How to Furnish Your Small Living Room Apartment
Let’s talk about some excellent apartment living room ideas!
I’m going to focus on essential tips for small living room apartments or any small type of home space that requires strategic planning.
Here’s How to Begin Furnishing That Small Space.
Let’s imagine starting from scratch with an empty room.
First, measure your wall space/ square footage. You don’t want to have your heart set on furniture that is too large for the room. I know this is hard, but functionality must come first!
If the furniture you buy is too large for the space, it does not matter how cool it looks – it’s going to become annoying very quickly.
Second, think of the different areas in which you need to live your daily life. These will become your “zones”. Make a list of them.
For example, most of us want a TV/ entertainment, kick back zone where a sofa will sit. You might also need a desk area for your computer, or other organizational needs.
Does your living room also contain your dining area? That’s another zone to place on your list.
It’s hard work trying to plan for a small space. Have a large room? No problem! But thoughtful, small space design (when done well) can be hugely gratifying!
Third, start to curate furniture ideas. Also, any kind of artwork or decor that excites you is a good place to start. Art and decor (or a particular design style) can inspire you in your furniture quest.
What Interior Design Style Floats Your Boat?
Are you a Retro kind of person? Boho? Classic? Eclectic? Farmhouse? Check out Amazon’s Discover Your Room Style for quick ideas.
Another great source to see what kind of style resonates with you is Pinterest. Spend some time pinning (or taking screenshots when shopping online) of design styles and furniture that speak to who you are. Place all those screenshots onto a nifty Pinterest board.
A Little Organization Will Go A Long Way.
Tip: Speaking of screenshots — if you don’t want to use Pinterest, be sure to place your shopping source in the file name so when you’re ready to buy, you know where you found it.
Example: I took a screenshot of a sofa I’m in love with, I named the file “ChaiseSofa_WestElm.jpg” and I placed it on my computer desktop in a folder called “living room ideas”.
As you curate lots of images, create sub-folders under the main “living room ideas” folder, such as “sofas”, “coffee tables”, “desks”…
A little computer organization is really going to help you narrow down your choices quickly and not feel so overwhelmed.
As you start to narrow down your favorite essentials (sofa, coffee table, side tables, side chair, media console, etc.) you’ll be measuring your room (and measuring and re-measuring) and determining what will fit where.
It will become clear what kind of space you have available for everything you want as you go through this process.
It can be tempting to just go with a furniture store set, but if you really care about how your space looks – do not do this! You don’t want to feel like you live in a furniture room store.
You are unique and your living room should reflect your best self!
Lastly, an excellent place to start is from the ground up. Literally! Start with a rug on the ground.
Set the Stage with a Cool Rug.
Rugs will help define your “zones”. Even if you already have carpeted floors, layering an area rug over the carpet will not only help protect the carpet, but also add visual interest.
Start by selecting a rug to help you set your color palette/style for the space and inspire all the other things you’ll buy. You’re “setting the stage” for all the cool furniture you’re going to find.
Your main living room area rug should generally be large. You’ll want at least the two front legs of your sofa and chairs to be planted on the rug.
This is an example of a very large room, but it’s a great way to show how large the area rug should be for a living room (even in a small space.)
My living room is small, and I have an 8×10 foot rug in that space. It takes up almost all the floor space, but it looks luxurious in its scale.
Don’t Skimp On Your Living Room Rug Size!
Using too small of a rug is going to make your small living room look even smaller – trust me (and all the expert interior designers out there!)
If you have a smaller rug that you love, simply lay it over the larger rug you’re going to purchase. This will add personality and even more fabulous texture to your living room.
These images show two ways to do this: lay a small accent rug over a large area rug or place a large patterned rug over an even larger neutral area rug. Both look great!
When you consider what type of rug to get, think first of practicality/function.
Will there be kids and dogs running around? Do you entertain a lot?
Rugs come in an incredible variety of materials, styles and sizes and it can be truly overwhelming to pick something.
When I shop for rugs, I take screen shots of my favorite styles that also meet my size needs and place them in a folder on my desktop. Go nuts on this part because it’s fun!
Then I start to whittle down my favorites according to my budget. Not fun, but necessary.
Now, I’ll start to simultaneously think of color, texture, pattern (while keeping my budget in mind).
Excellent Attributes for a Timeless Rug:
- Neutral color
- Softness under foot
- Texture for added visual interest
- Made to last (kids, dogs, dance parties)
- Pattern is wonderful too but be cautious. A bold pattern can lock you into a particular design style.
A softer, subtle pattern is a better choice for giving you greater fluidity in your future interior design decorating (and will help conserve finances).
Save your penchant for bold patterns on pillows, art and other accessories.
Here Are My Top Three Area Rug Picks:
No. 1: A durable, neutral textured rug.
Safavieh Handmade Chunky Textured Premium Jute
This choice may not be the softest under foot, but should handle heavy foot traffic, pets, and kids really well. It will also work well with many different styles of furniture and decor.
Tip: Lay another, smaller rug over this one for greater visual interest and a softer texture under foot.
No. 2: A minimally patterned rug.
Luxe Weavers Boho Moroccan Geometric Area Rug
This area rug is on trend, will suit many styles, doesn’t go overboard on pattern, is stain resistant and will be very soft underfoot.
No. 3: A soft, textured, patterned rug.
nuLOOM Caryatid Handwoven Solid Wool Area Rug
nuLOOM’s area rug is fantastic choice. The thick pile height will soften traffic noise, the texture is beautiful, and it comes in several colors and sizes.
Feeling a Little Overwhelmed?
There is so much more to consider with respect to rugs, but, let’s take a wee break for some small apartment living room eye candy.
This is a lovely space for a lot of reasons. To name a few; the light colors and the slim, airy legs on this furniture helps make the small space look larger.
The only deficit — they did not hang their curtains high enough. Curtains hung closer to the ceiling will draw the eye up, making a cramped room appear larger.
Here’s another example for great apartment living room ideas: that neutral rug, as well as the neutral furniture colors.
The pops of color in the pillows and that clever wall that separates the living room from the entry is amazing.
I love neutral-colored, no pattern furniture because it looks timeless and will not lock you into a specific color palette. You can always change the look and bring more color in with wall paint, curtains, art, rugs, and accessories.
This is a very small room that looks totally airy (thanks also to the windows and light wall color) and seems like a wonderful space to relax/entertain in!
The light-colored sofa might freak you out when thinking about kids and pets, but today’s “performance fabrics” are easy to clean and will not stain.
How to Furnish Your Small Living Room Apartment | Part 2
What kind of sofa should I buy? [Read more…]