The focal point of every space, these living room furniture ideas provide an indulgent vantage point for television viewing pleasure, a smart storage solution for treasured collection – and a pretty perch for weary feet.
Whether you’re on the lookout for a squishy sofa for your ‘cozy’ nook, or a colorful cabinet for your favorite household items, be inspired by our round-up of living room ideas to suit every style.
Living room furniture ideas
Living room furniture ideas have a tough job: they have to look beautiful, bring pattern and color to a space and be practical, providing comfortable seating, storage – often hidden – and display space.
1. Get the scale right
Playing with scale in interior design is a trick that the experts use to create a high impact space. Upscaling can be done simply – with a piece of furniture, a lamp or pendant light, a pattern on a cushion or an accessory within a room.
Playing with proportions also has the power to make a large room feel cozy and intimate, but upscaling can also make a small living room feel a whole lot larger and more impactful than it really is, and of course a super-sized feature is instantly attention-grabbing.
2. Introduce texture with woven furniture
Woven materials are no longer considered dull, dated or dreary, and we very much welcome its highly-anticipated revival. The rattan furniture trend shows no signs of abating, but why is it so popular? No longer resigned to just outdoor furniture, rattan has earned its rightful place in our homes.
Rattan furniture is so popular mostly because of how it looks. The classic woven rattan texture is instantly recognisable, highly sophisticated and guaranteed to look on-trend for years to come. Perfectly blending country chic and modern minimalism, the design effortlessly adds a touch of elegance to any living room.
3. Brighten up a white space with colorful furniture
Getting living room color schemes just right is vital because this is the room where we spend most of our time.
The color wheel is your confidant when it comes to choosing accompanying shades for your living room furniture. For a soothing feel, taupe or olive green living room colors are perfect partners. Orange and yellow living room ideas add vibrancy, while dusky pinks will add subtle softness.
4. Invest in a place to rest your feet
Sink into comfort with hardworking living room seating ideas that will enhance the layout of your space.
Select seating that is in proportion to the size of your living room – oversized chairs can make a small room feel narrow, so instead opt for a single armchair with matching footstool for optimum comfort.
Make sure you arrange your chairs at an angle to create a sense of depth to the room, as shown here, otherwise if you place all seating against the walls you might end up with a narrow 'bowling alley' look.
5. Work warmth into your living room with wood
Wood sideboards and cabinets are nothing new – they have been a popular choice for years because of their timeless appeal, not to mention the fact wood is a durable material that gets better with age. But if you think that wooden furniture will feel too traditional in a contemporary home, think again. In recent years, there have been a number of new techniques which have reinvigorated the style, and made this old staple a very modern favorite.
6. Create curves with your furniture
Full-on voluptuous or gently rounded, cylindrical furniture will lift the layout and soften the overall look of your room, adding a gentle touch of shaping to your living room décor.
If you’re unsure whether curves are for you then consider a touch of subtle roundness. Introduce a single curved-front cabinet or accessories into your layout; think round table, circular footstool or undulating pendant ceiling lamps. It’s an adaptable and welcoming look – and without going round in circles, it’s one that’s here to stay.
'Curves offer that touch of individuality that everyone is searching for, softening the lines in the interior to create a much more welcoming space,' says Graeme Smith, conceptual designer at Metris.
7. Mix materials and styles for an eclectic look
Create a fresh look with an eclectic blend of furniture. The contrasts between the old and new make a space feel interesting and unexpected – and will also highlight the differences between individual pieces so the eye appreciates them more.
Find the line between eclectic and chaotic. Don’t cram in too many pieces into your living room – and balance out the furniture with neutral walls. The harmonious feel is achieved through the crisp white walls that provide a calm backdrop which allows the furniture pieces do all talking.
8. Wow with an Art Deco scheme
This trend gives the traditional retro look a contemporary overhaul with a peppier color palette, lighter woods and practical, functional furniture designed for modern living.
In this scheme, simple silhouettes are met with offbeat touches and punctuated with patterns that lend a generous nod to the Art Deco era. This look works well in new and open-plan homes, which provide a blank canvas for experimentation with colors.
9. Get creative with colorful cabinetry
If you are after a DIY project for the weekend, then try your hand at painting your living room furniture. Hand-painted furniture offers longevity – the color can be altered in the future to reflect changing fashions. The advantage is in its almost limitless choice of colors, allowing you free rein to express yourself, whether your home is period or contemporary, country or urban.
For a timeless look, we sometimes err on the side of safety and choose a completely neutral scheme, forgetting that a little lift of vivid color can cheer up a room immensely.
10. Be inspired by Mid-century modern furniture
With its simple, pared-back style, mid-century modern living room ideas are still popular with today's interior designs. Spanning the decade between the Thirties and the Seventies, these shapes were inspired by earlier design movements, including the Bauhaus school in Germany.
Although mid-century style was driven by advances in technology, it was also inspired by the natural world, and wood is the most widely used material for furniture.
What is trending in living room furniture?
Raw materials, weaves, creative color and curvaceous design is set is currently trending in living room furniture.
The growing focus in design on products made from wood, wool, stone and ceramics is not just to do with a revival of interest in craft; in a world increasingly dominated by synthetic materials and virtual reality, natural materials add a human dimension to our environment that may have beneficial effects on our health and happiness.
We are also seeing a new requisite for furniture that brings texture to a scheme, sparking a revival in woven forms, from sculptural bamboo to Seventies-inspired rattan seating and natural, cane tables.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space.
Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
Best treadmills: 5 top buys to bring the gym into your living room
These are the best treadmills to meet your fitness goals – without leaving your home
By Brittany Romano •
Best home fragrance: 9 fragrant scents to unveil in homes
Elevate your room's mood and aromas with the help of the best home fragrances
By Brittany Romano •
Farmhouse curtain ideas – 10 beautiful yet rustic window treatments
Dress windows beautifully with these inspiring farmhouse curtain ideas
By Sarah Warwick •
Joanna Gaines' diagonal shelving tip – copy this styling secret for beautiful displays
The celebrated designer has the secret to a beautifully balanced scheme – and it begins with a functional focal point
By Megan Slack •
Living room lighting ideas – 24 ways to light your living space
Living room lighting ideas and expert advice on lighting your interior for a stylish and successful scheme
By Jennifer Ebert •
Gingham is trending – designers share how to style this timeless pattern with a modern twist
We're bringing this old-fashioned print to the forefront of our contemporary homes, the expert way
By Megan Slack •
Designer Eva Sonaike reveals her favorite color combination – to completely transform your home
The queen of kaleidoscopic hues Eva Sonaike has shared the vibrant secret to a perfectly paired space
By Megan Slack •
Designer Profile: Emma Sims-Hilditch
Emma Sims-Hilditch is admired for creating serene but practical interiors with an understated modern elegance, perfectly suited to both rural and city homes
By Kerryn Harper-Cuss •
Small utility room ideas – 14 ways to make compact spaces work hard
Small utility room ideas can still deliver the functionality and style you need
By Sarah Warwick •
10 living room sofa ideas – the essential design rules for sofa layouts and trends
Invest in a hardworking sofa that is sumptuous enough to sink into – but still looks smart
By Jennifer Ebert •