Much like the kitchen, the living room is the heart of the home. It’s where you enjoy family movie nights, unwind with a good book, or even help your kids tackle their homework assignments. Since it’s used in so many different ways, it’s important for your living room to be outfitted with the right furniture, including a comfortable sofa, and decorative pieces. It also presents the opportunity to show off your design aesthetic.
If you’re stumped on how to craft a space that’s equal parts stylish and functional, see our roundup of 55 standout living room ideas. Whether your goal is to simply refresh your living room for the season or completely revamp it, you’re bound to find the perfect design idea for you.
Wooden beams and decorative pieces can add texture and play up a living room’s rustic flair.
An all-white living room doesn’t have to be boring. Achieve a collected look by displaying potted greenery, decorative trays, and an assortment of vessels on your mantel.
Refresh an unsightly light fixture with a few simple coats of paint, round bulbs and pom-pom fringe for a whimsical touch. Bold colors overhead pull together the room’s eclectic vibe.
Upgrade your storage by removing the jackets off old books (you can load up at yard sales) to expose the stitching or covering your collection with coordinating papers.
For a relaxed mantel look, rest a sturdy style against the wall – no hammering required.
Fill any underused nook or corner with an oversized plant to make it the focal point of the room. Tuck the pot in a woven basket for an extra punch.
Update an old-school brick fireplace (or wood paneling) with a coat of cream-colored paint. Take that, ’70s-era decor.
Let the vibes flow from room-to-room with another clever paint tip. “I often paint a home one color throughout,” says Susana Simonpietri, interior designer and co-founder of Chango & Co. “Or, I’ll try the softest hue in the room that gets the most natural light, then work through the rest of the home with deepening shades of blue and gray.”
Pair metallic accents (we see you, adorable end table) with traditional wood pieces to add depth and visual interest to your living room.
It’s not as much about where you place your furniture as it is about the style of pieces you choose. “In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees,” says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. “I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink.”
Don’t let your primetime viewing habits impede your style. “Go for a slim TV (mine is a Samsung), and use a thin mount that lets it sit flat against the wall,” says lifestyle blogger Carley Knobloch. “Then have the wires threaded through the wall so it looks uncluttered.”
Make your living room feel much airer (and spacious) by replacing a bulky sectional with pretty seating. Besides, what feels more luxe than velvet?
Setting up a booze station on your bar cart is a no brainer — but using it as an end table (especially when space is limited) to showcase blooms, art, and coffee table books is just brilliant.
Short pieces, like this tufted couch, give an open floor plan a cozy feel. Use area rugs to define individual “rooms” within the space.
Give beige a break. Dramatic hues can drench a large living room, like this inky wallpaper. The deep blue provides a surprisingly neutral backdrop.
Your style may be polished, but your furniture can still be cozy. Plush sofas and armchairs rule the roost in Ellen Pompeo’s L.A. home. “It’s fancy in a cool way, not in an ‘I can’t sit there’ way,” she says.
Need space, stat? Swap boring shelving for more decorative options, then load up on fabric boxes or baskets to hide an overflow of knick knacks.
Save square footage without sacrificing seating by using dining chairs in the living room. A rattan-and-cane perch takes up less real estate than a traditional recliner.
Yep, white furniture can work in a house with kids. Just choose durable fabrics (a leather couch) and surfaces (the plastic rocker, the lacquer table) that wipe clean easily.
The key to subtle color lays at your feet. A patterned carpet plays up the neutral furniture in a New Jersey home, while a similarly-hued pillow adds another punch to the armchair.
Makeover a room by rethinking the pieces you already have. Use up leftover wall paint on the frame of an old chair or refresh curtains and pillows by sewing fancy trim along the edge.
Avoid future boredom with calm colors using texture and pattern. In a dreamy beach house, muted prints in the same palette keep a neutral room from looking bland.
