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No, you don’t need to start combing through real estate listings in search of a larger home or apartment—it’s easier than you might think to make your existing small living room look more sizable by making a few thoughtful design choices. Below, Southern interior designers share eight of their tried-and-true tricks for making a small living room appear bigger (without making any structural changes, promise!). Follow their tips and you’ll be surprised at how dramatically different your living room feels. 

Prioritize Natural Light

Natural light can work wonders in making a smaller sized living room seem larger. “To maximize it, avoid heavy drapes or shades that block light entirely,” says Katie Skoloff, the founder of InSite Designs in Greenville, South Carolina. “Sheer dressings that allow light to flow in while still providing privacy can be a great option.” The designer notes that for privacy purposes, you can install frosted glass or light-filtering shades in your space. 

Don’t Over Clutter Your Space

The less stuff in your small living room, the better. “Overloading the room with furniture or decorations can make it feel cramped and overwhelming,” Skoloff says. Challenge yourself to become more of a minimalist! “Prioritize quality over quantity and ensure that each item serves a purpose and complements the overall aesthetic you are looking to achieve,” the designer suggests.

Embrace Vertical Space

Think tall! “Drawing the eye upward can make a room feel taller and more spacious,” Skoloff says. So, she recommends, try some floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, which can also offer valuable storage, or opt for floor-to-ceiling curtains or sheers, which “can give the illusion of higher ceilings and create a more dynamic visual flow.” 

Don’t Buy Too Small Of A Rug

Yes, smaller rugs are less costly and may seem like the best bet in a petite living room, but this actually is not the case. “In a small living room, using a large area rug that fits under the front legs of all the furniture pieces can unify the seating area and make the room feel larger,” Skoloff explains. “A larger rug creates continuity and helps the furniture arrangement feel more intentional and expansive.”

Choose See-Through Pieces

Infuse some contemporary style into your small living space in the form of see-through furniture, which Skoloff says will reduce visual clutter. “Transparent pieces like a glass coffee table, acrylic chairs, or shelves can make the room feel more open and airy,” she says. “They serve their functional purpose without overwhelming the space, allowing the eye to travel through them and maintaining a sense of openness.”

We know that designing a home or office, whether remodeling or building from the ground up, can be a daunting task if you do not have the right team in place. We are excited to learn more about you and your story to help realize your design dreams.

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