As the space where friends and family prefer to congregate the most, ideas of how to decorate a living room must be both inviting and perfectly representative of one’s unique decor style. Your living room’s luxurious slipper chairs and sofa should entice guests to spend hours chatting the night away while sitting on them. Achieving a room of such desirability requires time and effort, but fortunately, we’ve compiled dozens of living room ideas to provide inspiration.
Every detail is important, from the lively designs on the ottomans to the eye-catching color choices that invigorate your room. The lighting in the space should produce a warm atmosphere without ever becoming overly bright or harsh. Obviously, no central living area is complete without a lovely, plush living room rug underfoot and voluminous draperies surrounding the windows to tie the aesthetic together.
Whether your living room is an open-plan space in need of parlor-style seating zones or a smaller, cozier space, these living room ideas from the world’s leading interior designers will inspire your next decorating project. With everything from wild bursts of color to intricately patterned wallpaper, these skilled displays can assist you in designing chic, statement-making living spaces brimming with personality.
Table of Contents
1. Jubilant Expression
When Garrow Kedigian’s lifelong ambition of living in the famed Carlyle Hotel became a reality, he sought ways to pay homage to the monument. The living room’s citron-colored walls are a tribute to Dorothy Draper, whose iconic yellow velvet banquettes can still be found in the Carlyle lobby. Meanwhile, the building’s iron doors and false window mullions inspired the black moldings.
2. Establish a Neutral Setting for Collections
If you frequently redecorate, keep the base neutral so that accessories can stand out. White or off-white walls and furnishings remain constant, whereas a revolving collection is subject to seasonal change. You are free to add a pop of color or switch things up by using pillows and throws.
3. Mix Rather Than Match Fabrics
Lindsey Ellis Beatty says of her sunroom, “I don’t believe materials must match in order to speak with one another.” If their brightness and color temperature are comparable, they will look excellent together. The designer created a cheerful atmosphere in the area by using a palette of pink, turquoise, and chartreuse. A foundation of whites and neutrals helps to ground the area.
4. Rearrange Seating
There should be more seating options besides club chairs and sofas. Utilize benches, ottomans, and unusual side seats to accommodate additional individuals. As a plus, the seat in this Sea Island beach house allows for dialogue in either direction and can be moved around the room.
5. Layer Neutrals for a Relaxed Appearance
“In order to give Country French a minimalistic twist, I forgo the traditional ruffles and plaids and focus on painted antiques and white linens,” says homeowner and designer Regina Lynch. “Curtains would have been too much for this home, so I painted the trim a dark grey for a comparable but cleaner effect.” Soft green walls and a seashell chandelier create a beachy atmosphere.
6. Employ Unusual Materials
Instead of brick or stone, this chimney is coated from floor to ceiling in horizontal wood paneling. The wood material binds the built-ins flanking the fireplace together, making the entire wall an attractive element of the area. Deeply stained wood floors and furnishings add to the coziness of the place.
7. Experiment With Color
A trophy of elk antlers is the focal point of this predominantly gold-colored living room. A palm tree triptych, as well as blue, green, and mulberry furnishings and fabrics, add vivid touches to this area, which is characterized by a mellow wall tone and ceiling. The addition of bursts of color to an otherwise monochromatic setting enlivens the space.
8. Spruce Up the Walls
Allow your guests, and not your walls, to provide color to the room. Here, the homeowner painted all backdrop surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a crisp shade of white. A few dashes of dark blue enhance the brilliance of the whites.
9. Abandon the Chairs
These enormous sectionals provide ample seating space for everyone. The bench-style seat cushions are tidier and less likely to shift than several seat cushions. With this couch arrangement, you will be able to lounge and converse for hours.
10. Fairytale Beginnings
When renovating the living room of her nineteenth-century Chicago home, designer Summer Thornton drew inspiration from both nearby and distant locales. The apricot hue on the walls of the living room was inspired by a sunlit building she saw in Venice, while the ceiling is covered with hand-marbled paper.
