For screen reader problems with this website, please call414-476-15744 1 4 4 7 6 1 5 7 4Standard carrier rates apply to texts.

 Convenient Locations | Colder's Direct |  Track My Delivery

Small Apartment Living Room Ideas

by From Our Experts

light living room with a small sofa and coffee table

At a Glance:

Addressing Apartment Living Room Challenges

Determining Your Apartment’s Living Room Layout

How to Use a Sofa in a Small Space

Small Living Room Ideas for Storage

Tips for How to Pick Small Living Room Chairs

Why Trust Us?

A large sofa sitting sideways in a small living room

Did you know the average size of a living room is 15 x 20 feet? When you consider a full-size sofa can measure well over seven feet long, it’s easy to see why interior decorators stress the importance of measuring your space for the right size pieces. It’s a tip that’s good for any living situation, but perhaps most crucial when it comes to a small living room layout like on in an apartment.

Unfortunately, first-time apartment renters aren’t always given this advice, instead focusing on budget rather than proportions. The good news is learning how to pick the right small living room furniture for your apartment will save you money, space, and it will provide a cohesive look that you’ll actually enjoy. Keep reading for more a few small apartment living room ideas on a budget and how to create a presentable living area when you’re dealing with limited square footage.

Pro Tips: How to Decorate a Living Room

Addressing Apartment Living Room Challenges

In a perfect world, a landlord will tell you the downside to an apartment. But, then again, if it was a perfect world, you wouldn’t be dealing with a small living room. In that case, it’s up to you to be hypercritical of the space you plan to work with or are living in currently. When it comes to apartments, here are a few major concerns tenants often deal with:

Shop Living Room Furniture at Colder's

Living Room Furniture

A Cramped Living Room

Remember when we said the average size of a living was 15 x 20? Not to burst your bubble, but those numbers reflect a standard living room in a home—not an apartment. In reality, you’re looking more at around 12 x 18 feet. That’s 84 fewer square feet of space, or the difference between being able to fit a sofa and a loveseat in the living room.

The solution? Do some mental mapping before you shop around. If your living room has more real estate in one direction versus the other, consider making that your starting place and using the largest living room pieces in the area. 

Not Enough Storage

Apartments are a mixed bag. While some feature built-in storage throughout the place, others are less accommodating. Luckily, many manufacturers make dual-purpose living room furniture that can be used to organize living room essentials. Popular options include storage ottomans, sectional loveseats with lift-top chaises, and coffee tables with a number of lifting mechanisms.

Not Enough Seating

Do make the couch a priority in your living room, but don’t forget about all the other great ways to add seating without having to spend a ton or hog space. We love poufs (they’re making a major comeback—especially poufs lift top lids for storage), ottomans, accent chairs, or even fitting a window bay with pillows and bedding.

Determining Your Apartment’s Living Room Layout

The actual shape of your living room plays a big role in how you are able to arrange furniture in the space. Some apartment living rooms are long, while others can be fully square. Consider the following common living room layouts and the best way to stage furniture for them.

The Corner Living Room Layout

This is just as it sounds: you choose a dedicated corner in the living room and wedge seating into it. This format works with just about any living room setup, but it’s most successful in longer living areas. Place a sofa in your favorite corner to make room for a coffee table, area rug, and ottoman.

The Floating Furniture Layout

This might be a new term for you. Floating furniture simply means placing your furniture a few inches away from the wall. This might feel like the last thing you want to do, but it all comes down to illusion. Staggering a couch off the wall can actually make a space look larger, plus it also allows for from spatial multitasking. Use the extra clearance behind the sofa for a credenza or desk or hidden storage for a tidy space.

The Mirrored Furniture Layout

If your apartment living room is more symmetrical, go for the traditional mirrored format. We particularly like placing one or two accent chairs parallel to a sofa. This provides a great place to use an area rug and coffee table to fully anchor the space in an intimate setting that’s great for catching up with company.

Explore More: Small Living Room Collections

How to Use a Sofa in a Small Space

Seating is arguably the most important part of any living room. In an apartment, it’s important to pick a seating arrangement that still has enough leg room to move around but still provides enough room to sit and unwind.

If you happen to be lucky and have a large apartment living room, go for a sofa! Otherwise, we recommend loveseats at your go-to couches for small living rooms. You’ll save a lot of space by doing so, but you’ll still have plenty of room to sit and relax. Just mind the details.

  • Overstuffed armrests are nice, but they can take up a lot of space.
  • Tight sofa and loveseat frames make small spaces look bigger.
  • Similarly, lighter colors can help create the illusion of a larger living room.
  • A couch elevated on tall legs can provide a secret place to neatly store items. 

