When you are a host at heart, it can be hard to grapple with the fact that you don’t have much space to entertain. There are dozens of merits to living in small homes, from the lower cost of rent and purchase to the freeing sense of owning less stuff. However, one serious downside is lacking places to put people when you want to have a party, or even a rather small gathering of friends.
Where this is felt the most tends to be the living room. It’s here that everyone who comes over should have a seat, and they should all be able to participate in whatever activities are on offer. If you are struggling to imagine a way to organize and decorate your living room to make it inviting, functional and attractive, read on for some inspiration.
Use the Walls
Your room is small because it is bounded by walls — so you should take full advantage of those walls for storage and décor. It’s a good idea to get whatever you can off the floor, so you have more space to move and place essential furniture. Here are a few choice ideas:
- Mount your television. It’s 2019, so most everyone has a flat screen TV that can hang on the wall. If you rent in a city like Washington D.C., using TV mounting services instead of DIY can prevent damage to your walls, so you can get your full security deposit back.
- Install floating bookshelves. Hopefully, you have Marie Kondo-ed your books and reduced your collection to a manageable number. In doing so, you make it easier to find smaller, chicer floating shelves on which to stack your books.
- Hang artwork high. Common wisdom states that you should hang pictures and art at eye-level, but by moving hung items up a few inches or feet, you draw visitors’ eyes upwards and create an illusion of size and grandeur in your living room.
Play with Scale
If you dare to be bold in your design, you might consider filling your space not with diminutive furniture and accents but rather with the exact opposite: oversized design elements. While it might seem like large furniture and décor will make your room feel cramped and unusable, in truth a few big pieces take the space of dozens of smaller ones, reducing the amount of clutter and providing a sense of style. Some items you might want to supersize include:
- Lighting. An over-the-top chandelier above your coffee table will create intrigue and draw the eye upward instead of around the small room.
- Rug. Small rugs and mats only emphasize the lack of floor space, especially if there are many of them that break up the floor. Ideally, you will have only one rug per room, and that rug should fit in the center and extend almost to the walls.
Make Everything Cozy
When you want to make your living space appropriate for entertaining large groups, your first concern should be seating. People should be comfortable when they visit your home, even when there is an inordinate number of guests to fit into a smaller space. To that end, you should strive to fill your living room with pieces that can serve as seating in a pinch, so everyone who visits will have a place to rest.
Obviously, your sofa and chairs will function as seating, but you should consider investing in a coffee table that is sturdy and comfortable enough to hold a human — perhaps an ottoman that can flip from a hard, flat surface to a cushioned one. It might also be wise to invest in large pillows, which you can use as decorative bed or sofa pillows when they aren’t needed for entertaining.
Keep It Light
Finally, this is the most crucial rule in small room decoration: light. You should avoid hanging heavy curtains or blinds over your windows; instead, that natural light can be used to bring an airiness that your close living room definitely needs. To encourage the spacious atmosphere, you should also decorate primarily with light colors, especially on the walls. Painting with dark hues makes the room feel smaller and tighter, so white, light gray and pale pastels are your best friends.
A little living room shouldn’t be the end of your hosting dreams. You can enjoy the company of all your friends and family without worry, as long as you decorate to maximize space and accommodate everyone’s needs. Thanks to Michale Ben for collaborating!