You'll find affordable area rugs suiting every style at big box stores, discount home shops, and even home improvement centers (shop end-of-summer sales for outdoor rugs that can work inside). Use simple (and more affordable) large rugs to anchor a room's furnishings and smaller rugs to define conversational groupings or activity areas. Experts recommend that all furniture sits atop the rug and that an ample border of flooring is seen around the rug's perimeter.
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.
The nubby texture of a sisal fiber area rug makes an attractive anchor for furnishings in a rustic living room. When choosing an area rug, select one large enough to create a cohesive look. Follow this rule of thumb: When the furniture grouping doesn't touch walls (but "floats" in the center of the room), the rug should be large enough that all the furniture legs rest on the rug without crowding the grouping. If your furniture backs up against walls, then the rug should be large enough to extend beneath front legs.

The sofas in the living room of this contemporary Hancock Park home are by RH, Restoration Hardware, the 1950s chairs are Danish, the cocktail table is by Charles Hollis Jones, the end tables are from Lucca Home, and the antique stool was a Japanese rice box. The antique mirror is Indian, the mantel is original, the pendant is by Paul Ferrante, the floor lamp is by Visual Comfort, and the sconces are by Ralph Lauren Home.
There is nothing like crafting a well-designed living room that is suitable for enjoying family time and entertaining loved ones. This primary spot sets the tone for the rest of your home’s decor. It’s also one of the best places to showcase your design aesthetic by experimenting with color palettes, layers of texture and patterns, and a variety of furniture layouts. It’s meant to be comfortable, inviting, and full of style. Plus, if you’re a design enthusiast, it’s an ideal space to put your favorite trends to the test, whether it’s opting for maximalist art or going bold with metallic wall paint.
If your formal living room is also your family room, you want to make sure it strikes a balance between super comfortable and presentable. A cozy family room that cleans up nicely, if you will. A super soft sectional with plenty of space to spread out on movie night is a must, but choose one that also looks elegant. Then add fun, eye-catching lighting for an extra punch of fun, like the one in this Studio DB-designed room.
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.
Employing expensive materials in restrained but meaningful ways lets you enjoy the finer things while staying on budget. Display a fancy wallpaper on a focal wall or as a patterned backdrop for built-in shelves. Buy one really good leather chair, but pair it with a less expensive garden-seat table. Create pillows that showcase pricey silks, brocades, and velvets on their face, but that boast inexpensive fabric backs.
The walls of the living may be covered in wallpaper or paint. Do you think the walls are outdated? Wallpaper may be tricky to first-timers, but there are now easily adjustable wallpapers that you do yourself without the help of professionals. You can easily peel and adjust these wallpapers. If you decide to use paint, make sure to keep the theme in mind.
A 1920s Palm Beach home, owned by art adviser Heidi McWilliams, serves as the perfect backdrop for displaying her impressive collection. The living room is furnished with claret armchairs (right) and hexagonal table by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, along with a neutral rug by Patterson Flynn Martin. An Anish Kapoor mirrored wall sculpture accentuates the 16th-century Italian limestone mantel, and the coffered ceiling, which is original, adds character to the room.

The fiddle leaf fig tree definitely wins the popularity contest as far as design favorites for indoor trees. And for good reason: They look great with pretty much any interior design scheme, from bohemian to modern spaces like this one designed by Hecker Guthrie. It really freshens up the cooler gray tones of the living room and makes that floral-printed pillow pop even more.
Get the furniture layout just right, says interior designer Amanda Teal of Amanda Teal Design. "Always measure your space and start with a plan, so you know the furniture sizes that best suit the space. In this room, we started with the perfect spot for the piano and layered in the sofa and plush lounge chairs around it. Because we had a plan, the scale and proportion of the furniture is harmonious in the space. This configuration also maximizes seating and creates multiple intimate conversation areas."

Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.

For designer Patrick Printy, his bungalow in Oakland, California is all about eccentric design. In this living area attached to his study, a pair of vintage sofas are upholstered in a Ralph Lauren Home stripe, the Eero Saarinen table is from Design Within Reach, barstools by CB2 are covered in a Katie Ridder fabric, the ceiling lantern is by Visual Comfort, the rug is by Ralph Lauren Home, and the busts are by Oly.
When shopping for living room furniture, remember that 'budget-friendly' means nothing if the furniture isn't well-built, made with durable materials and designed to last. While furniture pieces of low quality will need to be replaced time and time again, costing you more in the long run, affordable furniture crafted from solid wood, thick wood veneers, 100% leather and high-density foam will keep you – and your wallet – happy and comfortable for years to come.
Some old homes harbor a gorgeous secret beneath plaster -- rough pine paneling, which some designers refer to as shiplap. It's an ideal wall treatment for staging a rustic living room. If your home isn't old, you can re-create the look in a new house with salvaged shiplap. Take the look floor-to-ceiling, as shown here, for dramatic impact, or design a more subtle rustic decor statement with shiplap wainscoting.
This homeowner bucked the “matchy, matchy” rule by placing different end tables and lamps on either side of the sofa in her living room. The mismatch works because, even though one table is a white Asian-inspired look and the other is a black step-like design, both tables are the same height. A sleek brass reading lamp pairs nicely with the simple white table, while a large silver-leaf table lamp fits with the more substantial black table.
Before you start choosing pieces for your living room, pick the main palette of one or two colors, and keep the main furniture pieces within those color families. Unlike busier, multicolor color schemes, sticking to one or two main colors will help create a clean, timeless aesthetic that will outlast trends – saving you time and money in the long run.
A hide rug and Edwardian boxer photographic prints lend a sly masculine charm to the casual refinery of this room’s interior layout, without overtly overpowering the more graceful elements. Clean lines and simple color schemes keep the tone cool and laid back, while eye-catching pieces such as the wooden lobster trap-like ceiling lamp and repurposed rolling coffee table, as well glass dome-covered plants, allow guests plenty to admire and inquire about.
When you want to introduce just a hint of rustic appeal here and there in your living room, consider the Rule of Three to prevent your efforts from appearing random or lackluster. This philosophy, long observed by interior designers, says that groups of similar items create visual impact; odd numbers make the most eye-pleasing groupings. In this living room, for example, a trio of tree stumps creates a clever coffee table arrangement with rustic flair.
Some old homes harbor a gorgeous secret beneath plaster -- rough pine paneling, which some designers refer to as shiplap. It's an ideal wall treatment for staging a rustic living room. If your home isn't old, you can re-create the look in a new house with salvaged shiplap. Take the look floor-to-ceiling, as shown here, for dramatic impact, or design a more subtle rustic decor statement with shiplap wainscoting.
A living room decorating scheme truly fit for a snow queen, the wintry whites and silvers of this rustic chic living room are anchored by comfy fabrics and an unvarnished wooden table. Plenty of candles enhance the enchanted feel, while a cheerful silver wall clock lends a welcoming bit of familiarity. A faux fur sofa throw adds an enticing Narnia touch, and is perfect for snuggling in for long snowy nights.
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