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Small Living Room Lighting Ideas to Make Your Space Feel Bigger and Brighter

Cloud bubble chandelier in a neutral living room.

Reclining back on the sofa, you pick up your phone and start searching for small living room lighting ideas. You’ve recently noticed that poor lighting is making the room feel gloomy and enclosed, but simply choosing the right welcoming lights and lamps will breathe new life into the room and create the illusion of space.

Looking around at the dark corners of the room, you start to envision a vibrant lighting scheme that completely transforms the look and feel of your lounge. Positioning ambient lamps and eye-catching fixtures will help you create a multi-functional living space that feels cosy and intimate in the evenings but bright and open during the day.

Delve into our small living room lighting ideas and discover how to brighten your space and create a joyful atmosphere.

Enhance your space with our small living room lighting ideas

The lighting you select for your homes makes all the difference when it comes to creating a relaxing, welcoming atmosphere. Simply choosing the right lighting for your living room will make the space feel bigger, brighter, and more inviting.

However, in rooms where space is limited, it’s important to consider lighting choices more carefully than for a larger room. It’s necessary to select lighting that doesn’t take up too much space, but that is still eye-catching enough to make the room feel bigger than it really is.

1. Stretch the space with a layered lighting scheme

Image courtesy of @emmagreendesign

In a small living room, place lighting at different levels to create a layered lighting scheme. This will have the effect of visually stretching the space and making it appear larger than it truly is.

To achieve this, you’ll need to incorporate a combination of high-level, mid-level, and low-level lighting.

  • High-level lighting: This refers to your overhead lighting. For small living spaces, choosing a statement ceiling light that can act as the focal point in your room is a great idea.
  • Mid-level lighting: Add depth and interest by including wall lights in your small living room lighting scheme. This will also ensure you have different types of lighting for different times of day, especially if you use warm bulbs or a dimmer switch to create a cosy evening ambience.
  • Low-level lighting: The final tier of lighting is floor and table lamps. Featuring these in your living room will add another layer of visual intrigue and illuminate key areas within the space.

When it comes to selecting fixtures for your layered lighting scheme, Ally Dowsing-Reynolds, lighting expert and co-founder of Dowsing & Reynolds, advises that you ‘choose lights slightly larger than you think will fit the room. Too many little lights will make your small living room look bitty and disjointed.’

2. Create an eye-catching focal point through lighting

Large overhead lighting features look beautiful in small interiors, so don’t be afraid to go big and bold.

One way to create a focal point is by opting for a striking chandelier. Modern chandeliers make a big statement and add decorative flair to any style of interior thanks to their elegant contemporary design.

‘Making a statement with your ceiling light is a way to make your living room feel grander,’ says Ally. ‘A beautiful focal point that attracts attention and draws the eyes up makes the ceiling feel higher.’
A medium frosted bubble chandelier in a pink living room with the cables draped over a ceiling hook.

Product pick: The medium frosted bubble chandelier is a stunning choice for small living rooms, creating a timeless feature that you and your guests will admire for years to come.

3. Add visual interest with a decorative table lamp

It can be difficult to find space for decorative elements in a small living room, which means things like artwork often get left out in favour of more practical objects. Kill two birds with one stone by choosing decorative table lamps that double as works of art, saving valuable space while still adding visual interest to the room.

Product pick: With its captivating handmade design, the raw concrete table lamp will add decorative flair to any living room.

‘Create a side table vignette in one corner of the room to provide a focal point’, Ally suggests. ‘Choose a statement table lamp, a stack of books, and a small vase of faux stems. Keep the colour palette minimal to avoid looking too fussy.’

4. Take advantage of your wall space

A gold wall light with a frosted teardrop shaped bulb against a peach wall.

Making the most of available wall space will help to make your small living room feel more spacious. ‘Casting light upwards can make a small living room look larger and brighter. A carefully placed floor lamp can do this, but wall lights can be a better option where space is limited’, says Ally. ‘They can also make the room appear wider by drawing your eyes to the edges.’

What’s more, opting for atmospheric wall lights will free up valuable surface and floor space and make the room feel less cluttered.

Product pick: The gold Waldorf wall light has a timeless design that will beautifully illuminate any interior.

Ally’s design tip: ‘Moving your furniture in from the walls slightly will help the space breathe and make it feel larger. Try pulling your sofa into the room by a few inches, and you’ll notice the difference.’

Show us your small living room lighting ideas

We’d love to see how you’ve used these small living room lighting ideas in your home. Tag us on Instagram @dowsingandreynolds – we can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

Feature image courtesy of @the_pink_house_project

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