Our roundup of living room ideas is here to inspire you to transform your lounge quickly. We have always been all about room revamps that don’t take forever – or cost a fortune and living rooms are perfect for that because it doesn’t take much to make them feel all new and shiny. But, with so many different looks and living room ideas out there, where do you start?
Well, we recommend right here because we have put together our edit of all the latest living room looks, achievable trends, colour schemes, styling tips and design advice so you can add personality to your space and get your living room just how you want it. No matter what your style or budget, or your room’s size, you will find plenty of inspiration here. And, if you are after more practical advice on living room design, make sure you check out our guide too.
1. Change your living room layout for a budget revamp
Before you buy anything new, re-envision what you already have. Refocusing the layout could allow you to update your living room, without splashing out. So, rather than following the same traditional layout in your living room – coffee table in the middle, sofas pushed up against either wall, TV at one end – why not try something more interesting, like pulling your furniture away from the wall; or using a piece of artwork as a focal point (rather than the TV); or even just de-cluttering and clearing out some furniture to make the living room feel larger?
For more tips on living room layouts head over to our feature.
2. Go for a modern take on traditional with paint ideas
A really quick and easy living room idea is to get experimental with paint. And when we say ‘experimental’, we mean anything from painting the room a cleaner shade of white to painting polka dots all over the ceiling. Whatever your style, paint can transform a room really quickly.
We love this green living room, it’s such a cool, unusual colour that looks fab with the pops of blue and orange – a colourful space in a very not-too-much kind of way. For more living room paint ideas, check out our feature.
3. Go bold with a dark living room
You can always use paint to live out your dark living room dreams. We love this room because, yes, the walls are very dark, but the space doesn’t feel dark at all – the light floors and bright high ceilings (made to look even higher because the dark colour only goes up to the picture rail), keep the space light and airy.
If you are after a similar colour, you can’t go wrong with Farrow & Ball’s classic, Railings. Find more dark and dramatic interiors over in our gallery.
4. Or keep things light with a Scandi living room
Not tempted by the dark side just yet? Keep things really light with an all-white living room colour palette. You can add interest with textures rather than colours and different neutral hues. Obviously, this colour palette works especially well in small living rooms, as choosing lighter and brighter colours is only going to expand the space.
5. Mix and match contrasting colours alongside texture
If you are after living room ideas that are instantly going to add something different to your space, choosing new colours to incorporate is a great place to start. If you have got the budget, a new sofa or armchair (see our pick of the best sofas before you buy) can be the start of a whole new look. And be brave with the colours you choose – see how this dark green works with the pink? Not a colour combo we would have instantly gone for, but the result is really luxurious.
6. Get inspired by neutral living room ideas
How lovely and cosy does this traditional living room look? It’s an easy style to copy too, just keep everything very muted and soft. Eyeing up that wall panelling too? It is a nice way to add another pale colour to the room and add to that rustic feel. You can actually DIY panelling if your home hasn’t got any originals: B&Q have a guide you can follow easily.
7. Add texture with an exposed brick wall
Now if you are lucky, you will find beautiful bricks under your plaster and it can be a straightforward, if not slightly messy, DIY project to expose them. We have a guide to how to create an exposed brick wall if you want a step by step, but it basically goes like this: strip back layers of plaster until your get to the original brick; once you’ve got to that and it’s in good condition you can do what you like with it; leave it bare (but coat it with a suitable clear finish to stop it shedding), paint it, hang shelves on it.
8. Go for a simple, Mid-century modern living room
Another simple living room idea, what could be more inviting than a Mid-century modern inspired lounge? From low-key furniture, to clean-cut storage, muted colours and really subtle decor, this is a trend that isn’t going away in a hurry, and it is the perfect way to create a sophisticated space.
9. Arrange a book shelf bursting with personality
Most of us have a books in our living rooms, but your bookshelves can always be more than just a storage space if styled right. You don’t need to pack every single book in because, as Farrow & Ball have shown us in this living room, gaps are good. And, if you make space for trinkets to be interwoven amongst the books, such as small pictures in decorative picture frames, little boxes, plants, statues and whatever other aesthetic pieces you may have tucked away, you’ll add much more personality and make your book shelf feel more purposeful than just a storage area.
