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.
"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.
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.
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."
In many homes, the living room is where families and their guests go to kick back and relax after a long day. In many homes, this room is also where the television, computer and other knickknacks come together and choke the space. This is even truer in a small living room, which fills up after putting just a few pieces of furniture inside. Because of this, many people think that having a larger space is better but that isn’t always true. The secret to making a small living room look good is to take advantage of the living space you already have.
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.
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.
Struggling with what living room colours to choose, or what style to go with? While a grey living room design is popular at the moment, you might not want to go with the ubiquitous colour. Although, if neutral and contemporary are the living room ideas you’re after, a grey sofa or grey walls will give you a good base to work on. If you want to stay neutral, beige is not your only other option, either. Light yellows, taupes and soft greys will work. Why not try adding simple but plush cushions to your sofa and a rug in these colours to achieve a modern-traditional look?
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
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.
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.
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.

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.
To create symmetry, a contractor relocated the corner hearth with a new one, centered on the wall opposite the open kitchen. Built-in cabinetry on either side of the fireplace reinforces the sense of balance. The homeowner traded her single living-room settee for two generous Ikea sofas and a Ralph Lauren chair, all slipcovered for easy cleaning. The pine coffee table came from a garage sale, and the metal "C" is from a local garden store.
When designing built in furniture for a living room renovation project it is important to plan ahead and hire a professional designer and contractor to help you out with the process. Commissioning a professional ensures that your built in furniture does not only meet your specific needs, but that they are also tailor made based on the existing conditions and size of your living room. In addition, they can assist you in creating creative and optimum storage systems such as media cabinets which match with the overall look of your living room.
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.

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.
If you frequently entertain guests at your home, choose a strategic living room layout that promotes conversation and comfort. For example, in this living room designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, the incorporates semi-circle seating that's both spacious and inviting. Sectionals are also a good option when a circular sofa isn't. And if you also love the all-white aesthetic, take note. Ford brush painted the natural IKEA rug and custom-made rope light.
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