8 Things to Eliminate From Your Living Room Right Now (That You Won’t Miss)

updated Nov 9, 2020
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

If you’re at home, walk into your living room (those at work or away, close your eyes and visualize your living room). What do you see? A calming space that nurtures your design soul? Or a kind of cluttered room that’s stressing you out a bit right now? Consider eliminating these eight things from your living room today; you just might feel an instant design relief of your main living space.

Visible wires

They have become nearly invisible to you the longer you’ve used your space, but these annoying details of modern life stick out like a sore thumb to fresh eyes. Even if you don’t notice your wires all that much now, we promise you will notice when you A couple of throw pillows or items in a vignette

Our living rooms are a magnet for decor items we don’t have any other place for. We tend to add on to these rooms slowly and even mindlessly throughout the year. Excited to add a different feel to a space, these small items aren’t dangerous and do tend to freshen the look of a room. But they can also add up after many months, turning into comically huge collections of things like throw pillows on a couch or a tabletop vignette. Take out and store a few of these extra items for a sleeker, more tightly arranged living room.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Coffee table clutter

From old dishes to four-foot tall design book stacks to remote controls and more, our coffee tables are a natural landing space in our living rooms for a whole manner of different items. But they’re an anchor piece in this room; they are a surface that commands attention and often exists in the dead middle of a room. Keeping this surface a little less full than others in your space will set the tone in a living room (and no, you don’t have to take everything off — just do a little streamlining).

Uncomfortable/poorly placed seating

If there’s a seat in your living room’s seating plan that you don’t like sitting in because of its too-firm (or too soft) cushions or odd-placement, why do you still have it? Replace any seating that’s not calling at you like a siren with seating that fits you and your room’s style and comfort level better.

(Image credit: Elissa Crowe)

Dead/empty corners

Because the living room tends to be the heart of your home’s decor, it’s even more vital that you pay attention to this room’s corners, which, depending on the size, layout and configuration may be a focal point or a barely noticeable spot. What corners shouldn’t be are afterthoughts to your decor, especially in your living room when they really count toward the feel of the whole space. There are plenty of ways to fill them, from plants to pedestals and even guitars (as seen above), so take your pick.

Bad lighting

It’s one thing to try to bring in better lighting—you should be doing that in all of your rooms regardless of how much natural light they get. But if you brought in better lighting in your living room in the form of a nice table lamp or soft candles, go a step further and eliminate all together any bad lighting. Bulbs in fixtures that cast an institutional colored glow or even any light fixtures that don’t work in the space.

Window coverings

This one isn’t always a slam dunk and depends on your comfort level, but if you get lots of natural light and you aren’t worried about privacy in your living room, consider getting rid of your window treatments in this area. Undressed windows can really open up a space and make it seem larger and lighter, particularly during the day. You can always add semi-transparent privacy film to your windows for some semblance of seclusion if you need it.

Unwieldy storage

Certain things can actually make your home harder to organize, believe it or not. If you bought a big bookshelf or a huge bin thinking you’d use them diligently, and you just haven’t been able to get a system going with these pieces, it’s okay to cut your losses. You can try the piece in a different room where it might make more sense or you can bring in something else to remedy the situation. Closed storage is a great idea in lieu of open bins, since they contain items better and keep them hidden in plain view. Maybe your book collection will actually work better if you rearrange your titles by spine color or size. Be willing to make a change, even if you have to backtrack on something you’ve already tried.