A well laid out small living room with modern furniture.

How to Make a Small Living Room Look Bigger

This goes to the heart of every apartment and condo dweller in a big city: how do you make a small home look bigger? In an increasingly condensed real estate market, it’s hard for people living in the big city to entertain at home with such small living quarters. It forces more innovative and creative use of furniture and interior design to make the space comfortable.

The biggest challenge is how to make a small living room look bigger when you don’t have much available space to utilize. You can’t exactly move the walls around; instead, you need to think about all of the elements you can control to create the illusion of a much larger living room space than you actually have.

This is a more achievable goal than you think. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all of the tips and tricks you’ll need to convert a seemingly small living room space into a welcoming environment for family, friends, and party guests alike.

Tips and tricks on how to make a small living room look bigger

So what are some of the best tips and tricks you can use to make a small living room look bigger? Use this rundown of clever ideas as inspiration to come up with a customized approach to interior design that suits your unique living needs.

Modern couch.

Pick the right proportions for the space

Remember that a small living room space means you need to be very conservative with how you use up that space. You don’t want to overstuff the living room with furniture and other items that are too proportionally big for the available space. Design your living room details to scale and select the right merchandise that will help you fill in the room in a way that still allows you and guests to move freely about the space at your own leisure.

Get the furniture away from the walls

Sometimes, having furniture like a couch or seating chair pressed right against the wall is the best layout for a living room space. In situations where you have a small living room to work with, this may not be the best idea. By positioning furniture in a more central area of the room, you create a more condensed seating area that accommodates the dimensions of the room. You’ll have plenty of space to walk around the furniture and segment the remaining space in the room appropriately for your needs.

Modern furniture for a small living room.

Utilize hidden storage space

Sometimes, you don’t need to look too far to find additional storage space in your home. Some of these opportunities are actually laid quite bare to see. For example, some windows have a very deep window sill that could be converted into a small storage space for pictures, candles, and other small items that fill up space in the room. Look for built-in storage areas that you can use for small items and reduce the need for additional tables that take up more floor space.

Be very creative with color on the walls

The paint on your walls can actually make a real difference in how bright and big your living room space appears to the naked eye. Warm bright colors that reflect natural sunlight flowing in from the outside will create the optical illusion that the room is bigger than it was structurally built to be. Counter the bright colors on the walls with a white paint on the wooden trims to further create the idea that your living room is brighter and bigger.

A well laid out small living room with modern furniture.

Rely on the magic of mirrors

People don’t just buy tall mirrors to catch a glimpse of how they look before heading off to work or out for a night on the town. Since mirrors create reflections of their surroundings, a well positioned tall mirror in the living room can make the space appear nearly double its actual size. Again, this is a creative way to manipulate how untrained eyes view the room before them. Like the story of Snow White, use the magic mirror on the wall!

Layer up with your lighting

Natural sunlight is the best way to brighten up a small living room space. But artificial light is also a great way to add a little brightness into small quarters, especially when you can install lights at various vantage points throughout the room. A floor or table lamp is great for the immediate eye level, but hanging lights from the ceiling add even more brightness to the room, particularly in the evenings after the sun goes down.

Hang up bright and free flowing drapes

Privacy is important in the city, even if you’re several floors up off the ground. While you may want to shut out peering eyes, you don’t want to block out the natural light that flows into your living room from outside. By investing in bright and free flowing drapes, you can shut those drapes and block out unwanted attention from the outdoors while still allowing light to flow freely into your living room without interruption.

A well laid out small living room with modern furniture.

Compartmentalize your storage units

If you have great storage units that compartmentalize how you store items in your living room, you can keep a lot of things off the ground and out of the way of those who might walk through the living room. A great shelving unit that’s designed to fit into a very condensed space creates all of the compartmentalized storage space you need without taking up precious open space in the rest of the living room.

Don’t forget about the ceiling

We’re trained to believe that any living room is designed with four sturdy walls. However, there’s a fifth, often overlooked wall that can add a new dimension on how to make a small living room bigger. Suspending things like lights or even small storage units from the ceiling allows you to brighten up the room and utilize an often underused storage space in order to make your small living room space look much bigger.

Invest in modular furniture to transform the floor layout

A modern couch in a well laid out small living room.

Finally, one of the best answers to the question “how to make a small living room look bigger” lies within the magic of modular furniture. Most people in small apartments or condos don’t have room for large tables or huge sofas that have no flexibility. Instead, they invest in more flexible sofa solutions that can increase or decrease in size at the whims of the owners. This is especially helpful if there’s little to no room for a standard sized couch; instead, you can use modular sofas to break up how the couch rests in the room. You’ll still have plenty of seating space, but you can arrange it in a way that is most aligned with the dimensions of the room.