A living room’s design is influenced by a lot of different factors. The size, shape, layout, materials and color palette all matter in their own unique way and the design strategies differ in each case based on all of these elements and more.
What tends to stand out the most is the color palette, even when the colors used are simple and muted. With that in mind today we’re focusing on white living rooms and all the ways in which they can look amazing.
How small is a small living room?
The size of the living room is usually closely linked to its function. In other words what matters is what you can do in a living room and this tells you how big the area is. A small living room typically measures around 130 square feet (12 square meters). This gives enough space for a loveseat and a couple of chairs which makes the room comfortable for 4 people but not more.
In comparison to that, a tiny living room measures around 70 square feet (6.5 square meters) and is only meant to comfortably accommodate 2 people on a small loveseat.
A medium-sized living room measures 216 square feet (20 square meters) which gives plenty of room for a bigger conversation area with a large couch and a couple of extra chairs.
A large living room is 300 square feet (27 square meters) or bigger and can accommodate 10 or more people at the same time.
What size should the rug in your living room be?
The size of the room directly influences the dimensions of certain furniture pieces and accessories, like the rug for example. A rug that’s too small or too big looks disproportionate in relation to the room as a whole and that just doesn’t look right. So how do we decide how big the rug should be? There’s a few things to keep in mind when calculating that.
First of all, keep in mind that most living room rugs have standard dimensions. The most common ones are 8′ x 10′ and 9′ x 12′. If this fits with your living room you’ll have an easier time finding a rug design that you like because you’ll have more choices.
The rug in your living room should be at least 6” wider than the sofa on each side if you want them to look proportionate. Of course, this is influenced by the layout you choose for the sitting area and whether or not the sofa is placed against a wall and so on.
Also, the rug shouldn’t be shorter than the length of the sofa otherwise it looks odd. Again, this is adjustable based on the type of sofa, the layout of the room, other furniture pieces and accessories and so on.
Keep in mind that there needs to be some distance between the large furniture pieces in the living room so you can easily move around. The size of the rug is directly influenced by this so try to have an image in mind of the whole space when you go shopping for accessories.
Use painter’s tape on the floor to get a better idea of how big the rug should be or how it will look like. Use the tape to create an outline of the rug and to get a feel of whether or not it fits the room.
What’s the best furniture layout for a small living room?
One of the most difficult things to do when you have a small living room is deciding how the furniture should be arranged in it. Obviously we all want to include as many things as possible in the design but we don’t want the room to look or to feel tiny and cluttered and that’s where the challenge is.
First of all, before you bring any furniture in, take some time to decide what your priorities are. Do you want your living room to have lots of storage? If so you should find a good spot for a large shelving unit and look for other spots where you can squeeze in some extra storage such as in the corners, underneath the sofa and so on.
If you want the room to feel very welcoming and to be a space where you can spend a lot of time with family and friends, focus on creating a comfortable sitting area. Consider using a sectional sofa paired with a coffee table and if there’s enough room for a couple of extra chairs or poufs then add these as well. This should give you the flexibility needed to do all sorts of social activities in here.
Similarly, if you’re designing a kid-friendly living room be sure to make it as comfortable as possible while also including plenty of storage and leaving enough open space so the kids can move around and play. A sectional sofa would make sense in such a space and you can pair it with a low coffee table. Be sure to also add a soft area rug to make the floor nice and safe.
At the end of the day you should choose the layout of the furniture based on your own preferences, lifestyle and priorities. Decide what’s most important for you and the others using the living room when making decisions related to the furniture, accessories, color and palette and everything else. Take everyone’s needs and considerations into account and try to find the best solution based on that.
How to make a living room with a high ceiling feel cozy?
A living room can be small but have a high ceiling which would help it look bigger, brighter and more spacious. The effect is amplified the bigger the room size is. High ceilings are a sought-after feature because of the effect they have on the overall appearance and ambiance of the room.
The only downside of having a living room with a high ceiling is that it can be a bit tricky to make it feel cozy. Here’s a few design tricks you can use to make that happen:
- Lower the ceiling by painting it
Obviously this doesn’t actually physically lower the ceiling but it does bring it closer visually. Think of the ceiling as a blank canvas that you can decorate however you want. Paint it in a color that contrasts with the walls. It can either be a lighter color or a darker one. You can also use a pattern to make the ceiling stand out and to turn it into a focal point.
