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.
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 Do you think the walls are outdated?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.
Nothing prettifies a living room like decorating with plants. Blooming perennials like daffodils or tulips add lovely color, while leafy beauties including ferns and spider plants bring interesting texture (plus they clean indoor air!). Don't like gardening? Try a few low-maintenance options from the succulent family and put them in cute DIY planters.
The larger size of the table is perfect for everyone around the couch to be able to kick their feet up on. I love the cleaner lines and it’s completely solid and heavy (just ask the two delivery guys who wrestled it through the front door) vs. the rickety old one. It may be a little too sturdy, because my kids have taken to using it as their stage during dance parties, sigh.

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.
We like the fact that the living room featured above uses a series of two-tone patterns juxtaposed with one another to create a rich and stimulating area that’s full of personality and well-judged elegance. Follow suit by keeping your color palette and print combinations precise for consistency and keep scale in mind as every element should be harmonious with one another, especially in a small living room.

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 Do you feel that it is outdated?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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.

Here, 1" x 4" pine boards, spaced about a foot apart, offer the look of custom paneling at a fraction of the price. Curtains in narrow vertical stripes break up the wall's horizontal lines. Multi-stripe pillows in complementary hues band together to dress up a neutral sofa. A wide white stripe, applied to the armchair's center using fabric paint (available at craft stores), packs a graphic punch.


If your living room has access to a ton of natural light, don't block it out with dark curtains. Let it pour in to make the space feel more airy and open. Even if you don't have large windows and tons of sunlight, choose lighter shades to maximize the light you do have. Semi-sheer shades like the ones in this living room designed by Barrie Benson will help, too.
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.
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.
As we've mentioned a few times already, a small space doesn't mean you can't have fun with color. So if you love incorporating pretty pastels or vivid brights but want to make sure your living room doesn't look chaotic, the trick is to stick to a tight color palette. Mixing patterns is also fair game, especially when done as masterfully as this cheerful room designed by Ellen Kavanaugh.
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.
Keep a file of your favorite samples and inspirational images even if you can’t afford a makeover yet, or haven’t found the home of your dreams. This homeowner/designer kept all the fabric samples that she loved in a bag until she found the right home to settle in. She'd also been acquiring updated yet traditional pieces for just the kind of collected look she liked.
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