Residential Interior Design Essentials for a Living Room Remodel

It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but we would argue that the living room is just as important – if not more so. Your living room is where you spent a large majority of your time at home, whether you’re hosting a casual get-together, relaxing with family, or even just enjoying a quiet evening for one. From weekend entertaining to everyday routines, the living room sees it all.

The living room is a single space that serves a multitude of purposes, making comfort, style, and individuality especially important when you’re considering living room design ideas. Ideally, it will be a room in which you can feel completely at home – so be sure to design it according to your wants and needs, not just the latest trends.

To help you get started with creating a living room that suits your lifestyle, we’ve put together a guide to living room interior design essentials. These are the basic elements of a well-outfitted living room, including a variety of items that can be completely customized for your unique preferences.

Design Essentials for a Living Room you Love

Here are our style staples for living room design, organized in a checklist that covers each detail from floor to ceiling – literally.

1. A sofa or sectional

Your living room wouldn’t be complete without the perfect sofa. The best sofas are the ones that seem to have been made specifically for the space, flawlessly fitting the room’s dimensions, layout, and purpose. There are so many options to choose from, and yet, finding the ideal sofa can be a challenge.

Think of your sofa as one of the “anchor” elements of the living room: it should be large enough to have a commanding presence, without completely dominating every other piece. Factors such as your lifestyle, available square footage, color palette, room layout, and others can be helpful in narrowing down your options. For example, if your living room is a very large, open space where your family gathers every day, a welcoming, soft sectional with plenty of space for lounging can be ideal. Alternatively, if your living room is set aside as a space mainly for formal gatherings, a duo of matching sofas can be the right choice.

Custom furniture design is often the key to a stylish, comfortable sofa that complements your specific space. When you’re investing in a custom sofa, you typically have the freedom to choose:

    • The color
    • The fabric 
    • The shape or orientation of certain pieces, such as a chaise lounge section
    • The size
    • Any accent elements, finishes, etc.

2. Coffee table or ottoman

When a sofa is “floating” within the footprint of a living room, it can have the effect of making the space look incomplete and empty. A coffee table (or alternatively, an ottoman) can balance out the sofa extremely well while also serving a variety of purposes.

The possibilities are virtually endless when you’re searching for a coffee table because there are limitless variations on size and design. If you like to put your feet up while you relax, an upholstered ottoman is another option. Some ideas for coffee tables in your living include:

    • A classic wood coffee table with a square shape for a versatile, traditional look
    • A live edge coffee table with an asymmetrical shape, to bring natural texture and warmth into a room 
    • A sleek, marble-top coffee table with metallic accents in chic rose gold or polished brass
    • An oversized round ottoman, upholstered in a neutral linen to bring an element of comfort to a formal space

In terms of practicality, a coffee table is a solid surface where you can set down a beverage, a book, or even a plate of snacks. For style purposes, it’s also an opportunity to incorporate a personal touch. Learning how to style a coffee table can be an enjoyable creative exercise for some, whereas others may prefer the help of a professional to achieve a perfectly polished final result. Some ideas for coffee table styling elements include large, visually appealing books, a decorative bowl or basket to corral remotes and other necessities, or an oversized candle. 

3. Window coverings and draperies

Although there are a handful of spaces and styles that are suited to minimalistic window coverings, most benefit significantly from well-crafted draperies, shades, blinds, and other options. Oftentimes, a room that only has softness and texture in rugs and upholstered furniture can feel unbalanced until draperies are added. And with so many different ways to create custom drapery and window coverings, you can find the perfect choice for your room:

    • Select from various fabrics, each one bringing a specific “feel” to a space (for example, cotton prints, silks, velvets, or metallic fabrics)
    • Pleat styles such as a three-finger pinch pleat or back-tab style can dress your windows up or down
    • Ceiling mounted hardware, motorized operation, and other features ensure that your window coverings are as convenient as they are attractive’

Keep in mind that window coverings are as practical as they are pretty: the right option will enhance the style of any space, while also providing privacy, energy efficiency, and other useful functions. 

4. Decorative items like throw pillows, wall art, and other accents

Decorative items are the key to setting your room apart and truly making it your own. Throw pillows, lighting, vases, photos, art, and similar elements are your opportunity to give your living room a wonderfully “lived-in” appearance. You can incorporate fabrics, colors, and textures in a myriad of ways, using small touches to make a big impact. 

Do you feel like your living room needs to be refreshed? Swap out décor for a quick transformation, and you’ll be amazed at just how different the space looks and feels. For example, a neutral living with very traditional wall art (for example, landscape paintings) can take on a completely new personality with a simple switch: change the art to something vibrant and abstract, add a quirky, contemporary sculpture, and the living room has been reimagined. 

Perfect Any Space with Custom Furniture, Home Décor, and Design Help from Interior Essentials

Whether you’re beginning with a blank slate or searching for that final finishing touch, designing a living room can be a complex task. Both form and function must be considered, with aesthetic, style, and comfort all playing an equally important role. Ideally, your living room will be an attractive space that appeals to your personal taste, while also working incredibly well to meet your everyday needs.

At the Interior Essentials furniture and home décor stores in Gilbert and Scottsdale, we offer a broad range of products and services to help you create a home you love. Since 2001, our team of designers has earned recognition as leaders in the industry, helping countless clients bring their visions to life. Our locally-owned and operated business specializes in upscale furniture, window coverings, décor, and more, giving our clients the advantage of professional design help from our talented team. 

It’s not just about decorating a room; it’s about tailoring each space to serve as a beautiful backdrop to daily life and special occasions alike. For more information about how to decorate a living room, contact the Interior Essentials team or visit our Gilbert or Scottsdale home décor showrooms today.

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