11. Happy Living
Janie Jones and Elizabeth Miles, the designers behind Hundley Hilton, may have distinct tastes in fashion, but they form a formidable design team together. As evidenced by the cheerful living room of their client’s home near Birmingham, they are adept at mixing colors and styles. The Lee sectional in brilliant yellow, teamed with a modern game table and Z-style seats by Pierre Paulin, creates the ideal environment for comfortable conversation.
12. Literary Alchemy
Bill Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman intended to retain the historic architecture of the renowned Faulkner House Books in New Orleans while imbuing the living spaces with youthful vitality. Aerodynamic Italian chairs upholstered in opulent silk brocade complement the room’s existing silk drapes and duck-blue paint.
13. Sunset Hues
The beautiful sunset hues of Renvy Graves Pittman’s Bel Air living room originated from the antique Spanish rug if you can believe it. The warm tones extend to the apricot silk curtains and floral Lee Jofa Hollyhock chintz-upholstered sofa.
14. Straight Lines
Brooke and Steve Giannetti, the husband-and-wife team behind the architecture, design, and lifestyle firm Giannetti Home, intended to utilize the Los Angeles villa’s links to the gardens and facilitate business-related gatherings. Multiple French doors, framed by billowy Rogers & Goffigon draperies, lead from the living room to a sycamore-shaded garden where a private cocktail party can be held.
15. English Renaissance
Esther Cayzer-Colvin took a few decorating cues from her grandmother, Nancy Lancaster, co-founder of Colefax and Fowler, and experimented with vivacious patterns in the newly-added drawing room of her Wiltshire house. Views of the verdant gardens are framed by curtains hung in Italy with Turkish-inspired patterned linen.
16. Country Charm
Before filling this Napa Valley cottage with heirlooms, designer Dan Fink and architect Carl Baker of Ike Kligerman Barkley had to rethink the living spaces’ layout and circulation. The most significant alteration was the building of the great room, which extends from the house’s rear onto the pool and outdoor eating area.
17. Bring the Outdoors Inside
Materials that relate to your location are essential for adding personality. This coastal Lowcountry living room features a natural sisal mat that evokes marsh grasses and is also sturdy and simple to maintain. The alligator skull represents the local fauna, while palms in antique glass and fern-patterned pillows contribute to the room’s Lowcountry ambiance and casual polish. In a location that is protected from heavy foot traffic, a vintage kilim is laid over a sisal rug.
18. Enhance an Architectural Element
The owners of this old Louisiana property painted the coffered ceiling a quirky shade of pale blue so that it would stand out. Similar strategies could be applied to decorative wall paneling. Contrasting dusty rose silk velvet covers an antique American sofa.
19. Invest in Antiques
As your money allows, purchase one antique for each room. Here, a round French gueridon table with a marble top serves as the room’s center point and gives vibrant color. In this Birmingham home, a pair of recliners by the windows offers a secondary meeting area.
20. Use a Vivid Accent Color
This room’s ambiance is established by the white upholstery, the natural texture of the rug, blinds, and furnishings, and the neutral color scheme. Bright pillows and curtains in beachy hues lend a tropical touch. To bring interest to a drab environment, use a powerful punch of your favorite hue.
21. Visually Separate a Large Room
Typically, the living area of contemporary homes has an open layout. Use architectural elements, such as the cedar ceiling beams in this space, to visually separate the living room from the kitchen or dining area. Additionally, a rug and a pair of leather chairs define the room in this Georgia property.
22 . Modernize Heirloom Pieces
This room’s settee was given a modern update with wild fabric, while the old sofa and swivel chairs were covered in neutrals. The brilliantly colored lighting, artwork, and materials protect this space from becoming stuffy or drab.
23. Refresh with Whites
Achieve a luxurious neutral appearance with white upholstery and accents in a choice of gentle hues for added depth and richness. This formal living room feels more relaxed due to the overstuffed furnishings. Consider using washable slipcovers in high-traffic areas.
24. Embrace Concepts from the Past
Try a brilliant concept from the past. Cabinets with glass-fronted doors are a frequent element of old bungalows that can be adapted into contemporary homes. In this living room, the green leather chairs add a contemporary touch.
