15 Styling Tricks That Make A Small Living Room Seem Bigger Than It Is

No but really.

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Emily Henderson

If your living room is cramped and cluttered, the last thing you'll want to do is hang out there. That is, unless you trick your eye into thinking your room is bigger than it appears. It's not magic; it's just smart styling. Get ready to Pin all these tips.

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1 Keep It Cozy
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Courtesy of Sugar and Charm

"Cozy" is always the keyword for "cramped" space, but in this case, leaning into what makes a room feel genuinely cozy — as in, an enveloping cocoon from the sh*tshow that is the real world — can be totally soothing. Keep seating close together and intimate, and choose a h, soft rug. Don't you want to just curl up and relax?

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Souk Wool Rug, $319, westelm.com

2 Add A Hammock Chair
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Photography by Zeke Ruelas/Designed by Emily Henderson

Hammock chairs are super trendy right now, but they're also a life saver in a small living room. You can add seating without taking up a ton of floor space, like you would with a traditional armchair.

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Hanging Chair, $548, anthropologie.com

3 Go All White
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Courtesy of Erin Gates Design

Keep walls and floors all white to brighten up the space. A gallery wall with wide-matted art and white frames blends in with the wall, so the effect is eye-catching — yet not a bit cluttered. That way you can make a colorful piece of furniture the focal point of the room, so it's not like the walls are closing in on you.

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Ottoman, $174, wayfair.com

4 Keep Curtains Light
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Christopher Baker

Light curtains and shade help maximize the light in a small living room. It's even better if you can match them to your wall color.

Beige Curtain Panels, $20, amazon.com

5 Choose A Big Rug
The living room is anchored by a tall euphorbia plant, which is similar to a cactus but needs less sunlight. The Fable rug is from Blakeney's collection for Loloi, the curtains are from Ikea and the rods are from Lowe's.
David Tsay

Choosing a larger rug — even in a bold pattern — is a trick that makes a room feel bigger. Unlike smaller rugs, the large size doesn't visually break up the floor.

Distressed Rug, $130, amazon.com

6 Add Ottomans
Small Living Room Styling Ideas
Trevor Tondro

Use ottomans in place of a traditional coffee table to make better use of your space (because, let's face it, a tiny house means your living room often does double or triple duty when people come over). You can top them with a tray to hold flowers and books, or call them into use as extra seating.

Storage Ottoman, $154, amazon.com

More: 11 Ways to Maximize a Small Space

7 Rethink Your Coffee Table
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Victoria Pearson

Use two small tables to take the place of one big coffee table. They're better for traffic flow and easily moved to wherever else you may need them.

Moroccan Black Stool, $88, target.com

8 Hang Curtains A Couple Inches Higher
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Jim Franco

Curtains hung well above a window add airiness and height to a small room. Keep the curtain design basic but use extra fabric for fullness.

Silver Pouf, $150, wayfair.com

9 Bring In Dramatic Color
sisal rug
Maura McEvoy

Dark, glossy walls create a sophisticated backdrop for simple, clean-lined pieces. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel-box.

White Lacquer Coffee Table, $960, wayfair.com

10 Play With Scale
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Victoria Pearson

Don't be afraid of oversize chairs. Lots of little things in small spaces can make the room feel cluttered, so stick to a few larger pieces for comfort.

Club Chair, $219, wayfair.com

11 Opt For Double-Duty Furniture
striped madeline weinrib rug
Thomas Loof

When the space is lacking, you've gotta get creative. This desk can become a dining table, making it perfect for entertaining.

Black Lacquer Desk, $61, wayfair.com

12 Install Smart Lighting
green trim sofa
Bjorn Wallander

Choose lighting that can be attached to the walls or hung from above to save room on floor space. Swing Arm lamps also free up space on side tables.

Swing Arm Lamp, $99, homedepot.com

13 Float Furniture
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Roger Davies

Resist the urge to push all of your furniture up against the walls. If you create space behind the furniture, it makes the room look wider than it is.

Gingham Curtains, $54, jossandmain.com

14 Display Artwork Strategically
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Simon Watson

Bring your artwork up to trick the eye and expand or accentuate the height of the room. A gallery wall might seem too busy for a small space, but it can actually make it feel larger if it extends to the ceiling.

15 Buy Low Seating
Living Room Styling
Peter Murdock

A lower couch creates the visual effect of higher ceilings. Just add pillows to make it more comfortable for lounging.

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