When you see it, you know.
So, you’ve just bought a new property using a short term loan used to ‘bridge the gap’ and now you want to decorate it beautifully. Sometimes a well-designed living room will stop you in your tracks. It’s balanced, cohesive, not too loud, not too subdued… just right. But what makes it so great? A certain unattainable je ne sais quoi? Nope! Just some design know-how that we’re about to share with you.
Here’s an example of a living room that has lots of functionality and personality. Now, let’s turn this image into a design roadmap you can reference whenever you need some layout inspiration!
A) SIDE TABLES can be used to “bookend” your sofa/sectional (as shown above) or to simply provide more storage surface for your family. They’re especially great when guests come over if they’re seated someplace that’s out of reach from the coffee table.
B) Coordinating THROW PILLOWS in various sizes and shapes will make your sofa look cozy and put-together. If you’re having trouble figuring out what patterns and colors work as a group, we found an extremely helpful guide. (Thanks for demystifying the process, Shannon!)
C) If you already have a lot of patterns and visual interest in your room, go simpler with your RUG (and vice versa). Check out sites like http://bazaarvelvet.com/rug-collections/ for more inspiration. Another way to add texture is to layer two rugs like the example above. Need help with rug sizing and placement? Fixer Upper‘s Joanna Gaines created this handy guide.
D) A COFFEE TABLE or large ottoman will help anchor the space and be a perfect spot for decor, food and drink, or to put your feet up after a long day. Try a more unexpected piece like the leather-topped coffee table above, or a vintage trunk with hidden storage.
E) A great way to keep your living room as versatile as possible is to go for a neutral color on bigger purchases like your SOFA or SECTIONAL. Then you can switch out decor and accessories as the seasons change without worrying about the larger pieces clashing.
F) ACCENT CHAIRS provide additional seating and can tie in with colors you’ve used elsewhere in your room. We love the simple plaid pattern in the example above.
G) MIRRORS have a knack for making a room look larger. They also look beautiful and reflect light throughout the space. What’s not to love?
H) Flowy CURTAINS that provide privacy but still let in natural light will make your living room look magazine-worthy.
I) The sun can’t do all the work, so make sure to include some pretty LAMPS and overhead lighting to pick up the slack.
J) A good ACCENT WALL can tie a whole room together. We love the distressed, rustic look above, but there are lots of other directions to go: Shiplap, brick, stone, paint, patterned wallpaper, etc.
K) PLANTS, real or faux, add a sense of life to a space. In rooms with subdued color palettes, that pop of greenery makes a world of difference.
L) All those walls can seem bare without some ARTWORK to adorn them! Whether you opt for black and white like the above example or choose vibrant color, experiment with placement until you find an arrangement you love. You could also go to some acrylic prints experts to get some personalized photo prints to add some heart to the room.
M) Your WALL COLOR sets the tone for the rest of the room’s design. Lighter colors tend to make a room look bigger and more open, and darker colors make it feel more cozy. In our example, the dark main wall color and light accent wall give us the best of both worlds!
N) Matching METALLIC ELEMENTS throughout the room can make your design extra luxe. In the example, you can spot several gold accents.
O) OPEN SHELVING will provide additional storage and give you more space to display your treasures. Here’s a wonderful guide on how to style open shelves and vignettes throughout your home. (Thanks for all the helpful tips, Lauren!)
Ready to tackle your own space? You’ve got this!
If you want even more inspiration, check out the Living Rooms board on our Pinterest page. We’re always on the hunt for great home decor ideas so we can share them with you.