Keep a restrained colour palette when decorating a small living room, and opt for a lounge that's  elevated off the ground to increase the feeling of space.  Styling  Sarah Cousens. Image Denise Braki.

Keep a restrained colour palette when decorating a small living room, and opt for a lounge that’s
elevated off the ground to increase the feeling of space.
Styling Sarah Cousens. Image Denise Braki.

Short on space? There’s no need to cut corners if you follow a few simple tips to creating a small living room that’s big on style.

1. “Keep a simple palette for both your wall colour and furnishings,” says T&W stylist Sarah Cousens, “then add colour accents through accessories like cushions, art and throws.”

2. The open space beneath a sofa with exposed legs, like this Noble & Jones Marais, gives the illusion of more room. Also keep in mind that pieces with narrow arms and a streamlined profile will maximise seating (or lounging) space within your footprint.

An expansive green rug brings the elements of this room together, while the coffee table also acts as a children's craft table. Image via thedesignfiles.net

An expansive green rug brings the elements of this room together, while the coffee table also acts as a children’s craft table. Image via thedesignfiles.net

3. Head of styling Jessica Bellef has some great advice on choosing a rug: “Your instinct might be to choose the smallest one possible, but a small rug will highlight the tightness of the space and look like a bathmat. Choose one that will fit your sofa, coffee table and side table on it to make the room feel bigger.”

4. ” Don’t over-clutter,” adds Sarah. “Apply reductive thinking to your space. All you need for a living room is a sofa, coffee table, side table, arm chair and lamp, before adding a few personal touches.”

5. Choose furniture that does double duty and you’ll need fewer items – for example use stools as side tables so they can be used as extra seating when entertaining.

Wall shelves offer a place for storage and styling without taking up valuable floorspace. Image via apartmentherapy.com.

Wall shelves offer a place for storage and styling without taking up valuable floorspace. Image via apartmentherapy.com.

6. “You don’t have to sacrifice floorspace for extra storage,” Jess continues. “Floating shelves give you surface area for display with minimal footprint and since they come in a variety of finishes and sizes, you can customise them to suit your space.”

7. Adding life to a room with indoor plants is great in theory, says senior stylist Jonathan Fleming, but they can also take up valuable space. “Succulents potted in small vessels, or even kept cut in water, are easy to maintain and have the same effect in a small home.”

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