How to Make a Small Living Room Look Larger

by Adrian How

The living room is usually the first room guests see when they enter a home. It is also the space most often used for entertaining and relaxing with family and friends. A small living room can look and feel cramped and uninviting if it is cluttered and dark. You can make the room look
larger by selecting the right colors, furniture, and accessories to fill the space.

Light Colors and Simple Patterns

The colors used in your living room, from the walls to the floor to the fabrics and furnishings, play a major role in the appearance of the room. Dark colors like crimson, navy blue, and chocolate absorb light and tend to shrink a room. Light colors like cream, robin’s egg blue, and light yellow reflect the light that enters the room, making the space seem larger.

Since your walls make up the largest proportion of color in the room, make sure the paint color is a light tone. You can also paint the ceiling a shade or two lighter than the walls to make the ceiling appear higher, enlarging the room.

Patterns on wallpaper, curtains, upholstery, and carpeting should not be too busy or dark. Busy patterns fill the space and distract the eye, disrupting the visual flow around the room. However, there is no need to shy away from your favorite patterns used in one or two areas and in smaller accessories in the room.

Sleek and Multifunctional Furniture

Make your living room feel open and comfortable by selecting furniture proportionate to the size of the room. Stay away from large and bulky pieces and go for smaller furniture such as a loveseat, armless chairs, and an ottoman that can double as a coffee table. Shop around for tables
and chairs that can be folded or collapsed when not in use. Glass top coffee tables are ideal for small living rooms, since they allow you to see through to the floor, making the floor area appear larger.

You should have adequate space in your living room to walk around and between furniture. The height of your furniture also impacts the look of the room. Tall pieces draw the eye upward, but very tall pieces that reach close to the ceiling can make the ceiling seem lower and shrink the

Ample Lighting and Selective Décor

A well-lit room looks larger than a room cast in shadows. Let as much natural light into the room as possible by hanging light-colored sheer curtains instead of thicker drapes. Make sure ambient and accent lighting is sufficient for the space. Placing mirrors and other reflective surfaces
around the room can make the space seem larger, as well.

Cluttered walls and surfaces can make the living room look smaller than it really is. Avoid filling the walls with pictures and select just a few smaller ones or one large piece to adorn the wall.

Do not crowd the sofa with too many throw pillows, or fill table tops with a large collection of decorative items.

Creative home decor is what we are all about at and our staff writer, Alyssa Davis, is an expert in designing it with bike metal wall sculptures and seabirds metal wall decor.


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