If you’ve recently moved into a small home or apartment, you may have found that your old furniture is too big for your living room. Cramped walkways and low floor space are serious indicators that your furniture is in need of downsizing.
Decorating small living rooms can seem difficult – after all, you have far less space for your sofa, armchair and other furniture. However, with the right approach you can furnish your small living room without sacrificing function or comfort.
The key to choosing the right sofa for a small room is understanding the limitations your room creates and working with them instead of against them. Choose the right sofa and your small living room can even feel more spacious and comfortable.
In this guide, we’ll share seven tips, tactics and techniques for you to use to choose the right sofa for your small living room, whether you’re decorating a townhouse or a cosy studio apartment.
MEASURE YOUR LIVING SPACE BEFORE YOU GO SHOPPING
One of the most common decorating mistakes is buying furniture that’s too big for your living room. This often happens because shoppers don’t understand how much space they have and rely on assumptions while they’re out shopping.
If you need to visualise a sofa or armchair in your living room to work out if it fits or not, you’ll probably make a miscalculation. Measure your living room before you go shopping so you know exactly how much space you have to work with.
This way, there’s no possibility of you buying a sofa that extends further than you’d expected and makes moving around your living room difficult. Work out how much space you have available before you shop to avoid easily preventable mistakes.
DECORATE FOR A COMBINATION OF ACCESSIBILITY AND COMFORT
When you’re decorating a very small living room, you’ll need to make some level of sacrifice in order to avoid buying oversized furniture. Keep accessibility in mind as you decorate so that your living room doesn’t become too cluttered.
For example, you might need to sacrifice the space of a three-seater sofa for a small and more suitable loveseat. You might need to forego a separate armchair for an L-shaped sofa that better fits around your living room’s walls and open space.
Be aware of your living room’s limitations before you shop and be prepared to make sacrifices when it comes to comfort and style. Sometimes you need to be practical in order to give your living room the looks and function it needs.
CHOOSE FURNITURE THAT COMPLEMENTS YOUR LIVING ROOM
That long, stylish and ultra-modern Danish sofa might look fantastic in the shop, but will it look as good in your living room? The best furniture doesn’t just look good on its own; it looks good in combination with your living room.
When you’re decorating a small living room, choosing furniture that complements your space becomes more important than ever. This is because the scale of the sofa or armchair is far greater than it would be in a larger, more spacious living room.
Before you go shopping, understand the key characteristics of your living room that define which furniture suits it the best. Colours, styles and dimensions all affect the way a sofa looks in your living room, creating a cluttered or natural looking space.
CHOOSE A CORNER SOFA TO AVOID WASTING FUNCTIONAL SPACE
When you’re decorating a very small living room, it’s important to make the most of the space you’ve got. Choosing furniture that wraps around the room’s walls makes far more effective use of space than furniture which sits in the centre of the room.
Corner sofas, particularly L-shaped sofas, are excellent choices for small rooms with limited space. Because of their space, they fit naturally into corners, freeing up space in the middle of the room in which people can move.
This technique isn’t just useful for sofas; it’s also a great way to work out where you should put your television or dining table. Place key items against the wall to create a large open space in the centre of your living room for easy movement.
PICK A SLIM SOFA TO AVOID WASTING SPACE UNNECESSARILY
Not all two-seater sofas are equally compact. Some sofas have large amounts of soft padding and cushions that take up extra space, while others are slim and designed specifically for compact living spaces.
If you’re decorating a small living room and need to use as little space as possible, a slim sofa is your best choice. Many slim sofas have soft padding that, while far less bulky than a larger sofa, is every bit as comfortable.
As great as a heavily padded sofa might look in the showroom, it will dominate your living room if it takes up too much space. Choose a sofa that’s slim but comfortable to get the most from your small living room.
SAVE SPACE BY STORING BOOKS, DVDS AND OTHER ITEMS VERTICALLY
One of the best ways to increase the amount of space you have available for a large sofa is to use space very effectively elsewhere in your living room. Take the vertical approach to storage and keep DVDs, books and other items on vertical shelving.
A tall bookshelf placed against the wall can act as a side table, book storage, console unit and coffee table all at once. By building upwards, you can maximize the amount of space you have to decorate and furnish your living room.
Small, heavily populated cities can’t build outwards, so they build upwards. Take the same approach to decorating in your living room and you’ll find you actually have a great deal more space than you originally thought.
USE FURNITURE WITH BUILT-IN STORAGE TO FREE UP OPEN SPACE
Another great way to maximise the amount of space you have available for sofas and other furniture is to choose furniture with built-in storage. Some ottomans and sofas feature built-in hidden storage compartments that can replace other furniture.
An ottoman with hidden storage can easily double as a coffee table, letting you cut a bulky item out of your living room without losing any function. A sofa with flat sides avoids the need for end tables, giving you extra functional space.
Whenever possible, choose furniture that serves more than one purpose. From the space under your sofa to the inside of your ottoman, there’s more storage space in your living room than you might think, provided you choose the right furniture.
HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SMALL LIVING ROOM?
Living in a small townhouse or apartment can take some getting used to, but with a smart selection of furniture it’s far from impossible. How can you make the most of your small living room without sacrificing comfort? With a wide choice of sofas to pick from, AHF are sure to have the right settee for your living room.