There are scads of publications loaded with living room decorating ideas, but unless you have the budget to purchase living room furniture by the set, it would be best to start small. First, we recommend starting with the basics. When picking furniture, take into consideration what purpose it will serve then focus on a few staple items. Find a comfy couch and an inviting coffee table that suits your needs then search for accent furniture that will bring out your vision of home.
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.
For a Gramercy Park apartment, designer Bennett Leifer upholstered a settee in a Sabina Fay Braxton velvet, and chose a pair of carved wood armchairs by de Gournay covered in a Stark velvet. The Empire console is from Lucca Antiques, the cocktail table is by Ebanista, the vintage stool is by Maison Baguès, the Louis XVI secretary was purchased on 1stdibs, the Tabriz rug is antique, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Alexandria Beige.
In the living room of designer of textiles and interiors Kathryn M. Ireland's compound in Santa Monica, the custom sofa is in a linen velvet from Ireland’s fabric collection; the armchairs are covered in an Otis Textiles linen slipcover (left) and a fabric purchased in Marrakech (right). The rag rug is from Amadi Carpets, the steel-framed sliding doors are by Chateau Domingue, and the wall hanging is a 19th-century suzani.
This floor-to-ceilings fireplace in a living room designed by Leanne Ford is taking style notes from the best of both worlds: A classic mountain chalet and the Malibu coast. Whether there's snow falling or waves crashing right outside that window, we want to be curled up on that linen slip-covered chair. This living room is also a testament to the perks of working with what you have. The fireplace was given a new life with a makeshift mantle comprised of reclaimed wood and a fresh coat of white paint.
Designers Cecilia Sagrera and George Brazil of Sagrera Brazil Design created zones in this open-plan living area. "Using a curved sofa with curved console behind it helps to separate the living and dining areas. Using a few curved pieces of furniture helps to break up the hard angles of the architecture." If you have an open-plan living room, consider incorporating some curved pieces of furniture.
These homeowners wanted to let their guests be the color to their space, so they painted all of the background surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a clean shade of white. A vintage advertisement and an Arkansas license plate hang on the wall. The casual furniture is covered in washable slipcovers for easy cleanup when inevitable spills happen.
Rearrange: If you already have furniture in your living room but want to create a new look, try rearranging the furniture. By simply moving the items around, you might realize it looks like a different space entirely. Don’t line up all your furniture along the perimeter of the room, especially if you have a large space. Be creative and arrange the furniture in two groups, creating two separate areas in one!