Five Ways to Create Contrast in Your Living Room

ways to do contrasting living room

Unless you’re an expert interior designer, it can be hard to create a well-designed and stylish living room. The living room is normally the largest space in a house, so you want to make sure that it feels warm and inviting.

More often than not, living rooms feel empty and one-dimensional. The best way to avoid this from happening is by creating contrast with your design elements. Here are five ways that you can create contrast in your living room.

Play With Different Textures

Contrasting textures can instantly add depth to a room and this can be achieved in many ways. You could add texture with your use of cushions or by incorporating a large rug.

Keep things interesting and dynamic by mixing and matching the textures. You can also add in some chunky blankets and indoor plants to create more contrast.

contrasting living room 2

Add an Accent Wall

If you feel like your home needs a little umph, an accent wall can help you achieve this. It doesn’t have to be a massive contrast, even a small change in color or shade can help elevate the room.

You can choose a funky wallpaper or bright color to feature on an accent wall. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try painting a mural? Don’t forget to play with patterns or texture on your accent wall too.

Mix and Match Design Aesthetics

If you stick to a single design aesthetic, your home could end up looking a bit bland and predictable. To create plenty of contrast, try mixing and matching different design aesthetics.

This can end up looking like a disaster if you are too heavy-handed with the design process. Follow the 80/20 rule, which argues that 80% of the room should be one design aesthetic and the remaining 20% should be another.

contrasting living room 3

Purchase a Stand-Out Sofa

A centerpiece sofa can instantly draw attention to the room and create contrast. You could opt for some colorful couches or instead choose an interesting shape.

Electric blue, emerald green, and deep red are all popular options for a stand-out sofa. If you’d rather stick to a more neutral color, you can always change up the shape of the sofa instead.

Incorporate Different Shapes

Finally, a great way to incorporate contrast into your living room is by playing around with different shapes. For example, you can opt for a round mirror if you have a lot of rectangular pieces of artwork.

The living room is one of the most used areas of a home, so you should invest plenty of time and effort into making it an enjoyable space to be in. Play around with the different elements of the room, don’t be afraid to move things around until you find the perfect place for them.

You don’t have to be a master at interior design, all you need is some inspiration, creativity, and plenty of determination. Make sure to take on our tips and have fun whilst designing your living room.

What principles should you follow when decorating your living room?

Regardless of the style, you want in your living rooms, and you should consider some general principles when decorating them. Please keep reading for the details.

What principles should you follow when decorating your living room

1.      Start with a plan

Don’t hurry on buying pillows just yet. Even if pillows can create a unique visual impact, they can alter your decorative style if not appropriately picked. The very first thing to do when decorating is to have a vision and a plan.

Since we typically have so many diverse activities in the living room, you should plan the decorating for real life. Even if you want to entertain family gatherings and large get-togethers, you should organize your living room for day-to-day life.

We suggest you develop a layout and furniture plan according to your lifestyle. Don’t hesitate to have the TV in the living room if watching TV is your favorite thing to do at the end of the day. After all, modern TVs look stylish and don’t alter the décor as much as older TVs would.

2.      Buy movable tables and chairs

With so many things happening in the living room, practical and versatile furniture is ideal. Look for lightweight tables, chairs, ottomans, and even side chairs that you can move around to improve comfort in the living room. Such models are great when you have many guests and for daily activities too—having options makes people feel cozier.

Look for smaller pieces, such as upholstered footstools, so that you can move the pieces closer/farther than the primary seating when necessary.

3.      Use lighting to accentuate areas

Make sure to get the best out of the natural light when planning the room’s furniture layout and window treatments. Seek that you have both high and low lighting. Go with lamps that support the aesthetic and work as sculptural accents. Spare the extra buck for beautiful lights since you will be using them for a long time.

Branching chandeliers, vintage models, and lighting that punctuate the space can give your living room a whole new vibe.

4.      Select practical fabrics

For the living room, the seating should be comfortable and long-lasting at the same time. The type of family you have will affect the type of seating you choose; you will need appropriate seating if you have babies and/or pets. Go with mid-tone fabrics in such situations because very light/dark shades are prone to staining and wear out faster than the mid-tone fabrics.