The quickest way to let light in starts at the source. Replace heavy fabric curtains with gauzy ones, making sure the panels go all the way to the floor. To accentuate a tall ceiling, mount the drapes about a foot above windows and doors.
Change up tired decor with this quick DIY. Add old wood planks to a coffee table as a bonus shelf. And skip painting — the weathered finish has more character.
An open floor plan like in this Connecticut cottage creates one large space for entertaining. Two columns (garage-sale finds from years ago) stand at the corners of the kitchen, anchoring the room.
Look to the opposite end of the color spectrum to tie everything together. A moody blue grounds a windowed living room by Sarah Richardson without overwhelming it.
Steal a space-faking secret from this tiny Brooklyn apartment. Choose a few full-size furniture pieces instead of cramming in lots of smaller ones. The living room will feel larger, and you’ll have a sofa you actually like to sit on.
Don’t forget to punctuate color with natural texture. Sarah Richardson used wicker baskets, a wood-frame mirror, and an antique pine dresser to warm up this rustic cabin.
Start with an all-white canvas and swap in seasonal accents all year-round. This summery living room uses cool blues, jute accessories, and nautical accents for a beachy vibe.
Measuring just 250 square feet, a tiny guesthouse copies a staple of Scandinavian style. Bright white shiplap creates the illusion of added space.
HGTV host Emily Henderson uses a “hero color” throughout every room to pull it all together. In her Los Angeles home, blue with gray and olive accents creates a casual, layered look.
This Connecticut farmhouse nails country style. Underused neutrals rust and charcoal echo throughout with woodsy elements like oak, cedar, stone, and leather.
A Dallas home feels bohemian and well-traveled thanks to wood floors and gray walls. The neutral base helps a bold kilim-covered sofa and mix-and-match throw pillows shine.
This breezy Florida living room (with happy-hued pillows) is as pretty as it is practical. The sofa is upholstered in water-resistant fabric to create a put-your-feet-up attitude.
Inject personality into your living space with energetic hues and quirky secondhand finds, like this colorful apartment’s coral sofa and gilded accent pieces.
This Toronto home achieves balanced decor without being too matchy-matchy. The furniture and accent pieces are diverse, but the symmetrical design grounds the look.
The antique wooden beams are a welcome contrast to the modern furniture in an airy farmhouse.
Exposed brick and a thrifted coffee table work together to create a country vibe in this rustic room. Consider your living space as a place for your collections, too, like this homeowner’s vintage fans.
Achieve the drama of a major art piece inexpensively by displaying a tight grid of frames.
Our home design director Sarah Richardson elevated this cozy gray-and-cream bungalow with surprising touches of orange.
A neutral palette doesn’t always mean playing it safe. Layer textures and mix in flea market finds to keep things interesting like this glam home and avoid a flat appearance.
This ultra-modern room uses color sparingly for a sleek look.
Position your couch under an oversized window to allow the sunlight and outdoor scene to be the focal point of an otherwise neutral room.
Traditional-style furniture gets a dash of regal style with rich purple accents and an oversized rug to anchor the conversation space.
When in doubt, choosing dual accents (coffee tables, lamps, pillows, frames) always makes for a balanced look.
Instead of a classic wooden coffee table, opt for a colorful one, like this teal option which is meant to mirror the couch.
White couches are a true classic, and look simply lovely paired with garden-style accents like a floral rug and sage trim. Choose white slipcovers to make this look more practical (and easier to clean).
Achieve a serene, polished look with dark flooring and furniture in varying shades of white.
Try a less-is-more attitude by sticking to clean lines and a neutral color palette. An area rug and throw pillows keeps the space warm and inviting.
A pair of sunny yellow chairs doubles-down on the striking impact of a shining sunburst mirror.
This formal living room shows off pops of kelly green, bright golds, and graphic prints to make a statement that is cohesive, but far from boring.
If you’re too nervous to stray far from a neutral, choose just one shade you love (and keep the walls a calming beige, as seen in this living room) to dip a toe into the pool of color possibilities.