So, you’ve just signed the lease and have shelled out more than half of your life savings on the security deposit for your new residence. Now, you are ready to face apartment living on your own, and with keys dangling on your fingers, the most exciting part begins, creating a living space that suits your personality and style without making you bankrupt. With various challenges to face in every square footage of your new abode, finding just the right small apartment living room ideas can be quite overwhelming at times.

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What do you do when you have a lot to work on, but are short on your budget? Get your New Year started with these realistic ideas to truly make your living room space pop, without all the nasty expenses.


1. Play With Paint.

Nothing is more friendly to the budget than a can of new paint. Adding a splash of color that will make the living room pop out and create an illusion of a much bigger space, is one way to save an ample amount of money. You can also re-paint furniture pieces, too. The idea is to use light, softer hues to make it feel airier, bigger and brighter.

Soft paint colors for apartment living room that make a room look bigger

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2. Floor Mini-Makeover.

You will most likely be stuck with whatever flooring finish an apartment rental has to offer. If what you have has cringe-worthy finishes or your lease has a lot of forbidden clauses, adding a carpet or an area rug can suffice. Small living rooms don’t necessarily require large carpets or rugs. Simply find one that flows harmoniously with your other decor to add oomph to your space. This is one of small apartment living room ideas that will improve your floor and the overall look of the room.

Small apartment ideas for living room with wood flooring and brown walls

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3. Furniture Arrangement.

Most mid-level apartment don’t come furnished, allowing you to save on rent. You can make good use of old ones by repainting or refurnishing them to suit the current space. If shopping for new items, carefully create proper arrangement for furniture pieces by dividing the area into zones. It is also wise to use scaled down furniture pieces. You can transform this fuzzy stool into a coffee table by simply placing a personalized tray on top. Feel free also to use the corner by squeezing in a bookshelf or a bean bag, for a cool reading nook.

Zuo Modern Fuzz Stool in white for living room

Zuo Modern Fuzz Stool


4. Float It.

Showcase your decorative pieces and valuable mementos without the usual bulky chests, armoires or cabinets. Instead, go for floating shelves like the self-mounting one below from YonTree. This one comes in white, allowing it to easily blend in with the current living room design

Yontree Mount Shelf Floating Shelves in white in small apartment living room

YonTree Floating Shelves


5. Shimmer And Shine.

As always, decorating with mirrors will never go out of style in the space challenging arena. Not only do mirrors reflect light, thus making the space airier and lighter, it also creates an illusion of a much bigger living area. To save more, you can use an acrylic mirror wall sticker like the one below from Alrens Geometric Art. Place it in an area that receives natural light or make it a focal point in your living area. Small apartment living room ideas that use mirrors always tend to be popular options.

Alrens Geometric Art 3D Acrylic Mirror Wall Sticker in white living room

Alrens Geometric Art 3D Acrylic Mirror Wall Sticker



6. Personalize Accessories.

Put your own character stamp on every nook and cranny in your living area by personalizing accessories. Stencil a tray placed on top of an ottoman or stool and use it as a coffee table. Spray paint lamps and other fixtures with metallic stuff to reflect light and brighten up your space. All these can add some pizzazz to your room without spending a lot. Choose from various colors with this Rust-Oleum 301537 Universal All Surface Spray Paint collection for starters.

Rust-Oleum 301537 Universal All Surface Spray Paint in champagne

Rust-Oleum 301537 Universal All Surface Spray Paint



7. Sizzling Windows.

Let your windows sizzle without the usual drudgery of setting up bulky curtains. Mini-blinds are also passe. Instead, dress windows up with beads like this Octagon Garland Diamond Acrylic Crystal Strands Bead Curtain to make it more fun and stylish.

Octagon Garland Diamond Acrylic Crystal Strands Bead Curtain for living room

Octagon Garland Diamond Acrylic Crystal Strands Bead Curtain



8. Squeeze Art Into Entertainment.

Don’t just anchor your television set somewhere. Instead, make it the room’s focal point by making an old piece of artwork into a TV frame. You can hang paneled artwork behind it and add an attractive frame to it as well. Small apartment living room ideas like this one are great for artists or anyone else who likes art.

Old artwork as tv frame in small apartment living room with brown walls

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9. Multifunctional Decorating.

Don’t just choose stylish or classy furniture pieces. Instead go for pieces that serve various uses. A sofa bed like this one from FurnitureOfAmerica can be easily transformed into an additional space when the need arise. Garden stools can be used as coffee tables or as added seats. Also, choose lightweight pieces that can also double as storage. This will allow you to take advantage of all the space at your disposal.

Multifunctional Decorating Furniture of America Preston Tufted Leather Sleeper Sofa Bed in White

Furniture of America Preston Tufted Leather Sleeper Sofa Bed in White



10. Storage Galore.

Make good use of your apartment walls by building recesses into it. If it is allowed, of course. Or perhaps, choose tables, ottomans, sofas, chairs and the like, that feature hidden storage to stash belongings. This is one way to create a de-cluttered look perfect for small living room spaces.

Recessed walls in apartment living room wall with green curtains

Without a doubt, these small apartment living room ideas can bring new life into your new abode– without the usual heady expenses. To complete the whole look, simply add green life or flowery blooms to make the space fresher and lighter. Hanging plants or succulents make great options to truly make the space come alive.


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