Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.
Struggling with what living room colours to choose, or what style to go with? While a grey living room design is popular at the moment, you might not want to go with the ubiquitous colour. Although, if neutral and contemporary are the living room ideas you’re after, a grey sofa or grey walls will give you a good base to work on. If you want to stay neutral, beige is not your only other option, either. Light yellows, taupes and soft greys will work. Why not try adding simple but plush cushions to your sofa and a rug in these colours to achieve a modern-traditional look?
Coffee tables are always handy, but you can always add a couple of side tables if you don’t want to clutter the central space in front of seating with anything. If you centre your living room design around a fireplace or TV, then you might want storage and shelving to feature around the focus of your room. There are plenty of style options when it comes to TV units, and you can even go for bespoke living room storage units to make the most of the space if you want a sleek, built-in look. Keep reading below for more living room storage ideas.
A hand-me-down buffet's original cherry finish felt a little formal for this Arizona ranch home, but with some matte chalk paint, the item took on a more casual look that set the tone for equally laid-back vintage pieces, from the leather luggage (that stores extra blankets) to a coffee table made from an antique mission door. A midcentury turquoise sofa adds a splash of happy color.
A stacked fieldstone fireplace takes center stage in this family room. Rather than just a sheer wall of stone, the exposed chimney is designed with a central recess for artwork, along with tapered edges on either side, to keep it from appearing too overpowering. Sconces mounted directly to the stone are an attractive way to shed plenty of light on the antique timber mantel.
This floor-to-ceilings fireplace in a living room designed by Leanne Ford is taking style notes from the best of both worlds: A classic mountain chalet and the Malibu coast. Whether there's snow falling or waves crashing right outside that window, we want to be curled up on that linen slip-covered chair. This living room is also a testament to the perks of working with what you have. The fireplace was given a new life with a makeshift mantle comprised of reclaimed wood and a fresh coat of white paint.
Apart from the standard bookcases, side tables and TV units, there are a few other handy living room storage ideas you can invest in. As mentioned before, if you have the room and budget for it, a built-in storage unit could be the way forward. With a well-built unit you could hide your TV, DVDs, players, books, video consoles and all sorts away in one place. If you don’t quite have a large enough area for one, you could look at shelving – either side of the chimney breast is a great place to install shelving if you have one in your living room. And don’t forget living room furniture such as sofas, benches and ottomans that lift up to reveal hidden storage; providing seating and storing space at the same time. With the right storage solutions your living room design could open up and feel so much more spacious and stylish.
A couple of small living room ideas can include: working with the height you have – installing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or drawing the eye to the top of the walls with wallpaper; choosing space-saving or storage-incorporating (or both!) furniture, such as corner sofas with storage space under the chaise longue section; and keeping things symmetrical – a central fireplace with seating opposite, or seats facing each other, can give the illusion of a larger, more grand room. When it comes to the best decor for small living rooms, you can either choose to keep things light and airy to open up the space, or embrace the cosiness of the smaller area you have by going for warm colours and filling the room with your favourite accessories.
Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.
First, stick with low-profile furniture in neutral colors. Leggy pieces like the coffee table create a sense of spaciousness because you can see more of the floor. For pops of color, add a houseplant or two and patterned rug. Next, fill that big blank space over your sofa with a statement-making print or oversized mirror. Need a floor lamp but don't have an inch of horizontal room to spare? Consider something wall-mounted.
While this sophisticated living room is located in a renovated and repurposed barn (really, it is!), it delivers rustic inspiration that can be applied to any space. The walls and ceiling are planked with reclaimed pine, and the homeowners had the rustic cedar post cut at a local sawmill, requesting that the original bark and moss stay intact to remain as natural as possible. A built-in corner shelf, made of the same wood as the wall and ceiling paneling, adds a charming spot for books and collections. Adding to the rustic vibe: The chandelier is made of an antique wagon wheel, and the coffee table is an old industrial cart.
Banish the superfluous, stow the clutter, and rethink furniture arrangements to overhaul your living room without spending a dime. Get a pal to help you move furniture around until you have visually pleasing groupings that are conducive to conversing. Watch the video below to learn the basics of furniture arranging that will help you plan a no-fail arrangement.
Take a look at estate sales and yard sales – There are many great furniture bargains to be had at your local estate or yard sales. Estate sales are great for those looking to purchase a matching furniture set at a discounted price. There are several websites that offer email alerts you can sign up for to let you know when an estate sale is planned in your area. Stores such as Habitat for Humanity or thrift stores in your area may be another good place to search for salvaged goods of high quality.
We don’t need to tell you the benefits of nesting tables – the secret space saving speaks for itself. Three tables take up the space of one, but as soon as you have guests around, there is more than enough surface area for cups of coffee and glasses of wine. Our favorite styles at the moment are circular tables with metallic frames, and we’ve seen some hexagonal nesting tables that caught our eye too.