You spend a lot of time in your living room, so it not only needs to look great, but it also needs to be functional and comfortable. Mastering this trifecta can be a design challenge for sure, but we’ve rounded up the best living room examples to inspire your own decorating projects. From modern and formal spaces to approachable and rustic environments, there’s a living room idea you’ll want to take home below. Keep reading for 55 stylish designer living room tips, ideas, and shopping suggestions for spaces of any size.
Instead of decorating your coffee table with the classic assortment of stacked coffee table books, opt for something subtly quirky and unique. Here, Romanek Design Studio covered the surface with a collection of classic pots and planters, which both enhance and juxtapose the formal, traditional elements throughout the space as well as the more modern ones, making for a fun and eclectic yet timeless whole.
If you don’t love playing with tons of pattern and bold colors but do appreciate experimental pieces and tasteful pops of color, take note from this living room. Rather than opting for all black and whites, the anchor pieces—like sofa and tables—remain neutral while the throws, artwork and lamp offer just a splash of color (nothing too crazy, just marigold, red, navy, and green).
While the classic blue grasscloth wallpaper, floor lamp, and curtains set the stage for a traditional living room, designer Heather Hilliard added some unexpectedly edgy elements. The floral sofa and the green lucite coffee table are a welcome surprise that break up the classic elements without overshadowing them.
Though classic and timeless, this living room by interior designer Kevin Dumais is also having tons of fun. From the red painted ceiling to the velvet floor cushions for extra seating and the bold artwork, no detail is overlooked. To make the room feel even more soft and intimate, Dumais upholstered the walls in a leather fabric.
From the fun pillows and ottoman, elegant gilt mirror, and bright blue walls, this space by Anna Spiro Design is perfect for low key nights in or more formal gatherings. And the pleated yellow lamp is what really makes the living room feel cheerful and cozy.
A crisp, matte white living room is pristine, elegant, and timeless. Adding glass and metallic features sharpens up the white pieces. Sherwin-Williams Pure White is there for you when you don’t just want to experiment with trends anymore.
In this eclectic living room designed by Heidi Caillier, the jute rug, wood finishes, and brass accents bring plenty of warmth to ensure a cozy, inviting space. The colorful contrasting prints throughout contribute to the playful yet formal spirit of the room, too. And though it doesn’t necessarily stand out, the cream paint color makes a transformative difference. White would be much starker.
Before you even start decorating your living room, remember where you are. If you live in a casual beach house, your design scheme is going to look very different from an urban industrial loft space, for instance. In this beach house by Arent & Pyke, the design team focused on channeling the tropical vibe of a coastal home through fun motifs and casual materials. Yet, they still maintained a look of sophistication through fresh upholstery, beautiful artwork, and a thoughtful layout. That being said, if you’re a sucker for kitsch and wish you were always on island-time, add a hint of it with one statement piece, like a vintage Hawaiian-print rattan chair.
Nothing ramps up the fun like a playful touch in the family room. This hanging chair in a living room designed by Romanek Design Studio is proves our point—but the handsome leather upholstery also ensures a more sophisticated look. It’s the perfect blend of cozy and cool.
Here’s a lesson in monochromatic decorating with soul. Designed by Studio Razavi, this Parisian apartment is a beautiful blend of modern and Neoclassical style. While the bones of the room evoke a grand sort of opulence, the plush Moroccan rug and spacious white sofa make the space feel more approachable.
Wallpaper is one of those trends that just keeps on giving and giving. If you go with a classic chinoiserie wallpaper, you can do just about anything with it as your style changes over the year. This modern self portrait by Chuck Close is a bold contrast to the chinoiserie wallpaper (Iksel’s Eastern Eden) behind it in this Miles Redd–designed home. The contrast doesn’t stop there: Redd continued to venture beyond design convention by incorporating contrasting jewel tones and mixing modern furniture styles with antique pieces. Oh—and believe it or not, the lime green chair is from Ikea! Proof even the best designers love a good deal.
