Your living room is the heart of your home. It’s where you gather with loved ones, relax after a long day, and create lasting memories. That’s why it’s so important to decorate your living room with intention, keeping both form and function top of mind. Follow these tips to create a living room you’ll truly cherish for years to come.

Determine Your Style

The first step in decorating your living room is determining the overall style you’d like to achieve. Here are some popular living room styles to consider:


Traditional living rooms feature classic, timeless elements like Persian rugs, wingback chairs, clawfoot furniture, and intricate moldings. Rich colors like navy, burgundy, and forest green are common. This style has an elegant, sophisticated feel.


Contemporary rooms use clean lines, neutral colors, and sparse decorative accents. Think sleek leather sofas, glass coffee tables, and modern art. The focus is on showcasing interesting shapes and textures.


Rustic living rooms incorporate natural materials like wood, stone, and metal. Look for distressed wood finishes, leather furniture, and earthy accent colors. The cozy, inviting vibe is perfect for mountain retreats and farmhouses.


Eclectic rooms blend various styles, eras, and cultural influences. Vintage furnishings, colorful patterns, and global accents tend to blend seamlessly. The room flows together thanks to consistent color schemes or tying elements.


Inviting colors like sea glass, sand, and sky blue are signatures of the coastal look. Natural fibers, weathered woods, seashells, and driftwood accents evoke laid-back beach house vibes.

Once you settle on a style, keep it in mind as you make all other decorating decisions. This will help your living room feel cohesive.

Select the Right Furniture

The furniture forms the foundation of your living room. Carefully choose pieces that are functional, comfortable, and reflect your desired aesthetic.

Sofas and Chairs

Your sofa will likely be the room’s central focal point, so select one that best fits your space and style. Prioritize comfort—this is where you’ll unwind and entertain. Play with different configurations to find the right fit. Face sofas toward a fireplace or TV, float one in the center of the room for a conversational layout, or create an L-shaped sectional for maximum seating. Match with armchairs, benches, ottomans, and accent chairs.

Coffee and Side Tables

Coffee tables anchor living room furniture groupings. Look for a size and height that complements your sofa—about 16 to 18 inches of clearance between the two works well. Side tables provide surface space for lamps, books, and decor. Nesting tables offer flexibility.

TV Stands and Media Storage

Determine your TV size and create a home for it with a sleek console or entertainment center. Seek out closed storage to corral DVDs, gaming systems, and clutter. If you don’t need TV storage, try a lovely bookshelf.

Accent Furniture

Accent tables, cabinets, trunks, and hutches add decorative flair while stashing living room essentials. Try placing an accent table behind a sofa, near an armchair, or floating in an empty corner.

Select Inviting Textiles

Layer your living room in comforting, eye-catching fabrics that encourage curling up and settling in.

Area Rugs

Rugs define sitting areas, unify furniture groupings, and bring color and softness underfoot. Wool or wool-blend area rugs hold up well in high-traffic areas. Size your rug about 24 inches from surrounding walls.

Throws and Blankets

Toss blankets over chair arms and sofas to introduce color, texture, and coziness. Cashmere, mohair, merino wool, and alpaca are luxuriously soft options.


Play with different pillow fills, sizes, and cover materials to add comfort and visual interest. Mix solids, patterns, textures, and trims. Change them out seasonally to refresh your space.

Window Treatments

Layer your windows in privacy and beauty. Drapes, roman shades, and other soft treatments complement most styles. Block light and filter views with opaque fabrics or allow light in with sheers.

Illuminate With Care

Proper lighting transforms any space. Use a combination of central overhead fixtures, task lighting, and accent lamps to brighten your living room.

Overhead Lighting

Install a central chandelier or pendant to cast ambient light over the full space. Dimmer switches allow you to set the perfect mood.

Task Lighting

Reading lamps illuminate end tables and accent lighting brightens decorative displays. Wall sconces flank furniture groupings with directed light.

Accent Lamps

Floor lamps and table lamps focused on seating areas create intimate pools of light for relaxing and conversing. Pick lamps that complement your decor.

Natural Light

Maximize sunlight streaming through living room windows. Display plants in bright areas and use mirror accents to reflect and distribute natural light.

Incorporate Meaningful Decor

Embrace personal touches that make your living room distinctly yours. Display travel mementos, family photos, treasured collections, and beloved art.


Make a bold statement with a prominent gallery wall or canvas. Showcase beloved keepsakes and framed photos on console tables, bookshelves, and side tables.


Greenery enhances any space. Cluster plants in corners, place small pots on shelves, or hang trailing varieties near windows. Pick low-maintenance, pet-friendly plants.

Personal Touches

Books, baskets, vases, candles, and objects from your travels invite conversation. Curate shelves, mantels, side tables, and cabinets with mementos.

Fresh Flowers

A weekly flower delivery keeps your space feeling fresh. Display blooms on your coffee table, dining table, or console. Opt for faux flowers if you have pets or allergies.

