The Top 58 Tiny Living Room Ideas
If you’re like most people, the living room is probably where you spend the vast majority of your time. The only close contender is the bedroom (after all, we spend one-third of our lives sleeping!).
So why are stylish yet functional small living room ideas seemingly so hard to come by? One reason could be that the right design can make you overlook the fact that the room is small in the first place. It’s all an illusion.
Keep reading for tiny living room styling tips that will leave guests (and yourself) in awe of the space as a whole — not its physical size.
Search the home design world for advice about any small space and you’re sure to find suggestions like “knock down a wall” or “install floor-to-ceiling windows.” But these suggestions are of little use to renters (and anyone on a tight budget).
Not only do many apartments feature tiny living rooms but it’s also quite common for the space to double as a dining room, entryway, or even a master bedroom.
Do whatever you can to keep your small living room as bright and airy as possible. Most apartments feature white walls — if your apartment doesn’t, check your lease for painting guidelines. Use a light color palette throughout your decor.
Boho decor boasts a super-casual aesthetic that is surprisingly well suited to a small living room. And the bright, neutral color palette most common in Bohemian design is ideal for making any space feel larger.
There’s no need to worry about balancing a formal layout with the limited square footage. Bohemian living room furniture can take the form of a sofa, floor pouf, hammock, or daybed.
Try to adopt a strategy of controlled chaos in your Boho decor. While this style features a loose, maximalist approach to room design, you don’t want to crowd your tiny living area with too much clutter.
Contemporary interior design tends to favor open-concept floor plans. But don’t let that scare you away from including some of the latest trends in your small living room.
Materials like polished stone and metal are very trendy in contemporary decor. These materials might overwhelm a tiny space in large quantities but work extremely well when used as accent decor.
Take advantage of the room’s vertical space with sleek window treatments, accent walls, and interesting light fixtures. These elements will add visual intrigue without taking up any extra floor space.
4. Country or Cottage
Minimal floor space and low ceilings aren’t a problem in cottage decor as long as you know how to give the room a warm and inviting atmosphere. In fact, this architectural style is largely defined by its use of tight, closed-off spaces.
White wall paint will make your small living room appear brighter and more spacious than it really is. Rather than plain drywall, though, consider covering your living room walls with shiplap, stucco, or a brick overlay.
A touch of clutter here and there won’t interfere with the cottage aesthetic. But it’s important to ensure everything in your living room has a place to call home (in other words, clutter with a purpose).
Farmhouse decor is one of the largest design movements in recent memory. Yet we tend to see this trend adapted to open-concept spaces rather than the tight quarters typically found in historic farmhouses.
Neutral colors are integral to the farmhouse look. Be sure to add texture to the space with natural materials like reclaimed wood, wicker, burlap, and cast iron.
We can definitely learn a thing or two from the modern farmhouse aesthetic. In particular, taking a minimalist approach to wall decor and accent furniture will prevent your tiny living room from becoming overcrowded.
Since industrial decor is inspired by 20th-century warehouses and factories, it’s hard to separate the trend from wide-open architecture. But what if you could use the industrial aesthetic to trick people into thinking your living room is bigger than it is?
The structured furniture and decor often seen in industrial design are perfect for bringing dimension to a room that doesn’t have much space to offer. Be sure to select pieces that are both angular and extremely simple.
You can also borrow industrial decor’s emphasis on decoration that serves a purpose. Swap out your existing ceiling fixture for a unique pendant light. Or invest in a coffee table that converts into a dining table or work desk.
Don’t be ashamed if your solution to decorating a small living room is to keep things as minimal as possible. Yet what we often define as minimalist decor is instead just boring.
Yes, minimalist decor is simple. It is not, however, dull or uninspired. The secret to minimalist design is to curate items that have the greatest impact while taking up the least amount of visual and physical space.
Your living room should be made up (almost) entirely of functional items. The more useful the better — for example, select furniture with built-in storage compartments. If you can remove an item without impacting the space as a whole, you don’t need it!
No, modern and minimalist are not synonyms. While these two trends do overlap, modern design ideas offer more room for creativity and self-expression.
Every modern room design starts off with the same base. Pick out a simple color scheme that offers opportunities for contrast. White, black, and grey are extremely popular wall colors in modern design.
Despite the nondescript name, modern decor is actually well-defined by history. If you need inspiration when picking out new living room furniture or artwork, reference examples of mid-century modern designers and their most famous work!
