Look at these 20 examples of suburban living rooms and tips on how to create workable, comfortable, sophisticated designs.
Decorating your living room doesn’t require a professional designer, but you do need to plan ahead and create a few different workable ideas. Regardless of the size of your living room, a few guidelines exist.
How do you create a decorator look without an interior design degree? Does your suburban home lack space or require multiple uses? Read on to find ideas for suburban living rooms, ideas for small and large spaces, plus tips on how to pull together a room with what you already own.
Inspiration for Decorating Your Living Room
1. This home in Mozambique shows that the architectural elements of the room, such as the recessed lighting and wall sculpture, can make a living room look fabulous regardless of the furniture you choose. Any color scheme matching furnishings could conceivably work with this living room’s ceilings and walls.
2. Try this simple arrangement to complement the stone walls of your castle. A marble coffee table and cream L-shaped sofa lighten the room while the gray throw pillows tie in with the wall color.
3. Create a conversation space with a circular coffee table surrounded by chairs placed on a round rug. The black and cream tones of the rug complement the cream tones of the ceiling, walls, and furnishings.
4. Leave the TV for the den or family room. Decorate the living room for having conversations and visiting with guests. This sofa and chair combo do this well, while the three small tables create a collection that displays another collection.
5. A roaring fire in the fireplace invites cozying up with one of the many books in this living room. Create a luxe look by filling a bookcase with leather-bound books and hanging a mirror over the fireplace like this starburst one to reflect the room’s opposite side.
6. Create a simple boho look for your living room by hanging a rug or blanket on the wall in a color scheme that matches the sofa, carpet, and knickknacks. Hang art that uses the same color scheme on white or cream walls.
7. Create room interest with the disconnected molding on this ceiling. Let the light in through the window treatments to brighten this living room’s blue and white decor. Sky blue and royal blue create vibrant accents to the creamy decor of this relaxing room.
8. Creating a comfortable and beautiful interior doesn’t have to cost a lot. This living room combines an affordably upholstered L-shaped sofa and a white dresser as a console/buffet. It’s the many deep green plants dispersed throughout the room and its bright, focused lighting that create the ambiance in this room. A mass of throw pillows invites curling up on the couch.
9. Use throw rugs and room carpets to define spaces in oversized, industrial spaces like this warehouse turned home. Leverage the windows for light and the greenery outside them. Place plants throughout the space to help define and divide spaces.
10. Sure, white tops the list of “it” colors, right now, but you can splash colors on your walls, too, as this peach scheme shows. Even the ceiling gets painted peach, which complements the brown and tan tile floor. Southwestern-style throw rugs define spaces, and the bright white table and rattan chairs stand out from the colorful walls.
11. This modern suburban living room uses contemporary classic country decorating in this living room. This country scheme complements the big wood home’s high ceiling, windows, and fireplace.
12. Use colorful furnishings to offer a pop of color, such as this interior does with its orange-yellow couch, yellow coffee table, and burgundy carpet over a wood tile floor in a V-shaped pattern. These colors don’t overpower the room but offer an exciting contrast to its large tile wall and the matching gray end table, and the white armchair. This multi-use living space also features a dining table on the other side of the living room in front of a long console. All the pieces work with the patterned geometric wallpaper.
13. Go Boho with a combination like this vintage wood table shelf in a Zen architectural environment. The plants strewn throughout include pebbled and potted bonsai, and green flowers. Bring the outdoors inside with plants such as these.
14. When windows cover one or two walls, feature photos or artwork in a grouping on a solid wall. This white room comes alive with just a sofa, table, and a gray and yellow lamp due to the outside views and the artwork.
15. Many interior designers have embraced the minimalist look of Scandinavian décor. The un-color of this white living room sofa uses only small pops of color from throw pillows in beige, yellow, orange, and green. Otherwise, green plants abound outside indoors.
16. Spacious modern lounge with gray sofa and colorful pillows and poufs pink, yellow, red, and gray pillows on the floor and couch accent this quirky design
17. Conversely, this design uses color in a big way to draw attention to the bright blue armchair, the room’s focal furniture point. Its side table, copper lamp, and ladder flower stand invite curling up with a good book. All of the colors used complement the patterned swirl marble-look wallpaper.
18. Use a contrast wall to create interest in a room that you want to keep mostly white. This homeowner uses one deep green wall for contrast to the white walls and ceiling. The furniture’s white, black, and gray palette blends with the room, so the green wall offers a backdrop to the small white console table, grey and white rug, black writing table, and chair.
19. In this all-white room the homeowner uses rattan to create visual interest and texture with blue and gray furnishings to add pops of color. This example illustrates that your focal point need not be a piece of furniture. In this room, the homeowner’s artwork grouping creates the focal point.
20. The pastels in this living room and rose-cream walls evoke a spring feeling. Use rugs to create the feeling of any flooring you like. Look closely at this living room floor because it uses a black and white patterned carpet to evoke the feeling of Mid-Century flooring. The lavender, blue, and orchid sofa and pillows create a colorful focal point, while the lamp and coffee table matches the room’s hardwood floors.
