Whether you are working with a small living room or a large living room, balance makes all the difference in the world. This room proves that you don’t need outrageous shapes or colors to create a beautiful space. The untreated dark oak floorboards and the earthy color scheme come together to provide an elegant balance of light, shapes, textures and colors. Nothing in this room aggressively screams, “Look at me!” but the room also has just enough visual interest to command your attention. If a room like this does not give you several small living room design ideas, nothing will.
Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.
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.
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.
A good way to cut on costs when improving windows for living rooms is to furnish them with a window treatment. You can either buy new curtains, shades or blinds, depending on the prevailing style of your home. Window treatments are available in different types of materials and present a wide range of choices when it comes to design, colors and patterns.
Bring your artwork up to trick the eye and expand or accentuate the height of the room. A gallery wall might seem too busy for a small space, but it can actually make it feel larger if it extends to the ceiling. In this family room designed by Kate Ridder, the mirrored effect of this glossy red paint on the ceiling makes the small space feel like a fun house.
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.
Leaning into the smallness of a space can actually be what makes it feel genuinely cozy and inviting. Keep seating close together and intimate, and choose a plush, soft rug, like the one in this space designed by 2LG Studio. This is especially well advised if you're decorating a small family room, where you'll want things to super welcoming and functional.
For designer Patrick Printy, his bungalow in Oakland, California is all about eccentric design. In this living area attached to his study, a pair of vintage sofas are upholstered in a Ralph Lauren Home stripe, the Eero Saarinen table is from Design Within Reach, barstools by CB2 are covered in a Katie Ridder fabric, the ceiling lantern is by Visual Comfort, the rug is by Ralph Lauren Home, and the busts are by Oly.
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.
• Furniture, furnishings and equipment – Furniture, furnishings and equipment all make up the decor of a space. These pertains to all items added to a room once it is fully renovated. In general, furniture for living room remodel projects may either be built in or freestanding. The former means that it is fixed onto a wall while the latter pertains to those that can be moved.
A stacked fieldstone fireplace takes center stage in this family room. Rather than just a sheer wall of stone, the exposed chimney is designed with a central recess for artwork, along with tapered edges on either side, to keep it from appearing too overpowering. Sconces mounted directly to the stone are an attractive way to shed plenty of light on the antique timber mantel.
Project description Remodel formal living room. Update flooring, doors, switchplates and decorative hardware. Add built-in speakers, wall mounting system for flat screen television, crown molding and recessed lighting. Install new window treatments. Use above average grade of materials, fabrication and installation quality. Estimated costs do not include furniture and flat screen television.
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.
Decorating a small living room is one thing, but decorating a small New York living room is a task and a half. This tiny abode is an exceptional study in taking advantage of what you have. The exposed brick wall, wood floors and tall, sunny windows were already there when this designer showed up. The only thing it was missing was color, and this darling space is the result. This space is all about contrast with the plain white animal busts on the brick wall and the colorful sofa and armchair complementing the earth tones of the floor and wall.
Paint fixes a multitude of sins, like the bad veneer that originally topped this $10 thrift-shop table. The heavy books in the built-in corner shelf were swapped for lighter white ceramic pieces, and the small pieces of artwork was taken down in favor of a more balanced salon-style collection of frames. The walls are painted with Benjamin Moore's Sea View.
• Moldings and trim – Changing the decorative trims and moldings is one of the most popular ways to upgrade the looks of a living room. A piece of moulding with decorative details can easily transform a drab living room into a more elegant space. Decorative trims range from ceiling cornices, baseboards and window trims. They vary in material, thickness and design, with details ranging from formal to casual. Some decorative trims are also available as stock options and are already sold in painted finishes, providing a more economical substitute to custom made trims. Custom milled trims, on the other hand, are made from high quality wood and are more expensive
This space demonstrates why color choice has such a large impact on a room. It shows that sometimes, achieving a stellar small living room design is as simple as using black and white. Using black, white and grey as your primary colors and adding a pop of color here and there would be a dramatic departure from the norm. The eye is drawn to color by nature, so it can be used to draw attention to specific areas of the room or it can be placed all over the room to provide a concise tour of the room in moments.
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.
On the other hand, major renovations for a living room remodel project are more labor intensive, take longer time to finish and typically require professional help. Major renovations may involve structural modifications, demolition work, electrical wiring and typically include improvements done on the floor, walls and ceiling. It may also include a series of minor renovations, thus making it more of a larger scale project in the process. Major renovations are also sometimes referred to as a “full renovation” because instead of just improving a part of the living room, the scope of work requires enhancement and constructions works for the whole space and all its elements – meaning wall, floor, ceiling, furniture, furnishings and lighting. Examples of major renovation works are demolition works like removing an existing partition, tearing down the whole ceiling. Electrical works like rewiring, taking out all old flooring and installing new materials, retiling of floors, construction of a drop, recessed or cove ceiling and the like.
In the living room of an antique-laden apartment in Greenwich Village, the antique Swedish sofa and Baroque chair, right, are upholstered in Robert Kime fabrics, the armchair is 18th-century French and a vintage Persian Soumak rug from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar rests on a sea-grass rug from ABC Carpet & Home. Among the items on the wall are an antique water-buffalo skull, 19th-century French gouaches and a drawing by Jean Cocteau.
For the obvious reasons, major renovations cost more than minor renovation in terms of both labor and materials. They require more materials to complete as compared to minor renovations. As mentioned, major renovations are also best left to the professionals due to their complex nature. As a result, they incur more labor costs. It is also best to keep in mind that when dealing with a full or major renovation for a living room remodel project, it is highly recommended that one should not skimp on skilled labor, especially when it comes to structural, ceiling, flooring and electrical works because substandard work often compromises quality and will cost you more in the long run.
Previously buried under decades of neglect, Tere and Mac Thomas's circa-1825 Mississippi home has new stories to tell, thanks to diligent research—and a three-year gut renovation. When the Thomases purchased their Fayette, Mississippi, home six years ago, it was uninhabitable. However, the unfinished rooms, like this dilapidated living room, allowed the homeowners to start from scratch to create the perfect home.
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.