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.
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.
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.
A 1920s Palm Beach home, owned by art adviser Heidi McWilliams, serves as the perfect backdrop for displaying her impressive collection. The living room is furnished with claret armchairs (right) and hexagonal table by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, along with a neutral rug by Patterson Flynn Martin. An Anish Kapoor mirrored wall sculpture accentuates the 16th-century Italian limestone mantel, and the coffered ceiling, which is original, adds character to the room.
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.

Make it easy on yourself by sticking to a very consistent, very simple color scheme. In this space designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, she worked within a strictly all-white color story. Even the firewood is painted white! We'll let that be a lesson in attention to detail. Then she choose one item to really pop in a bright color. In this case, she went with a bright red Pierre Paulin Ribbon Chair.


Think long-term. Remember to plan not only for this stage of your life, but for the next phases, as well. If you're newlyweds planning to have children in a few years, take those future kids into account when planning your renovation, so that you don't have to redo everything. Ask people who already have kids what works in real life and what doesn't; what they wish they had in their living rooms; what has caused safety issues or got broken so many times it had to be thrown away.

Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.

A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.


If you just want to spice up a dull space, that one visual oddity can make all the difference. This is especially true in a small living room since there normally isn’t much to look at. The rug in this room is a great example because it breaks up the plainness and uniformity the room otherwise has. It also accomplishes this without being overly intrusive. It also forces you to look down at the floor, then up at everything else in the room, ensuring you see every bit of the room’s contents. The right accent pieces make all the difference.
A Brooklyn townhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, features a sofa from ABC Carpet & Home upholstered in a fabric by Soraya Shah for Studio Four NYC. The space also includes a chaise by Timothy Oulton, a Danish cocktail table, the Akari pendant light by Noguchi, window treatments in a Rebecca Atwood fabric, and a vintage Moroccan rug. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Huntington White and the trim in Iron Mountain. A photograph by Claire Nitze and a cameo portrait by Doug Meyer complete the living room.
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.
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