- Paint the walls using a two-tone design
A similar strategy is to go with a two-tone design for the walls to pull the ceiling closer visually and to make the room feel cozy. A two-tone design would make the walls look shorter which would indirectly make the ceiling seem lower. There’s all sorts of interesting and beautiful combinations that you can try.
- Hang curtains on the windows
Another good idea is to hang fabric curtains on the windows in order to make the eye focus on the lower section of the walls. This would make the room as a whole feel cozy and intimate because the high ceiling doesn’t stand out as much.
- Use texture in your design
Putting an emphasis on the textures used in a room’s design helps to make the space feel warm and cozy. There’s a variety of different ways in which you can add texture to your living room such as with curtains, rugs and carpets, upholstered furniture and decorations.
- Fill the empty air spaces
A high ceiling means you have more space on the walls of the living room. Try to avoid leaving the walls blank and creating big air spaces because that can make the room feel austere. Look for ways to fill these gaps with decorations and accessories like shelves, artwork, mood lighting and so on.
How to decorate a living room with plants
On the topic of decorations, something that you can always count on is plants. There’s always space for plants in the living room. In addition to adding color to the space around them indoor potted plants also purity the air and create a fresh and relaxing ambiance. Here’s a few interesting ways in which you can add plants to your own living room:
Next to the sofa
Usually we don’t place furniture right next to a sofa and that leaves these little gaps in design that are perfect for decorations like potted plants. Place a large plant beside your living room sofa to fill that empty space and to make this area more cohesive.
Put plants on shelves
A super easy way to integrate a few plants into your living room’s decor is by displaying them on shelves. Mix in a few potted plants among the books and other things that you normally keep on the shelves. This will create diversity in your design and will look fresh, stylish and modern. This also gives you a perfect opportunity to have a few plants that cascade down to fill some of the empty vertical space in the room.
Group them up
Instead of spreading the plants around the room another idea is to group them up and to display a bunch of them together. You could have a few potted plants on a bench or on a small table and create a green spot in your living room.
Put them in custom pots
Focus not just on the plants themselves but the pots as well. If you want to add a bit more charm and character to your living room’s decor put the plants in custom pots like repurposed old coffee cups, tin cans, boxes and so on. Succulents and cacti are perfect for this.
Place them in the corner
We often have a hard time decorating or furnishing the corners of the rooms and most often than not they simply remain empty. This creates a perfect opportunity to have a few plants placed here. It allows you to fill the corner and to put something fresh and beautiful in here.
Hang some plants
You can have plants sitting directly on the floor of your living room, on tables and shelves but also up in the air hanging. Consider hanging some plants in front of a window or in a corner as a way to add some character to this area and to make it look less empty.
How to decorate a white living room – beautiful inspiring ideas.
White is the simplest color of all and in a lot of ways that presents numerous advantages, especially in interior design. There’s lots of cool and interesting white living room design ideas worth checking out and you can see a few of them down below:
A black and white living room
The black and white color combo is a super popular one because of its versatility. Both these colors are timeless and there’s a ton of interesting ways in which you can combine them in your living room’s decor. This design created by Joni Spear makes use of features like patterned upholstery, artwork and area rugs to give this room lots of character.
Modern white living room design
White is a super versatile color which goes really well with a variety of styles such as Scandinavian, farmhouse and of course modern and contemporary. The clean and crisp white walls and the white ceiling suit this living by Urrutia Design perfectly. The rest of the color scheme is a nice and elegant blend of black, light and dark wood and soft beige accents.
Small living room with pops of color
White is the perfect color for a small living room because it makes it look bright, airy and spacious. You can also play with subtle variations and add an accent wall or even paint the walls in a soft beige or creme nuance and still have the same effect. This living room designed by Tim Cuppett Architects looks airy and cozy thanks to accessories like the rug, the large mirror and the fresh pops of color.
White living room with farmhouse charm
As mentioned earlier, white is also a great base color for a farmhouse-inspired living room which is beautifully demonstrated here by studio Moore House Design. The soft and cozy textures, the shiplap accent wall and that magnificent accent table bring this whole room to life in a very comfy and inviting way.
