5 Design Mistakes That Are Making your Living Room Look Cheap

5 Design Mistakes That Are Making your Living Room Look Cheap

Posted by Jackline Mukami | March 5, 2020 | Blog

From the egregious entryway errors that make designers cringe to the slightest dining room faux pas designers would never make, small-space decorating mistakes is a topic we will never tire of.

Because – although design discrepancies, like hanging artwork too high or choosing the wrong rug size may seem trivial – even the slightest misstep can have a surprising effect on a room, especially if it’s lacking in square footage.

We share five common small living room mistakes that make your space look cheap (and how to fix them).

Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong rug size.

The right rug can completely transform a space, but only if it’s the right size for your home. A small rug will make the entire space feel like it’s floating in the middle of the room.

Try to get a rug that envelops the entire space so all four legs of your sofa can fit on it, as well as any other furniture you’re placing in the room.

However, if investing in a sizable rug is not within your budget or does not work for your space, then, as a rule of thumb, opt for one that is large enough to at least accommodate the front two legs of your sofa as well as any adjacent armchairs.

Mistake #2: Buying artwork that’s too small.

Just because you’re decorating a small living room doesn’t mean you have to opt for small-scale décor. If you have open wall space above the sofa, it’s a great place to hang a large piece of artwork.

Smaller artwork can also accentuate an obvious lack of space in a room. If you can’t find a large enough piece to span the length of two-thirds of your sofa, get as large of a piece as you can, and then add smaller pieces on either side of the large piece, gallery wall-style.

However, be sure to space the artwork appropriately and uniformly.

Mistake #3: Overlooking light fixtures.

Selecting light fixtures is a practical part of the design process, however, it’s an aspect of decorating a living room that people often overlook.

If your living room doesn’t have nice lighting, don’t just sit there in sad darkness. Wall sconces are a great way to add ambient light and there are a ton of plug-in wall sconce options out there.

If you have a side table, consider a small table lamp and just run the cord under the rug.

Mistake #4: Investing in décor that’s all the same size.

Finding décor with the right proportions for a small living room can be a serious design challenge. There’s a common misconception that small living rooms need to be minimalistic, otherwise it will feel even smaller. However, the focus should actually be on making sure that the furniture is the right size.

If the scale of the big pieces is right, decorative objects like books and plants will only help to pull the look of the space together.

Just because a typical living room setup includes a sofa, coffee table, armchairs, and a side table, doesn’t mean that yours should have all these things so make sure to choose your pieces appropriately.

Mistake #5: Neglecting valuable wall space.

The designer’s number one piece of advice for decorating a small living room? Utilize vertical wall space. We are so used to furniture that sits on the floor that once things stop fitting on the floor we give up.

Consider floating shelves (corner ones for instance) and hanging plants. Decorating up to the ceiling draws your eye up to the ceiling and gives the illusion of a bigger space.


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