Find more cute reading nook ideas in our guide.
10. Add life with house plants
A quick and cheap living room idea to add life (literally) and greenery to your space is to add plenty of house plants. Invest in a mixture of small and large indoor plants and then dot them around the room over shelves, sideboards and mantlepieces. The plants you choose will add to the style of your living room too – a palm will add an exotic boho feel, while a bonsai will add a polished and more structured look.
Not sure where to start with caring for common house plants? Check out our guide.
11. Create a coastal feel with stripes and panelling
Coastal interiors are such a classic, and the beachy look works so well in living rooms because it’s clean and bright, but really inviting and cosy, too. To get this look, start with a blank canvas, paint the whole room white, cream or a lovely pale blue (try Farrow & Ball Light Blue). Then you can add the details and accessories; soft muted coloured furnishing, add the occasional striped thrown in for a proper coastal look.
If you want to copy the shiplap wall in the living room above, check out Wickes they have a DIY kit that will achieve a similar look.
12. DIY your own panelling!
And if shiplap is a bit too beach house vibes for you, DIY some traditional wall panelling using beading. This living room might have original panelling but you can achieve a very similar look just check out our guide to DIY wall panelling.
13. Or create the illusion of panelling with wallpaper
Want an even easier way to get the look? Wallpaper. Wayfair sell peel and stick wallpaper that looks really authentic and would add a perfect rustic feel to your living room.
14. Mix modern furniture with vintage finds
We love living room designs that mix old and new, it just makes them so much more… liveable. A velvet upholstered 18th-century French chaise longue might look wonderful but you can’t get comfy on that to binge watch Netflix, now can you? So choosing new pieces, like a sofa, and mixing them with your original vintage finds, not only looks fab but is practical, too. (P.S. put the chaise longue in the hallway…)
15. Add colour and pattern with a gallery wall
Ah, the humble gallery wall. We have sung your praises so many times, but really you are just such a great way to bring colour and pattern into a living room. Once you have curated your collection of prints and photos, they are really quick to get up too – you could have a totally new feature in your living room in just an afternoon.
For more tips and gallery wall ideas check out our feature.
16. Or lean your pictures for a more laid back look
LOVING this display. Part wall-hung, part leant against the wall, a combination of prints, paintings, frames and bits and bobs, it’s a masterclass in how to build up a display of pictures. The key? Choose a colour theme that’s not too chaotic, pick frames of different sizes and leave some space between the pieces. Here, the tiny splashes of yellow and pink add a whole new accent colour to this neutral living room.
Find more ways to display photos and artwork in our guide.
17. Add gilded touches for a luxury living room
Believe it or not, this living room isn’t huge (yes, okay, it’s not tiny either) but the layout and the huge mirror above the fireplace really help this small living room feel more roomy and more luxurious. Of course, the lovely gold accents help too – if you are after an instant living room glow up, you can’t go wrong with adding a touch of gold.
Take a tour of the rest of this gorgeous period terrace for loads more inspiration.
18. Hang mirrors to create the illusion of space
For a living room idea that is going to add light and space, mirrors are always going to work. It may be Interior Design 101, but if you have a small living room, or a dark living room, adding a mirror is only going to help things by expanding the space and bring in more light. Magic, we know.
19. Go big with beautiful living room storage
It might not be as fun as painting your living room, but getting your living room storage sorted can be just as effective. Totally decluttering your room will not only give you more space to get decorating, it will obviously make your living room feel bigger too as there won’t be stuff covering every surface.
You can also make storage a key feature of your living room design. Floating shelves, bookcases, sideboards, all of these can be decorated beautifully. See, storage isn’t so boring…
20. Layer texture to emphasise cosiness in a small living room
Before we go on to talk about the many amazing living room ideas going on in this space, can we just appreciate the artful layering in this living room? That’s how it’s done, people!
Along with the masterful layering that adds so much cosiness to this small living room, the mural also works towards adding texture. Murals are also a fab option if you are decorating a rented home, because you can choose to hang a mural rather than paste it permanently to your wall. The use of a mural also expands the space as it stops an expanse of white wall making the room feel boxy.
Love this living room? Well you are going to want to check out our grey living room ideas feature too.
