Decorating A Formal Living Room

Dear Style Studio,

I have recently moved and tried to decorate my new formal living room with pieces I already have. I need to purchase some things to pull it all together.

Can you suggest rugs and any other advice? I’m thinking of Hadley rug in green with some matching pillows. Any suggestions are great!

Thank you,


Living Room

Living Room

Living Room


Congratulations on your move. We know that getting settled can be a challenge!

We think the Hadley Rug in green is a great possibility since it appears that your wall paint has just a whisper of green pigment in it. Another option might be the Chevron Stripe Dhurrie Rug in Grey as a neutral look. Either way, make sure the rug is large enough to include the sofa and chair within it’s parameters.

Hadley Rug - green

You have tall ceilings so we recommend lowering  the artwork above the sofa for the best look. This will help the artwork look connected to the furniture. Since this change will leave an empty space above the art pieces, consider adding the Grand Palais Mirror Arch above the pictures. Adding only the top arch of this mirror will echo the shape of your front window!

Grand Palais Mirror

Another way to visually connect art and furniture together on a large wall is by using paint to define a field of color. We think this is a great concept for the wall behind your sofa. We suggest going one or two shades darker than your current wall color to create a subtle canvas on which to showcase your art. Below is a good Ballard Designs interpretation of this idea.

Paint Frame on wall

Consider adding a fabric covered chair in front of your window and then tuck the two small ottomans near the base of the staircase.

Good luck as you continue to complete your space, have fun and Happy Decorating!

The Style Studio Team

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Reply

    Linda DuBois

    March 4, 2014

    What type of lighting is BEST for a FORMAL living room?

    • Reply

      How to Decorate Team

      March 6, 2014

      Hi Linda,

      Without knowing much about your space, it’s hard to say. Generally speaking, a room should have around 3 different points of light. So maybe two table lamps and something over head. And for a formal space, we recommend putting any sconces or overhead lighting on dimmers for elegant entertaining!

      Hope that helps.

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team