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A Complete Guide To Living Room Decor & Decorating


When you think of your home what is the first room that comes to mind? What is the most central and most visited room?


The room where family and friends gather to enjoy good company and make lasting memories. Maybe it is used to watch rom com movies cuddled on the couch on a rainy day or binge watch your favorite Netflix series until the late hours of the night. Maybe it hosts game nights that remind you to live in the moment, put down your phone, and be present. Maybe it is the room filled with wrapping paper and crumbled bows on Christmas morning. Or maybe, it is the room everyone takes a break from the chaos of the world and finds a chance to relax and be still in.


So, what room in your home came to mind? Was it the living room?


The living room is a room in our home that is often centrally located and experiences the most life in our house. It can be thought of as the glue that holds the whole home together. These spaces often hold great memories and carry a sense of sentimental nostalgia that makes you feel safe and complete. Therefore, it’s easy to start to think of how to decorate your living room and begin to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. But do not let the impactful presence of the living room scare you. With a little bit of guidance and direction you can create a space that is just as stylish as it is impressionable. Thus, allowing you to piece together a living room that is a refuge away stresses and can be a landing place for lasting memories and sentimental gatherings.


Before decorating your living room there are a few key components to establish first.


Those are style, function, goals, and budget.


After establishing these core elements, you can then move on to the more enjoyable aspects of decorating like,

choosing rugs, couches, tables, wall décor, curtains, coffee tables, organization, accent furniture, and home decor accessories.


Let your living room become a part of you and your families lives that is just as much memorable, supportive, and functional, as it is stylish.


We hope that you can use this guide to feel more confident creating a space in your home that you love and are proud of. For more helpful design advice check out our other blogs and be sure to browse our new home accessories to curate a space that best tells your story!


Get a jump start on shopping and browse our unique and stylish home décor accessories and accents. If you need further design help be sure to reach out and subscribe to our email list and Snows Shack will do everything we can to help make your decorative dreams come true!

 

Core Elements to Establish Before Trying to Decorate Your Living Room

Establish and Become Familiar with Your Decorative Style

Attempting to decorate your living room, or any room for that matter, before knowing what type of style design you are will lead to impulse buys, countless returns, and a jumbled disorganized home. You may eventually create a space that is cohesive and exactly what you were looking for, but not before you waste tons of money, and deal with copious amounts of unneeded stress. So, to avoid this all together and begin decorating a space that is both in style and best reflects your personality, is to establish exactly what sort of design style, or mix of styles you are most attracted to.


 


Establishing what type of style or mix of styles you are is important for several reasons. A few of those being;


  • Your home will begin to feel more comfortable and more like you. When your home mirrors your personality it becomes easier for it to better support you and your lifestyle.


  • You will no longer waste unnecessary money on random items. Not being familiar with your style often leads to the purchase of items you think you love, just to bring them home and regret the decision and wind up feeling depressed and frustrated, with the only remedy being to make another purchase. It is a vicious, terrible, and expensive cycle to fall into. Establishing your style or mix of styles, takes the indecision and potential regret out of purchases. Thus, allowing you to make more informed and strategic purchases that you just KNOW will create the living room you are dreaming of.


  • You will become more confident in making decorative choices. Knowing your style will help you make better final decisions when it comes to choosing between two décor items or when having to make more expensive purchases.


If you are having a hard time pinpointing what style or style(s) you lean towards, walk through your house, and take note of the different types of colors or objects used. If you notice more natural neutral colors with vintage objects, you may learn towards more of a rustic aesthetic as opposed to edgy blunt pieces. Another great way to help you figure out your design style is to look in your closest. Your closet can tell you a lot about what type of style speaks to you and best reflects your personality. If you again see that you have more simple neutral hued clothing you probably are not going to like bright, vivid colored décor. If you have more “suit and tie” type attire you may lean more towards a crisp, “buttoned-up” look in your home as well.


To gain more insight into the different decorative styles check out our styles definition blog, where we provide descriptions and design tips that work best with each style. Reading through each style can help you better decide which one you feel you most identify with. There are also a ton of style quizzes online that you can take from interior designers that can give you a more “correct” answer.


