As we've mentioned a few times already, a small space doesn't mean you can't have fun with color. So if you love incorporating pretty pastels or vivid brights but want to make sure your living room doesn't look chaotic, the trick is to stick to a tight color palette. Mixing patterns is also fair game, especially when done as masterfully as this cheerful room designed by Ellen Kavanaugh.
With the possibility of unforeseeable issues, it is best to have a contingency fund to make you prepared along the process. In addition, room expansions for living room renovation projects should not be taken lightly and must be left to the hands of a trusted professional. Scout for a good contractor as he will be able to assess everything carefully, spot problem areas ahead of time and prepare a complete bid.
Our living rooms wear a lot of hats: we watch TV, entertain friends, have conversations and spend time reading in them. Sometimes they double as home offices, playrooms for kids or even dining rooms, too. With all these considerations, it can be tricky to decide how best to arrange this area, but thinking about the feeling you’d like the space to convey in combination with how you’ll spend time there is a solid way to start. Here are 10 living room layout ideas to get those creative wheels spinning.
It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. "In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees," says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. "I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink."
Before starting your living room remodel, the first thing that you need to assess are the aspects that you don’t like in the space. This may either be limited space, a problematic layout, a drab color scheme, outdated furniture and decor. Your living room may also have a dark ambiance, a gloomy atmosphere or may feel too closed in. It may lack in character or maybe, you just want to give it an update to make it more modern. Once you get an idea of the things that you want to change in your existing living room, you may now determine the level of remodeling that you need for your home.
In the living room of Jean-Louis Deniot's Miami penthouse, the sofa from Deniot’s collection for Baker is in a Martyn Thompson Studio fabric, the 1930s Jindrich Halabala chairs are in a JAB Anstoetz fabric, the vintage cocktail table is by Paul Frankl, and the gold side table is by Hervé Van der Straeten; the 1920s bronze-and-alabaster chandelier once hung in the Villa Kerylos in France, the indoor-outdoor rug is by Galerie Diurne, the artwork is by Franz Kline, and the shelf holds a Roger Desserprit sculpture (center) and a French 1940s lamp.
With the multihued curtain fabric as her jumping-off point, designer Ashley Whittaker splashed an amped-up version of pink in three places in the living room—the footstool, the contrasting pillow welt, and the slipper-chair trim. "We wanted the home to feel bright and colorful like Florida but not like a vacation home," says Ashley. She pulled off the cozy yet elegant vibe by grounding the sun-and-surf palette with serious touches, such as the antique demilune tables.
Alisa Bloom recreated the environment of a French interior in her sophisticated Chicago penthouse. In the living room, she opted for a custom sofa in a Kravet fabric with pillows in a Jim Thompson silk. The 1970s chairs are from Revival, and the vintage cocktail table is from Martin La Brocante. She finished the space with a console by Crate & Barrel, a vintage chandelier by Hans-Agne Jakobsson, and curtains in an Oscar de la Renta fabric for Lee Jofa. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Cement Gray.
Architect Luís Bernardo Brito e Abreu renovated his São Miguel home to reflect his family's artistic, maritime history. The living room features a vintage chair by Illum Wikkelsø, and the mantel and stone benches are both of local basalt. The sculpture of a head on the bench at right is by Ernesto Canto da Maya, and the wall sculpture above the mantel is a 16th-century naval decoration.
Wallpapers, on the other hand, involves a more meticulous installation process because it requires prep work such as skim coating to even out the surface, the application of a metylan adhesive and the careful laying of the wallpaper itself. Typically, the installation of wallpaper is done by a professional and may either be charged on per roll or per foot basis.
This cozy little space shows how small living room decor can quickly become an art form given the right pieces. In this room’s case, the abstract white sculptures on one wall and the feather painting on the other would probably point to an oceanic theme, but when you get to the blue area rug and notice the flowers, you begin to wonder if the room really is following a specific theme. Without those pieces of wall art, the room would look stale and a bit generic, which shows how even one piece can transform a room’s look in unexpected ways.
In the living room of a Manhattan apartment designed by Jamie Drake and Caleb Anderson of Drake/Anderson, the sectional sofas by Avenue Road are covered in a Great Plains mohair, the pair of vintage Gio Ponti armchairs are from Karl Kemp Antiques, the glass cocktail table by Fredrikson Stallard is filled with feathers, the round side table is by Holly Hunt Studio, the lamp on it is by Charles Paris and the custom rug is by Tai Ping.
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.
A hand-me-down buffet's original cherry finish felt a little formal for this Arizona ranch home, but with some matte chalk paint, the item took on a more casual look that set the tone for equally laid-back vintage pieces, from the leather luggage (that stores extra blankets) to a coffee table made from an antique mission door. A midcentury turquoise sofa adds a splash of happy color.
Have you ever seen a room in a magazine that was just so stunning that you had to have it in your own home? While you may not be able to recreate it perfectly, decorating a small living room doesn’t have to break the bank. Print the picture out, take it with you to your favorite furniture stores and have a little fun trying to match each piece. You probably won’t find perfect matches, but similar pieces you do find will feel much more personal and make the final space much cozier. For visual interest, try some thrift store finds.
When you have to work with a room with an awkward shape, implementing the small living room designs that you love becomes a major challenge. It may not look like it, but this room had some incredible design challenges, including a cramped dining area. To remedy this, the designer decided to hang some mirrors in the dining area. Not only does the space look larger, but it also transforms the way the dining area looks. By putting the chairs on one side and the mirrors on the other, the dining area doesn’t look nearly as small as it truly is.
Windows – If your living room lacks ventilation or looks too dark, you can also try to replace existing windows or add windows to your living room. Replacing old windows helps improve natural lighting, optimizes energy efficiency and gives added ventilation. In addition to the practical benefits, new windows can also contribute a new character to your living room.
• Seating furniture – The basic seating options in furnishing a living room include couches, arm chairs and recliners while the special options include high back chairs, bar stools and accent chairs. Depending on the purpose of your living room, you may want to consider on investing on new furniture. However, if you are dealing with a limited amount of budget and still want to make use of old items, you can take other alternatives such as refurbishing or re upholstering existing sofas.
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.
One of the keys to a successful renovation is plenty of forethought, knowledge and information — especially if you're making structural changes, or working with several professionals and a big budget. Take your time to plan before you begin, so that you are less likely to have regrets when you are finished. "Designing a room or a remodeling project is a journey or a process," says interior designer Karen Soojian, ASID, "and it takes time to develop ideas and do things right. In other words, you need to know your destination and how you plan to get there."