Luxury living room ideas – 10 essential design rules for creating a luxury lounge
Whether you are looking for luxury living room ideas that are classic and smart, or contemporary and casual, you'll find plenty of inspiration here
The best luxury living room ideas includes elegant classic and contemporary schemes to suit every home's style – and we have included a ton of added-value interior design advice, too.
So whether your luxury living room design is expansive, open-plan, a shared family space or on the compact side, there are luxury looks to suit.
Plus, we have catered to a wide variety of styles, color preferences, and layouts, and, as ever, there are ideas you can adopt quickly – and whole-renovation inspiration for your all your living room ideas, no matter the cost.
Luxury living room ideas
From the finest living room furniture and most beautiful living room color schemes to the importance of showing off your prized antiques and art collections, we asked the interior design experts to share their top luxury living room ideas, and found some impeccable examples to inspire your sitting space.
1. Highlight prized art and possessions
High-value (be it in real terms or personal) art needs to be treated with careful consideration when it comes to your living room lighting ideas – especially if the aim is to make it a standout feature of the luxury living room.
‘Lighting a picture has the double advantage of showing off the work and reflecting light back into the room,’ says interior decorator Nicola Harding, who designed this scheme.
She chose a wall color with a lacquer finish to reflect natural light; the artificial light above stands in place during darker hours. ‘That reflected light is more atmospheric than something that lights the whole room. I also enjoy playing around with wall lights that weren’t specifically designed as picture lights. Anything with an articulated arm can work.’
2. Make a small living room feel grand
'Getting your living room furniture ideas right in a small living room is one of the biggest challenges in design,' says Mike Fisher, creative director and founder, Studio Indigo.
'This needs to be a practical space, whether for watching TV or creating good conversation. What you choose needs to be stylish and contribute to the personality and harmony of the space,' adds Mike.
'Inevitably, I find people often graduate to the smaller rooms of a house as they are more intimate and cozier, whereas big rooms can make you feel small and uncomfortable. Be bold with your living space and use large-scale furniture sparingly to give the illusion that the room is grander than it is.’
3. Use symmetry to create balance
Symmetry in interior design creates balance and a feeling of calm when used in luxury living room design and goes a long way to making your home look expensive.
The best way to use symmetry in a room is by having an architectural feature as a starting or center point, whether a fire surround, a pair of identical windows or even a central table. Get symmetry right in your luxury living space and you can create harmony with ease – and make small spaces feel more tailored.
For a classic look, try taking a symmetrical approach to lighting. ‘A great way to achieve this is to place two lamps either side of a mirror or a piece of art,’ says Louise Wicksteed, design director for Sims Hilditch. ‘The resulting aesthetic is one of well-distributed elegance.’
4. Carefully consider the color palette
Choosing complementary color combinations for rooms is an art form, and one that you should carefully consider if you wish for your modern living room ideas to embody a sense of luxury.
‘Pick one living room color as a foundation – from a favorite artwork, image or piece of furniture – to form the thread that runs through the space,' says Charlotte Archer, head of brand, Sanderson. 'Build your palette around this with complementary or tonal shades. My number one rule is: decorate for yourself, not others – choose tones that you love and you won’t go wrong.’
And it is not just about aesthetics, size matters too. ‘Scale really drives how diverse you can be with color pairings: larger living rooms can take a looser palette; in smaller spaces, it’s best to keep the colors more concise – find three colors that harmonize and use them as a common thread for continuity,' advises Charu Gandhi, founder and director, Elicyon.
5. Focus on flooring in a luxury space
Careful consideration of your flooring choices in a luxury living room can have a big impact on the final feel of the space. ‘Living room carpets add comfort and softness and also deaden echoing sound,’ notes Deirdre Dyson.
Make sure to plan the placement of rugs. ‘A larger rug will help pull the room together,’ advises Andy Guard, creative director, Roger Oates Design. ‘In open-plan living rooms placing all the furniture on the rug will define the space and unify the pieces. If possible the rug should extend 6-8 inches on each side.’
6. Style shelving to perfection
One of the easiest ways to make your living room look expensive is to curate an elegant display. You can own some of the most beautiful pieces, but if you don’t style your shelves in an eye-catching way, they can quickly lose any impact they might have had. ‘When styling shelves for a luxury living room, ensure to mix heights and depths of objects,’ says Sophie Pringle, creative director, Pringle & Pringle.
‘Good living room shelving ideas benefit from mixing things up – incorporate art, add plants, use odd numbers of objects grouped together; start with large pieces and build around that.’
7. Dress you windows with the finest treatments
When thinking about how to design a living room, the window might not the first element you think about, but a well dressed window is a luxury living room idea worth investing in.
‘One of the easiest ways to create a decorative feature from window treatments is to choose a bold, large-scale design for curtaining,’ advises Hayley McAfee, design director, Villa Nova. ‘This can create a striking focal point and will work best on large windows where the full pattern repeat can be appreciated. If you have smaller windows, opt for a small-scale pattern for a more refined look.
8. Reupholster old or tired furniture
Old or tired living room sofas and armchairs can be given a new, decorative lease of life and become pride of place in your luxury living room.
When choosing which material to use, it’s important to consider how durable you need the fabric to be – is it going to be in constant use or is this a more occasional piece of seating?
‘Velvets are ideal upholstery fabrics, as they are heavy, tightly woven and durable,’ advises Lee Clarke, director of Warner House. ‘Surprisingly, silk or mohair can wear well and can even improve in appearance over time. For pieces like ottomans, you could opt for style over practicality.’
9. Pay attention to the finishing touches
For or a truly tailored look, follow the lead of Kit Kemp, creative director of Firmdale Hotels. Her well-honed eye for decorative details is what makes her luxury living room schemes sing out.
‘Trimmings have the ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary,’ says Marisa Gutmacher, executive design director, Samuel & Sons.
‘In its most traditional application, cords with tape can be inserted into the seams of upholstered furniture, providing the finishing touch and helping delineate the lines of the frame.’
Make sure to look beyond seating for trimmings. ‘Gimps and narrow borders can also be used for wall upholstery applications in the living room, working with fabric walling, or as a sophisticated finishing touch running around the skirting and woodwork,’ adds Marisa.
10. Use mirrors to maximize light
Decorating with mirrors is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to maximizing light.
In this scheme by K&H Design, a Rupert Bevan slumped mirror fills each alcove. This southwest-facing room already benefited from plenty of light; what it lacked was atmosphere. The mirrors help project the sun throughout the room and increase the sense of space. Use a similar antiqued finish when working on this scale. Not only does it soften the glow of light but anything with a smoother surface runs the risk of tipping into hair salon territory.
‘The decorative lighting adds drama and brings together the contemporary and old with the antique chinoiserie lamp,’ say Katie Glaister and Henry Miller-Robinson, co-founders of K&H Design.
How can I make my living room more luxurious?
There are many ways to make your living room look more luxurious.
‘Furnishings play an essential role in how a space is received,' advises James Thurstan Waterworth, founder, Thurstan. 'When curating a luxury living room, we recommend a considered curation of essential pieces – spreading a large rug as an anchor for the scheme and then building out from there, picking out tones from the rug and embellishing these throughout the room. A central table can create a focal point in a formal living room, best framed by inward-facing armchairs which help create depth, volume and a sense of curation.’
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.
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