The options are endless when it comes to designing and decorating your living room space—which can be both exciting and intimidating! Do you want something calming and zen to retreat into after a long day, or do you want something punchy and bright with enough seating to host guests on a regular basis?
Whether you’re looking for a cozy little nest conducive to binge watching movies and kicking back or you want to ensure your space is ready to receive friends and family on a whim, we’ve rounded up some of the coolest living room ideas for all types of households and lifestyles. Read on if you want to get clear on exactly what type of living room will suit your style.
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Consider a Natural Clay Wall Treatment
“Natural clay color living rooms are now in high demand,” says Mitchel G. David, Founder of Beach Life Ocean City. “The light clay color on the wall adds some fresh buoyancy to the portrait and furniture while also bringing out the warmer tones in the dark fireplace. In some lighting, it appears light pink and in others, a more beige hue.”Continue to 2 of 58 below.
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Go for Multi-Purpose Furniture
Geoff Cash, Founder of Refresh Remodeling, suggests making use of multipurpose furniture—especially for those who have small living area space, these kinds of furniture are a lifesaver. “Choose furniture that is both beautiful and multifunctional,” says Cash. “It will cost you less because you don't need to get a lot of furniture in your living room.”Continue to 3 of 58 below.
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Incorporate Natural Elements
Natural elements are stress relievers. Having them inside your house will make you more relaxed. The natural elements in the living area make you bring outside in the inside of your homes.Continue to 4 of 58 below.
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Make Your Sofa the Focal Point
If you’re hoping to foster a sense of comfort and coziness, consider making the couch the focal point of the room and designing the flow around it. “Inviting couches make the whole room feel more comfortable and cozier than pairs of chairs,” says Lynne Sade, Founder of A Farmhouse Reborn.Continue to 5 of 58 below.
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Go for a Neutral Wall Color
“Living rooms are meant to be interesting but the wall color is not always the place to do that,” says Sade. “A pretty white/off white/cream softens the walls and allows the color to come through the accents, like furniture, pillows, and artwork.”Continue to 6 of 58 below.
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Consider Neutral Furniture and Accessories
If you’d prefer to go for a bold wall color, consider opting for neutral furniture and accessories to balance it out. “When designing anything I always think about flexibility, it is an absolute must to include some easy to coordinate colors such as neutrals,” says Savannah Phillips, Interior Designer at The Knobs Company. Neutrals will help pull the room together—even if you prefer to swap out your furnishing or decor on a regular basis.Continue to 7 of 58 below.
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Aim for Clean Lines
“One of my all time favorite ways to design a home is to use clean lines and a more minimalistic approach,” shares Phillips. “As the big trendy decor items fly in and out of trend, basic geometrical designs to furniture pieces are ever present.” Buildings themselves have to be designed in a way that lets them be functional, commonly requiring clean straight lines, and mimicking this in the design elements and furnishings create a look that will be timeless and never go out of style.Continue to 8 of 58 below.
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Consider Blacks and Grays
“While often a feared or shamed design choice, I cannot get enough of black or gray designs,” says Phillips. From a non-aesthetic standpoint, black or darker exteriors absorb more sun and warmth than a lighter color, meaning a potentially lower heating bill in the winter months. When it comes to interiors using blacks or dark grays can help hide minor imperfections and some of the dirt that can accumulate in the home. “If you are not fully committed to a fully black home, using dark accents on the doors, windows and other decorative items can be a way to incorporate the lovely dark colors without going all in.”Continue to 9 of 58 below.
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Seek Out Reclaimed Windows
Hang a salvaged or reclaimed wooden window frame on your living room walls. This emulates the idea that nothing goes to waste. Reclaimed window frames offer a cozy, lived-in feeling while also giving a unique spin to the living room mantle or wall. Consider layering a few frames with other reclaimed items for additional visual interest or adding a photograph in the window for a more personal feel.Continue to 10 of 58 below.
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Consider Adding Exposed Wood Accents
You can create the look of a rustic farmhouse or cabin by adding faux wood beams to your living room ceiling. Make sure you choose a wood that has imperfections. If you can, find some reclaimed wood to reuse.Continue to 11 of 58 below.
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Make Your Fireplace The Focal Point
Having a fireplace in your living room should be the focal point of the room. Consider hanging your TV above the fireplace—or if you don’t have a built-in unit you could always create a faux fireplace with bricks.Continue to 12 of 58 below.
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Mirrors, Mirrors, Mirrors
Consider adding mirrors to make the space bigger and add a decorative flair. You can always add a full length mirror to the space to add a little depth to the space and capture light from the windows or add a full wall of mirrors of all shapes and sizes for an extra dose of decor.Continue to 13 of 58 below.
