8 Small Living Room Design Ideas for Any Apartment

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The living room is truly the heart of the home. It’s where we relax, entertain, and, for many of us, it’s also where we work nowadays. However, apartment living rooms also come with a bit of a hassle, since we’re often working with less space than we’d ideally want. Luckily, with a bit of design magic and some expertly planned placements, even the tiniest of living rooms can get a spacious, airy feel. Here are 8 landlord-friendly small living room ideas for any apartment: 

Decorate vertically 

One of the cornerstone small living room ideas is to fake more space by making the room feel taller. An easy way to achieve a high-ceiling effect is to decorate the space with vertical lines in mind. If you’re up for a weekend project, you can use a vertically striped wallpaper to draw the eye up and make the space seem taller — there are plenty of easily removable wallpapers that your landlord won’t mind. At the same time, hang art in vertical lines and use portrait-shaped pieces rather than landscape.

Float your furniture 

Your intuition might tell you to stick your furniture as close to the walls as possible and take up as little space as you can. However, this layout can actually make a room seem more cramped. A better option is to float your furniture by leaving space behind large items such as your sofa. This technique will add more depth and texture to the room while making it feel airier. Alternatively, you can place your couch in front of a bookcase or a shelving unit, leaving just enough space to grab your things from the shelves. 

Incorporate mirrors  

Mirrors can change the look and feel of a room instantly. They essentially create space and light where there shouldn’t be, especially if you place them so they reflect an area with lots of texture and natural light. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile pieces — if you want to go for some boho flair, lean a mirror with vintage-style frames on the wall. Want to go for something more modern? Cover an entire wall with mirrors, and your living room will appear double in size.

Play with large pieces 

Adding a few large statement pieces to your living room’s decor is yet another hack that might seem counterintuitive but ends up making a huge impact. Large pieces can really draw the eye in and away from the room’s size, as long as you know how to embed them into the overall design. To achieve this effect, get a couple of oversized items (such as a table lamp, vase, or armchair) and place them so they stand out as soon as you enter the room. At the same time, keep small decor items to a minimum, so they don’t drown out your statement pieces. Play around with the placement, as the perfect spot may be allusive at first. 

Embrace ottomans

Ottomans can make a splash in any home and living room, but they’re especially useful when you’re dealing with a smaller-than-ideal space. These multifunctional pieces can replace coffee tables and end tables, add some much-needed storage space, and function as extra seating whenever you have guests. Getting one or more ottomans is a sound investment, especially since you can quickly move them around the house according to your needs.  

Get creative with your desk 

Home offices are a must for many of us, especially during these times. So how do you set up a home office if you have a small living room and no spare room? You get creative with how you use the space. If you want a dedicated working space, your best option is to grab a narrow desk or, better yet, use a console instead of a desk. Consoles are much narrower, can serve multiple purposes, and are easy to find in various sizes and styles. If you don’t have the room for a small working area, you can also get a high coffee table to use as a makeshift desk when coupled with low seating. 

Grab extra coffee tables 

This is one of the few scenarios where using more items will make your living room look bigger rather than smaller. Instead of getting one large coffee table that will serve a single purpose, get two or three smaller ones. This way, if you want the space to be airier, you can squeeze your coffee tables together, place one in a different room, or get them out of the way by using them as end tables. If you’ve got guests coming over, you can set them up as one large table or define multiple separate lounging areas — they will fit your needs perfectly no matter the scenario. 

Grow houseplants 

Houseplants are a must if you want your living room to feel fresh and airy. But when you’re working with a small space, you might be less inclined to get them. Luckily, some house plants can actually make rooms feel bigger. In line with vertical decorating advice, you should get tall and lean plants rather than short and bushy ones and group them to avoid clutter. Snake plants, fiddle leaf figs and monsteras all have an airy, spacious feel, and can also function as statement pieces once they grow to a considerable height. 

If you’re looking for an apartment with the perfect living room for relaxing and entertaining, check out thousands of verified listings for apartments near you.

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