10 Can't-Miss Living Room Updates

Discover simple living room updates that yield big design impact. Follow our top decorating ideas for transforming your living room from so-so to stunning.

Style With Purpose

Create a stylish bookshelf by choosing items that work together and create balance. Pick two or three colors, and then space the hues throughout the shelves evenly, but not symmetrically. Add stacks of books to stagger the height of your accessories throughout the shelf. Design by Emily Henderson.

Hanging Lights

Instead of traditional table or floor lamps, hang a pendant light above your side tables for an updated look. Photo courtesy of Jesse Chicago.

Mix and Match

Inject playfulness into your living room with pillows. The key to combining a variety of fabrics is finding prints in similar colors, like the navy, light blue and white options designer Sarah Richardson chose for her summer house.

Stylish Division

If your home's entryway opens into your living room, define the spaces with a sleek room divider. Designer Sarah Richardson adds a glass panel to separate the entry from the living room, creating a sense of division, while keeping the space's open and airy feeling.

Oversized Artwork

Hang a large piece of artwork, like the vintage flag designer Emily Henderson chose for this living room. Not only does it create a focal point for the room, but it's also a quick and easy fix for filling an empty wall.

valencich chair ottoman

Customize Furnishings

Dress up upholstered furniture with nail head trim. Even spacing between the nail heads is essential to creating a professional-looking piece, but try different spacing widths, like on this ottoman, to add visual interest.

Create a Gallery

Gather an assortment of prints and photos to create a gallery wall, the perfect focal point for a living room. Arrange the pieces asymmetrically to add interest and give more personality to the room. Design by Emily Henderson.

White Living Room With Red Accents

Recover a Chair

Update a classic chair with contemporary fabric, like the polka dot print used on this Louis XV chair. A confident mix of vintage pieces with modern textiles defines this living room designed by Claire Watkins.

Sitting Room Enlivened by Color

Walls With Texture

Add texture and interest to your walls with contemporary wallpaper or brightly colored grass cloth. Designer Shelly Riehl David covers this living room's walls with apple green grass cloth and pairs the hue with bright fuchsia accents.

Architectural Details

A detailed ceiling can complete the look of any room. For this living room, designer Sarah Richardson uses wood beams with exposed knots and grain to create texture and add warmth.

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