Treat yourself on International Women's Day! Get 20% off design packages. Use code: W20. 

Living Room Design Ideas

Quick Guide On How To Decorate Your Dream Living Room

Spacejoy Living Room

Of all of the rooms in your house, the living room is by far one of the most important ones. After all, your living room is your entertainment center, the place for cozy movie nights with the family and where your guests mingle when they visit. So, it's not surprising to feel a bit intimidating about decorating your this important room. Not to worry, we're sharing our step-by-step guide on how to decorate a living room to make it look like it came straight out of a magazine. 


Step 1: Know Your Measurements

Living Room Measurements

Even before you have all your living room design ideas on paper, you need to do one thing -- measure. From window treatments, furniture, and rugs, your entire living room design could be inaccurate or not work in the space if you do not measure each nook and cranny. You'll want to pay special attention to walls that have windows, doors or are inset, as these areas will limit the layout of the room. Make sure to take this sketch with you while shopping, it'll help prevent accidents or ordering the incorrect size furniture. No one wants to PIVOT their new leather sofa into their new dream living room. 

Step 2: Picture the Layout

Spacejoy Living Room Layout

You don’t have to be an interior designer or an architect to think about how you want your living room’s layout to be. When you take the time to draw a layout of your room, you can get a better idea the furniture you need to buy. It can help you figure out if you’ll have enough space for your new bar cabinet or your long sectional sofa. At the same time, it can also help you realize that maybe you won’t have room to add that additional cabinet to showcase your family’s serveware collection. 

Think about your layout or floor plan as the first step into dreaming about what your living space will look like. Next, make a list of the items that are important for you to have in the room and prioritize the positioning of these items. Having trouble creating a layout? There are a plethora of floor planner softwares available or our team of expert designers can create the perfect living room layout for you.  

Step 3: Choose Your Style

Spacejoy Mid Century Modern Living Room

This is the trickiest part of creating your living room space. But, deciding how you want to live will set the baseline for where and how you’ll shop for furniture. Think about the style you wish to showcase: modern, contemporary, relaxed, formal, warm, farmhouse, or inviting. Choosing a style can help you figure out what you need. 

Ask yourself, “What will I be doing in my living room?” “How many people will usually be spending their time there?” “Am I planning on hosting parties?” “Do I enjoy watching TV in the living room?” While it might seem like unrelated questions, these can help you understand the type of furniture you’ll need.

For example, if you know that you’ll spend time watching TV in the living room, maybe investing in a comfortable sectional sofa is more important than adding accent chairs. On the contrary, if you’re planning to host parties, a loveseat paired with accent chairs and ottomans might give you more flexibility to create an inviting seating area that sparks conversations. 

Step 4: Find the Sofa First

Article Cigar Sofa

Whenever you're looking up living room ideas, the first results normally revolve around the sofa. It makes perfect sense; the sofa is perhaps the largest piece of furniture in your living room and will dictate how you arrange the rest of the parts. Find a sofa that will become your focal point. Remember to keep in mind the functionality of your living room. If you know you'll spend a lot of time here watching TV, then a sectional is a better option than a love-seat. Additionally, lifestyle considerations like pets and children will make the material of the sofa more important. 

Whether you’re choosing an accent, large sofa, or playing with various seating options, make sure you don’t over-saturate the space. While you want your seating area to be comfortable, you also want to leave enough room to walk around the area without continually tripping over the edges of the sofa or the coffee table. 

Step 3: Pick the Area Rug

Modern Wayfair Shag Rug

Area rugs can be tricky to buy if you don't know what you need. For a living room, you should find a big enough rug to fit all your furniture. Ideally, keep about 10-to-20 inches of bare floor between the edges of the carpet and the room walls. Keep in mind, when area rugs are too small, the living room will look disjointed. 

Nowadays, you can even layer different area rugs to create more depth and add more texture. If you’re looking for an exciting look, consider mixing-and-matching different shapes and textures to create an intricate design that will make the living room look more grounded. 

Step 4: Get the Right Lighting

Mid Century Modern Light

For your living room to look put-together, you need three lighting types: ambient, task, and accent. To make this happen, you might consider a mix of overhead chandeliers, table and floor lamps next to the main sofa for accent, and wall sconces for ambient lighting. Lighting can be quite tricky, so make sure to have an overall idea of how your living room will be arranged before you buy lighting. 

When it comes to lighting, you can have some fun. We always get questions like, “Should I use two matching lamps?” The answer is: you don't have to! Depending on your living room’s style, you can play around with the pieces you add. For example, you can use a statement lamp on one side that goes with your side table, but on the other side, choose a floor lamp that provides different lighting. Not only are you choosing the right light style for each portion of your living room, but you’re also adding more pieces to make the space look more intriguing. 

Step 5: Decide on Your Color Palette

When it comes to living room ideas, choosing the right paint color is crucial. Pick a color palette that compliments your furniture choices, your home’s overall aesthetic, and the style you want to achieve in this room. Remember, lighting will also play a critical role in choosing the right paint colors, so don't forget to look at steps four and five together. 

Remember that you can mix decor trends and different colors. Don’t be afraid to mix colors, patterns, and styles throughout your living room. However, make sure that there’s a common theme, whether it’s the color, the style, or the subject matter, to ensure you don’t make the space look overwhelming. 

Step 6: Add Wall Art & Accessories

Spacejoy Mid-Century Modern Living Room

No living room decor ideas would be complete without wall art and accessories. Don't go crazy, thinking that every inch of the room needs to be filled. Empty space is important with designing comfortable spaces as it provides a place for your eyes to rest. Including wall art and accessories like pillows, blankets, mirrors, decorative items will pull the space together and complete the look. 

It can be challenging to choose artwork to match your space. However, think about the overall theme when selecting your wall art. Remember that when you’re adding wall accessories, these are often pieces that are deeply personal choices and speak about your personality. Other components can be more strategic, like an oversized floor mirror over a small wall to make the room seem more spacious. 

Let's Design Your Perfect Living Room

When in doubt, you should always turn to the experts. Look for inspiration on Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram, and other interior design outlets to get an idea of what a professionally-designed living room should look like. It can also help you get an idea of the different layouts, styles, and furniture pieces you can add to your living room to make it stand out from the crowd. 

There are millions of living room design ideas you can source for inspiration. But, the vast number of living room trends out there can make the design process a bit less fun and more overwhelming. Luckily, that's why you can start a project today and work with a talented Spacejoy interior designer to make your living room a dream come true.

Similar Picks

Related designs for you


Explore other categories

spinner | Spacejoy