The next time you open your door to guests looking in, you don't want them walking in into a dull-looking living room now, do you? You do wish you could have them be greeted him in grand style with a living room that really jumps out there with its brightness, spaciousness and magnetism. It can't be easy though to do any of that with a living room space to work with that is nothing if not small. If the space you have to work with is rather small, your time has come. Designers have had handkerchief-sized urban apartments to deal with for long enough now that the market is ripe with lots of great living room design ideas just for you.
It's easy to bring too much stuff into your living room design in an attempt to lighten things up. The first rule of dealing with design in small spaces however is that you want to avoid clutter at all costs. Lots of stuff makes for a crowded and busy-looking space. Most modern designs aim for minimalism. This is what you want to take up for a space that's chic and cheerful. A modern design will often make a space look more open and roomy both with a partiality for a lean design theme, and also with a choice in materials that is bright and spare enough to enhance a spacious look.
Which is not to say that all you need to do is to choose a bright color, and you are well on your way. Picking a color palette for your living room design can go a lot deeper than that. You could easily pick a darker or more vibrant shade than most people recommend; you could get away with it, if you don't switch colors from one wall to another. A room with the same color all over will easily look larger than one with colors that change from wall to wall. Furniture placement can have a lot to do with how spacious your living room design appears too.
The principles of feng shui dictate that you never place furniture close to the doors that are used to enter a living room. Even if you don't buy the whole Eastern philosophy thing, this is a rule that really makes a lot of sense for an illusion of spaciousness. But you need to pick furniture that isn't overlarge. A medium-sized or compact sofa can seat people just as well as a larger example, it can leave a lot of breathing room behind in the room. Not having a lot of space to lay out a living room never meant compromising on style. The style part is something that is purely up to you.