Let me make one thing clear: Living in a small space does not have to prevent you from enjoying all of the fun decor possibilities you’ve been keeping up your sleeve. So if you’ve been swooning over living rooms left and right and worry that you won’t be able to recreate the looks you love in your own apartment, I’m here to prove you wrong. Rather, minimal square footage just means that getting a little creative is key—it doesn’t mean you can’t showcase your personality, collections, or love of entertaining.
Not sure where to get started? Take a look at the 15 spaces below, all of which feature clever styling ideas for small living rooms and look quite chic, too.
1. Add a Pouf (Or Two)
Tucking a leather pouf underneath a coffee table is a great way to add warmth and texture to a space while also maximizing functionality—hello, instant extra seating for guests! There’s no need to keep folding chairs stashed away in a closet when you can find a solution as pretty as this one.
2. Bring Your Dresser Out of the Bedroom
If a beloved dresser doesn’t fit in the bedroom, why not use it as a non-traditional console table or media stand? This is an excellent way to infuse personality into a living room without sacrificing precious storage. Plus, this green dresser adds a lovely pop of color!
3. Go for Trunk as a Table
Having trouble sourcing a coffee table that fits your aesthetic or budget? Why not opt for a trunk instead. Trunks add a storied, vintage touch to any space while providing a place to store blankets, board games, and other living room essentials.
4. Take Advantage of Behind-the-Couch Space
Placing a wide table behind the sofa creates visual interest in a small space—and allows for additional styling possibilities. The piece you choose doesn’t need to be anything too bold; here, a simple, neutral find really shines.
5. Collect Antique Mirrors
Mirrors will make your space look bigger in a snap, but they don’t have to always be from big-box retailers. Keep an eye out for stylish antique-like finds that add a glam touch. Bonus points if you grab a few different mirrors and layer them to create an artful display.
6. Hang Shelves for Extra Stuff
Hanging shelves make it easy to stash your stuff while also serving as instant wall decor. Go to town showcasing your collections, favorite novels, artwork—you name it.
7. Make the Most of a Small Dining Area
If your living room is also serving as a dining space, make it chic by opting for a round bistro table in lieu of a clunkier option. When you’re not using the table for meals, jazz it up with accents, like a small lamp, to ensure the piece doesn’t constantly scream “kitchen.”
8. Big Plants Actually Work in Small Rooms
So that a small space doesn’t feel too crowded, use a large plant to fill an empty corner rather than crowding the area with excess furniture. You can truly never go wrong adding a green friend to your living room; the aesthetic (and health!) benefits are endless.
9. Try Keeping the Color Palette Cohesive
Decorating with neutrals is always a smart solution in a small space. You can still layer various hues and textures, but a room won’t appear too overwhelming or chaotic because all of the pieces share a common thread.
10. Don’t Forget About Windowsills
11. Divide the Room
Room dividers work wonders in small spaces. The more intricate and special a piece, the better. The solution will feel artful and clever rather than utilitarian.
12. Try Out Clear Pieces
Acrylic pieces take up minimal visual space and are the perfect choice for small living rooms. Whether you opt for a classic ghost chair, a lucite coffee table, or something else entirely—you can’t really go wrong.
13. Drape Some Ivy
Hanging faux ivy is also a fun way to transform rental walls and make a space feel more lived in. No green thumb, no problem.
14. Make the Bar Cart Do Double Duty
Style your bar cart to serve as a multi-functional display by placing booze on the top shelf and books on the bottom. The end result looks chic and means you can cut back on furniture pieces.
15. Wall Mount Your Books
If you’re installing a bookshelf, why not find an option that you can mount to the wall? This solution ensures that you won’t be surrendering valuable floor space, and better yet, you can really put a small wall to work.