36 living room ideas – the latest trends, easy updates and inspiring spaces

Our gorgeous roundup of living room ideas will inspire you to revamp your lounge, big or small, in an instant

Living room ideas
(Image credit: George Home)

Our living room ideas are all you need to inspire your lounge transformation. And we especially love redecorating our living rooms at this time of year because they are by far the cosiest spaces that we spend the most time in during autumn and winter. 

So, whether you're working with a small, big or downright awkward living room space, we've endless lounge decor tips and tricks to help you out below. We've picked out living rooms that will suit all styles, sizes and budgets, so keep scrolling for our edit of all the latest looks, achievable trends and colour schemes for 2020, and into 2021.

Of course, the perfect looking lounge goes hand in hand with living room design too so be sure to check out our guide when you have a moment to spare. 

1. Pair modern interiors with a traditional space

Living room ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

This rustic lounge, complete with gorgeous beams, is brought to life by modern living room additions. The white walls keep it bright, as does the choice of sofa, while the patterned rug alongside the mixture of textures and materials going on adds plenty of charisma to this contemporary lounge.

2. Add character with green walls

traditional living room idea with green walls in London home

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

A really quick and easy way to decorate a living room is to get experimental with paint. And when we say 'experimental', we mean anything from painting the room a cleaner shade of white to painting polka dots all over the ceiling. Whatever your style, paint can transform a room really quickly.

We love this green living room, it's such a cool, unusual colour that looks fab with the pops of blue and orange – a colourful space in a very not-too-much kind of way. For more living room paint ideas, check out our feature. 

Living room idea with black wall and wooden floor

(Image credit: Jemma Watts)

You can always use paint to live out your dark living room dreams. And we love this lounge space because, yes, the walls are very dark, but the room itself, doesn't feel dark at all – the light floors and bright high ceilings (made to look even higher because the dark colour only goes up to the picture rail), keep the space light and airy. 

If you are after a similar colour, you can't go wrong with Farrow & Ball's classic, Railings. Find more dark and dramatic interiors over in our gallery. 

4. Or keep things light with a Scandi-style living room

Ikea living room ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Not tempted by the dark side just yet? Keep things really light in your lounge with an all-white living room. You can add interest with textures rather than colours and different neutral hues. Obviously, this colour palette is an especially great small living room idea as choosing lighter and brighter colours is only going to expand the space.

Why not switch up your living room layout? We can help. 

5. Mix and match contrasting colours alongside texture

Living room idea using pink and green velvet

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

If you are after living room ideas that are instantly going to add something different to your space, choosing a couple of colours to repeat together is a great place to start. We love the repetition of green and pink in this lounge decor as it draws the eye across the room, and, the colours work perfectly together.

It would be rude to not mention the sofa here – lovely and luxurious – take a look at our top picks in our best sofas buying guide.

6. Get inspired by neutral living room ideas 

cream sofas in cottage living room with fireplace

(Image credit: Amanda Hamilton)

How lovely and cosy does this traditional living room look? It's an easy style to copy too, just keep everything very muted and soft. Eyeing up that wall panelling too? It is a nice way to add another pale colour to the room and add to that rustic feel. You can actually DIY panelling if your home hasn't got any originals: B&Q have a guide you can follow easily. 

7. Choose Dulux's Colour of the Year 2021 to feel comforted

Dulux Colour of the Year 2021: Brave Ground

(Image credit: Dulux)

It's been a tough year, right? So why not treat yourself to a living room that literally envelops you in a comforting colour? Dulux's Colour of the Year 2021 has been picked in response to the Covid crisis: it's warming, welcoming and best of all, sooo easy to coordinate around. 

8. Add texture with an exposed brick wall

Exposed brick wall in a Scandi living room

(Image credit: Katie Lee © Future)

Now if you are lucky, you will find beautiful bricks under your plaster and it can be a straightforward, if not slightly messy, DIY project to expose them. We love this living room look as it's cosy and nods a little to the industrial trend too. 