25. Let History Be the Main Event
This Charleston parlor from the 1830s features comfortable furniture, historic moldings, and antiquities worthy of a museum. Jenny Keenan, an interior designer, notes that the rooms in Charleston have a distinct, collected appearance that is layered with history. “By omitting certain historic objects, such as an old secretary, you are misleading the previous residents of your home.” Utilize antiques as the focal point of your space, and then add modern elements with daring fabrics, mid-century lighting, and sculptural accents.
26. Utilize a Barn Door
A barn door allows the living room and kitchen to be separated if necessary while occupying less space than conventional hinged doors. Close it to create a private and intimate atmosphere in the living room. Then, open the door whenever you host a free-flowing party.
27. Organize Your Space
Sam Blount, the interior designer, utilized the largest rug possible to bind this blue and white area together. Blount adds, “I’m a huge lover of enormous rugs in compact areas; too many small ones visually fragment the floor.” The rug and upholstered chairs also have matching patterns that unite them.
28. Consider Bold Patterns
This Louisiana living room demonstrates that you don’t have to shy away from strong patterns and odd hues while decorating a small area. Unexpected purple covers a loveseat, while an animal-print chair heightens the drama. A flowery rug and matching pillows give more texture and color.
29. Allow the Light In
Few windows for capturing natural light? Replace solid outside doors with glass ones for an airier ambiance and beautiful views of the yard. When refurbishing this 1935 cabin, a skylight was added to make the space even brighter.
30. Add Historic Charm To
Former editor-in-chief Lindsay Bierman lavished on a real V-groove wood ceiling to give his lakefront retreat more flair. The beaded board is less expensive and also attractive. It provides historic appeal to any new home. Likewise for bulky window casings.
31. Include Color in Collectibles
Do not be scared to customize the products you purchase. Two armchairs were bleached, and the blue velvet chair was gilded in this North Carolina living room. Megan Young, an interior designer, states, “Neutrals may be very beautiful, but I am always drawn to vivid color because it brings a place to live.” The use of a diversity of hues contributes to the impression that the furniture and furnishings in a room have been collected rather than simply purchased.
32. Know When to Save and When to Splurge
With its great comfort, rich color and fabric, and sleek lines, this sofa is unquestionably an heirloom; therefore, it was worth spending a bit more on it. The honeycomb mirror over the fireplace was a budget-friendly chain store purchase. It is distinctive enough to appear custom-made.
33. Enhance Visual Appeal with Decorative Trim
The designer of this room at a mountain home in Georgia added trim to the bottom of a plain sofa to dress it up, as well as a variety of unique pillows to pull colors from the room. Diamond-shaped wall molding creates a distinctive focal point, while grass-cloth walls offer texture and interest.
34. Decorate with Red
Use vibrant hues and bold patterns to highlight an otherwise neutral environment. This living room’s crimson upholstery and cloth create excitement without dominating the space. Additionally, pillows with bold patterns add a hint of blue.
35. Imitate a High Ceiling
By painting the baseboard and crown molding the same color as the walls, ceilings in a renovated 19th-century farmhouse were made to appear higher. Additionally, the uniform wall color permits the antique mantel and wood-paneled ceiling to stand out. In this ancient mansion, wingback chairs and an antebellum piano call to mind the past.
36. Draw Inspiration from a Favorite Textile
Use the pattern of cloth to inspire the color scheme and design of the room. This Georgia mountain home’s family room’s vibrant red and gold hues are brought together by the cloth on these couches. The coffee table and built-ins offer storage for board games and books.
37. Establish a Keeping Room
The phrase “keeping room” has been in use for centuries, but the concept is still applicable today. Since guests often congregate in the kitchen, a comfortable keeping room is perfect for overflow. They can unwind in a modest dining area while conversing with the chef. Consider using durable and comfy furnishings, as this room is likely to be one of the most utilized in your home.
38. Concentrate a Collection on Color
We created an attractive center point in this living space with a painted vintage secretary that exhibits a variety of blue books and artifacts. The secretary also gives a space for writing notes and storing gift wrap. A blue-striped rug continues the motif.
39. Create an Area for Conversation
If you have the space, build a separate, more private chat place in your living room. This will permit smaller groups to congregate at your event. This conversation area can also provide adults with a welcome break from children.