But always remember, there is no one size fits all style for anyone. And often you may find that you are drawn to a mix of styles instead of a singular one. Always go with what makes you happy and what speaks most to you personally as opposed to trying to follow the “rules”. These should be seen more as helpful tips and tricks and less like strict rules that must be followed to create a well-designed space.


 

Do Not Forget to Define Your Desired Goals and Functions for Your Living Room

Defining your desired goals and functions for your living room, and again when decorating any room, is imperative to creating a space that is aesthetically pleasing and best fits you and your lifestyle.


This can be accomplished by taking the old pen and paper out and standing in the center of your living room and writing down all the desired goals and functions you want this room to serve. These can be anything from keeping certain items out of sight but still within reach, having a designated spot to cozy up on those rainy days or movie nights in, or maybe room for entertaining to host cocktail parties with friends. From this list you should be able to see an overall theme. Do you have more organization related functions on your list like housing toys and blankets out of sight? Or do you see more opportunities for relaxation and comfort like having an overstuffed armchair and ottoman present. Laying out and establishing your goals for the living room will save you time, money, and stress when it comes time to choosing and shopping for home décor accessories and accents.


If you intend on hosting cocktail parties or game nights you will probably want to invest in a table of some sort, that everyone can easily gather around for conversation or to compete in the ever so competitive game of Risk or Phase10. If you want the room to be cozy and comfortable choosing overstuffed furniture with comfort in mind would be more appropriate as opposed to a stiff sofa just for looks. Knowing from the beginning what exactly you want out of the room will guide you in a more strategic and less overwhelming approach in decorating your space.



 

To Keep You from Draining Your Savings on Unnecessary Décor – Create Your Living Room Budget


Budgeting is one of the best tools to help you stay on task and not waste money on unneeded or unnecessary home décor and accents. When creating a budget for a room I always say to save money on the small stuff and invest money in the larger most used items like a sofa or coffee table. I feel investing in durable, quality items like these always helps on the pocketbook both in the moment and down the road.


Choosing to purchase pieces of value like a durable sofa, couch, or chair ensures that you will not be just throwing money down the drain. You will get your money’s worth and have an item that will last through out all stages of life. When it comes to smaller home accent pieces I always try to not spend loads of money on these things because I end up wanting to change them out so often. Styles and seasons change quickly, so choosing to not spend a ton of money on accents allow you to not feel as bad whenever you feel the need to replace something or restyle an area.


Other tips to creating your living room budget include;

  • Prioritizing your purchases, maybe you want or need to get an area rug before switching our wall décor. Prioritizing allows you to better allocate funds where they are needed instead of blowing money on things you could really do without for the time being.


  • Make a rough plan of how you intend to decorate the living room entirely. Jot down certain things you want to do in a particular space and what type of home décor items you want to include. Maybe you want to put a faux cactus in a woven basket in the corner. Knowing this will give you an opportunity to narrow in on what exactly you want when you go shopping and decrease the chances of you making impulse buys you later regret.


  • Create an entire list of items that you have seen or know of that you want or are drawn to.


  • Doing so will help you decide where your money should best be spent, as well as give you an opportunity to search for similar pieces that may not be as expensive as the ones on your list. It will also help guide your overall search for home décor accents and accessories whenever you start actually shopping for items.


  • Before you dive into the fun part of shopping and searching for home décor items for your living room take the time to define these core aspects. It will make the shopping and decorating process so much easier on both you and your wallet.


Now on to the fun part…


Choosing Living Room Decor Elements


 

Choosing a Rug for The Living Room

A rug is a vital element of living room décor, especially if you have hard surfaced floors. Rugs can help designate or outline areas for people to naturally congregate to. They can make a space feel cozier and more composed. As well as help anchor a room and draw other design elements together. We recommend adding a rug in your living room, because rugs make a space feel more grounded and comforting.




When deciding on what rug to get for your space a few things to consider are;


Size

Size is the most important aspect of choosing a rug for your space. A rug that is too small can make the area feel skimpy and awkward. A rug that is too large can make the area feel overwhelming and jumbled. Measuring your floor space and using painters’ tape to map out what area you are wanting to cover is highly recommended.


