Whether you're downsizing from a larger house or making your first ever home in a small loft, it's important to realize that all living room furniture isn't compatible with all living rooms. Just because it's an upholstered chair doesn't mean that it will work in your space. Small rooms look best when outfitted with furnishings that are scaled down, either in their overall dimensions or in their spare, trim styling. This might require some compromise, especially if you're planning on using the furnishings you originally selected for a much larger home.
Let's take a look at some common furnishings and see what works best in a small living room:
- Chairs - Padded chairs with wide arms and lots of stuffing can look like hibernating grizzly bears in a small room. They give the impression of shapeless, swollen bulk. Lose the padding, overstuffed cushions, and huge prints or plaids. Opt for chairs with tall, narrow legs, straight backs and much less padding. Armless accent chairs work well, too.
- Couches - It's always nice to find a place to stretch out and take a quick nap, but some small living rooms may be too shallow for a full-sized couch or sofa. A long sofa can be restrictive even if there is enough space. There may be only one practical spot for it, limiting your options. In an apartment building or condo, it may also be hard to maneuver a long couch around corners and down long hallways. Another alternative is to use one or two loveseats instead of a couch. Loveseats are more flexible because they can be placed across from one another, side-by-side, at 90-degree angles or even back to back.
- Tables - Wooden tables add a lot of style and function to a room, but in a small space they can look large and clunky. To keep the space looking light and open, consider buying light wood, glass-topped or metal tables instead. You can also lose the table entirely and invest in an ottoman. Ottomans can function as tables with the addition of decorative wooden or glass trays. They can also be used as hidden storage for extra bedding. Oh, and you can rest your feet on them, too.
- Lamps - Lamps add illumination, but table lamps in particular can make a small room look cluttered. Instead of using a table lamp, try one or two floor lamps. They have a thinner profile and look long, drawing the eye upward, always a good idea in close quarters. If you do want to display a table lamp, keep the other accessory elements nearby to a minimum.