The living room should be your happy place. Somewhere to curl up and chill out; a cosy spot to snuggle on the sofa, spend time with family, chat with friends and binge on the latest box set. Whether you like the idea of a scheme that’s cool, calm and collected or want to embrace bold colour and playful design touches, our extensive sofa and solid hardwood furniture collections give you the scope to style your sitting room to suit you.
From contemporary, Scandi and mid-century styles through to more traditional, country- cottage-inspired rooms, whatever you’re drawn to, check out these looks and tips to help you create a characterful room that reflects your taste and works beautifully for the way you like to live.
1. Seating to suit your space
The centrepiece of any sitting room, getting the seating right is the key to finding your comfort zone. It’s likely to be the big-ticket item in your scheme so it pays to factor in the practicalities first and before you get carried away with colour (even though we know that’s the fun part!), you need to think about the proportions of your room and the functionality of other pieces of furniture as this might influence the scale of the sofa or chairs you choose. Our Brighton 3 seater sofa fits perfectly here with enough space to move easily around the room and access the Cascade glazed cabinet and pull out the drawers our Cascade coffee table.
2. Fall for a Love Seat
Only got room for one sofa but want to team it with something bigger than a single armchair? Meet the love seat. It’s often a match made in heaven for smaller sitting rooms. Together our Tremont Sofa and Tremont Loveseat make a great couple, giving you plenty of room to nestle while the sleek metal legs tie in with the industrial design of our Boston coffee table and sideboard which have stand out style against the black backdrop.
3. Modular and Corner Sofas
A favourite with families who are after flex-appeal, modular sofas make it easy to change your furniture’s configuration. Each section is fully finished so however they are positioned they always look great. This sofa style is great for making the most of awkward corners but remember, you don’t always have to stick your furniture around the perimeter of the room; we’ve used our Morgan modular sofa here to create a cosy seating area in the middle of the space which makes the layout more interesting.
4. Find the right fabric for you
As well as choosing the right sofa and shape, factor in the right fabric too. It might sound obvious but if you’ve got a young family and pets and you don’t want to be precious about people putting their feet up, then you need to pick upholstery that’s going to be able to take what life throws at it… literally in some cases!
5. Accent Chairs
When matchy-matchy is a bit much but all-out eclectic feels too chaotic, mix things up with an accent chair. Available in a range of styles and plain and printed fabrics, it’s a way to pair your sofa with a co-ordinating piece of furniture without it being identical. We’ve tried it here with our Jasmine accent chair in Bamboo Spice and our Jasmine footstool and Jasmine 3 seater sofa in Apple.
6. Braving pattern and print
Some homes make a riot of pattern look effortless, boldly going for it on the walls, floors and sofas but lots of us lack the confidence for this level of commitment. If you’re still on the fence when it comes to making a statement with your scheme, a more risk-averse approach is to introduce a pop of print with your soft furnishings and accessories. A cushion here or a vase there is relatively easy (and affordable) to update if all of a sudden you lose your love of leopard or your passion for polka dots fades.
7. A sitting room that reflects the seasons
Soft furnishings aren’t just a cost-effective way to experiment and get your fix of colour and pattern, you can also use rugs, throws and scatters to sync your sitting room with the seasons. When autumn arrives, get cosy and layer on the chunky blankets, tactile velvets and cosy knits in warm, comforting hues and then, when things get lighter and brighter outside, reflect that inside by refreshing the character of the room with breezier linens, cotton and cooler colours that celebrate spring.
8. Zoning open plan areas
While more and more of us are leaning towards open plan living, kitchen-diner-sitting rooms can still benefit from a bit of zoning. A multi-tasking piece of furniture helps to link the various functions of the adjoining spaces and gives the area a more cohesive feel.
Here, for example, in between the kitchen units and our Cooper loveseat, we’ve used our rustic oak Hercules tall bookcase to house ornaments and plants alongside cookery books and kitchenware which unites the room’s purposes.
9. Storage footstools
The best storage pieces are the multi-taskers. That’s probably why our clever footstools are always such a hit. Not just somewhere to put your feet or an extra seat for when you’re entertaining, this Gainsborough Storage Footstool conceals a roomy compartment that’s ideal for magazines, box sets or a blanket. Topped with a decorative tray it also makes an excellent coffee table.
