I read this article last year where Nate Berkus (love him!) declares living rooms obsolete. And I totally agree! Why? Well, Nate and I both think that the idea of a formal living room is outdated. Living rooms should be for the life you actually live, in that room and in the whole house. A casual living room doesn’t have to be sloppy though — I’ve got 7 tips for you to get the look of this comfortable living room that still looks classy. (image via Better Homes and Gardens)
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7 Ideas for Decorating a Colorful Casual Living Room
1. Keep It Neutral
Having furniture and drapes in neutral shades grounds the room in calm tones, not matter what other colors you love and want in the room. Simple furniture also means that you can change out the other colors for an inexpensive “new” room. The variety of colors means that it’s just fine if the sofa doesn’t match the sitting chair exactly, so shop secondhand or outlets to find pieces that you love in neutral shades with a little texture or medium wood tones. Neutral curtains are usually easy to find, but you can easily DIY them from drop cloths following this tutorial.
2. Make It A Gallery
The joy of a casual eclectic style is that everything fits, so design a room that includes everything you love! Put your treasured heirloom artwork from Great-Uncle Irving next to a fun thrift store plate on a gallery wall. Use frames of the same color and similar style to keep it looking modern. Having a similar red tone throughout most of the pieces on this wall helps unite the arrangement and tie it in with the throw pillows. Old books and calendars can also be great sources of inexpensive art — just toss a page in a frame! And if the book is old and fun, you can put it out on your coffee table without anyone knowing that there’s a page hanging on your wall.
3. Love Your Lamp
Every living room needs a lamp, both for decorating purposes and for actual use. A fun lamp that you love can be the focal point of a room and set the tone for the rest of the decor. Shop thrift stores for a fun lamp that you can spray paint, or get a look like this one painting a DIY vase lamp. If you’re looking to get a really unique lamp, try making an Anthropologie inspired dish and teacup lamp!
4. Color Me Casual
I love seeing rooms that represent the dweller well. Make your casual living room fit you by choosing your favorite colors. Hint: check your closet first, since we tend to wear what we love! I love to browse Design*Seeds for color scheme inspiration, like this one I pinned recently. When you’ve chosen the colors you love, choose one to be the dominant color and use it to tie the whole room together. This room uses warm reds and oranges — the throw on the chair, the gallery artwork, the flowers, the pillows — that are balanced out by the cooler turquoise and green tones.
5. Liven It Up
Remember, every room needs a living thing in it. Unless your dog (or, in my case, my toddler) really is a permanent fixture on your couch, add a couple small organic life elements to the room. Sea coral is a great “living” decor item that won’t die if you forget to water it, a big bonus if you travel often or just forget to water the houseplants like I do sometimes! This small white coral would look great in any room.
6. Round It Out
The round coffee and end table help the room feel more cozy and echo the round plates on the wall and the rug motif. Plus, they’re more forgiving if you happen to bump your shins or you child has a thing for not watching where he/she is going. Browse our selection of DIY tutorials for coffee/end tables and side tables — my favorite is the hexagon Moroccan-style side table!
7. Comfort is Key
Since we’re talking about a casual living room, one you will actually LIVE in, remember to keep in comfortable. Toss out a few extra throw pillows, a nice blanket, and don’t forget a fun and cushy rug! I tend to think that a nice bright-but-serene aqua fits in with just about any color scheme, so I’m a big fan of this aqua arabesque rug.
More colorful casual living rooms:
Casual Living Room in Blue | Emily Henderson on HGTV
Coral and Navy Casual Living Room | Style at Home
Bright Living Room with Black Built-Ins | Summer Thornton Design on Design Sponge
Casual Living Room and Home Office | SAS Interiors
Other Get This Look room inspiration: