When it comes to home decor, the living room is one of the most challenging rooms to style. With so many new build houses coming on the market right now, there’s a lot of pressure to make something that feels fresh and original. 

But with so much being built at once, you can’t exactly go into it expecting to set your living room apart from every other new build house. But don’t worry! That doesn’t mean you have to settle for anything less than perfect. 

With all those new build properties come plenty of inspiration, which makes this perfect timing for you to take your living room up a notch. There are tons of small ways you can add personality that will set your space apart from everyone else’s in the neighbourhood.

From bold wallpapers to geometric shapes in neutral hues, there are plenty of inspiring living room ideas to choose from when planning your next project. Here are 15 tips on how to make your living space stand out without being overbearing.


1. Introduce light neutral tones

When you are designing a living room that doesn’t follow the current trend, it is important to make sure the room still has a lot of light in it. Dark or heavy colours will make the space feel smaller and more closed off. Light neutral tones are a great place to start when looking to create a different style of the living room. 

When paired with brighter colours or prints, the overall space will feel lighter and more open. Adding these lighter touches to your living room can be as simple as switching out a heavier curtain fabric for lighter linen or adding a throw blanket in a neutral shade. 

Having a lighter colour palette can also help to create a more cohesive space. If you’ve lived in your home for some time, you may have noticed how your tastes have changed over time. Perhaps the colours you were drawn to when you first moved in were no longer your favourites a few years later.

2. Go big with panelling

Panelling is a classic design feature that can add a lot of character to any space. Traditionally used in the kitchen or dining room, this architectural element is finding its way into living rooms thanks to its ability to create a bold and uplifting design scheme. 

Panelling can be applied to just about any surface, including walls, ceilings, and even cabinetry. The great thing about it is that you can even find brushed metal and wood to match the design of your furniture. 

Metal and wood panelling can be dark and dramatic, or it can be light and airy if you choose the right design. Darker panelling will work well with neutral or earthy tones, whereas lighter panelling will work with just about any colour.

3. Mix bright colours

When you’re looking for new build living room ideas, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. If you favour bright colours and patterns, don’t be afraid to incorporate them into your living space. 

Mixing contrasting colours, such as oranges and blues, can create a bold and eye-catching design that still feels comfortable. If you want to add in a few bright pieces, start with your upholstery. Select a pattern that incorporates the colours you like best and make sure to use colours that will pair well with the rest of your space. 

Mixing in a few throw blankets or pillows in your favourite colours is another way to incorporate pops of colour into your living room. If your initial colour combinations don’t feel like they’re working in the space, try experimenting with different colour palettes.

4. Add some personality to your walls

Wallpaper is one of the simplest ways to add personality to your space. It’s a super affordable way to take any room from blah to bold, and it’s also a way to play with scale and texture. If you’re in a space with big, plain walls, a bold wallpaper will instantly add visual interest. 

Even if you’re in a smaller space, you don’t have to shy away from bold wallpaper. It’s an easy way to create the illusion of a bigger room without having to tear down the walls. Wallpaper is a great option if you want to add some pattern to your space, but you’re not quite ready to commit to a paint job. 

Wallpaper can also be a great option if you’re in a rental or don’t want to make any permanent changes. You can easily switch between different patterns or even different rooms, which gives you lots of versatility when it comes to redecorating.

5. Incorporate geometric shapes

Adding geometric shapes to your living room is another great way to create a visually appealing design without relying on bold colours or heavy patterns. 

Try to find pieces that have clean lines and are predominantly in neutral hues. This will help to keep the overall look of your space cohesive. 

A coffee table with an angular top or a chair with wooden legs in an interesting shape can create an interesting focal point for your room. This can draw attention to your other living room ideas and help to create an aesthetically pleasing space. 

A colourful rug can also be a great way to incorporate geometric shapes into your living room. Rugs can be a great way to tie the look of your space together and make an otherwise plain floor look more interesting.

6. Mix prints and patterns

Mixing prints and patterns is another great way to add visual interest and personality to your living room. This is a particularly good option if you favour earthy or neutral tones and don’t want bold colours or lots of brightness in your space. Try using one pattern in a throw pillow or rug and save the rest of the room for solid pieces. 

One of the best living room ideas when it comes to mixing prints and patterns is to do so in a subtle way. Too many patterns in one space can be overwhelming and make the room feel smaller. One pattern per piece of furniture is usually enough.

7. Add some greenery and natural light

If you’re looking to add a pop of colour to your living room, nothing is more effective than plants. Not only do they add a vibrant, inviting touch to any space, but they’re also super easy to care for. 