Tip: Another general rule of choosing a rug to scale against furniture is to get one that is large enough to go under all the legs of furniture if you have a floating furniture layout. If your couch or sofa is up against a wall, try to choose a rug that goes under at least all the front legs of the furniture. Try not to get too small of a rug that only goes under your center piece and does not include other furniture pieces. This will cause your room to look scanty.


Thickness

Thickness is important for a couple of reasons. As mentioned, if you have hard surfaces like tile or hardwood getting a thick rug will allow for your space to feel more comfortable and relaxing. Having that soft surfaces for your feet to fall on when getting up off the couch will make the space cozier and warm. If you have carpet in your living room you can still incorporate a rug, we prefer thinner rugs on carpet because it makes it space easier to maneuver and less overwhelming. With that being said, there is no right or wrong amount of thickness for a certain space. Choose whatever style of rug best suits you and your personal space needs.



Color

Choose a color that ties in your overall décor scheme and style. We often tend to gravitate more towards darker colors as they tend to sometimes hold up better in high traffic areas. Rugs can be an anchor and statement piece by leaning more towards vivid colors, designs, or patterns. Or they can be a more neutral item simply pulling items together, by including colors or other design elements or more muted hues.


Material it is Made of

Make sure you go with a rug that is made of a durable material and can provide a good sense of texture to your space. Now, there are no rules to this so feel free to incorporate whatever rug made from whatever material makes YOUR design vision come to life. But we generally like to go with a durable wool, cowhide, cotton synthetic material, when it comes to high trafficked living rooms. These materials hold up against traffic, stains, and generally out last other materials. For living rooms that are simply used to relax and unwind, you can incorporate softer materials like, shag, cotton, or silk.


 

Choosing a Sofa/Couch for Your Living Room

Choosing a sofa or couch for your living room may be the most important aspect of your living room design. Couches are usually one of your biggest design elements within the living space. And before you begin your search for the perfect sofa, you need to first establish what you are wanting out of both the sofa and the living room. If comfort and relaxation are at the top of your list, then choosing a sofa that is comfortable is vital. If you are designing the space mainly for looks then buying a sofa that is overstuffed and plush isn’t as crucial. We have found that there are a lot of stylish sofas and couches out there that unfortunately are not extremely comfortable to lounge and watch a movie on. Often, softer more lounge worthy couches appear pretty simple in terms of colors, designs, or patterns. But that doesn’t mean you can’t dress them up with throw pillows.


Material

As far as material goes there used to not be that many sofa materials to choose from. It was either leather or fabric. But now there are a ton of different faux leathers and synthetic materials that are just as much durable as they are comfortable. Leather is a great option for its durability and how it ages so well as creases begin to show and make it look that much more story woven and comfy. But if you want something a little warmer there are a ton of fabric and synthetic fabrics that have been introduced that are just as durable. Dying of a dreamy white couch? But the thought having one with your toddler and two dogs is terrifying? Fear not, because another great option are slipcovers. These are fabrics that slip over the actual base of the couch and can be removed and washed. They are a great option if you are wanting a lighter colored couch but have dogs with muddy paws and toddlers with sticky fingers constantly jumping and climbing on your sofa.


The material of your couch is also another opportunity to add texture to your space and elevate the aesthetic entirely. We feel if you choose to spend a lot of money on anything in your living room design, let it be spent on the couch or sofa you choose to incorporate in your space. This being because of the many design impacts it has on the overall room. Not to mention, with couches and sofas you sort of get what you pay for. So, choosing to spend more on the couch you want will ensure it lasts and holds up over time. That does not mean that a cheaper couch will not hold up or be of good quality. It just means it may not last as long as others. But this is a great option especially if you like change and are constantly dreaming of redecorating.


 

Tables

Tables aren’t a living room must have much as they are a living room need. Tables can help fill space as well as provide a surface for drinks, snacks, books, lamps, and other décor objects to sit on. Side tables help enhance the “living” aspect of a living room. They provide a stylish storage opportunity, while also helping keep food and drinks off of other furniture or the laps of guests. We think that it is important to decorate a living room that is just as much stylish as it is livable. Try to choose pieces that help add to the decorative setting while also supporting the living aspect.


