Our grey modern farmhouse living room is one of the most used spaces by our family. It’s where the kids play, where we entertain guests, and where we have our family movie nights. The living room is such an important space, I wanted to get it just right for our family. These steps will help create an inviting room that you love. When you’re finished, you’ll have a space that is stylish, cozy, and welcoming, from start to finish!
How to Start Your Grey Modern Farmhouse Living Room
Pick your Paint Color
I’ve shared with you the neutral color palate that we used throughout our entire house. This is an important piece in deciding the overall look and feel of your home. For the living room, we have carried in Agreeable Gray from the kitchen. This greige color was decided on before we got our couch, which is helpful because we could choose either gray tones or beige tones in a couch. We decided to go more towards a gray couch and the Agreeable Gray helps give the room a warmer tone.
I always think its beneficial to use a more neutral color on the walls. This allows you to add more vibrant colors by accents, wall décor, and furniture. This also allows you to switch out those items easily without repainting the entire room every time you want a change.
Our color scheme was Greige, Gray, Navy, and Soft Blues. This made for a relaxing space that was serene and inviting for guests to gather and visit.
Pick Your Furniture and Layout
Next, if you already have furniture that you will be using base your paint color on those tones. You want to select furniture that forms a well balanced lay out. The sizes should also compliment each other. Our large sectional is paired with a smaller accent chair and side table. This allows for the room to not feel small and overcrowded. The sectional is also pulled away from the wall about 1 foot in front of the window wall and back wall (against the sofa table). This allows for a better balance of space in the room and a creates a more intimate area for conversation. If the room is smaller this might not be the best option.
Decorate Your Zones:
It is helpful to break the room up into zones to decorate. In our living room I have three zones; console/sofa table, side wall with accent chair/table, and then the fireplace/tv area.
Try to choose pieces and wall accents that are similar in style, colors, and tones. This will allow the room to have a cohesive feel throughout.
Whether you have the back of your couch at the entrance of you room or against a far wall, a console table is a great place to add lighting and decorations to your room. Our living room in a rectangle shape and I needed a place to display decorations and lighting on the far side of the room. I couldn’t find a table that was an appropriate size for our large sectional, so we decided to make one! There are several online tutorials about how to make a table, we chose one we liked and tailored the measurements to fit our needs.
Once the table was built, we placed two lamps at each end and then filled in with vases, stems, and a few smaller items (such as books, boxes, décor pieces, frames) to fill in the spaces. One common mistake I see when decorating long spaces, is the use of too many smaller items. This can look cluttered and disproportional to the rest of the room. Using less items that are a nice size (fair on the larger size) will help give your room a completed well put together look.
This had the largest wall space in the room, so I really felt that it needed something to serve as another focal point and fit the size of the wall. I found this 3 piece set at Kirkland’s and it really helped tie in the wood/metal feel of the ottoman/side tables as well as help with softer wood tones. A gallery wall or larger canvas art would also work well on a large blank wall.
Here you can see how we used a white wash technique and a second technique to add texture and variety to the brick to get our perfect fireplace look. This helped update this focal point of the room from the eye sore it was and it made a really big difference! The tv is above our mantel and I decided to keep the decorations simple and non-intrusive of the viewing area.
Living Room Design: Accents
One of the first decor items you should decide on is your drapes. This will help you decide on the color palate for the rest of the room. Drapes are a great way to incorporate prints and color into your room. They can easily be changed out as well. The floral drapes we used in the living room had several tones of blues and grays that I could then incorporate through other accent pieces in the room.
How to Hang Drapes: Always hang your drapes as high as you can and just slightly outside of the window as well. This will help add height to the room and enlarge the window visual space. The drapes can fall either just above the floor (within a half inch), right at the floor, or pooled depending on the look you are trying to achieve.
Pillow & Throw Blankets:
After choosing the drapes and the color tones for the rest of the room, find décor items that will help you carry those colors through the room. Throw blankets and pillows can be used in the same colors or the same type of tones. You can stay neutral or you can add pops of colors through these items as well. For a general rule on how many couch pillows to have, use 3 pillows for a smaller couch, 5 for a larger couch, and seven to nine for a large sectional. This really varies on personal taste and how much symmetry, fullness, and variety you want from your throw pillows.
As stated above, these should be an appropriate size and a fit the theme of the entire room. Tie in your colors or accent colors throughout the room. This is a great place to incorporate accent colors as well as wood tones for warmth or whites/blacks as accents too. Stems, florals, vases, metal pieces, books, boxes, statues, and candles are all great options for table top, bookshelf, and mantel decor.
If your room feels like it needs a rug, make sure that it is large enough to have each piece of furniture in the area touching the rug with at least the front legs. This will help ground and tie in all the furniture pieces.
Review of Living Room Design Tips
- Paint: Start with neutral paint colors that you can then build upon with accents and decor
- Furniture Placement: Pull the furniture away from the walls, if possible, to let the room breathe and create balance. Try to arrange the furniture in a balanced formation that promotes conversation.
- Drapes: Hang drapes as high as you can and at least 6 inches wider than the windows. This will create visual height and width to the room/window space
- Decorations: When choosing decorations, pick items and objects that are a little larger in size. This will help decorate the area with appropriate sized items without looking cluttered.
- Rugs: If you choose to have a rug in the room make sure it is large enough to go under at least the front end of each piece of furniture to create a connection between the furniture pieces.
I’m hopeful these tips give you a great start to your living room design! Start with the large items first (paint, color palate, furniture) and work to fill in the rest as you go. The room will evolve as you find drapes, décor, pillows, and throws that you like and fit your personal style. By taking your time and putting everything together, you will create your perfect living room, a welcoming beautiful room for friends and family to gather in!