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Living Room Decor: 34 Stunning Ideas for your Space

The living room is often one of the most used rooms in the house. For many, it’s a multifunctional space, particularly so in open-plan layouts. This means it has to work hard, meeting a number of needs for various members of the family while also being a beautiful and comfortable place to spend time in. The main function of the living room is generally providing a space to relax, but also for socialising too. This dual purpose can make designing a living room tricky, but when you’re armed with the right knowledge and ideas, it’s possible to create a striking lounge that works for the whole family…

Getting Started...

There are a few key elements to consider when it comes to living room decor. The first is whether your room is north or south facing, as this will influence the colour scheme that you choose. Second, it’s essential to consider the layout and flow of the space, taking into consideration any architectural features that you want to highlight. Finally, think about the function of the space and how you will use your living room day-to-day. When you take a moment to consider these more practical elements, you will be far more likely to create a stunning space that you won’t need to change again for many years.

To help you on your way, here are 34 living room decor ideas to get inspired by…

Play with Pattern

Many of us overlook wallpapers in our homes, with simple painted walls feeling like the more contemporary option. Wallpapers can be really striking and are far from dated. You can get a huge array of amazing designs these days, and a simple wallpapered statement wall can completely transform the look and feel of your living room. Try a mural-style wallpaper on the wall above your sofa to create a focal point - pick out some of the shades in the paper, and tie in with the rest of your colour scheme.

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Try Alternative Wall Hangings

It can be all too easy to hang a gallery wall or similar in your living room, and while this is a striking and stylish look, you might want to consider something a bit different to set the space apart. Consider other options, such as a collection of vintage mirrors, wreaths in varying sizes, or even family photos from years gone by instead of art prints, to add that personal touch.

Work with what you've got

When choosing a colour scheme for your space, consider the natural light in the room. If your living room is north facing, opt for warm tones to add a cosy feel, and lift what would otherwise feel like quite a cold and stark space. South-facing rooms can take cooler tones or warm tones should you prefer. Also think about how much light the room gets, as brighter rooms can take darker colours, whereas rooms with little natural light would benefit from a light and airy colour palette.

Lay a Large Rug

A beautiful rug can completely transform a room and will add a stylish finish. We typically want to feel comfortable and relaxed in our living rooms, and so adding extra texture and softness with a rug is a really great way to enhance that cosy feeling. Try placing a large rug at the centre of the room to add focus and soften hardwood floors - rugs can also be layered on carpets too. Place your coffee table on top, and where possible, position your sofas around the rug, so that you have a lovely soft surface to sink your feet into when you get up.

Highlight Architectural Features

If you’re lucky enough to have beautiful original features or any usual design features in your living room, work with them, rather than against them. A fireplace should be the focal point of the room, so consider how you can highlight this. If you have a black cast iron fireplace, paint the wall behind it in a light shade to ensure it stands out. Arrange the furniture sitting towards the fireplace, to direct the line of vision to this striking feature. Consider highlighting other elements such as coving, an interesting archway or an original brick wall. Use colour to create a contrast to highlight any features in your living room to add character and interest.

Dress Sofas with Soft Furnishings

Your sofa is typically the largest piece of furniture in the living room, and so naturally becomes a bit of a focal point. A great way to enhance this focal point further and create a lovely cosy feel is to dress your sofa with soft furnishings. Cushions and throws work well and offer an opportunity to introduce colour and texture and enhance your scheme. Choose plain or patterned cushions and blankets, and experiment with different materials. In the winter try a wool throw, swapping it for a linen option during the summer months.

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Layer your Lighting

A multifunctional space needs various different degrees of lighting. Depending on what you are using your living room for, sometimes there might be a need for bright lighting, and other times low-level lighting. Lighting plays an important role in the living room, and can really enhance the look and feel of the space. Try hanging pendant lights, or a collection of pendant lights at the centre of the room for your bright lighting - even better if you can position it over the coffee table. For low-level lighting, a floor standing lamp and a tabletop lamp or two are all you need.

Try a Pop of Colour

If you’re going for a mostly neutral scheme, why not add impact with a pop of colour? Pick one large element in the room - a wall, the sofa, or a rug for example, and choose a bold colour to create a statement. You can simply have this single statement colour, or you can tie in a handful of elements in the room, such as using the same shade in artwork, cushions and accessories.

Incorporate Storage

Storage is often overlooked in the living room but can be a great asset to any home. If you have alcoves or little nooks that are unused, consider installing built-in storage. Storage doesn’t just have to be practical either, it can look really stylish too. Think built-in bookcases on either side of the chimney breast - great for additional storage, but also a brilliant opportunity to add your own personal style to space by displaying some of your most-loved items.

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Balance the Old and the New

A great way to add character to space is to use a blend of old and new pieces. If you favour modern interiors there’s no reason why you couldn’t use one or two antique or vintage pieces to add a little extra charm. Try a vintage sideboard, or mid-century armchair, along with your mode contemporary pieces. This will add interest and stop the overall look from appearing flat.

