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Living Room Designs - Personalize Your Space

Updated on March 12, 2010

Interior Living Room Designs

The living room can be the coziest room in the house, other than the bedroom, and should be the one room that is personalized to your taste for the highest comfort and enjoyment. Your home should reflect who you are, so decorate with things you love. Even if your favorite things are offbeat and unexpected, you can place them in your living room to really add character. What fun is it to decorate the same way as everyone else? A living room , especially, should be full of personality. This is where you spend most of your time. An eclectic mix of favorite collections can certainly lend appeal.

Decorating With Pictures:

Nothing gives a space more personality than family photos. It can be hard to incorporate those into your décor though without having your space becoming too cluttered. Try limiting photos to a few favorite per room, with the rest going into a photo album ready to display.

One way to incorporate photos into any décor is to make a grouping in black and white. These should then be put into similar frames, all of the same color. It comes out very soothing to the eye.

When grouping portraits on a wall, it looks uniform and appealing to have them all in the same frames. For a formal look, mat all of the portraits in a matching color. I have portraits of my children that I wanted in different frames to capture the personality of the pose. I didn't want to group them together on a wall, since they were so different so I gave each portrait a different shelve on a custom made bookcase. This way the portraits are on display on a nice piece of furniture and the walls are left for some decorative wall art, keeping the living room somewhat formal and yet personalized and warm.

Sometimes you may have so many wonderful photos that you want on display. A great solution is to buy collage frames. These frames have come so far in styling. I find it a great way to decorate an upstairs hallway or lower level family room.

Living Room Design
Living Room Design
Add personality to your living room with items that bring comfort.
Add personality to your living room with items that bring comfort.
A brown leather chair adds warmth.
A brown leather chair adds warmth.
Decorate with books.
Decorate with books.

Make A Cozy Room

It's important to place things around you that bring you joy. For me that is books! I have them in every room. If they're not in my built in bookshelf, then they are in small stacks strategically placed in a room. I take the jackets off all of them in my living room so they display more formally. To me it is more soothing than seeing a multitude of colors.

What things do you love? Pottery? Baskets? Whatever it is, just make sure to not overdue it - too much of one thing just makes clutter.  I like to make settings of two or three objects in varying heights in colors that either blend or contrast artistically.  Any more than that in one grouping can get overwhelming and a favorite item can get lost in the crowd. A little bit of what you love can be appreciated fully in a small group where it can stand out.

Other comfort items are candles, pillows, a throw...all of these enhance the room and cozy it up. A big area rug in the middle of your living room, in a design you love, adds a ton of warmth.   A warm throw placed over a leather chair in front of a fireplace begs you to come and snuggle up.  Take time out to organize and personalize your space for ultimate comfort.

Another thing to note is that a mixture of light and dark in a room creates a mood that is both uplifting and soothing. Adding a couple of dark brown leather chairs to the room adds soothing warmth to a room full of light.

Keep the television tucked away from the conversation area.
Keep the television tucked away from the conversation area.

Furniture Living Room Designs

You can have your space filled with comfort items displayed perfectly for viewing enjoyment. It can be neat and clean and ready for visitors. But if you don't have the furniture placement right, it won't be inviting to your family and guests or even yourself. What good would it be to have your favorite items in there then? Furniture living room design is an essential part to the overall living room décor.

To make the room inviting, place the furniture in a way to invite conversation. Ideally, you would have maybe a sofa with two chairs facing it, fairly close together. You don't need to outline the room with your furniture. Instead of having a sofa up against a wall, put a sofa table behind it. Draw in that conversation circle. An area rug also helps to give more intimacy.

If you can tuck the television away from the conversation area and as out of sight as possible, that is the most ideal for style and most conducive for talking.  An entertainment center or built in cubbie is ideal for this.

Drawing out your design on paper is a helpful tool to get you started. Start with an empty box the same scale as the living room. Measure your pieces of furniture and cut them out to scale on a separate piece of paper. Now you can easily move them around your box until you get the placement just right. This is much easier than moving heavy furniture around.


