Need to fill awkward empty spaces in a living room? Whether you are dealing with unused space, bare walls, or empty living room corners, this is a common interior design challenge. Today I will be sharing 15 ways to fill empty space and make your living room feel cozy and well designed. Let’s get started!

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1. Determine Your Living Room Focal Point

Before we get into ideas for filling empty space in a living room, let’s talk about your focal point. A focal point (in interior design) is where your eye lands when you walk into the room. For most people, the focal point of a living room will be a fireplace or media console, often with artwork or a TV hanging above.

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I like to determine a focal point when designing a room for two reasons. First, you may want to devote more of your budget to this area of the room since it will receive the most attention. Secondly, you will want to make sure that other elements in the room (such as furniture or wall decor) do not compete with the focal point.

For example, let’s say that your focal point is a fireplace with oversized art hanging above it. I would not use another large piece of art in the room as it would detract from the focal point.

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If you have a specific question about your space, leave a comment below! I will try my best to give design tips for your living room situation.

Now that you have determined your focal point, I will be sharing lots of ideas to help you fill empty space in your living room.

2. Fake (or Balance) High Ceilings with Curtains

This is great hack that interior designers use! The way you hang your curtains can make low ceilings appear taller, or help balance very tall ceilings.

If you have a low ceiling: Hang your curtains high and wide to give the illusion of higher ceilings. I generally hang my curtain rod 2-4 inches down from the ceiling (or crown molding if you have it), and at least 8 inches out from each side of the window. This trick makes your ceiling appear taller!

If you have a high ceiling: On the other hand, if you have vaulted or tall ceilings and need to ground your living room, curtains can help you too. Hang your curtain rod at least 4 inches above the top of the window (I usually go a bit higher) and at least 8 inches out from each side of the window. In this case, curtains will help add structure to a living room with high ceilings so that it feels more cozy.

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Looking for the perfect living room drapes? Check out my detailed review of the Viral Amazon Pinch Pleat Curtains.

3. Fill Empty Space with a Console Table or Sideboard

For large blank spaces in a living room, consider adding a console table or sideboard. These pieces serve multiple purposes. First, a large piece of furniture will ground the space visually. Secondly, you will gain extra storage space for blankets, books, or DVDs. You can place the furniture against a wall, or along the back of a sofa.

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One caveat: If you already have media console as your focal point, I wouldn’t choose a large sideboard for another wall. Instead, go for a console table that will fill the empty space without feeling too heavy.

For example, I used a small console table to fill empty space between our living room windows and sliding back door. Now this small wall feels intentional, rather than awkward.

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Need decorative items for a living room console table or sideboard? Shop my favorites in Console Table Decor Ideas for Any Design Style.

4. Define a Large Room with Area Rugs

If you have a large space that needs structure and coziness, the easy solution is to add an area rug. Rugs can help create separate areas or zones in an open-concept home or larger room. As a result, your living room will feel more cozy and intentional.

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​Need help choosing an area rug? Check out the Easy Rug Size Guide, 100+ Best Affordable Rugs, and Loloi Rugs Review.

5. Fill a Blank Wall Space with a Large Mirror

If you have a wide living room, you may end up with awkward space on either side of your focal point. For example, this corner of the room has always been a challenge for me! After trying several options, I added an arched floor length mirror (32″ wide x 71″ tall) to fill the empty space without detracting from my TV and media console.

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On the other hand, wall mirrors are a great way to fill the blank spaces over a console table or sideboard if you have one! I like to choose an arched or round mirror in order to bring in a softer shape to contrast tables, sofas, and artwork.

6. Fill Empty Space with Accent Chairs

A simple solution for a living room that feels bare is to add one or two accent chairs. Typically, your sofa or sectional will take center stage, and the accent chairs should be placed on the side.

We have experimented with several living room layouts over the years! Here is a look with a sectional and two accent chairs.

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Eventually, we replaced our sectional with a white sofa. In addition, we had four accent chairs in our living room: two larger slipcovered chairs, and two smaller wood frame chairs.

