How to decorate your living room

Looking for inspiration for your living space? Here's all our favourite decor styles in order to get your living room into tip-top shape.

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If there's one place you can always rely on for decorating inspiration, it's Pinterest. Maybe you've just moved in or are feeling like a change… well, you're in luck because we've collated the best of the best for each style in order to get your living room into tip-top shape. First step: identifying the style you're after. Second step: experiment!

1. Industrial

If you've already got exposed brick walls, you'd be crazy not to go for a chic industrial style. Aim for an edgy aesthetic with steel, black accents and as much exposed brick as you can handle.

Look for cool tones – the point of industrial style is to capture the aesthetic of old factories and warehouses and translate that in a stylish, liveable area.

Stick to a simple colour scheme with dark navy blues, greys and different natural materials: wood, leather and faux fur/hair are musts.

If you're concerned that it looks a bit lifeless, add some greenery to make it come alive. Just place your plants on ladder-style shelving and you're ready to go!


2. Rustic

Achieving a rustic aesthetic is easier than you might think – you can turn any room into a rustic wonderland with just a few elements. The key factors here are to keep it natural and keep it warm.

Use large windows to let in the natural light and at night-time, soft mood lighting is key. Rustic style is defined by a really organic feel, so you want people to feel like they've been warmed from the inside out when they step into the room.

Use natural materials and colours to create an earthy feel - for colours think brown and cream, and for materials you definitely want to work with wood and woven carpets.

Picture a farmhouse with a fire crackling in the corner as you're wrapped up in a soft, warm blanket. That's the goal.


3. Contemporary

Of all the styles on this list, this is probably one of the most subjective.

The general agreement is that contemporary style involves clean lines, a neutral palette and open plan living.

So if you're after a contemporary look, the first thing you have to do is decide on your colour scheme.

Stick to colours like grey, cream and white as your base to make the room seem bigger and brighter.

Then, simply add your feature colours as accents.

These can be anything - it will work regardless!


4. Coastal

Whether you live by the beach or wish that you did, coastal style is totally achievable and can make any house feel like an oasis.

The key factor here? Light! You want the room to be as bright and airy as possible.

Choose light, ocean-inspired colours like blues, greens and sandy browns.

Wood and greenery are absolute must-haves!

If you're feeling it, incorporating wicker can be a really effective way of bringing beach style indoors, though not everyone is a fan as it can be a bit uncomfortable if you don't buy good quality.

When it comes to accent and statement pieces, go mad for textures on your cushions and throws. Perhaps you could even get a nice soft sheet towel for a blanket!


5. Mediterranean

Imagine walking into your very own Italian villa, overlooking the ocean and decked out in a standard of luxury that makes you feel like a celebrity.

Now imagine that in your very own house.

If you're lucky enough to have doors that open out to a terrace, half your battle to create a Mediterranean-inspired space is already won. If not, never fear: you can still achieve it.

If there's one thing that is vital when it comes to this style, it's nailing the archway.

Don't have one? Use your decor to create the illusion of one!

Stick to earthy tones (terracotta is the ultimate colour) and make sure your room is filled with fronds and ferns give it some life.


6. Victorian

Let me guess: you really love historical shows like Downton Abbey. Am I right?

Whether you do or don't, Victorian style is elegant, classy and surprisingly easy to achieve.

Look for muted colours and bronze accents, and plush fabrics are highly encouraged.

Flowers are a must, but they can't be too bold - white roses are ideal.

And if you're feeling particularly extra, an extravagant chandelier is your go-to for the main lighting fixture.

If by the end of it, it looks like Dame Maggie Smith could sit comfortably and not feel out of place, you've done it right.


7. Scandinavian

Scandinavian style has definitely made a huge comeback and it feels like everywhere you turn there's something Scandi.

But don't feel like you've just got to go running off to IKEA, because this look is definitely achievable with a few simple decor changes.

If you've already got all your furniture, consider stripping down the colour to a paler wood - Scandi style is all about the sand tones and the whiter your wood, the better.

As for the walls? Blue is best.

When you start considering storage, use those pieces as decor to enhance the room even further.

Need some shelves? Incorporate a ladder-style design and adorn it with the odd plant.

And when dressing your home with the finer details, make sure you add a lot of natural materials - worn leather and (faux) fur or hide is always a good start.


8. Japanese

Japanese style is a really simple aesthetic to achieve, and it can really change the whole way a room feels.

And that's the point really - you want to achieve a sense of zen with the way you structure your living space.