We Recommend: Benchcraft® Mercado Pewter Loveseat

Front view of Benchcraft Mercado loveseat

This Benchcraft loveseat is a great example of the type of seating that works great in an apartment. Notice the track arms, which help to retain a tight profile. That means you can place this loveseat in a corner or in the middle of the living room without it overtaking the space. Aside from being soft, the grey upholstery feels like and open, extending the illusion to the rest of your space.

Shop Now

Small Living Room Ideas for Storage

When it comes to storage in an apartment-size living room, there aren’t a ton of options to work with. You have your standard bookcase, and floating shelves are always a nice touch, but if you have a lot of articles that need to be organized, you need actual storage. Unfortunately, that can mean sacrificing space for other essential living room furniture pieces—unless you choose multipurpose furniture.

We hinted at this above when we mentioned poufs and ottomans that have hidden storage, and those are great solutions. Even a standard living room table can be used for storage. But if you want something more traditional, we suggest a coffee table, but not just any regular coffee table—a coffee table with built-in storage.

These come in an assortment of styles and capacities for just about any living room theme. For tighter areas, a round storage coffee table is a good choice because it uses less overall floor space than a rectangular coffee table. On the other hand, a square storage coffee table is great for creating symmetry or placing in a corner to bridge two separate seating arrangements.

We Recommend: Signature Design by Ashley® Aldwin Gray Coffee Table with Lift Top Storage

Front view of Signature Design by Ashley Aldwin storage coffee table

At three feet around, this Signature Design by Ashley coffee table won’t take up much space in the living room, and its lift-top lids allow you to store items inside to save even more room. One buyers says, “So much storage space,” reinforcing the value that this storage coffee table and others like it provide for living rooms of any size.

Shop Now

Lately, the trend has been to hang a television, which is also a great solution for gaining extra floor space, but if you prefer a traditional setup, small TV consoles are the way to go. These come with a lot of extra storage where you can organize living room essentials and other items such as seasonal throws and pillows, games, and electronic devices.

We Recommend: Aspenhome® Alder Grove Tobacco 50" Console with Doors

Front view of Aspenhome Alder Grove TV console

With two cabinet shelves and two additional floating shelves, this Aspenhome TV console stores plenty of items to keep your living room tidy. But if you want, you can simply use this as the place to store your small living room décor for a touch of personality.

Shop Now

Tips for How to Pick Small Living Room Chairs

It’s not a bad idea to also include an extra seat in the living room where company can sit. Adding an extra seat is also an easy way to add balance to an area. Like couches, small living room chairs are best when they have sleek silhouettes, and while you can certainly use them to create a statement, lighter colors will help keep the space feeling open.

We Recommend: Signature Design by Ashley® Alcoma Otter Swivel Accent Chair   

ront view of Signature Design by Ashley Alcoma swivel chair

Notice any similarities between this Signature Design by Ashley seat and our recommended loveseat? If you said the racetrack arms, you’re right—you learn fast! They have the same effect on this stylish grey accent chair, which has a sleek build that plays nice in living rooms with limited space. But our favorite feature on this chair is the swivel base that allows you to get flexible with your seating layout.

Shop Now

Whether it’s your first apartment or not, understanding the ins and outs of apartment living room is a handy skill to ensure you pick furniture that is functional and looks good in the setting. As always, make sure to measure your living room before shopping for living room furniture for small spaces. And don’t forget your resources! At Colder’s, we’re happy to help you explore our entire catalog of furniture and inspire you with tips for extra small apartment living room ideas, small living room ideas, and all the places in between.

Related: Small Space Bedroom Furniture

Why Trust Colder’s?

Since 1942, we at Colder's pride ourselves on offering value, selection, and service. Serving Southeastern Wisconsin with four showrooms that stock quality name-brand furniture, appliances, and mattresses, Colder’s is sure to house exactly what you are looking for. And if you can't find it on our floors, chances are, we can order it for you. As a local, family-owned company, we are always doing our best to provide the highest value at the lowest cost to everyone who walks through our doors.

Colder’s is committed not only to continuously offering can’t-miss sales but also to working with each customer, making sure that you take advantage of every possible markdown — that’s our best price guarantee.

Shop Apartment Furniture at Colder’s

Don’t put off happiness — shop living room furniture online for unbeatable prices at Colder’s. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you learn about small apartment living room ideas, whether you call us at 414-476-1574 or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by one our Colder’s locations in West Allis, Oak Creek, Delafield, and Grafton, Wisconsin to touch, see, feel, and experience home products that fulfill your dreams. Visit us today!

Learn More: