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3 Small Living Rooms With Big Style

OCTOBER 27, 2016

Our designers often get clients who half-apologize when giving the dimensions of a small room at the start of a project but a good designer knows that lack of square footage does not limit style. In fact, we know the opposite is true: because a smaller space makes it necessary to edit, curate and creatively think outside the box, some of our best designs are rooms on the smaller side. We love these 3 recent living room projects, where all 3 designers created rooms that are not only beautiful reflections of their clients' personal style but also maximized both function and wow-factor. Small space, big style indeed.

The Craftsman Room

This room started out, our client described it, as a "white box" with some tricky layout issues - the open space is located right by the front door entrance, without a separate hallway or entryway to define the space. The solution? Decorist Classic designer Samantha Piane used a sectional to divide the space without closing it off, adding built-in storage with a wood-grained sliding door for storage and a low-profile mirror and bench for mail, keys and shoes. While one might assume a smaller space would need smaller scale furniture, the larger scale of the sectional and the armchairs (that swivel - small space tip) make the space feel cozy, with the warm but neutral color palette helping to prevent visual clutter. One extra detail - with a toddler in the house, all items were selected to minimize hard edges or sharp corners. 

3D rendering of living room design by Samantha Piane, Decorist Classic designer

The Luxe Tropical Room

Here's the perfect example of why you should sometimes break all the design 'rules' - don't use large-scale wallpaper in a small room because it will overwhelm the space, don't buy large furniture items in any color other than neutrals... In the hands of a pro, in this case, Decorist Classic designer Jessica McCarthy, it not only works beautifully but it's hard to imagine the final design without the bold and unexpected choices. While tropical is easy to veer into cheesy territory, and retro can feel dated, here the combination of the two with bold and modern colors elevates the room into a beautifully chic and luxe design. Luxe retro tropical? Big personality in a small space.

3D rendering of living room design by Jessica McCarthy, Decorist Classic designer

The Bold Modern Room

The smallest of the 3 spaces featured, this room both benefited and was challenged by the main feature: double windows on 3 walls give the room an abundance of natural light but also make it tricky in terms of room layout. Decorist Elite designer, Nest Design, solved the issue by picking a low-profile sofa that sits just under the windows and then balanced it with high armchairs in the entry at an angle, which adds seating without closing off the room. Another small space design tactic - designing the room symmetrically, which makes the room seem wider than it is, in a clean and bright neutral palette. One pop of color, in a sophisticated brilliant orange, both showcases the one-of-a-kind pair of antique chairs and adds a focal point to the room. 

3D rendering of living room design by Nest Design, Decorist Elite designer

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