September 30, 2021 | Updated: April 11, 2022

Home ideas

Small living room ideas

This article features small living room ideas and suggestions for creating a more spacious feel, even if there isn’t much to start with. We will provide advice on living room design ideas, décor, and living room layout and planning ideas.


Table of Contents

Structural Ideas

Design ideas

Decorating ideas

Layout ideas


Small living room ideas for the UK

The images of living rooms that you may see in design magazines or on social media are almost always endless spaces with open-plan layouts, filled with comfortable sofas, high-definition TV monitors and beautiful artwork.

However, the average UK home measures 68 square meters (730 sq. ft.), slightly smaller than the European average. So, to get the “interior design living room” look, we have to try harder. The small modern house does not mean compromising on comfort, though. Doing more with less is a challenge, but one that can often be resolved successfully through layout and décor. Let’s dive into our top small living room design ideas!



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Small living room design ideas

The living room is where we relax, entertain and share time with others. It is, therefore, the area of the house where we spend most of our leisure time. It is often positioned in a central part of the house. 

With this in mind, we’ll share some small lounge ideas to make your small living room more enjoyable and help you maximise space and style. We’ve organized our top small living room ideas in terms of structure and decoration to plan and style your living room to feel bigger.



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Small living room ideas: Structural 

First, let’s talk about the structure of your living room, and how the structure of this room can make it appear larger. As well as some small living room layout ideas to accommodate them.


#01 Open plan vs broken-plan living room layouts

Having an open plan or broken plan living room layout can impact how big your living room may feel. Open plan refers to the living room, dining room, and kitchen being integrated. These types of living room layouts can make the room seem bigger, but not every home is suitable for the open-plan layout. And not every lifestyle lends itself to open plan living rooms.

There are definite advantages to separate rooms and compartmentalised spaces in the home. From avoiding kitchen smells, enjoying privacy and adding that sensation of cosiness, having a broken plan living room can have its benefits. No matter which living room layout you have, there are some ways to structure and layout your rooms to make it feel more organised or even make your small living room feel bigger.

From dining rooms with screens or partitions, sliding panels, using walls or paint to divide areas, or even create different patterns with different floorings, such as kitchen tiles, and more. If you have a small living room and dining room in an open layout, these ideas can also help the space feel bigger. From wall tiles to placing furniture to create zones. These small living dining room ideas can really maximise your space or make any living room layout look bigger.


#02 Small living room layout: connecting doors

One big and simple living room idea to make the room feel bigger is to open up your living room to other areas of your house. If you have an open plan living room, this is already done for you, but any other doors or hallways that your living room is closed off to, opening these will make it seem even larger.

Whether you have double doors, a wider opening, a non-structural wall, or even just a normal single door, opening these up is a great and simple idea to make your small living room appear larger. Opening up your small lounge to the dining or kitchen area, or even a bedroom if you live in a flat, can enlarge your space. This is because your small living room doesn’t seem so closed off, and it can easily be converted back into a smaller and cosier space. As stated before, having a glazed panel can also create that cosy feel if you don’t have doors or an open plan living room layout.


#03 Small living room ideas: let the light shine

Natural light does wonders for your small living room and letting light in can make your small lounge appear bigger. Opening up blinds and windows, or if you have a skylight allowing natural light to shine in, is a great idea. Throughout the day, the changing angles and colours of the sun can create an atmosphere in your living room, and the view of stars at night can open your living room layout space outwards.

Even including lamps and room lights is a great small living room idea to make your room appear larger. Having light around the room can bring that feeling of openness and brightness to your small lounge.


#04 Small living room layouts: Extension ideas

If you have a small lounge, and depending on the layout of your floor plan, you could extend your living room. This is a great small living room idea to make your room bigger, whether you extend into the kitchen or dining area, there are some ideas that can help make your living room appear larger.

If you have the space and your lounge faces west or south, then a good small living room idea is to add a conservatory with connecting doors. This not only adds a room to your house, but you can have the doors open and let light in year-round and create an extra relaxing area, and during the summer can enjoy the sunroom and outdoors from inside! You can also separate the rooms by having your conservatory decorated with floor tiles.

Small conservatory extensions come as a kit and represent the best value for money when adding space to the home. Usually, no planning permission is required if the extension is under a certain size and not visible from the public road.



Bottega Acero 44.3X44.3 (Available online & in-store


Small living room design ideas

Now that we’ve got the structure and living room layouts over with, let’s talk about how to design and decorate your small living room to maximise space and style.


#01 Small living room colour ideas

The best small living room colour idea is to stay white or neutral. These colours can help your small lounge appear more spacious. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean throwing out and not using colours, just means being more controlled and creating a balance. With light in the room bouncing off lighter colours, it can open up your small living room.

