6 Simple Ideas on How to Decorate Your Living Room Like a Professional

One of the first rooms I concentrate on when moving house is the living room.

Every homeowner dreams of having a beautiful and inviting space so they can socialise with friends and family in a relaxing and comfortable environment. You might be wondering how to decorate your living room and where to start!

6 Simple Ideas on How to Decorate Your Living Room Like a Professional Pinterest pin

How to Decorate Your Living Room

While the process of decorating a space can often be overwhelming, especially when you consider the amount of space that needs to be covered, you have to achieve a balance between creating a space that serves multiple functions like entertaining, watching TV and relaxing and making this space feel like home to you and your family.

With the abundance of inspiration available from design magazines and social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, the possibilities for transforming your home are truly endless and can sometimes be a bit much.

Regardless of your level of design expertise, there are always some fundamental tips that can help you decorate a living room like a pro.

  1. Begin with the living room walls
  2. Style your living room floor
  3. Highlight your centrepieces
  4. Choose seating that suits your lifestyle first
  5. Multiple levels of lighting
  6. Incorporate house plants

1. Begin With the Living Room Walls

a dark green velvety wall in the living room with a bookshelf, TV and a green and pink velvet sofa

Colour has a huge impact on your home and rooms, so it is always one of the most important considerations when you start to decorate a living room.

The first thing you should consider when choosing a colour scheme for your living room is the room’s purpose.

Are you using the living room for entertaining guests or as a relaxation space? This will help you determine what colours will be best suited for the room.

Consider the colour of the living room walls, flooring, furniture, curtains, and other existing elements in the room before you choose your paint. You want to choose a colour scheme that complements these existing colours.

Start with a primary colour that will be the dominant shade in the room, it could be one that you love or that complements the other elements in the room.

a dark dusky pink painted wall in the living room with a green velvet sofa. There is a gallery wall on the wall and a mid-century bookcase with lots of plants

Also, think about how the room faces when painting living room walls.

The direction a room faces can affect the way colours appear in the space due to the natural light that enters the room. Here are some general tips for choosing colours based on the direction a room faces:

  • North-facing rooms tend to receive cool light, so you may want to consider using warmer colours to balance out the coolness. Warm colours with tints of yellow, orange, and red can help create a cosy and inviting atmosphere.
  • South-facing rooms tend to receive warm and bright light, so you can use cooler colours to balance out the warmth. Cool colours like blue, green, and purple can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
  • East-facing rooms tend to receive warm and bright light in the morning and cooler light in the afternoon. As the living room tends to be used mainly in the evenings, you may want to consider using warmer colours like browns, beiges and neutrals with a hint of yellow or red in them. 
  • West-facing rooms tend to receive warm and bright light in the afternoon and cooler light in the morning. If you want to create a calm and cosy interior in your living room, especially in the evenings when you settle down on the sofa with the family, think about using greens, blues and violet shades to help balance the intensity of the evening sun. 

2. Style your Living Room Floora grey velvet corner sofa surrounds a rug with a gold and marble coffee table. The walls are exposed with brick and there is a lot of artwork

Living rooms are apparently the most utilised spaces in the home and need a layout that promotes good traffic flow.

A rug on your living room floor can be the foundation of your design and serve as the starting point for selecting other elements in the room. It showcases the beauty of your living room floors while providing some softness underfoot.

While purchasing, you need to consider something that complements the rest of the furniture. If you choose a rug with warm, earthy tones, you may want to incorporate similar shades in your furniture and decor.

Alternatively, if you select a rug with bold pops of colour, you may want to keep the rest of the room more neutral to avoid overwhelming the space.

3. Highlight Your Centrepieces

A cream corner sofa in the living room with a floor lamp and recessed shelving above a sideboard
The focal point of this living room is the recessed shelves with the owner’s favourite items on

In a well-designed living room, not every item should be styled for attention. It’s important to incorporate only a few showpieces or focal points that draw the eye and showcase some of your favourite items.

We spend a lot of time in our living rooms, so it is a good place to have all our favourite pieces on show. 

A large piece of art, a framed photograph, an accent wall, or a unique piece of furniture, including a sofa, coffee table, or ottoman, can all work as a centrepiece.

To make these elements stand out, it’s best to keep the surrounding area neutral and unobtrusive. This allows the focal point to take centre stage and be the main attraction at your home.

