How to Furnish a Large Living Room | freedom


Create a warm and inviting atmosphere in large, open-plan spaces with these clever ideas.



When it comes to setting up a larger open-plan living space, it’s difficult to know where to start. You might have the sofa, coffee table and dining setting locked in - but now what? It’s time to consider storage, decorative items and accent pieces such as consoles, armchairs and ottomans. Create zones within the space using arrangements of furniture - a bookcase, side table and chair here for a cosy reading nook, or a display cabinet and circular dining table there for a casual brekky spot by the window.


Prevent a stark, open look by grouping furniture together, using different levels to create a cosy and inviting feeling. Avoid falling into the ‘push everything against the wall’ trap - this will only make your space feel like a gallery. Pull pieces out from the walls and give them room to breathe, taking traffic flow and natural light into account when creating each nook. Steer clear of using too many colours - keep the palette relaxed and complementary in just three or four shades, with one neutral colour featuring on 70 per cent of surfaces and pieces. Keep patterns to a minimum, contrasting them with block colours to provide balance. Here are the most practical and beautiful pieces to add to your space:


Display cabinets

Whether open or closed with glass-fronted doors and hidden drawers, a display cabinet will offer plenty of extra storage for that formal dinner setting, spare linen and cookware, while the open display is the perfect opportunity to set the mood, arranging your treasured vintage pieces, family heirlooms and favourite items on the exposed shelving. Timber and glass cabinets are the most common option, available in a range of shapes and sizes to either perfectly match your dining setting or to contrast and create an eclectic look.



Similar to a display cabinet, bookshelves offer room for that extra personal touch in the form of display, while keeping your favourite tomes close at hand. Use shelving as a room divider if you have the space to create a cosy reading nook.



The ultimate in comfort, a recliner can be the perfect spot to laze away a warm afternoon with a book or a nap. Treat it as an accent piece beside your main sitting area, or create a separate zone with multiple chairs for grown-up relaxation.



Create flexible seating and surfaces with an ottoman or two. Perfect for stretching out with your feet up, they can be added to sofas or placed as a border to your sitting area, keeping sightlines clear but also marking the beginning/end of this family space within the larger open-plan room.



Vibrant greenery will act as a screen between different zones, adding movement and colour, while also creating a sense of intimacy behind the fronds and leaves. Fill high ceilings with hanging plants or tall palms and trees.


Console table

Perfect for filling empty walls and niches, a console can display art and pictures while providing valuable storage. It can also double as a room divider if placed behind a sofa.