Living Room Ideas and Inspiration

Ready to redo your living room? Whether you choose midcentury or Scandi, boho or English country, you'll want it to be maximally comfortable but functional for your needs, too. Here are all the living room ideas you'll need to consider to get the perfect setup.

The Ideal Layout

Living rooms are not one-size-fits-all. Consider the shape and size of your space to determine the best furniture placement. Do you have a huge, open layout, like a combined living/dining room, that you'd like to feel more intimate? Consider a generously sized area rug with a formal grouping of furniture — like a clean-lined sofa and two chairs — arranged to create the feeling of a room within a room. Or, is your living room tiny? Opt for an asymmetric layout with a petite loveseat and one armchair instead of two. Have a fireplace? Arrange the seating around it to create a cozy vibe. And if your living room doubles as a walk-through space, forgo the coffee table and leave a clear pathway from one space to the other. One of these no-fail living room layout ideas is guaranteed to work no matter the shape or size of your space.

The Right Rug

Don't make the mistake of getting a rug that's the wrong size: This living room floor idea will set the tone of your design in many ways, and can unify your space, so you'll want to choose carefully. First and foremost, take extra special care when measuring your living room and consider your layout (see above). Once you've found the right size, consider what shape — rectangular, round, abstract, or even layered — would suit your setup. And don't forget to consider the material, pile, and style (patterned, statement-making, or neutral).

Convenient Tables

Well-placed tables are the unsung heroes of any living room idea: Just imagine a perfectly decorated space with nowhere to put your cup of tea. Avoid that problem with a few thoughtfully-placed coffee tables, end tables, benches, and/or ottomans that serve as coffee tables but can also transform into extra seating when guests come over. Think about storage, too: You might want to outfit your living room with a storage chest, credenza, sideboard, or media station.

The Perfect Seating

This might seem obvious, but seating is key, especially the big-ticket item known as your sofa. Consider what color would work best in your space (Gray? Or something more colorful?) and what material works best for your lifestyle (from velvet to leather to wood-framed). Measure carefully for size (bigger is not always better — a sofa with a petite frame works best in apartments and small spaces), and plan out your budget: There are plenty of luxe-looking options under $1,000, and even under $500, too. Consider whether you'll want a single accent chair or a pair, a daybed, and maybe an accent stool.

Versatile Lighting

A living room idea just isn't complete without the perfect ambiance, and what better way to reach that goal than with lighting? You'll need a mix of lighting options including ceiling lights and/or floor lamps for when you need ambient lighting, wall sconces for accent lighting, plus task lighting such as table lamps and reading lights for curling up on the couch with a good book. Whether your style is contemporary or midcentury, farmhouse or industrial, you'll want fixtures that are functional but good looking and part of the decor, too. And dimmer switches are pretty much a must-have in any room.

Last But Not Least: Accent Pieces

Once the major pieces are in place — your layout is set, you have comfy seating, adequate storage space, a few tables, and the right-size rug, the lighting is perfect, and you've picked a dreamy color palette — there is only one thing left to consider: decorative trimmings. Think curtains or window shades, pillows and throws to punch up your seating, plus additional accents such as wall decor, candles, and houseplants.