Before you rush out to buy new furniture for your living room, it’s important to come up with a plan. And that plan has to include living room ideas down to the smallest details.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need the skills of an interior designer or even need to hire a creative director for your next decorating project. By approaching such projects by identifying your favored style, will mean you’ve covered half the battle.
But living room design should also look at different ways to create balance and ensure that everything in the rooms ties together under a common concept.
To help approach this in a professional way, we’ve put together the most important decorating tips to create the perfect living room.
Let’s start with the styles.
Before looking into living room ideas like a classic sofa, coffee table, and shelving, it’s important to define what kind of style you have in your home and want to specifically achieve for your living area.
The best way to do that is to define three high-level interior design and furniture styles.
This living room design is best described as a living space with a lot of intricate details.
It’s the classic rustic design you would expect from a country residence with lots of wood, leather, and highly detailed patterns.
The idea is to create as much visual interest as possible in every part of the living room. It should feel like your attention is constantly being drawn into more details, from intricate stitching and nailhead trim on a plush sofa to carved wood on a console table and shelves.
This style takes careful planning as you need to bring in lots of natural materials, and they have to not only match on the color palette but also from a texture perspective.
A living room with a mid-century modern edge will take a much more minimalistic approach than the classic style. The whole idea is to downsize furniture and limit how much detail is included in it.
Think of it as an approach to have subtle clean lines and geometric shapes. It’s about creating an understatement in the furniture, floors, and walls.
It’s an ideal solution for any living room where large windows with amazing views should become the center of attention without distractions from the interior design.
It doesn’t just have to be a living room inspiration for a modern living room, but you have to be careful not to combine classic and modern styles in your home as it can cause a visual clash.
This is probably one of the most common living room designs because it offers the greatest flexibility. Essentially, it’s a style that sits in between modern and classic by taking advantage of what both of these have to offer.
It’s not about making a space feel minimalist like in modern design, but it’s also nowhere near as detailed and intricate as classic decor.
The advantage of this style is that you can borrow living room ideas from both modern and classic styles to integrate them in a subtle way. It’s not about one focal point but much more a balanced approach to laying out a comfortable and welcoming sitting room.
Here are my 33 favorite living room ideas that you can apply to living rooms of all sizes.
Too many people try to include too many parts of the color palette into one living room. While this can create a great and fun environment, it can be difficult to achieve without ending up with a clash of colors.
That’s why the first of my living room ideas is to experiment with different shades of just a few closely related colors. This provides a much smoother transition between floors, furniture, walls, and ceilings.
And you can still break up a monotonous effect with brightly colored smaller accent pieces like flowers, pillows, and rugs.
If you look at old photos from the 1950s and 1960s, you’ll probably immediately notice that bold wallpaper stood out in most of them. That kind of idea of colorful patterns and even floral designs has become a lot more fashionable again.
This can be a great solution if you want maximum wow effect as the walls are pretty much the largest parts of all living rooms. And if you ask an interior designer how to make the biggest visual impact, they will most likely point to the walls of your living room.
Play with the idea of choosing more subtle and modern furniture and then contrasting it with amazing wallpaper.
If you’re aiming for a classic living room design with a rustic look and feel of a countryside cottage, then you have to stick with earthy tones and a neutral palette.
This means sticking with shades of brown and beige, but that doesn’t have to mean it ends up boring and bland.
There are plenty of warm shades that you can choose, and by combining multiple earthy tones, you can still create a lot of variation to avoid that monotone effect.
To achieve the opposite of the earthy, warm living room, you should aim for all the bright colors you can find. Now, you don’t have to go to the extreme of using every color under the sun to create a kindergarten classroom effect.
But introducing more yellow, blue, and red can significantly brighten up your living room ideas.
One option is to stick with understated modern sofas and chairs and then add bright colors through accent pieces like pillows or even a funky coffee table.
Many people like having privacy, especially in urban and suburban environments. And while window blinds and curtains are a great way to keep your family room private, they can also end up reducing the amount of natural light.
One option is to have net, sheer, or lace curtains that still leave in most of the sunlight. Alternatively, you could try to place tall plants on your window sills. These will block out enough of the view so that people walking past your home can’t see inside.
Ultimately, the more you can naturally light up your living rooms, the more enjoyable they will be as a living space.
When you start planning out the details of your sitting room, you will quickly find endless ideas for furniture, accent pieces, art, books, and even flower arrangements.
The problem with having loads of living room ideas is tying them all into one theme. And this means not just trying to link the color theme of the sofas to the side tables and bookshelves.
It means having a full picture of what furniture goes where and how you create an easy flow between the furniture by using decorative pieces.
A gallery wall is something that people often underestimate. In most living rooms, you’ll find wall art scattered around the room, and while that might look fine, it can be a lot more effective to create a dedicated accent wall.
This is where you can show off multiple pieces of art, including prints, paintings, and even sculptures. It can become a focal point of the living room that ties all your planning together into one place.
If you have a large living room or an open plan area that combines dining and living room space, then it’s important to divide the area. Your living space should be a defined seating area.