21. Create interest with a feature wall or mural
One up from wallpaper, a mural will create even more of a feature wall. Yes we know, murals don’t always get the best rap but you can find some really cool ones that will add style to your room rather than a wall of snowy mountains or a New York skyline. Check out Sandberg for some gorgeous options.
22. Go chic with shutters
Choosing the best living room window dressing can be tricky, because you want both the softness of curtains and the privacy of blinds – especially if your living room is at the front of the house. We have found what works best is a combination of the two. Layering a curtain over a blind. We have a whole guide on choosing living room curtains so if you want more advice be sure to check that out.
But, of course, we can never resist the look of shutters and if you are after a clean, simple look, cafe shutters like the ones above, are a great option for living rooms too.
23. Add an area rug to lift a tired floor
If your current carpet is looking a bit worse for wear, a super easy living room idea is to cover it up with a massive area rug. And we mean massive – pick one that’s going to go at least slightly under your furniture too so it looks almost like the rug is the carpet.
We think jute rugs look best as area rugs and they are great for layering too, so you can pop a patterned rug over the top to add some texture.
24. Pick interesting seating options
Investing in new furniture is always going to give your living room a bit of lift and if you are on the look out for a new sofa, or a new armchair, it’s a great opportunity to find something more funky.
Pick a piece you can move around the room, too, for practicality more than anything else, but also because moving furniture around can be an easy way to keep a space feeling fresh.
25. Add detail with patterned wallpaper
Second only to paint, we think wallpaper is one of the easiest living room ideas out there. Just one roll of wallpaper could totally change the style of your space. Wallpaper can look great on every wall, but we love it as just a feature wall – stops the space being too busy and gives the room a focus. That means you could just add a feature wall, treat yourself to a couple of rolls of your dream wallpaper and hang it yourself. An update for under £100!
If you want to learn how to wallpaper just head to our guide.
26. Create a maximalist living room
Start with one roll of wallpaper, and it might lead to something bigger… We love this maximalist space: colour on every wall, including the floor! But it really doesn’t look too much, the white walls and relatively neutral sofa colour keep the room looking fresh and not too full.
27. Use lighting to create impact
Living room lighting isn’t just about the ambient, the task and the accent lighting (although that’s a must to sort when designing a living room lighting scheme), it’s also about the impact of the fittings. While pendant lighting in a living room should be used with caution (overhead fittings used alone will make the space feel soulless and bland), they should definitely be chosen and positioned for maximum effect. Loving how these are positioned over a coffee table to create a real focal point around the social zone of the space. And the lit glass cabinets are a real bonus…
We have loads of living room lighting ideas to get your inspired over in our gallery.
28. Make an impact in your living room with over-sized plants
When it comes to styling house plants indoors, sometimes more is more. So, if you have a vibrant pot you want to draw attention to and that works with the colour theme in the room, pick out a huge plant, cutting or fake foliage and show it off.
Find out how to create an indoor garden for added interest all year round.
29. Buy new living room cushions – or swap out your bedroom cushions
Cushions are king. You’ve heard us say this before – never underestimate the power of changing your cushions and throws. These small changes can make a huge difference to the look of your living room. A new print, a bold colour or simply a new texture can instantly update your sofa and chairs. We’d start our search at low-cost shops that sell covers only – think Ikea. Don’t want to spend at all? How about swapping the odd cushion out of another room and into the living room. Bingo!
30. Give your floor some love with a new living room rug
Rugs can be the final touch that bring the rest of the scheme together, and they work particularly well when you have large expanse of floor in your living room or want to disguise an old carpet you can’t afford to replace yet. Rugs will break up a floor visually, making a room feel cosier, while adding texture, colour and pattern, too. Again, you needn’t spend a fortune – Ikea and Aldi both have ridiculously affordable buys.
31. Or tile your living room floor for a look that’s bang on trend
An option you might not normally consider is decorative floor tiles – yes, they are beginning to be seen in rooms other than bathrooms, hallways and kitchens. Practical, easy to clean and great in modern spaces, you can pull out the colours in them to accessorise the rest of your scheme – here, the blue/grey from these Havana white flower tiles matches the woodwork and the yellow cabinet gives a bold splash of colour.
For more patterned tiles designs head over to our feature.