“Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style.” —Billy Baldwin
The living room is one of the most frequently used places in your home. It’s a place to gather with family and spend time together. It’s the room you entertain guests in. It’s the place where you make memories, relax, and otherwise spend your down time.
With all this use, it needs to be a place where you feel comfortable. But this isn’t enough. The interior design approach you take needs to make sense with your home’s architectural style, budget, and the rest of the decor in your home.
These living room decorating ideas will help you get inspired and choose a direction for your living space.
1. Apartment Living Room Decorating Ideas
The biggest dilemma with apartment living rooms is space. You’re more limited than the typical homeowner. It’s also typically a room that shares space with other living areas. Create a space that’s welcoming but not crowded. Use linear prints like those found in geometric rugs. This will give the space structure and define the living room from the other adjoining spaces.
Use every inch of available space to maximize the functionality of the room. Choose a coffee table that stands on individual legs so you can slide an extra pouf or ottoman under it. Now you have extra seating when more guests come over, and a spot to add some great apartment decor.
If your living room has a window, consider hanging floor to ceiling drapes on either side of it, even if the window isn’t that tall. Hanging full-length curtains will give the illusion that the window is bigger than it really is and that the ceiling is higher.
2. Asian Living Room Decorating Ideas
You could incorporate Asian inspired pieces into your living room decor ideas. These subtle influences will create a sense of elegance and class. Furniture with claw and ball feet (common on Chippendale pieces) is an Asian influence that you can easily find on both vintage and modern furniture. Look for furniture pieces that have a lot of detailing and ornamentation. It should also have bold and bright colors accenting the designs.
Choose a color palette that features black and red. These are classic Asian fusion colors. They’re also supposed to bring luck in the Chinese culture. If red isn’t your color, you could lean towards more Japanese influences with gray, tan, and green.
To give your living room the finishing touch, look for pieces with gold or silver accents. These accents will give your room a bit of elegance. For the ultimate in ornate Asian elegance, look for pieces of furniture with accents in gold or silver leaf.
3. Gray Living Room Decorating Ideas
You don’t have to paint the walls gray to have a gray living room. You could leave the walls white and place gray furniture and decor. Although you can, and it will look beautiful. The first step is deciding what shades of gray you’ll use. Dark charcoal can give your living room a sophisticated and toned down look. Lighter grays can help to keep your living room feeling bright and fresh.
Gray can look a bit dull on its own. So pair it with other colors. To keep things toned down and subdued, stick with white, black, and other shades of gray. These hues will create a room of neutrals.
If you want to make the room more lively, add subtle pops of colors with key accent pieces. You could add mustard-colored accent chairs or decorative pillows. Magenta, teal, and peacock blue all look beautiful with darker shades of gray.
4. Industrial Living Room Decorating Ideas
Having an industrial-inspired living room is perfect for rooms that are very large or have high ceilings with exposed HVAC duct work and pipes. Look for ways to incorporate more industrial associated materials such as concrete, metal, and brick. You could create an accent wall out of these materials. Then look for furniture that looks less decorative and more functional.
You can really evoke the industrial feel through the accent pieces. Lighting fixtures come in a wide variety of industrial-inspired designs. These pieces may have pulleys, exposed light bulbs, or pendant wires.
Look for ways you can add plush or comfy elements. Otherwise, you risk your industrial decor ideas becoming too cold and barren, making your living room feel unwelcoming. You could add extra seating with large poufs or a plush comfy chair.
Embrace the exposed elements in the ceiling, but clean it up so that it looks nice. You might consider painting everything on the ceiling white or black to create a uniform look. Or, you could paint the ceiling white and the pipes black.
5. Luxury Living Room Decorating Ideas
You can create a feeling of opulence, luxury, and elegance in your living room. The first step is to choose furniture pieces upholstered in expensive fabrics. Consider silk, velvet, baby cashmere, or linen. If you have the budget, you could even order a custom sofa. This one-off piece will ensure you get exactly what you want, and that it fits perfectly into your living room.
Look around the room for ways to add high-end touches. You could mount crown molding around the room at the top of the walls. You could create a tray ceiling and then install hidden LED lighting to illuminate the space. Or, hang an ornate chandelier.
Your luxury living room interior design isn’t complete without art. Look for decorative pieces that you can hang or place on shelving units. Invest in art that will make a statement and express your personal aesthetic.
6. Minimalist Living Room Decorating Ideas
The minimalist interior design approach is the ultimate in less is more. If you have a small living room, the minimalist approach can work well since the lack of decor and furniture helps keep the room feeling spacious.
Getting the scale of your furniture right is vital to the success of your living room design. If the furniture is too small, you’ll have too much empty space, making the living room feel barren. If you choose furniture that’s too large, then your room will feel cramped and miss the mark on the minimalist feel.
