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10 Decorative Accessories for a Living Room that Add Character


You may not have the time, money or energy to do a complete renovation or redecoration of the main living area in your house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give the place a whole new look.

The living room is the most public room in your home, where you entertain and congregate for fun activities with friends and families.

It’s nice to keep its decor fresh, fun and welcoming.

Decor and Accessories for Living Room

With a little effort and not a lot of money, you can add some creative touches that will bring out your personal style.

Make this space the place to be by adding decorative accessories for the living room like the ones listed below.

Here are ten ideas to make your living room look great.

1. Bookshelves

Vintage Industrial Bookshelf

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Open shelving is a hot look right now, where you can display books, photos, and knick-knacks from your travels.

They are a great way to organize your belongings and maximize space.

You can build the shelves right into your window frames and staircases.

You can make them look modern or classic with different materials and embellishments like crown moldings.

2. Art

Giant Canvas Made with Sheetmusic

You do not have to spend a fortune to cover your walls with art (see some DIY ideas) that appeals to you.

Posters of masterpieces are available from many museum gift shops, and you can matte and frame them for display.

Or select your favorite pieces from a local gallery or art fair. Whether you like oil paintings, watercolors or sculpture, show off your taste with items that bring you joy.

Why not frame the piece your daughter made you for Mother’s Day when she was four?

3. Candles

refabbed candlesticks

See this DIY project

It’s easy and inexpensive to give your room a soft, romantic look by placing candelabra and candlesticks all around.

You may want to display large candles in glass globes by the fireplace or group them on various end tables.

While not recommended for houses with small children or active pets, the scent and glow from candles are one of the fastest ways to transform your living room into a peaceful oasis.

4. Honors, Medals, and Awards

If you or one of your relatives was a veteran, it is meaningful to display evidence of their service where guests can learn about it.

Display commemorative coins and plaques in glass cases or on the walls of your living room.

You can combine them with archival photos and preserved letters for a historical monument to your family.

5. Stair Risers

Add color and inspiration to your home with fun, painted stair treads.

One fun trend that is being seen in some living rooms is using playful and colorful motifs on stair risers.

With bright paint, murals or mosaic tiling, you can add a pop to this seldom-used space.

Some homeowners hire artists to paint a Trompe-l’œil image on the stairs, like this homage to great literature.

6. Pillows

faux grain sack pillows

See this DIY project

Decor must appeal to all the senses. In addition to looking fabulous, you want the items in your living room to feel good too.

There’s nothing more relaxing than throwing yourself onto a pile of plushy pillows at the end of a long day and staring at the fire.

Update your pillows periodically, as they tend to get flattened and dull with lots of use.

You can choose between bold graphic prints to ethnic styles or pillows with saying or monograms stitched on them.

Making these pillows yourself ensures you have the style you want, and gives them a special sentimental value.

7. Plants

Potted Plants

See this DIY project

Plants and flowers are another simple and easy way to bring new life into the home, renewing the air in addition to adding that natural touch.

A tall ficus tree is a hardy species that can last for years, brightening up a forgotten corner of the room.

Cut flowers in a vase add color and sweet smells every season.

Terrariums are attractive ways to display plants in large or small glass globes.

You can hang them from the ceiling to catch the light or adorn a coffee table with one of these pieces of art.

Don’t forget the flora outside your living room window as well.

By tending the trees and bushes outside, you can make the view from the living room a beautiful living tableau throughout the year.

8. Rugs

painted rugs

See this DIY project

A throw rug in bright colors adds a splash of excitement to a dark corner of the room.

The deep rich hues of imitation Turkish or Persian models won’t show the dirt and create a timeless look.

Use small rugs to highlight special nooks. It’s always a good idea to add special mats in front of the fireplace and the front door to catch the ashes that fly out or the dust that your guests may drag in.

9. Vintage/Antiques


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Even if you prefer the modern look, one or two vintage pieces always add depth and texture to a room.

Your grandmother’s heirloom desk may look nice by the window and remind you of her.

A silver bowl from a relative can hold candies for guests and be a conversation starter.

On the other hand, if most of your furniture is antique, you may want to contrast it with a modern coffee table or chandelier.

Mixing and matching eras in your decor showcase your distinctive style.

10. Sconces

restoration hardware knock off wall sconces

See this DIY project

Overhead light can be harsh, so you want to add a few light sources that will bathe the room in a soft glow.

Cocktail parties or midnight buffets are more inviting with subdued lighting.

Choose some new sconces to accent your room and bring spots of light to every nook.

They create a nice mood and can draw attention to a special piece of art or display.

You can even find a sconce that imitates the sun during an eclipse!

Use These Decorative Accessories for the Living Room

Use your imagination to kick up the design quotient in your home.

A few small additions like a commemorative coin, a new light fixture or a fun pillow that you made yourself can reinvigorate its look and make it a place to which you are eager to invite your friends.

For more tips on how to create fun decorative accessories for the living room and every part of your house, check out our blog.

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