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What decor is best for your small living room?

A living room is often the hub of household activity, so it can be frustrating when it’s on the smaller side. However, if you choose appropriately sized decor for your compact living room, you might be surprised by the results.

The best decor for living rooms is any decor that you love. Don’t allow yourself to feel constrained by the size of your living room if you’re really drawn to a specific piece. There are various design tips that can help make a small room look and feel more spacious, so don’t sacrifice your personal style.

Wall color for small living rooms

Choosing the right paint color for your walls can give the illusion of more space in your room. Don’t let this intimidate you; there are many colors that can accomplish this goal. 


RECOLOR Paint Recycled Interior Latex Paint Wall Finish

White is a classic choice for small rooms, and for good reason. White paint reflects the full spectrum of light and can make rooms look brighter, airier and more spacious. It’s a great blank canvas for your style too. White paint gives you the flexibility to choose furniture, paintings and accents of any color or pattern without worrying about whether they clash with the walls.


White might be a common choice for smaller spaces, but dark colors can also work as well. Darker shades don’t reflect the full spectrum of light. Instead, they create a more subtle interplay between light and dark, blurring the edges of the walls and creating the illusion of depth. 

Deep charcoal, rich jewel tones or dark wallpaper with a bold print are all suitable options. If you aren’t ready to commit to dark-colored walls in your living room, try painting one accent wall or just the alcoves in a dark shade.

Furniture for small living rooms

The furniture you pick for your living room will make a difference in how cramped or roomy it feels. You want to make sure to provide enough seating without highlighting the small size of your living room. Avoid falling in love with a piece of furniture that won’t fit by measuring your space before you start your search.

Low sofa

Cartier 3-Seat Green Velvet Sofa

Do you have low ceilings in your home? Create the illusion of higher ceilings with a low sofa. Make sure to pick end tables and coffee tables that work with the proportions of the sofa in order to achieve the best functionality and visual interest for your space. 


Zahra Dark Blue Fabric Storage Ottoman

It might seem frivolous to add any furniture that isn’t absolutely essential to a small space, but an ottoman can be a useful addition to a compact living room. Ottomans can double as extra seating for guests, and you can even use them as end tables or coffee tables when you’re not resting your feet on them. 

Multifunctional furniture

Wooden Nesting Round Tray Top Matte Black Side Tables

Save some space by utilizing multifunctional furniture. For instance, choose a lift-top coffee table with storage space underneath or a set of nesting side tables. Do you have a low and wide windowsill? It might be able to double as a window seat. 

Avoid clutter in small living rooms

TheWarmHome Decorative Basket Rectangular Fabric Storage Bin

It seems like it doesn’t take much for a small living room to feel cluttered. Incorporate decorative storage options, such as bins or baskets, to help wrangle your items. 

If a gallery wall is in your design plans, measure the wall, and recreate the dimensions on the floor with tape. Arrange all the art pieces and items in that taped square until you find a layout that is visually appealing to you. Play around with the spacing of each piece to make sure it doesn’t look too busy. Snap a picture with your phone, and use it as a reference when it comes time to actually put the wall together. 

Make statements with patterns

It’s natural to want to make a statement with your living room decor. Don’t be afraid to go bold with patterns, especially if you’ve opted to stick with plain walls and furnishings. Add a pop of color with throws, pillows and drapes. Provide a sense of balance to your living room by matching patterns in multiple places. 

Use alcoves wisely

35.4 in. L x 10 in. W Floating Espresso Shelf

If your living room has any alcoves or nooks, try to make the most of them in order to maximize space. An alcove is a great place for built-in shelving, so you can have some extra room for storage or decor in an area that might have otherwise been unused. If you’re not sure where to start with built-in shelving, floating shelves are a great alternative. Consider turning deep alcoves into a reading nook or an additional seating area with an armchair or two.

Lean into the smallness of the space

Levtex Home Mills Waffle Bedding Collection

Sometimes, a small living room can feel more inviting than a larger, airer one. Tiny homes and smaller living spaces are a reality for many people. If you don’t feel the need to make your living room appear larger, lean into the smallness by making it as cozy as possible. Choose a plush sofa with plenty of throw pillows and a quilt. Add a thick-pile rug, and create a warm atmosphere with a table lamp.

Best small living room decor

Behr Crown Jewel Interior Paint

Behr Crown Jewel Interior Paint

If an all-white living room isn’t for you, this gorgeous green color is perfect for anyone looking to make a statement with a darker color. Behr offers this jewel tone shade in multiple sheens: flat/matte, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss and high gloss.

Sold by Home Depot

Ink Inc Botanical Prints

Ink Inc Botanical Prints

These botanical prints will liven up your small living room. Add your own personal style by pairing them with some fun frames.

Sold by Amazon

Bee & Willow Home Runway Stripe Throw Pillow

Bee & Willow Home Runway Stripe Throw Pillow

Patterned pieces look great in small living rooms, especially if you’ve opted to paint the walls white and want a splash of color. These striped throw pillows will complement most sofas and comfy chairs.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond

Home Decorators Collection Maldives Walnut Coffee Table with Lift Top

Home Decorators Collection Maldives Walnut Coffee Table with Lift Top

Thanks to its lift-top design, this coffee table doubles as storage. Store blankets, pillows, board games and more inside this warm, sturdy table.

Sold by Home Depot


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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