Have you ever felt something off in your living room? It could be something to do with the layout, furniture or even the knick-knacks. One of the busiest rooms at home is the living room. An important space for gatherings and recreation, living room designs necessitate the importance of looks and functionality. This balance is tricky to achieve, and a lot of mistakes occur while designing a living room. 

To prevent you from committing any grave errors, we have listed the 10 most common living room design mistakes that interior designers warn against. 

Mistake #1. A Poorly Planned Layout

A living room can meet all its purposes only with a proper layout

It is no secret that living room designs base the layout emphasising only the TV and sofa. In most homes, the sofas are pushed against the wall in front of the TV without considering the other aspects and purposes of the room. This kind of negligence is frowned upon by designers. 

Living rooms, being a place of gathering, sets a stage for the entire home. Therefore, it must be more than just the TV and sofa. 

How to fix it?

So, how do you decide on the layout? Inspect the area and decide what purposes you want it to fulfil. Add the necessary furniture, and ensure that the view of the room from all the seating furniture is good. Also, it helps to have a focal point as you can arrange your furniture around it. 

Pro tip: 

If you have a midsize or large living room, place your sofa in the middle to create symmetry and an illusion of space. For small living rooms, this might be a stretch but not impossible. Do give it a try. 

Mistake #2. Not Selecting the Right Sofa 

Invest in a sofa that looks good and endures wear and tear 

Don’t we all dream of having a sofa that’s soft, fluffy, comfortable and beautiful? Of course, it is, after all, the showstopper in the living room. But most homeowners are penny-pinching when it comes to investing in a new sofa. Reusing the old one is always welcome in terms of budget, but the chances of it ruining the room’s look are high. 

How to fix it?

You must pay attention to the size of the sofa. If it is too big, it eats up the room; too small, you are in for major inconvenience. Hence, make sure to choose a sofa according to the dimensions of the living room. The fabric and colour are also essential factors to keep in mind.

Pro tip: 

While sofas are the go-to living room furniture, don’t hesitate to explore other types of seating furniture, such as an armchair or perhaps even a comfy recliner (if you have the budget for it).

Mistake #3. Using the Wrong-Sized Rug

The size is just as important as the design of the rug

Love them or hate them, rugs are another important part of living room designs. By adding dimension to the space, they elevate the look of the room. A disproportionate rug, like the one in the living room on the left, will not only seem lost but also breaks the visual grammar of the room.    

How to fix it?

While selecting a rug, don’t pay attention only to the colour and design; consider the size too. Designers say the bigger, the better as it should be visible and hold the legs of all the furniture. 

Mistake #4. Making it too Expensive to Live in

Expensive items force you to be excessively careful

Yes, we said the look of a living room is important as it is the paragon of your house design. But don’t go overboard by filling the space with plush furniture and decor items as it can fracture the functionality. 

How to fix it?

Choose furniture and soft furnishings that can handle the wear and tear of your daily activities while looking exquisite. Remember: a room should work for you and not the other way around. 

Mistake #5. Playing Match With the Various Elements


A monotone palette can make the room dull

While harmony is a critical design principle to follow, it doesn’t mean that all the elements have to be the same colour. Avoid this most common living room design mistake. Take the living room on the right, in the above picture for example. The walls and sofa are black and white, while the green curtains and yellow accent chair adds a pop of colour, making the room visually appealing.  

How to fix it? 

Don’t think twice to experiment with different styles; eclectic is a style that is in vogue. Get inspired: We Applied 5 Different Styles to The Same Living Room


Make a statement and create your own style by mixing old and contemporary elements in your living room.

Mistake #6. Choosing an Inappropriate Coffee Table

Purchase a coffee table that is pretty and practical

If picked rightly, coffee tables can be more useful than it is actually credited for. It can be used for storage, display and even as a statement piece. The market is flooded with tables in various shapes, designs and sizes. 

How to fix it?

Don’t be hasty while purchasing one. Consider your use-case and style of the living room to find the perfect fitting coffee table. 

Mistake #7. Hanging Curtains Too Low

Low hanging curtains close in the room

Not only in living rooms, but this mistake is seen throughout some homes. Do not hang the curtains right above the window as it can make the room appear small. 

How to fix it?

The curtains should ideally be hung at least 6 inches above the window frame, which will add height and open up the space. 

Mistake #8. Not Including Artwork

Paintings, if placed correctly, can brighten up any room

A living room can look very flat with empty, plain walls. Either you get wall treatments or simply deck up the wall with your favourite pieces of art. You can never go wrong with having beautiful artwork as it adds charm to your living room.

How to fix it?

Introduce a few pieces of artwork to your living room. The wall behind the sofa is the most common spot for hanging paintings. While you can opt for the same, feel free to try out other areas in the room. But make sure that paintings are at eye level to achieve a balanced look.  

Mistake #9. Being Too Minimal

Minimal doesn’t mean bland and boring

Minimal is a beautiful look only if it is done right. The idea behind minimalism is to limit the things you have and avoid clutter. Another important aspect of minimal living room designs is to stick to a neutral colour scheme. But often, in the spirit of going minimal, homeowners make the room look bland and lifeless. 

How to fix it?

Know that it is completely alright to introduce a splash of colour, texture or print. Take a look at the living room on the right. It has a wooden back panel breaking the monotony of the white backdrop. A simple addition to your space is sufficient to nail the minimal look.

Mistake #10. Not Having Enough Lighting

Accentuate the various parts of a living room with different light fixtures

Not lighting up the room adequately is a prevalent mistake. Most homeowners opt for only one big lighting fixture in the middle of the room. It creates a pool effect and fades out the room. Therefore, interior experts suggest more than one light source to create a layered effect and accentuate different parts of the room.  

How to fix it?

Include spotlights, floor and table lamps, pendant lights etc. They are not just pretty but also practical. 

How can Livspace Help You?

Feeling dazed about these common mistakes? Worry not, Livspace experts can help you with amazing living room designs. Book a consultation and get quality and safe interiors. 

You can read about our COVID-19 safety practices here.

While you are here, check out 11 Living Room Design Ideas to Help You Design Your Space Like an Expert

Send in your comments & suggestions to editor.sg@livspace.com