The Living Room Checklist – 7 Elements You Need to Get for the Perfect Design

Written by Brittany Allen

Filling a space with furniture and decor can feel overwhelming if you’re starting from scratch. This guide will ensure you don’t miss any essential pieces of an excellent living room design. 

Seating

The main event of any living room is the seating. Typically when you’re in the living room, you’re either sitting and watching TV or sitting with friends enjoying a lovely drink. Either way, the seating in your living room needs to be perfect. There are a few options for seating within the living room, and the right one for your family will depend on how you plan to use the space the most. Will it entertain guests, or will you and the kids have movie nights? There are options for every activity and an endless supply of designs, colors, and patterns. Sectionals are popular for lounging, movie nights, and for bigger families to enjoy the space together comfortably. Loveseats are ideal for smaller spaces and those who plan to host guests. Sofas are a great in-between for family lounging and guests. Recliners are known for being a favorite among men during game time, but they are also perfect for a rainy day read or a summer nap. Finally, accent chairs will be ideal for hosting guests and adding a bit of flair to your design. 

Tables

You’re not going to want to hold that cup of coffee while you read your morning emails, and some things, you have to put down that good book (even if you don’t want to). Tables within a living room are essential elements you don’t want to miss out on. There are coffee tables that are larger and great for setting down a drink, holding your laptop, or watching a movie while eating take-out. Cocktail tables are higher and smaller tables that get their name from standing around them while sipping a cocktail. While you might not have a formal cocktail hour in your home, don’t count them out. Cocktail tables could help hold your keys, wallet, and glasses. Or they can be used as a tall plant stand to show off a favorite plant and add an element of height to your overall design. End tables are little tables that rest next to couches or chairs. These are usually used for holding drinks and often feature a lamp. Accent tables are exactly what they sound like. Usually, they are pretty small and might sit in an empty corner and display some decor, lamp, or that stack of books you keep meaning to read. 

Media Consoles

If your living room serves as more of a media room and is where your TV and gaming systems live, you’ll want to look into TV stands and media consoles. While TVs and gaming systems are fun, they come with many ugly cords and easily lost remotes. With a stand or console, you can organize and hide this mess while a stylish piece of furniture. Of course, these come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles, so you’re sure to find one that will suit your specific needs. 

Lighting

Nothing will add life to your living room design like lighting. It allows you to move safely within the space, provides visibility for activities, and can set the mood. To ensure you always have the proper lighting, cover all three different types of light. General lighting will allow you to move through the room. This could be floor lamps, recessed lights, or hanging pendant lights. Task lighting illuminates a specific area to help with tasks such as reading or crafting. Table lamps and unique craft lights are used for this and could make it easier for you to enjoy your hobby while your family watches a movie or plays a game. And last but not least, mood lighting will help, you guessed it, set the mood for whatever activity you will enjoy. Movies are best in low lighting, but game night might benefit from a brighter light so everyone can see that horrible drawing that no one can guess. 

Special Storage

The living room is a great place to have a bar cart if you plan to host and entertain guests in your living room a lot. There are a lot of stylish and functional bar carts out there. However, if bar carts aren’t your thing, but you need a space to store your other hobbies, adding a bit of cabinetry to your living room is an excellent idea. Whether they are built-in or freestanding, cabinets hold a lot of stuff and will keep your space clutter-free and organized. 

Cozy Essentials

When it’s time to wind down for the day and start relaxing, we usually head to the living room to watch TV or scroll on our phones. And without some cozy essentials, this addictive activity would be less rewarding! So be sure to add area rugs, fluffy throw pillows, and blankets. These will keep the space inviting and make snuggles on the couch much better. 

You also might want to consider window treatments. For example, an elegant curtain or blackout blinds can be great for living rooms where a wide range of activities happen.  

Decor Items

Lastly, let’s not forget the fun items such as decor. The little details of a room make it feel complete, and things such as wall art, candles, and plants can be a fantastic way to do that. So don’t get discouraged by the price of wall art you find at the store; instead, thrift some frames and order some fantastic art off Etsy for a more affordable way to decorate your walls! And always look for those sales to find the perfect candle. 

Houseplants are becoming more and more popular and for a good reason. They are beautiful in the home, and there is a lot of science behind the joy of caring for plants. However, if you don’t want to worry about watering a plant or your living room doesn’t have great lighting, you can easily find some stunning fake plants!

Don’t worry too much about filling every corner of your living room space or doing it all at once. Instead, take your time, figure out what items you really want, and be sure to check out Houzz or Pinterest for some fantastic ideas.

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