34 Simple Living Room Ideas That Will Instantly Transform Your Space

emily henderson rustic living room

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

The living room is arguably one of the most important spaces in your home. It's probably where your family gathers at night, where you wind down on a Saturday afternoon, and where your guests first rest their eyes when entering your home. It's only natural to want your living room to look and feel its absolute best. But while re-decorating a room is always an exciting process, it can also turn into a serious money pit (and quickly) if you don't prioritize and maximize what you already have. 

If your living room is feeling a little uninspiring and stale but doesn't necessarily warrant a full redesign, there are tons of easy ways to transform your space without spending a ton of time or money—and it can be as simple as moving some furniture around or adding a rug.

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Change Your Layout

Living room features neutral furniture and sculptural décor

Jeremiah Brent 

Sometimes, all you need to do to make your living room feel fresh is to switch up its layout. Is your furniture pushed up against the walls? Try floating it in the middle of the room. Is there too much space between your seating arrangement? Consider dividing your space into multiple zones, like interior designers Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus did in their L.A. living room above. 

At the very least, think about decluttering your space, which will open up the room and make it feel refreshed. Another idea? Shop your own home by removing and replacing certain items (like plants, art, a table lamp) from other rooms to see how they might fit in your living room.

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Adorn Your Coffee Table

Living room features a styled coffee table full of books and other objects

Jeremiah Brent

Is your living room décor basically done, but lacking a finishing touch? Adorn your coffee table with books, vases, objects, and flowers to give it that Pinterest-worthy look.

Play around with scale (varying large-scale and smaller objects work well), group like objects together, swap out seasonal décor, or mix up the height of your decorative objects to refresh your coffee table.

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Change Up the View

Living room features long citron-colored couch facing the windows

Elizabeth Roberts

The classic layout in a living room is to position the sofa to face the TV, but what if it were to face the window or another sofa instead? (We know, this only works if you keep your TV in a different room, or are looking to nix it altogether.)

Consider where and what you want the focal point to be in your living room, and design your space around that.

Consider how you use your space the most and arrange your sofa in a way that makes the most sense for you.

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Re-Hang Your Curtains

Living room features floor to ceiling curtains

Tali Roth

Are your curtains hung just below the ceiling and wide beyond the edge of your windows? If not, consider taking them down and re-hanging them. Placing your curtains as high and wide as possible will make your windows appear larger and allow more natural light to enter the room—making it look instantly more expensive. Or, consider styling them in a different way. For example, if you typically push curtains aside during the day, consider tying them back or picking up a few curtain hooks to secure them.

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Add an Antique

Living room mixes modern and vintage décor

Charlie Ferrer

Sometimes, you just need one antique to give your brand new space a little character. Whether you find a collector's piece on 1stDibs or Chairish or scour your local vintage store for something unique, a piece with a little age and patina will make your space feel more collected and elegant. Mixing different style genres is also a great way to personalize your living room, and avoid feeling like you're living in a staged home.

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Layer Your Rugs

Living room features layered rugs

Amber Interiors

Is your rug too small for your space? Add a larger, inexpensive natural weave rug underneath to anchor your living room. Do you already have a larger, neutral rug that's uninspiring? Layer a smaller antique Turkish rug on top to give your room character. Interior designers typically advise no smaller than an 8-by-10-foot rug in smaller spaces, and a 9-by-12-foot rug in larger living rooms.

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Use Color Repetition

Living room with repeating elements like a tan leather couch and similarly colored console

Stefanie Stein

When it comes to décor, there is a lot of power in repetition. This goes for colors, but also shapes. If you have one or two dominant colors in your living room, try repeating them in various items throughout the room. For instance, in the living room above by interior designer Stefanie Stein, the tan leather of the sofa and the teal blue of the pillows are repeated throughout in other accessories like lamps and benches.

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Add Some Greenery

Living room with gallery wall and a large fiddle leaf fig plant

Julia Robbs

A little greenery will always make a room feel more put together. Whether you only have the space (or the green thumb) for a small, low-maintenance succulent, or if you'd rather invest time and energy into a larger fiddle-leaf fig tree, consider adding a plant or two in your living room to give it that finishing touch. You could also follow feng shui design principles and choose, as well as position, a plant for your home that promotes both balance and good fortune. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with opting for fake houseplants; often, they look like the real thing and require less upkeep.

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Reorganize Your Bookcases

Neatly decorated bookcases in a living room

 Studio LifeStyle

Do you have bookcases in your living room? Take everything out and re-organize them. Remove any items you don't absolutely love or serve no purpose, and re-introduce items one by one, starting with stacks of books and art and finishing up with smaller accessories like vases and decorative accents. And don't forget to leave white space for the eye to pause.

