Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

by Thursday, July 7, 2016

Searching for the formal living room ideas for your personal taste is of utmost importance. Your formal living room is where you’ll entertain guests, so it should best represent your home design concept. Bring out the most glamorous in this shared space with these 21 formal living room ideas.

Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Zac + Zac

Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

Get the formal living room you’ve always wanted

The formal living room is one of the focal points in your home. And going through formal living room ideas help make your room great from every angle. They can even help you create enough space for large groups of people. So pull out all the stops—chandeliers, huge couches, high ceilings, intricate furniture—and make it the best-looking space in your house.

1. Natural Elements

With formal living rooms, it’s not enough to have just a small flower arrangement. You have to think bigger. An indoor tree, a stone wall, or a wood fireplace are some formal living room ideas that makes the room relaxing and chic at the same time. And when it comes to your furniture choices—leather is a great option, while soft cloths in bright pastels and earth tones inspire a homy feel.

2. French Country

Nothing says grandiose formal living room ideas like French country-inspired decor. Bring in more ornate furniture with rounded shapes like this blue sofa with gold and bronze accents for some warmth. Keep the design consistent with carved picture frames, vintage candle holders, antique lamps, and old-style China.

3. Southern Formal

Southern Formal | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Flynnsideout

Southern charm is definitely big in formal living room ideas. There are a lot of great pieces that make barnyard-inspired decor so chic. Wicker and wood furniture, white pickets, stripes, all-American prints, rustic lighting (chandeliers and lamps), and a modern fireplace all come together to create a formal living room your guests will fall in love with.

4. Comfort First

Comfort First | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Flynnsideout

Make sure to add comfortable elements to your formal living room. Choose a sofa that doesn’t just look great, but one you can spend hours on. A fireplace is also a great addition–both aesthetically and practically–especially if you’re living in colder climates.

5. Design Concept Mix

Sticking to just one design concept is so out of season. Mix and match formal living room ideas, just like how this living room took old elements like China vases and a high-back sofa, then combined it with more current elements like a wood coffee table, some glass decor, and floor-length glass doors.

6. Seating Space

A room made for entertaining should have lots to space to do just that. This living room has two sofas and a rustic accent chair—perfect for any party, big or small.

7. Formal Furniture, Trendy Design Ideas

Just because you’re working with a more formal space with a traditional fireplace and design elements, doesn’t mean you can’t think of new and creative ideas. This formal living room does away with the sofa and the traditional coffee table. Instead, it has a round ottoman as the center, and large, traditional design chairs for maximum comfort. It also left the wall free for decor space—a display cabinet, a painting, and large glass doors.

8. Refined

Other formal living room ideas include more refined designs. Pick furniture and decor with clean, sharp lines—a rectangular sofa, half-moon chairs, angular tables, and striped curtains. Go for clean colors as well—white and dark brown are an alternative to earth tones or monochromes.

9. Chic Luxury

Oftentimes, your formal living room is the only room your guests will see. So show them the best your design prowess can do. Go for chic, luxurious decor—all-glass tables, faux fur and animal prints, gold trim, ornate lighting, and maybe even a chandelier. Your pieces shouldn’t just be conversation starters, they should be the whole conversation.

10. A Modern Twist

A Modern Twist | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Brandon Barre

Impress your guests with an all-modern living room. There are so many modern formal living room ideas to choose from right now. Accent chairs, interesting prints, big windows, and oversized furniture all make up a formal living room that’s to die for.

11. Sprawling Spaces

Sprawling Spaces | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Brandon Barre

Formal living room ideas work best in big spaces—after all, it’s a space that is meant to accommodate lots of people. Take advantage of big spaces by paying attention to every detail—the ceilings, the floors, the windows, the walls. Everything is a design opportunity, so use it wisely.

12. Little Details

Little Details | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Brandon Barre

Formal living room ideas are all about the little details. This formal living room looks great as it is with lots of seating room, a warm fireplace, and trendy furniture. But what gives it a luxurious feel are the details in the ceiling—so wherever you look, there’s something interesting to see.

13. Shades of Brown

Shades of Brown | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Brandon Barre

Most living rooms avoid dark colors. But if you have the space for it, brown decor and furniture look great in a formal living room. They’re classy and chic enough, but at the same time, very homey and relaxing.

If your space isn’t that big, try incorporating brown decor into a living room with white walls and lots of lighting options.

14. Accent Wall

Accent Wall | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Aaron Leitz

This accent wall-turned-fireplace is a great focal point for your formal living room. It’s chic and functional at the same time. It also won’t limit you to one design concept. Think industrial, barnyard, or even traditional, and it’ll still fit right in.

15. Old-World Feel

Old-World Feel | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Aaron Leitz

Add an old-world feel to your living room with vintage prints, or even vintage furniture. Keep your eye out in thrift shops and garage sales, and you might just find some great pieces you can refurbish to give your formal living room a vintage feel. After all, everybody loves a piece of furniture with a story behind it.

16. Retro Minimalist

Retro Minimalist | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Mike Kelly

If you’re in an apartment, retro minimalist formal living room ideas are the way to go. Your guests will be in awe at the spectacular views, all the glass, and the fashion-forward furniture.

17. Traditional fireplace

Traditional Fireplace | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Mike Kelly

At some point, we’ve all wanted a traditional fireplace where we can gather, entertain, and enjoy the light and warmth. Well, decorating a formal living room is your chance to get that traditional fireplace. Especially in this age of modern and trendy decor, an ornate fireplace can be a nostalgic, and definitely very welcome sight for you and your house guests. You can even pair it with vintage furniture to get that dream home look.

18. Statement pieces

Statement Pieces | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via David Jensen

Without question, the formal living room is the best place to put all your most prized furniture and decor. A baby grand piano, interesting furniture you find around the world, and any other furniture that will really make an impact should go to this space.

19. Subtle Luxury

If you’re not the flashy type when it comes to decor, don’t worry, there are still formal living room ideas for you. Instead of statement pieces that will make your guests go “wow,” opt for subtle but equally luxurious furniture and decor—the kind that your guests will be pleasantly surprised to see. Small touches like a fur blanket, a detailed rug, and trendy gold pieces are subtle formal living room ideas to add some luxury to the space.

20. Monochrome

Monochrome | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Zack Benson

It takes conviction to pull off a monochrome look, and enough space to put interesting furniture to make up for the color limitations. A monochrome formal living room gives you more than enough space for variety. Black and white will also make a memorable design statement.

21. Traditional

Traditional | Formal Living Room Ideas: 21 Ways To Upgrade Your Space

image via Jessica Glynn

But of course, if all else fails you can always go back to traditional formal living room ideas. Take inspiration from your childhood home, or incorporate family heirlooms like a grandfather clock or a piano.

For more formal living room ideas, check out The Home Depot channel:

Don’t hold back on anything in your formal living room—except bad taste, of course. Just take advantage of all the great formal living room ideas you’ve seen here, and you’re more than ready to make your living room the ultimate entertaining space.

Want more formal living room ideas? Click here!

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