Otherwise, you end up with sofas, chairs, and couches that are way too far apart for people to enjoy their company.
One way to do this is to create a room divider with a large sofa or sectional. The back of such a piece of furniture creates a clear line that allows you to create multiple sitting areas or combinations of sitting and dining.
The idea here is to aim for creating a common texture across furniture, floors, walls, and even curtains or blinds. This doesn’t mean that they all have to be an identical color, but the patterns in fabrics should ideally match.
Think about adding a large rub with a deep structured fabric along with linen roller blinds and wicker baskets. You can even add brickwork around an open fire to have a continuous flow of the same pattern texture.
An alternative to creating gallery walls in your living room is to make one large bold statement with a single piece of art. This could be a framed or mounted sculpture or an oversized print or painting.
And if you can tie this in with patterns and colors in the rest of the living room, then it can help to gradually draw your view from all corners of the room to this one center piece.
Also, try to face your seating furniture towards this piece of art, especially if you have a living room designed for entertaining rather than watching TV.
This is another one of those living room ideas that you simply can’t underestimate. Interior designers have been recommending a careful blend of multiple different materials for many years.
But for most people, that will mean a fabric rug, leather couch, and wood coffee table.
One thing that can add a great deal of interest to such a combination is the use of metal, especially iron, steel, and aluminum.
These can be natural, polished, or even coated in other metals like brass or chrome to further highlight those metallic frames. Just don’t go overboard with metals, as it could end up giving you a very industrial look.
This is an important thing to keep in mind for a living room design that needs to cover a large open plan area. While it’s important to keep different areas separated through clever placement of furniture (see tip #8 above), you should also consider different patterns and textures.
You’ll still want to keep to a color theme, but using different patterns and textures can help you break out the different areas.
You could have a sitting area for family games nights or cocktail parties and a comfortable lounging area for chilling with a book or your favorite TV show. With a simple change in patterns, you can visually separate those areas without causing too much contrast.
If you have something in your living that you need to show off, then take the interior designer tip of framing that area with strong and bold colors.
This could be a piece of art (see tip #10 above) or an amazing view through your window.
By adding very strong color through indoor shutters or a painted window recess, you immediately draw attention to this area.
It’s one of those living room ideas that can transform the impact of focal points. And it works particularly well with modern and contemporary furniture where you don’t want the furniture to become the center of attention.
Warm hues and darker colors in a comfortable living can invite you to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a book. And with plenty of daylight coming in, those colors won’t seem overwhelming.
But in the midst of winter with short and dark days, you may need to consider adding some brighter accent pieces. And by using light shades of yellow, you can brighten up those winter days.
This is an important factor for your list of living room ideas. If you tend to entertain guests, then the chances are that you won’t be sitting down facing the TV. What you want to do instead for such a living room is angle multiple sofas and chairs in a way that makes it easy for everyone to see each other.
Try to angle your seating around a central coffee table so that it becomes one space that encourages conversation.
This is one of the more important living room ideas if you have chosen to stick with a very uniform color shading throughout your living room. Whether that’s a subtle yellow, cream, or beige, large areas of the same color can become very heavy and claustrophobic.
What you want to do here is to find a selection of accessories like pillows, paintings, lamps, and plants with brighter and different contrasting colors.
Then carefully place them around the room to break up those monotone areas of your living room.
Check patterns in furniture, rubs, and even curtains have become increasingly popular. But rather than sticking with a neutral color scheme, you can add a lot more interest by choosing different colors and shades.
You can even mix up the size of the check pattern as well to avoid becoming too rigid and uniform.
It’s one of those living room ideas that allows you to tie completely different colors together under a common theme.
One of the most convenient ways to introduce patterns into a living room is through wooden flooring. Rather than choosing just straight lines with wooden floorboards, you can achieve a far more interesting look with a parquet floor.
Whether it’s a criss-cross herringbone effect or more intricate patterns, having large areas like this provide more definition is an excellent way to create a continuous look across multiple rooms.
And if you’re concerned with having too much pattern visible, then use a rug or coffee table to break up larger areas.
Most people tend to stay on the safe side when it comes to curtain colors, shapes, and patterns. But if you have a large window with an amazing view, then you should consider drawing in more attention by framing it.
And there’s no better way to create a large framed view than by using some more daring colors and patterns in those curtains.
They can even significantly contrast to the rest of the room, e.g., having bark or black curtains on white walls.
Adding small sculptures and other accent pieces to shelves and tables is a great way to bring life to your living room design. But what can often happen is that people go overboard with these individual pieces.
Once you add in vases, flowers, and lamps, you can quickly end up with a cluttered effect.
Instead, try to buy lamps that look like pieces of art. Whether that’s a modern industrial design, old-fashioned stage lighting, or a more traditional one with an ornate lampshade, these practical items are ideal for adding more interest.
Large area rugs should also be on your list of living room ideas, especially if you have a large space that you need to fill. You can do this very elegantly by farming the floor of one seating area consisting of sofas and chaises with one style of rug.
And in an adjoining dining or entertainment area consisting of tables and chairs, you can place a different pattern or shade to visually separate the areas.
