Interior Design Living Room Furniture - Expert Tips For Making The Right Selection

interior design living room furniture SOURCE: Newchic

Written by Sejal Nagjee

Choosing the perfect interior design living room furniture is a balancing act. You want to select timeless pieces that ooze style, but you don’t want the living room to look like a museum of curated pieces.

Most likely, you intend on spending a lot of time in the living room, so it also needs to reflect your personal taste. It is often the first room that guests see when they enter the house; therefore it needs to look glamorous while being comfortable and functional.

There are many key questions you need to answer before diving into interior design living room furniture selection. Let’s take a closer look at these.

What Is The Vibe You Are Going For?

This is the overall idea for the living room. It will influence the way your living room looks and feels. This will then affect your choice of interior design living room furniture to match your chosen style.

Here are some of the most popular design ideas for living rooms.

Traditional Living Room Design

Traditional living rooms have stood the test of time because they are comfortable. Classic interior design living room furniture celebrates ornamental detail.

Such furniture might have elegantly curved profiles, warm earthy tones, and a comfortable ‘lived-in’ feel. Hence, visual symmetry and balance are important features of this generous style.

traditional living room design SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Minimalist Living Rooms

‘Less is more’ in minimalist living rooms. They make use of open space, simplicity in design and clean lines to achieve a calm, soothing vibe.

Minimalist interior design living room furniture boasts a sleek profile, usually dominated by geometric forms. Think squares, rectangles and angular profiles for a structured approach to living room design.

minimalist living rooms SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Contemporary Living Room Design

Not to be confused with minimalist living rooms, contemporary living rooms borrow from many styles. They often combine modern and classical elements, taking inspiration from other styles such as Art Deco as well.

Contemporary interior design living room furniture focuses on current trends. The form is a key element of contemporary furniture, which can mix elegant curves with straight lines.

Materials and finishing are distinct; contemporary furniture often combines natural materials such as wood with more modern materials such as metal and glass. Neutral tones are preferred for fabrics and upholstery.

Decorative accessories, such as paintings or candles, are used to add color.

Contemporary living rooms often feel light, spacious and airy.

contemporary living room design SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Rustic Living Room Design

When we think of rustic design, we picture a cabin in the woods. Rustic living rooms are warm and welcoming; they feature natural materials such as wood and stone.

Rustic interior design living room furniture often has a chunkier profile with curved edges.

Colors are typically earthy with lots of browns, taupes and tans for a natural look.

The quirky characteristics of a piece of furniture are celebrated; for example, a wooden dining table with knots in the wood or uneven grain would fit right into an open rustic living room plan.

rustic living room design SOURCE: Oak furniture land

Know Your Space And Layout

Once you know the look you are aiming for, it is time to plan your living area. A floor plan is essential to look at the different options for living room furniture arrangement. 

This will help you to accommodate seating, storage, displays, and other items without cluttering up your space. 

Design For Your Environment

Before you even start decorating your living room furniture, know your surrounds. Is your home a contemporary house or does it boast Mediterranean architecture?

Is it a duplex modern penthouse overlooking the sea, or is it surrounded by lush greenery? 

If your villa has a Mediterranean Andulisian vibe, an urban chic scheme may look out of place. Whereas, a Palm Jumeirah beach house could have a very urban chic feel to it.

Achieve Balance With The Right Scale 

Pay attention to scale; a bulky sofa in a small living room will overwhelm the space. Similarly, a small seating lounge will look out of place in a large living room. 

This holds true for other focal pieces such as artwork, dining tables and armchairs too. 

If the scale is off, the ambiance of the living room will be disturbed. This is why it is important to draw up a layout plan before purchasing any big items.  

Think About Use

Also, think about use. If you have children, who will be using the living room frequently, you might want to go for sturdy furniture with stain-resistant fabrics.

However, if you plan on using the living room mainly for entertaining, you could opt for more fragile pieces with sleek profiles. 

A corner arrangement, with the sofa and armchairs at right angles to each other, would work well if your living room has a television. 

If you want to create a seating arrangement that is better suited for conversation, you could arrange a pair of sofas facing each other. 

SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project 

Take Advantage Of  Height 

If you have a spacious living room with high ceilings, take advantage of the height by using architectural elements such as large windows to let in natural light. 

You can also accessorize with striking chandeliers, warm-colored accent walls and a mix of furniture styles to match the theme of your living room. 

SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project 

Using Color To Make An Impression

Color can alter the mood in your living room, so choose wisely. 

Play With Neutrals

You can’t go wrong with neutral colors as these are very flexible; you can adapt neutral monochromatic furniture to any style. 

Monochromatic neutrals colors are timeless and allow you to play with colorful accessories such as artwork, throw cushions and rugs.

SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project 

Don’t Be Afraid Of A Little Color

Pops of color can make interior design living room furniture come alive. Use neutrals to help offset color.

colors for living room furniture
SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Pair neutrals with bright colors for a contemporary feel. Warm colors such as oranges, reds, yellows are energizing; they make you feel cozy.

warm colors for living room furniture SOURCE: Anthropologie

Cool colors, such as greens and blues, are soothing and relaxing.

The West Elm couch, in the image below, adds vivid color to space, making it come alive. Make a bold statement by adding a colorful sofa in front of a crisp white wall or a wall with white wainscoting.

colourful living room sofa SOURCE: Westelm

How Do I Choose The Perfect Interior Design Living Room Sofa?

 The sofa is usually the centerpiece of any living room. So, invest in a high-quality sofa as your statement piece and design the living room around it.  

 The placement of your sofa will play a part in determining the type of sofa you want. Corner sofas are ideal for watching TV. 

 When you place sofas across from each other, it creates a more formal arrangement for conversation. 

 What To Look For When Buying A Sofa?

The height of a sofa is generally 40-45 cm. Low sofas are usually hard to get up from, making them uncomfortable for many users. 

 Here are a few things to check when buying a sofa. 

  • Choose a sturdy frame. 
  •  Know your joinery.
  • Hand-tied springs are best. Check the springs of the sofa.
  • Check if armrests are at a comfortable height.
  • Look for durable fabric.
  • Polyurethane foam is a product of the petroleum industry and is the most common foam used in couch cushions.
  • While the average sofa should last between 7 and 15 years, signs of wear and tear are likely to appear before then – especially if it's a well-loved sofa.

Get Your Upholstery Right

The fabric you select for your sofa is a style statement, but also needs to suit your lifestyle. 

Opulent fabrics such as silk and velvet are luxurious to touch and sight but are harder to maintain. Opt for these fabrics if you want to use your living room mostly to entertain. 

If you have pets or children who will be using the sofa frequently, you’re better off selecting more durable upholstery.  Smooth cotton or microfibre blends are easy to wash in case of stains and spills. You can even get stain-resistant fabric blends that are ideal for those who have children. 

One of the most popular and durable fabrics for upholstery is leather. It is easy to maintain and actually becomes softer with age.  Artificial leathers, like PVC leather, are also a great choice, especially if budget is a concern. 

 Look for the number of rubs completed on the abrasion test. The fabric should be 15,000 rubs or higher for residential use. 

The thread count of your fabric is important too. The higher the thread count and the tighter the weave, the longer your sofa fabric will last. Woven fabrics last longer than prints. 

 Plain, monochromatic sofas are very popular in modern, minimalist and contemporary living rooms. Bold colors can make a statement but are harder to adapt to different styles. 

 Patterned upholstery is ideal for family use as they hide stains and spills better than solid colors. They are, however, better suited to certain styles such as rustic or traditional living room designs. 

Whatever the chosen style, there is a variety of textures and patterns to choose from. Mix and match colors and fabric from York Dubai for a stylish look. 

interior deesign living room sofa SOURCE: Astyork

What Cushions Should I Choose? 

Add colorful throw cushions to make a sofa come alive. These are a charming addition to any sofa and can bring neutral colors alive.

cushions for living room furniture SOURCE: Potterybarn

A popular cushion arrangement is a 2-1-2 arrangement.     Two larger cushions are placed in both corners, slightly smaller ones next to them and a central cushion in the middle. 

Two or three cushions are sufficient for a two-seater sofa, while a larger three-seater sofa can hold five or six.

