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7 Designer-Approved Living Room Decor Ideas

7 Designer-Approved Living Room Decor Ideas

Learn how to decorate a living room like a designer

Linda Holmes
By Linda Holmes, Interiors Director

Living room decor ideas should be so much more than the usual photo frames here and there (with years old photos) and a lacklustre collection of books on a shelf. Your living room decor can actually say a lot about you. Are you edgy or feminine?; a minimalist or a maximalist?; casual or refined…? Or a mixture of any of the above. Or all!

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If you’re wondering how to decorate your living room and have exhausted Pinterest and Instagram, here are some decor secrets which are found in all of the best designer interiors. How many does your living room have?

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Living Room Decor Favourite #1: Organic Ceramics

One of the greatest successes of a well-designed interior is its mixture of textures. Organic ceramics – whether they be reactive glaze ceramic vases or textured ceramic table lamps – are a wonderful addition to a luxury interiors. The textures in such an earthy, raw material is just the right balance for the typically refined finishes of such an interior.

Use organic ceramic vases or bowls to offset beautifully finished open display cabinetry, ceramic candles to counteract the slickness of a glass side table and ceramic table lamp bases to contrast classic linen shades.

Toulon Table Lamp, Volcanic Ivory
Toulon Table Lamp, Volcanic Ivory
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Living Room Decor Favourite #2: Coffee Table Trays

Coffee table trays don’t have to just be utilitarian (although they are a styling workhorse, used everywhere from coffee tables to consoles and dressing tables to kitchen counters). We love the how new Isles Rectangular Tray by L’Objet shows that a tray can be a decor piece in its own right too – the macassar ebony wood is accented with swirling brass inlay, resulting in a captivating design. Or go for old-school glamour with the set of two antique glass Atwater trays Classic shagreen and woven trays are an easy way to add texture.

Holmes Shagreen Tray
Forwood Design
Holmes Shagreen Tray
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Living Room Decor Favourite #3: Metal and Stone Accessories

Metal decor has that brilliant ability to lift an accessories arrangement – the way it sparkles in the light draws attention to all of the areas you want to draw attention to. But metal accents are also being used in a more minimalist way with designers such as Apparatus Studio, Rablabs and AERIN opting to pair them with stone or stone-like materials, typically marble, alabaster or ceramic. We love the completely underdone chicness of Rablab’s carrara and gold collection and Kelly Wearstler’s simplistic but inherent use of muted bronze in her sculptural Melange desk lamp.

Carrara & Gold Dual Vase
Anna New York
Carrara & Gold Dual Vase
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Living Room Decor Favourite #4: Art Glass

Popular of late, unique art glass has been featuring in the projects of high-end designers everywhere from coffee table arrangements to bathroom counters. Find designs where the creative process of glass-making is apparent – an emphasis on the artisan’s hand is key here. Bubbled glass, uniquely shaped vases and glass sculptures will nail the look. Place a large-scale piece on a pedestal to give it its rightful place as an art sculpture or use smaller versions to dress your cabinetry or shelves.

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Living Room Decor Favourite #5: Abstract Sculpture

Abstract sculptures are the calling card of designers with an affinity for art in all its forms – not just wall-hung art. Perfect for creating a focal point, utilising an underused space or simply adding a different element to a room, a sculpture has multiple uses. An abstract design is the easiest type of sculpture to incorporate into a space because in a modern environment it seems fitting and in a more classic environment it adds a modern edge. We love the texture and shape of the Cartier Star sculpture by John-Richard, the Cream Enamel sculpture offers an ethereal simplicity; the Duke sculpture has just the right amount of chic underdone design appeal; and the Hipster Lady sculpture nods to both the angular forms of the Cubist movement and Giacometti’s iconic skeletal works.

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Living Room Decor Favourite #6: Disc Sculptures

If you truly want to ace the test as a designer, include a disc sculpture in your array of console table/mantlepiece/shelving unit/side table accessories. The simplicity of the piece speaks for itself, offering a distinguished designer look, and they come in all colours and textures to suit your space. Place a small one as part of a object collection in front of a unique vase or pair a large one with a pretty decorative box for a low-high combination.

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Living Room Decor Favourite #7: Decorative Boxes

Speaking of decorative boxes, a designer interior is not complete without one. Perfect living room storage for remote controls, keys, papers and other knick knacks, a decorative box acts as a beautiful treasure trove for not so beautiful things making them as useful as they are style-friendly – our favourite kind of decor. A bold design like Joanna Buchanan’s crystal encrusted design will draw attention whilst something like L’Objet’s Cubisme Round Box appears as a unique sculpture and hides its identity altogether.

Our Top Picks

Canal Moss Small Centerpiece
Black Label By Uttermost
Canal Moss Small Centerpiece