Suburban Living and Dining Room Tips and Tricks
Your suburban home requires a workable space that looks good and offers function. Use these tips from Martha Stewart to plan your home’s rooms so they welcome guests and offer spaces where you want to spend quality time, too.
Measure Your Living Room
You need to know how much space you have and where. Note any quirks, such as recesses in the wall. Draw a room plan or use an app to create a plan for it. This lets you measure the furniture and try it in different spaces using cutouts or an app.
Plan for Heavy Traffic in Your Suburban Living Room
The front room of your home welcomes guests, so everyone will traipse through there. Organize your furniture in such a way that traffic moves easily. Set furniture far enough apart that you create pathways wide enough for a wheelchair or scooter. You may not know anyone who uses one now, but it’s better to design a home with access in mind than to need to re-do your home after an accident or when you have a guest, such as a child’s new school friend.
Create a Functional Plan
Instead of focusing on the pops of color or couch design, start with what you want to do in the room and where you would likely do it. If you want to chill on the couch and watch TV, but only one wall accommodates the couch, it has to go there. If the wall across from it has no electrical outlets, you’ll need to have one installed before you can use your TV.
That’s a basic example of a functional plan. Mark on your room diagram where the windows sit, the doorways, the fireplace, and the outlets. Since you need the outlets for most equipment and lamps, their placement decides your design unless you will hire an electrician to install new outlets. Warning, this may also require an upgraded breaker box.
Go back to the list of uses for the room. Make a list of all of the furniture you would need for all of the uses.
Consider Personal Tastes
Choose living room themes you love. You might love curling up on a window seat with a great book. Your windows can become your room’s focal point. Despite all of the rules about design, if you would not want to read by the fire, but want sunlight streaming onto your book pages, you design the room for that. Place your furniture so that you can use the room in the way you want to use it.
Plan for Typical Use
Also, consider who will use the room when planning your suburban house interior. If you have children or pets, skip the lovely glass coffee table or end tables you see in interior design magazines. Skip the floor and table lamps, too. Those electrical cords snaking across the floor simply invite accidents. Wood or ceramic tables offer a safer choice. Install wall sconce light fixtures, so you can still have focal lighting and reading areas without the cords plugged into outlets.
Define a Focal Point
Choose a favorite piece of art, furniture, or the room’s fireplace as your focal point. Some rooms have a natural focal point to use in creating your design. The wall sculpture in the first example and any room’s fireplace offer examples. Center the room’s furniture around the focal point.
Start with an Area Rug
Start with an area rug to add more depth and texture, plus function. You can place a large run in the center of the room or use a smaller area rug under specific chairs or the sofa. Typically, you’ll want to choose a rug that will complement your color scheme and can be placed in the center of the room.
Place at least the front legs of your furniture on the rug. Also, keep all rugs at least six to 12 inches away from the walls. This placement adds depth since it lets the difference between the flooring and the rug show.
Create a Room Center
The term room center refers to a hub area that naturally draws people to it. Creating a room centered around a fireplace means setting up two or three comfortable chairs, such as wingback chairs, in a grouping around the fireplace with a small table for coffee cups. In larger rooms, use two living room arrangements, creating two room centers.
Create with Scaled Pieces
Place your largest piece of furniture first. This piece becomes the large-scale piece around which you design. With it placed, you place the smaller pieces around it. In a living room, the sofa usually takes up the most space, but in a bedroom, it’s the bed. In an office, the desk typically takes up the most space. This largest piece always goes in first.
Creating a Color and Texture Theme
The ideal color and texture theme mixes and matches textures, colors, and patterns, but artfully. Pick one favorite color per room and build around it, varying the shades of it. Use some neutral-toned pieces paired with a pattern in the main color. Add a color pop by using a large piece such as an accent chair in a complementary color to the main color.
Organize with Symmetry
Call it feng shui or symmetry but use balance when decorating. Place an end table on either end of the sofa. Use two chairs in front of the fireplace. If the coffee table sits in the center of the room, place a sofa on one side of it and two chairs on the opposite side. Creating balance does not necessarily mean twins. Two similarly sized tables can bank either end of a sofa or be placed on the far side of both chairs.
Adding Dimension with Media or Mirrors
There’s no rule that says you must use art in any room. You could create a grouping of unique mirrors or use one large mirror that covers most of a wall. Wallpaper can also add dimension and texture. These small additions add depth and height to your rooms. The mirrors, shelves, photos, and artwork all contribute to making a room go from a proverbial two-dimensional flat to a three-dimensional friendly room.
Add Lots of Light and Greenery
When you add light, it doesn’t just mean an overhead light or one bright lamp. Consider a few lamps or sconces placed throughout the room that let you create mood lighting using. Place accent lighting on shelves.
Place candles throughout the room, too. These add more than ambiance. During an electrical outage, they provide natural light sources that don’t run the batteries of your cell phone down.
If your modern suburban house lacks large windows, such as a basement apartment, fake it with a mural and a bright lamp. Use faux plants that look real throughout the rooms to bring the outdoors inside with you. You can make your home look like the tropics with faux trees, such as palms. It’s your home, so use a house ownership concept that creates the rooms you really want to live inside.