Pull It All Together

Once your foundation is in place, pull your living room together with finishing touches for a polished feel.

Arrange Furniture Mindfully

Float furniture to allow flow between sitting areas. Angle pieces toward one another to encourage conversation. Avoid breaking up the room into too many disconnected zones.

Repeat Colors and Textures

Tie everything together with color schemes in artwork, rugs, pillows, and other accents. Echo textures in window treatments, throws, baskets, and accessories.

Style Surfaces

Avoid cluttering surfaces. Books, plants, objects, and decor look best in neat vignettes of 3-5 items. Keep surfaces free of daily essentials.

Control Cords

Minimize unsightly wires from lamps, TVs, and media components. Use outlets behind furniture or cord covers to streamline.

Your living room should now feel warm, welcoming, and distinctly you. Enjoy this special space you’ve created for connecting with loved ones.

Decorate for Different Times of Day

Your living room likely serves different purposes at various times. Adapt your decor to make the most of mornings, afternoons, evenings, and late nights.

Morning Light

Welcome the morning sun with lightweight sheers, natural textiles, and bright accents. Add a breakfast nook for coffee and meals.

Afternoon Relaxation

Draw sheers partially closed to filter harsh midday light. Fluff pillows, roll out a yoga mat, or grab a book for easy afternoons at home.

Evening Gatherings

Set the mood with lamplight and candlelight. Toss blankets over sofas and gather around the coffee table for intimate evenings chatting or playing games.

Late Nights

Dim overhead fixtures, turn on task lighting, and light a few candles to transition to a cozy, peaceful ambiance before bed.

Making a few small tweaks allows your living room to adapt to your changing needs throughout the day.

Choose pieces That Stand the Test of Time

When purchasing furniture and decor, opt for resilient, high-quality items in classic styles. This helps ensure they remain useful and attractive for years to come.

Timeless Furniture Styles

Mid-century modern, industrial, Scandinavian, and traditional styles tend to endure over decades. Search for solid wood, durable upholstery, and quality construction.

Versatile Furniture

Sectionals reconfigure as needs change. Tables like ottomans, nesting tables, and tilt-top varieties offer flexibility. Neutral sofas and chairs work with various styles.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Wool, jute, sisal, and seagrass resist stains, wear well, and hide dirt. Use rug pads to prevent slips and add cushion.

Investment Decor

Spend a bit more on classic artwork, mirrors, lighting, and accessories. Add punches of color and trendier accents with pillows and throws.

Quality Fabrics

Linen, cotton, wool, and high-percentage natural blends stand up to kids, pets, and everyday use. They also clean up nicely.

Adapt Your Living Room As Your Needs Change

Tastes, lifestyles, and space requirements shift over time. Make furnishings work double duty or tweak your layout to accommodate evolving needs.

Small Space Solutions

Use multipurpose ottomans for extra seating and storage. Try nesting tables that tuck away when not in use. Paint walls light, bright colors to make rooms feel more expansive.

Kid and Pet Updates

Swap sisal, seagrass, and jute for softer, more stain-resistant synthetic rugs. Opt for durable, easy-to-clean microfiber sofas or slipcover. Add washable faux leather ottomans and poufs.

New Hobbies

Carve out zones for your latest passion. A reading nook near the window, craft space, home office setup, or media room can share the living room nicely.


Make the most of less room with space-saving Nesting tables, slim rolling carts for extra storage, and transforming sectionals and Murphy beds. Stick to only essential furniture.

Design for Easy Maintenance

Choose materials, furniture styles, and decor designed to withstand busy homes with minimal upkeep required.

Washable Fabrics

Slipcovered sofas, washable rugs, and machine-washable pillows and blankets help simplify upkeep. Microfiber and synthetic blends clean up easily.

Pet-Friendly Materials

Skip delicate fabrics and opt for textiles made to handle pet fur and accidents. Try indoor/outdoor rugs in high-traffic areas and leather furniture.

Durable Furnishings

Kids and frequent entertaining demand sturdy furniture made with quality wood joinery and durable woven or microfiber upholstery.

Long-Lasting Flooring

Hardwood, tile, and stain-resistant low-pile carpeting stand up well to heavy use. Add area rugs to warm up floors.

Dust-Resistant Decor

Minimize dust collectors like elaborately carved furniture, intricate textiles, and ornate accents. Glass, metal, and glossy finishes stay cleaner.

Make Smart Lighting Choices

The right lighting keeps your living room functional and inviting day or night. Follow these tips to brighten your space beautifully.

Install Dimmers

Use dimmers on overhead fixtures to set just the right mood, from bright daytime to cozy evenings. Dimmers work well on most bulb types.

Layer Lighting

Combine overhead, task, and accent lighting. This casts an overall glow while also illuminating specific zones.

Mind Lamp Placement

Situate table lamps 18-24 inches from seated eye level to avoid glare. Place floor lamps next to seating areas to illuminate without taking up table space.