We have a guide to how to create an exposed brick wall if you want a step by step. 

9. Go for a simple, Mid-century modern living room

living room

(Image credit: Vanessa Arbuthnott)

Another simple living room idea, what could be more inviting than a Mid-century modern inspired lounge? From low-key furniture, to clean-cut storage, muted colours and really subtle decor, this is a trend that isn't going away in a hurry, and it is the perfect way to create a sophisticated space. 

10. Go shabby chic by mixing old and new

danish siting room with armchair

(Image credit: Iben and Niels Ahlberg/inagency.dk)

The old version of shabby chic, was all about a very cluttered look with plenty of colours and patterns all crammed into one space. The new more contemporary version still has plenty of pattern and there's well curated clutter too, it's just more simple and pared back. The big difference is the colours, which are lighter, brighter and more neutral.

Take a tour of this Copenhagen apartment to see more of how it's done. 

11. Add personality with a bookcase

Living room display

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Most of us have a books in our living rooms, but your bookshelves can always be more than just a storage space if styled right. You don't need to pack every single book in because, as Farrow & Ball have shown us in this living room, gaps are good. And, if you make space for trinkets to be interwoven amongst the books, such as small pictures in decorative picture frames, little boxes, plants, statues and whatever other aesthetic pieces you may have tucked away, you'll add much more personality and make your book shelf feel more purposeful than just a storage area.

Find more cute reading nook ideas in our guide.

12. Add life to your lounge with house plants

Living room ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

A quick and cheap living room idea to add life (literally) and greenery to your space is to add plenty of house plants. Invest in a mixture of small and large indoor plants and then dot them around the room over shelves, sideboards and mantlepieces. The plants you choose will add to the style of your living room too – a palm will add an exotic boho feel, while a bonsai will add a polished and more structured look.  

Find the best indoor plants in our guide.

13. Create a coastal feel with stripes and panelling 

Beachy living room idea with panelled walls and striped sofa

(Image credit: Argos)

Coastal interiors are such a classic, and the beachy look works so well in living room decor because it's clean and bright, but really inviting and cosy, too. To get this look, start with a blank canvas, paint the whole room white, cream or a lovely pale blue (try Farrow & Ball Light Blue). Then you can add the details and accessories; soft muted coloured furnishing, add the occasional striped thrown in for a proper coastal look.

If you want to copy the shiplap wall in the living room above, check out Wickes they have a DIY kit that will achieve a similar look. 

14. DIY your own lounge wall panelling

chair arts and crafts panelled living room

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

And if shiplap is a bit too beach house vibes for you, DIY some traditional wall panelling using beading. This living room might have original panelling but you can achieve a very similar look just check out our guide to DIY wall panelling

15. Or create the illusion of panelling with wallpaper 

Coastal inspired living room

(Image credit: Future)

Want an even easier way to get the look? Wallpaper. Wayfair sell peel and stick wallpaper that looks really authentic and would add a perfect rustic feel to your living room. 

16. Mix modern furniture with vintage finds 

Grey living room with a mix of modern and vintage decoration

(Image credit: Colin Poole)

We love living room designs that mix old and new, it just makes them so much more... liveable. A velvet upholstered 18th-century French chaise longue might look wonderful but you can't get comfy on that to binge watch Netflix, now can you? So choosing new pieces, like a sofa, and mixing them with your original vintage finds, not only looks fab but is practical, too. (P.S. put the chaise longue in the hallway...)

Gallery wall used as a living room idea to add colour

(Image credit: Homesense)

A gallery wall is a brilliant way to add personality, via colour, pattern and memories to your living room setting. Choose photo frames that complement the surrounding soft furnishings – especially if you're working on a white wall – and you'll really make this backdrop pop. 

For help when curating yours, look to our gallery wall ideas feature. 

18. Or lean your pictures for a more laid back look

Living room

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Decorating a living room needn't be hard work, especially if you're renting or really really stuck for time. And, leaning a combination of prints, paintings and frames against a wall can have just as much impact. 