 How To Choose A Coffee Table That Complements Interior Design Living Room Furniture  

Picking the right coffee table might seem like a no-brainer, but really needs careful thought. 

A coffee table that is too high or too low can throw the living room design off-balance. 

You also need to decide whether you want a large center table that also serves as a coffee table or multiple smaller tables based on the layout of your living room.

Consider these factors before you go shopping for your coffee table.  

How Much Space Do You Have?

The size and shape of your coffee table will depend on the available space. Also, keep in mind that you need enough clearance around the coffee table for comfortable movement. 

There should be about  0.4 - 0.6 meters between your coffee table and sofa if the coffee table also acts as a center table. You want it to be close enough to reach out for a drink but with enough space in between to sit comfortably with your legs stretched out. 

If the table is near a TV unit or fireplace, the size of the TV will determine how far your sofa needs to be. Generally, this distance is between 3-4 meters. Once your sofa location is set, then follow the above guideline for clearance around your coffee table. 

Round and oval tables are great for smaller spaces and families with children. Having children and sharp edges in the same space is never a good idea!

Rectangular or oval tables are also ideal for narrow spaces. These shapes often give people sitting around them access to drinks or food placed on the coffee table. 

Does Your Coffee Table Have Multiple Uses?

A coffee table can serve many functions. It can double up as a storage unit to hide clutter such as remote controls and cords. 

For this purpose, opt for a coffee table with sleek drawers that are functional, but does not make your table look too bulky.

A coffee table can also be a great surface for board games on family nights. When used for this purpose, it needs to be made of a durable, easy to clean material and should also be comfortable to sit around. 

Size And Proportion Are Key Factors 

The table you choose should relate to the other interior design living room furniture, especially the couch. 

As a general rule, the length of your coffee table should be between half to two-thirds the length of your sofa. So if your sofa is 2m long, the table should be between 1m and 1.33m long. 

Similarly, the height of the coffee table should be around the seat height of your sofa. This is usually around 0.45 meters. It may be lower than the sofa seat height. Some people prefer lower tables at 0.2 - 0.3 meters. This allows a person to comfortably stretch for their drink or a magazine. 

In general, coffee tables are never higher than the height of the sofa. 

You could also have a combination coffee table that has one component at seat height and the other at a lower height.

interior design furniture SOURCE: KAZA modern furniture

Does Your Coffee Table Complement Other Living Room Furniture?

When we say complement, we mean the look and style of your coffee table should enhance the style of other furniture in the room. 

If your sofa is low to the ground with no visible legs, opt for a sleek coffee table with skinny legs. This will balance the weightiness of your couch. 

The sleek metal base of the wood-top round coffee table, in the image below,  is a perfect complement to the sturdy leather sofa. 

interior design living room furniture SOURCE: Wayfair

On the flip side, if your couch has a sleek frame with narrow legs, opt for a chunkier looking coffee table to ground your interior design living room furniture arrangement. 

interior design chunkier look coffee table SOURCE: Carlosgv

Finally, wood has been the default go-to material for coffee tables. This is no longer true. Today we are spoilt for choice - there are so many material combinations to choose from. 

Look at what matches the style and vibe of your living room and choose accordingly. If you have hardwood floors, go for a coffee table in a different material to make it stand out, such as metal and glass or marble-top tables. 

If you have a small living room, go for a lightweight material such as a glass-top table or a lucite table. 

Style Your Living Room With Milestone

At Milestone, we pride ourselves on really understanding our client’s needs and the way they enjoy living.  

We know that your living room is an opportunity for us to show your unique personality. We know how to balance all the elements that are a part of chic living room interiors.

Our experts will style your interior design living room furniture to suit your personal needs. 

Call our experts for a consultation and let us design the ideal living space for you. 

Sejal Nagjee

Sejal Nagjee, Milestone's CEO and Creative Director is a gifted designer. Regardless of the project scale or scope, from homes and offices, hotels and restaurant, to gardens and exterior living spaces, her distinctive style injects a fresh and vibrant perspective to every living space. With over 30,000 hours of hands-on experience, across a wide breadth of interior and exterior design and build projects, Sejal has the skills, passion, resources and industry connections to get the job done on time!


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