Three rules to set up a small living room

Having a small living room can be seen as an obstacle to comfort, but thanks to three simple notions, you can have a great ambiance and a sense of size in the room. Mostly, these tips are available for all, whether you’re a decorating pro or not!

In this article:

  • Clearing the room
  • Choose furniture that can do it all
  • Bring on the light!

Clearing the room

Source: @leclairdecor


This is where we must begin. We have to be minimalists not to feel crammed in our living rooms. And we are not referring here to Scandinavian style – though it has many advantages. We are talking here of minimising the number of pieces and choosing simple and concise lines to clear the space and let air through.

For a sense of space, the trick is to set out the pieces – couch, chair, table – in the centre of the room rather than up against the walls. By creating a square, you will emphasize the sense of space.

What we are seeing more and more, particularly in large European cities where small living rooms are the norm, is the use of chairs rather than the classic couch. They are as comfortable and help room circulation. In this sense our upholstered swivel chairs from the Avantglide collection are good choices as they are smaller and can pivot from one living space to the next. Reading nook, TV area; a living room can have many functions, whatever its size.

Charlotte Glider Recliner - Avantglide 

Choose furniture that can do it all


Remember that a well-kept living room will always give a sense of space. This is why it is important to minimise the number of flat surfaces – where stuff usually accumulates – and choose integrated storage units. Hiding the electronics, particularly, will improve the decor.

By choosing versatile pieces, like drop-leaf tables, you can optimise space according to the activity and number of people in the room. A good example is to combine a sofa-bed with nesting tables to switch from a living room to a guest room.

Obviously, versatility also means tailored. Building a bookshelf or a workspace in a lost area, like an alcove, also provides many different uses for the room while maintaining a sense of space.

Bring on the light!

Erie Glider in a Living room

Erie Technogel® Glider

We all know this, but it is always good to remember that light colours on walls are instrumental in making a small room look bigger. Consider window dressings with thin fabric that lets natural light come in, like veils or rising blinds.

Letting in the light also means choosing the right light fixtures. In addition to the warmth of the light, the size of the lampshades is important. Too big, they will overpower the room. Too small, they won’t provide enough light. Choose soft colours and natural fabrics that filter warm light.

Add a large round mirror on a wall to provide an illusion of size in the room. Choosing a glass-walled piece, like an armoire or a low glass table, can help the room give off a sense of space and remain functional.

Once these rules are followed, you can have fun with your own style. Clear and light lines can mean many things. By leaving the walls clear and keeping in mind that closed storage is more appropriate to maintaining a sense of space, everything’s allowed! Except maybe navy blue, red or dark green paints!