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Add Floor Pillows

Living room with two floor cushions and low-slung white couches

Space Exploration 

A couple of floor pillows can go a long way in making a space feel laid-back and layered. If you feel like your living room needs just a little more texture, try Karaman floor pillows. Or, consider an ottoman or pouf in varying prints.

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Transform With Wallpaper

Printed wallpaper and colorful throw pillows in a living room

Katherine Carter

Wallpaper is back! And for good reason; with so many options, including peel-and-stick, finding an ideal print for your home will be totally easy to do.

But let's not be hasty. You don't have to treat every wall with wallpaper. Instead, pick an accent wall to add a pop of personality without losing your sanity or blowing your budget. Removable wallpaper means décor options for rentals, too, as well as options for those unwilling to commit to a single style.

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Choose Statement Lighting

Flush mount statement lighting in living room

Studio DB 

Lighting transforms a room in more ways than just brightening it up. Create a focal point for your living room with an eye-catching flush mount chandelier (great for low ceilings) or pendant light. Your guests' eyes will light up (no pun intended) the second they walk into your room, and will definitely compliment your excellent taste.

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Select Contrasting Patterns

Chevron wood floors layered with patterned black and white rug in living room

Fantastic Frank

Matchy-matchy is out. Mixed-match is in! Add visual intrigue and avoid a staged look with contrasting yet complementary patterns. The trick for mixing patterns is to focus on ensuring the color scheme is complementary, rather than the print itself. Try black-and-white hues with different imagery to keep things interesting, vibrant, and fun.

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Create a Gallery Wall

Gallery wall of black-framed photographs in living room

Ashe + Leandro

Painting walls isn't for everyone. Maybe your lease doesn't allow it or you don't have the patience. That's totally fine. Fill those walls up with your favorite photographs and prints. Pick personal photos, your favorite work from local artists, or maybe even art of your own. Do keep gallery wall best practices in mind, though!

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Repurpose Old Favorites

Repurposed vintage and existing furniture in living room

Amber Interior Design

A coat of paint or different textiles can make your favorite items feel brand new. Beyond painting or adding new texture, you can also switch up the hardware of your favorite pieces. For example, do your side table knobs feel a little blah? Find some fun new ones in different metals or shapes for a quick and easy refresh.

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Splurge on a Home Bar

Shelving becomes a home bar in a living room

 Stoffer Photography Interiors; DESIGN: Danielle Moss and Conor Scanlon

This cupboard opens up into a home bar, yet any existing solid surface will do, from a side table to your media console, or shop the likes of West Elm or Room and Board for mobile bar carts to bar cabinets. Not only can you arrange the items in an aesthetically pleasing manner, but it also creates a create icebreaker for your guests when they arrive.

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Try an Unconventional Coffee Table

living room with minimalist aesthetic with black geometric coffee table

Brophy Interiors

You can easily choose a standard circular or square coffee table to complete the look in your living space, but if you want to truly change things up, try going for an unconventional shape instead. Whether you go for an abstract wood carved option or a geometric shape like the image above, it's a simple yet effective way to give your room an entirely different vibe.

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Switch Up the Seating

Eclectic seating in a living room

Adenorah 

Group seating together to create a conversation nook, or shop your own home to see what easy swaps you can make. You may be pleasantly surprised that your outdoor furniture works well indoors, too. The great indoors never looked so good.

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Declutter Your Living Room

Edited living room is stylish yet clutter-free

Sarah Sherman Samuel 

One of the quickest ways to update your living room is to tidy up and organize. Seriously, a quick dusting and a full declutter will make any room feel fresh. Focus on the most visible places first and go from there.

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Float the Couch

Lofted living room with long couch floating in center

D'APOSTROPHE DESIGN

We know it's tempting to push your furniture against your walls, but this will only create dead space in the center of the room. Experiment with floating the couch in the middle of the room, or at least try leaving a few inches between your wall and the sofa for a more inviting environment, designers recommend.

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Cozy Up With Candles

Candles on a round, white, coffee table in living room setting

Sarah Sherman Samuel

Add warmth (and even some aromatherapy) with candles. Incorporate them into a vignette on a console; style them on a coffee table with a stack of books, for example. Most importantly, though, enjoy them! Pick scents you love and that help you unwind.

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Hack an IKEA Find

IKEA dresser hack

Norse Interiors 

Get personal with one of many IKEA furniture hacks, from switching out the hardware to a complete makeover. You don't have to spend a fortune to redecorate. You just need patience, sometimes some paint, and a creative eye!

