Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
Decorating your own home is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But when you have a small living room, it can seem like the world is filled with wonderful decorating ideas for great big spaces. Giant sectionals, sprawling coffee tables and more overstuffed chairs that you could fit in your entire house.
But having a diminutive room doesn’t mean you’re out of luck when it comes to decorating. The fact is there are amazing small living room ideas that just wouldn’t work at all in a bigger space. So count yourself lucky and get ready to create your perfect little room.
10. Small rooms do not equal small furniture
One of the most common mistakes when it comes to decorating littler spaces is thinking that the furniture also needs to be small. And who wants to sit on a little bitty sofa or try to curl up in a tiny chair?
Now for the good news: even if your room is less than large, you can use big, comfortable chairs or a big cozy couch. The trick is to use less pieces, not tiny pieces. In fact, too many small furnishings will actually make a small room feel smaller.
So go ahead and fall in love with that overstuffed couch (but do measure the wall space and doorways first!)
9. Don’t skimp on lighting
A small room often means small windows or very few windows. And that can leave the space feeling dark and uninviting. So when you’re planning your decor, make sure you include lots of wonderful, warm lighting.
Use a ceiling fixture that works with your style (a scaled-down chandelier works well!), then add table lamps, floor lamps and maybe even a couple of sconces if you have a fireplace. Skip the fluorescent bulbs here…their yellow cast doesn’t flatter in a small space. Instead, opt for natural light incandesents or LEDS for the best results.
8. Pick a pattern
When it comes to decorating small spaces, pattern is good, but keep it under control. Too many patterns will tend to clutter and overwhelm a smaller area, making it feel anything but restful.
Limit your patterns to one or two, and even then keep them primarily to accent pieces like sofa pillows, foot stools and cozy throws.
7. Keep the walls light and bright
Painting your walls in a light color will keep the space more bright and open. Dark walls pull in, light walls expand. That being said, this is not a call for all white or (heaven forbid!) beige walls. Consider a pale blue for the ceiling to add height (a trick even our Colonial ancestors knew), then paint the walls in a light shade of your favorite hue.
6. Minimize clutter
The smaller the room, the more clutter will stand out, so make sure to keep your accessories simple and few in number. Empty space is very soothing, so make sure there’s space on your tabletops and bookshelves for the wood to show through.
5. Play up the cozy
People trying to decorate large spaces often complain about how hard it is to make it feel warm and welcoming. But you’re blessed with a room that’s cozy from the get-go, so count your blessings and build on it.
Pick furniture, accessories, colors and lighting that reinforces the idea that this is a place of retreat, comfort and calm.
4. Keep the electronics under control
We all want the latest and greatest in TV and video equipment. I get that. But a giant television can easily dominate a small room. So if possible, banish the TV to the family room. Or create a way to close the electronics behind doors when they’re not in use. It will go a long way towards keeping it a living room everyone can love.
3. Pay attention to the details
Controlling clutter does not mean that you can’t add personal touches to the room. In fact, the smaller space will make each and every item stand out more.
It’s your living room…make sure it’s your space. Skip the generic “vase and bowl” kind of accessorizing, and look for things that speak to you, tell visitors something about who you are, or bring back happy memories.
2. Walk the path
One of the hazards of smaller rooms is the the danger they pose to shins. So before you decide where to place the furniture, make sure it will leave enough space to walk without smashing into coffee tables or chairs.
If you want to be sure about the walk path before you shop, make templates from newspaper of the things you’re thinking of buying and lay them on the floor, then walk around. If you need to step on or really near the paper, odds are it’s going to worse once the furniture’s in place.
1. Keep it fresh
I will say this, and then probably say it again sometime soon. No room’s decor is or should be set in stone! Once you have the furniture, area rugs and accessories for your new room, make time every once in awhile to play with them. Move things around. Swap them out with the stuff you have in the rest of your house. Keeping it fresh will keep it fun … and that is the whole point of decorating.