Choose a colour theme that's not too chaotic, pick frames of different sizes and leave some space between the pieces. Here, the tiny splashes of yellow and pink add a whole new accent colour to this neutral living room.

Find more ways to display photos and artwork in our guide.

19. Add gilded touches for a luxury living room 

Living room ideas with gold accents

(Image credit: Philip Lauterbach)

A luxury living room is always a joy to be in. The gilded mirror above the fireplace, and the chandelier, makes this lounge space feel elegant and sophisticated. Yes, you can go far with just a touch of gold.

Take a tour of the rest of this gorgeous period terrace for loads more inspiration. 

20. Hang a mirror to create the illusion of space

Sofa in living room at the house of Gabrielle Blackman

(Image credit: Gabrielle Blackman)

For a living room idea that is going to add light and space, mirrors are always going to work. It may be Interior Design 101, but if you have a small living room, or a dark living room, adding a mirror is only going to help things by expanding the space and bring in more light. Magic, we know. 

21. Go big with beautiful living room storage

black sofa and checked sofa in living room in front of bookshelf with lots of books

(Image credit: Bruce Hemming)

It might not be as fun as painting your living room, but getting your living room storage sorted can be just as effective. Totally decluttering your room will not only give you more space to get decorating, it will obviously make your living room feel bigger too as there won't be stuff covering every surface.

You can also make storage a key feature of your living room design. Floating shelves, bookcases, sideboards, all of these can be decorated beautifully. See, storage isn't so boring...

22. Layer texture to emphasise cosiness in a small living room 

Small cosy living room

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Before we go on to talk about the many amazing living room ideas going on in this space, can we just appreciate the artful layering in this living room? That's how it's done, people! 

Along with the masterful layering that adds so much cosiness to this small living room, the mural also works towards adding texture. Murals are also a fab option if you are decorating a rented home, because you can choose to hang a mural rather than paste it permanently to your wall. The use of a mural also expands the space as it stops an expanse of white wall making the room feel boxy.

23. Create interest with a feature wall or mural

Sandberg wallpaper

(Image credit: Sandberg)

One up from wallpaper, a mural will create even more of a feature wall. Yes we know, murals don't always get the best rap but you can find some really cool ones that will add style to your room rather than a wall of snowy mountains or a New York skyline. Check out Sandberg for some gorgeous options. 

24. Go chic with shutters

Shutters as a living room idea

(Image credit: California Shutters)

Choosing the best living room window dressing can be tricky, because you want both the softness of curtains and the privacy of blinds – especially if your living room is at the front of the house. We have found what works best is a combination of the two. Layering a curtain over a blind. We have a whole guide on choosing living room curtains so if you want more advice be sure to check that out.  

But, of course, we can never resist the look of shutters and if you are after a clean, simple look, cafe shutters like the ones above, are a great option for living rooms too.

Like a grey living room look?

25. Add an area rug to lift a tired floor 

Neutral living room with black accents

(Image credit: Design: Bobby Berk; Photography: @marisavitalephotography)

If your current carpet is looking a bit worse for wear, a super easy living room idea is to cover it up with a massive area rug. And we mean massive – pick one that's going to go at least slightly under your furniture too so it looks almost like the rug is the carpet. 

We think jute rugs look best as area rugs and they are great for layering too, so you can pop a patterned rug over the top to add some texture. 

26. Pick interesting seating options

New Nordic style living room by John Lewis

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Investing in new furniture is always going to give your living room a bit of lift and if you are on the look out for a new sofa, or a new armchair, it's a great opportunity to find something more funky.

Pick a piece you can move around the room, too, for practicality more than anything else, but also because moving furniture around can be an easy way to keep a space feeling fresh.

27. Add detail with patterned wallpaper 

Farrow and Ball wall paper in a small, traditional living room

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball)

Second only to paint, we think wallpaper is one of the easiest living room ideas out there. Just one roll of wallpaper could totally change the style of your space. Wallpaper can look great on every wall, but we love it as just a feature wall – stops the space being too busy and gives the room a focus.  That means you could just add a feature wall, treat yourself to a couple of rolls of your dream wallpaper and hang it yourself. An update for under £100! 

