Find Living Room Decor plans that are comfortable, timeless and traditional. These Living Room Design Ideas will create a charming, cozy oasis in your home. 

traditional living room decor
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It’s been quite some time since I’ve taken you on an updated tour of the small living room in our home. This is a space where we spend so much time, and it’s undergone quite a transformation over the years. While it’s not perfect, I’m proud of the changes we’ve made and I can’t wait to share them with you! 

Living Room Decor

First, a few before photos so you can see the original layout and design dilemmas.

Living room before it was refurnished.
Living room before it was refurnished.

When we moved into our St. Louis home, this room was dark, dated and closed off from the rest of the house. We tore out a few walls, removed a dated wet bar, and added new hardwoods throughout the main level.

Living room before it was refurnished.
A room before it was redone.
A room with a brick fireplace and various white accents.

Eventually, we also upgraded the fireplace trim, turning it into a true showpiece of our home. You can read all about the fireplace makeover here

traditional fireplace

It might sound strange, but adding that traditional mantel and surround transformed the entire room more than anything else we’ve done. Now the fireplace is a charming feature that fits the style of our home, which is an English tudor. It’s a warm and cozy focal point even when it’s not burning. 

living room decor

Another focal point? Our TV that looks like art. As someone who loves light and bright design, the giant black tv over the fireplace always felt like such an eyesore to me. Now, it can be a beautiful piece of art when we’re not watching our favorite shows. This TV truly made all my design dreams come true! 

Simple Living Room Design Ideas 

When the backdrop of walls and floors was finally finished, another struggle can surface. How do you fill this space? Even though this is the smaller of our two living spaces on the main level, it was a difficult layout.

living room design ideas

I wanted the space to feel cozy and comfortable, with enough seating for all five of our family members. My first step? I laid out all the elements I was considering in a digital design format to help me visualize. It’s so much easier than you’d think- no special software or interior designers needed for this kind of designing, I promise! I’m not a designer and this process works so well for me.

living room decor

(The view above is the same view as the first before photo!)

Instead of opting for a large sectional, I chose two beautiful matching slipcovered sofas. This created the L-shaped seating that the room needed, but allowed me to add a small antique side table.

This gave us the perfect spot for a table lamp, drinks, and a few charming decor elements. Yes, they’re white! Watch the video below for my thoughts on that. (hint: we love it!

Blending Function and Decor in Living Room Designs

One of the best secrets in our living room? We turned our built-in cabinets into a sweet little home bar cabinet. It’s the perfect place to mix a cocktail when we have friends over. Built-in storage and cabinetry is such a beautiful feature in your home, but it can also be useful and functional!

built in bookcase decorating ideas

When it comes to styling our open shelving, I chose pretty little baskets that house things like remotes, movies, games, etc. They are a simple, textural baskets that also disguise some of the elements we’d prefer to hide away! I do change a few of these decor elements seasonally, but right now I am enjoying the soft simplicity of our blue and white plates. 

living room bookcases

How to Choose Your Living Room Decor 

wood coffee table

Occasionally when I am designing a space, I’ll get stuck on something that I envision but simply can’t find. (Or can’t afford!) While it’s easy to rush out and buy the first piece that fits your space, I encourage you to wait for something you love. It’s not always easy when you’re so excited for a finished space, but furniture and accessories shouldn’t be placeholders. Waiting and searching for the perfect accessories and elements is half the fun! 

coffee table

For example, I looked for ages for the perfect coffee table! I wanted something that felt raw, authentic and warm without being too rustic or industrial. Easier said than done, until this pretty table walked into my life! It was a similar situation with the side table between the sofas – what a lucky find at a local antique store! I love the finish and the drop leaf sides. 

antique wood end table

We also went through several rugs over the years. Between our three little girls and our sweet rescued pup Dusty, the rugs in this room have taken a beating! However, I love the one we’ve chosen right now because it’s so simple, refined and soft. 

Creating A Cozy, Timeless Living Room Design

There are a few simple elements that will add cozy and timeless charm to your living room. 

  • Table lamps or floor lamps. Lighting is key
  • Fresh pillow covers and throws.
  • Simple, minimalistic table decor (books, etc).
  • Something green! Plants or fresh flowers make such a positive impact.
  • Baskets to add texture and hide the mess! 
  • A soft rug in the correct size. Ideally, this is two feet away from any wall.
  • Personalized or even vintage art. It truly warms up your space! 
neutral living room

You’ve seen our living room decorated for Spring and the holidays, so I wanted to share our living room decorated for fall, too. A neutral color palette allows our home to transition between seasons seamlessly.

With the addition of a few organic elements like flowers, pumpkins or greenery, the room embraces the season.

fall living room

How We Made This Room Appear Larger

  1. Painted in a cream color paint with a high LRV (light reflective value).
  2. Paint the trim the same color as the walls, but in a higher sheen so the eye continues to the ceiling without a line to stop it.
  3. Installed floors that continued to other rooms (the foyer and kitchen).
  4. A large rug that is just 2′ from each wall. One of the most common design mistakes is choosing a rug that is too small, which draws your eye in, rather than out.
New wooden floors being installed.

What are your favorite living room design ideas? I hope you’ve found some fun ideas to incorporate into the spaces in your home. I’d love to see your rooms in our Facebook share group, Celebrating Simple. Stop by anytime to ask questions and share ideas or room transformations! 

Check out French Country Decor Giannetti Style for one of my favorite inspirations of style! 

If you like this post, check out my Breakfast Nook!

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  1. Hi Julie, Where did you purchase the candle on the coffee table? Everything looks so beautiful!


  2. I absolutely love your living room. I especially appreciate the way you styled your built ins. They are so simple and clean looking, very peaceful. Blue plates help too. Thank you.

  3. I love what you did to your living room the only thing that I would have changed was I would have added a throw rug…with a pattern …..but it’s beautiful you did wonderful……. I have a passion for throw rugs and letting the wood floor show… and a floor rug with a design or pattern would have brought out everything cuz most of your stuff is solid except for your few pieces of pop pattern accents

    1. Thanks! I previously had a rug with pattern and grew tired of it…who knows, may go back some day!Thanks for following along!

  4. Such a beautiful room, looks calm and serene. The windows are amazing and add so much character. Only an older home would have them. I am new to your blog and enjoy every post!

    1. Thank you, Laura! It’s so nice to “meet” you! I appreciate your kindness. We wanted to make our home feel like a retreat…our girls add a lot of color! Have a beautiful weekend!

  5. I’ve just recently found your blog and I’m loving your photos & posts! Have made it through a few older posts also while trying to figure out what fabric you chose for your PB York Slope Arm Slipcovered Sofas in your LR. I want Belgian Linen but am nervous about the commitment! ha! Can you please share? Thanks so much! Kary

    1. I have 11 years of content – feel free to ask any time, it’s a lot to sift through. I linked to the actual sofa, fabric and color in my shop. We did Belgian Linen on our last set of sofas from RH. One wore a couple holes after 6 years.