Calculate Wattage

Add up the wattage of all bulbs in a fixture to avoid overloading. Check lamp and fixture labels to learn max wattage.

Choose Flattering Bulbs

Opt for warm white 2700-3000K bulbs to cast a soft, inviting glow. Halogen and LEDs also provide attractive light.

Make It Yours with DIY Touches

Add personal flair with do-it-yourself projects and crafty accents. These ideas showcase your style at a fraction of the cost of store-bought decor.

Photo Walls

Create a gallery wall showcasing favorite photos and art prints. Arrange frames in an artistic grid or cluster related pieces together.

Painted Accents

Paint wooden side tables, old trunks, cabinets, and picture frames to match your color scheme. Use leftover paint from wall projects.

easy macrame

Knot floating wall hangings and plant holders from cotton cording. Follow online tutorials for beginner patterns like the square knot.

Framed Botanical Prints

Press and dry favorite flowers or leaves between book pages. Frame alongside sentimental seed packets or plant tags from your garden.

diy throw pillows

Sew throw pillow covers from your favorite fabrics or iron fusible bonding web onto cloth to make pillows without any sewing.

Create a Multipurpose Space

Maximize the use of your living room by creating zones serving different functions that coexist nicely.

Reading Nook

Carve out a cozy reading getaway with a comfy chair, ottoman, floor lamp, and shelves or stacked crates holding books. Place near a window for natural light.


Tuck a slim desk or table along the wall to create an out-of-the way work zone. Add a chair and task lighting. Conceal office supplies in a nearby cabinet or shelves.

Entertainment Area

Arrange seating to face the TV and center a coffee table. Use a console, shelving unit, or cabinet to neatly store components and games within easy reach.

Conversation Zone

Face seats toward one another beside a side table to create an intimate gathering area for talking or playing board games. Place near a soothing accent like a fireplace.

Prep walls for Your chosen Style

With limitless options for colors, sheens, and textures, paint and wall treatments establish the backdrop for your living room’s style.

Neutral Backgrounds

Off-whites, beiges, warm grays, and other mellow neutrals give you a clean slate to build upon with bolder fabrics and artwork. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter is a popular choice.

Character With Color

Make a dramatic statement by painting one focal wall in a rich shade. Try deeper hues like navy, emerald, or burgundy. Tone it down with muted neutrals on surrounding walls.

Natural Textures

Wood paneling, brick, and stone lend organic warmth to rustic and farmhouse spaces. Paint or whitewash finishes modernize the look.

Special Finishes

Metallic paint, mottled plaster, faux marble, and wallpaper create eye-catching accent walls. Limit special finishes to one wall to avoid overwhelming a room.

Focus on Comfortable, multipurpose seating

Arrange seating that invites relaxation, conversation, and time together. Mix and match for versatility.


Sprawling sectionals provide abundant comfortable seating for gatherings. Look for sleeper sectionals or configurations that allow you to modify shape.


Ottomans slide easily to serve as extra seats, footrests, coffee tables, or side tables as needed. Some provide bonus storage space.

Slipper Chairs

These armless, compact chairs tuck into corners and other out-of-the-way spots for cozy extra perching and pull up for additional seating.


Benches lining walls or at the ends of dining tables offer flexible seating for guests. Look for storage options. Place a removable cushion on top for comfort.

Select Flooring to Match Your Lifestyle

Choose living room flooring that aligns with your priorities, whether they’re easy maintenance, durability, comfort underfoot, or stylish design.


Handsome, durable wood floors withstand heavy traffic with thick polyurethane finishes. Area rugs warm up the look and feel.


Glazed ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile stand up beautifully to spills, pet accidents, and muddy shoes. Use area rugs to make it cozier.


Vinyl plank flooring resists scratches, stains, and dents while imitating wood or tile looks. Brands like LifeProof offer waterproof, pet-friendly options.


Plush wall-to-wall carpeting provides soft, warm cushioning. Stain-resistant synthetic fibers like polyester wear well. Regular vacuuming removes dirt and allergens.

Display Your cherished Belongings

Surround yourself with possessions that spark joy and evoke happy memories. Showcase them artfully throughout your living room.

Photo Displays

Gather favorite pictures in matching frames on wall galleries, console tables, shelves, side tables, and more. Arrange in neat groupings.

Meaningful Art

Hang treasured paintings, prints, tapestries, and sculptures passed down or discovered on your travels in places of prominence.


Display sets of books, seashells, statuettes, or other collected items together. Use shelves, cabinets, ledges, or wall hooks to neatly show them off.

Sentimental Finds

Place special souvenirs, antiques, and keepsakes where you can appreciate them daily. Change them out seasonally.

Set the Scene with impactful Accent Pieces

Carefully chosen accent furniture and decor infuse visual interest, color, and awe into living rooms.

Statement Mirrors

An oversized mirror makes any space feel larger and brighter. Lean one against the wall, hang it prominently, or look for beveled and ornately framed varieties.

Eye-Catching Art

Large canvas prints, metal