Whether you’re starting your interior design process with furniture, or you need to work with a design you already have in place, it’s always tricky to figure out where to begin and what will work in your family room.
You could take the expensive path and hire a professional interior designer, but there is so much you can do to come up with your living room design by getting just the right inspiration.
To help you with this process, I’ve pulled together my 25 favorite ideas to make your entire room look like it was professionally designed.
Let me show you how.
The perfect living room has to be based on furniture that has the ideal scale for the size and shape of the room.
Generally speaking, very small furniture will look out of place in a large living room. And bulky sofas with too many chairs can make a small living room look cluttered.
So, how do you solve this?
You can still create the correct scale with smaller furniture in a large room by adding a large sofa and several smaller chairs or loungers. And in a small room, adding one sectional sofa into a corner area can make the room feel larger than it actually is.
One thing you should prioritize for your sitting room planning is not to be afraid of making your way around the color wheel. Whether you go for bright tones or subtle shades, you’ll create a lot more interest in your living space if you vary the color of your furniture.
Start with a color choice for your sofa, and then see if you could use a different color for a couple of accent chairs.
And with some interesting curtain fabric, you can add more variation again. It’s the perfect way to create a fun atmosphere rather than sticking with a neutral palette.
Classic living room ideas usually focus on rustic leather sofas and other furniture pieces. And with the common natural colors like shades of brown, you can create a very warm and cozy atmosphere.
But sometimes, limited space or your general home decor are not the ideal combinations for that rustic farmhouse style.
Instead of large and bulky leather furniture, you should consider woven and rattan furniture. It still gives you those natural elements in a classic style, but it’s not going to be as bulky and intrusive.
Adding natural materials, especially wood, to a living room space will give it a natural and less sterile look and feel. While many people prefer the more contemporary and modern look using synthetic materials, wood is one of my favorite materials for a living room.
With some stylishly nesting tables, a classic bookshelf, or an intricately designed parquet floor, you can transform how a room feels.
And if you want to push the boundaries that bit further into a rustic effect, then consider using reclaimed wood to give you that aged effect without having to wait for decades.
When you’re buying a new couch, loveseat, or accent chair, always consider buying a matching ottoman at the same time.
Having somewhere to rest your feet will make it a much more liveable space. It’s what you look forward to after a long day at work, or when you’re relaxing at the weekend with a book or a movie.
Because of their small size, you can easily store them out of the way or even use them as additional seating if you have friends and family visiting.
Unless you’re trying to create a very formal living room design, I would recommend trying to push your personal taste limits with a mix of different materials and patterns.
This is particularly important in a large space where using the same color palette range, materials, and shapes can look boring and even heavy.
If you’re not brave enough for some art deco chairs, then at least consider buying a few different shape and color chairs. And when you add those in front of some modern wall art, you’ll have a living room that is unique and entertaining to relax in.
If you look at most seating furniture designs, they all tend to be square and rectangular. While those shapes are practical for laying out a living room, you can create more interest by going for curves.
Think of a curved sectional sofa with a few round accent chairs and an oval console table. Such living room ideas make your space a lot more individual, and you’ll be guaranteed to hear compliments of how unique your decor is.
I would also say that this is an important idea for an open plan living area, where those curves can create a visual flow and make the room feel more connected.
For most people, shelving, and cabinets tend to be an afterthought when designing a new living space layout. And while it certainly is the seating area that makes it a livable space, you should carefully plan some cabinets to add more interest.
Whether you want to cover an entire wall with floor-to-ceiling shelves or choose to have a smaller cabinet, it’s important not to just go with a plain piece of furniture.
Try to find something that combines natural and painted wood to break up the visual effect of large furniture.
The retro art deco look is making a significant comeback with furniture design, and that gives you a great opportunity to come up with some unique living room ideas.
Even if you don’t feel brave enough to go with very eccentric seating furniture shapes and colors, you could introduce art deco in a more subtle way.
Think of ways to add a floor lamp or some wall decor. Or you could just go for a small art deco coffee table. A more subtle approach like this can work particularly well for a small living room, where the visual impact is then not too overpowering.
If you’re trying to maximize the amount of seating space you have for a large family or to entertain guests regularly, then avoid making the mistake of filling your living room with sofas.
Instead, plan your living room design to include multiple accent chairs that match your sofas but don’t take up as much space.
Being able to see more of the floor space and move around more easily opens up the living room to make it less confined.
If you have a small living room or regularly entertain large groups of people, then think carefully about adding other pieces of furniture.
Instead of adding a large coffee table, consider buying a bench and placing a decorative tray on top. The bench can then serve multiple purposes as a seat, table, and even footrest while you’re relaxing with a book or watching TV.
This is a key method of creatively opening up the space for a small living room while still making it practical and functional.
The largest piece of furniture is most likely going to be your sofa, and unless you’re going for a modern and minimalist look, you should aim to make it the focal point of the room.
You can either achieve that with an intricately designed sofa with large dimensions to immediately stand out in the living room. Or you can take a more subtle approach by framing it with other furniture and accent pieces.
For example, one of my favorite living room ideas to highlight a sofa is to use a rug to contain the seating area. Whether it’s a modern pattern or an antique Persian rug, it will draw your attention straight to the main feature.
If you’re trying to create a neutral space as part of your living room ideas, you need to be careful not to make the end result bland.
Neutral colors can have a very calming effect in a living room, but if you have furniture, carpets, and accessories all tied in with a neutral backdrop, then the result can become boring and even oppressive.
