How to Set Up a Small Living Room

Making the most of every inch of space in a small living room can be a challenge. Placing furniture, choosing the right colors, window treatments and accessories to make a cozy space live large takes time and planning. When you are working with limited square footage, choose scaled-down furniture and multiuse pieces, make the most of your vertical space and fool the eye into thinking the room is larger than it is.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Mirrors
  • Crown molding
  • Slipcovers
  • Throw pillows
  • Area rug
  • Curtains

Draw a floor plan of the space. Measure the room and use graph paper so that you can draw it approximately to scale, or simply make a rough drawing. Sketch in your larger pieces of furniture like the couch and chairs. Draw more than one floor plan and consider different furniture configurations.

Paint your walls in light colors or neutrals. Keep the ceiling, moldings and trim white. Install crown molding to draw the eye up and make the ceiling look higher than it is. Reflect natural light by installing mirrors on a wall opposite a window.

Buy furniture that is in scale with the room, such as a love seat or easy chairs rather than a full-size sofa. Choose pieces that are multifunctional like storage cubes and ottomans that can act as extra seating. Forgo a large coffee table in favor of two ottomans or storage cubes situated in front of the couch. Or choose one with a glass top.

Slipcover furniture that is upholstered with large, busy prints. Stick to neutral fabrics with no designs and accessorize with throw pillows. Cover all upholstered furniture with the same fabric.

Arrange the furniture to take advantage of a focal point like a fireplace, large window, grouping of pictures or entertainment center. Anchor it with a large area rug. Create a conversation area by placing two loveseats opposite each other or two chairs opposite a love seat.

Hang curtains above your windows and make them floor length to make the room seem taller. Choose lightweight fabrics that filter natural light rather than heavy materials that block it.

Install your television on the wall rather than housing it in a cabinet that will take up valuable floor space.

Organize your living room. Tuck clutter into storage cubes. Hang shelves on the wall to corral books and knickknacks.

Accessorize your living room sparingly. Highlight the room with a few well chosen pieces of art. Pare down collections and display only a few pieces.


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