Living rooms, by default, are a space where we like to spend most of our time at home. As such, they can serve a wide variety of purposes and have very few common denominators. Still, regardless of their secondary function (e.g. entertainment room), style and layout, all functional and good-looking living rooms need to be stylish and streamlined. Fortunately, these two things are style-agnostic and don’t cost too much money.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to make your living room a stunner and your time there that more pleasant.

Paint the room in neutral colors

Although striking colors play exceptionally well into certain styles, when they’re used as a backdrop, they draw away a lot of attention from other, more interesting elements, and they have a nasty habit of frequently going out of fashion. If you, on the other hand, paint your walls in neutral and timeless colors (Scandinavians have been using them for centuries now) like ivory, taupe, beige, and gray, you will create a very warm environment where the spectator’s attention will be shifted where it belongs – to various elements and furniture pieces.

Set up a focus wall

Focus, feature or an accent wall is a wall whose design differs from the pattern set up by the rest of the room – not only with its color but also the texture (if you want to go the distance, you can even cover the space with interesting wallpapers). A very cool and stylish inclusion by itself, a focus wall can also be used to display massive mirrors, interesting pieces of art or any other item you want to be the center of attention. Just remember, in order for an accent wall to work, the transition from the rest of the room can’t be too jarring.

Experiment with texture

The rooms that are bathed in the same textures lack any sense of true dynamic. The simple solution to this problem is to be creative with the choice of patterns and texture. For instance, you can find a quality furniture sale, buy yourself a couple of pieces covered in smooth surfaces and accessorize them with plush cushions. Add into the mix the rugs with the same choice of colors but different patterns and you’ll get the setup that’s stylish and interesting but doesn’t break away from the overall design language of the room.

Make furniture arrangement flexible

This might be a bit harder to pull off in smaller living rooms, but as long as you stay away from overly bulky furniture pieces, you’ll get a decent amount of freedom to rearrange the layout according to current needs. Instead, you should think more in terms of multipurpose ottomans, light armchairs, and stylish leather poufs. This new-founded flexibility does not only drastically improve the functionality of your living room but it also allows you to make quick designer adjustments dictated by different social occasions (dinners, parties, movie nights, etc.).

Think about layered lighting

The flexible furniture arrangement requires an equally flexible lighting setup. That is why you should think of your static fixtures more as ambiance lighting and keep them reasonably dim, and use the smaller, more mobile fixtures (e.g. lamps) as task lighting that will cast the necessary light on the important areas of the room. Even if you don’t want to experiment with flexible furniture arrangement, layered lighting creates a very pleasant, moody atmosphere your living room can definitely benefit from, design-wise.

Play with contrasts

Much like the combination of different textures, the visual juxtaposition of different visual elements will make a very bold design statement (the right way) and bring a much-needed sense of dynamic into your room. But, which are the elements that can be properly juxtaposed? For instance, materials like velvet and linen. Or the furniture pieces of drastically different scale. Casual and elegance. As long as you stay in tune with the overall style of the room, the list of small contrasts you can make is endless.

We hope these few tips will help you turn your same old living room into an environment that will be both a pleasure to look at and a joy to spend time in. As long as you are creative and follow a couple of simple rules, your dream room can be brought into existence even on a dime.