Designing a Living Room: Pro Tips from a Seasoned Interior Designer

As a professional interior designer with nearly two decades of experience under my belt, it’s safe to say I’ve learned a thing or two about creating beautiful living spaces over the years. I have a deep passion for design and often find myself wishing I could better share my expertise in a more affordable way (ie: free! Let me design your space for fun!) While that’s sadly not possible, I like to do what I can when I can. I’m excited to share some of my best tips for designing a living room that truly shines.

Living Room Design Tips

First and foremost, when designing a living room, I always like to incorporate various layers of lighting. Utilize a mix of floor and table lamps, along with wall sconces and overhead lighting, all on dimmers to help create flexibility and multiple ambiance options.

Next, don’t underestimate the power of texture – when finalizing your fabrics, try to incorporate a combination like velvet, linen, and wool. The various materials help add depth and visual interest.

Photo & Design Above: Caitlin Flemming

Photo & Design: Studio Mcgee

In addition…

I almost always add black element as I find it helps anchor the space. A wall sconce, a vase, a drapery rod – an essential.

Furthermore, laying that foundation in neutrals is always a safe bet, and then having fun with various patterns through pillows and throws is my favourite move. This way you can switch things up super easily as your taste inevitably ebbs and flows. (This post needs to be updated, but it’s still my favourite pillow mixing trick)

Moreover, in addition to the various fabrics and textiles, I always like to play around with materials. In all of my living room designs you’re likely to find a combination of wood, metal, fabric and stone. I feel like these elements add richness and diversity to a space.

Photo & Design: Studio Mcgee


Pay attention to the legs of your furniture. Incorporating a few pieces with visual weight (ie: low to the ground) helps tremendously. You want variety and interest in leg heights, shapes, and sizes, to create a captivating space.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to create a living room that’s aesthetically pleasing, functional and inviting. Here’s a little round up to give a sense of where we could land with these living room design tips in hand:

Wall Sconce | Floral Pillow | Stripe Pillow | Vintage Boat Print | Botanical Art Print | Printed Rug | Velvet Sofa | Coffee Table | Striped Storage Ottoman | Aged Terracotta Jar | Faux Olive Branch


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *