New year = new you = new living room. Spring is in full swing (everyone’s favourite time to redecorate) and the most important room to tackle is your living space. This is where you spend most of your time with family, where you entertain guests, and where you relax at the end of a long day.
For many people, this year will be about revival, transforming our humble abodes and looking to a brighter, safer future where normal life can resume. So the over-arching theme for all our living room ideas in 2021 is about hope and optimism.
If you’re planning a living room makeover, you’ll find living room décor ideas and inspiration everywhere you turn. Because the interior design world is thriving, and the value we place on home aesthetics has never been greater!
Here’s a guide on everything living room related, from colour palettes and pieces of furniture to those all-important finishing touches like light fixtures.
Start with updating your colour scheme
If you’re looking for living room ideas that are relevant and current, Pantone’s Colour(s) of the Year will provide guidance on what’s hot in 2021. This year, we see a stylish contrast of Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow. Two hues that work together to set the mood for a period of recovery and rejuvenation.
The soft yellow is a promise of better times ahead, while the grey grounds the duo, linking it to nature and providing a dependable, organic element in your interiors. This is great news for anyone who's followed the Scandinavian trend of recent years by adopting a grey living room style. By simply adding a few elements of yellow you can quickly and easily bring your room back on trend.
This leads us to other colours to covet in 2021/22 that are earth-inspired, such as this year’s deep forest green.
Green is a true colour of nature, and one that many people associate with tranquillity and the great outdoors. The pandemic has meant spending more time at home, but rather than being restrictive, it’s made us appreciate our personal sanctuaries like never before.
Not only does green paint or green wallpaper reconnect you with the outside world, but it’s a safe way to explore the dark interiors trend, a style that is so often misunderstood.
Traditional interior design teaches us to use light colours to make a space appear larger, but dark hues can be cosy, romantic and hugely atmospheric.
More importantly, when choosing your colour scheme, have a clear vision. Is your living area for relaxing, socialising, a play room, or a little bit of everything? Let trends guide you, but follow your heart. This is the trick to timeless living room design, giving you a canvas to change your décor every year.
Choose meaningful, emotive art for your living space
There’s a saying that goes, “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.” With 2020 being the year of the remote workforce, it goes without saying that we’re all in need of some escapism. So when it comes to choosing décor for your living room, do it with imagination.
Transformative trends in 2021 include biophillic art and all things natural and organic, ‘regencycore’ or ‘modernaissance’ which have been inspired by so many popular period dramas, ink art for expressive minimalism, and statement portraits (including playful animal portraits).
Some of the best living room décor ideas don’t have to be logical either. Art can be nonsensical, droll, melodramatic or totally abstract. Anything that inspires or moves you is art with meaning.
Another big theme in living room art is individualism. This year, everyone is looking to personalise their space as much as possible. Our homes can be seen as an extension of ourselves, our personalities and our inner thoughts, and therefore, should be unique to us.
That’s why limited edition art prints will be big in coming seasons, and as living rooms double up as reception rooms, it’s the best space in the house to express yourself.
Statement living room décor and accessories
As well as bold wall art, create depth and dimension with candles, ceramics, clocks and ornaments. The smaller things make a big difference, so they’re worth investing in and spending time seeking out. Unique, one-off pieces are the best conversation starters, and they often have more longevity than trend pieces.
If you’re looking for living room décor ideas that set you apart, remember that there’s a lot to be explored in soft furnishings, especially cushions. These are excellent accessories for a tired home, as they can instantly lift the ambience and revive outdated interiors.
This year, some of the most coveted fabric and cushion trends are rooted in organics and texture, in ‘ugly’ floral fractals and Grandmillennial style, in wildlife and the tropics, as well as eye-catching patterns such as geos.
Choosing the right carpets and rugs is key too, as the touch, look and feel of what’s on your floor can coincide with your curtains and upholstery. If you want a quick and easy way of transforming your floor, statement rugs can be a great idea.
Final flourish = flowers/foliage
No living room is complete without flora of some kind, whether it be real or faux. Plants and flowers are often the missing piece of the puzzle and can complete any room, giving it that ‘finished’ appearance.
Not only do they fill those empty gaps and spaces on your floors, tables and shelves, but they bring a whole lot of texture and colour to the party. There are options to suit every type of homeowner, and 2021 is a time for dried foliage to really come into its own. No watering – but all the enjoyment you’d get from a live plant.
Potted plants and flowers aren’t the only way to embrace biophillia either. The patterns we see in nature are deeply intertwined into most living room décor. From botanical wallpapers and fabrics to floral chintz that screams “Grandmillenial”, our dedication to the outdoors is clear.
For anyone who loves organic living room ideas, remember that texture is essential in mimicking natural elements of the earth. So any foliage you can add – soft, spiky, leafy, patterned, tall or trailing – will make all a difference to your living room this summer.