Leather is a fantastic choice for the living room as it’s easy to wipe clean in case of spilling. Since it’s easy to scratch, it’s not the best choice if you have pets. Otherwise, you should opt for leather as it wears out beautifully.

Denim and corduroy

These materials also make for great choices for living as they’re durable and comfortable. They can add an exciting vibe to the space, especially compared to the plain cotton/wool upholstery you find in stores.

When you pick the materials for the living room furniture, search for textiles made with synthetic and natural fabrics. If possible, test the fabric to ensure that you cannot see the backing and the weave is tight. A tight weave is longer lasting than a loose one, regardless of the fabric.

5.      Use rugs to define the style

Make sure that your rugs are more significant than the seating space. If you choose large rugs, they will make a room seem more spacious than it really is. As long as you don’t interrupt the circulation paths, you should get more oversized rugs than you would normally pick. Also, make sure that the front legs of the seating groups are on the rug area.

Since you have several décor elements in the living room, seek that your rugs’ colors, texture, and patterns complete the entire décor.

6.      Now it’s time to play with pillows

Pillows are the easiest way to decorate it if you don’t know how to bring color into the living room. With pillows, you gain patterns, texture, and colors. The mood and décor style are the main factors to consider when choosing the pillows and don’t hesitate to make bold decisions.

You can find pillows in-store or have them custom-made. After all, pillows don’t make the most expensive décor element and you will change them after some time. You might just as well play with the pillows.

7.      Pay attention to the conversational distances

Regardless of the size of the living room, you need to have a seating group so that cozy gatherings and intimate conversations can still happen. Eight feet is an appropriate distance between seats for a pleasant conversation. If you have a sofa/sofas and side chairs, the seating area should have an 8-feet diameter or 4ft out from the center.

For example, a 12-seat sectional sofa is perfect for parties, but it’s not the best choice for day-to-day comfortable living. Opt for fewer and smaller seating pieces instead. Don’t forget to push them closer together as well.

8.      Get the right tables

Coffee tables can work as focal points as they attract attention with their shape. They also make a nice contrast with the much larger sofas. We recommend you buy tables that have a timeless design and strong lines. Accent tables can have visual impact and functionality; everyone at the seating needs a place to put a cocktail glass or a cup of coffee.

9.      Choose with purpose

Clutter generates stress. Even if you have many layers in the living room, make sure to keep it all tidy. Spend time when selecting your décor items—each and every one of them should have a place and a purpose.

We know that speed is crucial for modern living. However, that doesn’t apply when choosing art and décor in your home. Everything you use and place in the living room, and any other room for that matter, should make your living a pleasant experience.

10.  Add personality

Some see accessories as ways to create clutter, but it shouldn’t be that way. Use them to tell your guests about your hobbies, personality, beautiful trips, etc. When you include accessories that speak of you and your family, you make your space feel at home.

Gifts from your loved ones, books, reminders of the places you’ve been—they are all expressions of what you love most in your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best color for a living room?

Green is the color of renewal and harmony. Since it reminds of the hues of the natural world, green is one of the most appropriate colors for the living rooms. When you lack the space or the energy to take care of house plants, you should have green painted walls in your living room.

Are some décor elements essential for the living room?

The essential category of living room décor is the furniture. It will take up the most space, and it’s probably the first thing that people notice when they come into a living room.

Is it possible to have two sofas in the living room?

As long as you have the space, you can have two different sofas in the living room. Don’t be afraid to mix and match the colors of the sofas; complementary colors for the two sofas are a great choice. Keep following the decorating principles so that the two sofas complete the living room décor.

Should the other rooms in your home have the same style as the living room?

You can have a specific design, theme, and style for each room of your house. For example, if you want your kitchen to have a rustic feel, you can do it even if the sofa in the living room is relatively modern.

Should you paint the hallways the same color as the living room?

If you have neutral color on the walls in the hallways, you can have any color for the walls in the living room. However, you have to make sure that they have the same warmth/coolness of tone. For example, you can have a deeper shade of the color on the hallways for the living room—you will add a sophisticated feel to the décor.

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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