For most of us, the living room is the most versatile area of the home. It is where we congregate and bond with family, converse and entertain friends, enjoy recreational activities like playing, listening or watching, or spend some quality alone time while reading a book, drinking a cup of coffee or even eating. Basically, living rooms transform themselves into anything we need them to be.
Living room expansions require evaluation of the existing site conditions of the space, particularly the structural elements in the room such as the columns, beams and interior partitions. Be prepared to find other problems as you go like the possibility of termites, mold problems or asbestos. In some cases, there are also load bearing walls that will need additional work for support. Existing outlets, ventilation systems, plumbing and electricity may also need to be moved or relocated.
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.
Furniture items for living rooms include three seater sofas, love seats, arm chairs, recliners, accent chairs, center or coffee table, side tables , tv cabinet, console table and shelves, to name a few. Furnishings, on the other hand, pertain to accessories and decor such as window treatments like curtains, blinds or shades, textiles and fabric, throw pillows, area rugs, accent pieces and decorations like artworks, frames, figurines, etc. While equipment for living rooms typically include flat screen TV’s, home entertainments systems, etc.
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.
Think long-term. Remember to plan not only for this stage of your life, but for the next phases, as well. If you're newlyweds planning to have children in a few years, take those future kids into account when planning your renovation, so that you don't have to redo everything. Ask people who already have kids what works in real life and what doesn't; what they wish they had in their living rooms; what has caused safety issues or got broken so many times it had to be thrown away.
Adding warmth and creating an inviting atmosphere can be a challenge for square living rooms. When all of your furniture is pushed up against the wall, which leaves seating far away from each other, you can make the space feel cold. But you can also make your square living room feel crowded or awkward if all the furniture is forced into one corner. Instead, float furniture away from the walls.

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.


The average costs for living room remodels run a minimum of $518 for a 300 to 400 square foot space, while for areas which have an area of 400 to 500 square foot. have an average cost of  $782. The prices increase accordingly as the size of the space vary, so naturally larger living rooms that are 500 to 600 square feet in size cost  $982, while spaces that have an area of 600 to 800 square foot have average remodeling costs that run anywhere for, $1200 to $2000.
When space is lacking, the only option is to get creative and make things multi-purpose. For example, if you don't have room for a separate living room, family room, and home office, combine each concept into one space. This living room and office by Leanne Ford Interiors proves that the right layout and pieces can look great, no matter what shape or size the room.
This room has a money-saving secret in its design. Can you spot it? If your eyes went to the rug, then you’re right. The rug is actually a piece of broadloom and can actually save you quite a bit of pocket change if you are designing on a budget. Unlike most ordinary carpets, you can also cut have the broadloom cut to a specific size, meaning you can fill oddly-shaped spaces you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Best of all, your guests likely won’t notice the difference at first glance, meaning it can be your little home decor secret.
A couple of small living room ideas can include: working with the height you have – installing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or drawing the eye to the top of the walls with wallpaper; choosing space-saving or storage-incorporating (or both!) furniture, such as corner sofas with storage space under the chaise longue section; and keeping things symmetrical – a central fireplace with seating opposite, or seats facing each other, can give the illusion of a larger, more grand room. When it comes to the best decor for small living rooms, you can either choose to keep things light and airy to open up the space, or embrace the cosiness of the smaller area you have by going for warm colours and filling the room with your favourite accessories.
In the living room of Vivia Horn’s Japanese-style retreat in Hunter, New York, the leather-and-plastic Italian sofas, cocktail table, and wool shag rug were purchased in the 1980s at Bloomingdale’s. The Japanese-style fire pit and tin range hood are custom, the floor lamp is from the '70s, the sisal carpet is by Stark, the ceiling beams are Douglas fir, and a series of color lithographs from Japan are displayed along the pine wainscoting.
In a Buenos Aires home, the original marble mantel in the living room was specified by Maison Jansen, who decorated the apartment in the 1930s. The circa-1940 chairs in the foreground, the console (left), and the side table (right) were designed by Jean-Michel Frank for the Argentine firm Comte. The 1930s Frits Henningsen settee is covered in a Holland & Sherry mohair, the chairs next to the fireplace are 18th-century Gustavian, the circa-1950 Sphere cocktail table and lamp are by Jean Royère, and the 1930s table (front left) and sconces are by Maison Jansen.
A 1920s Palm Beach home, owned by art adviser Heidi McWilliams, serves as the perfect backdrop for displaying her impressive collection. The living room is furnished with claret armchairs (right) and hexagonal table by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, along with a neutral rug by Patterson Flynn Martin. An Anish Kapoor mirrored wall sculpture accentuates the 16th-century Italian limestone mantel, and the coffered ceiling, which is original, adds character to the room.

