14 design ideas to optimize the space of a small living room

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Whether watching movies or entertaining guests, the living room plays an important multifunctional role in the home. It must therefore not only be aesthetic, but also ensure optimal comfort. If you have a small living room that feels cramped and claustrophobic, use these design strategies to maximize the space and turn it into a stylish and comfortable area.

1. Create an open plan design

Create an open plan design that combines the living room with the dining room and kitchen. Instead of walls, use semi-open partitions, glass dividers, rugs or even planters to delimit different areas without visually isolating them from each other.

Architect Manoj Patel has created a colorful open-plan living and dining room in this Vadodara home. A false courtyard occupies a prominent place in the center of the apartment. Photo: Sudhir Parmar Photography/Manoj Patel Design Studio

2. Make sure the furniture is proportionate to the size of the room

Sleek furniture with a limited footprint can make a small living room feel more spacious. Opt for furniture that sits on legs as it creates a sense of visual space.

3. Choose low sofas

Low sofas can make ceilings appear higher and make the living room appear more spacious.

4. Choose soft, neutral shades for sofa upholstery

You can incorporate pops of color with throw pillows or an accent chair. Stain-resistant fabrics or faux leather are durable and easier to maintain.

This Bengaluru apartment is swathed in pastel hues of millennial pink, textured beige, and neutral gray. Photo: Justin Sebastian/Thomas Parambil Architects

5. Buy easily movable living room furniture

Light and movable furniture allows you to create a dynamic and modifiable layout according to your needs. Place a two- or three-seater sofa against a wall with two chairs on the sides, or consider an L- or U-shaped furniture arrangement depending on the shape and size of the living room.

6. Paint the walls ivory or beige

Neutral colors will allow light to bounce around the room and make the space appear larger. Create a cohesive color palette that connects furniture, walls and accessories.

7. Use built-in cabinets and shelves for storage

Incorporate space-saving solutions like built-in wardrobes or furniture with built-in storage when designing a small living room. For example, consider ottomans and coffee tables with provisions for hidden storage. Install shelves in architectural niches to display books or accessories.

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