Balance the Old and the New

A great way to add character to space is to use a blend of old and new pieces. If you favour modern interiors there’s no reason why you couldn’t use one or two antique or vintage pieces to add a little extra charm. Try a vintage sideboard, or mid-century armchair, along with your mode contemporary pieces. This will add interest and stop the overall look from appearing flat.

Incorporate Natural Materials

A great way to add warmth to the living room is to include natural materials. Wood floors dressed with a large rug, a chunky wooden mantlepiece and a wood coffee table are all you need to achieve that laid back but stylish look. Just a handful of pieces in wood are plenty and can be balanced with painted surfaces, metal elements and colourful soft furnishings.

Add a Boho Edge

A bohemian scheme is a great choice for the living room. Generally quite a laid back style, the boho look uses lots of texture and can be as colourful or as neutral as you like. Try a shaggy rug on the floor, a woven pouffe to put your feet up on, tasselled cushions on the sofa, white linen curtains hung at the window, and lots of houseplants to nail this style.

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Create Symmetry

If you have a fireplace in your living room, aim to create a symmetrical layout, making the fireplace the centre of the space. Put shelving on either side of the fireplace, hang a mirror above the mantelpiece, and arrange furniture on either side of the fire with a coffee table in the middle. This will create an aesthetically pleasing layout with a more formal feel for a grown-up living space.

Layer-Up Rugs

A great way to add a cosy feel to your living space is to layer up rugs. Often people simply lay one rug, which is highly effective, but if you want to go for a more eclectic look, try placing more than one rug. A flatweave rug works well when layered with a smaller shaggy rug or jute rug on top, or consider using a sheepskin rug thrown over an armchair to add texture and interest.

Try a Scandinavian Scheme

If neutrals are your thing why not consider a Scandi style living room? Scandinavian decor is all about creating a comfortable and cosy feel. Think white walls, big grey squishy sofas, a large shaggy rug on the floor and lots of tactile soft furnishings. Add warmth by introducing wood elements, such as a wood coffee table, and a touch of soft colour with accessories and artwork.

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Create a Contrast

When you opt for decor all in one tone a room can look a little flat. If you go for all light shades or all dark shades nothing stands out and there’s no variety, which can result in a fairly uninspiring scheme. Where possible, create a contrast. If you have painted the walls in a light shade, try a dark sofa. Try black metal legs on a wood coffee table, placed on top of a rug in a light shade. If your sofas are light in colour, try cushions with black details. Just a touch of contrasting shades will strengthen your scheme.

Create a Social Seating Area

It can be all too tempting to arrange your furniture around your TV, positioning sofas and armchairs towards the TV and forgetting about the social aspect of the space. If you love to entertain, consider arranging to seat facing towards one another, making it easy for guests to engage with each other. For extra seating, try a couple of stylish leather pouffes that guests can pull up when the sofa is full.

Add a Personal Touch

A lovely way to bring the whole family into space is to create a display of personal items. Something like a picture ledge above the sofa would work well, with an array of family photos in different sizes, and even the odd framed piece of childhood artwork. This is a stylish look that also sets your decor apart from the rest, creating a lovely display that’s full of memories and personality. Choose simple slim frames in brass, wood or white to keep the look cohesive and add a professional design edge.

Bring Nature In

If your living room is blessed with lots of natural light why not add interest to space with lots of houseplants? Houseplants are often a fairly inexpensive way to add interest and create a stylish and modern look. Try introducing plants of various sizes and use them in different ways in the room. For example, place a large floor standing plant in an unloved corner, along with a few tabletop plants and hanging plants on open shelving.

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Choose a Statement Piece

Every room needs a statement piece to add that all-important wow factor. A statement piece can come in many shapes or sizes, but generally, it’s a large piece that draws more attention than anything else in the room. This could be a large and colourful rug, a huge pendant light, or an amazing piece of furniture. Choosing a statement piece to use in your living room will take your scheme to the next level.

Add a Pop of Colour with Artwork

If you’re struggling to incorporate colour into your space, try a colourful collection of prints or a supersized canvas.  Artwork is a great way to introduce colour in a way that’s not too obtrusive, but will still have a big impact on your scheme. If you’re going for a minimal look, try one big unframed canvas in a bright shade, or try a collection of colourful prints. The trick to making this look work is to just pick out a shade or two across your entire collection, to keep the look simple and striking.

Create a Luxe Feel

A luxury living room doesn’t have to meet spending a lot of money - you can create that highly sought after luxe feels with just a few clever tricks. Metal always looks expensive, particularly brass or gold, so incorporate this into your scheme. Try a brass pendant light, and a few more brass details, such as a pair of brass candlesticks, brass plant pots and photo frames. Using quality materials will up the luxe factor of your space. Try a beautiful wool rug on the floor, or a glass coffee table with a gold frame.

