Don’t Forget About Light Fixtures
Many people don’t think of light fixtures as part of their decor, but lighting is absolutely key for the overall look and feel of your entire living room. The right light fixture can add style to your space in addition to creating a mood.
Changing a light fixture is a relatively affordable and simple task that makes a massive impact on your room. Wall sconces are another option to add additional lighting and ambiance.
Depending on the way you use your living room, you may need bright, simple lighting the majority of the time. However, there may be other times when you want to create a more inviting atmosphere with ambient lighting. Think about these times as you shop for light fixtures, and consider adding dimmer switches to your home.
Choose The Right Artwork And Hang It Correctly
When it comes to hanging pictures and paintings, don’t position them too high. They should have a human scale. The perfect height is at eye level, which is approximately 145cm from the floor to the centre of the picture.
Of course, there are exceptions to rule, as Sabina explains: ‘If you have a favourite, smaller picture, try hanging it above a side table or next to a lamp, which will give it a more intimate feeling. If you are hanging a gallery wall, the main picture should be hung at eye level, with the others arranged in relation to it.’
Measure And Know Your Limitations
This is the very important but boring part. Take measurements and do a simple drawing. I have not always done this and many wrong pieces have been returned because of it. Some rooms truly dont need fancy renderings, but others do. Rugs, sofas, dining tables, and beds you should know the ideal size of the big stuff before you shop. You can literally do this on graph paper using a 1 square to 1 scale and it can be rough unless you are measuring for window treatments or things that need to be VERY accurate. If you have a small space, are dealing with awkward niches/corners, or have odd architectural elements dont forget those. Lay out your furniture on the drawing and if you really want to be sure tape it out on the floor with blue painters tape. We primarily use Sketchup but there are some great, simple programs you can use for creating floorplans. Sara used Floorplan Creator when she was first designing her new home, Brady used SmartDraw when we were decorating the Portland Project, and Ginny just shared on her IG that she loves VectorWorks .
Take time to know what your opportunities and limitations are. Where is your junction box for your lighting? Where are your outlets? Can you do inside mount shades or only outside mount? Can you wall mount your TV? Add a sconce?
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Shop Smart When Selecting Your Rug
If you’re starting with the sofa, choose the rug next, advises Gage. “Make sure you measure the room and order the proper size,” she shares, noting to also consider the general wear of the room when making this purchase. “For most people, their living room is a high-traffic area, housing children, pets, and guests. Wool is going to be a durable option for that reason.” And when it’s time to consider the color, think back to your couch selection. “If you chose a bright sofa, perhaps you want a neutral rug with some pattern. If you picked a gray linen sectional, opt for a rug that will add a pop of color to your space,” she says.
Consider How To Light Your Wall Decorations
Once youve arranged your mirrors, photos, posters or paintings to your taste, you will need to think about how they will look once the sun has gone down. Poorly lit rooms will not do your beautiful new walls justice, so it is important to consider your use of lighting fixtures. If there is a beautiful piece of artwork that you are particularly enamoured with, make it the focal point of the room by embellishing it with a spotlight.
How To Design A Living Room
This article was co-authored by MacKenzie Cain. MacKenzie Cain is an Interior Designer and a LEED-certified Green Associate for Habitar Design based in Chicago, Illinois. She has over seven years of experience in interior design and architectural design. She received a BA in Interior Design from Purdue University in 2013 and received her LEED Green Associate certification from the Green Building Certification Institute in 2013.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 115,881 times.
There are a lot of things to consider when designing your living room. The best place to start is to determine what you plan on using the living room for, and moving from there. Depending on what you plan to do in the living room will influence the choices you make when deciding on a layout. Make the most out of your living room by following a few furniture guidelines and keeping the room properly lit. Add some artwork and a few decorative plants to tie the room together.
Think About The Rest Of Your House
Before jumping into choosing colors or deciding on a final look for your room, consider how the rest of your house looks .
Try to keep a general flow going from one room to the next .
Rooms dont have to match, but its helpful to remain within a related color palette and similar decorating styles to keep your home cohesive.
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Curating Your Own Living Room Ideas & Design
The living room design process is relatively simple in concept, but differs for every living room and for every person. The steps included here can be applied to every interior design style, from traditional to modern and everything in between.
