Once inside the front door, the first room your guests and family are likely to encounter is your living room. You host meetings in your living room, have a snack on the couch while watching TV, listen to the kids practice musical instruments, and generally hang out in this multifunctional space. How you design your living room can set the design feel for your entire home. You can also change your living room decor at various times of the year for different holidays and seasons.
Because you spend so much time in your living spaces, physical and visual comfort is important. However, you don’t have to compromise on style and decor in favor of comfort. In fact, you can fill your living room with furniture that is as functional as it is beautiful. Likewise, you can choose accent pieces and floor coverings that also offer comfort and ease of use.
Another important aspect to consider when designing your living space is durability. Due to the high traffic your living room will experience, it is worth spending a little more on higher quality furniture and floor furnishings to achieve long-lasting use and not need constant repairs, renovations, or cleaning. Choose fabrics that are comfortable and durable. Also, choose colors that work well together when putting out new décor items each season.
Larger living room remodeling projects may include structural changes. These may include changing windows and doors, replacing walls with ceiling beams to create an open concept, and renovating or replacing fireplaces. If your project includes these major changes, you’ll need to research your local building codes and permit requirements. Changes that include electrical or plumbing work may require the work of a licensed professional under special permits. If your interior changes affect your exterior design, also check with your homeowners association to ensure you are in compliance.
No matter how many ways you use your space or how many times a year you switch out your trinkets, you can find living room ideas in the collection of inspirational pieces we’ve rounded up and shared below. From ultra-formal to ultra-comfortable, your living room can become the blank slate on which you lay out your home design.
centerpiece ideas for the living room
As with all uniquely designed rooms in your home, you’ll want to have a focal point for your living room. This focal point is where your eyes are instantly drawn when you walk into the room. Without a focal point, your room can feel like an overwhelming mix of decor themes, each one vying with the next for attention.
A centerpiece is a great way to create a focal point in your living room. Living room centerpiece ideas can include floral designs, an elaborate design piece like a monogram, or a stunning fireplace. Your own furniture can be a great way to create the centerpiece of your living room. Classic designs often place sofas or seats along the walls, creating an empty space in the middle of a room. Instead, you can center seating furniture to create a great viewing area and cozy conversation zone. Don’t be afraid of angles when arranging your furniture, either. Oftentimes, placing wainscoting pieces diagonally can completely change the feel of your living room.
small living room ideas
Maximize your living space with minimalist designs, clever décor pieces that make a small space feel larger, or pieces that serve multiple purposes. When it comes to small living room ideas, the common theme is that less is more, both in the colors you choose for the walls and the furniture that fills the space.
Oversized furniture can make an already small room feel even more cramped and turn a space with so much potential into a space you can’t wait to get out of. Likewise, overly vibrant paint colors can make walls look like they’re zooming into the room. Instead, aim for a light and airy feel, with smaller or more delicate-looking furniture, and emphasize light and brightness through neutral tones, lots of natural light, and mirrors to create the illusion of extra space. Wicker or Victorian-era wood furniture can instantly open up a small space. Light blues and yellows can make a small space seem larger, and less clutter on tables and walls can create an uncluttered, welcoming design.
Ideas to decorate the living room
You can choose from one of two schools of thought for living room decorating ideas: a variety of pieces that reflect a unified theme, or a simple design that can be the backdrop for décor pieces that represent many styles. To begin designing your living room remodel, literally start from scratch.
If your living room is part of a much larger open-concept space within your home, you can choose a different type of flooring, such as a rug, to enhance the living room. On the flip side of that design, if you have a small living room, unifying the floor with the surrounding areas can create the feeling of a much larger space.
In addition to the type of floor, you can change the style and color of your floor to create different sensations. A vivid geometric design is a great addition to a modernist space, while refinished hardwood floors can evoke a historic home’s past. You can use complementary hues between your floors and walls to create the overall color palette.
Ideas to paint the living room
A can of paint is one of the easiest, fastest and cheapest ways to completely change the look of your living room. Two great living room paint ideas include adding an accent wall and adding texture to your walls.
If your living room lacks a focal point, or you want to further emphasize a focal point, an accent wall can emphasize a particular hue, or you can use a complementary design like stripes or two tones separated by a chair rail. In a small room where a bright hue can overwhelm, you can still incorporate your favorite hue on one wall while the others feature a more neutral color. If your décor pieces can best be described as eclectic, an accent wall can pick a common hue and make each element stand out.
Textured walls are also a great way to change the feel of your living room. You can use visual or physical texture to fulfill this idea. With visual textures, your wall can feature a feathered pattern with paint that contrasts with the main wall color. This type of design is still flat against the wall and is often called faux painting. For physical texturing, your final design can encompass the look of a plaster wall, a swirl effect, a Mediterranean or Spanish knife texture, or just about any other texture your mind can imagine. Once you’ve chosen the overall design of your room, texturing your walls is a great way to show it off.
If you’re struggling to find the best living room ideas to update your home, use our vast library of design inspirations to get started. For eclectic collections, read about how to create a unique vintage feel. When it’s time to redecorate for the holiday season, use our Christmas design ideas for inspiration. If you can’t figure out where the TV should be placed, we’ve got tips on that too. And don’t forget to check out our infographic that provides guidance on how to lay out your furniture to maximize results.
When you spend more time carefully planning your layout, your living room will become the wonderfully inviting space you want it to be.