10. Creating continuity
When you’re thinking about the style of your sitting room consider whether there are any themes in your scheme you can emphasise, in terms of common colours or shapes. Here there are similar Scandi silhouettes and mid-century design details in both our Ellipse console table and coffee table and Orbit sofa. The curves on the front panels of the cabinetry, for example, are reflected in the flow of the sofa arms and both share the same angled legs. Meanwhile, the shade of the muted green fabric is picked out in the tone of Novara lamp. Paying attention to these small touches will mean your eye travels smoothly across the scheme.
11. Using wood to warm up neutrals
With our Gainsborough sofa sitting centrally alongside the Kemble coffee table, this look is defined by chalky whites and peaceful light-grey tones. Sometimes too many neutrals can look washed out but here the scheme feels warmth and charm thanks to the highlights of sun-kissed oak which helps add interest and variety while sticking to a similar palette.
12. Dramatic hues
Saturated shades and deep-sea blues are having a moment and we’re all for diving in. If you fancy dialling up the contrast in your sitting room, the cabinetry in our Highgate collection combines inky painted bases with rustic oak tops for a dramatic, refined look. The perfect backdrop for the Hampstead sofa, this elegant scheme features a mid-grey on the walls and skirting – a good trick to try if you want to make your walls appear taller.
13. Coffee Tables
You might use it for everything but coffee, but a low slung table in your sitting room is an essential – not just for the sake of convenience and having somewhere handy to pop your glass of wine but for the intimate feel it creates. There are lots of options out there but we’re fans of designs that incorporate two levels – a generous top that you can dress with a chunky coffee table book, a candle and a couple of artfully placed ornaments while the lower shelf or drawers can be for the more mundane essentials like remote controls or newspapers.
14. Table Nests
Another functional furniture item to consider is a nest of tables. This design here matches the coffee table and sideboard which are also from our Parquet collection. They make a substantial addition to the scheme and their statement geometric carpentry becomes a distinctive feature in the room. Great at the end of a sofa as a lamp table or for a plant, they are invaluable if you’ve got guests over as they are sturdy enough if someone needs another place to perch. Depending on the style of the design, they tuck handily underneath each other so they’re out of the way when you don’t need them – definitely worth considering if you’re living room is tight on space.
15. House your tech
We might spend hours staring at them, but TVs and the tech that goes with them aren’t the prettiest things. Stow your DVD, digital boxes, DVDs and hide unsightly cables with a specially designed TV unit. Available in a range of different styles, this one from our Brooklyn collection has a sturdy metal frame and lovely oak panels that suit the fuss-free backdrop of salvaged timber cladding and exposed brickwork. We’ve featured it with the coffee table from the same range and our Fraser sofa, which provides a pop of colour in an otherwise restrained palette.
16. A nook for your favourite books
After a busy day, we all need space and time to switch off. Substitute screen time and go totally tech-free by settling in with a good book. Twinned with Kirby accent chair, our Mantis Light E Display Unit has five thick set shelves ready for you to fill with your favourite reads. A statement light like our Novara lamp and an eye-catching rug pulling out colours in the scheme complete this nifty little nook.
17. Look at your lighting
Lighting is a brilliant way to introduce atmospheric touches to your living room. You might have downlights in your ceiling but overhead glare can kill the mood if you’re after a cosy feel. Table and floor lamps soften and layer the light so strategically place them in your room to highlight certain features, like we’ve done here with our Durban lamp which echos the same chalky white as the cabinetry on our Hove collection.
18. Nurture nature
Styling tips wouldn’t be complete without referencing greenery of some description. Now a staple in any stylish interiors scheme, leaves have the power to breathe life into even the most sterile spaces. Moving beyond a simple pot, there are so many ways to welcome a bit of botany into your home, from giant monstera to soil-free air plants that forgive even the most neglectful owners, picking the right foliage will enhance your sitting room and reconnect you with nature.
How do you style your living room? For more ideas and inspiration explore our living room furniture online now.