Quick, affordable and effective ways to make a small living room look bigger

Small living rooms need not be awkward to live in. Nor do they require the knocking down of walls and a fortune being spent to increase their size. A few simple yet effective interior design tricks can make a living room that’s not blessed with much space, appear significantly more spacious.

Intrigued? Here’s how to make a small living room look bigger.

Make good use of shelving and storage

There’s nothing that quite makes a small room appear smaller than clutter! Well-chosen storage helps keep clutter at bay, meaning a small living space can be lived in and enjoyed without feeling untidy and disordered, can make a world of difference.

Floating shelves make a feature in a living room that struggles for space. As do sofas and armchairs that cleverly double-up as storage holders.

If you’re attempting to make a small living room appear bigger, the first thing you should do is remove the clutter and place it in suitable storage.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

The space-enhancing power of mirrors shouldn’t be underestimated. Placing mirrors on the walls will bounce the light around the room and create reflections making the space feel inherently bigger and brighter.

Instead of opting for just one big mirror, get more creative and hang several mirrors of varying shapes and sizes on the walls to maximise the light and reflections mirrors create.

Let there be light

If there are windows in your living room, ensure optimum daylight can be filtered into the room by keeping window dressing simple. If the room has a high ceiling drape full-length curtains around the windows to encourage the eye upwards and craft the illusion of a greater amount of space.

Instead of having one central light fitting in the room, use several sources of lighting. Placing a cosy lamp in the corner of the room and perhaps spot lights at the other end with bring an ambient, layered form of lighting, which creates more shadows and, again, creates the illusion of more space.

Opt for neutral colours

It might be tempting to be bold with colours in a small living room but the most effective colour scheme for small living spaces are neutral tones.

A palette that comprises of beiges, light greys, creams and off-whites will help expand the space and also reflect the light more effectively than darker colours.

Fill vertical space

As well as putting full-length curtains in the room, draw the eye upwards and make the most of vertical space by placing a creative menagerie of artwork or photos on the walls, particularly in those higher, hard-to-reach places.

By decorating this space, it will invite the eye to look beyond eye-level space, an effective décor technique to make the room appear larger than it really is.

Another simple, affordable and effective way to make a living room sparse in space appear considerably more spacious!

Victoria Kember

About the author

Victoria Kember

I joined New ID in 2014 as a determined junior designer looking to gain experience within a dedicated residential design studio. I graduated from Lincoln University in 2013 with a degree in Interior...
View Profile


Sign up

Our Interior Design Inspiration Newsletter

We never share your data and you can opt-out any time. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.