We love the feel of a cozy living room – especially in the winter.
However, if you’re like us and have a small living room, it’s easy to cross over the line between cozy and cluttered.
If you’re having guests over, or feel claustrophobic, here are some tricks we’ve found on how to make your living room look bigger.
And no, you don’t have to knock a wall down. All it takes is the manipulation of scale, color, and lighting.
Table of Contents
Increase the size of your living room by decreasing the size of your furniture.
Ditch the titanic-sized television console and mount your flat screen television on the wall.
Do you still need a sectional couch? Or can you scale down?
Making sacrifices to reduce furniture size is difficult, but can lead to a drastic increase in the perceived size of your living room.
A quick rule of thumb is to leave space between furniture pieces.
Furniture pushed up against other pieces, or the wall, will make your living room appear closed off.
Think air for an airy, open feel.
An update to more modern furniture may be all it takes to make your living room look bigger.
Older furniture tends to be much bulkier compared to newer designs.
Take for example your sofa.
A switch to a low profile sofa with exposed legs can create the illusion of more space.
Move Your Statement
Every living room needs a statement piece; something that catches guests’ eyes and puts a smile on your face.
Instead of an ornate chair, or large chest, make your statement on the wall with mirrors, photographs, paintings, or an eye-catching ceiling fixture.
Smaller furniture isn’t the only way to make your living room look bigger.
Simple design and style choices can make a significant difference.
Opt for light and breezy fabrics over dark colored heavy materials.
Light absorbing colors will only work to shrink the perceived size of your living room.
Curtains and drapes are particularly important.
Lightweight, white drapes instantly create a breezy summer feel while opening up the room.
As for furniture, opt for a glass coffee table or shelves.
Create a Flow
Think of a cluttered living room.
Now think of a large living room.
Notice how your mind’s eye moves along a large living room. There’s a flow.
We want to replicate that effect by designing a flow to our small living room.
Leaving an empty pathway through the room is a great way to do so. Also, try strategically placing mirrors to continue the eye’s journey.
Make It White
As we mentioned with your curtains and drapes, white can help to open up your living room.
Painting your walls and ceiling the same shade of white can make your living room appear bigger by blurring the line between the two.
When it comes to upholstery, keep it simple.
Busy patterns only serve to distract and clutter.
Simple, solid design choices help to open your living room, making it appear larger.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
Let the light in. A well-lit room naturally appears larger than a dark room.
Ditch the dark colored drapes and swap in a light, translucent alternative. Or better yet, pull up the curtains to let the sunshine in.
If you’re living room is still lacking light, add a few more sources of artificial light.
Floor lamps, recessed lighting, and track lighting are great space-saving options.
Try to avoid adding too many standard lamps as they take up too much space in proportion to the light they create.
If you want to make your living room look bigger, try implementing multi-use furniture pieces.
For example, try using cube storage shelves as a television console in addition to storage.
Or, ditch the coffee table for an ottoman that also has a storage compartment.
To save extra space in the living room, look into a set of stackable end tables.
REDUCE, REDUCE, REDUCE
You can’t have a big looking living room with clutter.
Making your living room appear larger starts and ends with getting rid of the mess.
The hardest part for us was parting with long entrenched knick knacks.
Try to look at your living room with fresh eyes; or better yet, ask a friend to come over and take a look.
You’ll be shocked by how much removing a few decorative items can open up a room.