Finding inspiration and ideas is a great place to start when designing your living room. Think out of the box and don’t be afraid to experiment with pattern, color, and shape in your living room design.
There are countless living room design ideas out there, and sometimes finding a little inspiration is the best first step to getting started. Chances are, your living room is one of the spaces where you spend the most time in your home, and if it isn't a room that functions well and feels like you, knowing how to transform it into a space you love can feel daunting. Infusing personality into your space is all about putting what you love on display and prioritizing your personal style over trends. If you're looking for some fresh ideas to take your space from "meh" to magical, here are 40 ideas that will make you excited to have everyone over again.
Sticking to a color palette can help you keep a cohesive story throughout your space. Start by evaluating the pieces you already have and the colors you love, and build onto them throughout your design process. Remember to consider the tones and colors in your finishes like flooring, walls, and hardware when deciding what complements them best.
For tips on how to use the color wheel to design your space, check out our post here.
Furniture with legs can help keep the visual flow of your space open, making a small living room look bigger. When choosing furniture, try incorporating a blend of pieces with legs and without to keep things interesting. For example, if you have a sofa and a side chair without legs, bringing in a coffee table or a side table with legs can create balance and synergy.
Wall treatments are a great way to add texture and character to any space. Plus, they can even raise the value of your house! Wainscoting, paneling, or molding can work with almost any style of interior, and if you really want to get crafty, they can even make a fun DIY project!
Regardless of how much natural light you have, layered lighting is key to creating a cozy, inviting space. Think high, medium, and low when planning your lighting, and try to get at least one light source on each level through ceiling, table, floor, and wall lights. Where you can, add lighting at eye level next to seating pieces for the most flattering effect.
A rug not only makes a room feel cozy, but it grounds the primary function of your space, whether it's conversation, TV marathon watching, or lounging. To avoid the "floating rug" look, make sure at least the front pieces of your furniture are on the rug. If your space calls for a different approach, try an organic shape like a hide to center your seating dynamically.
It's no secret that mirrors make an interior look larger, but reflective materials like silver, metal, and gold textures can have a similar effect in bouncing light around. If you can, try placing a mirror directly across from a window to expand your natural light and create even more visual space and openness.
When in doubt, look up! Your ceiling doesn't have to be plain white, and it doesn't even need to be the same color as your walls. Wallpapered, texture, and paint can all be great ways to enhance the ceiling and draw the eye up, making your space feel more extensive or cozier in the process. If you're painting the ceiling the same color as your walls, you can even switch up the sheen to make things feel slightly more interesting.
If you're going for a more traditional look, matching side tables works well, but don't be afraid to mix it up and incorporate two different styles or pieces to add a bit of extra design magic. To make things easier, keep one element the same (material, shape, style) and mix the rest, so they work together and feel cohesive.
Symmetry is naturally pleasing to the eye, so incorporating it is an easy way to structure your design plan. There are so many ways you can add visual balance, from how you arrange your furniture to styling matching lamps on your side tables to how you style shelving.
Asymmetry is a great way to make your living room design look eclectic and thoughtful. You can even blend symmetrical elements with asymmetrical moments for a more modern look. For example, if you have a table lamp on one of your side tables, consider trying a floor lamp on the other end of your sofa to allow the eye to travel around the room.
Every room needs a touch of pattern, and you can add it through almost any element, from the rug to your artwork pieces. Remember that organic materials like marble and wood have a pattern, too. As a rule of thumb, opposites attract when it comes to pattern scale. Large motifs in small rooms and small motifs in large rooms are easier on the eyes.
Rather than arranging your furniture layout to face the TV, prioritize conversation and keep your pieces facing each other so that when you have guests come over, the function of your design lends space for enjoying each other's company.
Curtains are a simple way to round out and soften any room in your home, especially in the living area! White can work well in nearly any space, but if you want to go bold, use your curtains as an excuse to add an element of pattern, texture, or color.
Mixing up the shapes throughout your space is a great way to get that designer look and create a curated feeling. Look at the lines of your furniture and decor to see if they lean round or angular. Aim for a good balance of both in each visual plane. For example, if you have a sofa and chairs with curved arms, incorporating an angular, square, or rectangular-shaped coffee table can bring more interest.
Room dividers are a perfect way to add more functionality to a living room that has more than one purpose or connects to other areas of your home, but they can also add a lot of style and height! If you're looking for ways to add varying levels to your living room, consider incorporating a unique standing room divider for an unexpected touch.
Blending warm and cool tones can elevate any space and make it feel balanced and intentional. Warm tones (reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, and most wood species) bring a cozy and upbeat feeling to a home, while cool tones (blues, greens, grays, and many marble materials) have a calming and grounding impact. Too many warm or cool tones can make your design fall flat, but it's an easy problem to fix without overhauling everything. Look around your space and evaluate what you have more of, warm or cool, and consider adding a few accessories to offset the tones and add new life to your room.
Chances are, there is a particular design style you lean towards, but if you're open to mixing it up, blending styles can give your living space a more considered look and feel. Don't be afraid to mix your favorite styles and incorporate elements from different eras and influences to keep things interesting! In the living room, lighting, seating, and decor are all great ways to add a statement-style piece that draws the eye in and adds an unexpected touch.
Use visual cues to draw the eye to your focal point — whether it's your fireplace, the views coming in from your windows or a statement piece of artwork. You can draw the eye to your focal point by arranging your furniture pieces toward it, adding lighting surrounding it, or pulling out colors and tones from it to use throughout the room.
Mixing textures is a simple way to elevate your living room regardless of your style or color palette. Consider the feeling that each texture brings and creates balance through layering linens, boucle, velvet, cotton, wool, and reeded or basket materials.