Object Groupings

Two candles at varying heights on bottom and two vases up top.
Two candles at varying heights on bottom and two vases up top.
Two wicker baskets and one metal vase in varying degrees of darkness and heights.
Two wicker baskets and one metal vase in varying degrees of darkness and heights.
One bird and two baskets again in varying degrees of browns for other side of hearth.
One bird and two baskets again in varying degrees of browns for other side of hearth.
Pottery, books, picture and floral all grouped together in colors that blend.
Pottery, books, picture and floral all grouped together in colors that blend.

Ceramic Vases For Style

I searched for some interesting vases that would add a unique quality to a room and came up with the following:

The blue handmade vase is so soothing with its coloration. It could fit in with many color schemes and offers several design possibilities. You could simply leave it on it's own since it has enough interest already. Or, you could add cream silk or dried flowers or weeds for a very soothing look. On the other hand, you could contrast the light blue with some bright playful flowers depending on your décor.

The Degray caramel vase is very neutral but has a ton of interest with it's texture. This would do well in a grouping of objects in similar colors or on it's own. You might want to add a single flower for extra interest.

Lastly, the grouping of three vases just screams fun. The playful pattern and colors would add lots of interest to a room.  These are more geared to a room with warm earthy color tones.

wall art and shelf grouping
wall art and shelf grouping
unique shelf
unique shelf
wall art with floral spray
wall art with floral spray
cafe pictures with mug holders
cafe pictures with mug holders
shelf with fun
shelf with fun
small print and napkin holders
small print and napkin holders

Personalize Any Space With Decorative Wall Art

Personalizing your home goes beyond the living room and spreads throughout the whole house. Instead of just throwing a random picture on the wall to fill space, decorate a wall with unique and special items. I like to embellish a space to give it a little more oomph. A shelf underneath some wall art can be the platform to showcase other items you would like to display. Having the same item in a set of three can be visually appealing and still somewhat simplistic.

Take care when shopping for shelving that it fits in with your décor. I needed a small shelf that didn't protrude far into my great room. It was a challenge to find exactly what I wanted. Finally, I found it at an art fair. It was perfect, like pottery for the wall! The pattern that was etched in it even blended with my area rug. I wanted to kiss the artist, I was so happy. Shopping around can be fun and rewarding.

Another way to liven up wall art is to add a floral swag above or alongside it. I needed something a little simpler than a flower swag in my kitchen area, so I put my husband to work. He made me a swag from grape vines and I added artificial grapes and some greenery. It coordinated well with the picture. Now I enjoy looking at it even more and it fills the space better.

There are countless ways to liven up wall art. Another example is with the pair of cafe pictures. To expand on the theme, I hung a plate and mug rack. Then, I went on a search for just the right mugs. Since I wanted to pick up the colors in the prints, I ended up with some very inexpensive coffee label mugs.

Even just a simple shelf with a few items that make you happy can cheer up a wall space. In my yellow laundry room, I think about watering flowers and greenery - anything but laundry! It leaves me feeling just ducky.

Sometimes items not meant for the wall can add interest. I have a very narrow space between two doors. Since I had a small print that I wanted to hang there, I had to come up with something to keep it company - it couldn't just float on it's own. I didn't want more prints because the space was too small. Finally, I came up with two napkin holders in the same color as the wall. It added just enough interest to give it some pizzazz without overwhelming it.


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    • eswar profile image


      6 years ago from India

      Nice article with great ideas


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This did not help me but thank you

    • gr82bme profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Another great hub filled with terrific ideas.

    • Song-Bird profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Hanlon 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you 4FoodSafety!

    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 

      8 years ago from Fontana, WI

      Object grouping - creating vingettes is a lost art - you are reviving it! Great post.

    • Song-Bird profile imageAUTHOR

      Renee Hanlon 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks viryabo! I'm glad you found the tips to be helpful.

    • viryabo profile image


      9 years ago

      Great write up Song-Bird, i love your ideas for the living room. And the photos are so beautiful. Got some tips here especially on groupings of pictures and decorative objects.



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