As the heart of a home, the living room serves as a place to entertain, relax and unwind. It is here where people gather together, read books, watch films and spend quality time with friends and family.
The living room’s many functions make it one of the most important rooms in a home and as such, it deserves great care and attention to detail when designing and refurbishing the space. Every element of a living room should be carefully considered to create a blend of style, functionality, and relaxation.
In this design guide from Minotti London, discover how to decorate a living room with a range of styling techniques that explore the many facets of a living room, from colour schemes to accent pieces.
How to Decorate a Living Room
Despite the many trends of interior design, the key to creating the perfect aesthetic for a living room is putting comfort and style at the heart of every decision and paying close attention to details.
With this in mind, let us explore several techniques for how to decorate a luxury living room.
Choose the Interior Design Style
While it may sound obvious to some, deciding upon a theme should be the first step in designing a living room as it’s important to ensure that all elements, from the sofa to the wall colours, work together to create a cohesive and unified look.
With this in mind, here is a selection of popular living room themes that one may wish to choose from:
- Traditionalism: Traditional living rooms tend to be formal in style, with classic furniture, muted colour schemes, and elegant accent pieces.
- Art Deco: Living rooms that feature an Art Deco design often use bold colours, geometric shapes and metallic accents.
- Modern: Modern living rooms are characterized by an uncluttered look with clean lines and simple shapes.
- Minimalism: A minimalist living room is usually an ultra-clean space that has been relinquished of items without a distinct purpose. The result is a room where the design and architecture stand out.
- Scandinavian: The Scandinavian style is marked by simplicity, functionality, and beauty within a minimal framework.
Once an overall theme has been decided, one can begin to consider the other elements that go into decorating a living room, such as the wall colours.
Use Neutral Colours on Walls
This living space features an almost overwhelmingly neutral palette, but is contrasted and balanced by the dark cushions, wooden accents, and the view from the window | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London
The colour of the walls should be a primary consideration when decorating a living room and the use of neutral colours — such as white, cream, and grey — on walls, floors and ceilings is becoming an increasingly popular living room trend.
Neutral-coloured walls will help create a balanced backdrop for the furniture and decorative elements that can be found in the living room, which in turn will help to further elevate the sense of harmony that is so important to a living space.
Selecting a palette of off-whites or beiges transforms traditional living spaces into luxurious retreats. A neutral colour scheme has a wide appeal as it can suit virtually any design style, as well as complement and tie together any existing furniture pieces.
Accentuate With Vibrant Colours
When decorating a living room, it’s essential to choose a colour palette that enhances the overall interior design of the room. A carefully selected colour scheme applied to the room’s furniture and decorative pieces will create a mood that brings comfort and relaxation to the space.
Each style has its own distinctive characteristics and will likely require a different palette. For example, the furniture found in an Art Deco living room is likely to be bold and vibrant shades of primary colours such as red and blue with metallic accents.
Meanwhile, a living room with a traditional or transitional design is more likely to feature furniture in light and pastel colours, such as baby blue and off-white, with warm and dark accents of mahogany and maroon.
Create a Focal Area
One may wish to introduce a focal point to a living room that draws the eye and stands out among the other design elements and pieces of furniture. While it should still be in keeping with the wider theme of the space, a focal point in a living room works to emphasise the decor and add visual interest to the room.
Many living rooms have natural focal points, such as fireplaces and bay windows, but focal points can also be introduced to the space in the way of statement furniture pieces, such as a sofa, works of art or even a well-stocked bookcase.
In the case of a large living room, a fireplace area with a sofa, a coffee table, or a bookshelf can create a warm and cosy area. Another way to create an eye-catching focal area in a living room is by placing comfortable armchairs and pouffes around a coffee table.
Incorporate Textures and Patterns
Several patterns and textures have been introduced to this space, with marble, wood and fabrics of varying shades | Designed by Marcio Kogan / studio mk27 design for © Minotti London
A simple yet effective way to add texture to a living room is introducing a range of different fabrics through the use of throws, cushions, rugs and chairs. For example, one might consider placing a woollen rug on the floor, underneath a velvet sofa.
Patterned textures can also be very useful for adding depth to living rooms. For example, one can opt for striped walls with either vertical or horizontal stripes. Other interesting ideas include using curtains that have different abstract patterns on them.
As a general rule, one can create a harmonious decor with various patterns and textures in the room, though it’s worth noting that one material should serve as a base for other decorative elements.
Use a Rug to Define Zones
In this large living room, a dual-tone rug has been used to tie together an array of different pieces of furniture, which would otherwise look out of place | Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for © Minotti London
A well-placed rug is an effective way to create a ‘zone’ in a large living room, especially when used as part of an open floor plan. For example, when multiple pieces of furniture are placed on a large rug, they are effectively grouped together, which works to define a lounge area.
Furthermore, rugs have the power to give a living room a sense of warmth while simultaneously bringing additional colours and patterns to the room. This in turn can help break the monotony of using one material for the whole floor, which can give the living room greater depth and dimension.
Style with Artwork
Artwork is an excellent way to add personality, texture and colour to a living room design. In larger rooms, oversized artworks look particularly striking hanging on large feature walls. Apart from paintings, one can also decorate the living room with photographs, textiles and sculptures.
The artwork should complement the colour scheme of the living room and match its interior design. There are countless styles of art to choose from, such as abstract art that works well in modern spaces and traditional art with floral patterns and depictions of nature that tend to work better in classical settings.
For example, a colourful, extravagant, and large artwork will serve as a focal point of an Art Deco or a Hollywood Regency-style room while a black and white photograph may be the perfect match for a more modern and minimalist interior.
How to Decorate a Luxury Living Room
When decorating a luxury living room, every decision counts. From sourcing the most exquisite materials to perfecting the smallest decorative details.
As discussed in this guide, a luxurious living room can be achieved by implementing the following living room design techniques:
- Decide on the theme of the living room before decorating.
- Use a neutral colour palette on walls, floors, and ceilings.
- Choose a colour palette for the furniture and other decorative elements in the room that complements the overall theme.
- Create a focal area to highlight a statement piece in the room, such as a sofa or a fireplace.
- Incorporate textures and patterns to add visual interest to the room.
- Use rugs to define zones.
- Style with artwork to create a stunning design showcase.
To decorate a living room with elegant furniture and beautiful decorative elements, discover the latest collections of living room furniture and accessories at Minotti London.