When buying your furniture and decor, focus on buying high-quality pieces. With fewer items in the room, the pieces that are there will receive more attention and focus.
Some designers will tell you to skip the wall decor, but this is a mistake. You’ll be left staring at a blank white wall. Instead, you could create a small gallery wall with a few decorative images. Or you could hang a single floating shelf that you place a few decorative accent items on.
Check out other Minimalist Decor Ideas for other rooms in your home.
7. Modern / Contemporary Living Room Decorating Ideas
The perfect contemporary living room is a balanced combination of modern and transitional pieces. Try to create a space that people would describe as tranquil or soothing but not cold. The first and easiest step is to leave the walls white. This simple hue provides a bright and clean canvas.
Look for pieces that are fit and tidy without being too decorative or overly fancy. Pick furniture on with legs and a straight-line design. Mix wood pieces with brass fixtures and textured textiles. Choose colors that are rich, but not bright. Or you can stick with neutrals of creams, tans, and brown shades.
8. Rustic Living Room Decorating Ideas
Give your rustic living room a sense of authenticity with vintage pieces. You could mount salvaged wood beams to the ceiling. Or use smaller salvaged wood pieces as floating shelves. If you have a fireplace, it will blend well with a rustic living room. You could use the reclaimed wood as the mantel.
Get creative in how you can use vintage or antique pieces as decor in your living room. Interior designers do this so that the rustic elements look and feel real without looking overly styled or too perfect.
You could use old pallets or milk crates to build your living room furniture. Barrels or old sewing machine tables could be placed on either side of your couch as end tables.
Combine textiles so that you have some cozy pieces and other more durable materials. You could have a flannel or fur throw blanket on an accent chair. Then use burlap, jute, or linen for decorative pillows or the curtains. This material adds texture to the room.
9. Scandinavian Living Room Decorating Ideas
Keep simplicity in mind when decorating your Scandinavian living room. Skip the overly ornate pieces and opt for some with simple details. You’ll also want to use textiles that inspire warmth. Since this design inspiration comes from countries that get quite cold, it’s common to find mohair, wool, and sheepskins. These textures help your living room to feel cozy by balancing the sparseness.
If you have carpet in your living room, then it’s time to remove it. Instead, replace it with light wood flooring. Then lay an animal skin area rug or a woven rug made of wool.
Look for ways you can create hidden storage solutions. Scandinavian interior design is notoriously clutter-free. Keep accent pieces to a minimum and remember that less is more.
10. Traditional Living Room Decorating Ideas
Traditional living rooms have a symmetry to them. Look for decor that comes in pairs like a pair of chairs, couches, bookshelves, or mirrors. You can create balance with smaller decor pieces, such as a pair of lamps or decorative pillows.
Stick with a neutral color palette and white walls for the living room decor. Then add touches of color with the textiles in the room with a throw blanket, wall art, decorative pillow, or a large rug.
Inject traditional patterns into your living room. Fretwork and trellis patterns are popular. Look for fabrics that feature these patterns when buying your textile decor elements.
Finish your traditional living room by adding some greenery. Indoor plants freshen up the air, and they help keep your living room feeling fresh, adding a touch of nature.
11. White Living Room Decorating Ideas
White living rooms look stunning in photos. They make for the perfect setting to take Pinterest and Instagram worthy images. However, if you have children or pets, this may not be the best living room idea for your home. White is beautiful, but notoriously hard to keep clean.
If you still love the look of white and want to create the look in your living room, start with your color pallet. The majority of the elements in the room will be white. However, not everything has to be white, as this would create a blindingly bright and stark room, making it uncomfortable. Instead, add elements made of natural materials. Your white furniture could have wood trim, or you could have a wood side table and floor lamp.
Next, add hints of color by accenting your white with subtle neutrals. You could paint the walls, hang curtains, or arrange throw pillows in muted shades of pink, green, brown, or gray.
To carry the white theme into other rooms, check out the Top 60 Best White Bathroom Ideas .
Living Room Decorating FAQs
How should I decorate my living room?
The style and approach that you should use when decorating your living room should blend your personal taste with the style of your home and the decor approach you’ve taken for the rest of your home. This will create a space that you feel comfortable in, while also visually making sense in your home.
What is the 60-30-10 decorating rule?
When choosing the color palette for your living room, keep the 60-30-10 rule in mind. It outlines that 60% of your room should be the dominant color you’ve chosen. Then 30% of the room should be the secondary color. The final 10% is the third accent color.
What should every living room have?
Every living room design should have a comfy rug, furniture to sit on, a coffee table, lighting, drapes on the windows, and plants. Most homeowners also require a TV and other electronic entertainment equipment.