50 Incredible Living Rooms to Inspire Your 2018 Home Makeover
Even if you’re working with a tiny space, a well-devised living area sets the tone for the rest of your place. And as there’s no shortage of swoon-worthy living rooms on the web, we rounded up 50 of our faves, divided into ideas to try out yourself, to help you brainstorm your own home resolutions for the new year. Whether it’s with wall paint or gallery walls, velvet sofas or flashy textiles, these rooms are designed to inspire—and drool over.
Bold, chic, and more affordable than say, painting an entire room, upgrading your living room ceiling with paint makes a big interior statement without breaking your bank account. If you’re shy, try out a pastel, but if you’re about going for broke, you can’t beat the drama of black (as seen here in a space from 47 Park Avenue).
Whoever implied that too much of a good thing is bad must not have ever seen an over-the-top gallery wall. Take a cue from artist KAW’s extra living room on Architectural Digest, and offset your neutral color palette with a big and bright art arrangement to make a statement.
A good gallery wall is a gift that keeps on giving. Fashion your own unique salon-style arrangement for your living room by simply leaning your art work along a floating shelf or picture ledge (as seen on Transitoinicial) for a streamlined display that’s easy to install and move around should you feel like shaking things up.
Looking for a way to make an eco-friendly statement in your living room without sacrificing any square footage? Install some floating shelves or an industrial rack (like the one seen here in the home of Kota Kobayashi) to create a wall of houseplants.
Also from Kota‘s home, featured on Apartment Therapy, it’s amazing how just a single potted plant can make such a statement. This towering cactus anchors the entire wall here while providing a natural pop of color.
Love the look of potted plants but don’t have the most skilled green thumb? Follow Emma Chapman from A Beautiful Mess’ lead and sprinkle your living room with low-maintenance leafy greens (like snake plants or philodendron) to give your place an ethereal feel without having to worry too much about watering.
Dark & Moody
Who says dark rooms can’t feel welcoming? Warm up a dark-colored living room with rich colors and textiles that draw from the existing palette—like the deep green bookcase and chair in this living room on The Design Chaser—to liven up a moody space without sacrificing the color scheme.
A dark-painted living room definitely doesn’t have to be dim. Take for instance this deep gray-colored living room on Apartment Therapy, which employs lighted toned textiles and plenty of natural light to warm up the otherwise dark and moody space.
White floating shelves can work wonders for a small space. Case in point: this dreamy living room we spotted on Décor8 Blog (via the book Plant Style: How to Greenify Your Space by Alana Langan and Jacqui Vidal), which boasts a wall of floating shelves in place of a bulky bookcase for a stylish and streamlined storage solution.
If you thought floating shelves and pictures ledges were reserved for storage, then think again. Install a slim shelf above your sofa for a clean way to display your favorites à la Chris Loves Julia, or mount a few on your wall to stash your books and baubles in style.
You don’t need a ton of fuss or layers to create a living room that still feels welcoming. Albeit relatively devoid of much decoration, the pieces that do grace this space by Tara Benet Design are unique enough to carry a significant amount of visual weight (at least in terms of interest).
Not all minimalist living rooms have to be one color (read: all white). Take for instance this uncomplicated living room on My Scandinavian Home, which employs varying tones of gray throughout the art and textiles to add dimension to the subdued space.
Minimalist spaces can often feel stark. Take a cue from this modern minimalist living room on Houzz UK and opt for rich textures and shapely furnishings that draw from a pale color palette to warm up the space without over-accessorizing.
A little color goes a long way in a minimalist-style living room. Try incorporating some muted tones—like the blush sofa seen in this living room on Squarefoot—throughout your monochrome living room to add some subtle visual warmth to the scene.
Who says a rustic living room can’t be chic? For a more streamlined country-inspired living room, play up natural elements—think: wood floors, real wood logs, and even antlers like this room on Apartment Therapy—to create a homey feel that doesn’t feel too rural.