A light-colored transitional living room
A transitional living room is designed with a combination of modern and traditional elements so it has an eclectic look and feel. Light colors like white, soft greys and beige suit this style well. They’re paired here with earthy browns and natural wood for added charm and elegance. This family-friendly living room was designed by Larina Kase.
A Scandinavian white living room
White is also a perfect primary color for a Scandinavian living room like this one designed by studio Resolution: 4 Architecture. We love the subtle variations of color like the flooring and the light grey sofas which prevent the decor from becoming too cold and monotonous without standing out a lot.
White living room with a serene view
If your living room has a view at least half as great as this one you should definitely make the most of it. Keeping the design of the room simple and neutral with white walls, a white ceiling and neutral accent colors puts more emphasis on the view and makes it the focal point of the room. this design by Stage Struck gives you an idea of what it could look like.
A small and cozy living room
Painting the whole room white and using the same color for the large furniture pieces helps small spaces seem bigger and brighter. This strategy did wonders for this cozy living room designed by Bay Area Custom Homes. Even though most of the room is white that doesn’t make it bland or boring. The wooden floor and all the little pops of color add a lot of character to this small living room.
Big windows and a cozy fireplace
The big windows that wrap around this beautiful living room designed by studio DiGiacomo Homes & Renovation in combination with the white walls and ceiling make the space look super open and airy. At the same time, the fireplace is the perfect complement to this minimalist decor, adding lots of warm to the room.
A super colorful and fun living room
For this living room designed by Danielle Interior Design & Decor the white walls are not the focal point but rather an empty canvas for all the colorful details that make up the decor. You can still see the white walls behind all the shelves but there’s so much going on toward the center of the room and that makes the space look super fun and inviting. Although it’s small, this living room has a ton of character,
White living room with breezy blue accents
A lot of white living room design ideas don’t really revolve around a central theme and that makes designs like this one that much more interesting. This transitional living room by studio Courtney Thomas Design has a beach-inspired look and feel. It’s bright, airy and fresh and its white walls and ceilings are complemented by dark wooden floors and marine blue accent details.
Small living room with a white brick fireplace
On the topic of beach-inspired living room designs, check out this cozy little space designed by Sheila Rich Interiors. It has this intimate sitting area centered around a white brick fireplace with windows letting in lots of sunlight. The walls are perfectly white and that really helps to open up the room and make it feel more spacious.
White living room with a tranquil and zen decor
The combination of white walls and decorative greenery gives this living room a very zen and tranquil feel. It’s a small living room but it’s very bright and airy. It also helps to have all the natural wood and warm textures concentrated at the center of the room.
Modern white living room with bay windows
The elegant herringbone floor anchors this modern living room and complements its crisp white walls. At the same time the bay windows bring in lots of natural light and tree canopy views. Simultaneously, the grey sofa and bright green accent pillows concentrate this tranquil nature-inspired theme towards the center of the room. This is a design by Horrigan O’Malley Architects.
Tiny loft-style living room
This little area at the top of the stairs is only big enough for a couple of armchairs and an accent table. Still, it makes for a super cozy living room/ reading nook, especially with the fireplace as a focal point. The white walls and ceiling help the space look brighter and bigger than it actually is.
Small living room with a traditional design
White goes with pretty much any style. It’s a perfect match for modern and contemporary interiors but it also looks nice in a traditional setting like this small living room designed by Grand Home Solutions. Here the white walls open up the room and give it a chic vibe.
White living room with elegant details
Needless to say, no color is boring, not even white. When used strategically white can enhance the beauty of a living room and help to put an emphasis on all the accent pieces and decorations like the chandelier, curtains, rug, pillows and this quirky coffee table for example. This elegant living room was designed by studio LDa Architecture & Interiors.
White walls and a colored ceiling
One of the best ways to add character to a room with white walls is by drawing attention to the ceiling or to the floor. Here both the floor and the ceiling have a beautiful dark wood finish which adds warmth to the room and at the same time the design has a strong industrial vibe.
Glamorous textures and patterns
Another very efficient way of complementing a series of plain white walls is by introducing rich textures and patterns into the living room’s decor. Here interior designer Marcelle Guilbeau played with a chic chevron rug, an elegant beige sofa and these classic velvet accent chairs in a rich turquoise color.