With so many new build houses being constructed with minimal windows, it can be hard to get enough natural light. But by adding a few plants that thrive in low light, you can ensure your space is filled with the warm glow that we all crave. It’s also a great way to help bring nature inside, which is always a bonus if you’re trying to keep things fresh and natural. 

There are so many varieties of plants that are great for people who aren’t very green-thumbed. Succulents are easy to care for and they look great in just about any space. You can also add some houseplants or tropicals to help bring a little bit of summer inside. Just make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight.

8. Incorporate built-in storage

Not only do built-in storage units look incredibly sleek, but they’re also a great way to avoid extra clutter in your floor plans. If you need some extra storage space in your living room, but you don’t want it to take up visual space, built-in storage is the perfect solution. 

Not only do they look super clean and modern, but they’re also very functional. They keep your space clean and clutter-free while also giving you enough room to store your essentials. 

You can choose from a variety of different styles, so you can find one that matches the rest of your decor perfectly. If you’re in a modern space with minimal furnishings, built-in storage is a great way to still have enough space to store your things without taking up visual space. If you’re in a space with a bit more traditional design, built-in storage is still a great option. You can choose a few pieces that match the rest of your furniture and they will look just as sleek as they would in a modern space.

9. Don’t be afraid of dark shades

Light and neutral living room ideas are great but don’t be afraid to add in a few darker pieces as well. Darker furniture pieces, such as a heavy coffee table or wooden end tables, can add visual interest to a room and create contrast against lighter colours. 

10. Change up the colour scheme

When you’ve lived in your home for a while, you may notice that your colour scheme is no longer working for you. Perhaps your tastes have changed or you’ve added a new family member that needs a few colour tweaks to accommodate their needs.

Changing up the colour scheme of your living room is a great way to freshen up the space and make it feel more personalized. Try using one or two colours as your main palette, then throw in one or two additional colours for accent pieces. Mixing different tones and colours in a visually pleasing way can be challenging, so it is best to stick to either analogous or complementary colours.

11. Try out loud furniture

If you’ve gone through all of these living room ideas and are still struggling to find inspiration, try incorporating a few pieces of loud furniture into your design. Loud furniture pieces, such as a bright sofa or a geometric coffee table, can help to anchor the space and give it a unique look.

If you are unsure where to start when it comes to loud furniture pieces, try to think about what you spend the most time doing in the room. Do you have guests over often? Do you spend a lot of time reading or working at a desk? These are all activities you should consider when choosing furniture.

12. Add some lighting fixtures

Another great way to add lighting to your space is by incorporating a few different lighting fixtures. They’re a great way to tie the room together, and you can choose a few that match your other decor pieces. You can also choose a few that have a bit more of a unique design and incorporate them more prominently in the room. 

Lighting fixtures are a great way to play with scale and add visual interest to your living room. They’re a clean, minimalist way to add some personality to your space. You can choose from a variety of different styles, from more traditional ones to more modern and sleek designs. You can also add a few different shapes, like ones that are designed like spheres or cubes. Doing so will help your room feel more interesting and visually cohesive.

13. Try different textures to add dimension and interest

To create a living space that is visually interesting and cohesive at the same time, try incorporating a variety of different textures. One easy way to do this is to add natural elements, such as plants or a woven basket, in a few different places throughout your room. 

Another way to add texture to your living room is to find furniture pieces with interesting finishes, such as a rustic coffee table or an upholstered chair with a unique pattern. Lastly, you can also incorporate texture by mixing different fabrics in your upholstery and decorative items.

14. Add a piece of artwork or decorative item to anchor the space

One of the best living room ideas is to add a decorative item that lets your guests know what the space is meant for. This could be a large painting or framed print. 

If you don’t want to commit to one large piece of art, try adding a few smaller decorative items, like framed art or decorative throw pillows. Trying to find one decorative item that is perfect for every room can be tricky. Instead, try to incorporate a few items that have meaning to you and your family members and let them speak for themselves.

15. Change up the flooring

If your current flooring isn’t working with your new build living room ideas, try changing up your flooring. Different types of flooring, such as hardwood, tile, or cork, can change the feel of a room dramatically. 

If you want your living room to feel cosier, try adding a rug or area rug to the space to anchor the room. Alternatively, if you want your living room to feel more open, go for a hardwood or tile option. Different flooring materials can also add visual interest.


A final thought

As you can see, there are tons of ways you can add personality to your living room. You don’t have to go for a super bold look or commit to a new paint job. Smaller and more subtle changes, like incorporating built-in storage or adding a few decorative pieces, can still make a huge impact. It’s important to remember that your living room doesn’t have to be unique. It just has to feel like you.