Whether you’ve decided to embrace small living or you want to revamp your home, you’ve probably thought about the best ways to expand your living room at one time or another. After all, a larger living room tends to feel less cramped, look less cluttered, and can even improve the flow of your entire home. Luckily, making your living room feel bigger doesn’t require a full reno, and it’s probably easier than you think! If you want to take your living room from cramped to spacious, here are some key design tips to get the job done.
Use Vertical Space
Plants are great to filter air indoors and can make your home feel more dynamic and grounded. But for small living rooms, it can be best to elevate them off the floor to help draw the eye upward. Vertical wall planters or hanging planters are great for this. Is your living room low on natural light? Go for hardy plants like Chinese evergreen, ZZ plants, and spider plants. However, if your living room gets a lot of light, you can consider plants that require more sun-like jade, string of pearls, or colorful crotons. Or if your room does not get enough sun light you can consider hanging floral wall art instead.
Rethink Traditional Furniture
Instead of using bulky furniture that is low to the ground, try swapping it out for some thinner pieces or even mountable furniture. For example, floating shelves in lieu of a bookcase can help keep your floor clear, creating the illusion of more space. Rattan works well with a vast array of design styles and is a great way to add a natural element to your space. One way to incorporate the trend is by adding artisan-crafted stools to your kitchen or dining spaces.
Mount your TV
Moving your TV off the stand and onto the wall will instantly make your living room feel bigger. If you want to do away with your TV console or stand completely, consider placing a floating shelf mountable console underneath the television to place any hookups and accessories.
Go Clear or Reflective
Heavy or dark furniture can make your living room feel crowded. Take a contemporary approach to your living room design and trade out that bulk for transparent or reflective furniture. By upgrading to all glass end tables, mirrored furniture, or acrylic pieces, you can trick the eye into thinking there is much more space than there actually is!
Be Strategic with Light
Know your Curtains
Picking curtains in light colors will give you privacy, but still allow light to filter through. When installing them, you may also want to consider hanging them both wider and higher than the window to make your window feel more substantial.
Illuminate Dark Corners
Use secondary lighting like lamps, sconces, or candles to shed some light on those dark corners. Adequately filling your living room with light will make it feel larger than if it were dimly lit. Plus, this option will also help the space feel more luxurious, as these lighting solutions offer a softer illumination that will paint the room in a flattering light—literally!
Incorporate a Mirror
Every small room can benefit from a mirror. A large mirror hung on the wall, or even a set of smaller mirrors is a potent way to make more light bounce around the room. In turn, this will make the whole space feel much larger than it is. For the best results, hang a mirror on a wall parallel to a window. However, placing a mirror over a fireplace or above a console table also looks aesthetically pleasing. Want to make sure your mirror doesn’t add unnecessary bulk to your living room? Opt for one with a thin frame or a reflective metallic frame.
No matter if you prefer Mid-Century Modern or shabby chic, the number one way to make any living room feel unnecessarily small is visual clutter. Again, your furniture can play a vital role here by providing places to stash away reading material, extra pillows, and other odds and ends.
Furniture you may want to consider includes:
- A couch with storage underneath the cushions
- A thin console table with drawers
- A lift top coffee table
- Side tables with storage
- An ottoman
These are only a few examples. The multifunctional furniture market is bigger than ever, with tons of great pieces to declutter your living room. You just have to choose what is right for your space and your style.
Pare Down Your Color Palette
If you have all the colors of the rainbow in your living room, this can make it feel chaotic and small. Instead, try curating a color palette with a few light neutrals and maybe one or two colorful accents. Having a pared-down color palette will make the room seem more cohesive and flow together better, which will ultimately make it appear more expansive.
Accent with Color
If you love bold color, there is no need to resort to only neutral shades. However, you should consider saving bolder shades and patterns for select accents like throw pillows and wall art. Not only will this help unify the room, but keeping bright colors and patterns to accessories will also allow you to swap these items out to freshen the space easily. Generally, cool colors will make a room feel bigger, while warmer tones have the opposite effect.
Enhance your Floor
A rug in a light neutral can help expand a space, especially if you have dark floors. Just make sure you pick the right rug size. In a nutshell, this means one big enough to allow the front legs of any chairs and sofas in your central seating area to rest on the rug.
While controlling the size of your living room isn’t always in your power, choosing the right decor is. Even just implementing a few of these design tips will help expand your living room. Whether you choose to add a mirror, move a few things off the ground, or even just declutter, a little effort will go a long way in making your living room look its best and feel much larger.
As always, thank you for reading! Stay healthy and safe!
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Heather Fritz is the Creative and Marketing Director of CEDARst Companies, an integrated real estate developer which develops apartment buildings within the FLATS brand. Heather, a professionally trained photographer, employs her creative ability with the architectural and construction teams to space plan buildings and designs all of the interiors in the FLATS buildings. Heather holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art- Baltimore. In total, she has designed over 120,000 sf of residential amenity, airbnbs, office, and restaurant space since 2011.