Create a warm, inviting and practical living room that embraces both style and function with these on-trend solutions.
1. Get in the zone
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
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
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
Ida side tables in glass and oak (H50xDiameter45cm and H40xDiameter40cm), €119 (approx £90), Designbotschaft.com
For similar rug try Reeds rug in wool in Hampton grey (H160xW230cm), £249, Made.com
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
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
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
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
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.