As one of the most important rooms in your home, you want your living room to look its best, feel comfortable and be practical for the needs of yourself, friends and family. Knowing how to design a living room is easy when you use our creative and useful ideas, so read on and be inspired!

How to design a living room: the basics

The living room sets the tone for the rest of your home’s decor, making it the ideal place to showcase your creativity and design aesthetic. Designing your living room allows you to bring out your inner interior designer and experiment with colour, texture and furniture, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

Unless you are moving into a new home which is a completely blank canvas, it’s likely your living room is currently filled with furniture, storage and other interior design features. Before you start redesigning your living room, you need to decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. If you love your sofa and just can’t bear to part with it, you don’t have to! You can simply use the sofa to your advantage and design your living room to complement it. Taking a good look at your living room in its current state will give you a better idea of what you like about it and what you would like to change.

If you have a small living room and think you could benefit from some extra space, you should also consider conservatories Luton. Conservatories offer a great alternative living area, especially in the summer months when you can enjoy a view of your garden while spending time with the family.

If you are still not sure where to begin, you should take a look at online living room ideas to give you inspiration. You could even go as far as to create a mood board where you can collate all your creative ideas and begin the design process.

unique living room

Colour schemes

The colours you use for your living room depends on the atmosphere you want to create and your personal preference. Every colour has its own meaning and impacts us differently; for example, the colour blue is renowned for promoting physical and mental relaxation and reducing stress. On the other hand, red is a very emotionally intense colour, which indicates danger and raises blood pressure. If you are not well informed of colours and their meaning, take a look here.

It should also be noted that many interior designers use a decorating rule which determines how often a colour is used in a room – the 60-30-10 colour rule. 60% refers to the main colour of your room, so for your living room, this would cover most of the walls, large accent pieces and perhaps the sofa. Your secondary colour should then cover 30% of the room, which means you will be using half as much of this colour as your main colour. This means you can use this colour for your curtains, accent chairs or even creating an accent wall. Finally, the last 10% is your accent colour. In your living room, this would account for your throw, pillows, decorative accessories and artwork.

If you are still unsure of what colour schemes would work well in your living room, here are some popular choices from 2019:

  • Neutral, for example natural wood, white and green
  • Mustard, grey and purple
  • Black, white and an accent colour of your choice
  • Rich blue, dusky pink and cream
  • Grey, copper and white


With so much choice, shopping for furniture can be quite tedious and time-consuming. So, before you head to the shops or start browsing online, you have to decide what furniture you actually need – this could be anything from seating to storage to coffee tables. Arranging your furniture can be difficult, especially if you only have a small space to work with, so you should decide on a focal point beforehand (e.g. fireplace, TV, chandelier) and then arrange your furniture accordingly.

If you are buying a new sofa, this will likely take up a lot of space in your living room, so it is crucial to choose one that not only looks great but is also functional. If you have a large family or tend to use your living room to entertain guests, a small two-seater sofa may not be the most appropriate option. Instead, you should opt for a large corner sofa, which can accommodate for a number of people. Alternatively, if you want a more multi-functional sofa, you should invest in a sofa bed – this is perfect if you have guests stay over often but do not have a spare bedroom for them to sleep in.

Many contemporary living rooms feature custom furniture or unique unholstered armchairs as they add character to the room and make a statement. Not On The High Street have a generous selection of unique and quirky armchairs which are available in a number of colours and styles, so you are bound to find one that will suit your living room perfectly.

stylish living room interior


Unlike the kitchen or bathroom, which are designed with specific tasks in mind, your living room is more versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. For example, you could use your living room to entertain guests, watch TV with the family, curl up on the sofa with a good book or even eat the occasional meal. With so many uses, your living room needs to have carefully planned lighting to accommodate for all tasks.

Task lighting

Task lighting is one of the most important features of your living room. You may find that your main light is too harsh for intricate activities such as reading, doing work or playing a board game with the family, so task lighting is the perfect alternative. For most of us, the living room is used to binge watch our favourite Netflix series or enjoy a film, so it is important your lighting does not conflict with the light your TV emits. To avoid glare, you should use table lamps with shades and position them so they do not shine directly toward the screen.

If you are an avid reader, you should utilise desk lamps or floor reading lamps in your living room as their bright, focused light reduces squinting and eye strain.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is a great way to highlight artwork and architectural features within the space. If your living room boasts a textured wall or interesting architectural elements, you should consider using a wall grazer. Alternatively, you could use track lighting. Track lighting is stylish yet practical and ideal if you have high ceilings.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting can help fill the gaps in your living room and achieve your desired atmosphere. Recessed downlights are a very popular lighting choice for home interiors, especially if you want to create an ultra-modern space.

Wall art

Wall art comes in many forms, such as typography, posters, art prints and graphic designs, so finding one to suit the style of your living room is easy. Before you purchase any wall art, you need to decide what space you want to fill, and this will then determine what size artwork you will need. Placement of wall art is largely dependent on the space available; however, there are a few handy tips you could use. If you have a large, blank wall which you want to fill, you should measure the wall and minus 6-12 inches on each side so that it is centred. For example, if your wall is 36 inches, and you leave about 6 inches on each side, you should choose a piece of art that is around 24 inches wide. Moreover, you should avoid wall decor that is wider than your furniture pieces and use art that is either the same length or smaller.

monochrome living room

Soft furnishings

The finishing touches, such as throws, pillows and rugs, will add an element of comfort to your living room and give it a sophisticated and refined look. Although blinds are a contemporary design feature and quite popular, curtains can add a lot more character to the room. Acting as a suitable backdrop to your furniture and the perfect accessory for walls and windows, curtains provide privacy without compromising style. If you are unsure of what soft furnishings will look best in your living room, you can look online for inspiration or visit Next, who have an excellent selection of soft furnishings to suit any style.

Making your house a home

Your living room is where you probably spend most of your family time, as well as alone time relaxing watching TV, or reading, so extensive planning when designing it is key. Designing a living room that is entirely made up of your creative ideas makes the space feel homely and more personal, so start finding inspiration and unleash your inner interior designer.

If you are still looking for other ways to improve your home, aside from giving your living room a makeover, why not consider doors Luton which will instantly enhance your home’s exterior.

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