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Depending on your home layout, your contemporary living room can serve many different functions. If you have a family room, it is often a formal sitting area or parlor used for reading, relaxing and entertaining guests. If it's the only living space you have, it's also used for watching TV, playing games and spending time with family. Regardless of its purpose, any good space has a comfortable sofa or sectional, a coffee table and a focal point, such as a fireplace or entertainment center (maybe even both!). More 
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As you start your living room remodel, think about the space's overall purpose. If it's going to have a more formal feel, adding an elegant fireplace mantel might be a worthy investment, while a built-in TV console would work best in a more low-key setting. Once you determine the overall tone, consider what kind of storage would work best. Built-in bookshelves and cabinets are great additions, regardless of formality, while a desk, table or booth ensure there is plenty of space for family game night or homework help. Finally, be sure to bring some personality to the space by including fun decor, such as rugs, artwork, curtains and lighting.

What should I use my living room for?


If you already have a family room for more low-key activities, your living room can act as a more sophisticated setting for hosting and entertaining. To get the look, buy a bar cart, formal furniture like wingback armchairs and chesterfield sofas, and mahogany wood bookshelves and coffee tables. Use the fireplace as your focal point by opting for an eye-catching, sophisticated mantel. On the other hand, if it's your primary living space, it should be used more like a TV room, complete with sofa sectional, media console and gaming spot. In the end, think about your needs; after all, a family with small children will use a playroom more than a formal sitting room.

What kind of built-ins should I add to my living room?


Because this room serves many purposes, be sure to incorporate plenty of shelves, cabinets and drawers to accommodate all your goodies. While more expensive, built-ins are the best way to do this, since they take up less space and are often customized to meet your needs. A built-in entertainment center is great for housing your TV, movies, video games and small electronics, while bookcases keep your books, picture frames and knickknacks in check. A desk, booth or large table can act as a craft station or homework spot, while a window seat can quickly become your go-to reading or nap station.

How do I decorate my living room?


When decorating your space, don't be afraid of bright colors, but don't go overboard either. Stick with neutral sofas, armchairs and ottomans and go bold with accessories — that way, you can easily swap out the small things when a new color scheme is in order. Picture frames, rugs, throw pillows and curtains are all great for adding color, while mirrors, table lamps and ceiling lights can help light flow throughout the space. Hang colorful contemporary artwork on the walls, and even add an accent wall by choosing a trendy new paint color.
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