Living Room Decorating Ideas to Design For

Picture this…living room decorating ideas are starting to come to you.

  • You have colors you kind of like…
  • You’re pretty sure what style of design you want to use…
  • You have some furniture and you’ve looked at some new things here and there…
  • There are a few accessories that catch your eye…

But, you just don’t have a plan and you don’t know where to go from here! Ugh…

Chin up. It’s OK. Let’s talk about building your space. Whether you’re just trying to add a couple of things to update the look or you’re starting over from scratch (or for the very first time), we know we can help.

living room with blue striped loveseat and pillows

Just Ask Us

We’ve got some great ideas for you below, but you may have a specific question that’s just begging for an answer. Just ask us…we can help!

Color, furniture, accents – you name it. We’ll answer your questions and we’ll let the whole SLRI Universe chime in, too.


As far as living room decorating ideas go, great color ideas will get you a long way. Before we say too much more about colors, let’s just make this important point. Do not go any further unless you can walk in room and answer the question, “How I do want to feel when I walk in this living room?” Next ask yourself the question, “Would my family and guests feel the same as I would?” Feel good about your answers? Picking your colors should be easy at this point. Let’s talk some more about this in our section on living room paint colors.

Design Style

Living room decorating ideas, by their nature, should flow from a particular design style. That doesn’t mean that the style should dictate all your ideas, though. Our opinion is that rooms look best when design style meets the personality of the designer. Here’s a quick rundown of design styles. See if this matches what you already had in mind.

Traditional – classic and comfortable, no surpises, very predictable

Country – friendly and casual, earth tones, often lighter woods, vintage accents

Rustic – charm, style, texture with logs, twigs, and animal accents, these days its quite sophisticated as well
Mission – natural materials, geometric design, back-to-basics feel

Contemporary – “the style of the day”, sleek, cleanlines, spare and unique

Southwest – Native American influences, kokopellis, bright blues, reds, and oranges with earth tones

Asian – intricate detail, bold color, natural influences, peace and serenity

These are the basics. There are many sub-styles as well. You can learn more about them right here, Decorating Styles for Home Interiors. The biggest thing to remember about style is not to worry about completely true to any one style. Mix things up as appropriate. Another site that does a great job with decor styles is Themed Home Decor

Furniture Placement

The key with living room furniture placement is “make it flow”. Take stock of where your entryways are located. Make traffic move behind the furniture, instead of through it. Divide and conquer a long room. Make it into two seating areas with different purposes. In one of our old apartments, we positioned our entertainment center and sofa diagonally to create a TV area and, across the room, created a reading area with an end table, lamp and accent chair. When trying to design a small living room, not doing too much is the big focus. Pick a focal point. What’s the main feature of the room? Fireplace…Armoire…A picture? Locate that focal point in a prominent area of the room and build out from it. It’s not just about furniture, either. What about using area rugs as a key strategy in furniture placement? See what our friend Gordon, from Area Rug Tips has to say about that. His living room decorating ideas are pretty good.


Feeling a little cluttered as you walk around your living room today?

You are definitely not alone. A common complaint we hear is that there’s just stuff everywhere! It’s hard to put together a new design when you’re worried about where all your necessities of life are going to be stored.

Not only is furniture placement important, but what kind of furniture are you placing? Are you taking advantage of coffee tables, end tables, armoires, entertainment centers, ottomans and chests to keep the clutter to a minimum?

When Jack started getting a little older, we found that his toys were just everywhere. We wanted him upstairs, in the living room, with us but we also wanted to keep his books, DVD’s, puzzles and “diggies” out of sight.

Take advantage several different types of furniture to help you get a handle on your living room storage struggles.


Ever have these questions run through your mind?

What goes where?
What fits with what?
Do I have too much stuff, or not enough?
It looks so plain there, what else can I put with it?
We’ve all been there and it wasn’t always easy to make it through to the other side…to truly end up happy with the look you’ve created. Maybe you’re still not happy with how you’ve accented your living room.

That’s why we created this website to begin with. Coming up with great living room decorating ideas can be difficult, especially when we start talking about accessories.

Here are our thoughts on living room accessorizing/accenting.

