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Make Your Living Room Look Huge With These 12 Interior Decorating Tricks

The reality is that most modern homes are compact, to say the least. With the rise of open plan living, most of us don't have the advantage of expansive interiors with multiple living zones. Instead, we need to use clever decorating tricks to give the illusion of more space through our furniture selections, colour palette and the overall layout. If you'd like your living room to be less cramped and more grand, consider using the following interior decorating tricks to transform your space. While they can't technically add extra metres to your room, they'll sure make it seem that way.

1. Curate your shelves

A bookshelf that's too full is a real turn off. Not only will the tightly-packed books gather dust, but a squashed shelf is hardly pleasing on the eye. Learning the art of editing is important when decorating at home. It doesn't mean that you have to be a minimalist, however you should select your favourite pieces only to show off on shelves so that the eye can actually take in the objects without feeling overwhelmed.

2. Match curtains to the wall

Curtains can be the perfect finishing touch to a room or a complete eyesore. To achieve the former in a small living room, consider matching the colour of your curtains to the wall. If you've just done a fresh paint job in a crisp white, your beige curtains might appear bulky and a visual distraction. By choosing the same colour, they provide a nice textural difference in a crisp, streamlined way.

3. Go monochrome

That doesn't mean black and white, for the record. You can actually be as bold as you'd like with a monochrome scheme, but you just choose one colour to focus on. From there, you can select various tones and shades of that same colour to use throughout. The result will leave your room with a calm and considered look. An extra tip: Opt for white, black and grey elements to break up your chosen colour.

4. Furniture with legs

While we're still firmly on the chunky furniture bandwagon, when it comes to small spaces, pieces that don't graze the floor are ideal. Think sofas and coffee tables with thin legs that provide you to see underneath. You'll be surprised how effective this can be at adding back some visual space to your living room.

5. Give your walls breathing room

It can be tempting to push everything to the outer edges of your living room in an attempt to make space for people to walk. Sounds good in theory, but in practice, it looks a bit strange. A better technique is to bring your furniture in slightly so everything relates to each other and your guests will actually feel inclined to sit and enjoy the space. Your walls will then feel less cramped and your room will have a nicer feeling to it.

6. Have a focal point

To remove focus from your lack of square metres, draw people's eye to a particular focal point in the room that will draw them in initially. A great option for tiny spaces is a mirror which will also help to reflect light around. It could also be an art piece, a mantlepiece or even your most prized houseplant. Keep everything else subdued to let that one element shine.

7. Mount your TV

Some designers say that TVs don't belong in the living room at all, but we're not here to stop you from your Netflix binge. If you can, mounting a TV on the wall is well worth the effort. It means that you can place it at the correct height for viewing and also free up some space on your buffet.

8. Draw the eye up

You might have a small living room, but maybe you have some decent ceiling height? Ways to capitalise on this or to give the illusion that they're higher than they are include hanging curtain rods higher than your actual window, placing shelves and artwork higher than eye level and making sure your walls and ceilings are painted the same colour. Nothing makes an already small room feel cramped than a discoloured ceiling.

9. Go for impact

For this decorating tip, we're referring to accessories. Whether you're a vase hoarder (us) or not, choosing well is key to a fresh, spacious aesthetic. You need to consider the size of your accessories; specifically, if they're too small to have an impact. Two sculptural vases grouped together will feel more chic than a bunch of smaller trinkets.

10. Don't block the door

You'd be surprised how many people place chairs and sofas directly in front of a sliding door or an entryway to another room. It's an instant barrier for anyone experiencing the space and just makes everything feel off. Doors should be left free, no matter how tiny your living room is.

11. Experiment with layout

Speaking to our last point, the layout of your room can be tricky to perfect when you're short on space. So, spend some time rearranging things and walking through the space to see how things feel until you think you've optimised the space in the best way. The best thing is that nothing is permanent and can easily be switched up accordingly.

12. Keep cords contained

There's nothing that screams messy than a bunch of tangled cords running along the floor. Usually they're from the TV or any electronic devices you've got running, but also be careful of lamp cords and any phone chargers etc. you might have plugged in. You'd be surprised how quickly cords can clutter a space visually, but luckily it's a quick fix.

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