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6 inspiring décor ideas for a stylish rectangular living room

04.2021

6 styling ideas for furnishing a rectangular living room

An empty living room presents a wonderful canvas when it comes to thinking about decorating, but it can also be quite daunting, especially if it’s a plain rectangular shape. To decorate it in a practical yet stylish way requires careful thought about both the furniture you choose and the layout.

Given that a rectangular living room is extremely common, we take a look at how to make the most of this shape, and offer 6 simple ideas for furnishing and designing the perfect lounge area.

If you’re wondering how to furnish your rectangular-shaped living room in a stylish, interesting way, we’ve got 6 must-read ideas to help.

The importance of the living room

So just why is it so important to afford so much attention to your living room layout? The answer is that the living room or lounge tends to be the focal point of modern homes, the place we entertain friends and pass precious time with our family. It is also often the first room that you enter once you’re through the front door, so in some ways it also acts as the “store window”, displaying your decorating skills and taste to visitors.

As the main room of a home, and the one most on show, a modern living room needs to be versatile and able to accommodate the various needs of every family member, while also creating an elegant impression. We firmly believe that function and form can coexist in perfect harmony, and our products are developed to reflect that philosophy, from coffee tables to accessories providing that touch of Made in Italy design that can lift your living room décor to another level.

The advantages of a rectangular living room

Whatever the size of the living room you are looking to furnish, for some reason, a rectangle seems to create more difficulty than a square or L shape, but in reality, it offers plenty of scope and can be surprisingly simple to decorate.

The main reason is that it provides generous space and notable depth, and this combination helps create atmosphere. Its elongated form also lends itself to subdividing the entire room into different zones for various activities, and this is particularly important in modern homes where single-function specialist rooms, such a study or dining room, are becoming increasingly uncommon. As such, a space that can host a variety of functions is a great asset.

As with almost any type of environment, however, a rectangular living room can present some challenges, but we examine how to get around those with 6 simple but effective ideas to help you create your perfect living room layout and décor.

Lighting and colour

Furnishing and decorating a rectangular living room starts with the choice of lighting and colours, as the ideal combination of these two elements can work to regulate the spaciousness of the room.

If your living room is large, you can be daring and play with darker colours to create a sense of depth, whereas a smaller space calls for lighter tones that are in harmony with the available natural or artificial light, so as to amplify the perception of its size.

This living room is on the smallish side, and so we chose the delicate creamy tones of Crema d’Orcia, in a honed finish on the floor and in our Chevron texture on the feature wall. The touches of cool white Bianco Carrara in the Urano floor lamp and pair of mismatched Dritto side tables, together with the deceptively simple Archimede mirror and beautifully diffused light emitted from the ceiling, create an elegant, calming living room.

Move away from the walls

The default approach when furnishing a rectangular living room is often to distribute the main items of furniture along the wall. While this may be the only practical solution in a small room, if you are in the fortunate position of having plenty of space, we would recommend leaving the walls totally free.

By positioning your principal pieces in the centre of the room, you create a more welcoming environment that fosters conviviality, whilst also avoiding any empty feeling if the area is particularly long.

This romantic living room is the perfect example of how to play down the perception of an overly long space, with the sofas, chairs and tables positioned in a cosy zone and anchored in the middle of the room by a large rug. Tables from the ‘Love me, Love me not’ and Proiezioni collections, together with the all-important finishing touches such as Omaggio a Morandi and Lui&Lei accessories, add flair and design credentials, but the entire room maintains a sense of warmth.

Divide into zones in an open plan layout

As we have already mentioned, a large rectangular living room can present an opportunity to opt for an open plan layout and this approach not only enhances your home’s liveability but also improves the feeling of the space itself.

This modern open plan space consists of three clearly delineated zones that, at the same time, work together to form a single cohesive environment. This is a simple but highly effect layout that uses furniture to denote the function of each area, while all three enjoy the view and natural light offered by the oversize windows.

The lounge area is defined by a large rug and the arrangement of facing sofas and a pair of original and stylish coffee tables, while a Design for Soul table is highlighted beneath a trio of Farfalla ceiling lights, clearly identifying the dining zone. At the far end, a wall in Silk Georgette® Rain sets the backdrop for the kitchen, bringing all three zones together in harmony, and creating a luxurious modern living area.

Make sure you have plenty of passing room

If you are aiming for an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional, an important aspect to consider is whether there is enough space to allow you to easily move around. It’s all very well to create a cosy, intimate layout, but it shouldn’t mean you have to negotiate an obstacle course, dodging sharp edges and trying not to bump into furniture. 

This rectangular living room features an oval coffee table from the Proiezioni collection, perfectly positioned between two large, comfy leather sofas to create an elegant, inviting living room corner where you can relax in peace. 

Think high

If you have a particularly elongated rectangular living room, you can make it appear more compact and welcoming by playing with height. A simple trick is to install wall-mounted shelves or cabinets, which direct the eye upwards and have the welcome additional benefit of providing storage. Similarly, an eye-catching composition of art will have the same effect.

Yet another technique to draw attention to high ceilings and focus the gaze upwards is to use a vertically-running texture on the walls, as in this refined living room which features our Plissé in Silk Georgette® limestone. A pair of large stone panels from our Intarsi collection and and wall-mounted Balnea drawers  ensure the wall is a focal point, accentuating the perception of a lovely spacious, balanced lounge area.

Disrupt uniformity

One final risk when furnishing a rectangular living room is that you end up with a monotonous, bland environment, but fortunately there is an easy way to avoid this. A feature wall is the perfect solution to introduce an interesting and stylish element that breaks up a room’s uniformity.

In this example, our Tratti texture provides the wow effect, with tiles in dark honed Pietra d’Avola punctuated by metal gold-coloured inserts creating an atmosphere of understated luxury, that is echoed in the Stone Parquet flooring. The room may have a plain block shape, but the feature wall, with its touch of elegant bling, and statement pieces such as the Silo chandelier and Urano floor lamp introduce eye-catching elements that together work to create a harmonious, elegant living room that is anything but standard.

As you have seen, furnishing a rectangular living room so that it becomes an attractive, practical space can be surprisingly easy if you adopt a few simple strategies.

The other good news is that all the ideas we have shared can be implemented without any structural work or major intervention. All you need are the right colours and furnishings. Our Walls & Floors and Home collections are brimming with stylish products designed to enhance every day living, so why not browse through them and be inspired? And of course, if you have any questions or would like some advice to help you create a Salvatori-style living room, simply get in touch and one of our design consultants will be delighted to help.