In the living area of this Martha's Vineyard home, furnishings are awash in a sea of blues, but slight variations in tone and subtle patchwork motifs take the place of sharply contrasting patterns and hues. A patchwork rug from Nomadic Trading Company anchors the living area, furnished with linen sofas and a wingback chair by Cisco. The glass top on Groundwork's reclaimed-oak coffee table displays a collage of vintage art.


On this page we explore ways to get beautiful living room décor on a budget. The living room is like a person’s physical appearance. When you first meet someone, you first notice their clothes, their hair, their shoes, and their facial expression. In a house, the first thing you see is the exterior: roof, door, windows, landscape, fence, and paint. When you enter the house, it is commonly the living room that first greets you. This is the first room that welcomes you and sets the tone of the house for you. If you are sharing the house with other people, the living room also becomes a common room where anybody can hang out.


The secret to this inviting rustic living room? Top-to-bottom texture: starting from the scuffed ceiling beams (salvaged from an old warehouse) to the velvet-covered armchair to the dhurrie-topped sisal rug. Add a wood-planked coffee table, some foraged pine cones, a stack of birch logs, and a vintage tobacco basket above the mantel, and you have a rustic look that can’t be beat.
So the interior didn't compete with views of the farm, the owner of this Alberta farmhouse opted for crisp white paint on the walls and ceiling, and blue draperies that complement the large stretch of sky outside the windows. Light pine floors with a single coat of whitewash allow the wood's natural grain to show without taking away from the room's airy feel.
For contemporary living room ideas, dark blues and greens are on trend, but if you don’t want to dive straight into the dark wall trend, you could opt for a couple of pieces of furniture, or go for dark-hued living room accessories instead. Whites, woods and pastels could work well for Scandinavian living room designs. If an eclectic living room is what you’re after, you could go for large print wallpaper, a statement lighting piece, vibrant rug and lots of colourful book or ornament displays. For a country feel, rustic carpet, stone hearths, comfy armchairs and traditional patterns in creams, greens and browns will give you that cosy cottage feel.
You might have thought that wall lamps and sconces were a thing of the past in living room interior design, but our interior designers keep reporting on new covetable styles and our clients keep asking for lighting options that take the least tablespace. Wall lamps and sconces are back in full force; from modern matte finishes to oversized swing arms to Art Deco-inspired lighting and double sconces, illumination options are taking a remarkably different turn.
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.
The fiddle leaf fig tree definitely wins the popularity contest as far as design favorites for indoor trees. And for good reason: They look great with pretty much any interior design scheme, from bohemian to modern spaces like this one designed by Hecker Guthrie. It really freshens up the cooler gray tones of the living room and makes that floral-printed pillow pop even more.
When it comes to decorating inspiration, a photo is definitely worth a thousand words. Visit this living room photo galleries below to find ideas that you can imitate or use these living room photos to inspire your own creative ideas. When you are looking for living room ideas on a budget, find one or two items or layouts that you like and then emulate that. Some of the cheapest routes for big design impacts can be paint and wallpaper.
Before you start choosing pieces for your living room, pick the main palette of one or two colors, and keep the main furniture pieces within those color families. Unlike busier, multicolor color schemes, sticking to one or two main colors will help create a clean, timeless aesthetic that will outlast trends – saving you time and money in the long run.

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.


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.
With the multihued curtain fabric as her jumping-off point, designer Ashley Whittaker splashed an amped-up version of pink in three places in the living room—the footstool, the contrasting pillow welt, and the slipper-chair trim. "We wanted the home to feel bright and colorful like Florida but not like a vacation home," says Ashley. She pulled off the cozy yet elegant vibe by grounding the sun-and-surf palette with serious touches, such as the antique demilune tables.
Use ottomans in place of a traditional coffee table to make better use of your space (because a tiny house means your living room often does double or triple duty when people come over). You can top them with a tray to hold flowers and books, or use as extra seating. Then when it's family time, they become footrests. These red leather ottomans in a small family room designed by Redmond Aldrich strike that perfect balance between formal and casual.
Leaning into the smallness of a space can actually be what makes it feel genuinely cozy and inviting. Keep seating close together and intimate, and choose a plush, soft rug, like the one in this space designed by 2LG Studio. This is especially well advised if you're decorating a small family room, where you'll want things to super welcoming and functional.
A living room that's both narrow and small can be particularly challenging to decorate. However, as in this bright and airy space redone by Decor Aid, a carefully chosen sectional sofa can make the most of the precious square footage. When shopping for a sofa, look for one that is long and can lean up against a wall to give your living room more depth.

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?

Bring life to your living room by adding houseplants or flowers. However, make sure to do your homework and research on which houseplants fit your home. There are houseplants and flowers that may cause allergies, or may be toxic to your pets. Ask for recommendations from friends or landscapers. However, if you frequently travel, it is best to use artificial plants instead. They are cheaper and last longer.
Dark, glossy walls create a sophisticated backdrop for simple, clean-lined pieces and even colorful, bold items. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel-box. Painting your ceilings the same color can enhance the sense of intimacy even further. Then have fun with brighter furniture throughout, as done in this small living room designed by Andrew Felsher.
Surround yourself with aged natural materials and the result is pure rustic beauty. In this cozy window-wrapped sunroom, homeowner Ellen Allen combined a reclaimed wood planked ceiling and walls, an extended stone “baseboard,” and a brick floor to set the rustic scene. An unexpected Lucite table and lots of lush indoor plants and trees keep the room from feeling too dark and heavy.
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?
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The walls of the living may be covered in wallpaper or paint. Do you think the walls are outdated? Wallpaper may be tricky to first-timers, but there are now easily adjustable wallpapers that you do yourself without the help of professionals. You can easily peel and adjust these wallpapers. If you decide to use paint, make sure to keep the theme in mind.
Rustic doesn’t have to mean dark. In her family’s Texas ranch house, designer Lisa Hilderbrand created an airy living room with a rustic twist by installing a new stucco fireplace topped with a wood mantel and layering lots of “take-a-beating” materials such as wood-plank laminate flooring, leather furniture, seagrass rugs, and a stone-and-steel coffee table.
Materials that connect to the location are key to character building. Sisal hints at the marsh grasses in an elegant way and is also durable, easy to clean, and ideal for layering. The alligator skull speaks to the local wildlife, while palms in antique glass and fern-patterned pillows are additional nods to the room's Lowcountry vibe and provide a carefree polish.