Forget your grandmother’s down-home country decor; when done correctly, rustic design elements—like the distressed finishes throughout this contemporary country house on Elle Decor—can be surprisingly sophisticated.
Sometimes all it takes to update your living room is a good-looking sofa in an eye-catching color. Take one look at the buttery yellow beauty in this apartment featured on Dwell and you’ll see exactly what we mean.
A light living room is no match for a colorful sofa. Case in point: this bright green velvet stunner by blogger Jordan Ferney via Cup of Jo, that livens up the room without distracting from the rest of the room’s pale color scheme.
Searching for the perfect finishing touch to upgrade your living room decor? An eye-catching pendant lamp or chandelier mounted on stunning medallion feature like the starburst one here in a room via My Domaine brings instant sophistication to a space; no new sofa or love seat necessary.
While the previous lighting was eye-catching, it was also relatively subtle compared to this mammoth light fixture in a stunning Paris apartment, via Elle Espana. This designer may have gone for broke, but keeping the stately chandelier white keeps things a little more balanced.
White washed walls are a simple way to make a big design statement. Take for instance this airy living room on Design*Sponge. Instead of decking out the off-white walls with art and decor, the owner opted to keep them clean and spare and allow mid-century-style furnishings and colorful textiles to shine without compromising the room’s calm vibes.
Of course, a white painted room also offers ample decor opportunity. In her Manhattan apartment (as seen on Domino), Kate Schelter livened up her all-white walls with vibrant pieces of art and furniture—including a hot pink settee—to create a clean but colorful scene.
Emily Henderson knows a little color can make a big difference in a white-washed room. For her family’s muted living room, Henderson sprinkled in bursts of bright blue using art and textiles to bring some color into the room without taking away from the neutral theme.
Black & White
When in doubt about which design direction to go with in your living room, remember that black and white is always right. Along with providing a clean palette, a white-walled room speckled with black (and dark gray) accent pieces creates a graphic scene that still manages to be minimalist.
A little black-and-white can go a long way in a living room. If you’re looking for a stylish way to offset a softly-colored room, a black and white rug (like this one featured on House & Garden) brings a graphic element to the space while providing a nice contrast to the surround color scheme.
For some designers, what might be too much color to some is just enough in their living rooms. Case in point: Christian Siriano’s eclectic Connecticut home (as seen in Elle Decor) where brightly painted blue walls, orange accessories, and multi-colored textiles blend harmoniously and make for an unexpectedly refined scene.
Believe it or not, it is possible to have an extravagantly designed living room, think: gallery walls, bright furniture, flashy textiles, and patterns (like Juan Velasquez’s Los Angeles home featured on Apartment Therapy), that still manages to look chic.
Few things feel more sophisticated than a solid mix of earth tones in a living room, and no one knows that better than Joanna Goddard from Cup of Jo. For her family’s Brooklyn living room, the beloved blogger stuck with soft neutrals and muted earth tones, like gray upholstery, mid-century modern-style wooden furniture, and even nature-inspired artwork, for a clean look that feels cozy but slightly colorful at the same time.
Whoever said earth tones couldn’t be colorful obviously has never caught a glimpse of this living room from The Well Essentials via Instagram. Filled with rich but muted earthy pigments such as soft teal and burnt sienna, this living room offers up ample color without deviating from the neutral color scheme.
Searching for a way to liven up a neutral living room without distracting from the color palette? Earth-toned patterned textiles and accessories, especially throw pillows and rugs like these on SF Girl by Bay, are a clever way to vamp up an otherwise muted space without being distracting.
If you thought a bohemian-inspired living room couldn’t also be luxe, then think again. Bridget Schwartz’s eclectic Oakland apartment is brimming with boho elements—think: houseplants, artisanal furniture, and earth-toned textiles—that when paired with colorful art and accessories, manages to look surprisingly sophisticated.
