DIY: Love your living room

5 tips for creating a living room you won’t want to leave

You’ve just worked a long, full day. You’re tired, past the point of hunger and can’t wait to sink into the deepest part of your sofa and lose yourself in a Netflix series. In this all too familiar “fantasy,” what does your living room look like? If it’s not quite the space you would like it to be, here are a few hints to make your living room the den of social gatherings, TV show binges and pet cuddling it was always meant to be. May your sofas be loungey and the Netflix and cocktails plentiful.

Size matters. Photo by Justin Levesque


This living room fills me with contentment because all the seating (couch, chair) fits nicely within the confines of the rug. As a rule, rugs should be large enough to encompass your sofa, end tables, chairs and coffee table (it’s OK for the chair legs to hang off the rug a bit). As the foundation of the space and the anchoring element of all the other pieces, an inappropriately sized rug can really ruin a beautiful living room. My advice would be to go as big as the room will allow, leaving a foot or two of flooring peeking out around the perimeter.

Let the sun shine in. Photo by Justin Levesque


Living room window treatments should be dictated by what the room needs in terms of privacy or light blocking necessities. If you have a beautiful view, unobstructed by the potential of strangers peeking in your home, by all mean, leaves those windows untreated, let the outdoors in without the pesky drapes or shades. However, if you need privacy or glare protection, consider Roman shades or drapes. Custom window treatments can be an investment, but they can also tie the entire space together from an aesthetic and practical standpoint.

Collect & display. Photo by Justin Levesque


The living room will inevitably be the second-most-used room in your home, other than your kitchen, so why not show off art or that collection of pieces that you love? Antique plates, photography, sculpture, or even framed giant bugs, as pictured here, can adorn the walls. You really can’t go wrong as long as the collection has meaning to you and there are enough items to fill your desired space.

Go green (and make it count). Photo by Justin Levesque


House plants inject a jolt of life and color into your living spaces. I love them in living rooms as large-scale sculpture, rather than a collection of smaller potted items. Large planters come in so many varieties of styles and scales and there are endless options for trees themselves. Shown here is a fiddle leaf fig, but a Japanese maple or a ficus make great house trees as well. These planted beauties can fill an empty corner or enjoy their place on a low credenza begging for a little height.

Prop it up (but not too much). Photo by Justin Levesque


Call them tchotchkes, knick knacks, doo dads, whatever you wish, but I’m not typically a fan. They should be used with restraint. For coffee table surfaces, books are always a yes. If you would like to add a tchotchke or two, I’ll allow it, but choose ones with significance. This barnacle bunch represents the beach adjacent to this home.

Tyler is a Portland-based interior designer. Her company, Landing Design (, focuses on working with clients through renovation and the new construction process. When not working, Tyler is either working out or hanging with her dog, Haddock.

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