Wherever possible, incorporate bamboo and wooden features to ground the room and make it feel more earthy.

Sliding doors are often used in Japanese decor, but if you can't change the doors (whether because of cost, living situation or otherwise) you can imitate the effect with curtains or shades.

When you pick out your furniture, aim to buy pieces that sit lower to the ground.

Most traditional Japanese living spaces use low tables and cushions to kneel on - but don't feel obligated to give up your couch. There are plenty of options for low seating.

For a truly Japanese feel, create a space at the entrance to your living room for guests to put their shoes.


9. Eclectic

One of the best parts of eclectic style is that you can basically go wild with colour and shapes, and that's all part of the point!

But don't make the mistake of assuming that eclectic style is an excuse to go overboard, messy or just too loud.

In actuality, the art of 'throwing pieces together' in an eclectic way is actually more of a challenge, because although each individual element may be incredibly unique, they all still have to work together.

Use colour as your unifying factor - a palette of greens, blues and yellows will work better with outlandish pieces than a haphazard mix of different tones scattered across your room.

Take inspiration from other styles when you plan out your layout and furniture, and if you're really stuck then simply go with a simple, neutral background colour and populate the room with crazy textures.


10. Minimalist

Minimalism is more than just a design choice - it's a lifestyle.

One that you really do have to commit to if you're planning on styling your living room in a minimal way.

Unless the entire house is minimal, you may find it hard to remember to keep that one room free of clutter (especially if the others are packed).

The easiest way to start is to use a canvas of black and white, almost exclusively.

A predominantly white space always makes rooms feel bigger and cleaner, and the added black gives it dimension.

The point of minimalism is to reduce your belongings to the bare minimum, so don't bother with too many decorations.

A simple vase, cushion or throw may be all you need.

Finally, layout is paramount to creating the right feel and style for your living room.


11. Palm Beach

An office favourite, Palm Beach style is all about millennial pink.

Nailing the basics is simple: start with a white-walled room, and curate your own mini gallery of art, books and decadent pieces.

For accent colours, stick with a palette of aqua, white and turquoise.

Don't go any darker than millennial pink though - it wouldn't be the same.

Create a feature wall of paintings and photographs, hung up in an unusual formation - you don't want a grid.

Add a touch of tropical flair with wicker, some fronds and a lot of light - you want the room to feel airy and open.


12. Hamptons

If you've been watching a lot of Gossip Girl, we're betting you've got a hankering to style your living room in the Hamptons style. And we don't blame you!

Hamptons style is light, airy and full of life.

White walls and timber flooring make your base, and from there it's a question of accents.

Pale shades of blue, creams and ivory make the best Hamptons palette.

Decadence is key. You want your home to look as classy (and expensive) as possible!

Luxurious pillows, opulent chandeliers and a gigantic fireplace complete the look.


13. Art Deco

Art Deco originated in France, so when we say c'est magnifique, we mean it.

The goal with Art Deco styling is to look clean, rich and colourful without going too far.

Geometric shapes and angles are critical to achieving this look, and while triangles are a favourite, mixing and matching is effective.

Use angular pieces to dictate the flow of the room.

Colour choices play a big part, and you'll definitely want to make use of gold in all your accents.

Rich emerald greens and other jewel tones are very popular, especially when blended with natural materials like jade and obsidian.


14. Boho

Boho style never truly seems to fade and thanks to events like Coachella it's even more popular than ever.

Embracing the bohemian tenets of freedom, beauty, truth and love (thank you Moulin Rouge), styling a boho living room can be incredibly rewarding and give the room a great vibe.

The first thing you want to consider is the right mix of colours and patterns.

Boho style is all about self expression so you may even want to throw in a DIY project - maybe a handmade rug or knitted throw.

Stick to earthy colours like red and orange, and make sure there's some macrame in there somewhere.

Add plants for some liveliness and you're all set!


15. Geek chic

Pop culture is called that for a reason - it's popular!

Celebrate your geekiness and keep up the 'fangirling' by incorporating your favourite geeky things into your decor.

The goal is to make your living area feel as much like a cinema as possible, so you'll want to strive for darker, comfortable materials like plush leather and darker walls (though a feature wall would do just as well).

Use down lights to illuminate the room subtly, and you're definitely going to want your electronics to be on the bigger side of huge.

Then it's just a question of your statement pieces! It can be as simple as introducing a large scale poster of your favourite movies, games or TV shows onto the wall.

Don't be ashamed of the things you love - this is your space and you can celebrate them in style.

Featured image: Getty

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