By Alyssa Clough

Published on April 29, 2016

Pin It
Photography by WEHKAMP.NL

City dwellers know all too well that sometimes, common space—like the living room—comes at a cost. You either get a nice big bedroom and a teeny tiny common space—or you luck out and get a decent-sized living area, but make the personal decision to use your space for work, not chill. But everyone needs a spot in their home to relax, even if that space is a cozy armchair nuzzled next to a desk, which is why we gathered tips for creating a zen living room—NO sofa included.

Pin It
Photography by MARKSANDSPENCER.COM

get a love seat

People often forget about these smaller-than-average sofas, but they’re still around. Even though they only seat maybe two people comfortably, it’s still a step up from a chair that seats one. Plus, you can find a ton in super modern shapes, making your smaller-than-you’d-like living room area feel more grown up and less like a college dorm room.

Pin It
Photography by SHADESOFBLUEINTERIORS.COM

mount your tv

If “chilling” means tuning in to your favorite shows, you’re going to need a tv in your living room. Not having room for a television stand or console doesn’t mean you have to give up your big screen. Mounting your screen—in creative places using angles that are maybe a stretch—will get the job done. If you don’t have to tilt your screen to see it, consider adding a floating shelf underneath for more storage and styling options—especially if you don’t have room for a coffee or side table.

Pin It
Photography by MARISSA COX VIA MYDOMAINE.COM

find a plush chair

Foot rest optional. If all you have room for is a chair, make it a comfy one! Find a super plush dream chair and treat it like your own persona-sized sofa. Having a foot rest will make it feel more regal and less like you’re settling. Remember: Cozy doesn’t mean bulky. We would snuggle into this modern-shaped chair any day.

Pin It
Photography by URBANOUTFITTERS.COM

make use of flexible seating

We’re talking poufs, floor cushions, and folding chairs. Yup, we went there. This way, you can still entertain a small handful of friends without having people sit directly on the floor—and your seating can either stack or lean against one wall or be stored away in a spare closet when not in use.

Pin It
Photography by @AMY_MERRICK

create a comfy nook

If all you have room for is a bench, make the most of it by adding pillows, and making sure at least one end is against the wall for optimal leaning. If a bench sounds way too uncomfortable for your liking, look at chaises instead. A bench will be skinnier and lack a back, but they’re cushioned and definitely easier to lay or lounge on.

Pin It
Photography by IKEA.COM

use a folding table

Again, to eliminate daily clutter, use a folding tray table instead of keeping a real coffee or side table out to create a more minimalistic feel. This way, when you lounge, you’ll be able to set your coffee (or glass of wine), book, snacks, and phone on a surface, but that surface won’t get in the way when you’re not using it. 

(Placing a tray on another chair or ottoman works, too. Yeah, we have even more small living room ideas.)

Pin It
Photography by HOUSEBEAUTIFUL.CO.UK

don’t forget to accessorize

Lighting, a rug, and filled walls are still a must—even in a super small space! Adding accessories will help make the room feel more personal and less tiny. Treat your living room area or corner like you would a real, large living room and it will feel like one!

Still feel small? We have tips to making your space seem bigger, too.