Living room ideas: 24 decorating tricks to inspire

A living room is one of the most used rooms of the house, so make yours a space that both comforts you and inspires you. We've pulled together 24 gorgeous living room ideas that promise to give a fresh and modern look.

See Also:Modern Interior Design – a guide to modern interior styles and design

1. Decorate with tape

Give walls a very modern look by framing them with a crisp painted edge.

This neon pink border adds a bold, modern edge to this room without being overbearing.

Feeling brave? Go all out and paint graphic shapes with masking tape.

2. Paint the floor

Take to the floors too; paint a neat border edge, tracing around the bottom of the walls, or create a rug effect with a block of pattern. A brightly painted border injects some playful energy into this living room scheme.

Below, gloss painted floor boards feature a stripe effect, instantly makes this otherwise uninteresting room feel modern and cool.

See Also:Small Living Room Ideas

3. Wallpapered walls

Move over wallpaper – murals look fabulous in living rooms. Be guided by architectural details, andbear in mind that your mural design must tie in with the rest of the scheme.

A hand-painted mural, or mural-style wallpaper will instantly transform a wall into a canvas.

Here, gold accents enhance the honey tones of the wooden floor and the richness of the leather chair.

See Also:Living Room Wallpaper Ideas

4. Crittall partitions

Instead of open plan, go broken plan. This offers all the benefits of its predecessor – a sense of light, space and sociability – but with greater emphasis on separation. Split levels, backless shelves and internal windows are all savvy ways to zone a large space. In this Victorian home, Crittall-style screens preserve the ow of light while providing a feeling of seclusion.

See Also:Crittall-Style Doors, Windows And Room Dividers

5. Invest in a classic

Invest in a classic piece of modern furniture, like the Eames lounge chair, the Togo sofa, Saarinen tulip table, Wishbone chair, Barcelona chair, or Chesterfield sofa. Design classics will lend a sophisticated, curated and timeless look, whatever your decorating scheme.

See Also:Modern Furniture Ideas – From Age-Old Classics To The Latest Furniture Trends

6. Rugs as art

We’re getting bolder with our choice of rugs and choosing larger, more colourful pieces. Rugs are becoming less of a finishing touch and more of an investment or talking point within a room. At Livingetc we love a good rug – but ever thought of hanging them on the walls instead?‘Statement rug wall hangings’ are all the rage, and the term is trending on Pinterest and Google, as more people are opting for a more textural look for their walls. Because why limit a striking design to the floor, when walls cry out for a little texture? Wall hanging rugs is a fantastic way to give your space a modern, edgy twist, and to fill your vertical space with texture, colour and warmth.

Explore more of Studio Peake's project here

7. Paint the woodwork

We're seeing a rising trend in painted woodwork, skirting, doors, door frames and cornicing, and it's a great way of introducing smaller pops of colour.

Here, a cornicing was painted in a blush pink paint, adding a modern twist to the traditional room. The back of the fireplace is painted in same pink used for the cornicing.

Dominic Myland says that this year there’s been a particularly big appetite for accent woodwork – rather than trying to make the woodwork disappear, selecting a standout colour for a fresh take on a painted interior.

Grey-blue is a classic, timeless colour to accent woodwork with.

See Also:The Six Best Powder Blue Paint Shades

While in this scheme below, Farrow & Ball’s Folly Green gives this space an uplifting energy, while also highlighting the detailing in the woodwork.

See Also:Living room paint colour ideas

8. Highlighter hues

Introduce splashes of colour through painting door ways in bold colours, and leaving the rest of the room more neutral.

A dash of incandescent yellow – Trumpet by Little Greene – delivers a burst of energy and links the front living room to the middle sitting room in the home of interior designer Suzy Hoodless

Meanwhile the grey palette in the sitting room below is instantly lifted by the Tiffany blue door.

No doorway to paint? This decorating trick can work for open-plan spaces too, like in the modern rear extension below, by architect David Tigg. The steel structure has been turned into an expressive feature by painting it bright red.

See Also:Modern home extension ideas – from side returns and conservatories to lofts and basements

9. Decorate the ceiling

The trend for painted ceilings is still proving ever-popular. Dominic Myland comments: ‘inverting the traditional formula of painted walls and white ceilings, the ceiling is becoming the hero, often combined with paler tones or off-white walls to make the room feel larger.’

For something bolder, this blue living room / snug was given a dramatic red ceiling.

See Also:Ceiling Decorating Ideas

10. Conceal your TV

Don't make your TV the focal point of your living room. There's lots you can do to conceal your TV, and we love this simple solution of fixing bookcases on wheels, sliding them apart to reveal a wall-mounted TV.

