Formal living rooms carry an air of elegance, shaped by high-end furniture, plush rugs, eye-catching fireplaces, spectacular light installations, stirring artwork, luxe decor and stylish accessories. They are the grand reception room where guests are welcomed, entertained and impressed. A formal living room design can be achieved under many different aesthetics, so we’ve gathered together 51 of our favourite ideas to inspire you on how to design yours. We’ve got just about every eventuality covered from traditional living rooms and neoclassical spaces to modern mansions and minimalist interiors, plus a dose of rustic romance and industrial style living in between. We’ll focus on the details that make these spaces really shine and offer tips to help you get there.
Visualizer: iMax Studio
Mix colour and class. Classically tasteful in its approach yet colourfully executed, this rich, eclectic formal living room exudes character and vibrant energy. A large area rug pulls the contrasting arrangement together.
Visualizer: Oscar Pastor
Bring in a bench. Conversational seating arrangements make a welcoming, sociable layout in a formal living room. Enclose the seating area on all four sides without cutting it off from the larger space by employing a sleek modern bench design.
Visualizer: Elemental Design
Soften a square space with a curved sofa. The smooth silhouette will detract the eye from the encroaching corners. Add a large ceiling rose and a spherical chandelier to complement the rounded shape theme.
Frame with a blast of botanical beauty, like this plant lover’s modern french interior design. Introduce green accent furniture to expand upon Mother Nature’s colour palette.
Visualizer: ZORKA Studio
Two facing sofas produce a smart but rigid layout. Try softening out those edges with two curved sofa alternatives to create a more relaxed setting.
Visualizer: DARK RENDER
Keep sofa upholstery and scatter cushions plain and take pattern to the floor with a spectacularly bold living room rug. Use coffee table adornments to heighten interest nearer to eye level.
Visualizer: hilight. design
Play with light and shade. This mesmerising living room chandelier is given a contrasting black background to draw attention to its exquisite detail.
Visualizer: Daryna Subbota
This modern crystal chandelier gleams in the sunlight from clerestory windows, whilst an imposing TV wall makes an impressive statement in bold black and gold finishes.
Visualizer: Academy M6
Sunlight and nature. If you’re the fortunate owner of a double height living room that’s flooded with natural light, then use that bright influx to feed an indoor garden, as well as your soul.
Visualizer: Buro One
Bring balance. In this large and luxurious formal living room, the core lounge area is picked out in pale grey, whilst black drapes and black accent chairs darkly balance out the border.
Visualizer: Yasser Swid
A space for reflection. White marble wall panels make luxe framing for a prized piece of artwork, and all are reflected in a mirrored ceiling feature directly above. Channel tufted sofas gather around the spectacle, peacefully interspersed by indoor plants.
Visualizer: Eugene Shkilnyuk
Take it to the top. More of an art installation than a lighting feature, these freeform mesh pendant lights float like wispy white clouds above an airy living space.
Visualizer: HB Design Studio
Bring the outside in with edge-to-edge picture windows and patio doors.
Visualizer: Paramo Arquitectos
All about the architecture. Whether it’s a fabulous sweeping staircase design or towering windows, let architectural wonders take the spotlight.
Visualizer: black or white
Create a palatial feel with opulent gold fixtures and fittings that ooze wealth. See more inspiration for using gold accents in interior design.
Visualizer: VizLine Studio
Set a scene for good times and good company with a prominent wine storage wall. Stack bottle racks all the way to the ceiling line and back with mirrors. Install a thin border of LED strips to accentuate the result.
Visualizer: Ibrahem Magdy
Construct a multifaceted focal wall. With the TV taking the prime central spot on this focal wall, the modern fireplace is situated off-centre to avoid potential heat damage to the screen. Built-in bookcases balance out the opposite side of the hearth, whilst illuminated curio cabinets brighten the upper volume.
Visualizer: NH Studio
If crystal chandeliers feel too grandiloquent for your tastes, then consider filling a tall ceiling void with a structured sputnik chandelier instead.
Via: 2 Luxury Apartments
Tackle double-banked windows with custom-made ceiling-to-floor drapes. The full-length white drapes in this wonderfully light luxury living room create a uniform march across the window wall, almost like a colonnade.
Designer: Walton A E
Pockets of pleasure. A plethora of furniture gives this formal living room a more lived-in look, where piles of coffee table books provide entertainment and a wet bar is on hand for refreshments.
Designer: Montalba Architects
Crisp and concrete. Linear sofas, contemporary artwork, and an elongated modern fireplace draw a crisp layout across this living room, where cool concrete rules.
Visualizer: Mirish Mirzayev
Fluted and gilded, this fine interior is alive with texture, reflections, and light play.
Visualizer: Estúdio RM2
Hang a mid-century vibe with a ceiling-mounted fireplace. These shapely fireplaces can tuck neatly into corners to produce a cosy glow where there is no chimney breast present.
