There is nothing like crafting a well-designed living room that is suitable for enjoying family time and entertaining loved ones. This primary spot sets the tone for the rest of your home’s decor. It’s also one of the best places to showcase your design aesthetic by experimenting with color palettes, layers of texture and patterns, and a variety of furniture layouts. It’s meant to be comfortable, inviting, and full of style. Plus, if you’re a design enthusiast, it’s an ideal space to put your favorite trends to the test, whether it’s opting for maximalist art or going bold with metallic wall paint.
A lot of us have live-eat rooms, so here’s an option if that’s your situation. By placing the sofa in the centre of the room with its back to the dining area, you create two separate spaces, and the rug also helps with this. The living area is small, true, but it looks out into the garden and the TV is placed on a media unit nearby. In the dining area, I added shelving for books on each side, to make a sort of eat-in library.
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."
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.
This little beauty highlights how each piece in a space can be wildly different yet still be harmonious. Visual interest is abundant in this small living room interior, from the golden leather ottomans to the glass and driftwood coffee table. On the wall behind the sofa, the chinoserie wallpaper and golden mirrors work together to give the room a touch of flash without overstating their presence and drowning the sofa out. Each piece is like a unique cast member in a stage play or television show. Every piece in this room is small, but each piece still has immense personality.
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.
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 room doesn't get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun," says celebrity chef Alex Hitz. Taking the cozy route in a living room without a ton of natural light is a great solution. And what's cozier than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with seating beckoning you to curl up on it? To display your books more creatively, offset them with artwork. In this room, a Peter Rogers portrait of Alex Hitz's close friend, the late Nan Kempner, hangs over the bookshelves to create some contrast.
First, start with the ceiling. It is always best to turn down the whole ceiling if you want to change the atmosphere of the house. If it is too low then give it a height. If it is too high that you are already sacrificing the energy efficiency of the house, adjust a bit on its height. Also, take note of the materials. Since the living room usually functions as the entertainment room, it is often more appropriate to use sound-proofed materials as ceiling.
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.
• Ceiling – Ceiling works also take up a large part of the costs of any type of renovation project, mainly because of the extensive amount of work that they require. For living room remodel projects, minor ceiling renovation works may range from simple repainting and repair. While major ceiling renovation works range from removing old ceiling boards to replacing them with new gypsum boards to the improvement of the ceiling layout and design. In some cases, the ceiling is given a whole new look by installing recessed, drop or cove ceilings. Other options for living room ceiling finishes are textured panels, wallpaper, wood accents, creative paint treatments and other trim finishes.
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.
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.
Family photographs instantly add warmth and personality to your home. Take them out of the attic, off your computer, or out of the infrequently viewed albums on your bookshelves, and enjoy them every day. Pick a wall, corner, or entire room. If your chosen spot already has picture molding (found in many older homes), your job will be easy. If not, adding new molding is not that complicated.
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.