Create a warm, inviting and practical living room that embraces both style and function with these on-trend solutions.


1. Get in the zone

8 ways to decorate your living room7

While large open-plan living areas have the obvious benefit of space, they can feel empty and impersonal if poorly furnished. Create cosy and functional zones with clever placement of furniture. Here, a casual seating area has been formed with a sofa, chair and occasional tables, all in bright zesty hues. This differentiates this section from the rest of the room without partitioning it off, which would interrupt the flow of light.


2. Mix old and new

8 ways to decorate your living room2

Living in a period home needn’t mean you have to fill it with heritagestyle furnishings. Wall and ceiling mouldings with solid wood parquet flooring provide a characterful backdrop to this room, which has been filled with modern pieces in natural tones. The subtle blend of materials and colours allows the detailing to stand out as star of the show.


3. Keep it tidy

8 ways to decorate your living room7
Form Mixxit three-cube units in melamine-faced chipboard in white (H108.2xW39xD33cm), £30 each
Form storage boxes in seagrass in light brown (H31xW31xD31cm), £12 each, all B&Q
For similar paint try pitch blue estate emulsion, £39.50 for 2.5L, Farrow & Ball

Cluttered spaces are hard to relax in, so rather than stashing items out of sight, why not make a feature of your storage? This clever cubed shelving unit is a striking yet practical solution. The sections can be used to make a variety of configurations, using a mixture of wall hung and floor-standing options.


4. Update a classic scheme

8 ways to decorate your living room7
Ida side tables in glass and oak (H50xDiameter45cm and H40xDiameter40cm), €119 (approx £90),
For similar rug try Reeds rug in wool in Hampton grey (H160xW230cm), £249,

A modern monochrome palette using greys and neutrals is a contemporary take on the classic black and white, which will create a soft and welcoming feel in a living area. The contrasting shades of grey in the rug and sofa are offset by a soft beige (rather than the usual white) and the mixture of materials creates warmth, texture and interest. Glass table tops and plain white walls ensure the look remains bright and crisp.


5. Go for bold

 8 ways to decorate your living room7
Alpine chair in Romo Linara in Moroccan blue (H86xW74xD83cm), £969, Multiyork
Oregon large sofa in burnt Arabic leather in Apache (H87xW206xD108cm), £2,039, Multiyork
For similar rug try Tangier in hand-woven recycled plastic in blue (H150xW90cm), £37, Wayfair
For similar paint try Dulux feature wall teal tension matt emulsion, £15.99 for 1.25L, Homebase

Create impact with daring colours and patterns. Select one standout print for your wall, rug or sofa and then introduce similar hues in other key features. Using understated patterns on soft furnishings and accessories will add another layer of interest while keeping the zone feeling calm.


6. Light the way

 8 ways to decorate your living room7

Living-room lighting should be geared toward creating a relaxed ambience; layer different sources to achieve this. Hidden lights in a linear void around the corners of the ceiling in this room give asoft effect that warms the space when matched with the floor lamp.


7. Emphasise a feature

8 ways to decorate your living room7
Grey Wharf Board flooring (H40-220xW28cm), £120 per sqm, Bert & May
For similar table, try Rissna coffee table in fibreboard and solid beech (H40xDiameter90cm), £85, Ikea

A fireplace is a natural focal point that can anchor a living room and draw you into the space. In this one, impact has been created with a bold marble surround and a masonry lining, instead of a working hearth, set off against rustic wooden flooring. Neutral tones used throughout add elegance, with a marble coffee table finishing the look and complementing the key focus of the room.


8. Play with proportion

 8 ways to decorate your living room7 

Mix styles of furniture in varying sizes to help make the best use of a small space. Follow some basic rules – the coffee table should be no more than two thirds the size of the sofa, for example.

Living rooms are social spaces, so arrange the furniture to promote conversation – here the seating has been placed in a horseshoe formation. Clever use of tonal colours adds depth, while tables and chairs with legs that reveal the floor help the space look larger and lighter.

Kevins Column

Grand Designs Live Online: Self Build & Renovation Weekend 31 July – 1 August 2021

Discover free home project advice and product recommendations from the comfort of your own home. Register now to express your interest.
Home Improvements

Why resin floors are perfect for modern living

Resin flooring is growing in popularity in modern homes – it’s ideal for open plan living, sustainable and hard-wearing. We take a closer look…
Home Improvements

Elevate your kitchen with a designer cooker hood

Ensure the air in your kitchen is fresh and well-ventilated with a stylish cooker hood to match your space and cooking needs
Home Improvements

Where to shop for luxury household appliances and white goods

Why settle for average appliances when you can have ones that make life easier and look great too? We delve into an award-winning range of...
Home Improvements

Why triple glazing is the best option for your home

Is triple glazing really better than double? We look at the potential energy savings, security and acoustic performance of that extra pane…
Home Improvements

How to successfully landscape a garden

Whether reworking an uninspiring corner in your garden or designing a spacious plot from scratch, you’ll need a strategy, a budget and some expert help...
Home Improvements

How to get the perfect gravel driveway

Gravel driveways are a classic way to finish your home’s exterior, but can drift, shift and sink, leaving a messy finish. We look at a...