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Create a Layered Lighting Look
“Create a layered lighting look in your living room to add depth to the room,” suggests Alex Czarnecki, Founder and CEO of Cotta.ge. “You don’t have to break the bank to do this either. Try a local thrift shop or Goodwill to find great hidden finds for lighting.” Czarnecki suggests placing the lights near furniture arrangements and maybe even adding a dimmer to make the room feel expensive and cozy.Continue to 14 of 58 below.
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Make Your Bay Windows the Star
Lucky enough to have bay windows in your living room? Highlight them! You don't have to do a whole lot in order to make these grand windows the star of the space. A simple reading nook or bench positioned directly under the window frame will do the trick.Continue to 15 of 58 below.
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Consider Using Paper Lanterns
Paper lanterns are a great piece to set apart spaces without needing any walls or interruptions in your layout. This is great if, let’s say, you want to set apart your dining area from your living room. They also double up as a decoration piece on their own, even when they’re not in use.Continue to 16 of 58 below.
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Get Creative With Linens
Linens and throw blankets are one of the easiest ways to spice up your living room space without investing too much time or money. Consider picking up accent colors/patterns that will work with your existing furniture—or get creative and consider purchasing colorways that you can swap out seasonally to keep your space fresh all year round.Continue to 17 of 58 below.
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Consider Adding a Unique Floor Lamp
Looking for a unique way to add more light to your living room? Go for a curved floor lamp. These super functional and unique decor items make it easy to set the mood in a space and also make for a surprisingly good reading light should you tend to curl up on the couch with a good book.Continue to 18 of 58 below.
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Curate Your Coffee Table Books
Books are one of the easiest ways to add some coziness and sophistication to your space. If you don’t have room for a full bookshelf, consider curating some of your favorite books for your coffee table.Continue to 19 of 58 below.
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You’ve probably seen them on Instagram already—but an LED neon sign looks incredible against just about any backdrop and is the perfect way to give a punch of energy to a living room. Set it up on its own or install it on a gallery wall for a little dose of ambient lighting.Continue to 20 of 58 below.
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Don’t Skimp on Your Sofa Size
Tiny sofas and couches might be cute, but if you spend a lot of time in your living room you'll want to invest in a large sectional couch. These cozy couches promote relaxation but also help to foster conversation as guests can spread out and actually face each other rather than everyone looking in the same direction.Continue to 21 of 58 below.
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Opt for a Conversation Circle to Save Space
If space is a limitation and a huge sectional couch won’t work, a conversation circle, created by situating your seating options in a circular shape, is your next best option. This is another way to have the living room serve its main purpose of entertaining guests or spending quality time with loved ones.Continue to 22 of 58 below.
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Adorn Your Walls With Large-scale Photos
There’s no better way to make your space feel more intimate and personal than a large-scale photo. It could either be photographs you took or an abstract painting that speaks loudly to you. Either way, it’s going to be an icebreaker/conversation starter.Continue to 23 of 58 below.
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You can never go wrong with adding rustic elements to your living room design like chunky fabrics or cottage-inspired decor items. It never fails to give a homey, relaxing vibe.Continue to 24 of 58 below.
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Consider Using Slipcovers
Have you ever changed the slipcover for your furniture? It's an amazing way to keep your furniture for longer, while giving a whole new look and style to your space. It allows you to use less without sacrificing style—which is great for you and the planet, too.Continue to 25 of 58 below.
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Use Contrasting Colors
The living room is a place that must be welcoming and also outstanding since your guests are to be entertained here. Use bold contrasts of colors to make the place look lively. But be mindful of it and use the right combinations. According to Andrea Boyd, Community Director at Tailored Space, a coworking space in California, keeping a dominant color and pastel is what is around the market right now.Continue to 26 of 58 below.
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Keep It Simple
The modern design is high on making the place look minimalistic and clean. Use less to make the space look bold yet subtle. The high contrast of colors will play an important role here as well.Continue to 27 of 58 below.
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Pick a Theme
Choose a theme and follow the color palette. This will help you define the boundaries of your decor and keep things in place. There are no strict rules—consider anything from minimalist to tropical, bohemian, playful, etc.Continue to 28 of 58 below.
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Go for a Gallery Wall
In a large space, a wall art collage with an equal balance of two styles can give an eclectic vibe, says Shelby Greene, Studio Stylist at Living Space. For example, three or four vivid color paintings mixed with three or four black and white photographs, each of varying size will add an unexpected charm.Continue to 29 of 58 below.
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Consider Wall Sconces
“Swap out table lighting in your living room for sconces,” suggests Greene. “Especially for sideboards or around artwork, sconces provide just the right amount of accent lighting without taking up the table space. This gives room to put books, candles, or vases on your tables and still have ambient lighting.”Continue to 30 of 58 below.
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Mix Cozy and Industrial
If you want to make your fireplace the centerpiece of the room without leaning too far into the cottagecore vibe, consider surrounding your fireplace with comfy couches and an industrial or masculine coffee table to add a touch of modernity to the space.Continue to 31 of 58 below.