Having a statement sofa, or wall colours within an otherwise neutral colour scheme can help the space feel more generous. You can also balance your room with flooring, from neutral carpets to white floor tiles, the options are endless. This can also open your living room if you have an open plan living room layout.


#02 Skirting boards, architraves and doors

A great living room design idea is to make sure that skirting boards, doors and frames for your doors or windows are all white. This living room design helps to create a sensation of an “endless horizon” line and matches your small living room colour. This approach works with the colours of your décor and walls in your small living room to open out the space rather than using darker colours which can sometimes make the space smaller. As part of a skirting board, you can also use skirting tiles, which can add texture to your area.


#03 Small living room design ideas

Choosing the right size furniture is crucial for small living room layouts. The sofa is undoubtedly the piece of furniture you should start with. A two- or three-seater sofa supported on legs will take up less volume, physically and visually. Match the armchairs and coffee table with the chosen sofa in terms of scale. The style, on the other hand, can be contrasted. Or a great small lounge idea here is to opt for two smaller armchairs to break out the space and make the room seem bigger.  

Another great small living room idea is to choose furniture that doubles up as storage units. This could mean choosing an ottoman footstool which you can use to store things inside it. Or, opting for storage shelves and units that make the most out of ceiling space and avoid taking up room on the floor, this is an easy small lounge idea to maximise space and create a bigger room.

Adding accessories to the room is another great furniture idea. One small living room design idea is to use mirrors in your lounge, which can instantly create an illusion of a bigger room. As well, mirrors reflect light around the room and décor. And if you already have a window, replace your curtains with blinds, this is a great small living room idea to make the room seem taller, as well as bounce light around the room.

Consider using your walls as part of your small living room design. Choosing wall lights is a great option. This not only bounces light off the wall to make the room brighter but also maximises floor or table space. Or hanging wall storage on the wall can provide extra storage and create more floor space.


#04 Small living room ideas with a fireplace  

A great living room design idea if you have a fireplace is to decorate and surround your fireplace with floor or wall tiles. To make your fireplace really stand out, using decorative tiles such as our stone effect wall tiles can really make it pop. And you can use the small living room ideas above to really layout your room to centre around your fireplace.

Another great living room design idea is to fit mirrors within the recesses on either side of a chimney breast will double the sensation of space. Do not be mean with mirrors; however, the bigger, the better. Alternatively, add a full-width mirror over the fireplace to achieve a similar effect.


#05 Living room design and finishes

Finally, to make your small lounge appear bigger, there are some materials and finishing touches to your floor that you should consider. A large-format floor tile with minimal joints will create the sensation of continuous flooring in a small living room. This approach helps extend the space, as smaller tiles and floorboards tend to exaggerate the feeling of small spaces. 


Neutral colour living room tiles in lighter shades will add to the feeling of spaciousness.


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How to decorate a small living room?

To summarise our living room design ideas, the most important thing to get right is the scale or dimensions of living room furniture. From there, less is more, decorate your small living room with furniture that doubles up as storage units, and even breaking up one sofa into two armchairs can work wonders. Make sure you are using light and soft colours in your small lounge, avoid busy fabric prints and always let light in.


Small living room layout ideas

Now we’ve covered the structure and small living room design ideas to make your room feel larger. Let’s cover a few living room layouts to open up the space.

Although it may seem contradictory, creating separate and distinct areas in small living rooms helps generate a sensation of additional space. For example, arrange the sofa and armchairs around a coffee table (preferably around a chimney breast); a writing desk with bookshelves and a floor lamp; an armchair with a side table and a table lamp. These separate zones help define how the space is used and give the room more potential. It makes it seem as if several things can happen simultaneously. 


Avoid placing the TV as the focus of the room. It tends to limit its potential for other uses.

If you have a rectangular spaced small living room, there are some layout and design ideas that you can use to maximise space. For example, creating a cross-axis width-wise rather than lengthwise is recommended. This helps make the space feel larger. Use built-in bookshelves or interesting window treatments at either end to add additional focal points. Lighting should reflect the zoning of the space. Avoid a central ceiling light; instead, add wall sconce and floor lights to define islands of light.



Bottega Acero 44.3X44.3 (Available online & in-store


How do I arrange a small living room?

As we’ve stated before, it all depends on the configuration of the room. However, a good summary of our small living room ideas is to divide the room into primary and secondary zones. It might mean one is larger than the other, or they are both the same size, or one-part is just used more than the other. Then use furniture and lighting to define these areas for their uses, i.e. watching TV, dining, entertaining, reading, etc. Then use your décor to balance out the layout of the room and create a small lounge design that makes it appear larger.

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