The fact that we call it a 'living room' suggests we spend a considerable amount of time here.
This room should be comfortable, cosy and inviting, with good sofas, warm lighting and plenty of blankets to snuggle under.
After all, it's the place where you kick back, relax and binge watch your faves. While doubling up as the zone your kids turn into a soft play at any opportunity.
Thinking of sprucing up your living room? Then these are the trends to know about.
1. Wood accent walls
It’s been a long time since the go-to look for a home library was dark oak panelled walls. But right now wood accent walls are bang on trend.
In living rooms, a wood accent wall can add warmth, texture and an organic cosiness that's perfect for winter or autumn evenings.
Wood accent walls are quite different from period-style panels. Think tall vertical stripes of soft beech, hand-crafted textured walls in dark hardwood, or polished herringbone.
You don’t have to opt for the whole wall either. A section of wood near a fireplace or connecting with a bookshelf can make a striking design feature.
“If you want to create a wooden accent wall, use vertical slats as they give a roof a lift, make small spaces feel more intimate and large spaces feel more inviting,” says interior designer Rudolph Diesel.
2. Simplicity over patterns
Our living rooms have typically been dominated by patterns. From William Morris florals to Terence Conran geometrics and Orla Kiely block prints.
We’re in no doubt these fabulous prints and patterns will retain their charms for years to come, but right now we’re set to see fewer patterns and more simplicity in living areas.
Essentially, this means choosing single block colours for walls and soft furnishings. But, don’t worry if you’re big on colour, you can always opt for contrasting hues.
For example, a brightly coloured sofa with cushions in different colours - but all in single shades.
The same goes for furniture and walls. Choose either one accent or feature wall, and keep everything else pared back. Think Japanese minimalism, with small bursts of contrast.
“We can expect to see more light, natural coloured walls and fewer patterns in living rooms,” says Juliette Thomas from Juliettes Interiors.
Interior designer Amy Wilson adds, “If patterns make you feel nervous, consider using them in just one part of your home.”
“A statement in the form of some beautiful curtains could be a great way to start your pattern journey and you can keep the rest of the room more pared back in a neutral tone.”
3. Consider cork
Living rooms invite sumptuous fitted carpets or shiny polished wood floors covered with a trendy rug to run your toes through.
A quirky living room floor alternative that's gaining popularity is cork flooring. And as lovers of classic ‘70s-style, we’re living for it.
Picture a living room with an organic colour palette, minimalist luxury, with stained cork floorboards and some cosy rugs.
Cork might be warm and tactile underfloor, but better still, it’s easy to fit and is sustainable too.
“Cork is harvested in a manner that allows the cork oak tree to continue to thrive, making it a great option for a sustainable home,” says Sylvia James at HomeHow.co.uk.
“Cork also comes in six different finishes, giving you various options to choose from when creating your dream look.”
4. Biophilic design
We all want to get closer to nature. Biophilic (aka nature-loving) design, which seeks to connect interiors with the great outdoors, is a huge trend that's gaining popularity.
“Whether it's skylights, large plants, or using nature-evoking greens, blues, yellows and ochres, biophilic design will help you to create a calming space with a visual connection to nature,” says interior designer Shanade McAllister-Fisher.
Start by bringing in some great pot plants. Add a rattan light fixture, some warm stone-coloured soft furnishings, a splash of sunshine yellow in a painting or light shade and natural woods.
Oh, and in living rooms as in all things, the bigger the house plant you can get, the better.
Carolina Hansson, head of design at Luxury Flooring & Furnishings, says: “We expect a return to timeless heritage style next year.
“Hues of sage green and deep blues have grown in popularity along with modern classic style, incorporating shades of wood and panelling.”
5. Curves and arches
That the 2020s are the new “Roaring ‘20s” is nowhere so clear as in the interior design features that are back on trend a century after they first appeared.
“Modernist curves are coming back on the horizon for living rooms right now, says interior designer Rudolph Diesel.
“Think rounded furniture, arched doorways and curves around exterior walls to add interesting shapes and dimensions to your living room.”
Interior designer Amy Wilson agrees, adding, “Arches and curves are continuing to feature in both furniture and fabric patterns, adding softness and a statement at the same time.”
If you can’t go the whole hog and install arches over doorways, you can opt for curved plush seating, an egg-shaped coffee table and a large mirror with scalloped curves.
A round rug and dramatic curving lampstand would add a Modernist edge, too.
6. Don’t forget the ceiling
We spend a lot of time decorating the four walls around us. But what about the one above us? Thankfully, ceilings are set to get a bit more attention in the 2020s.
Felicity White from Felicity White Interiors says, “This year, we expect to see a move towards using the ceiling as the fifth wall.”
“Why not use a contrasting colour, wallpaper, or cornicing to create a statement. Alternatively, expose or add beams, tiling or textured finishes.”
For many of us decorating the ceiling might be a stretch too far. But with darker skirting boards and architraves making a comeback, a bold ceiling could make a real statement.
Choose contrasting colour palettes and consider finishing the wall colour at picture rail height, so that the ceiling colour starts on the walls.
The more natural light the room has, the bolder you can be with your colour choices. For darker rooms, stick to something pale. Even an eggshell or linen colour can warm up the room.
7. Dopamine dressing
Living rooms are all about feeling comfortable and happy. Which is why bringing a pop of joy into your interior is more critical than following the latest trend.
'Dopamine dressing' is set to be big in the design world and it's all about bringing vibrant colours and accessories into your living space.
This isn’t full scale maximalism. And, if you’ve invested in a minimalist interior, then all the better to show off the features that make you happy.
We’re talking brightly coloured throw pillows, sumptuous woollen blankets to drape over cosy sofas or armchairs. Try bright wall art and mismatched frames and ceramics, too.
The best way to achieve this is to choose neons and other highly saturated colours. But not too many. Just the odd pop of hot pink or lemon highlights will have the desired effect.
Kate Salmon, homeware buyer at Oliver Bonas, says: “Dopamine dressing is here to stay.
“The wonderful thing about dopamine dressing is it doesn’t require an entire overhaul. It’s actually very easy to pull off by adding joyful accents to your existing space.
“Experiment with colourful wall art and mismatched photo frames on a gallery wall and drape your sofa with exuberantly coloured throws and piled cushions for an instant refresh.”