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Make the Space Feel Bigger

Did you know that you can make small living rooms feel bigger with the clever placement of rugs? People often think that using a smaller rug will make the floor space look bigger, whereas this has quite the opposite effect. If you’re limited on space, use a large rug that extends beyond the furniture, with your sofas etc sitting on top of the rug, rather than using a rug that sits in front of furniture. This will draw the eye to the outer corners of the room, making it appear larger.

Invest in Timeless Pieces

Large items of furniture used in the living room are often costly, for example, sofas are usually an investment piece and of the most expensive items found in the home. In order to ensure they stand the test of time, choose a timeless design that you will love for years to come, instead of following trends. Go for styles you love and that won’t date for large pieces of furniture - you can always add some on-trend pieces in the form of accessories, which tend to be lower cost items.

Create a Little Nook

Got an empty corner that you’re not sure what to do with? Try creating a little nook using an armchair and side table. This will be the perfect spot for relaxing with a book and a cup of coffee when you get a spare moment - even better if your nook can be placed by a nice bright window to soak up the sun.

Style-Up a Bar Cart

If you love to host, why not include a retro drinks trolley in your living room. Bar carts are making a big comeback, and you can pick up a vintage piece for not a lot, or a more modern luxe design if that’s more your style. A bar cart on wheels can be tucked away and brought out when you have guests over, and can store everything you need to make cocktails and more. You can get some really stylish barware these days, and even make a feature of the cart by dressing with fairy lights.

Choose Stylish Window Treatments

The way in which you dress the windows in your living room can completely change how the room feels. If you’re aiming to create a fuss-free and modern scheme, shutters in white work really well. Not only are they great at keeping the light out, but they also look really simple and stylish. Floor Length curtains can add a luxe feel, especially in fabrics such as velvets, whereas light linens and cotton curtains will keep the space feel really airy and fresh.

Try a Removeable Wallpaper

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to update your space why not try introducing a removable wallpaper? There are so many options available, which allows you to play around with the look and feel of your living room. This is a great option if you’re someone that likes to change up your interiors regularly, as these papers can easily be removed and are often fairly inexpensive too.

Try Lime Wash Walls

If flat block colour isn’t your thing, but patterned wallpapers aren’t up your street either, consider lime washing walls as a unique alternative. Limewash has been around for hundreds of years and is a great eco-friendly option for decorating your home. When it comes to living room ideas, this one is a little bit different but will deliver a unique and stylish look. Limewash looks mottled and textured and works especially well if you’re going for a rustic or Scandi scheme.

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Create a Broken-Plan Layout

If you have a very large living room, consider dividing it up into different sections. A great way to do this is by following the ‘broken plan approach, which keeps the room open and airy but creates clearly defined sections. You can separate areas of the room using pieces of furniture, for example, the back of the sofa would define the seating area, or even cube shelving would work as a more significant divider of the space.

Expose a Brick Wall

Exposed brick can add a lovely rustic feel to your living room, and works particularly well in older buildings where the brick has lots of character. To see if the brick is suitable for exposing, hack off a small area of plaster - it’s best to do this low down where the area can be hidden should it not be suitable. If the brick looks to be in good condition, consider exposing an entire wall, place your sofa against the wall, and hang a statement piece of art above for a unique and characterful look.  

Draw Attention with Stripes

Want to draw the eye towards your favourite piece of furniture? Stripes are a great way to create attention, while also adding a modern and playful pattern to your space. Try a striped rug on the floor in front of the piece you want to highlight, with the stripes running vertically towards your piece of furniture. This is also a great opportunity to play with colour and texture too.

Mix and Match Patterns

When it comes to patterns in interiors, there are no real rules. If you love an eclectic look, or even if you just want to add interest to an otherwise simple scheme, mixing and matching patterns can be highly effective for your living room decor. The trick is to get the balance right - try up to 3 patterns in total, but match up the colours to keep the look cohesive. Rugs, cushions and throws all offer a great opportunity to play with patterns, and will add that all-important cosy feel to your space too.

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Introduce a Stylish Sideboard

Not only will a sideboard offer extra storage, but it also introduces lots of opportunities. Offering surface space to display items on top of, you can create a lovely ‘moment’ in your space by hanging artwork above your sideboard too. Try two large prints hung side by side at the centre of the wall, and display some of your favourite pieces on top of your sideboard. Take the look one step further and lay a rug under the sideboard to create more focus.

Now that you are armed with loads of living room ideas, it’s time to plan your perfect living space. Your scheme should reflect your own personal sense of style and your needs too. We all use our living rooms differently, so don’t be swayed by what others are doing. Think about how you use the space and what will best suit your lifestyle and your needs. Your living room will be one of the most used rooms in your house, so it’s important to consider how you will spend time in the space and what you need the room to do to support your lifestyle.

Think carefully about the living room decor that you want to create - how would you like to feel in the space, who will be using the living room and what kind of schemes do you love? In taking the time to consider all your options, you can be sure you’ll create a living room that works for you and that you love. Our living room decor ideas should provide a great starting point so that you can create the living room of your dreams.

  • Posted On: 30 June 2021

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