As the space where you’ll spend most of your time, your living room is a great place to relax, enjoy yourself and create memories with family in.
So, it’s important to design it and decorate your living room in a way you’ll love. Whether you opt for bright colours or gorgeous artwork, your living room should reflect your personality.
Looking for some living room decor ideas or need some inspiration? We spoke to eight design experts to get their advice on the best decoration ideas…
Living room decor ideas: Best sofas
As one of the biggest pieces in your living room, choosing the right sofa is essential to make your space look great.
Small space? “I’m always on the lookout for compact solutions, so the Francis Sofa from Sofa Workshop with its mid-century, classic look and neat, compact arms caught my eye,” says Good Housekeeping’s homes and gardens director, Carolyn Bailey.
If you’re on a budget, try John Lewis’ ANYDAY range. “‘The new ANYDAY range from John Lewis has furniture at rock bottom prices,” explains Carolyn. Its tailored, compact, two-seater sofa with clean lines would work well in small spaces. Alternatively, in a different range at John Lewis, the super-cute loveseat will create a statement in a room.”
Living room ideas: Best paint and wallpaper
Not sure what colour to paint your living room? Think about the colours you enjoy looking at and want to see every day. “If you’re creating a space to relax in, you will want to add a little of something you like,” says Natasha Bradley, interior designer and colour expert at LICK Home. “Whether that’s a soft green or a dusty pink, choose something that makes you want to spend more time in it.”
If you fancy trying something bolder, opt for wallpaper in your living room. “Wallpaper is the ideal way to create style, impact and character,” says Elizabeth Ockford, wallpaper designer. “A striking, contemporary living room can be created using a dramatic wash of colour on the wall, while strong dark colours are often used in chic interiors. Alternatively, a strong colour with small details can be used to create drama in a smaller space and a beautiful, fresh living room could be created using something with a pale background.”
Living room decor: Best storage
Whether your living room is small or large, there’s plenty that can be done with storage solutions to make it look aesthetically pleasing.
“Shelving is the obvious choice,” says Connor Prestwood, interior designer at Dowsing & Reynolds. “Whether that’s a standalone bookcase or a built-in unit that’s set in an alcove, either would look sophisticated and could be styled to look like they’re a ‘part’ of the space. They’re a great option for giving you plenty of display opportunities and the freedom the move things around often to keep the design fresh.”
Coffee tables can also double-up as a good place for storage of items that you want to display. “Coffee tables with a shelf underneath to store coffee table books and magazines are perfect for keeping items on display and are easily accessible,” explains Connor. “They’re also a nice way to bring a bit of your personality and show off your personal interests.”
Living room decor ideas: Best house plants
Any living space can be easily spruced up and brought to life with a house plant. Whether you pick just one or turn your home into an inside garden, house plants will make a pretty and lively addition to any living room.
Worried your living space doesn’t receive enough natural light? Think again. “People often think you need a lot of light and a lot of space if you want plants, but neither is true,” say Richard Cheshire and Richard Hull, plant experts at Patch Plants. “As long as your room gets some natural light, even just a tiny bit, there’s a plant that can live there. Aspidistras will do well even in very low light.”
Not enough space? The experts at Patch Plants recommend hanging plants. “You don’t need any spare floor space to hang a beautiful vine from the ceiling or bookshelf,” says Richard Cheshire. Alternatively, for a cosier feel, opt for taller plants. “Grouping tall plants around a favourite armchair can create a tranquil, cosy reading corner,” says Richard. “Think of plants as living decorations and the possibilities are endless. One of the best things about them is they’re completely portable, so you can rearrange your plants to fit your mood or style changes.”
Living room decor ideas: Best vases and decorations
“When it comes to living room decor, it’s comforting to be surrounded by decorative pieces that add character and interest,” says Angel Tan, director at The House Directory. ” One option is handmade artefacts collected on long forgotten travels, or a special item discovered when browsing an off-the-beaten-track antiques store, to add an inviting layer of storytelling to the home.”
If your living space is tall, compliment it with the items you choose to display. “Take advantage of high ceilings and large of amounts of empty space available by adding some tall bookshelves and some tall, decorative vases,” suggests Anton Dybal, founder of Next Level Artwork.
Living room decor ideas: Best lighting
Consider the best lights for your living room. Try to incorporate a mixture of ceiling lights, wall lights and lamps.
“Lighting is absolutely key to all design schemes, none more so than the living room,” says Emma Green, interior designer and member of the British Institute of Interior Design. “The worst thing a homeowner can do is to just have one type of lighting in a room and to have overly bright spotlights and place these in a row.”
Emma’s advice? “Instead, create a lighting scheme and position down-lights according to what you are actually lighting. Then, incorporate other types of lights, such as a wall lights, table lamps, floor lamps and candlelight.”
Living room decor ideas: Best candles
Complimenting your decor with a scent that you love is a must when creating a living room space that you’ll love.
Consider what you want your living room to feel like and then choose scents accordingly. To create a feeling of happiness, we love the Cashmere Duck My Happy Place Candle, which has notes of peony, amber and vanilla. Or, if you want your living room to be an oasis of calm, try DUSK’s Serene Candle, with natural scents of lavender and pine.
If you’re after what the home experts are using, Good Housekeeping’s Carolyn Bailey, recommends the Tom Dixon Elements Fire Candle. “I love the sleek shape of this container and it’s always useful to have a lid to keep it looking good when not in use,” she says.
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