17 inspiring small living room decorating ideas

When it comes to smaller living room spaces, it’s helpful to think outside the box! As these spaces are often the heart of the home, it’s important to create an open and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy any activity. While this can seem like an impossible task to accomplish on a budget, there are many different decorating techniques that can offer surprisingly affordable solutions.

Our decorating experts have created this list of 17 small living room design ideas that can easily be recreated on a budget. 


 

1. Go for a cooling soft grey colour palette

Choosing a soft shade of grey with a blue undertone is an excellent choice for not only adding some chic statement style to your space, but also creating a fresh and cosy living room that looks inviting no matter the time of day. We recommend pairing cool greys, like Polished Pebble, with light pastels to really let your walls showcase the full depth of their colour.

2. Use smart lighting to brighten the space

Smart bulbs are lights that connect wirelessly to your phone, tablet or home hub such as Amazon Alexa or Google assistant, allowing you to remotely control the brightness and colour of your smart lighting! This can be a great option for those wanting to add some extra personalisation with their lights, with options to not only adjust the brightness of your room, but also the colour. 

3. Use a strict colour palette

There is beauty in simplicity! Using a simple colour palette can help to make your space feel refined and open. While there are countless complementary colour pairings that can work for your living room, we also love opting for a limited palette, for example Brave Ground and Acorn Cap, for smaller rooms to avoid cluttering with colour. This is one of our very favourite ways to transform your living room

4. Add warmth with a large cosy rug

Did you know that adding a touch of texture is an amazing way of bringing warmth into your space? Similar to how we use different colours ranging from cool to warm on the colour wheel, the softer and more tactile the material, the more warmth it conveys. A large textured rug is a wonderful addition to make your living room feel friendly and welcoming. If you choose a patterned rug, stick to a neutral colour on the walls, like White Mist.  

Paint: White Mist

5. Incorporate shelving for extra storage

When it comes to small spaces, optimising floor space is a smart way of making your living room feel open and uncluttered. To achieve this, we recommend incorporating shelves to give you plenty of extra storage options for your possessions and decorations. Consider painting your shelves in the same colour as your walls, like we’ve done with Teal Touch in the room below.

Paint: Teal Touch

6. Hang a mirror to create more space

A classic decorating tip, mirrors are not only a great practical addition, they also create the illusion of extra space by adding depth to enclosed areas. They can also help to reflect direct, or ambient light, perfect for illuminating those darker corners!  

7. Play with proportions with low seating

Low ceilings got you down? Try low seating to give you maximised headroom! Popular in many Asian countries such as Japan, low seating is another great option to consider for optimising your living room space. 

8. Choose a muted white colour palette

White is the ultimate colour for reflecting light, and well-lit rooms always appear more spacious.  For this monochromatic look, we recommend using plenty of different soft and reflective textures across your decorating to avoid a flat appearance. Worried about marks and stains on your white paint? Dulux Easycare is washable and can resist all sorts of stains and spills.

9. Strategically display statement artwork

Bold artwork is perfect for giving your living room some major style impact. When placed strategically, it can also help to open up smaller spaces! To give your living room a sense of openness, we recommend displaying statement art on the largest wall spaces in your room, while avoiding the edges. This draws attention to the most open areas of your living room, while minimising the appearance of tight corners.

10. Swap your sofa for armchairs

Despite being a staple of living room furniture, sofas tend to take up a considerable amount of floorspace, so you might want to avoid them in smaller spaces. To help you find a solution to the limitations of your floor plan, we recommend choosing comfy armchairs. This allows you much greater flexibility to decorate your space in a modular manner, and really opens up your floorspace.

11. Make the most of awkward spaces with angled tables

Angled furniture takes up far less space than square tables, while offering more surface space then round tabletops. This makes them a perfect choice for small living rooms in need of some more compact flat surfaces.

Paint: Blush Pink

12. Go for gold accessories

Gold accents are a subtle way of adding warmth to your visual palette, and that goes a long way to making your living room feel brighter and more open. We recommend using metallic decorations and accessories to really give a cosy living room some modern pizazz. For a fully golden glow, we’d recommend using Caramel Blush wall paint as a base for your gold accessories.

13. Add stools and ottomans for a multi-purpose feature

Stools and ottomans are the perfect option for entertaining in a small living room. You can set up many different seating arrangements when your friends and family are over for different events, perfect for those gatherings of all ages to enjoy. 

14. Bring in warming wooden features

Accessories in natural materials such as wood are wonderful additions to the home as they add plenty of warmth and rustic character to your living room. Wicker chairs and wood tables are a classic choice for creating a relaxed welcoming space that exudes natural charm.

15. Paint your walls a soothing purple

On the other end of the spectrum, purple occurs very rarely in nature, so we naturally associate it with uniqueness and intrigue. Darker shades, such as Pamplona Purple 2, can create a wonderfully cosy space just perfect for cosying up in. Offset the darkness of the walls with light coloured furniture and furnishings. 

16. Think textures with throws and cushions

We know the difference a large textured carpet can make to your living room. So why not expand the effect by adding in a mixture of differently textured throws and cushions? Both of these practical items are very useful for adding plenty of charm and warmth to the comforts of your living room.

17. Let the natural light in

Whichever of these looks you choose, be sure to plan your decorating around the living room windows. Make sure that your windows and the areas around them remain clutter-free in order to maximise the amount of bright light in your space.  

Paint: Fresh Stem

From colours and lighting to floorspace, these 17 ideas are perfect for maximising the space and style of your smaller living room. Want to continue your inspiration journey? Try these two colourful ideas for a busy family living room.

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