If nothing else, a true boho-style room should feel light and airy. Take for instance Ulla Johnson’s Brooklyn living room on Domino. Filled with towering plants, shaggy textiles, and lots of nicely layered earth tones, the designer created a truly ethereal space despite all the luxe furnishings.
If you’re lost on what direction to take with your own living room, consider sticking with a traditional scheme—clean-lines, soft tones, and subtly patterned textiles—and incorporating a handful of interesting elements (like the pink curtains in this room on Style Me Pretty).
A pale but pretty, classical color palette, like the crisp whites and creams in this living room on Elle Decor, is the perfect canvas for colorful artwork, subtle patterns, and shiny metallic finishes.
Looking for a fashionable way to bring more furniture into your small living room without taking up any floor space? Hanging swing chairs, like this one from Tiffany Napper’s New Orleans home on Apartment Therapy, are incredibly space-savvy—and pretty fun to sit in too.
If you thought daybeds were just for bedrooms, you must have never seen a modern version like this Barcelona-esque leather stunner on My Domaine. Ideal for open layouts and lofty living spaces, daybeds make a room feel both cozy and chic.
Room dividers often feel either incredibly cluttered or pretty intrusive (since they can be so clunky). To separate your living room from other spaces in style should you need the distinct areas (say, you’re in a studio), a solution like the one Mayaan Zusman installed in this space via Dezeen is a modern, super chic way to make it happen.
Earthy Coffee Tables
A pretty color palette is the perfect place to tinker with all-natural furnishings, especially live-edge wooden ones like the coffee table Emily Henderson used in the pink, blue, and gray-living room of her previously home; the earthy table adds warmth and grounds the playful look.
An eye-catching organic cocktail table, like the cube-style one crafted of raw wood in this room by Studio McGee, anchors a pale living room without overwhelming the airiness of the space.
Mid-century Modern 2.0
Give your mid-century modern furnishings a contemporary upgrade by decorating your living room with clean-lined geometric patterns and global prints (like the mudcloth pillows in this room on New Darlings).
If you ask us, dark-painted living rooms (like the one in this room on Mad About Houses) provide the perfect backdrop for the clean lines and sophisticated shapes of mid-century-style furnishings in a way that feels fresh and now.
Bright & Colorful
When fashioned properly, bold patterns and bright colors can be a recipe for a delightful living room scene. Paired together, sharp primary colors and clean-lined geometric prints—like the striped monochrome prints in the living room of Will Taylor from Bright Bazaar‘s previous UK home, featured on The Guardian—look both dramatic and chic.
Going for something Scandi style but still look some pizazz? A little color goes a long way like in this living room on Elle Decoration. A pop of color on the walls, sofa and textiles provide a bold backdrop for shapely wood furnishings.
For an all-gray living room with a little dimension, layer gradient tones of gray using textiles and artwork, as seen in this Nordic-style room on Entrance.
Add graphic depth to an all-gray living room with some pattern-emblazoned textiles, like the throw pillows and rug seen in this pic from Femina.
(Image credit: Rebecca U.)
Soft-colored walls and natural wood floors provide the perfect backdrop for experimenting with boldly patterned prints in vivid colors like in this cheery California home on Apartment Therapy.
When layered in a muted room with softly hued furnishings, patterned textiles and bright floral prints can quickly transform a subdued living space into an eclectic scene like this one from Mi Casa.
Who says you can’t have a bold rug to complement your candy colored living room? When it draws from the rest of the room’s palette, a splashy area rug can bring the entire space together without overwhelming it. Though plenty loud and OTT, this interior via Desire to Inspire still manages to feel…right.
Few things warm up a room like nicely polished wood floors. Even if you’re living room is filled with colorful artwork and textiles (like this one on Design*Sponge) natural wood floors create added visual interest and architectural character for your place.
Bold textiles can take a room from snug to stylish in seconds. Take one peek at the striped throw pillows and patterned rug in this room on Elle Decor, and you’ll see how a quickly a couple of flashy textiles can transform your living room.