1. Have an overall theme. This gives the room a personal touch and says, “This is what I like.” or “This is what’s important to me.” In our living room, the theme leans towards France. We use fleur-de-lis and crosses to unify the room.

(Not to get off-topic, but we also use themes in our kitchen – roosters – and with our Christmas tree – snowmen)
2. Stay near your design style. Modern geometric vases won’t play too well in your rustic setting. Mix a little bit of mission or country with rustic? No problem.
3. Use greeneryto add depth and fill space. We get especially good use of greenery atop our armoire. We weave it through our accents to create a more casual and comfortable feeling.
4. Leave enough spaceon surfaces. A centerpiece atop a tray with some coffee table books is plenty. No need to occupy each corner of the table.Think a living room is tough to accessorize, what about a family room? Have no fear, we’ve taken some time to discuss family room decorating ideas too.
Here’s some more thoughts… Finishing Touches Perk Up a Room
If you work at it you can come up with great living room decorating ideas as we hope we’ve just shown you.

In the End

All you need is some basic information about choosing the right colors, design styles, furniture placement and accessorizing and you can put together a fantastic living room.

Jen and I are not licensed professionals. We simply know a little bit about alot of concepts and we know what we like. We put things in certain places and stand back for a look. If it’s not right, we try something else. We just come up with living room decorating ideas and then see if they work.

Sometimes, it’s just magic from the very beginning and that’s the most rewarding part. You know just what you’ve put together looks great. Then, your neighbors and friends visit and they rave about what you’ve done. There are few better feelings than that.

Keep at it, try not to get frustrated, and don’t use this site as your only source of information. There are so many great resources for living room decorating ideas out there. We hope you like coming here for the personal touch we offer, though.

Time to start putting together your own living room decorating ideas.

Oh Wait! One more thing…
Need some more help?


There’s a store in Atchison, KS called Nell Hills and it’s absolutely our favorite place to go for great living room decorating ideas, furniture, framed art, accents and they have their own line of home decorating books. Check it out!

Whoops!! Almost forgot. Here are a few sites that you’ll find useful in your quest for the best living room decorating ideas.

Home and Garden Decorating and Room Design – Create your room design online by yourself or let us help with your room layout solutions. We provide interior decorating and design services, home and garden news, and info on home shows and events.

For an interesting view on home decorating, visit Home Decorating Room by Room and use this free online workbook. Find ways to discover and use your creativity to develop rooms you’ve always dreamed of creating.

Another site with a wealth of affordable home decor ideas and other interesting sections on home and family subjects is

Great Home Decorating – Home decorating ideas to inspire your creativity, answer your interior decor questions and help you gain the confidence to create a unique home that reflects your lifestyle.

Build a Solid Foundation with a Fabulous Living Room Color Scheme

Just imagine finding the perfect combination of colors, a fantastic living room colorscheme that sets the ‘tone’ for the rest of your living room design.

Fabulous Living Room Color Scheme

Color is everywhere…it’s a symbol for our moods, our thoughts, and the seasons.

What does the color scheme in the photo above express?

The combintation of orange, tan, red and brown conveys an earthy, casual attitude. The room is inviting, comfortable, and calm.

Maybe you live by the water and nautical fits your style. You would use blues, whites, greens and yellows to incorporate the beach, water, and sun into your room.

If you live in a downtown loft, you may choose an industrial look with white, black and silver elements – with a splash of bright color, like red, thrown in for contrast.

If you’re in search of the perfect country look – try some softer, blues, reds (perhaps a mauve color), yellows and light browns (especially as a furniture color).

The Birth of our Color Scheme

We chose a color scheme similar to the one in the picture for our living room. Brown is Jen’s favorite color and I love all the tones and colors you can mix into a neutral scheme – like red, gold, bronze, maize, and orange. Our next move is to introduce some darker brown accents

A color scheme should be complementary, yet flexible. A color scheme can have as few or as many colors as you want, as long as you keep in mind that one or two colors should form the foundation, with other colors as accents.

With our living room, brown and tan are those foundational colors. Our walls are latte, our armoire and end table are medium and dark brown, and our ottoman is a darker brown leather. That doesn’t mean we don’t mix in black (picture frames, candle holders); subtle reds, oranges, and blues (our coach and club chair) some accents); and bronze, deep reds, and golds (accentsand our the framed art above the mantle).

