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10 Design Hacks to Make a Small Living Room Look Bigger

February 17, 2022

Trust us, these small living room design hacks can work wonders!

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If you have a small living room, it can be tricky to figure out how to decorate and fit everything you need in the small space without making it look too cramped.

Fera Residence, Wangsa Maju by Pocket Square
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Fret not! In this article, we'll show you 10 small space design tricks that will make your small living room appear larger and more spectacular without tearing down any walls. So much so that you might forget the room was ever small to begin with! It only takes a few interior design tricks - such as those listed below - to create not only the illusion of space but also designer-worthy results.

1. Choose a neutral-coloured sofa

The sofa is going to be the largest piece of furniture in your living room, so it pays to get the colour right. Choose a sofa in neutral colours to create the illusion of more open and airy space. If you want to add some colour, we recommend adding small decorations that do not overpower the space, such as the bold red decorative piece seen in this living room.

Paloma Residence, Subang Jaya by Wuuu Studio
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2. Decorate your walls with oversized art

Decorating your walls with oversized art is another simple way to divert your attention away from the small proportion of the living room. Take a cue from this modern living room, where your gaze is immediately drawn to the stunning artwork that lends the space a sense of grandeur. It also draws the eye upward, emphasising the room's high ceiling.

Dorsett Hotel and Residence Duplex by Blaine Robert Design Sdn. Bhd.
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View this project by Blaine Robert Design Sdn. Bhd.

3. Replace floor lamps with wall-mounted light fixtures

It is essential to have a well-lit room to avoid feeling claustrophobic in your small living space, especially at night. That said, floor lamps can add clutter and take up more floor space than you can afford to spare. Instead, consider using wall-mounted lighting fixtures as seen in this living room.

H2O Residence, Ara Damansara by Airhost
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4. Use dark colours to add visual depth

While light or neutral colours can certainly brighten and open up a space, moody, dark colours like rich navy, cool black, or emerald green can extend your depth of field, making your living room look bigger than it actually is.

Cantara Residence, Selangor by IQI Concept Interior Design & Renovation
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The key to using dark colours in a small room is to stick to a single colour palette. It will reduce visual clutter and add a sense of cohesion to the space. You can also use a matte finish, as shown in this living room, to add texture or to hide any walls or surface imperfections.

5. Embrace the magic of mirrors

Decorating a small living room with large mirrors is an easy way to trick the eye into thinking your room is larger than it is. It can reflect natural light into your room, making it appear and feel brighter. Mirrors also reflect your interior, giving the illusion of more space.

Lakeville Residences, Batu Caves by Wuyo Studio
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This living room demonstrates the dramatic effect of a floor-to-ceiling mirror, which instantly ‘doubles' the room size.

6. Mount your appliances on the wall

Having items or objects on the floor creates visual clutter and makes your living room look smaller. So, If you have a television in your living room, consider mounting it directly to the wall, as shown here. This allows you to remove the television stand or console table from the floor, and the less furniture you have on the floor, the less crowded your living room appears!

Darkdo, Kuala Lumpur by Doubble Interior Associates
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7. Invest in furniture with slim or tapered legs

When furnishing your living room, look for furniture with slim or tapered legs as shown in this contemporary living room. It will increase visual negative space, resulting in less clunkiness and more room for your eyes to wander.

The Parque Eco Sanctuary, Telok Panglima Garang by One Space Sdn Bhd
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8. Use light window treatments

If your living room has windows, don't cover them up with heavy window treatments such as blackout curtains or blinds because natural light can help a small space feel larger and breezier. If privacy is an issue, you can consider lightweight mesh, cloth blinds, or semi-sheer curtains as a window treatment. It will not fully expose the window (thus jeopardising your privacy) and allow sunlight to flood the space during the day.

Fera Residence, Wangsa Maju by Pocket Square
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When installing a window treatment, keep the hanging rod as close to the ceiling as possible to make the room appear taller, as shown in this minimalist living room.

Explore: A Guide to Selecting Window Treatments for Your Living Room

9. Opt for custom storage

Customised cabinets are the best way to maximise storage in a small living room. Adding a lot of freestanding cabinets to a small living room can make the space feel oppressive and cluttered. Meanwhile, customised storage painted the same colour as your walls (as seen in this living room) will not only provide plenty of storage space but will also fade into the background, creating the illusion that the furniture takes up less space.

Cantara Residence, Ara Damansara by Ee Design Studio
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10. Choose an appropriate size rug

Finding the right size rug for your small living room is a surefire way to keep it from appearing smaller (plus it adds a lot of comforts!). A good rule of thumb is to find a rug that can define your seating area - one that is big enough for your coffee table to stand on top as well as the front legs of your sofa and chairs.

Damai Hillpark Residence, Damai Cheras by Considered Design Sdn. Bhd.
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Renovating a small living room?

An experienced interior designer can help you design a functional abode that makes the most of your limited space. Request for a free quote here we can recommend you to up to four interior firms, based on your budget, style and needs.

All recommendations made by Qanvast will be protected under the Qanvast Guarantee scheme that covers 50% of your contract value, up to RM50,000, in the case that the recommended Contracting Service Provider becomes insolvent.

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