You can choose from many different styles like; oval, square, rectangle, or round. Choose a style that fits well within your given area as well as the style you have chosen to decorate your living room in. If you are going for a more modern style incorporate styles that have crisp edges like rectangle or square tables. For more laid-back comfortable settings use round or oval shaped tables to make the room feel softer. Tables also come in a myriad of different materials nowadays. Long gone are the days when tables were made of just wooden materials. Seagrass, metal, wood, glass, woven fibers, acrylic, or mixed materials, are few materials that look great when used within living spaces. When choosing a table again it is best to be realistic of the life that the table will experience. If you are intending on hosting wild game nights or have young children running around, then a glass table may not be the best choice. Go for a more durable material like wood, metal, or a combination of.


Another thing to keep in mind when choosing tables for your living room is their;

· storage

· durability

· and portability.


Sometimes furniture in the living room may need to be moved. To say put up the Christmas tree, or to host a party. Therefore, choosing furniture that is portable and easy to move will save you a lot of hassle when these events arise. Opting for tables that offer storage options is a living room hack that will save you time down the road. Guests coming over and you still have little trinkets scattered about? Gather them up and throw them in the drawer under the table top and you are ready to go, clean space and clutter is out of sight. You can also house remotes in side table drawers if yours are like mine and always seem to walk off or dig themselves under the couch cushions. Finding tables that are durable will ensure they stand up against the normal wear and tear of life, and dreaded water rings from drinks. This will help save you money down the road, by choosing durable tables that don’t end up needing to be replaced a couple months after purchase.


 

Choosing the Perfect Coffee Table for Your Living Room

A coffee table is an item we first think of whenever we start to dream of living room décor. It is both stylish and functionable, and can offer storage, seating, or even be used as a foot rest. It is a place to play games and gather around for drinks and good laughs. It is often one of the more central pieces of living room décor, helping anchor the entire room design. So, when choosing a coffee table for your living room choose wisely.


Coffee tables can be chosen as a conversation piece or based on more neutral intentions. Having a unique coffee table in the center of your living room is a great way to get friends and family talking. But a simpler design can still provide a place for gathering and conversation.


Be sure to do these few things before purchasing a coffee table for your living room;

  • As always, measure the space before throwing out cash. Use painters’ tape to outline the area that you want the coffee table to cover. Doing so will allow you to be more aware of the general size of table you are looking for. Ensuring you make a purchase that fits well within the given space and chosen style of your living room.


  • Consider the material the table is made of. As mentioned, if you plan on hosting game nights that can get a little rowdy, or have tiny humans running around banging hard toys on top of tables, then choosing a durable material is in your best interest. Glass coffee tables offer a more elegant appeal as opposed to wood or metal, but don’t hold up well against heavy use.


  • Be sure to also be aware of the shape of the coffee table. Maybe your living room already has a large presence of squares, rectangles, and straight edges. Soften up the space by going with a circular or oval shaped table to. Having too much of one shape in a room can make it seem repetitive and boring.


  • Make sure it is the right height. Lean towards tables that are the same height, give or take a few inches, as the cushions of your couch or sofa. This height is a good rule of thumb because it makes it comfortable to use. If you have a low sitting sofa or couch, then a shorter coffee table will work best. Having a coffee table that is too tall will look out of place and awkward.


 

Choosing & Hanging Wall Décor for Your Living Room

Choosing wall décor for your living room can either be really fun or really frustrating. Choosing wall décor is sort of like looking at your walls as if they were a blank canvas, presenting you with an opportunity to share your story and things that are important to you. I mean after all, you are the one that has to look at whatever you choose to hang up all day every day. With this in mind choose wall décor that speaks to you, and depicts things that matter to you. Wall décor is an element that helps define the personality of both yourself and home. So do put a little thought into what you decide to hang before you actually make a purchase or take a hammer and nail to the wall.


We suggest taking a step back and looking at your living room and chosen style and creating a list of potential wall décor options you would like to incorporate. Maybe it’s a gallery wall, shelving, mirrors, or fine art. Creating this list will help guide your search for wall décor in a more productive and strategic way that will not only save your walls from multiple holes, but also save your wallet. Having this list gives you an idea of what to look for when you go shopping, which will decrease the chances of you making a purchase just to bring it home and realize it doesn’t fit the space or style you are trying to go for.


