Planning a Living Room Makeover? 6 Interesting Design Ideas to Try

Did you know that the living room was previously called a parlor? Prior to the mid-19th century, people call this part of the house “parlor” from the French verb “parlé,” which literally means “to speak.”

When people started calling this part of the house “living room,” it was because people were seeking a more suitable name to call an area where gatherings and social activities take place.

You see, the bedroom, kitchen, dining room, and bedroom are so named based on their function. Since each room is called according to its specific use, it would be expected the common place where general living activities were performed also got one. Thus, the term “living room” was born.

Considering its main purpose, the living room is the first thing that visitors see when they enter your house. Plus, it is where many family bonding moments and memories are created.

To enjoy your living room better, make it picture-perfect with these six interesting living room designs that you can do on your next home makeover:

Experiment with neutrals

If you’re not into bold colors but still appreciate a couple of tasteful unique pieces, you can choose to experiment with neutrals instead. Rather than going for a black-and-white color palette, you can toss in artistic accents like throw pillows and lampshades, while keeping the anchor pieces (e.g., sofa) neutral. The splash of color will definitely pop out, but it won’t overwhelm the room.

You can also toss in colorful rugs to break the monotony or choose carpet tiles and arrange these in a way that draws the eye (think: chessboard pattern). Just make sure to tone it down with red, marigold, navy, and green, and avoid anything too crazy.

Of course, there are more ways you can experiment with neutrals. Opting for off-white paint or wallpaper, for instance, can give your living room an eclectic vibe. To make it cozier, toss in a jute rug, some wood finishes, and a few brass accents.

These contrasting textures, finishes, and prints help add a playful spirit to the space while maintaining its formal vibe.

And while it doesn’t necessarily stand out, the cream wall paint or wallpaper offers a transformative difference, which can yield a starker contrast when replaced with white.

Move furniture around and away from walls

Another easy way to give your living room a makeover is to rearrange the furniture. Move the sofas, armchairs, and coffee table around, and forget the rule book for a while. You can also replace chairs in the living room and swap these out with those from other areas of the house.

Rethink the space and imagine all the possibilities. By changing the layout of the furniture, you give the space a fresh and exciting fresh look without spending any money.

One excellent way to arrange furniture is by moving these away from the walls. Contrary to popular belief, lining sofas and other furniture along the walls doesn’t necessarily make the area look bigger.

While this may be the only option in some cases, interior designers strongly recommend that you reconsider this. In fact, some of them have debunked the myth of butting up sideboards and sofas up against the walls.

Based on expert opinion, a room will actually feel far more spacious if the pieces of furniture are pulled together. So, arrange big furniture items like the sofa slightly away from the walls, and observe how the space opens up.

Design your living room based on where you live

When rethinking your living room design, you should first think about where you are. Or, to be more precise, the area where your house is located.

A living room for a beach house, for example, can look absolutely stunning when designed with the tropical vibe of a coastal home in mind. Using casual materials and fun motifs, you can achieve an authentic island vibe with the upholstery, decor, and layout.

Of course, you can go bigger on your theme by choosing a home wallpaper that reflects the atmosphere appropriate to where in the world you are located.

Make small tweaks with cushions

Mixing up the cushions is another simple-yet-effective update you can implement in your living room to give it an instantly new look.

Instead of buying new ones, you can improvise by bringing out cushions from different rooms of the house and putting these in your living room. They may not be store-bought brand-new, but they can definitely offer a fresh and innovative look to the area.

Of course, you can also change up the pillowcases or add a dash of color to the living room with throw blankets or sofa covers.

Rearrange items on the shelves

Interior designers believe that restyling the interior is the easiest way to give your living room a new lease on life.

Once you’re done with the seating area, it is time to focus your attention on the décor, especially the items displayed on the shelves. Like changing up the cushions and rearranging furniture, you can rethink the way objects are displayed on the shelves to give the space an entirely different look.

Start by clearing the shelves and dusting off the items previously on display. After that, begin reimagining the way they should be displayed by:

  • Switching pictures between frames
  • Stacking books vertically and horizontally
  • Grouping items differently
  • Adding trailing plants

This will also serve as a convenient time for you to declutter and curate your décor in a more organized manner. The key is to figure out how to create a balance between pieces and avoid over-styling. Remember: less is more.

Repurpose certain pieces

Are you tired of certain items in your bedroom? Why not bring these out into the living room and use them differently?

Repurposing pieces of furniture not only gives the space a fresh look but also allows you to exercise your resourcefulness. Wooden footstools can double as side tables, while ironing boards can be used as adjustable desks. Look at what you have at home and let your creativity flow.

Breathe new life to your living room

The living room is an important part of the house and must be treated as such. Fortunately, living room makeovers don’t need to be expensive and exhausting.

Get creative and resourceful by implementing the ideas presented in this article for a start.


James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.