Living rooms and accessorizing are my favorite thing, and my own home is a modern living room style. Some easy living room design basics are as easy as changing out pillows, throws, and decor pieces. In this blog post, we are going to focus on the anchor pieces in your living room!
I was able to change my living room from the below picture to the top using these simple design basics. It’s such a huge transformation.
Seven steps to a perfectly designed living room
I was asked about my old sectional sofa a lot, and I purchased it at Wiers furniture in their clearance section. One thing I was looking for on a new couch was a neutral color. I wanted to change out just a few items and give my living room a new fresh look. My children are older and almost all out of the house, so I knew I could go light on the fabric. Also, having three adult children, I wanted all of us to be together when they came home, so I wanted a large sectional sofa. I like to put my feet up, so a chaise was essential to me.
A few things to keep in mind when shopping for your new couch. Think about what works for you and your family: size, color, how you are going to use that sofa or sectional. Be clear on what you need or want before you buy! Sofas are expensive and last for years, so be sure it’s timeless and avoid overly trendy colors or styles.
What size sofa should you buy? It depends on your space. Be sure to measure your room so when your out shopping for a couch you know what size sofa to buy. If you are still unsure about size get some painter’s tape and outline on your floor. This will give you that visual that you may need. A great tip is when space planning any room. Take the time to get your space set up correctly, it will save you a lot of time and money!
Now that you know your room’s size and roughly what size and style sofa you are looking for, it’s time to shop. You can go to multiple furniture stores and even shop online. Once again, be sure to check your new sofa’s dimensions and make sure it fits the room. If your purchasing from a store, don’t forget to bring your tape measure. This will save you time and potentially disastrous purchases.
Let me show you an example of how I styled my formal living room!
If you already have a sofa, you love let’s talk about styling it!
I get asked all the time about how to lighten a dark brown leather sofa or how to modernize it. My best tip for you is if your sofa is dark brown, or grey then your other pieces in your space need to be light. It would help if you had good contrast. Start by adding lighter cream or white pillow, throws, curtains, and even a light rug under your sofa to keep the space from feeling dark. If you have dark furniture, I would also lighten your wall color. This rule goes in the opposite direction too. If you have lighter furniture, you can add darker pieces to it and around it, and it will look fabulous.
Here is a quick example of how I use rugs to ground my living room.
When you’re purchasing a rug, I like to keep mine neutral. Personally, I wouldn’t say I like a busy rug. I feel like it limits me from changing out my decor items, and I really want a neutral base so I can mix it up as much as I want. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I like to mix my decor up! I had a heavily designed rug that would make it harder for me to do. I would, however, have a bold print or fun rug in my bedroom, Kid’s rooms, or outside on my patio. Those places don’t get redesigned as much, and they are also a place where fun or boldly printed rugs could really define the look of the space!
How do you pick the size of a rug? It really depends on your living room setup. I like my rugs to anchor my space, so usually, a 6×9 works well in most rooms.
I love a dramatic curtain. You would be surprised at how curtains can really bring in the drama of any room! Once again, I like to keep my curtains print-free in my main living areas because I want to keep my anchor pieces neutral. It is also so important to keep the same panels throughout your living room space. If you mix up colors and prints, you are doing to chop up your room’s look. And lose the cohesiveness that is vital to your living space. If you live in an open concept home, keep those curtains or window coverings the same.
Curtain rods are also important. I love to mix metals, so I like the champagne finish curtain rods with a crystal finial. It helps me to not over mix my metals and gives my room the touch of glam I want. Now, if you already have curtain rods you like but don’t love the color. Get out your spray paint! It’s a super quick and inexpensive way to update your look!
To elongate your ceilings and make your room feel bigger. Take your curtains all the way to the top of the ceiling, and make sure they touch the ground! If You have really high ceilings and cannot purchase curtains in your length, I have an easy tip for you to get that added vertical length you need for your panels. You can easily add length by adding a panel of material to the bottom. It’s a straightforward sewing project, or if you don’t sew, you can use hemming tape and achieve that desired length with a super simple no-sew project.
4. Coffee tables and end table
Round or square? Silver or Gold? Marble or wood? These are all themes you need to think about. What is the theme you want in your home? Just be sure that they all similar in color, finish, and shape, and you will be good!
5. Entertainment units and consoles
What do you do with that TV and all its equipment? Traditionally we went out and purchased this massive entertainment unit. They were big and bulky and took up a lot of space. The recent trend is to move away from all that to a simple tv console, decorative buffet, or credenza for personality. I feel like it is more open and airy, and you can make that older ugly eyesore a more glamorous and personalized space. I want you to think about the area around and under your TV. It’s the place we start at the most. How many hours do you watch tv in a week? I know I probably watch more TV than I should!
How can you refresh that space this month? Can you get rid of an old bulky cabinet and replace it with a sleeker piece and mount your TV to your wall? Can you maybe do a quick weekend DIY and repaint an old piece, or can you maybe shop your home for a different piece and bring it into your living room? Swapping out other furniture pieces in your home can change the look of your space for free!
6. Mirrors and wall art!
The best tip I can give you is whatever you choose to put on your wall, make it eye level. If you are walking by a mirror and only see the top of your head, it is way too high! Make your decor fit you. You want to see yourself in that mirror. If you don’t, what’s the point! My most favorite items for living room walls have to be a bold mirror. Mirrors do open up space, and they reflect the light. The right mirror will do wonders for your living room. My second favorite items are wall scones and family photos. This is where you can bring in your personality and have fun with space. My best tip for adding family photos keeps the frames the same or similar style to keep your wall decor look more cohesive.
Living room lighting is so important. Lighting to me is like jewelry in a space. It can be fun, glitzy, or glammy. Just keep it cohesive to your design aesthetic. Pick a metal finish and bring it throughout your room, from the ceiling to the end tables. Once again, if you have an open concept room, make sure your lighting matches throughout the entire space and in your vision line. This will be more pleasing to the eyes and once again keep your home cohesive.
This sums it up!
I hope these tips have helped you! If your taste is more eclectic, then most of these living room design basics don’t apply, lol. With a more eclectic style, you can go bold and mix your metals more and apply a print-on-print! One of my favorite eclectic designers is Jewel Marlow you can read and listen to her interview here! But if your style is is more neutral and glam, then these tips should help!