Sometimes choosing wall décor for the living room can be overwhelming because often this is the room our guests, as well as ourselves, will spend the most time in. You can choose to hang a statement piece that will be a great conversation starter, or you can lean more towards wall décor that simply elevates other surrounding design elements and helps further create the style ambiance and vibe you are trying to achieve.


When hanging wall décor in your living room, or any space for that matter, try and remember these few tips;

  • Hang photos and art at eye level

  • If hanging wall décor above furniture, like a sofa or chest, make sure the chosen wall décor item is at least 1/2, ideally, 2/3 the width of the item it is being hung above.

  • Hang pieces about a hands width apart from one another, especially if doing a gallery type style

  • Choose wall décor that is proportional to your living room. If your living space is already busy with other objects opt for more neutral wall décor items.

  • Plan and measure before taking any tools or making any holes in the wall.





 





Curtains? Living room décor must or living room décor need?

Curtains are one of those often forgotten about décor items. Some rooms look great with bare windows, while others need the presence of curtains as that last little touch to pull it all together. Curtains can make a room cozier and more comfortable. They can help keep unwanted light out, glares off of televisions, allow for further privacy, while also adding style to space. Choosing to incorporate curtains in your living room is entirely up to you. If you are looking for a more modern look, your windows look great already without treatments, there is little natural light then opt for no curtains.


If you do choose to add curtains to the windows of your living room here are a few tips and tricks to help guide your search for the perfect drapes.

  • Hang your curtains higher than the window frame. Curtains that are hung directly above the window frame can make your room look smaller and allow for less natural light. Instead, hang curtains at least 10-12 inches above the frame, and make sure your curtain rod extends at least 3-6 inches outward form the edges. This can help your living room appear larger and more inviting.


  • Decide whether you want your curtains to be a more of a back-drop home décor item or make a statement. Curtains that are of natural, softer tones and textures help elevate the room without overwhelming other design elements. Bolder curtains can become conversation elements adding both style and texture to your living room style.


  • You know when your pants hit just above the ankles and you hear the dreaded ‘where is the flood” line? Yeah, your curtains will look the same. Make sure that curtains are long enough to fall about a ½ in, no more than an 1 in above the ground. Ensuring that your curtains are the right height and length can transform your living room entirely.


  • Try not to overwhelm your space with exotic bust patterns and bold colors if you already have a lot going on in other design elements. With that said you can play around with different patterns and textures and still create a cohesive style design. Just be sure to decide whether or not you want the curtains to blend in or stand out against other décor in your living room.


  • Again, if your windows look great without curtains than feel free to not even bother hanging them. Especially if you have a great presence of natural light. But if you do, make sure you don’t skimp on the privacy factor. Be sure to find curtains that are thick enough to block peering neighbors as they take their evening stroll with their dog. Sheer see through curtains may look dainty and divine but feeling bare and exposed certainly does not.


  • Mix and match styles in different rooms and do not assume that one style and pattern will fit every room. Each room in your home serves different purposes and often has differing style elements. Be sure to choose curtains based off of the room in which you are hanging them in and not other house design elements from other places.


 


Adding Accent Furniture in Your Living Room Design

Accent furniture can help balance a space, elevate design elements and aesthetic, add color, as well as provide further storage opportunities and additional seating. You can add in chests, cabinets, chairs, tables and really bring your living room design and style to life. Accent pieces are another opportunity to further display both your own personal style and personality. I am a sucker for a beautiful and versatile accent cabinet. And nothing beats plopping down in our patterned accent chair and snuggling up with a good book under or industrial lamp. A few tips to incorporating and choosing accent furniture for your living room are;

  • Make sure to choose pieces that are proportional to both your style and given space. Adding in an overstuffed chair in too tight of a space or a more modern design will look cramped, awkward, and out of place. So, try to first ask yourself if your given area has enough room to support the addition of an accent piece.


  • Look for balancing opportunities. Balancing décor is an interior decorating must. If your living room is not balanced and cohesive it can appear chaotic and stressful, instead of relaxing and inviting. Using two accent chairs tied together with a style matching side table is a great way to balance the heaviness of a large sectional or sofa. Sometimes this can be found by further anchoring a couch or chair with the addition of an accent table, while also providing storage for clutter.