4. Choose Seating That Suits Your Lifestyle First

green shelving in the living room with lots of plants, a wood burner sits in the middle of the shelving and there are 3 sofas around a industrial style coffee table
For a large family, using lots of sofas and occasional chairs is very important

Your living room should be a social space that promotes conversation and an area where you can comfortably relax with the family at the end of the day. It should feel intimate and inviting, somewhere you look forward to spending time.

Choosing the right seating for your living room is crucial to creating a space that is not only functional but also comfortable and inviting.

When considering the seating options for your living room, it’s essential to understand the number of people in your household and how they will be using the space.

If you like to entertain, you’ll want to ensure that there are enough seats for all your guests. A combination of sofas, loveseats, and armchairs can provide plenty of seating options, and you can always add additional seating with ottomans or floor cushions. Having a corner sofa in your living room is perfect for larger families as it utilises the space well and creates a cosy area for you to relax. 

If you prefer a more intimate setting, consider creating smaller seating areas throughout the room. A pair of comfortable chairs and a side table can make a cosy spot for reading or conversation.

5. Multiple Levels of Lighting

a neutral living room with a brown leather sofa and gallery wall
Floor lamps, ceiling lights and task lighting in the living room. Image credit: @houseofchais

Incorporating different lighting fixtures and arrangements can be just as important as incorporating other decor elements and furniture when you decorate a living room. 

To add function and drama to your space, don’t rely on one source. You should look at adding three kinds of lighting:

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is a type of lighting that provides overall illumination to a room. It is also known as general lighting because it is meant to light up the entire space, creating a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.

Ambient lighting can be achieved through various types of lighting fixtures, including ceiling lights, chandeliers, pendant lights, and wall sconces.

The purpose of ambient lighting is to provide enough light for people to move around the room safely and comfortably. It can also help create a mood or atmosphere in the room, depending on the type of fixture and the intensity of the light.

Task lighting

a glass lamp on a white and green striped table in the living room
Blue Onda Desk & Table Lamp

Task lighting is a type of lighting that is designed to provide focused illumination for specific tasks, such as reading, writing, cooking, or working on a computer. It is usually brighter and more concentrated than ambient lighting and is typically provided by table lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps, or under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen.

The purpose of task lighting is to reduce eyestrain and make it easier for people to see what they are doing. It can also be used to highlight specific areas or objects in a room, such as a piece of art or a bookcase.

Accent lighting

This is a type of lighting that is used to highlight specific objects or areas in a room, such as artwork, architectural features, or plants. It is a more focused and dramatic type of lighting than ambient or task lighting and is typically provided by spotlights, track lighting, or uplights on your living room walls.

It can help create a mood or atmosphere in the room by adding highlights and shadows.

6. Incorporate House Plants

wooden beams in the living room with a cow hide rug, a green velvet sofa and lots of plants hanging from the ceiling
Houseplants really make a home! Image credit: @the_wooden_hill

Houseplants have the amazing ability to instantly enhance the warmth and cosiness of any room. And the best part is, you don’t need to have exceptional gardening skills to keep them healthy!

In fact, many houseplants are quite resilient and can thrive in many conditions.

You can group multiple plants together in one area or place a showstopping plant like a Bird of Paradise or Fiddle Leaf Fig. You can place petite succulents on a bookshelf, and leafy plants in floor pots to create a beautiful display of greenery in your home.

On top of their aesthetic appeal, houseplants also have the added benefit of purifying the air in your home and helping you feel more connected to nature.

The Bottom Line

a green velvet sofa with mustard throw in the living room. There is a gallery wall on the wall and lots of plants
Living room walls are the perfect place to put a gallery wall

Transforming the look and feel of your living room doesn’t necessarily require a complete redesign.

Begin by simply incorporating frames and upgrading your wall decor using family photos, prints, and easy-to-find posters to create a fresh layout and breathe new life into the space.

Incorporate comfortable seating to make the living room more sociable. Adding some greenery with house plants will bring a touch of nature into the room and elevate the space’s ambience. Additionally, paint the living room walls to add depth and dimension to the space.

By taking these small yet effective steps on how to decorate, you can make a noticeable difference in your living room’s overall appearance and atmosphere from the living room walls to the floor.

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  1. You should never begin with your living room walls. Then that wall color dictates your furniture. You should begin with your furniture that you want and Then choose the right wall color for it with the right undertones,

    1. Hi Stacey, I prefer to paint the walls first to set the scene. But that is how I decorate and we all decorate differently.

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