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Create a Wet Bar
According to interior designer Liz Walton, more and more of her clients are requesting separate bar areas in their living room spaces for small cozy gatherings and entertaining beyond the kitchen. A wet bar is particularly going to come in handy if you entertain frequently.Continue to 32 of 58 below.
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Foster a Multi-purpose Space
The concept of formal living room and family room is phasing out—which is great news as it makes for a much more livable space. “As our homes became our everything this past year, we’re seeing people adopt a ‘full-use’ ideology when it comes to different rooms in their home,” says Alessandra Wood, VP of Style at Modsy. “It’s becoming more rare now that most people have a whole room in their home designated to only special occasions or the odd formal entertaining”Continue to 33 of 58 below.
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Go for Organic Shapes
Organic, non-linear shapes are a great way to make your space look expensive and expertly designed. Curved pieces have a very sculptural flair, which allows them to act as both functional pieces of furniture but also artistic statements. “Choose pieces that feel like you could place them in any decade, this means they’ll continue to look fresh and timeless, even as the curved furniture trend wanes,” says Wood.Continue to 34 of 58 below.
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Consider Textured Pieces
“For upholstered pieces, I love very textured materials such as velvet, mohair, leather, and sherpa,” says Wood. “Textures like these catch the light in a beautifully reflective way to create highlights and shadows within the piece itself.” You can go all in with a room that incorporates all organic pieces or you can choose a few specific organic pieces paired with more linear pieces. If you’re mixing linear and organic, opt for linear shaped pieces when the material has a hard surface and leverage organic shapes when pieces have a softer surface material.Continue to 35 of 58 below.
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Lean Into Your Eclectic Side
“Right now, we’re seeing a softer, earthier side of the mid-century look come out to play,” says Wood. “It’s more eclectic, mixing in worldly patterns, pops of color, natural textures, and lots and lots of plants.”Continue to 36 of 58 below.
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Consider Thermal Curtains
If you want a literal ‘cool living room’ idea, consider investing in thermal curtains. Manufactured with a thermal layer to regular temperature, thermal curtains work year round, keeping the heat out in the summer and the warmth in during the cold winter months. “A popular approach these days is to layer thermal curtains with sheers which are brilliant for managing light when you don’t want a full blackout and providing some daytime privacy too,” says Raymond Yang, Interior Decorator and Founder of Deconovo .Continue to 37 of 58 below.
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Go for a Modular Sofa
“Even as we design spaces we find ourselves doing less sofas and loveseats and a lot more sectionals,” says Sherica Maynard, Interior Designer at Interior Design by S&S. “Having small movable benches are great in family room spaces as foot rest and interchangeable pieces.”Continue to 38 of 58 below.
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Invest in a Good Ottoman
The best way to get the most out of your space is to invest in good multi-purpose pieces—like an ottoman. Replacing your coffee table with a large ottoman allows you to put out snacks when guests are around, use it to stretch out on, or even use it as a hidden storage spot for small items that would otherwise cause visual clutter.Continue to 39 of 58 below.
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Let Natural Light In
Working with a smaller living room? Even the smallest of spaces can appear large and open if you allow natural light to flood the space. Consider pulling back your curtains every single morning to make your windows look bigger and allow as much natural light as possible to seep in.Continue to 40 of 58 below.
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Foster a Sense of Serenity
Nobu Hotels have been showcasing this minimalist style since the first hotel opened in 2013 by way of calming neutrals, light colorways, and organic shapes. The perfect combination of simplifying and calming, the trend is all about minimalist, practical comfort, blending Scandinavian aesthetics with Japanese minimalism.Continue to 41 of 58 below.
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Consider Adding Some Statement Art
Find a piece that makes your heart sing and it will bring you joy everyday. “Don't be afraid to go big and bold, this can really finish a room and leave your guests gasping when they walk in,” says Kristi Kohut, Artist and Founder of Hapi Art.Continue to 42 of 58 below.
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Pair Statement Art With Smaller Pieces
Statement art can really inject a lot of color and personality to a room but adding in a few accents to pull everything together will bring a whole new energy to your space. “Pairing the statement art with a couple patterned throw pillows or a colorful sculpture or tray, can add the perfect finishing touches to your space,” says Kohut.Continue to 43 of 58 below.
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Consider Other Forms of Wall Art
Want to make your wall art pop? Think outside the box! Remember, your wall art doesn’t have to be restricted to only art prints. For a unique twist on the standard home art gallery collage, incorporate wicker, jute and other woven decor materials like natural wicker.Continue to 44 of 58 below.
