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.
This floor-to-ceilings fireplace in a living room designed by Leanne Ford is taking style notes from the best of both worlds: A classic mountain chalet and the Malibu coast. Whether there's snow falling or waves crashing right outside that window, we want to be curled up on that linen slip-covered chair. This living room is also a testament to the perks of working with what you have. The fireplace was given a new life with a makeshift mantle comprised of reclaimed wood and a fresh coat of white paint.
This Ibiza living room features local-limestone floors covered in custom Spanish esparto rugs from Antonia Molina. Walls covered in a sandy lime plaster, and a wood-beam ceiling set a rustic tone in the living room. Custom sofas by Atelier Tapissier Seigneur and curtains in a quilted Braquenié fabric; the Oeil cocktail table by Pierre Chapo is vintage, the lacquered-coral sculpture is by Maurizio Epifani, and the painting over the mantel is by Alex Katz.
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.
Before you even start decorating your living room, remember where you are. If you live in a casual beach house, your design scheme is going to look very different from an urban industrial loft space, for instance. In this beach house by Arent & Pyke, the design team focused on channeling the tropical vibe of a coastal home through fun motifs and casual materials. Yet, they still maintained a look of sophistication through fresh upholstery, beautiful artwork, and a thoughtful layout. That being said, if you're a sucker for kitsch and wish you were always on island-time, add a hint of it with one statement piece, like a vintage Hawaiian-print rattan chair.
This homeowner bucked the “matchy, matchy” rule by placing different end tables and lamps on either side of the sofa in her living room. The mismatch works because, even though one table is a white Asian-inspired look and the other is a black step-like design, both tables are the same height. A sleek brass reading lamp pairs nicely with the simple white table, while a large silver-leaf table lamp fits with the more substantial black table.
For contemporary living room ideas, dark blues and greens are on trend, but if you don’t want to dive straight into the dark wall trend, you could opt for a couple of pieces of furniture, or go for dark-hued living room accessories instead. Whites, woods and pastels could work well for Scandinavian living room designs. If an eclectic living room is what you’re after, you could go for large print wallpaper, a statement lighting piece, vibrant rug and lots of colourful book or ornament displays. For a country feel, rustic carpet, stone hearths, comfy armchairs and traditional patterns in creams, greens and browns will give you that cosy cottage feel.
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.