Living rooms are meant to be warm and vibrant places to sit, or entertain. When picking the furniture for your living room, you’ll be dumbfounded by the sheer number of materials on offer that could make influence the feel of your living room for better (warm, vibrant) or for worse (cold, uninviting and uninspiring).

The key to getting the right feel is to mix up the materials in your living room into ones that bounce off one another; those which don’t contrast with each other so much that your living room ends up being a confused space. However, saying this, it doesn’t mean that you need to keep things so uniform that it ends up being a dull space. Too much wood can make a space look old fashioned. Too much vinyl-coated MDF can make things look too show-roomy.

These in mind, consider the following when piecing together your ideal living space.


Color plays a huge part in creating your ideal living space and knowing how to mix colors is key. If you keep the walls bright, for example, you can add darker elements through your furniture choices. Conversely, it’s difficult to brighten up an already dark room with lighter furniture.

Many of your furniture choices will come with colors inherently mixed in, like dark oak furniture for example, and can never be washed, sanded or dyed out. For this reason, think about the wider picture, or take samples into your living space to check they complement one another. Color wheels are great tools for jobs like this too.

Do remember that some things can be colored. Cushion covers – and even entire sofa spreads – can be dyed for example. Some furniture can be painted too. Woods, if stripped down bare, can take up varnishes or paints but if you buy pre-fabricated build-it-yourself furniture, then the chances are you’re stuck with the color the way it is.


Mixing up textures and grains is a fantastic way of giving your living space character. Woods contrasting with plastics could give your living room a modern look, albeit inspired by vintage or retro tastes. Ornate stone mantels on the fireplace meanwhile could provide a rustic look, if that’s what you’re going for.

It’s important not to lean too far in either direction, with too much grain, or too much gloss. In some ways, both could start to look like a sales room, or something that isn’t quite “real”. Most normal living rooms will take inspiration from a number of places, or styles, and incorporate them into what is your own personal space.