Have an amazing view? Draw the eye to it by pulling out a few of the tones from your views into your space. For example, if trees surround your windows, green furniture and decor will feel like a natural progression inside your home.
Books are one of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to add a touch of personality to any space, but especially in the living room, where you likely spend a lot of time. Add stacks of coffee table books or your favorite reads to fill in space on a shelf, bring height to the coffee table, or style on a side table to add some expression.
In search of inspiration and looking for a jumping-off point? Try your favorite artwork piece! Whether it's a piece you hope to own someday, a DIY project, or something you have hanging in your home already, looking to an artwork piece is a great way to pull color or texture inspiration. You can even use a color palette creator to upload your image and find some of the colors from a painting, photograph, or print.
The reality is, so many spaces in a home have multi-functions, and in the era of more working from home, having an office space in your living room is becoming more and more common. The good news is that you don't have to sacrifice style to have a multi-functional space, and adding a desk can be a great way to add even more texture and dimension!
If you love to entertain, the living room can be a perfect place to keep a few entertaining essentials close by and on display so that when guests come over, you don't have to go far to find what you need. Whether it's a styled bar cart in the corner, a basket filled with your favorite card games, or a chess set on the coffee table, there are countless ways to fill your space with chic, fun, and useful pieces.
High-backed seating pieces lend a more formal look to a room, but mixing in seating with low or no backs can keep the visual flow open and bring in a casual element. Daybeds, benches, or low sofas can be a great option to break up the room, especially if you are looking for pieces to complement more traditional, higher-backed pieces.
Sometimes you don't have to go anywhere further than your backyard to gather the best type of inspiration! Bringing in elements reminiscent of where you live is one of the best ways to make your home feel more connected from the minute you walk in the door. Whether you live by the beach, the mountains, or the forest, you can infuse colors, textures, or decor items that reflect your surroundings.
Yourrry friends deserve a space of their own, too! The living room is often the perfect place to consider where you would put a bed or area for your pet or pets and work it into the overall look and feel of the space. If you don't want a traditional dog bed, consider a floor pillow or a chic dog sofa!
Decorating a space doesn't have to mean buying a lot of new pieces or owning fancy sculptural items. Whether you have empty shelving space or a side table that needs a little love, consider styling a few of your favorite things or personal items. Your living room should showcase your personality and be a place to put your favorite things and collections on display.
If your living space is also where you keep your TV, you might want to get creative with how you design around it to make it feel less visually distracting. Since it is likely the area's main (or one of the primary) functions, you'll still want your primary furniture piece facing it. However, adding a secondary focal point can move the eye away from the TV. Statement pieces like bold accent chairs, lighting, or large artwork pieces can all make great focal points.
Patterned wallpaper may be a bold choice for a living room, but when done well, it can pack a significant punch and bring an element of coziness and character to a room like nothing else. Even if you don't wallpaper the entire wall, you can still incorporate it through an accent wall, the ceiling, or halfway with the help of a bit of wainscoting. When in doubt, look to wallpaper with smaller-scale prints to make it less overwhelming to the eye.
Texture is a great way to ignite all of the senses when you walk into a room, and there are countless ways to incorporate texture on your walls that keep things feeling fun and interesting — from lime-wash to grasscloth paper to wall treatments.
Every room needs a little music, and the look of a record player or even a well-designed Bluetooth speaker can go a long way in adding personality (and fun) to your living room. Plus, who doesn't want to be greeted by music when they walk into a lounge or conversation area?
Have a hard time choosing one artwork piece? Try incorporating a few at once by hanging a gallery wall! Gallery walls can bring a unique touch to a living room and provide an opportunity to showcase many different types of artwork, from personal photos to abstract pieces. If you're hesitant to try a gallery wall, use a mockup tool to visualize the final result, switching the pieces out until it feels just right.
If you're looking for color or style inspiration, sometimes there's no better place to look than in your closet! Chances are, what you like wearing you will also enjoy seeing in your home. Pull out a few of the things you feel best in, and lay them out on your sofa or in your space to see how it looks next to your current items. Pay attention to specific colors, textures, or styles that you see repeatedly, and try incorporating them when making decisions.
Every room needs storage, and in the living room, you likely have multiple uses for storage from a place to keep remotes, coasters, extra blankets, or hobby items. Utilize baskets, boxes, shelving, and furniture pieces with storage to make the most out of every corner and keep things tidy!
A well-designed space is about more than just the aesthetic, and igniting the senses when putting together a living room is a simple way to bring it to life. Think about how you want the room to smell, feel, and look to curate a unique experience from the moment you walk in the room.
Adding greenery can make a room feel alive and vibrant like nothing else, and bringing the outdoors in might be just what you need to take your living room to the next level. Incorporate live or faux plants and florals to add color and texture to any vignette.
Lighting may serve a functional purpose, but that doesn't mean it can't serve a decorative purpose, too! Add statement lighting from eye-catching chandeliers to unique floor lamps, table lamps, and sconces to illuminate each corner of your living room and create ambiance.
The great thing about paint is that while it's a great way to drastically and quickly change up your space, it's relatively easy to apply and remove compared to other wall elements like wallpaper. If you're wondering what your space needs and something feels unfinished, painting your living room might be the perfect way to complete the look. Want to get a better idea of what it will look like in your space before you paint the first coat? Try a room visualization tool that lets you see it before you even order swatches!
Making a good plan for your project is an essential step in any design process, especially when you're making big investments in pieces you will have for years to come. Use an online mockup tool and room planner to visualize everything from the floor plan layout to what a paint color will look like once it's up against your furniture pieces. Seeing everything together can help you build a wish list and see your space evolve before you make any significant changes or decisions.
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