"You can gain more surface space by having a console table behind a sofa and a variety of seating, like one sofa and four chairs that are not all the same that can float in a room and even be moved around," says Rybock, "and then use a cocktail table as the anchor in the center of the space." Once you have the furniture in place, Fenimore suggests using textural or colorful artwork to visually fill the room.

In the living room of a Manhattan apartment designed by Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of Drake/Anderson, the sectional sofas by Avenue Road are covered in a Great Plains mohair, the pair of vintage Gio Ponti armchairs are from Karl Kemp Antiques, the glass cocktail table by Fredrikson Stallard is filled with feathers, the round side table is by Holly Hunt Studio, the lamp on it is by Charles Paris and the custom rug is by Tai Ping.
Choosing a larger rug—even in a bold pattern—is a trick that makes a room feel bigger. Unlike smaller rugs, the large size doesn't visually break up the floor. This can also help anchor the space and give you a good staple piece to design the rest of the room around. Corner seating can also help you get more mileage out of less surface room for a longer traditional sofa.

Bring your artwork up to trick the eye and expand or accentuate the height of the room. A gallery wall might seem too busy for a small space, but it can actually make it feel larger if it extends to the ceiling. In this family room designed by Kate Ridder, the mirrored effect of this glossy red paint on the ceiling makes the small space feel like a fun house.

The more unique, the bigger the statement when it comes to wall decor and art. A good way to to switch things up is by choosing artwork that doesn't live within the confined borders or a rectangular or square frame. We're also loving the colorful nesting coffee tables and ombre carpet for a subtle bit of fun in this living room designed by Studio DB.
Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
In the living room of Vivia Horn’s Japanese-style retreat in Hunter, New York, the leather-and-plastic Italian sofas, cocktail table, and wool shag rug were purchased in the 1980s at Bloomingdale’s. The Japanese-style fire pit and tin range hood are custom, the floor lamp is from the '70s, the sisal carpet is by Stark, the ceiling beams are Douglas fir, and a series of color lithographs from Japan are displayed along the pine wainscoting.
This cozy little space shows how small living room decor can quickly become an art form given the right pieces. In this room’s case, the abstract white sculptures on one wall and the feather painting on the other would probably point to an oceanic theme, but when you get to the blue area rug and notice the flowers, you begin to wonder if the room really is following a specific theme. Without those pieces of wall art, the room would look stale and a bit generic, which shows how even one piece can transform a room’s look in unexpected ways.
With the multihued curtain fabric as her jumping-off point, designer Ashley Whittaker splashed an amped-up version of pink in three places in the living room—the footstool, the contrasting pillow welt, and the slipper-chair trim. "We wanted the home to feel bright and colorful like Florida but not like a vacation home," says Ashley. She pulled off the cozy yet elegant vibe by grounding the sun-and-surf palette with serious touches, such as the antique demilune tables.
In the living room of designer of textiles and interiors Kathryn M. Ireland's compound in Santa Monica, the custom sofa is in a linen velvet from Ireland’s fabric collection; the armchairs are covered in an Otis Textiles linen slipcover (left) and a fabric purchased in Marrakech (right). The rag rug is from Amadi Carpets, the steel-framed sliding doors are by Chateau Domingue, and the wall hanging is a 19th-century suzani.
Have you ever seen a room in a magazine that was just so stunning that you had to have it in your own home? While you may not be able to recreate it perfectly, decorating a small living room doesn’t have to break the bank. Print the picture out, take it with you to your favorite furniture stores and have a little fun trying to match each piece. You probably won’t find perfect matches, but similar pieces you do find will feel much more personal and make the final space much cozier. For visual interest, try some thrift store finds.

Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.


If you just want to spice up a dull space, that one visual oddity can make all the difference. This is especially true in a small living room since there normally isn’t much to look at. The rug in this room is a great example because it breaks up the plainness and uniformity the room otherwise has. It also accomplishes this without being overly intrusive. It also forces you to look down at the floor, then up at everything else in the room, ensuring you see every bit of the room’s contents. The right accent pieces make all the difference.
A minor renovation for a living room remodel project typically includes simple work such as repainting walls and ceiling, installation of wallpaper, changing lighting fixtures, resourcing new furniture pieces, installing a knock down shelf, adding accessories or changing soft furnishings like window treatments, upholstery or textiles – basically anything that does not require an extensive amount of demolition or structural change in the space. Minor renovations may be taken on as a “Do It Yourself” project, especially if you have prior knowledge and experience on such. On the average, minor renovations cost less in terms of labor because it eliminates the need to hire subcontractors or even construction professionals.
On the other hand, major renovations for a living room remodel project are more labor intensive, take longer time to finish and typically require professional help. Major renovations may involve structural modifications, demolition work, electrical wiring and typically include improvements done on the floor, walls and ceiling. It may also include a series of minor renovations, thus making it more of a larger scale project in the process. Major renovations are also sometimes referred to as a “full renovation” because instead of just improving a part of the living room, the scope of work requires enhancement and constructions works for the whole space and all its elements – meaning wall, floor, ceiling, furniture, furnishings and lighting. Examples of major renovation works are demolition works like removing an existing partition, tearing down the whole ceiling. Electrical works like rewiring, taking out all old flooring and installing new materials, retiling of floors, construction of a drop, recessed or cove ceiling and the like.

The difference really is, as they say, in the details, whether that's a new lipstick, a touch of truffle oil, or in this case, pillows and paint. This living room already had a lot going for it: a rough-hewn coffee table, a versatile sofa by Cisco Brothers, and a gorgeous ceramic garden stool. But apply one shopping trip's worth of accessories—all under $100—and this just-okay space turns remarkably elegant.
With the possibility of unforeseeable issues, it is best to have a contingency fund to make you prepared along the process. In addition, room expansions for living room renovation projects should not be taken lightly and must be left to the hands of a trusted professional. Scout for a good contractor as he will be able to assess everything carefully, spot problem areas ahead of time and prepare a complete bid.
Have you ever seen a room in a magazine that was just so stunning that you had to have it in your own home? While you may not be able to recreate it perfectly, decorating a small living room doesn’t have to break the bank. Print the picture out, take it with you to your favorite furniture stores and have a little fun trying to match each piece. You probably won’t find perfect matches, but similar pieces you do find will feel much more personal and make the final space much cozier. For visual interest, try some thrift store finds.
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