How to Decorate a Small Living Room

Whether you have an apartment or a small home, decorating a small living room can be a challenge. After all, it is your most public space, and where much of the living goes on in your home! This article will show you how to decorate a small living room, and make it the favorite room in the house!



How to Decorate a Small Living Room

Open up the room by allowing in the most light possible. Many times curtains and blinds are hung in a way in which they block essential light into a small room. Just a couple inches covering the window makes a huge difference in the amount of light that reaches the room. Hang all window coverings so when they are open they completely clear the glass. Also make sure no pieces of furniture block light. Decorator’s tip: Make sure you keep the windows sparkling clean.

A common furniture arrangement in a small living room is to place the sofa in front of the picture window. Don’t. Move it out into the room, place it at an angle or have it face the window across the room. A diagonal couch living room arrangement is much more interesting. Having a large piece of furniture in front of that window closes in the room. While we are on the subject of furniture, try to use furniture in this room that has a low profile. The taller the furniture, the more it will close in the room. See if you have pieces in other rooms you can borrow from, or switch out.

small living room decorating


Try a monochromatic color scheme in the room. That means using different tints and shades of the same color, and usually adding a neutral such as white. Keeping the eye moving by using variations of the same color makes the room look larger, more open and less cluttered. Add texture to the room to keep it exciting.

A small living room still needs to serve the same amount of people…your family and friends. So you want to make sure there are practical areas in the room for everyone who might be using it. Got an empty corner? Add a reading lamp and chair for homework or quiet reading. Like to eat in front of the tv? Instead of having everyone balance their plates on their laps, keep tv trays in the closet to bring out when needed, then put away when not in use to save space. Love games? Place pretty baskets underneath your coffee table to keep them handy, yet out of sight.


Get as much off the floor as possible. Decorative shelving can be installed and outfitted with attractive storage options to keep school projects out of the living room corner, or sewing and craft supplies corralled.

Finally, keep accessories and art to a minimum. Have a just a few favorite things out at any one time. You can rotate out your accessories with every season to make sure you don’t have to choose amongst your favorite things! Artwork on the wall should be larger in size to streamline the look and keep it simple. If you have a treasured collection, display it in a cabinet or as a group instead of sprinkled throughout the room.

When you decorate a small living room, there are a lot of things you can do to make the space not only livable, but wonderful! Decorate small spaces with creativity, and you will treasure your small home!

Image Credits: bhousedesain
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Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates & Steve Bates (co-owners) – Woodard Bates Media LLC consisting of three blogs:, and

Kathy Bates’ previous writing credits include:

Former home decorating expert for Lifetime TV, Galtime and Country Woman Magazine.

Her book spent time at #1 on Amazon’s Home & Garden Topseller List in 2002.

Published or featured in numerous national publications, including:

Country Sampler’s Decorating Ideas magazine, Woman’s Day magazine, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Marketwatch, Decorating Solutions magazine, Decorating Ideas magazine, The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Kansas City News, The Oklahoman, Akron Beacon Journal, Pensacola News Journal and The Telegraph.


  1. Lori Clark
    February 24, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    In the picture of the living room,do you know the name of the paint color on the teal colored wall?

    • Kathy Woodard
      March 7, 2017 / 5:07 pm

      Im sorry Lori, I don’t! Most places can custom mix paint colors for you now to a photo though!

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