16 Small Living Room Ideas to Maximize Your Space

Living room with table, couch and television
07 Apr 2023


16 Small Living Room Ideas to Maximize Your Space

Many people who live in the Boston area have small living rooms and want to make them seem bigger. At Organizing Boston, we know that accomplishing this involves a creative use of furniture, furniture placement, and color. Here are some small living room ideas you can use to get started on remaking your space to seem larger and more functional.

Small Living Room Ideas: Multipurpose Furniture and Storage 

  • Incorporate multipurpose furniture. Consider a bookcase with a fold down table for office work, a side table that folds out into a larger coffee table for entertaining, a side table with storage and cable management to keep all the unsightly chargers out of sight, or a floor lamp with a small table attached. Choose furniture that pulls double duty to make the most of your small space. 
  • Ditch the sofas. Sofas take up a lot of room, and they don’t need to be in a small space. Instead, arrange chairs so they face each other and make a cozy space for guests. When you don’t have any visitors, you can lounge on comfortable chairs without feeling cramped.
  • Incorporate functional decor. If you want a mirror near the front door, buy one with hooks and a shelf so that it serves as a mini entryway, especially if your front door opens directly into your living space. If you have open shelves, but want to keep some practical things out of sight, choose beautiful baskets in bamboo or seagrass to hide the clutter. 
  • Add a coffee table with storage space or little stools that hide away underneath that serve as extra seating. These come in many styles, and you should be able to find one to fit yours.

Small Living Room Ideas: Maximize Floor Space

  • Use built in shelves as a place to accent things you want to display or hide things you’d rather keep out of view. For accent shelves, leave them open for all to see. Keep them the same color as the rest of the wall so they don’t seem to take up space. If you’d rather use them to hide clutter, put them behind closed doors. The doors should still be the same color as the rest of the wall.
  • For extra seating, add a contemporary swing chair. These give the illusion of more floor space and they’re fun.
  • Maximize the potential of high ceilings. High ceilings give you a place to hang lighting, plants, and even accent pieces. Use this potential to its maximum to avoid filling up precious floor space.
  • Use the wall space. Walls aren’t just for artwork. They also hold wall sconces, accent mirrors, candle holders, and much more – all without leaving a footprint.

Small Living Room Ideas: Bold Colors and Statements

  • Keep the area bright. Let as much sunlight in as possible. Nothing says “bright and airy” like natural light.
  • Use refreshing colors. Whether you choose a retro 70s look or go for the trendy colors of the year, make sure the shades are light and airy. This will give a feeling of openness to the room.
  • Accent odd places. If you have a strange little nook or ceiling feature, highlight it with something like a plant or interesting light fixture. This will draw the right kind of attention to the area.
  • Use one bold sofa. A single sofa across one wall will invite people to sit without hogging up all the space. Yes, this is the opposite tactic as suggested in #1. It’s all about your personal style.
  • Add lots of mirrors. Big mirrors reflect whatever is in view, and using them is a well known method of making a small space look big. They are most effective when that space is minimalistic. If the room is cluttered, beware – they’ll double the clutter. (Pro tip: declutter frequently!) 
  • Make a bold statement. Contrasting the scale of the items in the room can make a great impact. For example, putting a large chandelier over a small table will be intriguing and fresh.

Small Living Room Ideas: Visual Zones 

  • Use area rugs to make separate visual zones. When the eye can see a distinction between areas, things look less cluttered. Use coordinating colors to increase the organized look.
  • Separate the living room from the rest of the house. This will keep the view from being impeded on by rooms with other purposes. Use a divider that fits the rest of the décor. This could be a set of barn doors, French doors, or a simple screen. No matter what you choose, you will add privacy to your other rooms and keep the living room designated for its intended purpose.


No matter which ideas you go with, one thing is certain: organization is the key to success.


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Organizing Boston serves the Boston, MA area, including Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, Somerville, Lexington, Winchester, Belmont and more.

Sarah Buckwalter