Instead, try to strategically break up the neutral color range with brightly colored or patterned accent pieces like decorative pillows, rugs, bold artwork, and even simple things like lamps.
While you would generally associate simple and clean lines with a modern living room design, this is something that you do want to keep in mind with any type of living room.
When you look at the sofas, chairs, cabinets, and shelving that you choose, make sure that the shape creates a natural flow of lines. Going for extreme contrasts in the flow of these lines can clutter a room and make it very unbalanced.
This is particularly important in a small living room where a flow of clean lines can create an impression of more space.
One way to create very eye-catching and classy living rooms is to take the monochrome approach by going entirely black and white.
But you don’t have to limit monochrome living room ideas to just those two extreme colors. You could just as easily pick white and red or two shades of gray that are significantly different to make them stand out.
You can also take this as far as you want with different pattern designs in sofas, chairs, and even rugs to tone it down or make it extremely bold.
And when you incorporate this with a central accent wall, then you can create a very artistic effect.
Too many people just focus on arranging furniture to face a TV, but you could be creating a much more welcoming space by taking a different stance.
One thing you should always consider for your living room ideas is to take advantage of the existing architecture. If you have a beautiful and ornate, or rustic and classic fireplace, then make it the center of attention and arrange your seating around it.
This can work especially well in a small living room, where you don’t necessarily want to have large and attention-grabbing furniture.
Bay windows are a great architectural feature, but very few people take full advantage of them, especially in a small living room. First of all, the closer you get your seating area to such a window, the more natural light you can take advantage of.
But you should also consider having a window seat for this space or at least fill it with a built-in bench.
You’ll be surprised how much it becomes a favorite spot for the whole family, especially if you have an amazing view to enjoy.
If you can’t quite decide what you want to have as the focal point of your living room design, then try to make a real statement with your sofa.
With a large 5-seater or even a sectional sofa, you can also add more features like button tufting, nailhead trim, and intricate stitching to make the sofa stand out even more.
This works extremely well with high ceilings where you need your furniture to be in the right proportion. Just make sure you get the right size coffee table and even add a couple of side tables to create a better flow and transition to other parts of the living room.
While in previous living room ideas, I mentioned going for size and statement pieces like a large and plush sofa, you have to be careful not to fill all of your available space. Even large living rooms can become very cluttered and oppressive.
Instead, always make sure you leave space to easily move around and in between different pieces of furniture.
Not only does this have practical advantages, but you create a sense of openess in your living room.
In an open plan area where you are combining kitchen, living, and dining room spaces, and maybe even an informal area for entertainment, you want to make sure that you achieve visual boundaries.
One way to do this is by using an area rug for the sitting space and making sure you have a large enough sofa that becomes a boundary.
Your living room walls also become an important part of creating different sections, and by slightly changing the theme of artwork or other accent pieces, you can create separate areas without using walls for division.
This is one of the particularly important living room ideas if you have large sofas and/or lots of chairs. And if those pieces of furniture are similar with very little pattern, for example, leather upholstery, then you need to introduce some variation.
Such large natural upholstery pieces are ideal for adding complementary throw pillows and decorative blankets to introduce different colors, patterns, and shapes.
You’ll make the space feel more relaxing and inviting, especially if you can keep the same color and pattern theme flowing throughout the living room.
Farmhouse-style living room design ideas are all about combining natural materials with comfort and practicality. The result is a very warm effect where furniture can really take center stage.
Imagine a room with wood paneling and wood floors, then add a warm area rug and a classic sofa. The more natural materials you can include, the better.
You can also tone this down a bit and turn it into a formal living room, where you still have natural materials like wood and leather, but you avoid the rustic and aged effect that is typical of a farmhouse-style living room.
While most people try to be more subtle with a modern gallery wall, you can create a much more fun environment by making modern furniture your focal point.
For small living room ideas, that would likely mean finding minimalist accent chairs and an art deco coffee table to not overwhelm your senses.
But in a large living room, you’ll be able to be a lot braver with your interior design. You could either choose soft furnishings that are brightly colored or find quirky shapes for sofas and chairs with a more toned-down color shading.
People generally just look for living room designs that include sofas, recliners, and maybe a few accent chairs. But you can gain a lot of practicality by adding a leather swivel chair.
These aren’t the typical office or executive chairs but rather look a lot more like an accent chair on a swivel base. They take up a lot less space, and you can easily turn them to create a conversation circle or have them facing the TV.
It’s one of those living room ideas that give you great flexibility for all types of get-togethers with friends and family.
You should never underestimate how important a coffee table is for your living room ideas. There is the practical part to it, but I would generally recommend starting with the visual impact you want to achieve.
To stay on the rustic and classic end, try to find a wood coffee table that might even have intricate carving. Or, if you want to keep it modern and relaxed, then aim for a glass tabletop or an unusual shape.
Just make sure you avoid this being an afterthought for your living room ideas, as it will naturally draw attention.
We have put together an amazing range of different styles of furniture to help all of our customers find the living room inspiration they need. With so much on offer and all the tips above, you won’t need an interior designer to create amazing visual interest.
Start by choosing the general style you want to achieve, and then let our sofas and chairs guide you to gradually decorate your living rooms.
And if you have any questions about the products, or you’re struggling to make the right choice for your living room, then use the contact information on the product pages to talk to us.
We look forward to helping you make the perfect decision.