Visualizer: SPECTRUM VIS
The icing on the cake. Intricate cornice and ceiling embellishments introduce elegant scrolls around the border of this neoclassical living space, like elaborate icing on a wedding cake.
Encased in boiserie panels and bestowed with classical statues, this traditional living room is a picture of grand taste.
Arched windows give this aesthetic living room a graceful backdrop against which to layer bold modern furniture.
Visualizer: Dervish Group
Just one hero. Let a single colourful accent piece sing out by setting the rest of the room under shaded tones of grey and black.
Nature and neutrals. With panoramic nature views to colour your space, keep furnishings peacefully neutral and understated.
Photographer: Federico Cedrone
Cool blue meets earthy brown accents here, fashioning a tonally balanced decor scheme that feels fresh and cosy.
Style that transcends the ages. Shape a mid century modern living room with iconic furniture designs and bold lighting.
Designer: Specht Architects
Grey grandeur. Beautiful furniture pieces are spaced widely throughout this large living room to create a chic and airy aesthetic. A fluted chimney breast threads attractive texture around a grand modern fireplace.
Speaking of grand fireplace walls, a stunning stone arrangement is the star of the show in this luxury rustic living room.
Visualizer: Recent Spaces
This mesmerising fireplace wall makes a darkly reflective vertical plane for double-height windows and a superb modern chandelier.
Visualizer: Nikita Tarasov
All about the arches. From chic arched windows to an inverted fluted ceiling, this fresh living room has curves in all the right places.
Visualizer: Mikhailova Sasha
This arch festooned interior is accompanied with equally curvaceous lounge furniture and floor lamps. See more ideas for using arches in interiors.
Photographer: Lorenzo Pennati
The knowledgeable library look. Think floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases and atmospheric mood lighting.
Visualizer: The Craft
Natural rugs and exposed wooden rafters team up to make a cosy scene with a rustic touch.
Visualizer: Emotion School
Play to your best features. An impossibly tall TV wall is given due diligence with stupendous wood panel treatment.
Visualizer: Oxygen – Architectural Visualization
High and mighty. Draw the eye upward in a high-ceilinged living room with large artwork, tall panel moulding, and large lighting fixtures.
Visualizer: Javier Wainstein
Take the rawness off industrial living spaces by introducing a formal area rug, large scale wall art, and a healthy peppering of indoor plants.
Visualizer: 9 design studio
Be inspired by a favourite piece of art. This wall art inspires a sophisticated colour palette of deep blue, beige, grey, and gold. Gallery white expanses provide breathing space between.
Source: Roche Bobois
Ravishing red accents. Whether it’s a single red accent sofa or lounge chair, a red side table of bright area rug, red is a colour that is sure to boost and energise any room that it graces.
Designer: Studio Arthur Casas
Well rounded and botanically inspired. Botanics are all about curves and segmentation, so why not complement a lush garden view with furniture and stucco treatments that draw upon nature’s deep beauty.
Visualizer: Magdalena Prauzińska
Rich colour contrast. Burnt umber accent chairs, scatter cushions and a unique modern chandelier add colour and bold character to a formal living room with classic wainscotting and cool stone details.
Visualizer: Lobo Studio
Another burnt umber singed home interior, this time with the artistic undertones of modern 3D wall art and classical sculpture.
Old elegance meets new ideals. Twin tufted wingback chairs instate a traditional, stately feel into this living room layout, which gracefully counteract the harder lines of a modern sofa. LED circle chandeliers brightly mirror the simple rounded outline of a luxe marble coffee table.
Floating features. Wall panels float in front of arched windows, a classical ceiling dips from the edges of the room to reveal perimeter lighting, and gold disc pendants appear to levitate over this unique formal lounge.
Visualizer: Oxygen – Architectural Visualization
Another fabulous floating feature, this golden sculptural chandelier commands the stage.
Visualizer: Art Group by Vasilkova Daria
Purple perfection. This tailored formal living room design features a made-to-measure bookcase wall and a smart serving hatch. However, it’s the snazzy purple accent furniture that really packs a punch.
Visualizer: Actual Design
Black and gold glamour stands striking and timeless.
Designer: Suite Arquitetos
Opposites attract. Blue and orange might be opposite to each other on the colour wheel, but they come together to make glorious impact in a modern living room decor scheme. Orange adds warmth whilst blue brings feelings of calm. See more ideas for blue living rooms.
1. Wingback chair
2. Curvy sofa
3. Modern sputnik chandelier
4. Statement chandelier
5. Oluce Atollo table lamp
6. Serge Mouille floor lamp
7. Ornate fireplace mantel
8. Nesting coffee tables
9. Arco floor lamp
Recommended Reading: 51 Luxury Living Rooms And Tips You Could Use From Them