Our living rooms are the places where we unwind at the end of long days with our family and socialize with our friends, but it’s surprising that many homeowners focus their attentions on bathroom and kitchen makeovers while their living rooms look more tired with each passing year. Does your living room need some love? Consider the following decorating ideas to give your living room a lift.
Make It Modern
Modern styling breaks with pre-Industrial traditions and follows the looks popularized between the 1920s and 1950s. Modern living rooms look chic and uncluttered because the only items they contain are the ones that need to be present. This minimalist approach looks more than smart. It’s also easy to maintain, ideal for time-poor homeowners.
A combination of light and dark living room colors can break up your space and add some modern theatricality. Pale colors reflect light while contrasting with their darker partners to make them appear bolder. A dark base color such as burgundy, royal blue, or deep gray with pale accents can look dramatic as long as your room is naturally light. Otherwise, the deep hue will make your living room seem gloomy and uninviting.
If your room is dark, flip the combination and use light paint as your wall’s base and darker paints for your accents and trim. Light walls are traditional, so make your choice left of center to keep the look modern. Crisp white or peach are more modern options than classic cream and beige.
Introduce patterns through rugs, throw pillows, and art. Functional furniture, including bookshelves with storage chests and storage ottomans, can help keep your modern living room organized.
Give It Some Contemporary Flair
A contemporary look is another great option for homeowners who want to shake up their living rooms. While some people use the terms modern and contemporary interchangeably, they have distinct design meanings. While modern design was the natural successor to traditional design, contemporary design is what’s on trend now.
Due to the cyclical nature of design trends, some overlap between modern and contemporary looks exists. Like a modern living room, a contemporary one also follows a sleek, clean design aesthetic. While modern living rooms were self-contained, contemporary living rooms are more likely to spill out into kitchens and dining rooms. If you can knock down walls and make your living room a more open plan, you’ll appreciate the extra spacious feel this contemporary trend gives.
Contemporary design is also somewhat quirkier than modern design. Asymmetrical furniture, wall hangings, and other decorative elements can give your living room some contemporary flair.
Take Your Living Room to Tuscany
You may not be able to afford the Tuscan getaway now, but you can bring a touch of this Italian city into your living room with Tuscan design elements.
Tuscans tend to paint the walls throughout their homes white so that they can introduce brighter colors in their accents and décor. Add muted reds and rich yellows along with accents of green, bright blue, or vibrant red. These vivid hues will all seem more intense against the white walls, so go a shade lighter than you may normally to ensure they don’t appear garish.
For the floor, earthy terra-cotta tiles are the most authentic Tuscan choice. Stone or terrazzo flooring has a similar Italian appeal. Tiles can be cold in winter, but a rush matting rug can help keep your living room floor warm underfoot while maintaining its rustic Tuscan feel.
Opt for Traditional Styling
Traditional styling has stood the test of time, and it’s never a bad choice for your living room, especially if you’re considering selling your home.
Unlike modern and contemporary living rooms, traditional living rooms feel rich and full. Traditional living room walls are often painted in subtle hues such as cream, ivory, or beige. These neutral colors provide the ideal backdrop for artwork, furniture, and other fixtures of other colors and prints. Alternatively, you could forget about painting and apply some vintage-inspired wallpaper instead.
Chandeliers make striking focal points for any living room ceiling. Modern lighting companies create traditional and more modern chandeliers, so choose your fixture carefully to get your living room’s look right. Traditional living room chandeliers are large and ornate, with decorative crystals that reflect the light. Don’t go too large, though, or your chandelier may seem out of place. As a rule, your chandelier’s diameter in inches should be roughly the same as your living room’s width and depth in feet. Long chandeliers work well in traditional living rooms with high ceilings, but they can make low ceilings seem lower.
Vintage-style couches and chairs with tuned legs and patterned fabrics will give your traditional living room an authentic feel. Add plush pillows to make the seats extra inviting. Bookshelves, coffee tables, and other furniture made of deep brown wood adds sophistication to a traditional room. Choose simple styles with restrained hardware to make your furniture look the part.
Don’t worry about your traditional-style living room appearing cluttered. Traditional styling is all about abundance, so feel free to fill your living room with the items you love.
Enjoy the Edge of an Industrial Look
An industrial-style living room has an edgy appeal popular with millennials and the young at heart. Rather than trying to hide building materials, the industrial look celebrates them with a raw, unfinished look popular in New York City lofts.
Gray paint on your walls provides the ideal base for your industrial living room because it’s subtle and unobtrusive, functional rather than showy — as good as industrial design elements should be. Add some masculine edge with exposed wooden beams in the ceiling, a homemade brick fireplace, and metal light fixtures such as lantern chandeliers. Worn-in vintage furniture and trendy artwork for your walls completes your industrial-style living room.
No matter what your tastes, you can transform your living room into an individual space that speaks to you. Remember that nothing is permanent: Feel free to experiment until you find the design style that suits you best.