10 classic living room design ideas you won’t want to miss

Is your living room in need of an update? Homes & Gardens picks out 10 classic design that will give your living room an instant lift. For more inspiring ideas, visit housetohome.co.uk

An area of open shelving prevents a bank of cupboards from overpowering this traditional living room, breaking up the look and creating an interesting feature in the process. Choosing a sofa in a bright, contrasting colour keeps the room looking fresh and pretty, while matching the mustard shade with accessories on the shelf helps to unify the scheme.

Cupboard doors
Just Doors

1/10 Sofa

living room with sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Paul Raeside)

The Odd Chair Company

2/10 Country house style living room with classical busts

living room with blue sofa and armchairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

Classical busts and ornate architectural features have been teamed with an open fireplace and deep, comfortable armchairs in a relaxed check fabric to create welcoming feel in this traditional living room. Positioning the seating around the fireplace lends a cosy feel to the room, while a large mirror by the side of the chimney breast enhances the sense of space.

Similar plaster busts
Holkham Sculpture Reproductions

3/10 Light and lofty living room with pink and green accents

living room with sofa and arm chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

A pleasing symmetrical layout and light-coloured flooring enhance the lofty proportions of this elegant living room, while avoiding creating a heavy base layer to the scheme. Low-slung, sugar-pink armchairs and a Perspex table draw the eye to the central section of the room, while graphic wallpaper in the recesses give the area a sophisticated feel, adding depth to the scheme.

Turnell & Gigon
Goatskin rug
Ambleside Sheepskins

4/10 Elegant living room with contemporary wall art

living room with sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alicia Taylor)

Fine art flanking the chimney breast takes centre stage in this classic living room. Soft powdery hues elsewhere in the room combine to create a composed, restful scheme, while subtly referencing the colours in the artwork. The mirror on the chimney breast, meanwhile, brightens the room by reflecting natural light pouring in from the French window.

Coffee table
Adam Williams Design
Lee Jofa

5/10 Sophisticated living room with corner home office

living room with grey sofa and fire place

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alicia Taylor)

If space is at a premium in your home, consider making your sitting room work harder by converting a disused corner into a stylish study area. Here, an elegant console table in the recess doubles up as a bijou workstation, while the upholstery of the desk chair echoes the brightly-coloured coffee table to unify the look.

Framed mirror
Table lamp
Porta Romana

6/10 Neutral living room with terrace view

cream living room with sofa

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

If your living room backs onto an adjacent terrace or garden area, allow nature to encroach on the inside. Here, bi-fold doors open up to enhance the size of the classic sitting room, which is decorated in a gentle palette of beige, white and cream shades to ensure attention is firmly fixed on the greenery outside.

Similar sofa

7/10 Eclectic living room with carefully layered patterns

living room with patterned wallpaper

(Image credit: Future PLC/Paul Raeside)

Layers of classic paisley take centre stage amid the streamlined window treatments and muted upholstery in this traditional living room. Adding a new layer of pattern, such as the striped rug, keeps the scheme relaxed, while the mirror above the mantelpiece opens up the space by reflecting light from the window.

Curtain fabric

8/10 Library style living room with bookcase feature wall

study with armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

Finding space for treasured tomes can be challenging if your living room is quite small, so consider utilising wasted space above a doorway. In this classic living room, built-in bookcases flanking the double door have been extended overhead, creating valuable storage space that also becomes an eye-catching feature wall. Mixing up the height of the books and the colours of the spines adds further interest to the scheme.

Floor lamp

9/10 Double living room with elegant twin chairs

living room with brown walls

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

Taupe coloured walls and elegant furniture echo a smaller room adjacent to this classic living room, enhancing the sense of flow. Matching neutral upholstery on the chairs in both rooms adds a further connection, without the look becoming too homogenous. A bright cushion in the background breaks up the neutral palette, breaking down the physical barrier of the partition wall and drawing attention the the space beyond it.

Coffee table
Paint on walls
Paint & Paper Library

10/10 French style living room with tucked away cocktail table

living room with arm chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

French-style armchairs have been teamed with pared-back walls for a welcoming yet unfussy look in this classic living room. A discreet bar area in the shady corner effectively utilises a tricky spot in the otherwise bright room, enhancing the convivial feel of the comfortable scheme.

Similar chairs
Nordic Style
Similar drum stool


Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.