In the living room of an antique-laden apartment in Greenwich Village, the antique Swedish sofa and Baroque chair, right, are upholstered in Robert Kime fabrics, the armchair is 18th-century French and a vintage Persian Soumak rug from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar rests on a sea-grass rug from ABC Carpet & Home. Among the items on the wall are an antique water-buffalo skull, 19th-century French gouaches and a drawing by Jean Cocteau.
Employing expensive materials in restrained but meaningful ways lets you enjoy the finer things while staying on budget. Display a fancy wallpaper on a focal wall or as a patterned backdrop for built-in shelves. Buy one really good leather chair, but pair it with a less expensive garden-seat table. Create pillows that showcase pricey silks, brocades, and velvets on their face, but that boast inexpensive fabric backs.
A living room decorating scheme truly fit for a snow queen, the wintry whites and silvers of this rustic chic living room are anchored by comfy fabrics and an unvarnished wooden table. Plenty of candles enhance the enchanted feel, while a cheerful silver wall clock lends a welcoming bit of familiarity. A faux fur sofa throw adds an enticing Narnia touch, and is perfect for snuggling in for long snowy nights.
You spend a lot of time in your living room, so it not only needs to look great, but it needs to be functional and comfortable. Blending all three things can be tricky, but we've got plenty of examples to inspire you. From modern and formal spaces to approachable and rustic environments, there's a living room idea you'll want to steal below. Keep reading for forty-five stylish designer living room tips, ideas, and shopping suggestions for spaces of any size.
Casters are the ultimate quick-change agents. These babies impart height and mobility to almost anything. Attach 'em to a farm table and voilà: It becomes an extra-large kitchen island with serious moves. Pop some wheels on a crate and you've got storage that rolls easily underneath a counter. The possibilities are truly endless. —Paige Schnell, Tracery Interiors
Aside from the adorable dogs (Jacob and Wylo) cuddled up on the armchair-meets-dog-bed, that gallery wall is the clear statement-maker in this living room designed by Philip Mitchell. Mix and match frames for a subtle nod of personality. And speaking of personal touches, consider hanging art that means something to you, whether it's your children's artwork, your own, or a portrait of your pets.
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.
"The room doesn't get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun," says celebrity chef Alex Hitz. Taking the cozy route in a living room without a ton of natural light is a great solution. And what's cozier than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with seating beckoning you to curl up on it? To display your books more creatively, offset them with artwork. In this room, a Peter Rogers portrait of Alex Hitz's close friend, the late Nan Kempner, hangs over the bookshelves to create some contrast.
Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.
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.
The larger size of the table is perfect for everyone around the couch to be able to kick their feet up on. I love the cleaner lines and it’s completely solid and heavy (just ask the two delivery guys who wrestled it through the front door) vs. the rickety old one. It may be a little too sturdy, because my kids have taken to using it as their stage during dance parties, sigh.
A hide rug and Edwardian boxer photographic prints lend a sly masculine charm to the casual refinery of this room’s interior layout, without overtly overpowering the more graceful elements. Clean lines and simple color schemes keep the tone cool and laid back, while eye-catching pieces such as the wooden lobster trap-like ceiling lamp and repurposed rolling coffee table, as well glass dome-covered plants, allow guests plenty to admire and inquire about.
Designed by Studio Razavi, this eclectic Parisian apartment is a breath of fresh air. Not only does it prove that you can use a wallpaper mural in a minimalist environment (the grayscale color palette helps), but it's also the perfect example of how to design a living room that's both fun and relaxed, sophisticated and formal. The key? Seating needs to be comfortable, and materials need to be casual but clean.
A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.