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Trying to figure out how to decorate a small living room can sometimes lead to a design dilemma. After all, it may seem impossible to get your living room looking just right when you don’t even have space for a full-size sofa.

But just because you’re working with a small space doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style. Make the most of a less-than-large area with these nine tips on how to decorate a small living room.  

Cut the Clutter

The quickest and easiest way to make a small living room feel more spacious is to remove all the unnecessary items. Start by clearing all surfaces and removing things that belong elsewhere or don’t get used on a regular basis. Then consider if you really need each piece of furniture in the room. For example, removing even one chair or end table can open up a whole lot of space.

Look for the Legs

small living room with light furniture

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The secret to making any small room feel bigger is to expose as much floor space as possible. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any furniture in the room; it just means you have to choose the right pieces. Look for furniture with slim legs and plenty of open space underneath.

Fashion a Focal Point

small living room with furniture arranged around table

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Creating a functional floor plan is one of the toughest tasks when figuring out how to decorate a small living room. To make it work (and save your back), start by sketching it out on paper.

Choose a focal point such as a fireplace, TV or coffee table to act as the room’s anchor.  Arrange your furniture so that it faces the focal point and creates a comfortable space for conversation.

Choose Pieces that Do More than One Job

To get the most out of a small space, it helps to define how you want to use the room before you decorate it. Then, once you have a plan, you can choose items that will add both function and style.

Small ottomans that can be tucked away under tables will provide extra seating when you need it but leave you with room to move the rest of the time. Or try using a bar cart as an end table so you can still serve up drinks without sacrificing space.

Take Your Lighting Up a Level

Proper lighting is a critical component of any well-designed living space, but it’s even more important when you’re decorating a small living room. The right lighting can increase function, add depth, create ambiance and make the room feel larger.

To show your small space in the best light, think in layers. Use a combination of wall sconces, pendant lights and ceiling lights to provide adequate light for any task or activity. Avoid tall lamps that take up valuable floor space and use table lamps sparingly to avoid making the room feel cluttered.

Splurge on a Statement Piece

small living room with bright yellow sofa

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To really make an impact when decorating a small living room, forgo a lot of little decor in favor of one stand-out piece. A brightly colored sofa or a boldly patterned accent chair will make a statement and express your style. If you’re not ready to commit to a statement sofa, try a fun area rug or curtains instead.

Reflect on How to Decorate A Small Living Room

When you’re searching for that perfect piece of artwork to decorate your small living room, consider less color and more shine. Mirrors are the ideal small space art hack. A large mirror creates a dramatic focal point when you walk into a room. It also reflects light and creates the illusion of more space. And there are endless styles and sizes to choose from, so it’s a go-to solution for any design style.

Add Architectural Details

If you want to add a lot of character to a room without filling it full of stuff, architectural details are the way to go. Something as simple as upgrading your door and window frames or adding crown molding can really create an impact. Or try adding wall trim in an exciting pattern to instantly add style and elevate the look of a small living room.

Try A Smaller Scale

small sofa in small living room

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Want that super-comfy sofa with all the bells and whistles, but it won’t fit in your small space? Ask if they have an apartment size model. Many furniture manufacturers have adapted to meet the growing trend of small space living by creating smaller versions of their most popular models.

If you’ve been stumped by how to decorate a small living room, we’re here to help. These nine tips will have your small space looking its best in no time!