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After a while, I decided to sell my wood frame chairs and added brown velvet barrel chairs for a little more contrast. Since they are less of an investment than a couch or sectional, accent chairs are a great way to experiment with more color!

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7. Add Storage Space with a Bookcase

Another option for the walls on either side of your focal point is bookcases. Built-in shelves look gorgeous, but you can achieve a similar look on a budget with bookshelves. An arched bookcase or ladder shelf is my personal choice!

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Then, finish off the look with home decor such as pretty books, decorative boxes, candles, and other small accents.

8. Design a Gallery Wall

If you have more blank living room walls to fill, try a gallery wall! Personally, I love the look of vintage artwork in mismatched frames. Or, use inexpensive printable artwork for a budget friendly solution.

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Another simple way to create a gallery wall is with a grid of family photos in matching frames.

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9. Include a Coffee Table and End Tables

It is important to include plenty of walking space in a living room, but too much extra space can make your home feel empty and uninviting. Try filling in floor space with functional furniture such as end tables or a coffee table. In addition to filling in bare spaces, they will also provide tabletops for books, drinks, and decorative items.

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For a long time, we had an ottoman in our living room instead of a coffee table. This was functional at the time, since we had a baby and a toddler and I wanted our space to be safe for them. However, when they got a little older we added a round coffee table and two smaller cube ottomans that we can move around to use as footrests. This layout feels so much cozier! In addition, a round coffee table helps balance all of the rectangular shapes in a living room (sofa, TV, furniture).

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We now have an oval shaped coffee table and brass end table. Check out this post to shop my favorite affordable coffee tables!

10. Fill Empty Corner Space with a Tree

Need more living room corner decor ideas? Earlier I mentioned the floor length mirror on the left side of our media console. On the right side, I styled a faux tree (8 ft height) to fill out this awkward corner by the windows!

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Alternatively, if you have a green thumb you can include indoor plants to fill empty space in your living room. A tall plant will help fill the vertical space, or you can even try hanging plants on the wall.

If you are looking for the perfect faux tree for your living room, check out these posts about the best artificial Olive Trees, Flowering Trees, and Fall Trees.

11. Style a Bar Cart or Coffee Station

Sometimes you don’t have space for a large piece of furniture like a console table, but still need to fill out a blank wall. Another option that works for a small room or apartment space is a bar cart or coffee station! Both stylish and functional, these pieces give you a tabletop to display cute glasses (or mugs), plus bartender tools (or a coffee maker).

12. Include a Home Office Space

Another way to fill empty space in your living room is by incorporating a home office area. Sometimes, a console table can even double as a desk–just be sure to check the height! On the other hand, you can include a dedicated desk with drawers for storage space.

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Our living room does not have space for a desk, but I did create a bedroom home office if you would like to see some design ideas!

13. Create a Cozy Reading Nook

Don’t have space for two accent chairs in your living room layout? Instead, try a statement chair in the corner of the room with a lamp and small side table. Include a few books or magazines and a throw blanket to give it a cozy reading nook vibe!

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This peach velvet armchair is in our bedroom, but I would do something similar to fill corner space in a living room! Remember to include a task lamp or small table lamp for a reading light.

14. Add a Floor Lamp or Table Lamp

Table lamps are my preference for small space design, since they provide ample lighting without taking up any floor space. However, large floor lamps can work well in a corner of your room, or behind a sofa or accent chair, if you have room for them. On the other hand, small task floor lamps are perfect for a reading nook or desk area.

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Natural light is great during the day, but it is nice to have a cozy glow in the evenings! You may be surprised at what a difference lighting can make in your living room. As a general rule, I like to have three different light sources in a large room (not counting the ceiling light), or two in a small room. You may be able to get away with fewer in an open concept space with lots of ambient lighting.

15. Fill Empty Space with a Bench Seat

Finally, another option to fill a blank wall is with a bench seat, stool, or ottomans. Something I love about this idea is that you can easily move the pieces if you need extra space, or pull them out for additional seating at a party. Here is an example from our dining room!

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I hope you found this post helpful if you are dealing with awkward empty space in your home! Feel free to leave specific questions about your living room layout in the comments below, and I will do my best to answer them!

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