  • More often than not, accent furniture plays a more supportive role in the design and are not statement pieces. Try to look for both life and style supportive qualities when choosing accent furniture for your living room. This will help the accent pieces become an integral part of the overall design concept. Be sure to decide on what the accent furniture purpose will be, or if there is even truly the need for the piece. Adding in furniture just for the sake of adding in furniture can lead to too busy and overwhelming of a space.


  • Measure, measure, and measure again. Before making any purchases be sure to measure the area in which you intend to add an accent piece to. Again, if you add in too large of an item than the room will appear smaller and stuffy. Not too mention, measuring both the room and the accent furniture, will save you time and money, while helping you avoid another trip return trip to the store.


  • Think about placement. Deciding where to place your accent piece depends on what type of piece it is and what your intentions are. If you are trying to decide on accent chairs for your living room being aware of how the chairs relate to the existing design elements and furniture placement is key, especially if you are trying to incorporate more seating. If you are trying to add in an accent cabinet for increased storage, placing it somewhere that is out of the way, yet easily accessible is key.


 

When adding decorative objects into your living room decor we recommend doing so last, or at least after the main core elements have already been chosen. This makes sure that you are only adding in pieces that help elevate your living rooms style and function and not adding in random pieces of clutter.


Decorative accessories and accents add a little more “wow” factor to general design elements. If an area is feeling unfinished or flat, it could be because the objects located in it are too small. Try choosing a couple larger items and start decorating from the two pieces. This will help make sure you are including accents and accessories that go with your style and best fit the space without making it feel junky and cluttered. You can always go back in and add smaller items if you feel the space is still unfinished.



A couple of items to help give you living room decor inspo;

· Rustic bookends

· Bohemian inspired canisters/candleholders

· Found items like old magnifying glasses

· Distressed decorative books

· Picture Frames

· Wooden Bowls


These are just a handful of items that you can find at Snows Shack, another décor shop, or even antique malls that you could use to add a little more flair to your living room decor. Home décor accents and accessories are always fun to incorporate within a style, because they allow for your creativity and character to flow freely.


 

Tackling Organization of your Living Room



Organization is one of those dreaded tasks that reaps huge benefits when finally tackled. Organization is proven to reduce stress and make life easier. So why not take a few minutes to organize and declutter your living room, so that it can function and feel like a true oasis.


Use these tips to take the stress out of organizing:

  • Before organizing your living room you first want to go through and declutter and clean it. Working in a space that is clean and already freed of things you will never use or haven’t used in years will make the organization process go that much smoother.


  • Once you have purged and cleansed your living room separate left over items into groups. Grouping items is always an easier route to organizing. It ensures all like items are gathered in the same place and ready to use when needed.


  • After grouping items decide what each group functions are and how often they will be used. If you have weekly movie or game nights, then place DVDs and board games in a concealed, easy to reach spot.


  • After grouping and establishing functions, try to place items according to how often they are used and whether you want them to be seen. Having items you use often, displayed in sight or easy to grab places will allow for your living room to function smoother and less restrictive.


  • Find yourself constantly digging in couch cushions for the lost remote? We recommend using a small basket or decorative tray to function as a home for devices and remotes. Having a designated place to store these items will drastically reduce the amount of times you have to go searching under furniture before getting to binge your favorite Netflix series.


  • Everyone likes to cozy up with a soft blanket and watch tv or a good movie. Or maybe you like to keep your house a tad bit colder, incorporate a place to store blankets and throws in case you end up having too many to drape over the back of furniture. You can even use this as décor, by rolling blankets up and placing them in a stylish basket.





 


Your living room is a place to entertain guests and family, host parties and get togethers, rest and relax, and make lasting memories with those we love. Taking a more strategic and insightful approach to decorating your living room will help you create a space that entices guests and makes them want to kick their shoes off and stay while. Using these tips to help guide your search for living room decor can save you both time and money, while taking the stress out of decorating your living room. We hope that they help you create a space that speaks to you and best tells your story.


Get a jump start on shopping and browse our unique and stylish home décor accessories and accents. If you need further design help be sure to reach out and subscribe to our email list and Snows Shack will do everything we can to help make your decorative dreams come true!

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