Rule Breaking Living Rooms that Look Great Anyway

Rule Breaking Living Rooms that Look Great Anyway

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Adrienne Breaux
Nov 17, 2015

When you stick to certain design rules, you can create a harmonious space that looks and functions great. But there's more than one way to arrange and design a living room! Look to these 11 mold-breaking living rooms for permission to break rules in your own space — and for proof that a space can still look great even if the "rules" are broken!

Design rule: Place a coffee table in front of your sofa

Though a coffee table can certainly add beauty to a living room — not to mention a place to set your drink down — you don't have to put a coffee table in every living room you occupy. You might be looking to simplify your style, make more room for seating or just want to make a room feel airy. Try seeing if your living room can look lovely missing this piece of furniture. The rooms below don't miss their coffee table one bit, instead making do with side tables, ottomans or other design solutions.

Design rule: A sofa makes a living room a living room

While it's true that many people put a sofa in their living room for seating, that's not the only type of seating option out there. Why not four chairs instead, like the house tour below? Why not a handful of chairs and some floor cushions? Why not a giant pile of pillows? Feel free to look beyond the sofa when deciding on living room seating options.

Design rule: Use a rug to tie the seating arrangement together

Using a rug to help bring cohesion to a living room — to "tie" a seating arrangement together — is a smart design tool to use sometimes, especially in a very large or open living area. But not every living room needs one. Sometimes avoiding a rug can help not call attention to a particularly snug or odd-shaped living space. Maybe you just really love the look of your flooring and don't want to cover it up. Whatever your desire to go rug-less, it can be pulled off. The homes below prove it.


Design rule: Serious living rooms have furniture that sits securely on the ground

Look, you don't have to be so serious in your living room that you can't have a good time. Hanging furniture is both functional and incredibly fun to look at. The two homes below use hanging seating in unusual ways that totally work in their spaces.

(Image credit: Submitted by Fernanda)


Design rule: Go for neutral colors so you won't get sick of your expensive living room furniture

You may have heard the advice to purchase your big-ticket living room items in neutral colors, like a nice beige sofa or cream-colored side chairs. This way you can switch out colorful accessories throughout the year so you don't get bored (and stuck with a pricey, colorful couch you don't love anymore). But, not everyone gets sick of colorful sofas and chairs after a few months. And even if you do have colorful big furniture, you can still switch out accessories to change up the look. If you have your heart set on a bold color for a large furniture piece, don't not get one just because you think you should stick to something neutral.

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