How to Decorate a Small Living Room
How to decorate a small living room starts with identifying what your interior design style is. My style is a mix of traditional, mid-century modern, Scandinavian and hints of boho. You also need to make sure the style and colors chosen fits the rest of the house decor and design. For example, when we remodeled our kitchen we chose navy bottom cabinets, white top cabinets, brass pulls and light fixtures and a marble look backsplash. When designing the dining room, we chose a warm wooden dining table with mid-century modern black chairs and an industrial metal pendant lighting. So as I was designing the living room, I wanted to make sure I pulled in similar colors and textures:
- Black/Black metal
- Brass accents
- Neutral colors – white and tan
Sectional and Accent Chairs
First determine where and how you would place the sectional in the room. It is difficult to describe how to decide since each person’s home is different. But what I like is to place it where the room has that open concept feel. Most of the time it will be against a wall because let’s face it most of us can’t afford million dollar homes where there is a lot of room to play with.
For a modern style, I chose a sectional with simple, straight edges – square/rectangle cushions and armrests. When you decorate a small living room, you also have to think of the height of your furniture and decor. I prefer low height sectionals especially if the room doesn’t have high ceilings. Traditional sectionals can have round arm rests and skirts. I tend to move towards very neutral, timeless sectionals so that your living room doesn’t have an outdated look years later.
When it comes to fabric and color, I like to think from a functional perspective. I’m not going to choose a white sectional because I know we spend most of our time in this room and won’t be able to keep it a pristine white, especially if you have younger kids! My second option would have been a faux leather cognac sectional. If you have younger kids, it is much easier to wipe up spills and messes on this type of fabric.
I leave the colors and different textures for the accent chairs since these can be easily replaced and is less expensive to replace. I like accent chairs that are the opposite color and/or fabric of the sectional. My second option would have been navy velvet or white linen with either wooden or brass legs/accents.
The coffee table I chose pulled in wooden textures and had similar design to the black metal dining room fixture. I also chose a coffee table with legs than a solid base to keep that open concept feel.
The boho accents I pulled in was in the rattan vase, rattan basket that holds our blankets and woven plant holder.
When choosing my pillows, I knew I wanted to pull in a little black, white/cream and a little blue. I also made sure to pull in different textures and prints. This is why I went with stripped pillows, one with tassels and fringes, and one that is velvet. I personally do not like the tribal print that boho designs have, so I made sure to avoid those. Since I wanted to pull in some blue to tie in with the kitchen cabinets, I chose these blue velvet pillows from Amazon.
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We refinished our hardwood floors to dark walnut. We wanted to keep the living room bright and open and so we added an ivory area rug. The area rug size should be large enough so that at least the front legs of the sectional and accent chairs rest on the rug or all of the legs rest on.
Tips on How to Decorate a Small Living Room
- Choose a layout of furniture that will keep the living room open and feel large
- Don’t choose very large, bulky furniture
- Choose lighter colors – a black sectional or multiple black pillows will make the room feel smaller
- Tie in the same textures and colors that can be found in other rooms of your house
- Less is more – when you have too many decor, especially on the walls, it will make the room feel smaller
- Add in greenery – always brightens up the room
- Pillows you choose should be different colors, textures and sizes – it’s good to mismatch!