• Go to First Slide
  • Pause
  • Play
  • Go to Last Slide

Best Room Ideas: 4 Secrets for a Beautiful Living Room

Secrets for a Beautiful Living Room

What makes a beautiful living room? First it helps to take a quick look at how living rooms have changed over the years. The once-formal living room grew out of what was called a sitting room decades ago. What’s the difference between a living room and a sitting room? Historically, a small sitting room served as a receiving parlor for guests before they were brought in to the main part of the home. Sitting rooms evolved into living rooms eventually. Today, the formal living room is giving way to more casual spaces. It even includes media and entertainment centers. Now, there’s virtually no difference between a living room and a family room. At Pottery Barn, we have modern living room ideas and secrets to share that’ll answer your most pressing questions about living rooms, regardless of the size or location. 


Secret #1: Positioning

Pressing question number one: How do I decorate my living room? Let’s dive in.

Here’s where your choice of seating comes into play in a big way. Important tips on choosing living room furniture include keeping your sofa to the scale of your room. For example, large rooms benefit from multiple seating areas. Smaller rooms look best with a streamlined, compact sofa rather than one that overwhelms the space. 


Then, there’s the importance of positioning your sofa. This makes a big difference in how a living room feels when you walk in to it. Place your sofa so it’s facing the door. If it’s a sectional, have at least one side of it facing the door. You’ll feel more comfortable if you can see what’s happening rather than being startled every time you hear a noise behind your back. In addition, seeing the front of the sofa when you walk into a room feels like you’re walking into one giant bear hug. Who wouldn’t want to sink into a sofa after a hard day at work?


Secret #2: Organizing 

Pressing question number two: How should I organize my living room? An organized living room is soothing to the eye and soul. It becomes a place to rest, read, cuddle under a soft throw and hold meaningful conversations. Because the living room is also the family room and vice versa, organization is more important than ever. The first place that becomes messy beyond recognition is the coffee table. If you’re choosing a new table, opt for one with drawers or a low shelf. That way, when you're decorating a coffee table, you can style and curate the top of the table the right way. 


Now that you’ve taken care of the coffee table, look elsewhere in the room where you can neatly stow items with style. The key to streamlining your living room: baskets. Lidded baskets and under-the-bed baskets take care of magazines and paper. You can stack them in multiples or slide them under furniture with legs so they’re out of the way. Oversize baskets hold extra pillows, throws and even pet toys so they don’t get underfoot. Baskets easily blend in to the room. At the same time, they add subtle texture to the space while looking polished.


Secret #3: Focus

Every room, especially a living room, needs a focal point. It grounds you in the space so you don’t feel lost in the room. Focal points can be a piece of artwork on a mantel, a stunning light fixture or a picture window inviting you to look at a lovely horizon. A focal point is whatever you want to draw attention to that makes you happy. Typically, a fireplace is a natural focal point. Play it up with a decorated mantel. Include a dramatic piece of art or a mirror. If there’s no fireplace or other inherent focal point, add to the farthest wall in the room a piece of art or a mirror. Or, paint it with an accent color.  


Secret #4: Welcome

Another pressing question: How can I make my living room even warmer and more welcoming? That’s a big question that deserves attention. You know how to choose furniture of the right size, color and how to position it. Now, how do you fill it all in to look welcoming, comforting and everything else you want your living room to be? The best tip for choosing decor is to be true to yourself. You don’t have to prescribe to anyone else’s decorating tastes unless you genuinely love it and want to replicate it because it speaks to your heart. 


Fill in your living room with accents such as lamps, rugs and decorative pillows that resonate with you. For example, there are more styles and types of lighting fixtures and lamp shades on the market today than ever before to help you express your true colors in your living room. Mix styles, match styles – it’s up to you. The same applies to rugs and pillows. Mix and match colors and patterns. Layer them. Contrast them. Envision a living room that you’ll love coming home to every day. It’s truly the secret to creating a beautiful living room.


Have fun using these helpful tips in your living space. It’ll be an even more special room to enjoy when everyone gathers there and you love how beautiful it looks!