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Blend Textures

A living room plays with different textures, from the rippled rug to fuzzy throw pillows

MyDomaine / Jenna Peffley

From matte to glossy, from soft to rigid, consider a mix of textures. You can create this look with everything you already own, from picture frames to an accent chair. It goes beyond just furniture though! Different varieties of plants also are a great way to accomplish this look.

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Soften With Organic Shapes

Décor in organic shapes like rounded puffs and side tables soften a boxy living room

Katie Martinez

Designers say styling a room with organic materials and shapes like rounded side tables helps soften the lines of a space and incorporate more flow. Given this is your living room, a place to socialize and unwind, this is definitely a tip to consider.

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Light Up Artwork

Picture light above a framed artwork in living room

Stoffer Photography Interiors; DESIGN: Danielle Moss and Conor Scanlon 

Show off the artwork in your living room with proper lighting. Picture lighting illuminates exactly what you want highlighting and is a great option for renters. Try online shops or, even better, look at local boutiques.

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Create Vignettes

A vignette of objects and framed art atop a West Elm marble console

Sean Litchfield; DESIGN: Jeremiah Brent for Decorist

Transform a room by combining objects, greenery, and other accessories at different heights for a vignette that will refresh the character of your living room. Decorist Creative Director Jessica McCarthy told MyDomaine to remember the "rule of three."

"The brain is comforted in finding the center point of objects, and the rule of three makes this so easy to achieve. Styling with odd numbers is guaranteed to create success," McCarthy said.

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Consider Corner Shelves

Corner shelves flank a burnt orange couch in a living room

Madeline Tolle 

Make a room feel more spacious and create additional storage for your living room with corner shelves. Corner shelves are beyond functional, however. They're an excellent way to display your favorite things and add your personal touch.

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Save on Prints

A large-scale print of a sandy beach scene hangs on wall

 Sharyn Cairns; DESIGN: Fiona Lynch

New York-based designer Sasha Bikoff told MyDomaine that you don't need to buy "the most famous work of art from well-known artists as you are mostly paying for the name or the signature at the bottom of the work." Instead, head to online print shops like TappanTwyla1stdibs, and Poster Child Prints for a more affordable way to outfit your home with art, including works by under-the-radar artists.

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Refresh With Throw Pillows

Throw pillows of different sizes and prints on a day bench set against a white wall

 Tessa Nuestadt

Throw pillows are a simple way to combine a plethora of design advice. From mixing textures to introducing pops of color, they give a living room an instant update. Also, consider arranging different sizes of pillows together for a cozy, eclectic look.

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Expand With a Floor Length Mirror

elegant apartment living room with marble coffee table, golden floor length mirror on the wall

Abitare Studios

Mirrors open up even the smallest space. Expand your own square footage with a floor-length mirror. You can do simple white frames or get super intricate with an ornate gold frame. Do whatever works best for your living room.

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Include a Colorful Couch or Sectional

living room with a green colorful sectional

Casa Watkins Living

Your couch will most likely take up the most space in your living room, right? Right! Why not get bold with the color? Whether it's a beautiful blue or a gracious green, let the color of your sofa or sectional guide the rest of your decorative decisions.

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Dress Up Your Fireplace

living room with a fireplace covered in floral wallpaper, two black shelves on either side

LA Designer Affair

Fireplaces are classic and nostalgic but they don't have to be basic and dated. Make your fireplace more contemporary and styled for your home by dressing it up with fun wallpaper. Not ready to commit to one print? That's totally fine; peel-and-stick wallpaper is ubiquitous, affordable, and, most importantly, removable. If it doesn't work, try another!

Wallpaper isn't your only option, though. Paint is a tried-and-true method for transforming any part of a home, including your mantel and fireplace. Try a bold black for a modern twist on a traditional element.

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Install a Faux Fireplace

white living room with faux fireplace with wood stacked inside

Amy Bartlam

If you don't have a fireplace to work with, may we recommend installing your own? Gasline not required, though; simply fill in the "fireplace" with logs, candles, vases, or whatever other dećor makes sense for your style and the room. Simple, quick, and impactful.

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Hang Some Floating Shelves

living room with white brick fireplace, floating wooden shelves installed in nooks on either side

Ashley Montgomery Design

Floating shelves are a seamless way to decorate. Since this type of shelving doesn't have visible hardware to coordinate with the rest of your space, you only have to focus on the base material and the decorative elements that sit on each one. You can be as minimal or as maximalist as you prefer; it's up to you.

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