How to Style a Living Room | 10 Steps to Completely Elevate Your Space

Every space within your home requires a certain amount of styling. But the living room may just be the trickiest room to decorate. There’s a lot of elements to consider, from furniture placement to the atmosphere and everything in between. After all, you’re usually starting with a blank canvas space that needs to feel warm, cosy, inviting for guests, stylish, and of course, practical. So, to help, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process of how to style your living room and create a haven that ticks all the boxes.

Image credit: SMUB StudioRex Whiticker 

Step 1: Define Your Style

Before diving into any interior design project, it's crucial to determine the style you’re aiming for. Do you prefer a modern, minimalistic look, or are you drawn to a more traditional ambiance? If you’re redoing an already established living room, opt for the same style as the rest of your home to achieve cohesion. 

Tip: If you want your home to feel harmonious but are also looking to create a bit of uniqueness in each space, then work with a monochromatic colour palette. This will create cohesion through tones but give you flexibility within each space. 

Step 2: Create a Color Palette

Speaking of colour palettes, selecting a color scheme is an important step in living room styling. Choose colors that resonate with your style and evoke the desired mood. Neutrals are timeless, while bold colors can add drama. Ensure your palette is cohesive and includes both primary and accent colors. If you’re looking for an in-depth guide to choosing the perfect palette for your home, visit here

Dulux Colour Forecast 2024 - Journey Palette - Styling: Bree Leech | Photographer: Lisa Cohen 

Dulux Colour Forecast 2024 - Solstice Palette - Styling: Bree Leech | Photographer: Lisa Cohen 

Step 3: Furniture Arrangement

Once you’ve got your dream living room in mind, it’s time to consider the practical side, such as layout. Efficient furniture placement is key to optimising your living room's flow and functionality. Start by measuring your space and sketching a layout plan. Arrange furniture to encourage conversation and ensure a clear pathway. Consider the scale and proportion of your pieces. A trend we’re loving lately that works within a lot of interior styles in curved furniture, such as a curved sofa. The rounded edges can help with the flow of your space and work to soften the appearance of your living room, like the Decker Boucle 3-Seater from James Lane.

Tip: It’s also essential to visualise your pieces together to ensure they also work aesthetically. Pop your furniture and décor onto our mood board tool to help bring your living room vision to life. 

Mood board created by Anita Sonneveld on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Mood board created by Flawless Interiors Melbourne on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Step 4: Invest in Quality Pieces

Next, it’s important to look for furniture and décor that will add to the atmosphere of the room, and look good for years to come. Your living room's furniture is the focal point and a place for relaxation. Invest in comfortable, well-crafted sofas, chairs, buffets, side tables, and entertainment units. The fabric and style of these pieces should also align with your chosen design aesthetic. Don't forget to add cushions and throws for added comfort and depth.

Browse through our extensive range of living room furniture.

Step 5: Select Statement Pieces

Once you’ve decided on both the placement and the pieces you want, you can start adding those touches that just complete the space. Incorporate statement pieces like an eye-catching coffee table, a striking rug, or a unique piece of artwork. These items can define the room's character and draw attention to specific areas. We love the Brook Side Table from Elme Living.

Mood board created by Carly Thorsen Interior Design on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Mood board created by PAX Interior Design on Style sourcebook. View mood board here.

Step 6: Lighting Matters

Lighting can transform the ambiance of your living room. Combine ambient, tasks and accent lighting to create layers of illumination. Consider chandeliers, pendant lights, floor lamps, and table lamps to set the mood.

Step 7: Add Textures and Patterns

Texture and pattern add depth and visual interest to your living room. Incorporate textiles like plush rugs, textured curtains, and cushions with varying patterns. Mix and match to create a harmonious balance. We love the Darren Palmer Travertine Brown Rug from Unitex for an extra luxurious layer of warmth. 

Step 8: Personalise with Décor

Infuse your personality into the room with carefully chosen décor items. Family photos, artwork, and decorative accessories can make the space uniquely yours. Keep clutter to a minimum, ensuring each piece serves a purpose or holds sentimental value.

Step 9: Embrace Your Living Rooms Purpose

Now that you have your stylish new living room, it's time to fully embrace its purpose. If you’ve created this space to be a relaxed family room, then we love the idea of adding a small bookshelf, like the Porto Corner Shelves from Mocka, to encourage rest and relaxation. Or if your living room will be used for entertaining family and friends, why not add a small bar cabinet or cart for an extra touch of luxury?

Image credit: SMUB Studio | Rex Whiticker 

Step 10: Maintain and Refresh

Regularly maintain and refresh your living room's look. Cleaning, rearranging, and updating small elements can keep the space feeling inviting and current.

Image credit: @amastudiointeriors 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I make a small living room look more spacious?

A: To maximise space, use light colors, incorporate mirrors, and choose multi-functional furniture. Avoid overcrowding the room with large pieces.

Q: How do I choose the right-sized rug for my living room?

A: Ideally, all furniture should fit comfortably on the rug or have their front legs on it. The rug's size should be proportional to the room and furniture arrangement.
If you’d like more tips on styling a rug, check out our interview with Darren Palmer. 

Q: How can I incorporate a theme into my living room design?

A: To incorporate a theme, select furniture, décor, and colors that align with your chosen theme. Be consistent with your choices throughout the room for a cohesive look.

Mood board created by Hardwell Studios on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Mood board created by Arc and Arlo on Style Sourcebook. View mood board here.

Styling your living room can be an enjoyable and rewarding process. By following these steps and considering your personal preferences, you'll create a space that reflects your style and provides comfort and functionality for years to come. 

If you need a little more inspiration for your living room, check out our design community’s mood board projects here