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.
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.
Take a good look around your living room. What are the aspects of the room that you find unpleasant? Is the room cluttered with books? Is it too dark? Is the paint faded? Do you feel that it is outdated? The first thing is to decide on what you want to change. Try picking out a theme. Would you like the living room to feel modern? Minimalist? Cottage? Traditional? Or do you just want to brighten it up? Deciding on how you want the room to look will prevent you from binge shopping for new décor.
Audio Tracks: Beater Head 2.mp3, ES_Acoustic Chill 01 (Indie Pop Version) - John Åhlin-2.mp3, ES_Agrressive Metal Trailer No1 - Johnny Berglund.mp3, ES_As Long As We Dance (Instrumental Version) - Sebastian Forslund.mp3, ES_Be With You (Instrumental Version) - Mondays.mp3, ES_Beverly Hills Backyards 1 - Magnus Ringblom.mp3, ES_Break Even 1 - Magnus Ringblom.mp3, ES_Cribs 52 (Sting) - Levente Maneas.mp3, ES_Dirty Joyful 4 - Josef Falkensköld.mp3, ES_Five Thirty AM (Instrumental Version) - Elias Naslin.mp3, ES_I Can't Take It (Instrumental Version) - Cacti.mp3, ES_Punch Out 1 - Anders Bothén.mp3, ES_Rabbits Foot - Martin Klem.mp3, ES_Roundabout City - Martin Klem.mp3, ES_Rush Hour In Rome - Magnus Ringblom.mp3, ES_Secure The Beat 2 - Andreas Jamsheree.mp3, ES_Spoiled Kids (Instrumental Version) - Daniel Kadawatha.mp3, ES_Supa Rap Pt 3 (instrumental Version) - Ilajide.mp3, ES_Too Many Kings (Instrumental Version) - Sven Karlsson.mp3, ES_Up My Sleeve 1 - Joachim Nilsson.mp3, ES_We're Just Friends (Instrumental Version) - Loving Caliber.mp3, ES_What Do You Want (Instrumental Version) - Marc Torch.mp3
If you have plenty of space in your living room, you can add a smaller table with a couple of chairs arranged around it in another part of the room. Traditionally, parlor seating would have been a matching set, but we suggest that you introduce different colors and styles of furniture, while still creating a well-judged parlor feel, for a more eclectic living room interior.
The best place to start is with the seating – one corner sofa will usually seat three to four people, and if that’s all you think you’ll need, then you can leave it at that. Placing your sofa along the longest wall helps to make the most of the space, but think about where you want the focus of the room to be, too. If you need more seating, look at armchairs that offer comfort but don’t take up too much space – cramming a room with too many large armchairs is something to avoid. But armchairs and sofas don’t have to be your only options – go for bean bags and floor cushions for an eclectic feel, pouffes and ottomans if you’re more traditional, and smart design chairs for contemporary living room ideas.
"The room doesn't get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun," says celebrity chef Alex Hitz. Taking the cozy route in a living room without a ton of natural light is a great solution. And what's cozier than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with seating beckoning you to curl up on it? To display your books more creatively, offset them with artwork. In this room, a Peter Rogers portrait of Alex Hitz's close friend, the late Nan Kempner, hangs over the bookshelves to create some contrast.
This homeowner bucked the “matchy, matchy” rule by placing different end tables and lamps on either side of the sofa in her living room. The mismatch works because, even though one table is a white Asian-inspired look and the other is a black step-like design, both tables are the same height. A sleek brass reading lamp pairs nicely with the simple white table, while a large silver-leaf table lamp fits with the more substantial black table.
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.
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.
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.