The living room is the social center of most homes. No doubt yours sees plenty of use. That’s all the more reason to dedicate some extra time toward making it amazing. Whether you’re on a tight budget or just enjoy doing things yourself, there are hundreds of surprisingly sophisticated DIY projects out there for aspiring amateur designers. We’ve put together an awesome list of 48 DIY living room decorating ideas to help you update everything from your coffee table to your throw pillows.
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.
What do you do when you don’t agree with your spouse on what to do with a space? This is a very common problem that just leads to hurt feelings and an empty wallet. Rather than try to push your style over theirs, figure out what elements each of you likes and incorporate both of your tastes into the room. This small living room design is a marriage of masculine and feminine with an exceptional mix of bold lines and pastel accents. The ceiling light is also a perfect representation of the two merged styles, being both geometrical and curvaceous.
The sofas in the living room of this contemporary Hancock Park home are by RH, Restoration Hardware, the 1950s chairs are Danish, the cocktail table is by Charles Hollis Jones, the end tables are from Lucca Home, and the antique stool was a Japanese rice box. The antique mirror is Indian, the mantel is original, the pendant is by Paul Ferrante, the floor lamp is by Visual Comfort, and the sconces are by Ralph Lauren Home.
Your own home may not have a living room that’s quite so versatile—it’s a sad truth that the smaller (or more oddly shaped) a room is, the fewer ways it can work as a space. My own L-shaped living/dining area only really works one way, due to short walls, radiators and an entire wall of windows. So think of these specific layouts as tailored to this space, but take inspiration on how you can re-think your own home in a multitude of ways.
Second, consider the walls. Color is not the only change that you can do when wanting to change the look of your living room. Try focusing on what new materials you could add to them. Also, be ready to take it down in order to extend the size of the living room while maximizing the unnecessary space allocated to adjacent rooms. If your house was built decades ago, consider changing the panels. You can use wood, glass or steal for real texture.
A Brooklyn townhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, features a sofa from ABC Carpet & Home upholstered in a fabric by Soraya Shah for Studio Four NYC. The space also includes a chaise by Timothy Oulton, a Danish cocktail table, the Akari pendant light by Noguchi, window treatments in a Rebecca Atwood fabric, and a vintage Moroccan rug. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Huntington White and the trim in Iron Mountain. A photograph by Claire Nitze and a cameo portrait by Doug Meyer complete the living room.
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.
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.
You spend a lot of time in your living room, so it not only needs to look great, but it needs to be functional and comfortable. Blending all three things can be tricky, but we've got plenty of examples to inspire you. From modern and formal spaces to approachable and rustic environments, there's a living room idea you'll want to steal below. Keep reading for forty-five stylish designer living room tips, ideas, and shopping suggestions for spaces of any size.