When you have crisp white walls and neutral staples, like a sofa and coffee table, choose one statement item that brings in a surge of colorful energy. It can be anything from a vibrant piece of art on the walls to a bright carpet like this one in a living room designed by Leanne Ford Interiors.
If you love the soft look and feel of upholstered walls but don’t want to embark on that major of a project (you’ll need to install padding, etc.), then try a fabric-effect wallpaper or a grasscloth. In this living room by Gail Davis Design, it suits the warm leather and brass pieces wonderfully, while the blue painted accents cool things off.
Designed by Redmond Aldrich Design, this living room manages to be unique and versatile, colorful and understated, approachable and impressive, all at once. That’s thanks to the quirky, eclectic mix of frames, a light wood paneled wall, a classic carpet, and an unexpectedly colorful sofa. If you typically like to stick to more neutral tones at home but find yourself generally drawn to color, consider venturing out with a dusty rose, forest green, or navy sofa—they’re the new neutrals.
Want to go a little glam without looking too showy? Add in minimal brass accents, like a metal-frame coffee table and eye-catching metallic lighting. This living room is also a good blueprint for small space decorating. While the only three furniture items are two seats and a small coffee table, the ceiling light is all it takes to make the entire room feel special.
Wall art is a great way to add a big statement in a minimalist living room. It doesn’t take up any surface space, but it can really transform the aesthetic. Use an abstract photograph like this one to dictate the colors of your throw pillows for cohesion.
In this modern mountain home designed by architecture firm Studio Razavi, the classic cabin aesthetic gets an upgrade. The plush carpeting and sheepskin throw warm things up while the modern light fixture, streamlined furniture, and neutral colors ensure a calming, laidback, and stylish environment.
Who says backsplashes are just for your kitchen? Try tiling your fireplace. It adds an artful, customized touch to the living room without being overpowering. This is especially true if you opt for neutral or black and white geometric tiles, as in this Leanne Ford–designed space.
The sofa in Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Ryan’s living room is a prime example of perfectly mismatched patterns. The couch maintains a tonal blue scheme, and the blue rug beneath it ties the whole look together. It’s a great way to practice your pattern mixing if you’re not ready to work with the entire rainbow yet.
A formal living room can be full of fun and personality, too. Interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins sets the bar with a glam pendant light, marble fireplace, and plenty of luxe touches, like the emerald green velvet sofa. And it optimizes all useable space, thanks to a built-in bench between the fireplace and window niche.
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.
“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.
If you frequently entertain guests at your home, choose a strategic living room layout that promotes conversation and comfort. For example, this living room designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, incorporates semi-circle seating that’s both spacious and inviting. Sectionals are also a good option when a circular sofa isn’t. And if you also love the all-white aesthetic, take note. Ford brush painted the natural IKEA rug and custom-made rope light.
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.
The fiddle leaf fig tree definitely wins the popularity contest as far as design favorites for indoor trees. And for good reason: They look great with pretty much any interior design scheme, from bohemian rooms to modern spaces like this one designed by Hecker Guthrie. It really freshens up the cooler gray tones of the living room and makes that floral-printed pillow pop even more.
Double your living room’s function by investing in practical, multi-purpose furniture. Here, in a space by Justina Blakeney, the console table also functions as a fold out desk. But it’s not all work—there’s definitely room for play, from the lush plants to the fun details, and colorful patterns throughout.
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.
This hot pink fireplace was inspired by the homeowners’ grandmother’s favorite shade of lipstick, interior designer Kristen McCory tells us. Have fun with little details like that and look for inspiration everywhere! If painting your entire living room a bold color sounds intimidating, opt for a statement wall or mantle.
Make it easy on yourself by sticking to a very consistent, very simple color scheme. In this space designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, she worked within a strictly all-white color story. Even the firewood is painted white! We’ll let that be a lesson in attention to detail. Then she choose one item to really pop in a bright color. In this case, she went with a bright red Pierre Paulin Ribbon Chair.
Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.