Is decorating your living room giving you a headache?
Living rooms are one of the most difficult rooms to design, especially if your budget is small. The size (whether large or small) often adds to the problem too. It takes time and careful planning to get the right look, but when you’re new to design this can be overwhelming.
Don’t worry, that’s where we come in! Keep reading for these 14 living room decor tips to make sure you get the perfect look.
1. Focus on Balance in Your Layout
If you want a more formal layout, then you want to focus on symmetry. It has a very appealing aesthetic and works well, especially in smaller spaces. In smaller living rooms you need to give your furniture space to stop it from appearing cluttered.
To create this, you can use two sofas opposite each other with a coffee table in the middle. You can off-balance this instead with two armchairs instead of one of the sofas.
If you’re putting a tv in the room, you should be mindful to mount it where both sides can see. But you’ll need to turn your head, so this layout works better for reception rooms where a tv won’t be present. It’s one of the best design tips for older homes that still have a small parlor.
2. Painting the Walls
When it comes to living room decoration, the paint color you pick for the walls is one of the most important choices. This is because it affects more than the walls. The decorations and the living room furniture, their color palette, and their theme are all based on it.
If you want to make a small room look larger, choose light colors and shades. This doesn’t mean a stark, clinical white if that’s not your thing. Creams, pale browns, light greens and blues, gray, even pale peach; are all great choices.
These colors are open, bright, and welcoming. They’re also more on the neutral side which makes it much easier to plan around and build a decor theme. For example, if you pick cream or pale brown you can accessorize with neutral nuances.
Cream carpets, pale pink, blue, or oatmeal sofas and chairs. Add a pop of color with some pale neutrals or pastel colors for artwork and ornaments. Such choices will add refinement, class, and thought to your living room.
This isn’t a rule though, you should decorate to your tastes. Even if your room is small, you can still go with dark colors if they’re more to your taste. For any size living room, dark colors add elegance. If done right, it too can add visual space, due to the fact it blurs the edges of the walls.
If you do want to go dark for the walls, try to avoid making the space too dark by adding brighter colors. For example, use brighter shades or contrasting colors for furniture and ornaments. Even a simple pair of white curtains on a dark wall, a pale pastel sofa, or a bright yellow vase can add balance.
3. Hardwood Floor
Like painting your walls, your floor will be a base for your color and theme choices. Carpeting is a good option, but designers recommend hardwood as the best choice.
Hardwood flooring is elegant, classic, and versatile. It’s also a desirable feature for buyers, so should be a consideration if you’re planning to sell. It will also fit with any theme you choose for your decor.
Whether your style is country or modern, there are different types of colors and wood to choose from. It can add luxury and elegance to a plantation home or create a cool, sleek futuristic look. Whatever your heart’s desire.
4. Think About How You’ll Move in the Room
First, you need to work out the functional needs you have from your living room. Once you know what you’ll use the space for, think about its functionality. How are people going to move inside, outside, and within the space?
This will help guide you on how to place your furniture to keep the space looking great but functional. If the room is the main access to the garden or kitchen/diner, screens or storage units can separate it off.
You can also use zoning (using precise furniture positions) to define a walking route. This way if people are watching TV, no one will need to walk in front of it to get from one end of the room to the other.
It’s also a good way to create function and purpose in large, open-plan spaces. You can set specific dining, entertaining, and living room spaces by using furniture.
An L-shaped sofa can mark the boundary between the dining space behind and the living space in front. Again, it’s an excuse to see what others have done and get creative with the space you have.
5. Get the Right Size Furniture
Another key element for living room design is getting the right size furniture for the room. Make sure you’re choosing furniture to suit the space you have. Even if a large sofa will be more comfortable if you don’t have space for it experts say not to squash it in.
The same applies to your coffee table and any shelving and storage units. It’s a good idea to measure your room and mark out in tape on the floor the measurements for any furniture you like.
Once done, walk around the room and see how you can move through the space. If you can’t move well through the whole space or it won’t have a practical layout consider other options. You have to live in and use this space, it’s not only for looking at.
6. Pick Open-Plan, Broken-Plan, or Only a Living Room
If you want a more extensive remodel, consider if you want your living room opened up to other parts of the house. This will be a personal preference and a big job, so make sure you analyze how it would work for you.
If you have a busy household and the living room is a sanctuary away from that, having it separate will work better. You might also want to separate it off for other people. It might be the room the kids watch tv in and play, while the adults remain undisturbed in the kitchen/diner.
If you’re more interested in a modern layout that works for you then a seamless open layout might be best. You’d have an open plan kitchen with the dining and living room space all open and within sight.
This type of layout allows for families to interact more and makes the whole space look larger. It also works for people who like to entertain friends and family in their homes often. You can interact with your guest from the stove to the dining table.
