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How To Make Your Living Room Stand Out

Your living room, true to its name, is where a lot of your at-home life happens. To make it stand out, consider incorporating these elements.

When it comes to interior design, it’s easy to let things be as they are. You never get rid of furniture that doesn’t really match, push off DIY projects for years, and adapt to your home rather than making it work for you. You live in the uncomfortable space between dissatisfaction and the status quo.

Let’s look specifically at your living room. There’s a way forward, a path to making that space unmistakably yours. You just need to find your first step. For guidance on how to make your living room stand out from the boring norm, read on.

Pick a Theme

Light flat with bookcase
Light flat with metal bookcase, and white dresser

First, picking a theme directs your future stylistic choices so that your space has unity. Conceptualize a theme however you like—choosing a stylistic theme, for instance, enables you to incorporate materials and shapes that come from an established design tradition. Otherwise, a theme can pertain to your interests. Though it may feel childish to do this, you can keep it understated. For example, built-in bookcase can speak to your love for literature and spark conversation with visitors. Peppering the space with all kinds of plants greens up the space while bringing your green thumb indoors. And a piano in one corner with complementary sleek black tones elsewhere centers things on a love of music. You have so many options to bring your living room together.

Hang Vibrant, Well-Placed Art

Bed and wall art in modern bedroom
Bed and wall art in modern bedroom

Seeing a colorful art series that perfectly aligns is so satisfying. Our brains crave this vibrancy and pattern-making. But hanging art well is just as vital as what you put up. Don’t make the fatal mistake of placing art pieces too high up. Doing so brings them away from eye level, which means you enjoy them less. Plus, art that’s near the ceiling tricks your brain into thinking the entire living room is smaller. Instead, keep it at the average eye level of everyone in the house (kids excepted). Centering it above a sofa at this height does wonders for the room’s look.

When you have a large number of pieces, play with spacing in creative ways. Jamming art pieces together seems logical and commonplace, but leaving some negative space can make a wall look more impressive. You get bonus points if your pieces are all the same size and shape.

Paint or Install a Daring Accent Wall

Real photo of golden accents, clock, paintings, plants and doubl
Real photo of golden accents, clock, paintings, plants and double bed in a dark bedroom interior

Another way to make your living room stand out is to go for an accent wall. To begin, you need to pick the right wall. Luckily, your best guess has a good chance of being right—the wall that already has a point of emphasis will be the one you should double down on bringing to the forefront. Walls with fireplaces, bookcases, and any other focal piece are appropriate.

Next, you want the contrast to be clear. When painting, don’t shy away from the bold color you want. Let it guide the rest of your designing, including the décor you buy, so that the wall serves its accent function.

If you prefer wood paneling, study up on the different types—flat-planked, shiplap, and board and batten afford you slightly different looks but the same rich, warm wood feel.

Hopefully, these three tips can free you from inaction and propel you to a living room in which you love spending time.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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