Designed by Studio Razavi, this eclectic Parisian apartment is a breath of fresh air. Not only does it prove that you can use a wallpaper mural in a minimalist environment (the grayscale color palette helps), but it's also the perfect example of how to design a living room that's both fun and relaxed, sophisticated and formal. The key? Seating needs to be comfortable, and materials need to be casual but clean.
In the living area of this Martha's Vineyard home, furnishings are awash in a sea of blues, but slight variations in tone and subtle patchwork motifs take the place of sharply contrasting patterns and hues. A patchwork rug from Nomadic Trading Company anchors the living area, furnished with linen sofas and a wingback chair by Cisco. The glass top on Groundwork's reclaimed-oak coffee table displays a collage of vintage art.
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.
Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.

Rather than letting the existing red brick wall define the space, homeowners Neil Frauenglass and George Case chose to paint it a creamy white. From there, they layered a new sisal rug with leather, wicker, wood, and linen to create a stylish and personal rustic space. An old wagon wheel and a collection of vintage mounts add the finishing touches.
These homeowners wanted to let their guests be the color to their space, so they painted all of the background surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a clean shade of white. A vintage advertisement and an Arkansas license plate hang on the wall. The casual furniture is covered in washable slipcovers for easy cleanup when inevitable spills happen.

Take a walk around. Is it easy to go from one furniture to another? Does the space look cramped or more open? It is ok to re-arrange it several times to get it right. You can also remove some of the furniture that you think no longer fits in the room. You can always put these furniture in other places around the house. If the furniture is broken or just not worth saving, consider selling it or donating it.


Rather than letting the existing red brick wall define the space, homeowners Neil Frauenglass and George Case chose to paint it a creamy white. From there, they layered a new sisal rug with leather, wicker, wood, and linen to create a stylish and personal rustic space. An old wagon wheel and a collection of vintage mounts add the finishing touches.
A neutral palette comes alive when it consists of a combination of light to dark hues in mix of textures, as this rustic living room by designer Melissa Ervin exhibits. From top to bottom, natural woven-shade capped lamps sit atop metal-and-wood side tables, pillows made from vintage textiles decorate a mohair and leather sofa, and a hide rug tops the nubby sisal floor covering.
For contemporary living room ideas, dark blues and greens are on trend, but if you don’t want to dive straight into the dark wall trend, you could opt for a couple of pieces of furniture, or go for dark-hued living room accessories instead. Whites, woods and pastels could work well for Scandinavian living room designs. If an eclectic living room is what you’re after, you could go for large print wallpaper, a statement lighting piece, vibrant rug and lots of colourful book or ornament displays. For a country feel, rustic carpet, stone hearths, comfy armchairs and traditional patterns in creams, greens and browns will give you that cosy cottage feel.
If your formal living room is also your family room, you want to make sure it strikes a balance between super comfortable and presentable. A cozy family room that cleans up nicely, if you will. A super soft sectional with plenty of space to spread out on movie night is a must, but choose one that also looks elegant. Then add fun, eye-catching lighting for an extra punch of fun, like the one in this Studio DB-designed room.
The walls of the living may be covered in wallpaper or paint. Do you think the walls are outdated? Wallpaper may be tricky to first-timers, but there are now easily adjustable wallpapers that you do yourself without the help of professionals. You can easily peel and adjust these wallpapers. If you decide to use paint, make sure to keep the theme in mind.
In the living area of this Martha's Vineyard home, furnishings are awash in a sea of blues, but slight variations in tone and subtle patchwork motifs take the place of sharply contrasting patterns and hues. A patchwork rug from Nomadic Trading Company anchors the living area, furnished with linen sofas and a wingback chair by Cisco. The glass top on Groundwork's reclaimed-oak coffee table displays a collage of vintage art.
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.
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So the interior didn't compete with views of the farm, the owner of this Alberta farmhouse opted for crisp white paint on the walls and ceiling, and blue draperies that complement the large stretch of sky outside the windows. Light pine floors with a single coat of whitewash allow the wood's natural grain to show without taking away from the room's airy feel.


This Leiper's Fork, Tennessee, home is bursting at the beams with ingenious ideas for all things rustic, reclaimed, and repurposed. In the living room, a panel of salvaged corrugated metal provides the perfect backdrop for the vintage Orley woodstove, while matte gray-black paint is a sophisticated canvas for a casual mix of framed and unframed family silhouettes, oil paintings, and a vintage deer mount. Slipcovers made from drop cloths (sold at home-improvement stores) make for a durable, family- and pet-friendly furniture covering.
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.
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.
Want to go a little glam without looking too showy? Add in minimal brass accents, like a metal-frame coffee table and eye-catching metallic lighting. This living room is also a good blueprint for small space decorating. While the only three furniture items are two seats and a small coffee table, the ceiling light is all it takes to make the entire room feel special.
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