Even with these steps and tips, it can be overwhelming and confusing for DIYers or homeowners without a design background. Interior design requires an artistic eye and an understanding of balance and harmony, which don’t come naturally for most people–but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a professionally designed space.
With Stuccco online interior design, you can work with a professional designer to create a custom living room design that fits your style, needs, and budget. Stuccco is the only online interior design company that employs only experienced professionals and doesn’t rely on paid commissions–meaning that our designers only care about providing you with a design you love.
Five: Choose A Color Theme
The way I see it, when it comes to decorating a bedroom, you could either play it safe and go with neutrals or take a risk with bold color. If youre going for an eclectic or punchy look and you know that you love color, then you could decide to commit to something dramatic and center your entire room around it. But I just couldnt make that kind of commitment because I know myself well and I change my mind way too often!
After going through the inspiration-gathering stage, I was sort of a hot mess. And although figuring out my decorating stye helped a little bit, I still felt stuck because I couldnt figure out which direction I wanted to go in. But most of all, I couldnt choose a color scheme! I liked too many things. Above is an image I put together just to show you a quick glimpse of all the colors I loved and considered using in my room. But of course, I couldnt use all of them together
I couldnt figure out if I wanted to do an all neutral room or a fun and colorful room. Its pretty strange actually its like I have some kind of schizophrenic taste that likes traditional and transitional interiors yet also likes to have a bit of fun and eclectic-ness to it. On one hand I love bold and punchy decor bright colors, loud prints, and statement-worthy investments. But then on the other hands, Im such a sucker for the restoration hardware-esque look with minimal color and simple design.
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Design A Multipurpose Living Space
While some homeowners have multiple living areas and rooms that can be used for a single, distinct purpose, most owners and renters are opting for multipurpose living rooms. In fact, in our research on what buyers want in houses, over 90% of home builders noted that residents are specifically looking for living areas that can be used for more than one purpose. This number has skyrocketed in the last few years as more people work from home and want to use their space more creatively.
Even small living rooms can be designed strategically to fit multiple needs. Think about dividing your space with paint colors, room dividers, or simply using portable furniture to make quick changes easy.
Welcome Guests With Efficient Lighting
Lighting is an often-overlooked part of redecorating a space, but its essential when setting the mood of your living room and illuminating your decor. To learn how to use a mix of ambient overhead lighting and task lighting to give the room a warm glow, check out our Home Lighting Design Tips.
Maximize natural light withsheer curtainsthat softly diffuse sunlight.Table and floor lampsare a great way to punctuate your design style while adding functional light to your room, so dont be afraid to go bold with your lamp choices. Lamps are also a way to integrate secondary pops of color into your living room design.
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Contrast Colors Neutrals And Texture
Contrast is a powerful concept in every form of art, and interior design is no exception. Whether you choose to use only neutrals in your space or a wide variety of colors, make sure to add in some kind of contrast.
For example, if you have big, white walls, you can contrast them with dark furniture, like this photo below. This designer continued to use only neutrals in the wood tones, table decor, and pillows, but the contrast of light and dark tones still makes the space look beautiful and complete.
On the other side of the spectrum, the following example uses almost every color in the rainbow. Although this style wouldn’t be right for most people’s living rooms, it still looks professionally done because of the combination of light and dark shades.
CoCo Chanel said it best when she said, “Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.”
Step : Find And Pin Inspiration
Step 1 is truly where most people get paralyzed and they stop before they start. Yes, you are likely a mix of styles. And yes, mixing your mix of styles with a partners mix of styles is indeed challenging . But it can be done and it will make your home look more like your collective selves. Your style has and will continue to evolve and its hard for it not to be tied to the greater zeitgeist, but thats ok! So think about what styles you are most consistently drawn to, whether its mid-century modern, traditional, modern farmhouse, etc., or a mix of them. Just know that all styles can be mixed together if you have a consistent color palette.
Get specific with your pins search to sort through all the generic photos. Dont just put in bedroom, put in bedroom cozy emily henderson or bedroom colorful domino. Try brands and designers that you like , otherwise it can be very daunting. Some brands we use are Elle Decor, Amber Interiors, Studio Mcgee, Domino, and of course Emily Henderson. There are a million more, but it sends a message to the Pinterest algorithm that that is the type of pin you like so it will be able to give you more of what youre looking for.