A good place to start when it comes to redesigning your living room is with the walls. While paint may seem the simplest choice, and easy to change, don’t discredit the design opportunities of wallpaper in living rooms. There are tons of great living room wallpaper ideas, from modern geometric patterns to traditional florals, and loads of ways to use them – you don’t have to cover the whole room or go for the ubiquitous feature wall. You could wallpaper only above the dado rail (if you have one), either side of a chimney breast, or behind a shelving unit to give your displayed items a stylish backdrop.
The difference really is, as they say, in the details, whether that's a new lipstick, a touch of truffle oil, or in this case, pillows and paint. This living room already had a lot going for it: a rough-hewn coffee table, a versatile sofa by Cisco Brothers, and a gorgeous ceramic garden stool. But apply one shopping trip's worth of accessories—all under $100—and this just-okay space turns remarkably elegant.

"You can gain more surface space by having a console table behind a sofa and a variety of seating, like one sofa and four chairs that are not all the same that can float in a room and even be moved around," says Rybock, "and then use a cocktail table as the anchor in the center of the space." Once you have the furniture in place, Fenimore suggests using textural or colorful artwork to visually fill the room.
For a Gramercy Park apartment, designer Bennett Leifer upholstered a settee in a Sabina Fay Braxton velvet, and chose a pair of carved wood armchairs by de Gournay covered in a Stark velvet. The Empire console is from Lucca Antiques, the cocktail table is by Ebanista, the vintage stool is by Maison Baguès, the Louis XVI secretary was purchased on 1stdibs, the Tabriz rug is antique, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Alexandria Beige.
Wallpaper is one of those trends that just keeps on giving and giving. If you go with a classic chinoiserie wallpaper, you can do just about anything with it as your style changes over the year. This modern self portrait by Chuck Close is a bold contrast to the chinoiserie wallpaper (Iksel's Eastern Eden) behind it in this Miles Redd-designed home. The contrast doesn't stop there: Redd continued to venture beyond design convention by incorporating contrasting jewel tones and mixing modern furniture styles with antique pieces. Oh—and believe it or not, the lime green chair is from Ikea! Proof even the best designers love a good deal.
DIY or hire a professional – The size of the space, the scope of work and nature of the project all affect the type of labor that you will be needing for your living room renovation project. As mentioned, minor renovation works may be undertaken as a DIY project while major renovations require the services of a skilled professional. Once you get an in depth assessment of the design aspects that need to be improved in your living room, you can now also determine the type of professional that you will be needing , whether it may be a painter, skilled carpenter, mason, wallpaper installer, flooring subcontractor or electrician
In home design, one practice that novice designers avoid is mixing and matching patterns or textures. Many beginning designers stick with a uniform and consistent look in order to play it safe. While that isn’t necessarily bad, this room shows how rewarding it can be to get creative and take a few risks. Leather, glass, metal, wood and even water join forces with lovely neutral tones, zebra print, jagged stripes and a spectacular art piece to create a small living room sure to get guests talking. There is so much going on in this room, but it isn’t overwhelming, either.
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.
×