A living room can serve many different functions, from a formal sitting area to a casual living space. As you start browsing furniture, decorating and wall ideas for your room, think about the space's desired purpose and focus on a few staple items, such as a comfortable sofa and a coffee table, then choose the rest of the accent furniture and wall decor accordingly. Read on for more handy living room ideas to maximize your new space:
How do I decorate my living room?
When it comes to living room design, there are really no hard-and-fast rules. When considering different living room ideas, you’ll want it to be a space that makes your family and guests feel comfortable, but is also functional for day-to-day living. When thinking about living room colors, most people have a tendency to go super neutral or boldly colorful in living rooms, but be careful of going overboard with either. If you go with neutrals for the big items, like sofas, armchairs and ottomans, then go a bit bold with decorative accessories — that way, you can easily swap out the small things when a new color scheme is in order. Likewise, if you want your sofa to be a statement piece then scale back the decor so they don’t fight for attention.
Don’t forget about the mid-sized living room decorating ideas, like rugs and curtains, which can double as functional and decorative when done right. Lighting is also an important feature to consider when decorating a living room. Do you have the ability to do overhead lighting, or will you need to use table and floor lamps? Either one can be design features in themselves, as well as putting the spotlight on other decor you want to showcase. In your living room design, position lighting in accordance to any art you want to illuminate, and remember to have a well lit spot for reading-related activities. You can also change the light of the space by the paint color you choose; a room with little natural lighting will benefit from a light and airy color, while one with plenty of sunlight may have more leniency in color choice.
What should dictate my living room design?
Living rooms were originally intended to act as sophisticated settings for hosting and entertaining, while family rooms were used for more casual, everyday activities, like lounging, playing or watching TV. However, many homes today will only have one larger room that acts as both an entertainment and primary living space. If yours is the former, you’ll likely be utilizing it as a sitting room to have drinks and good conversation with guests, without distractions like television. As often shown in living room photos, a bar cart, formal furniture and an eye-catching focal point, such as a sophisticated fireplace and mantel, will help achieve this look and feel. On the other hand, if it's your primary living space it should see more daily use, often functioning as a TV room, complete with sofa sectional, media console and gaming spot (that cleans up nicely for guests, of course!). In the end, think about your needs when considering different living room ideas; after all, a family with small children will likely need a playroom more than a formal sitting room.
What kind of living room furniture should I have?
Because living rooms can serve many purposes, you’ll want to be sure to incorporate a variety of different furniture pieces to cover all possible activities. When considering living room ideas, start with your space. If your home is generally tight on space, having plenty of shelves, cabinets or drawers will be crucial to accommodating any storage needs. Built-ins are the best way to do this, since they take up less space and are often customized to meet your needs, however they can run on the more expensive side. If built-ins aren’t part of your living room design ideas, start with the big pieces, like an entertainment center or TV stand to house any electronics and accessories, or a bookcase to keep books, picture frames and knickknacks in check. Plenty of living room furniture ideas use pieces in multiple ways, like a desk or table as a craft station or homework spot, and a window seat as a go-to reading or nap station.
You will no doubt need some seating options incorporated into your living room design, which can range from small accent chairs to a big roomy sectional. Be careful of cramming a too-large sofa into a too-small space — it’s tempting to go big, but sacrificing walking paths or potential storage space is not always worth it. While there are a lot of different options in living room designs, you definitely want to have enough seating for those living in the house, plus an extra seat or two for the occasional guests. A place to put down drinks or snacks, like side tables or a coffee table, is a must. If you have the depth for it, an ottoman or coffee table where people can prop their feet up is always a welcome living room decorating idea, but skip out on this if the living room is on the narrow side and go for a deeper sofa instead. Whatever size your space is, there’s plenty of living room inspiration to choose from - to get started on your living room remodel, add living room pictures which spark creativity to an ideabook.
Whether you want inspiration for planning a living room renovation or are building a designer living room from scratch, Houzz has 1,502,505 images from the best designers, decorators, and architects in the country, including Century Stair Company and Gutterman Services Inc. Look through living room photos in different colors and styles and when you find a living room design that inspires you, save it to an Ideabook or contact the Pro who made it happen to see what kind of design ideas they have for your home. Explore the beautiful living room ideas photo gallery and find out exactly why Houzz is the best experience for home renovation and design.