space. If you have a big clutter issue in your home, get rid of as much excess as you can.  Donate, sell or store things you don’t need right now. Woven baskets with lids are the perfect way to conceal the remaining every day clutter so your room can feel cleaner and more spacious. Use baskets on open shelving, at the end of a sofa or under a console table to maximize space. To help with organization, label your baskets with attractive tags so you can easily find what you need.

2. Use furniture with small or tight arms.

Furniture with large rolled arms occupy quite a bit of extra space. Selecting furniture with no arms, straight sides, or small rounded backs and tight arms will free up every possible inch of space and offer the illusion of more room to breathe!

3. Go for a round ottoman or coffee table.

Clean Living Room

Round ottomans and coffee tables allow better traffic flow in and out of a conversation area, giving a room a less cluttered appearance.

4. Nesting tables make sense.

Simply pull out the nesting tables when you have guests and slip them back under the main table when not in use. There’s no need for surplus furniture around the room!

5. Make the most of vertical storage space.

Tall built-ins, bookcases or shelves reaching all the way to the ceiling will provide extra storage without taking up valuable floor space. Ideally, built-ins are the best use of small space, but free standing bookcases or shelves painted the same color as the walls can offer a similar, uncluttered look.

6. Consider Your Color Scheme

While a dark color on the walls can be effective in cozying up a small space, layers of white and neutral textures can make a small space feel larger. Painting the trim and the walls in similar tones will reduce visual barriers and can effectively enlarge the appearance of your room.

7. Mirror, mirror on the wall.

Mirrors can expand the boundaries of your room. Use them to reflect light and space around the room and to double the impact of windows. However, be careful with what the mirrors reflect. If they reflect clutter or the wrong view, they can make a room feel more crowded. Look in the mirror from all angles to determine if it is reflecting a view you like.

Living Room Tips
8. Hang curtains higher.

If you have windows that are lower than your ceiling height, consider hanging curtains and blinds closer to the ceiling. This trick will increase the apparent size of the windows as well as create the illusion of taller ceilings and an overall bigger room.

9. Light up the corners.

Dark corners can make a room feel small and depressing. While overhead lighting can be helpful, wall, floor and table lamps will spread light all around the room, making the space feel larger and more inviting.

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10. Keep things crystal clear.

Clear glass lamps and lucite tables are a perfect addition to a small space. They allow the eye to move freely through the room, take up minimal visual space, and offer much needed function and up-to-date style for a small room.

Not only are these great suggestions for small home owners, but they are helpful for home staging if you are selling your house this spring!  Implementing these principles when selling your home will give you a competitive edge over comparable homes for sale. Lighter, brighter airier homes with less clutter are more likely to appeal to a wider buying audience and will hopefully bring you a higher sales price too!

What are your small space challenges?

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About the Author

Melissa Michaels

Melissa Michaels is the author and creator of one of the top home decorating blogs on the web, The Inspired Room. She has been featured on such sites and publications as, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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  • Faith

    Great advice, Melissa. Thanks!

  • Great post on utilizing space! Your blog is a daily favorite!

  • Great post. Lots of very clear info. Good job!!!

  • Great Ideas…I’ve used the trick of hanging my curtains higher in almost every room in our apartment and it makes a tremendous difference on how large the space looks…making the ceilings apprear higher and giving the windows more room to shine! Great Tips!

    • Katie @ Uncle Bob’s

      I’m glad the curtain trick is working for you!

  • Thanks for the tips. We recently downsized into a condo and your ideas help!

  • Lexie

    My space challenge is I live in a studio in less then 750 sq. feet. Yet I have managed to incorporate a round antique marble top table for a coffee table, a 6 foot couch and a lovely queen ann chair for company. I found a small entertainment center which I placed at a angel in a corner to give the room depth. I also have decorated it coastal inspired as I am on the beach in Santa Barbara. Its classic, lovely and pretty space that always stays organized.

    • Katie @ Uncle Bob’s

      The room sounds lovely!

  • Great tips! I have a skinny living room that leads from our front door to our kitchen, so I haven’t known how to furnish it! Might try getting a loveseat and a round ottoman.

    • I have the same setup, Lauren! It’s challenging, but I’m slowly figuring out how to make it all look awesome. Ping me directly if you want to trade slender console or seating options we’ve found that work well in our respective spaces. 🙂

  • Amy

    Good tips, Thanks for sharing. I was going to donate an old picnic basket I have but I think I will re-purpose it as storage. You gave me the inspiration.

  • I am a huge fan of the round coffee table. It really does improve traffic flow. And nesting tables. I love them!

  • Jennifer Allen

    I like the round coffee table ideas.
    My question is where do I find them?
    Thank you.

    • yoder178

      Buy a round glass top the size you want and find a few suitcases, a large stack of books or any thing that will work. Make your own! If you want a wood top, go to the lumber mart for one.

  • Wendy

    I love my house but I have the opposite of almost all your suggestions! LOL I’ll keep this information in mind when shopping for replacements for my square coffee table and couch and love seat with the large rolled arms! You’re right they really crowd the room:)
    Thanks for the tips!

  • We downsized a year ago, and your hints are very helpful. I have been on the lookout for a round pedestal coffee table I can paint and give new life to. Because we have an open floor plan, decluttering and neutral colors help keep it seem spacious even though it is small. I love the ideas I get from your blog!

  • Jessica @ The Budget Savvy Bride

    Just moved into an apartment in NYC with a tiny living room and these tips are all fabulous! I’m kind of impressed with myself that I naturally picked out some of the items that are mentioned here! 🙂

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  • Leisa

    Love the ideas, I also use the long curtains in all my rooms, and I just got new hardwood floors in my living, dining and kitchen which are all open, definitely need to get rid of the bulky furniture, I want to get rid of my loveseat get a new couch and 2 new chairs, I like a square or round coffee table but want to get tuft one to use for extra seating when we have company.

  • Suzzy

    I have a question, do you thing in smaller living room spaces a love seat that is 60″ is better than using a sofa that is 91″? I also wondered if we should use one large chair or two small matching chairs. We really want as much seating as possible, and have a really comfortable room. Thanks.

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