Here the TV is cleverly hidden inside a sliding bookcase – the bookcases slide away to reveal the wall-mounted TV hidden behind.

See Also:Storage ideas for small living rooms

11. Clever joinery

Maximise space by building in clever storage.

‘Many homes have awkward alcoves. This is one area where it pays to invest in bespoke cabinetry to really maximise the storage,’ says Andrew Dunning of London Contemporary. The bespoke media unit in this open plan reception room provides essential storage with decorative floating shelves above. Designed by London Contemporary to fit the wall shape without protruding into the room too much.

For design that makes more of a statement, take a leaf out ofStudio Ben Allen's book, who designed this super cool living room storage for a Barbican flat, with a snazzy drop-down desk that can be folded away at the end of the working day.

See Also:Storage ideas for small living rooms andHow to use colour in small living rooms

12. A secret door

We've all dreamed of having these at one point, haven't we? A door disguised as a bookcase, leading into a room that's private, personal and hidden? Designed byElizabeth GeorgantasofGEORGANTAS Design + Development, this bookcase below swings open to reveal an adults-only snug, for enjoying a tipple and Netflix after the kids have gone to bed. We also love the glow-in-the-dark constellation wallpaper by Ralph Lauren on the ceiling above.

See Also:The Ultimate Man Cave Ideas

13. Statement furniture

For a show-stopping piece of furniture to make its mark, it shouldn’t be upstaged. As they say: if everything is important, then nothing is. Paint the walls plain white to allow the item to be the centre of attention and then anchor it with a striking rug to ramp up the wow factor.

See Also:Introducing the only 5 shades of white paint you'll ever need

14. XL plants

Tired of the humble houseplant? Dial up the drama with an indoor tree, the logical and maximalist next step. When choosing your tree, check that it will live happily indoors and consider its care. How much water and natural light does it need? How large will it grow – and how high is your ceiling?

See Also:Cool Ways To Bring The Outdoors In

15. Step down

Eventually, everything comes back in style – now it’s the turn of the sunken living room. Perhaps it’s our obsession with all things mid-century orthe trend for broken-plan living that’s fuelling the revival. Whatever the reason, a sunken living room is a practical wayto zone a large space without erecting walls,as this design proves.

See Also:Modern Basement Ideas

16. Decorated doors

We've seen graphic painted walls, cool ceilings, painted floors and painted woodwork, but what about the doors? We love Charleston inspired patterns for doors, or for a historic property you could commission someone to decorate doors with something more delicate and intricate,

See Also:A Renowned Artist Transformed This Historic Chapel Into A Fearlessly Colourful Workshop and Home

17. Trick the eye

A mirror cut to fit the exact measurement of the wall will create the illusion of being twice the size.

See Also:Small Living Room Ideas

18. Daring Dado

Using different paint colours above and below the dado is a popular decorating trick, but going just a little bit bolder with a bright colour will give a living room a completely different look and energy.

See Also:These are the most popular paint colours of 2020

19. Colour blocking

Enveloping each room in a different paint colour will create distinctly different zones, rooms and moods.

See Also:How to use colour in small living rooms

20. Go dark

Darker, deeper blues create a bolder, more dramatic look, and have a cocooning effect. It suits both large living rooms, making them feel smaller and cosier, and small living rooms, emphasising bijou proportions and giving them a den-like feel.

See Also:Moody Blue Living Room Ideas

21. Statement curtains

Frame windows with a shapely, decorative pelmet, like design duo Turner Pocock achieved here.

See Also:Living room curtain ideas

22. Go for Mid-Century style

Mid-Century Modern furniture continues to soar in popularity, and these days you don't need to get your hands on vintage pieces to get the look – high street retailers like John Lewis, Heal's, Cult Furniture, Swoon, West Elm and Rose & Grey all stock Mid-Century inspired furniture pieces.

See Also:The Best Shops For Mid-Century Modern Furniture

23. Statement lighting

Set a dramatic tone for your home with a decadent statement light– a central piece that you can arrange the furniture around. Head bump-saving tip: remember to factor in clearance room so people can walk beneath the pendant – allow 2.13m from the bottom of the fixture to the floor.

This clustered gallery wall configuration is a fantastic t for a mix of ornate frames. For maximum impact, ensure the images have a unifying element – florals are the theme here – and try to keep an even gap between the frames for a balanced look.

See Also:How to create the perfect gallery wall andHow To Hang A Picture - The Best Techniques For A Professional Finish