How to Design a Living Room Space

How to Design a Living Room Space

Living room need a refresh? Follow these decorating ideas and best practices for some living room inspiration!

image source: @citygirlgonemom

Designing or redesigning your living room can be a complicated process. Depending on your current layout, wants, and needs there are numerous considerations to make. Lighting, color palette, and aesthetic selection is just the beginning but there are some tried-and-true guidelines to follow that can simplify the path to a beautiful living room. Follow these rules from Arhaus’ living room design experts for best results. These living room decorating ideas and best practices will start you off right.

Assess your current living room

Living rooms are as diverse as the people who inhabit them. For that reason, the redesign process must start with an overall assessment of the space as well as your unique goals. Begin by taking a step back and considering your current living room space.


What to consider

Room Shape and Size

What is the overall shape of your living room? Square, rectangle, irregular? This determines how you’ll be able to utilize the space and what sort of layout you can establish. Different room shapes determine table shape, furniture size, and much more.

image source: @laurenelyce

Determine the overall size of your living room. That means breaking out the tape measure and getting to work. Get the overall dimensions established, including ceiling height, before moving forward. Room size determines furniture appearance, furniture size, and the number of pieces you’ll need. For example, a massive coffee table or side table probably won’t work well in a small space . No one likes a congested sitting area, but going overly minimal can feel cold and impersonal.

Room Use

The living room is the central spot within your home but everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to use. Are you spending weekend afternoons with college football or reading to wind down after a long day? Do you want to go TV-free and focus on socializing? Do you plan to host parties or is your home a low-key refuge? Ask yourself these questions and more to establish your usage goals. This narrows down some of the decisions you’ll need to make during a redesign.

image source: @citygirlgonemom

Current items

Any redesign must take existing furniture and decor into account. You need to figure out what’s old and dated and needs to go, what must stay, and how big of an aesthetic change you want to make. If you already have a few core pieces, it’s wise to keep the most important and loved items, assuming they’re in good shape. Core items like sectional sofas, coffee tables , and built-ins can inform much of your interior design selection so it’s a good starting point, unless you’re aiming for a complete refresh.

image source: @laurenelyce

Color palette

Finding the perfect color palette for the walls, decor, and furniture is the key to a beautiful living room space. With thousands of potential colors and combinations, the possibilities are endless but we generally like neutral palettes with a selection of different items to provide contrast. It’s fine to go with any color you want but we recommend leaning toward muted, more neutral versions of your favorites. For example, an intense sky blue will overpower your entire aesthetic, but a subtle, muted blue will bring your aesthetic to the fore.

Other great colors include the wide range of neutral earth tones–tans, light browns, off-whites, light grays. These work with almost any design aesthetic and will simplify the rest of your process. Use the colors of the other items in the room to provide contrast. Smaller items like wall hangings, vases, and throw pillows in stronger colors, when used in moderation, will define your living room’s space almost instantaneously. Stick to your selected palette–the several colors that best compliment each other and the overall space–but don’t be afraid to throw in a few bursts of color. Your living room should be visually pleasing but must also represent the unique creativity of your design tastes. Feel free to experiment.

Decorating and Furniture Style

When it comes to style, there are endless aesthetics and designs to choose from. It’s wise to choose based on what pieces that you’re drawn to, combined with an overall visual focus. This means choosing a major design style and marrying it to what you like most.

image source: @1845backacres

Maybe you like high end contemporary design but have a soft spot for Mid Century Modern. Combine elements of both into your living room. Maybe you want a space that celebrates vintage while nodding to Italian rustic. That’s totally worth pursuing. Having a consistent, rooted design philosophy to lean on not only makes a redesign simpler, but allows you to focus on making your space fit your personality.

Furniture style is an area where many would-be living space re-designers stumble. It’s quite easy to buy mismatched furniture that will clash with your aesthetic. One way to avoid this is to purchase multiple items from within the same collection. Arhaus offers furniture collections that will fit perfectly with the design tips you’ve read here.

image source: @citygirlgonemom

Depending on your room size, there are a number of living room furniture must-haves. A couch or sectional sofa, a comfortable chair or accent chairs, side tables, a coffee table, and a console table. These are the bare minimum and a place to start when assessing what to buy. Add in wall decor, throw pillows and a throw blanket, wall mirrors, an area rug, lamps and lighting, maybe a bar cart, window treatments, and a few more items to complete the room. Less is more, so keep that in mind when selecting items for your living space.

image source: @citygirlgonemom

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