Designing a small living room is one thing. Adapting those same principles to an RV or trailer camper is another challenge altogether.
Even more so than in a traditional home, creating a thoughtful RV living room is largely about defining the space without interior walls. Seemingly simple details like an area rug or the direction your sofa faces can play a huge role in this task.
Multi-purpose furniture is an excellent investment. Keep an eye out for a stylish sleeper sofa or convertible coffee table for your RV living space. Avoid blocking the windows of your RV with oversized living room furniture — you need all of the natural light you can get!
When you think of rustic design, what comes to mind? Is it a Northwoods cabin? A midwest farmhouse? Or maybe a French Country estate? Well, all of these answers are correct!
The sheer breadth of rustic decor means that nearly anyone can find inspiration in the trend. But it’s important to narrow down your goal aesthetic before jumping into the design process.
Invest in compact versions of your favorite rustic furniture to outfit your tiny living room. As long as you account for the scale of your living room design, you can still incorporate classic pieces like a live-edge coffee table or fur rug without taking up too much floor space.
It’s easy to recognize the modern influence within the Scandinavian design movement. But Scandinavian decor’s emphasis on organic shapes and textures can add charm to even the smallest living rooms.
Along with elements made of materials like wood, stone, and dried grass, Scandinavian decor is mostly defined by its use of very bright light. Natural lighting is always best but you can also supplement your tiny living room design with various fixtures.
Although Scandinavian spaces are very practical, they achieve this quality without sacrificing comfort. Your finished living room design should not be cold and sterile but warm and inviting.
12. Small Homes
When your entire house is tight on space, how do you design a living room that meets its full potential without impeding the rest of your home’s interior?
Multi-use spaces are incredibly common in modern-day homes. There’s a good chance your living room also doubles as an office, playroom, or family dining area.
Rather than treat all of these functions as separate elements, it’s important to choose furniture and decor that meets your entire list of needs.
If your small living room connects to other areas in your home, be sure to step back and look at the big picture. Using a single color palette throughout your home’s adjoining rooms will give the illusion of greater square footage.
No matter the room, shoving the largest furniture possible into a small space is never the best approach. And when it comes to small living room ideas, the sofa is the most frequent culprit.
Few households need as much seating as an extra-long sofa or sectional provides. In many cases, a loveseat offers the perfect amount of room to kick back and relax without eating up a ton of floor space.
Of course, many furniture pieces bring more to the table than meets the eye. Look for a compact sofa featuring a chaise lounge extension or reclining seats for maximum comfort.
14. Studio Apartment
Empty studio apartments can look and feel deceptively large. Once you get some furniture inside, however, it quickly becomes clear how challenging designing — not to mention living in — such a small space can be.
Studio apartments are, by their nature, one undivided space. But you can use furniture in place of an interior wall to differentiate your living area from the rest of your apartment.
Speaking of creating a dedicated living area, you’ll need to decide if your apartment will have one at all. If not, you’ll want to invest in furniture and decor suitable for a bedroom, dining, or office as well (such as a daybed instead of a traditional sofa).
15. Tiny House
Are small living room ideas easier to come up with when your entire house is tiny? Maybe. But you still need to think strategically.
It doesn’t take much to make a small living room comfy when you’re working with limited space. Just lay down a plush area rug and fill the room with throw pillows. Many tiny homeowners even opt for wall-to-wall bench seating instead of a traditional sofa.
Usually, you’d want your furniture pieces to take up as little floor space as possible. When it comes to designing an ultra-tiny living room, though, it’s okay to embrace the tight quarters for a space you can truly snuggle up in.
Tiny Living Room FAQs
Contrary to what you might believe, the best way to maximize available seating in a tiny living room is with a sectional sofa.
Choosing the right sectional sofa is incredibly important. Select a design that is sleek and low-profile.
You also shouldn’t place your new sectional sofa in the center of your living room. Place your sectional in the corner of your living room to free up floor space.
Outside of installing new windows, adding more natural sunlight to a living room isn’t possible. Instead, place a hanging mirror opposite your living room window. The mirror will reflect the light coming through the window, effectively doubling the room’s brightness.
Installing a TV that is too large in a small living room could be a poor design choice and cause eye strain.
The ideal TV size (measured diagonally) is one-third of the distance between the TV and your living room seating. If you can’t find a TV that is that exact size, choose the next closest option.