Living Room Decorating Ideas

Refresh your space with these living room decorating ideas

Your living room is often the most used room in the house, hosting a nearly constant rotation of family and friends alike. So give it a little TLC from time to time to keep it from feeling tired and dated. Here are 7 simple living room decorating ideas to help you refresh your style.

1.    Decorate Your Coffee Table

If your coffee table has become a catchall for remotes, mail, and odds and ends, give it some attention and change the feel of our whole room

When left bare, the wide expanse of a coffee table top can weigh down a room. Break up the space—and add a little personality—by arranging a few artful items on top. A stack of books, a wooden bowl, a tray and a vase of flowers are all great items that will make the room feel lighter and brighter. For more inspiration, check out stylist Annette Joseph’s three coffee table tricks.

2.    Add Glam with Mirrors

Mirrors reflect light around the room

If you want a stunning change that will bring a room to life, replace artwork with one large mirror or fill a previously empty wall with a collection of mirrors. For a more streamlined look, hang a row of identical mirrors, or go for a creative collage of frameless mirrors in different shapes. Either way, you’ll add instant style and bounce light around the space, making it feel larger.

3.    Shelve It

Open shelving is an easy way to bring more storage into your living room, plus its a lovely way to display books and collections

If your living room has been feeling a little frenetic and cluttered lately, add a pair of open shelves for some much-needed balance and harmony. Edit your room’s accessories and move the ones you love to the shelves and arrange amongst your collection of books. Group books together by alternating stacks horizontally and vertically, then drop in your accessories between them. Your curated collection of storage and display will bring an organized feel to the room that’s also pleasing to the eye. See stylist Annette Joseph’s 7 golden styling rules for a bookshelf.

 4.    Hang An Oversized Piece of Art

One large piece of art can totally change the look and feel of your room

Bigger is better. The sentiment certainly holds true when it comes to art. Introducing one large-scale piece of art into a space creates a strong focal point and guarantees dramatic impact. And it works in any size room: a large piece of art supports the architectural assets in a wide open room and it visually opens up a small space. Let your artwork guide your color palette in the room for a put-together look.

5.    Drop in Dramatic Lighting

An unusual light fixture gives a living room personality, but also a gorgeous focal point!

Glamorous chandeliers are no longer just for entryways and formal dining rooms. More and more people are giving them center stage in the rooms they use most, from the kitchen to bedroom and, yes, living room. Whether a classic lantern, oversized orb or crystal chandelier, eye-catching lighting in the living room nicely punctuates the room’s décor—and brings mood lighting to an all-new level.

6.    Go Monochromatic

Create a subtle and sophisticated backdrop with perfectly layered neutrals

Create a subtle and sophisticated backdrop to everyday living with a room full of perfectly layered neutrals. You’ll love the feeling of openness and calm it brings to your space. The key to monochromatic decorating, especially with neutrals, is to vary the intensity of the hue and textures in the space, and that can mean with your lighting, curtains, upholstery, pillows, rugs and even artwork.

7.    Punch it Up with Pattern and Color

Pops of turquoise make this room feel fresh

Adding an unexpected splash of color or a pinch of pattern to a room full of mostly neutrals is a welcome accent. If you find a show-stopping graphic pattern, like a fabulous chevron or ikat, put it on a pillow, a pair of panels or a rug. Or add a quick burst of color with an object in your favorite color: a side table, a lamp or an upholstered side chair are all easy ways to give your room a bit of visual punch.

Have other living room decorating ideas to share? Leave us a note in the comments below.

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


    April 23, 2018

    You really do have a beautiful home. I especially love your taste in furniture with all the light wood shades. Love this post! Thanks

  2. Reply


    January 6, 2017

    I am looking to paint my walls. What color trends are you seeing in living rooms/kitchens?

    • Reply

      Annika Dupree

      June 13, 2017

      These are the colors that we currently love shown here, all perfectly acceptable in a living room or kitchen!

  3. Reply

    Crystal George

    April 7, 2015

    In coffered ceiling picture. What color is on the ceiling and walls. Looks like it is the same coloring

  4. Reply


    August 23, 2014

    Where can I get that artwork?

  5. Reply


    August 18, 2014

    Where do I find the curtains. I need them! They are exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 19, 2014

      Hi Sharon,

      The curtains in the first photo are our Double Pinch Pleat Curtain in our Callistro Stripe fabric in Chocolate. You can find them here.

      Happy Decorating!
      The How to Decorate Team

      • Sharon

        August 25, 2014

        Thank you so very much!

      • Sharon

        August 25, 2014

        I looked at the curtains on the website and the stripes are going vertical instead of horizontal. Are you sure there isn’t a different one than the one you mentioned?

      • Caroline @ How to Decorate

        August 26, 2014

        Hi Sharon,

        You’re correct, the stripes in this image are going horizontal instead of vertical. We railroaded the fabric (used it perpendicular to the way its made) for this space. Unfortunately we can’t railroad the fabric for our Double Pinch Pleat curtains. I’m so sorry!! The other option is for you to order yardage of the Callistro Stripe in Chocolate and have a seamstress make the curtains for you so the stripes are going horizontal. Hope that helps! I’m sorry we aren’t able to railroad them for you!

        The How to Decorate Team

      • Sharon

        September 3, 2014

        Well they sure look a lot classier going vertical. It makes a huge difference for sure. I wish I could have found something like them already made. Thank you anyway for getting back to me.

  6. Reply

    Michelle Clark

    July 9, 2014

    What rug is that on the First Photo? It’s a pale neutral with a southwester type design. Does Ballard sell that rug? Thanks!

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 10, 2014

      Hi Michelle!

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, that rug is a style we no longer carry, but we do sell very similar patterns, like our Catherine Rug, our Thema Rug which has a very Southwestern look to it, and our Colburn rug. Hope that helps!

      Happy Decorating,
      The How to Decorate Team

  7. Reply

    Michelle Clark

    July 9, 2014

    Great Photos and Tips! Thanks!! MC

  8. Reply


    May 16, 2014

    I love it! I write from Spain, Thanks!