Design Ideas To Maximize Your Small Living Room Space

Design Ideas To Maximize Your Small Living Room Space

Not every home is blessed with an abundance of space, but you can still showcase your style and enjoy plenty of room to relax with a few simple and smart design ideas to transform your living room from cramped to cozy. 

Chicago’s current real estate market is as volatile as always, and a home with a large, welcoming living area is always in high demand for prospective homebuyers. If your house seems to be bursting at the seams, read on for some expert tips and tricks to maximize your square footage.

Accentuate the Positive

Even the most diminutive living room has at least one charming feature that you can use as a focal point. There are many stately historic residences in this region with stunning architectural details like fireplaces, crown moldings, a gorgeous view, or historic hardwood or tile flooring. Amplifying this appealing aspect of your home will make your living space pop, regardless of its size.

Let the Sunshine In

While we don’t have the luxury of year-round sun, letting in all of your available natural light will boost your mood as well as make your room look much bigger and more inviting. Top designers recommend adding height and light with dramatic floor-to-ceiling curtains in white or pale colors for high-end window treatments at an affordable cost.

Conquer Clutter

Nothing makes a space feel cramped like needless clutter everywhere. While you don’t have to go full Marie Kondo, taking a more minimalist approach will create a feeling of calm as well as a sense of space. Not sure how to proceed? Here’s a fast yet thorough strategy:

  • Separate everything into 3 piles — keep, toss, or donate. Be ruthless!
  • Wipe down every surface, including shelving and the entertainment center.
  • Empty out and reorganize any drawers, cabinetry, or bookcases
  • Clean your remotes, curtains, flooring, lampshades, light switches, and art.

Once you’ve decluttered, you’ll be amazed at how the area appears much more open and comfortable.

Make a Statement

Sometimes the best thing to do is make a scene. Your living room might be small, but it can still be mighty with a few bold touches that will give your home quite the personality and help you get the biggest bang from your real estate bucks. 

Paint it Black

Black as a wall color is actually a popular interior design trend these days. It’s especially fetching in a smaller room and will display your colorful art and accessories to their best advantage. It’s chic, rich, and (hardly) ever goes out of style.

If that’s not precisely to your taste, consider other darker hues for your living area that will add warmth and vibrancy. Knowing which direction your natural light is coming from can help you select the right tones for the atmosphere you desire. 

A room that faces south receives a warmer light, which means a dark color with a cool base is what to choose. If your windows face north, you’ll want to choose a moody hue with a dark red bottom note.

Show Your Legs

Another trick designers frequently use to make a room appear larger is staging with leggy furniture — think sofas, chairs, and tables with long, elegant legs and a graceful outline. These will add the illusion of height, along with floor-to-ceiling drapery.  

This is also the perfect opportunity to give your living space some swagger with a big bold rug. These interior design must-haves protect your flooring from wear and tear, but they’re also available in a nearly endless array of colors, designs, and patterns. Rugs are also an affordable luxury and easily moved when you’re ready for a change. 

Add Functionality

Every home can use more storage, especially if you’ve got children. Whether you’re investing in a fixer-upper or revamping your family homestead, there are many clever ways to add valuable storage and make a room appear bigger. 

Go Vertical

Along with the curtain gimmick mentioned above, utilizing your wall space all the way up raises the eye and makes a room appear to be larger. It also gives you a place to tuck books, keepsakes, wicker bins, plants, spare pillows and throws, or whatever else you need to find a place for. Shelving, bookcases, and a variety of other wall-mounted hardware can give you a whole new look.


When you’re working with limited square footage, another option is to choose furniture that has more than one purpose in life. Ottomans can serve as footrests after a long day, a coffee table with the aid of a serving tray, and a place to hide blankets for snuggling on cold winter nights. Sofa beds instantly add a guest room and a side table can become a desk or a nightstand.

You can also upcycle old bedroom or dining room furniture into a gorgeous and useful statement piece for your living room. Glass fronted storage cabinets, armoires, credenzas, and chests of drawers can bring in much-needed storage and a touch of class — just stain or repaint them to match your living room color scheme.

Bring It Together

Just because your living room is modest doesn’t mean it can’t be magnificent. There are many different methods for maximizing a small space, so you’ll be sure to find the ideas that suit your budget and your style. If you’re looking for more renovation ideas or considering selling your home, we’re here to offer expert advice and assistance throughout your real estate journey. If you’ve got questions, reach out to your experienced local Baird & Warner agent anytime and we’ll be thrilled to help!

Written by




Stay Connected

Get the latest news, stories, and advice from the Baird & Warner blog delivered straight to your inbox.


Stay Connected

Get the latest news, stories, and advice from the Baird & Warner blog delivered straight to your inbox.


Stay Connected

Get the latest news, stories, and advice from the Baird & Warner blog delivered straight to your inbox.