Interior designer’s tricks to decorate and distribute a small living room

The expression “tener oficio” is commonly used in Spanish when someone, thanks to his experience, knows how to deal with any situation in the best way, especially those that are unforeseen or complicated. For an interior designer to have little space is a common complication and this is magnified when we talk about the living room or by extension the social area of ​​the house, which after all, is the place where more quality hours we spent enjoying our home.

The job of interior designer is not simply to have good taste, but to have technical knowledge and experience to get the best out of a space and adapt it to the needs and preferences of the client, maintaining proportionality and functionality in its distribution.

In this way, and in defense of our trade in Coblonal Interior Design Studio we consider that between the objective physical size and the sensation of space there is a margin of Maneuver for the experienced interior designer to take advantage. There are not too small rooms … but badly used spaces.

 Interior design and integral reform flat in l’Eixample

But how can a space be ‘used’? The first step is to find the best possible distribution for the available space. The second is in the definition of the style line, that is, making a selection of materials for the finishes, furniture and decorative elements that together with the lighting magnify the feeling of space. The work of an interior designer can visually expand the space, gain luminosity and even generate functional opportunities that did not exist before.

In this line, from Coblonal Interior Design Studio we give you some clues to re-imagine smaller rooms that are better utilized spatially and functionally.

Open Space

If you have the opportunity to join spaces… why not? Open the living room to the kitchen for example, gives you an added function and the possibility of taking advantage of the space by placing a small table as a transition. If our use of the kitchen is testimonial we should not even think about it, if we like to cook and we are the ones who get the most out of the stove, we should contemplate a powerful extraction unit so that fumes and odors are not a problem and a configuration of the countertop that facilitates cleaning.

If, in spite of everything, the open kitchen has not yet convinced you, an interesting option is the use of sliding doors, which, far from being just a container and closing element, become, according to your design and choice, an element that can modify and harmonize the appearance of the room, as well as its functionality depending on the situation or moment. In this way, we will have an open and functional space when we are not cooking.


 Interior decoration and elegant floor decoration in Sarrià .


Whatever the final configuration is, it is essential to zonify the space in anticipation of a volumetric balance and sufficient and well planned passage zones.

To zonify we do not need walls, only volumes or visual contrasts that allow us to take advantage of space for different uses and work on a specific perception of space. We can do it with a multitude of elements, such as framing spaces through a simple carpet, or with the furniture situation. We love “semi-separating”, that is, placing transition elements (at mid-height) that can fulfill a double function according to the side from which the action is generated. A storage cabinet, a table, a cooking island, could be elements of transition between spaces that are useful for both sides, broadening the general perception of space. The design or choice of furniture pieces becomes a fundamental tool to adjust the design and use of space up to the millimeter.


Interior Design for a small penthouse with large terrace .

Custom furniture

If something has characterized us throughout our trajectory as interior designers in Barcelona and everywhere, it has been the design of bespoke furniture in order to think about the distribution of spaces. In our case, the walls do not go first and then the furniture at the time of designing. It goes all at the same time. Furniture volumes fulfill direct functions but also organize the space. This makes each house unique and thought to the millimeter, a crucial fact when meters are scarce.

In any case, the available furniture of commercial brands is also an ally to contemplate, since not everything is reasonable to do it to measure. Of course, the measures will be a basic aspect to contemplate.

The sofa is usually one of the elements that most determine the distribution, since it is usually the largest element. In addition, it is a piece that we can either make to measure or choose from a variety of brands and models. Depending on the specific shape of the room, we can choose a single piece or opt for a couple of pieces of a smaller size.
The most important thing when contemplating the possibility of ordering furniture to measure is what functions we can combine in a single piece. If we manage to combine functions or even hide points of work or extra storage this will revert in a valuable space saving.

 Interior design for a familiar apartment in Barcelona .

Materials and colors

Both the materials used and the predominant colors, the skin of the room, have a decisive influence on spatial perception. In this sense, we like natural materials but in this case they must be subject to a higher directive: the impact of color. We recommend using neutral colors in luminous tones, the winning horse to visually expand the spaces. In contrast, the use of black can also be a great ally in situations where we are interested in losing the depth reference.

The use of large mirrors will work as an extra window if we place them in front of windows and balconies. Better if they end up reflecting outside vegetation. Otherwise, we recommend strategically placing the indoor plants so that they are reflected. The clarity and the green of the plants will favor a fresh, luminous and organic environment to increase the sensation of amplitude thanks to the depth of the reflection.

Finally, if we are passionate about the pieces of art, we recommend the arrangement of a few selected elements. Above all, if we think of paintings, it is better to have a central picture that focuses attention, even if it is of generous dimensions, not a multitude of small pieces.


As is evident, we do not have sunlight at all times in the living room, and in the winter months enjoy our home through good management of artificial light. Artificial light gives us the option to control what we otherwise can only let pass and reflect or block totally or partially. We recommend having different scenes that fit the different needs that occur throughout the day.

Contrary to what we might think, the use of pits that highlight some profile, volume or perimeter wall do not dwarf the space, but blur the solid aspect of these elements expanding the feeling of space. Apart from the most recurrent option that involves placing the pit on the roof, we recommend contemplating options that involve an upward direction of light. The infinite perimeter shelves at half height -as in the bottom photo- offer a point of support or storage for certain pieces or decorative elements, but also a volume in which to install dimable led type Up!

 Interior design project of an apartment in Gracia .

Less is more

To finish, a key of general character that places the principle of minimalist style as minimalism is the common denominator to take advantage of space in a small room. It is worth little and useful. Focused on effective use, it is necessary to consider if the coffee table or shelf is so necessary. When in doubt, try to take it out for a while, even to the balcony or the landing. Sometimes we have pieces that cost us to get rid of and whose disappearance completely changes the possibilities of our room.

As you can see, a small room can bring you as many benefits as a standard room. It all depends on your imagination and the projection. With a little planning, you can create the perfect room to enjoy with your family, work or relax.

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