Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
Your living room sees the most use. It's where you entertain guests, have family movie nights, and even enjoy a quiet evening alone. Since you use it every day, it's no wonder it's the most frequently updated space in your home. Whether you're searching for a whole new style or just want to make a small update, get inspired by our editors' best tips for living room decorating below.
In the Decorist's San Francisco showhouse, by Decorist elite designer Simone Howell, everything is personal. "The living room is a place where you should feel totally at ease, whether you love a calm neutral palette or something vibrant. Layering objects like coffee table books that represent your family's passions in addition to travel trinkets such as blown glass votives bring an additional layer of intimacy to a space."
For a Gramercy Park apartment, designer Bennett Leifer upholstered a settee in a Sabina Fay Braxton velvet, and chose a pair of carved wood armchairs by de Gournay covered in a Stark velvet. The Empire console is from Lucca Antiques, the cocktail table is by Ebanista, the vintage stool is by Maison Baguès, the Louis XVI secretary was purchased on 1stdibs, the Tabriz rug is antique, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Alexandria Beige.
Bringing plants and flowers into a room always adds a designer flair to your decor, and the living room is one of my favorite places to add flowers, since we are often entertaining. These mini flower arrangements will look great on your bookshelf, coffee table or mantle. DIY your way into awesome decor with this easy to follow step by step tutorial.

We’ve collected 50 rustic living room ideas featuring DIY decor, lovely vintage furnishings and more. Use the filters below to help you find the right rustic living room decor for you. With your idea in hand, you can begin designing your cozy rustic living room. You can even browse our home decor line to find customizable items like pillows, canvases and more.

It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. "In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees," says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. "I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink."
Aside from the adorable dogs (Jacob and Wylo) cuddled up on the armchair-meets-dog-bed, that gallery wall is the clear statement-maker in this living room designed by Philip Mitchell. Mix and match frames for a subtle nod of personality. And speaking of personal touches, consider hanging art that means something to you, whether it's your children's artwork, your own, or a portrait of your pets.
Aside from your own personal taste, the fabric selection also depends on whether you desire them to stick out from the remaining portion of the living room or maybe to blend with the remainder of the room in addition to the location of the windows. In short place your own personality in the room in which you like to get. If you want to entertain in your living space, it’s advisable to have a couple of lightweight side chairs which can be moved into more sociable arrangements while people come to see.
Designed by Studio Razavi, this eclectic Parisian apartment is a breath of fresh air. Not only does it prove that you can use a wallpaper mural in a minimalist environment (the grayscale color palette helps), but it's also the perfect example of how to design a living room that's both fun and relaxed, sophisticated and formal. The key? Seating needs to be comfortable, and materials need to be casual but clean.
This Ibiza living room features local-limestone floors covered in custom Spanish esparto rugs from Antonia Molina. Walls covered in a sandy lime plaster, and a wood-beam ceiling set a rustic tone in the living room. Custom sofas by Atelier Tapissier Seigneur and curtains in a quilted Braquenié fabric; the Oeil cocktail table by Pierre Chapo is vintage, the lacquered-coral sculpture is by Maurizio Epifani, and the painting over the mantel is by Alex Katz.

When it comes to decorating inspiration, a photo is definitely worth a thousand words. Visit this living room photo galleries below to find ideas that you can imitate or use these living room photos to inspire your own creative ideas. When you are looking for living room ideas on a budget, find one or two items or layouts that you like and then emulate that. Some of the cheapest routes for big design impacts can be paint and wallpaper.
Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.
In the living room of Kris Ghesquière and Eva Claessens’s house in southeastern Uruguay, which they built on the remains of an 1810 roadside general store, the chair was constructed by a local carpenter based on a picture in a magazine, the vintage table in front of the sofa was found at an auction in France and the rug is from Iran; the yellow lamb sculptures are by William Sweetlove, and the paintings and feather sculpture are by Claessens.

A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.
You don’t always have to buy new pieces to decorate. Take a stroll around the house, and see what décor you already have. You may stumble upon pieces that you can use for your living room, and vice versa. Maybe you have some old pieces in the basement or garage that you can still dig up. You can look at recent gifts that you set aside not knowing where to put them. You can look for some small pillows that you can add to your couch.
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This floor-to-ceilings fireplace in a living room designed by Leanne Ford is taking style notes from the best of both worlds: A classic mountain chalet and the Malibu coast. Whether there's snow falling or waves crashing right outside that window, we want to be curled up on that linen slip-covered chair. This living room is also a testament to the perks of working with what you have. The fireplace was given a new life with a makeshift mantle comprised of reclaimed wood and a fresh coat of white paint.

A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.
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