Though you’ll spend a third of your life in your bed, very little of that time is going to be spent enjoying the splendor of the decor. You’ll also spend and inordinate amount of time in your kitchen and bathroom, but since both of these prize function over form, there’s only so much you can do to truly transform the space. Truly, the one room in your home that stands out as your showpiece – where you can truly let your sense of style shine in – is the living room. It’s here that you should be focusing much of your decorating chi.
The trouble is you either have too many ideas for this single palette, or too few. One way can quickly lead to a layered mishmash of styles, while the other can make your home seem barren and bereft, too Spartan to even be called an actual living space. Either way, you’re going to need to shift your focus to get the most out of this crown jewel of your domicile. To that end, we’ve wrangled 15 of the supremely useful living room decorating ideas to suit, accent, and amaze visitors and cohabitants alike.
When in doubt, adding plants is often the answer. There’s no decorations that look worse with a few living things placed around. They either contrast with your ultra-modern look or blend in with more rustic themes. They’ll also improve the atmosphere of your home by filtering the air, which provides a far cleaner smell and more pleasant environment.
By setting a focal point – fireplaces are good for this, or a large piece of art – you can then minimalize the rest of the room to basic, bland colors intended to help the central object stand out more starkly. This reduces the need to decorate heavily, as all eyes will be on your focus.
Ideally, you chose to live where you do because you like it. Capturing elements from the environment around your house, be it cityscape, everglades, country roads, or seaside chateau, you can meld the interior and exterior, using the view from your window as inspiration. Conversely, if you hate where you live, build your dream home inside to show the difference between where you are and where your hear lies.
Home should be a place of relaxation and ease. One of the fastest ways to reach that is by decorating wholly in colors that put your mind at peace. Blues and greens usually accomplish this, though some people will prefer lavender and burgundy. Aiming at the cool end of the color spectrum tends to help.
Sweep It Up
A large area rug with a simple pattern helps tie a room together by creating a blank canvas that weaves into and out of the other objects in the room, creating a sense of cohesion. Even if you have carpet, putting down a big rug tends to bond the room in a way that carpet alone doesn’t.
Chairs chop up a room into multiple isolated little islands whereas opting for large sofas or sectionals can provide ample sitting space that has a more inclusive feel. Lining walls with benches also has this effect.
Look at your living room and mentally cut it into low, middle, and high areas. Then, decorate only one at a time to create a sense of depth through the three themes. An easy way to start is go low with a large rug, then hang plants high, with a set of couches done in relaxing colors at your mid.
Choose your three favorite jewel colors, then sprinkle them throughout. Get lamps, pillows, paintings, and small accents that are each in emerald, ruby, topaz, garnet, diamond, or whatever suits your fancy. Then you need only focus on things within those limited color ranges.
Reclaimed wood has seen a serious upsurge in the living room decorations of recent years, as it reduces waste and shows an environmental frame of mind. Tables, dressers, center pieces, and even chandeliers can come from reclaimed wood artists, or you can find things yourself in the forest or along the beach.
There’s no simpler way to decorate a room than with mirrors. These enhance the sense of space, which is especially good for those in tight quarters, reflect light for a brighter living space, and turn everything else in the room into a wall decoration. Get some with antique – or antique-looking frames – and your home will ooze refinement.
Black the Eyes
Unless you’re going for stark and ultra-contemporary, few living rooms have a lot of black. The more you choose soft lines, floral prints, or kindly colors, the more you should put in a black lampshade, dark drapes, or other small points of darkness. It adds a sophisticated and refined air to a room that’s too cute.
Kids make messes and can easily destroy a painstakingly constructed aesthetic with a 2-cent crayon. If you have young ones at home, have them draw, paint, or sculpt everything you decorate your living room with. It will make them feel part of the home, give the room a fun vibe, and they’re more likely to be careful of their creations than that overpriced vase that you love. As they get older, you can make the space more mature.
Luxurious and neutral, white upholstery or room accents make a room seem like you’re floating on a cloud. Just make sure to mute the white with gentle undertones so it doesn’t appear too stark and clinical.
If you’re an electronics fiend, there’s no reason to hide that geeky light under a bushel. Put your tablets and TVs to work as focal points of the room. Get sophisticated stands for your gaming consoles, speakers, and gear. Have a display stand for your tablet and give your gizmos the respect they deserve.
Start Simple Then Accent
There’s no reason a beige couch and a plain wooden table can’t be classy. The trick is to make sure those aren’t all you have. Details are what make up a room, so once you have a neutral baseline, start throwing bold accents at it in the form of pillows, curtains, lamps, and baubles scattered about. This is also easy decor to change without the need to swap out any big items.