Just make sure that they are large enough rugs to fully frame the space, as small rugs can look out of place in a large living room.
Unless you’re going for modern and minimalistic design ideas, it’s important to aim for only having one key piece of furniture.
This can be a cabinet, bookshelf, or sofa. But if you introduce too many stand-out features, then it causes more visual confusion.
One exception is if you want your seating arrangement to become the center of attention. This can be a combination of a large sofa and some chairs that create impact by tying them together.
If you’ve had an elegant shelving unit as part of your living room ideas, then make sure it doesn’t become a dumping ground for things you can’t find another place for.
It happens too often that shelves are neatly stacked with books and a few accent pieces, only for you to gradually add more items. Whether it’s an unwanted gift or another family photo, it’s always a good idea to make space for new items.
That means removing something whenever you want to add a new item to ensure that the shelves remain uncluttered.
People often shy away from a monochrome look of just black and white because they think it will look too cold or sterile. And while a black and white approach does only suit a very modern living space, it’s important to understand that there are great ways to achieve such a look.
The key factor would be to introduce natural textures and patterns to create more visual balance in the space.
That could be a combination of different check patterns or simply varying completely different pattern designs with geometric shapes on throw pillows.
This can be one of the more important living room ideas for anyone living in an apartment or urban environment. Nature has a very calming effect on humans, and more exposure to it has a very calming effect that reduces stress and anxiety levels.
And bringing more nature into your home can make a room feel a lot more calming.
The obvious option is not to be shy about adding house plants of different colors and sizes. But you can also continue that kind of theme by bringing plant and floral patterns into things like wallpaper, fabric, and even rugs.
I mentioned the three main interior design styles of modern, contemporary, and classic above. And while you should avoid combining modern and classic in one room, it might also be a good idea not to have overly contrasting styles throughout your home.
Your chosen interior design will influence your mood and wellbeing. And if you have extremely contrasting styles in different rooms, then your living space can end up creating tension rather than relaxation.
That’s why it’s important to stick with modern and contemporary, or classic and contemporary, rather than mixing all three throughout your home.
While it is possible to combine multiple colors in a subtle way when choosing the right shading, you should try and avoid having multiple colors that take up large areas.
What I mean is that if your walls are going to be the most dominant part of the room for one color, then don’t choose a carpet that contrasts with this creating another large area with a different dominant color.
It’s one of those living room ideas that you have to carefully plan from the start so that you choose similar colors for your floor and walls and then introduce smaller items like furniture and rugs to break up a uniform color scheme.
This is a great idea if you have large living room walls due to high ceilings or if you’re trying to create a cozy environment for cold winter months.
Wood paneling on walls and ceilings can give any style of home that country log cabin feel, and the color of the wood will give the space a very warm feeling.
Just keep in mind that such a classic look will require a careful plan for the furniture you choose, and you’ll need to look for the right type of classic sofa like a Chesterfield.
Next up on our list of living room ideas is advice to ensure that your statement furniture pieces need to stand for themselves. Whether it’s a modern free-standing reading lamp, a designer bookshelf, or Chesterfield sofa that takes center stage in your living room, make sure it speaks for itself.
Don’t go overboard with throw pillows or blankets, and don’t try to add more visual impact to lamps or shelves that already make a great statement.
This is one of those living room ideas that is particularly important if you don’t have a large space to decorate. If space is at a premium, then you need to ensure that you take full advantage of it.
You can still make sure you have enough seating by filling corner spaces with an L-shaped sofa. Or, if you have a bay window area, then you can transform that space into a window seat, which could even provide some storage space.
If you’re looking to create a very calming living room where you can unwind after a tough day at work, then contemporary grays can make a room feel just right.
It’s one of the most searched for living room ideas as more people understand the importance of creating a neutral space that promotes relaxation. The great advantage is that you can match a warm gray with many other colors, and it works particularly well with shades of beige to add more warmth.
If you have a large living room or one with a very high ceiling, then you need to make sure that the space is well balanced. An ideal solution for this is to decorate the walls in a symmetrical way.
This could mean adding a mix of pictures and mirrors in a way that perfectly balances one side of the room to the other.
You can also achieve this by having two identical sofas on each side of a coffee table, perfectly lined up with a fireplace in the center of a wall.
This is where you need to become a bit adventurous and take a bit of a leap.
Some ideas for adding something completely unexpected is to have partially exposed brickwork or natural stone.
And if you have a very neutral backdrop, then consider covering part of a wall with a heavy curtain that provides a lot of pattern and color contrast.
Digesting all the above living room ideas might take some time. And while it might initially seem overwhelming, the best approach is to start with a decision on your overall style choice.
From there, you can move on to deciding on the ideal color scheme for your living room, and that will make it a lot easier to think of the best approaches for furniture and accessories.
One thing we have focused on for our customers is to bring you a wide range of both leather and fabric furniture. This gives you the greatest flexibility to find the right color, shading, and even patterns to make your design ideas come together.
Take a look at our sofa collections and see if they give you the right inspiration to make your living room look like it was professionally designed.