Ask yourself how you want it to FEEL, not just look.
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Place Large Furniture Pieces First
Since its the sofa and armchairs that will anchor the living room or the dining table and dining chairs that will anchor the dining room, start with choosing those items before the rest of the decor.
After Step 9, these larger pieces should work into your plan next. Double check dimensions to make sure everything will fit within your layout plan, and keep asking yourself throughout the furniture selection process if the items stay true to your style.
Start With The Biggest Piece In The Room First
Now that youve broken down your decorating plan to one room at a time, take the same concept and focus on finding the most important piece in the room.
The biggest piece in the room is usually the most important and most expensive. Thats why its important to start with that one piece and work your way from there. In a dining room, start with the dining table. For your living room, choose your sofa or sectional first. In your bedroom, the bed is the most important piece in the room.
Pro decorating tip: The biggest piece in the room is likely where youll invest the most money. It usually gets the most use in the room, therefore quality is important. You can probably save some money on accessorizing, picking up secondhand bedside tables or finding an inexpensive coffee table, but never skimp on your sofa!
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The Power Of A Coat Of Paint
Add the right color, and a room is created that wasnt there before. Simple yet so powerful. But which color to go with? A good idea is to think of the feeling you want for your room. More to consider: Which of your existing furniture can you use? How does daylight enter in the room? Let these factors guide your color choice. This couple wanted a cozy, earthy feeling. Paired with furniture and accessories in dark tones and natural fibers, their choice was this warm, brown shade .
Decide On Your Color Palette
When it comes to living room ideas, choosing the right paint color is crucial. Pick a color palette that compliments your furniture choices, your homes overall aesthetic, and the style you want to achieve in this room.
Remember, lighting will also play a critical role in choosing the right paint colors, so don’t forget to look at steps four and five together.
Remember that you can mix decor trends and different colors. Dont be afraid to mix colors, patterns, and styles throughout your living room. However, make sure that theres a common theme, whether its the color, the style, or the subject matter, to ensure you dont make the space look overwhelming.
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Take Inventory Of Your Furniture And Decor
If youre working with a living room full of furniture and , start by taking stock of your stuff to determine what to keep, what to donate or sell, and what to toss. Use this time to let go of worn-out items like your broken-in easy chair or that scuffed-up coffee table thats on its last leg. With only the essential pieces left, you can start fresh and build on your design from the ground up.
Four: Determine Your Personal Decorating Style
Taking some time to articulate your decorating style will help you make decisions quicker and with more confidence. I briefly summarized some of the most popular styles in my most recent home decor post titled Top 5 Decorating Styles Explained & Defined. Once you can narrow it down to one or two decorating styles, I would suggest looking at more images that fall into that same category to gather more inspiration.
This step was actually one of the MOST helpful in my personal decorating journey. During the first few weeks of this project, I had the hardest time making a decision about ANYTHING. I couldnt commit to any direction or pull the trigger on any purchase because I was scared I wouldnt like it. For the life of me, I just COULD NOT imagine how it would look or whether Id like it in my room. Unlike putting outfits together, you cant try on bedroom decor like you can clothes.
Taking some time to identify which decorating style I preferred helped me speed up the process. Once I got a better idea of what I liked, it was easier to pick thing out and pull the trigger on purchasing them knowing that everything with mesh together in some way or another.
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Put Up A Handy Wall Calendar
Wall calendars are a great way to personalise your walls and sort out your timetable at the same time. Indeed, placing an eye-catching wall calendar in a prominent spot in your living room is a great way to ensure you dont forget any important appointments. If you’re wondering where to purchase your perfect calendar, there are plenty of online stores that offer unique calendars. Art galleries and museums gift shops are also great places to hunt down some interesting designs.
Measure The Room And Decide Your Layout
Write down every single measurement in your floor plan that you can:
- Room dimensions
- Wall widths between doorways
- Any architectural details that could impact traffic flow or furniture placement
Start planning where you want to place furniture in the room. Consider traffic flow through doorways, directional door swings, or outlet placement for lamps or electronics.
Tip: You can even place painters tape on the floor to mimic the size of a piece of furniture and get a better visual.
If you want to get extra technical, Plan Your Room is a great free online tool for trying on layouts in your room virtually.
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