Resources To Help You Color Your World…

Here are two great articles on color meanings and much more. We hope you’ll find them useful…

Interior Design – The Meaning of Colors

We also found this great site which provides a great education about color concepts. Have a look… Color Schemes for Home Decorating

Don’t forget the one resource for all your living room decor needs…

It’s time for your frustration to end, not only with that, but every other challenge you’ve faced while trying to create the living room of your dreams. How about we start with some easy to complete checklists to help you identify your own personal living room style?uggling with your living room color scheme?

Then let’s talk about taking stock of what you have, what you can reuse and what you’ll need to transform your living room. Finally let’s move into a step-by-step guide to living room design and decorating that covers colors, flooring, windows, furniture, accents and those weird architectural challenges built into each home.

Along the way we’ll give you Designer Tips, low budget and no budget ideas, and hit on things like decorating small spaces or working around the challenges in your living room.

A Living Room Color Scheme…Flexible, Fun, First Building Block

Whether it’s neutral, nautical, or outrageous…your living room color scheme is the first building block to creating a great space.

Choose wisely, but choose a color scheme that makes you happy. Capture the mood you want for your living room. Make sure your color scheme allows you to remain flexible in selecting furniture, lighting and accents.

Have fun with your living room color scheme and make it your own!

Great Living Room Paint Colors Are a Must!

Living room paint colors could not be more important!

Great Living Room Paint Colors Are a Must!

Important for creating mood, important for lighting, and important for defining your personal style.

Does your personal style keep up with trends? Were many of your rooms white or neutral just a few years back? Are you looking for bolder colors today, like bright yellow, deep red or blue?

Dig into those magazines and get out there on the web to find those trends, if that’s your direction. Take a look at recent issues of House Beautiful and check out paint company websites, like Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore. We bet you’ll see something that will pique your interest and get your wheels turning.

Color My Mood

Trends aside, let’s get some of the basics down. This will help you match a color to what you’re feeling inside.

Color stimulates our senses and even changes our moods. Outgoing people feel happy with bold living room paint colors, while more shy people prefer the more passive, or subdued colors. By using a specific color combination in a color scheme, you can create a living room that is welcoming and comfortable.

Try not to use more than two main colors in a room, a main color and a trim color, or one color for three walls and another for an accent wall. One of the best ways to choose living room paint colors that work together is to use a color palette available from your local paint store. Here’s a general rule…the walls define the space of a room while colors define the mood you would like to present.

Colors could be put into three main groups:

  • Colors that can provide harmony and balance
  • Colors that can uplift
  • Colors that can relax

For instance, light blue is tranquil, purple stands for power or royalty, while green is for nature. By the same token grays and blacks are subdued colors while yellow brings out happiness. Do we even need to say that red is the color of romance?

Matching Colors and Themes

Once you decide on a decorating style, or even a theme, for your living room, you can try to match the living room paint colors to fit that style. For some info on how to do that try this page on living room wall colors.

Depending on what you’re spending to redecorate your living room, you’ll have to make some choices. If you’re going to bring in new furniture, you can afford to choose the colors you want, then match the furniture to those colors. If your budget is limited then you may need to make sure the colors you choose are a good fit with your existing furniture.

Either way, start with your room’s focal point and build outwards. Either use complementary colors or make the focal point stand out with something light around it.

Classic Colors That Still Do the Trick

The most popular color today is still white or off-white because it makes the room look very large and also makes small pieces, like lamps and tables, look bigger. White also adds light to your living room while helping to keep it cooler in the summer months. However, too many rooms with white walls tend to make your home look sterile or generic, not to mention the time you’ll have keeping your walls clean.

A great idea would be to add hints of color to complement your white walls. How about a tan for your trim or a light green or bright blue? Maybe a tan or taupe accent wall.

If you’re looking for warmth and trying to keep things conservative, perhaps for resale value down the road, there’s nothing like earth tones to accomplish just that. Earth tones blend in nicely with just about everything. We’re talking tans, browns, oranges, darker reds, bronze, mustard yellows and golds.