A comfy sofa where you can read or relax when you get back from work, a big table for dinner with all of your friends without being squashed in, a fluffy rug to sink your tired feet into…When you imagine the living room of your dreams, you don’t picture those inherited pieces of furniture (useful, but not so pleasing to the eye), nor that comfy armchair with the cat scratch right down it, not to mention the kitsch ornaments that you just had to bring back from a trip 20 years ago and that no longer hold the same appeal in your eyes…
To decorate a living room and create a modern space that evokes comfort and warmth, it’s not enough to just choose the right furniture, sofa and one or two ornaments. Here are 12 tips and ideas to avoid decoration blunders and create a timeless, inviting room!
1) Painting the walls…
Colour has a major impact on the décor of your living room. The living room is a central part of your home (the clue is in the name…), so it’s important to spend time thinking through the colour scheme you’ll use on the walls.
Soft shades and whites are the best choice to make the room feel brighter and to expand the field of view. If you have a small room, prioritise light colours on walls and add pops of colour through furniture, ornaments and fabrics.
2) Colourful decor
If you’ve gone for white on the walls (or off-white) and want to enhance the feeling of space, you can also try white furniture for the main items in the living room.
In this way, the furniture will blend into the decor. Perfect to avoid overwhelming a small room, white will highlight colourful ornaments and framed pictures. If you have several pieces of furniture but don’t want to get rid of any, then it’s good to know that there are special furniture paints and varnishes that you can use to give a new look to your home decor.
3) Storage spaces to declutter the room
It’s vital to avoid filling up a room with too many bits of furniture. For small rooms, choose small items or multi-purpose furniture. Arrange storage space so that your living room is as uncluttered as possible. Remember that tidiness is one of the key steps to creating a welcoming and relaxing room.
👉 Related article: the benefits of tidying
4) The sofa: the centrepiece!
Sofas are an essential feature in the living room (along with the table, if you want to create a living-cum-dining room). You’ll be spending plenty of time on the sofa—reading, relaxing, chatting to friends, watching the TV…therefore you need a top-quality sofa for the job. The ideal one would be a corner sofa that can also work as a spare bed if you have visitors…
Again, take time to choose a neutral colour that evokes calm: light grey, white, beige or dark. Avoid garish colours such as bright red.
5) Why not create a reading corner?
Even if your room isn’t very big, you can create a reading or study corner. Play around with the couch, panelling, and even the rug to create a separate space within the living room. Two square metres and an armchair are enough to give you your own reading space.
If you have a large room, then you can have several rooms in one! To do this, change the layout of the furniture to define spaces for different purposes: a small dining room, a study corner, a reading area…
6) Wooden floors
A wooden floor never loses its wow factor: it pops up year after year as an interior design trend. It adds a natural touch to the home and is much easier to maintain than a carpet, as well as being comfortable if you walk around the house barefoot.
Natural oak parquet flooring or flooring with good-quality tinted finishes (wax or eco-friendly varnish) will make the floor look great and create a warm room too.
7) A fusion of styles
If you’re looking to create a cosy nest (chalet style), then choose hand crafted furniture, wooden items, and natural fabrics and textiles. Wicker, bamboo, sisal, jute: all these materials will add an air of freshness to your home.
You’ll find that it’s better if the parts of the room that cannot be changed or moved—floor, walls, large pieces of furniture—do not have an ornate or flashy style; sooner or later, you’ll tire of it and want a change. So…white and wood it is!
However there’s nothing to stop you from adding a bit of contrast with opulent ornaments and accessories, as long as these are items that you can easily move or replace as needed, depending on your taste and mood.
8) When storage and decor are one…
A tidy room looks bigger, more welcoming, and induces serenity. To achieve this, no magic is necessary. Just choose a piece of furniture that has a good storage space and is decorative at the same time.
Don’t forget about vertical storage which lets you exploit free wall space and ‘dead zones’ to optimise your home interiors.
For bulky linens and winter bedding, try a vacuum storage case: you’ll save up to 75% more space on your selves or in the wardrobe.
9) The perfect pair!
When it comes to decor, repetition works. We’re not necessarily talking about two identical objects, rather 2 objects that look somehow similar: 2 small wooden coffee tables, 2 similar ornaments, 2 storage boxes made of natural materials, 2 mirrors hanging on the wall….all of these ideas create a sense of symmetry, coherence and harmony. After all, it takes two….as they say!
10) Coffee tables
Regardless of their size and shape, coffee tables take centre stage. Exploit them to the max! Decorate with candles, pretty stacked books, small plants or a souvenir that you really love. Note that glass tables give the sensation of taking up less space.
11) Let there be light!
Lighting is central to good decor. Nothing is better than natural light, therefore it’s essential to have windows with light frames, furniture that reflects light, candles, and mirrors.
As for artificial lighting, make sure that this always shines indirectly (e.g. don’t position spotlights above the sofa), is warm, and where possible, adjustable. Vary how your lamps are arranged: on the floor, a table…lamps can also be used to highlight certain ornaments.
12) The power of plants
Use plants to brighten up empty corners, and mix and match them with natural fibre baskets to decorate the living room. Plants provide oxygen, and add some vitality and colour to the room. If you don’t have much space at home, go for pot plants. Dressers, side tables and bookshelves are all ideal for displaying your plants and decorative objects (including the ubiquitous candles…).
Do you have any decor ideas in mind? Share them in the comments…