How To Decorate a Large Living Room: Big and Bold

Photo of family room

A large living room is a wonderful asset to any home, for both everyday family use and when entertaining. However, a large living room can be a bit of a challenge to decorate; less than optimum furniture arrangements and lackluster accessorizing can cause this potentially awesome room to miss the mark. Here’s how you can turn a missed opportunity into surefire decorating success.

Step 1

Furniture Placement and Scale

A big room can accommodate larger scale furniture and more of it; small scale furniture will look dwarfed in a big space.  In addition to matching the scale of the room, the pieces you choose should be in scale to each other; you don’t want a big overstuffed couch looming over a diminutive marble topped antique coffee table. It’s often helpful to create more than one zone in a large room: You may have several clusters of furniture – one for conversation, a cozy nook around a fireplace, a corner for reading and relaxing, or a portion of the room arranged for watching TV.

When arranging your furniture, make sure that there is adequate clearance to move around the furniture, especially around a coffee table or side tables. In a conversation area, pull the furniture toward the center of the room and arrange it so that furniture is close enough for people to converse in comfort.  Use an area rug to define a seating area or cluster of furniture.

Don’t be afraid to play with your furniture arrangement and you may find it advantageous to create a scaled layout of your room and furniture on graph paper, so that you can easily move the cutout pieces of furniture around and experiment.  Try something different: You may like your couch placed on a diagonal to a corner. If your two loveseats always faced each other across the coffee table, set them on right angles and place a chair on a diagonal in the empty space.

Step 2

The Corners of the Room

Once the major furniture is arranged, a typical challenge is what to do with the corners. Don’t leave them barren and uninviting: Instead, arrange a small table with two chairs on either side for reading, playing games or enjoying a visit over dessert or cocktails. Fill ‘dead space’ in a corner behind furniture with a tall plant or a pedestal topped with a flower arrangement or statuary, or a narrow high boy.

Step 3

Accessories and Color

A large room will seem cozier with deep rich colors. You don’t have to paint your neutral walls; you can bring in deeper colors with drapes and window treatments, toss pillows on the furniture, upholstery and wall art. Large scale paintings and metal wall art are ideal for a larger room where you need visual impact.

Tall accessories, such as glass vases, urns, sculpture and tall bookcases will help fill vertical space. You can also accessorize with wall art that has a strong vertical orientation.

Go big and bold to show off the proportions of your large living room!

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