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!

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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! Here are ten tips on how to organize your living room furniture to add space and storage opportunities.


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

In a small living room, 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 everyday clutter so your living 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.

Related: 15 Do-it-Now Decluttering Habits


Clean Living Room

2. Use furniture with small or tight arms to make living rooms feel more spacious.

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.

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.

If you are wondering how to organize a living room to create more space, a principle to live by is minimalism. Rather than filling your space with unnecessary furniture, be extremely thoughtful about what furniture you really need.

In the case that more furniture is needed than space allows, fold away or multifunctional furniture come in handy. Nesting tables are one example of this. 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 a small living 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 a 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. Wall mirrors make a room feel more spacious.

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.


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.


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 owners of small homes, but they are helpful for home staging if you are selling your house this spring!  Implementing these principles on how to organize a living room to add space 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?

Editor’s Note: Originally published February 26, 2013; updated October 20, 2020.

About the Author

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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 HGTV.com, Apartment Therapy, and Ladies Home Journal.

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