For a peaceful home, it’s essential that the living room works for all the family. Consider what changes you could make to the style, layout and practicality of your living room to ensure that everyone in the family finds this room an inviting space to relax in.
The living room is the most sociable room in the house, so make sure it provides enough seating for the whole family, plus a few guests. If you don’t have the space for extra chairs, an upholstered or leather pouffe will do the job and can be used as a footstool when not needed as a seat. If you’re looking to buy a new armchair, check whether you have room to upgrade to a loveseat that can seat two people who are happy to snuggle up together.
Above all, your living room needs to offer comfort. If your room leaves you feeling cold, make it feel more cosy simply by adding soft texture. Plush carpet or a rug can transform the look of a room, instantly making it feel more welcoming. Deep sofas with plump seats adorned with a line of squashy cushions will entice the whole family to settle in and spend the evening together, rather than in separate rooms. Woollen or linen throws folded over sofa arms will visually soften the room as well as providing warmth when needed.
If you have children, incorporate a play area into your living room. A low-level table that can double up as a desk for drawing will be useful for everyone, and bean bags or knitted pouffes will serve as comfy seats for little ones. Choose hard-wearing flooring and loose-covered sofas with removable and washable covers that can stand up to a few spills. Family living rooms require plenty of storage, so make sure everyone in the family has an assigned cupboard, drawer or trunk to hide their books, consoles or toys inside.
Storage is key in a family living room to hide away your family’s essentials so, if you’ve space, pop a sideboard or dresser against one wall and use to hide clutter and display your favourite things. Extra seating is always a bonus in a family living room, so squeeze in an armchair if possible.
Having a family doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself through your living room decor and accessories. Choose a hardwearing traditional leather sofa for an easy-to-clean option, then put up a funky ceiling light – it’ll be well out of the way of little fingers!
Make storage a priority in a family living room by fitting shelves in an alcove – you’ll be amazed at how much you can store and display on them. If the fireplace has been removed from the chimney breast, use the opening as a storage area too.
Personalise your living room with an arrangement of favourite family photographs. A bare expanse of wall above the sofa or a sideboard makes the ideal spot. Choose frames that are identical in size and colour, and arrange in a grid formation to make a visual impact.
Create a media-friendly arrangement in a family living room. Choose low units that won’t overwhelm the room and keep the wall space above feeling open by putting up simple floating shelves. Go for a pale colour scheme for walls and furniture to give a unified look and hide all TV-related gadgetry in wicker baskets.
Create an eye-catching display of artwork and box shelves filled with ceramics on the wall above the sofa. Position similar sized frames in a rectangular arrangement around one larger picture in the centre. Pick artwork or photographs that share the same colours for a co-ordinated look.
Similar house-shaped shelves
Create a clutter-free living room with
built-in storage tailormade to suit your space. Floor-to-ceiling
cupboards will hide away clutter, while shelves create space for displaying books and accessories. Paint the cupboards, shelves and walls in the same
pale shade for a calming feel.
Put some personality into a contemporary living room
with an informal arrangement of family photographs positioned at the
heart of the room. Create your display by propping
frames in a range of sizes on a picture shelf, overlapping them
here and there and filling in any gaps with small accessories.
There’s no excuse for the kids not to tidy away their things with this neat arrangement of living room storage. It’s ideal for a room without fireplaces or other features to work around. Use modular units or freestanding pieces pushed together in a customised arrangement. Furniture with open and closed shelving will give space for both storage and display.
Go for a sunny, uplifting colour scheme in a family living room.
Yellow is guaranteed to
cheer up any room – use a fresh shade on walls, then add
pale flooring, blonde wood furniture and neutral-coloured upholstery. Add more accents of yellow with a rug, cushion covers and accessories.
Get the family organised with clever corner storage. Tall,
slim shelving units can be used to fill awkward alcoves and wrap around
wonky corners, while making use of the full height of a high ceiling.
Put together matching pieces for a built-in library look that will
provide versatile storage, plus space to arrange family photos and
Keep it casual with a den-style family room. Stunning
ombre-effect walls in indigo blue create a dreamy mood, while loose-covered
sofas and armchairs are family friendly, as the covers can be removed and popped in the wash. Weathered wood furniture adds to the relaxed rustic look.
Create a relaxed and cosy space for family gatherings with this rich orange and grey palette. A neutral backdrop, a pale grey sofa, oak-effect flooring and soft rugs set the scene. Add warmth and texture with chunky wooden furniture, a few copper finishes and ikat prints.
Use a delicate lily of the valley fabric for full-length curtains as the starting point for a country scheme. Bring in uplifting colour to give the room a more modern look that the kids will love – here, a large leaf-green footstool adds a sense of fun to an otherwise neutral scheme.
For a peaceful living room scheme that the whole family will feel soothed by, decorate with neutrals. Using a large upholstered footstool covered in a bright check in place of a coffee table will add soft texture that children will appreciate.
Repeat the clutter-control mantra: storage, storage, storage! Allocate each child their own storage box in the living room and make sure toys, books and shoes are returned to it at the end of the day.
The dining table in this open-plan living room doubles up as a
homework area for the kids. A hatch through to the kitchen is perfect for
chatting while dinner is being prepared.
One of the most successful ways to create an easy-going family space is to use simple, welcoming elements. Opt for comfortable designs, such as an informal modular sofa, and a low-level audio-visual unit, and position furniture carefully to free up as much floor space as possible. Temper practical, hard-wearing sisal flooring with large, squashy cushions, and use a simple Roman blind to keep the look clean and contemporary.
When space is limited, opt for modular seating such as this to make the most of all the available space. Natural fabrics and textures such as silk and velvet create a comfortable yet luxurious feel.
and a range of seating options will introduce a relaxed feel to a
contemporary scheme, while ample storage, plenty of light and
streamlined shapes create a sense of calm in a busy family room. Opt for
stylised motif wallpaper that will work through every season to ensure a timeless look.
A mix of horizontal and vertical stripes in a subtle palette of soft blue-green creates a relaxed feel, perfect for an informal family room. Hang elegant wallpaper
with wide horizontal stripes to give a room the illusion of width, and
add chic accessories such as an oversized floor lamp for a contemporary
There is no reason why a television shouldn’t mix seamlessly and
stylishly into a living room. A chimney breast decorated with bespoke
panelling that incorporates a wall-mounted television makes an
interesting focal point. Add accents of colour to a grey scheme by scattering bright cushions over seating.
Take inspiration from calming shades and bold patterns to create an elegant and informal family living space. Here, a neutral palette is brought to life with shots of colour and pattern, which, when balanced with simple lighting and furniture, add a contemporary edge to the scheme. Two large floating shelves above the sofa create a stylish and useful display space.
In this classic scheme, a range of seating options creates the perfect
space to entertain family and friends on all occasions. Opt for damask fabrics in cool shades and intricate fretwork for an understated, contemporary elegance, and add depth to pale blue walls with metallic accessories.
Choose relaxed and comfortable seating even in a more formal family
space – this large eau-de-nil sofa acts as an elegant centerpiece in
this classic scheme. Coffee-coloured walls give the room a contemporary
edge, and framed family photographs add warmth and character.
Which of these ideas is your favourite? Let us know below…