If you want to learn how to wallpaper just head to our guide.

28. Create a maximalist living room 

Green velvet sofa in front of a gallery wall

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Start with one roll of wallpaper, and it might lead to something bigger... We love this maximalist space: colour on every wall, including the floor! But it really doesn't look too much, the white walls and relatively neutral sofa colour keep the room looking fresh and not too full. 

29. Use lighting to create impact

Living room ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

Living room lighting isn't just about the ambient, the task and the accent lighting (although that's a must to sort when designing a living room lighting scheme), it's also about the impact of the fittings. While pendant lighting in a living room should be used with caution (overhead fittings used alone will make the space feel soulless and bland), they should definitely be chosen and positioned for maximum effect. Loving how these are positioned over a coffee table to create a real focal point around the social zone of the space. And the lit glass cabinets are a real bonus...

We have loads of living room lighting ideas to get your inspired over in our gallery. 

30. Go for height, everywhere

Living room display

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Here the combination of a gorgeous plant pot with the height of the plant proves that decor for a living room can be as simple or as outlandish as you'd like. This feature draws the eye up making it a beautifully dramatic corner.

Find out how to create an indoor garden for added interest all year round.

31. Go dotty

Living room with light grey walls, original brown floorboards, grey sofa and matching footstool covered in pastel pink and black cushions and gallery wall

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

Cushions are king. You’ve heard us say this before – never underestimate the power of changing your cushions and throws. These small changes can make a huge difference to the look of your living room. A new print – we like the polka – a bold colour or simply a new texture can instantly update your sofa and chairs. 

32. Give your floor some love with a new living room rug

Green velvet sofa in front of a gallery wall

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

Rugs can be the final touch that bring the rest of the scheme together, and they work particularly well when you have large expanse of floor in your living room or want to disguise an old carpet you can't afford to replace yet. Rugs will break up a floor visually, making a room feel cosier, while adding texture, colour and pattern, too. Again, you needn't spend a fortune – Ikea and Aldi both have ridiculously affordable buys.

33. Or tile your living room floor for a look that's bang on trend 

Living room flooring ideas

(Image credit: CTD Tiles)

An option you might not normally consider is decorative floor tiles – yes, they are beginning to be seen in rooms other than bathrooms, hallways and kitchens. Practical, easy to clean and great in modern spaces, you can pull out the colours in them to accessorise the rest of your scheme – here, the blue/grey from these Havana white flower tiles matches the woodwork and the yellow cabinet gives a bold splash of colour. 

For more patterned tiles designs head over to our feature. 

34. Go for two tones in your living room 

Living room paint ideas

(Image credit: Argos)

If you're tired of your living room's look but love the main colour you've used, why not just add a new accent colour to the scheme to pep it up? You could apply a strong contrasting tone to above picture rail height and ceiling if you want a dramatic change, as in the room above – or you could just do what's been done in the room in picture number one and simply paint a toning strip above the main living room paint colour and keep the ceiling white.

35. Cosy up you living room with inky blues plenty of soft furnishings

Living room paint ideas

(Image credit: Argos)

We love a dramatically dark living room IF there's bags of natural light and plenty of good artificial lighting to keep the space feeling cosy in the evenings. Going for a dark scheme? Add warmth, if not with paint shades, then with accessories – the cushions and rugs keep this space feeling welcoming not dreary.

For more blue room ideas head over to our feature.

36. Go all out Hygge for a Scandi-style living room 

Log cabin living room

(Image credit: Future/Malcolm Menzies)

And there it is, the word you all knew was coming. This is by far the easiest way to add a dash of Scandi design ideas to your home – dim the lights, grab a blanket and light all the candles you own. Obviously get a crackling fire going, even it is just on the TV like in this log cabin. If you love this space, you should check out the rest of the space, it's as Hygge as a home comes. 

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