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For many people, the living room must serve multiple purposes. It may be the main place where the family hangs out, but it also may be a place for entertaining. Some people also must use their living room as a play area for young children or as a home office space. For these reasons, decorating for a living room should marry form with function, as well as expressing some of your individual style.

Here are some tips on how to decorate your living room:

Walls and Floors

In the living room, the overall palette should be warm and inviting. While too many dark or moody colors can be overpowering, an accent wall or carpet in a bolder hue can add visual pop. If you have an open floor plan, use color on walls and floors to create intimate settings within the broader space. Try setting some chairs around a throw rug for a pleasant conversation area, or dress up a corner by adding wall decals, stencils or trim.

How to choose a living room paint color

Furniture

Living room furniture must suit your family’s needs. All too often the living room becomes a catch-all room, with baskets of toys, piles of papers, stacks of bills and unfinished projects crowding the room. Invest in furniture that offers storage options, such as hollow ottomans with hidden storage, cabinets with open and covered shelving or modular furniture that can be moved or adjusted. If your budget isn’t big, invest in a focal point that offers maximum payoff, such as a Moroccan coffee table, an ethnic rug or an armchair with an eye-catching color or pattern.

Accessories

The living room is typically the room all visitors see, so make it a showcase for a favorite art piece, family heirloom or a collection. Set aside a niche or shelf and display pieces with shared colors, materials, shapes or themes. Try using a painting or mirror as a backdrop. Other accessories to enhance a living room include pretty table lamps, wall sconces, mirrors and wall art.

Brighten up your home for under $50

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