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Simple Living Room Ideas: How to Create a Stylish and Functional Space

A photo of a simple living room in a Bali villa

Your living room isn’t just a space to unwind and relax after a long day. It brings life to your home - it’s where you host guests, celebrate with friends, and plan your life! Often, our living rooms are reflections of our actual lives. Sometimes, they get cluttered and disorganized, bringing discord into our house instead of harmony.

That’s where these simple living room ideas come in. No matter if you’re on a budget, or simply lacking time to decorate, you can use these tips. Create a stylish but practical space that acts as the perfect canvas for your daily activities. These decorating ideas are effortless to pull off but will instantly elevate your common area. Whether it’s watching movies on the couch or hosting a game night, your newly styled simple living room can do it all.

Simple living room ideas: 5 tips to get you started

Are you looking at your living room, wondering where to get started? Let’s first get an idea of the big picture - what energy do you want your living room to have? Then, we can get into the finer details.

1. Start with a simple color palette

Neutral colors, like beige, or complementary colors, like light blue and forest green, are easier to style. There are countless furniture pieces and decorations in these colors. These will be easier for you to form an elegant, timeless space with.

Add bold pops of color after you have the basics down, with accessories like

  • lamps,

  • throw pillows,

  • or rugs.

Before you start to redecorate, have a color palette on hand that you can use as a guide.

2. Declutter your space.

If you have dozens of trinkets and items strewn around your living room, you’re sure to feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is especially true if these items are bringing in energy from other areas of your life. Get rid of papers and bills, work items, and unfinished projects. Clear anything unnecessary away, and sort it out in another area of the home.

This will create a more spacious and inviting space, where you can mentally get away from any stressors. If you’re lacking in space to place these items, find storage solutions in cupboards or drawers. You can also organize your items into bins and hide them under beds, tables, or chairs.

3. Use natural light, or supplement it with mood lighting

Harsh, fluorescent overhead lights are the worst way to brighten the living room. They hurt your eyes, and they’re hard to adjust to your mood. When possible, open the curtains and let natural light inside. If you don’t have windows or live somewhere with less natural light, you can add mood lighting.

Start with softer overhead lights that can be dimmed or brightened. Use lamps and other lighting fixtures closer to the ground to create a relaxing ambiance at any time of the day. Many lighting fixtures are also available in multiple colors, such as LED strips. Adding unique lighting to your space is a wonderful way to personalize it without making it feel disorganized.

4. Add plants!

Bringing houseplants into your home has been scientifically proven to lower stress. Plants aren’t just refreshing to look at, they bring life and color to your room. If you want to add even more functionality, you can use potted herbs, useful for cooking.

You can also find flowering plants for another touch of color and added fragrance. To avoid houseplants cluttering your space, add invisible shelving and place them there. Houseplants can also hang from the ceiling for a more layered, unique look. Window sills or a dedicated tiered tabletop in the corners of the room are also great options.

5. Choose comfortable, simple furniture.

Your furniture shouldn’t just look good, it should feel good. Couches and chairs are meant for sitting, but also lounging. Find minimalistic pieces that work well with any style, but offer greater use. Couches, armchairs, bean bags, and tatami mats are both practical and comfy. Your furniture can follow your color palette. You can also find furniture that aligns with your personal shape preferences. For example, you might prefer organic, round shapes rather than sharp lines and square corners.

Simple Living Room Ideas and Examples

Gain a more visual understanding of your dream living room with these picture examples.

A living room with bright colors

This gorgeous living room has a mostly neutral color palette, but the rug, throw pillows, and wall accents pack a pink punch of color. The natural light streaming through the window makes the space appear spacious, warm, and inviting.

A picture of a simple and organized living room

This living room serves both purpose and style. While there’s plenty of space to unwind, there’s also space dedicated to personal items. It’s organized and decluttered but allows the resident to pull out a book or play some music anytime. Without clutter, there’s enough space to pull up more chairs and sit around the table.

A living room with hanging plants

The houseplants in this living room bring it to another level of lightness and breathe life into the space. The bright green of the lush plant life also complements the natural wooden materials used in the chair and coffee table. This promotes harmony in the home and brings a more natural feel to the area. Even in this smaller studio apartment, the bright window and house plants make the space feel bigger.

An example of a living room with natural lighting

The natural lighting in this living room is on another level! While it’s hard to achieve this much natural light in living rooms with fewer windows, you can see that these residents are also using organic lamps to supplement it. Placing a mirror and other lighting fixtures closer to the ground is also a great way to light up a space in a way that feels natural. With a lamp and candles set up on side tables to either side of the couch, this room is perfectly set up for relaxation.

A living room with organic shapes

This gorgeous living room emphasizes comfort with soft-looking furniture and organic shapes. Its coffee table and accompanying mini-tables that can roll around are functional and fashionable. The sectional and its many pillows are perfect for laying on or lounging back.

Simple living room ideas: conclusion

Designing a beautiful, simple living room that still feels luxurious is attainable! Using the tips outlined above, you can easily create a living room that suits your style. Design a space that promotes harmony and comfort, but is still practical and useful.

Don't want to go it alone? Azula Designs can help! Click the button below and connect with one of our talented designers. We'll help you actualize your dream space today.


Image by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden
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