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“Many people may hesitate at the idea of having to keep a living plant alive but I think it's more about finding the right fit for you and your home,” says Jessica Neuman of Numi Interior Design. “Plants add life and color to the environment. If you’re not a person known for their green thumb, opt for an option that is low maintenance like a philodendron, a beautiful, edgy cactus or succulents, which are fairly easy to maintain.”Continue to 45 of 58 below.
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For the Love of Literature
Books not only add decor and dimension to a living room, but what’s better than a practical piece of decoration? If you don’t already have one, invest in a book collection for your home. A room filled with books creates character in a home; books are timeless. “When curating a collection of books for my clients, it’s important to reflect on the qualities of the individual,” explains Neuman. “What are their interests, their favorite people, and places? If you’re not one who gravitates towards reading as a pastime, consider books by the foot in a color scheme that feels appropriate for your space.”Continue to 46 of 58 below.
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Add Throw Pillows and Blankets
Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist, throw pillows and blankets are a quick and easy ways to make any living room feel warm and inviting. According to Neuman, this is also a good way to add some depth to the texture and feel of your room. “I love a neutral cashmere or knit throw blanket for any sofa. It’s important to have fun with your choices no matter what your palette or aesthetic is. You can always add in some unique and fun dimension in this area.”Continue to 47 of 58 below.
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Create an Aesthetically Pleasing Open Office
“As more and more people are adding home office spaces and makeshift desks into their living areas, one key piece of advice is to make sure your desk and desk chair also tell a story,” says Spencer Bass, Creative Director at Label 180, a desk and office furniture company. “Don’t just go for a clunky, wooden desk and functional chair and throw it into your living room. Instead, find something unique that reflects your sense of style and personality of your home.”Continue to 48 of 58 below.
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Choose a Sofa to Suit Your Lifestyle
When you’re looking for furniture for your living room – particularly a sofa or sectional – don’t just pick the largest size possible. Instead, Edgar Blazona, Founder of BenchMade Modern, suggests making sure to look at the usage of the room: does a large group typically gather to watch TV or is it more of a formal space? Pick the size, orientation and style of sofa that you need based on what the room is used for, and make sure your sizing works well in terms of scale with everything else that’s in the room. A sofa or sectional should work with the room, not overpower it.Continue to 49 of 58 below.
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Consider Statement Wallpaper
“One of my favorite ways to transform a living room is with peel-and-stick wallpaper,” says Elizabeth Rees, Founder of Chasing Paper. “Whether you want to go bold by wallpapering all four walls or you add an unexpected pop by wallpapering the back of built-ins, wallpaper is a great way to add pattern and color.”Continue to 50 of 58 below.
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Invest in Custom Window Treatments
“In addition to adding privacy, well-tailored window treatments in a living room add texture and softness to the space, making it look truly finished and tied together,” says Davina Ogilvie, Founder of Wovn Home. “Given that living rooms are typically larger spaces with higher ceilings, they are often best suited for drapery versus more streamlined types of window treatments like Roman shades or blinds.” According to Ogilvie, using drapes to play on these proportions can really make a living room shine.Continue to 51 of 58 below.
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Go for Patterned Drapery
“Choosing patterned or colorful drapery can act as art in itself, or if you prefer to let the rest of the room take center stage, invest in sheer or neutral drapery that will serve as a beautiful, soft backdrop to the rest of the room,” suggests Ogilvie.Continue to 52 of 58 below.
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Put Your Interests on Display
Collecting sea glass since you were a kid? Display it! Proud of your vinyl collection? Make space for it! Your living room should reflect your interests and putting your collections on display is a great way to do just that.Continue to 53 of 58 below.
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Add a Bold Rug
Whether you want to go bold or stick to a more neutral look, a statement rug will always be well-received. Not only will it keep your toes warm but it’ll offer a great ice breaker when you have guests over.Continue to 54 of 58 below.
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Create a Seating Nook
Every kid dreams of a cozy little window seat—and if you didn’t have one growing up, well, it’s not too late! The cozy and sophisticated nook is the perfect spot to read a book or indulge in a cocktail.Continue to 55 of 58 below.
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Create Visually-Pleasing Storage Spaces
The wrong storage can look cluttered—but something creative, like a ladder for storing linens, takes your visual clutter and turns it into a work of art.Continue to 56 of 58 below.
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Play With Wall Textures
Colors and wallpapers are great—but different textures can single handedly turn your living room into a sophisticated sanctuary. Consider board and batten or a wooden slat wall for an instant upgrade.Continue to 57 of 58 below.
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Mix Classic and Contemporary Decor
Can’t choose between classic and contemporary? Mix in both! Ornate gold frames, retro tsotchkes, Scandinavian furniture, and textured or modular sofas all play surprisingly well together.Continue to 58 of 58 below.
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Create Breezy Walkthrough Spaces
Whether you’re working with an open concept space or you’re trying to use your living room as two distinct spaces (say as a home office and sitting room), consider smaller, light furniture to create a clear distinction between each space.