If an open plan layout seems too stark, then you can combine the two options. You can still knock the room through but keep a dedicated living room space. Use double doors or folding/sliding doors instead of knocking the whole wall down.
This way, you can close this space off when you want to, but open it up for family time or entertaining. This gives you the best of both worlds and can add a lot of functionality and use to your space.
7. Find the Focal Point of Your Living Room
How you want to use the living room dictates what the focal point of the room is. In most cases, the focal point is where the tv will go. Often, unless it’s a specific tv room, you won’t want it to be the main focus. Especially if you have some period features in your room you want to showcase like a fireplace.
Think about how you want to use the space and plan your design ideas around it. The internet is your friend and there is nothing wrong with seeking a little inspiration. If the room needs to function as a living and tv room, then look online to see what others have done to balance the space.
8. Or Pick a More Flexible Design
For a more laid-back, relaxed feeling you can choose to avoid symmetry and go for a more random space. Dot the furniture around in an organized, functional way, but that looks more natural.
Have your sofa lengthways with the coffee table at the front, as that does make practical sense. But then use mismatching chairs, stools, and small tables opposite for a more lived-in look.
9. Avoid Pushing Everything Against the Wall
It’s a common theme with living room design to push the furniture all up against walls. But this is a big mistake and can ruin the look and function of your room, even if it does save a little bit of space.
This is a mistake that’s most common with people who have smaller living rooms. By trying to make the room feel bigger, you often leave yourself with an empty, unusable space in the middle.
In turn, this can throw off the entire balance of the room. Pull your furniture away from the wall and create a seating area based around a central coffee table.
A good tip for any sized room is to build your layout from the center point outwards. This will help create a more welcoming, intimate space that draws people in. It’ll be a space you want to use and enjoy.
10. Don’t Forget Storage
When you’re planning your layout, don’t forget to include storage in your design ideas. A window seat, storage coffee table, or bench seating can provide hidden storage. Multifunctional pieces are vital for smaller spaces, but useful in large ones too.
If you have a log burner, consider where you will store your logs for easy access. You want them nearby, somewhere dry but out of the way so no one is tripping over them. Build it storage next to or under the fireplace is a great solution to consider.
Storage isn’t something you should leave to the last minute and shoehorn in. Make sure you make it a primary consideration so you get enough to meet your needs. The last thing you want to do is struggle for space and end up resenting your new living room.
11. Consider the Lighting
The key to good living room lighting is variability and variety, to cope with its different uses. For artificial lighting, you need to provide several different sources for it. Use a dimmer switch or smart controls to set them for zone, mood, and task lighting.
Also, consider the use of table and floor lamps around the room to add more lighting options. A well-placed floor lamp over a chair, for example, might make reading more comfortable. Again, dimmers and smart controls will make them more efficient and effective.
You can also use lights as design features too. Chandeliers or pendant lighting looks elegant for rooms with symmetry and a fireplace. While LED strips and spotlighting can highlight the tv and set the mood for what you’re watching.
12. Make Use of Pillows
Pillows are one of the best living room decorations you can buy. They’re elegant but cozy and can add a pop of color to your sofa and the rest of the living room. There are a huge variety of colors, patterns, and textures to choose from.
The key is to use your furniture and wall colors to guide your accessory choice. For example, you could use natural, lively patterns and colors (green or yellow) for brown sofas.
For a green sofa consider gold and red pillows, or for a sage sofa you could consider white, cream, or blush pink. If you don’t want to have a look that’s too matching, mix up the colors. Having 2-3 colors adds variety and a few brighter shades will add interest.
13. Use Mirrors to Create the Illusion of Space
Mirrors create the illusion of space when you use them right. They can make a room look larger than it is, and help redistribute natural light. You can get them in many different designs, shapes, and sizes to suit any style.
A circular decorated mirror adds a touch of style and elegance. A swirled shape mirror or something funkier will be the perfect touch to your modern look.
If you place them near or in front of a window, it will reflect that light around the room. This will help you make the most of the natural light your living room benefits from, especially if the windows are on the small side.
14. It’s Better to Have Less
Remember to keep in mind that you don’t need to use all these tips in one room. Sometimes, less is more and you’ll get the best results with a few well-thought-out items.
Clutter isn’t relaxing for most people, so try to pair back decorations and keep it minimal. Make sure you keep the space clean and select decor that matches your personality.
Living Room Decor Tips You Won’t Want to Miss
Decorating your living room doesn’t have to be daunting if you break down the process. Use these living room decor tips and think about how you want to use, and move around, the space. Then, you can plan the size and layout of your furniture.
Then you can think about color and decor choices. Let your personality and tastes guide you and work out the paint and floor choices first. Use this as a base for the rest of the room to pick tasteful, complementary furniture and decor.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, check out our popular products. At Modernise.us we’ve got stylish modern furniture that’ll add a touch of class to your home.