The living room is one of the most exciting areas to decorate when you move into a new apartment. It's where friends and family will come together and where you'll likely spend the bulk of your time when you're at home. Browsing apartment living room ideas can help you find inspiration to design a welcoming and inviting space in your home. Whether you pick one to recreate or pull simple ideas from several images, basing your seating area on a professional design makes the process much easier. And we’re happy to help. We’ve highlighted our favorite apartment living room ideas and tips below. And for those working with limited square footage, our list includes plenty of small apartment living room ideas too!
Simple layouts make decorating apartment living rooms much easier. Here, we see a neutral-toned sofa and a simple accent chair with a small, easy-to-move end table. This is all you need to create a space to relax and catch up with friends and family, and it’s a setup that can fit in almost any square footage. Notice how the medium-sized rug is positioned in the center of the seating arrangement with the front two legs of the furniture on it to provide an anchor point.
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If you’re searching for small apartment living room ideas, this beautiful space is worth considering as inspiration. The area rug creates a grounded foundation for the sofa and accent chair, and everything in the room is color-coordinated around it. Try picking a rug with a color palette that you love and decorating around it. Here, the artwork, throw pillows, sofa, and lighting use earthy tones found in the area rug to create a cohesive look.
This beautiful living room is relatively simple, with its area rug, sofa, end table, and bookcase. But thanks to the uniquely shaped bookcase and the geometric, textured styling of the area rug, it looks anything but typical. Instead, it stands out with a whimsical appeal. Notice how the color palette on the rug sets the tone of the rest of the space with shades of cream, grey, blue, green, and brown. Recreate this look in your space by picking decor with fun shapes, patterns, and colorways while sticking to a cohesive palette.
Fun colors in the rug, soothing blue accents on the sofa, and an eye-catching wall hanging over the office desk make this apartment living room instantly uplifting. We love the approach to shared space that this furniture setup takes, with the small desk against the open wall and the sofa in the center of the room. And the medium-sized colorful rug adds both texture and visual appeal to the space without taking up too much room. Notice how the room’s palette is primarily earthy neutrals with a touch of blue, but the multicolored rug makes the whole space feel bright and cheerful.
Houseplants have a reputation for making apartments of all sizes more livable, and with good reason. They add depth, dimension, and natural colors like this gold area rug to enhance your space, no matter what colors you get stuck with in your apartment. In addition, spending time around plants is proven to help you relax and even improve yourself, and who could argue with that? Here, the rest of the decor is in natural and neutral tones, setting a soothing and welcoming vibe in this little reading spot.
Hanging artwork above the sofa is an excellent way to direct the gaze throughout your living room. This nature-inspired space makes great use of a landscape wall hanging, large potted plant, and earthy neutral color palette. The textured neutral rug anchors the furniture and grounds the space, while the sofa and accent chair help create a relaxing, welcoming vibe. In addition, we love the stone-textured side table and the wooden stool that’s serving as another table at the side—natural textures like these can add a rustic vibe to any room.
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This open entryway might be small, but it has everything you need for an effective and organized drop zone. The tall cabinet provides storage that you can use for both entryway and living room items, plus space to put your keys, wallet, phone, and other daily items. Notice the mirror hanging above the cabinet—perfect for checking your appearance on the way out—and the hooks to the side for hats, bags, or coats. We love the small-yet-cozy seat and the greenery around the entryway to set a welcoming atmosphere for the rest of the home.
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Apartment living rooms often need to pull double duty and offer a home office space as well. Thankfully, you don’t need a ton of square footage to pull off a soothing living room office combo. Here, we see a small desk and simple office chair positioned on an open wall by the window in this apartment living room. We love the decal on the wall above the desk and the hanging wall decorations around it. And don't forget the convenient side table, which gives you somewhere to set your drinks without putting your tech at risk.
Textures can elevate your living room design from drab to fab, and this living room is an excellent example of its decorating power. The velvet sofa might be the most eye-catching piece, but the chic textured area rug ties the space together, creating visual interest with geometric shapes and a modern, linear design. Notice how the mirror behind the sofa continues the theme of rounded corners created by the sofa and contemporary table. And don't forget the beautiful floor lamps and the house plant that frames either side of the sofa, completing the look and adding even more texture.
If you move around a lot or just want to design the perfect lounge spot for streaming, a sectional could be the ideal fit. Modular sectional sofas can transform depending on your living room's layout. And if you get a rug in a size that fits your sectional, you'll have a perfect living room layout in any apartment, no matter the floorplan. Here, the vintage-inspired area rug adds depth and dimension to the space, while the throw pillow arrangement makes it more inviting. Neutral colors like this often work best for renters because they go with any color palette you might encounter.
Here’s another apartment living room that doubles as a home office. In our post-COVID society, multi-use spaces like this are in higher demand than ever before. This layout features a convenient built-in desk, but you could recreate the same look with a small office desk in the corner or along an unused wall. We love the repurposed fireplace spot here, with a TV on the mantle and books stored where the fireplace used to sit. And don’t forget the subtle area rug, grounding the area and adding soothing color to the palette.
You can't always choose the color palettes, and design elements in an apartment, so many renters opt for neutral themes to ensure a match no matter what your space looks like. But that doesn’t mean your palette or decor needs to be boring. Here, we see contrast created with an all-neutral palette that ranges from black to white with soft, earthy tones in between. The multiple textures in this living room include the brick-style floor cloth, leather sofa, glass tabletop, faux fur and cotton pillows, cozy throw blanket, and sheer curtains. Try a high-contrast neutral palette with a range of textures to recreate this look.
When you’re working with limited square footage, you’ll need to maximize your space to get the most out of your apartment. Here, we see a narrow living room reading area with two eye-catching accent chairs and a sizable bookcase. The small to medium sized area rug adds texture, contrast, and style while grounding the seating arrangement. We love the use of art on the walls and the floor lamp to keep things bring.
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With plenty of greenery and a soothing neutral-based palette, this living room arrangement looks sophisticated and welcoming. It features subtle hints of blue in the decor, with the accents on the shelf and the throw on the sofa, to add a soothing aspect to the neutral palette. And don’t forget the hint of dark brown from the vase, which gives the eyes a space to rest. Our favorite part is the large vintage rug, which adds beautiful texture and style to the living room while anchoring the versatile furniture.
This apartment living room relies on a large rug in the center of the space to ground and anchor the furniture while adding eye-catching texture. The colorful palette includes cheerful yellows, oranges, reds, and blues in soft, modern hues. And the potted plants add greenery to give the living room more depth and life. You can capture a similar look with a large, textured area rug in a neutral color and a bright palette for your accents and furniture. Finally, notice the touches of black in the space that give the eye a place to rest despite the otherwise bright palette.
This small apartment living room is an excellent example of using your resources to capture the best design possible. For example, the sheer curtains are hung higher and wider than the windows, making them appear larger while giving the room added depth to create the illusion of extra square footage. And the poufs make the space multifunctional because they can serve as footrests, seats, or end tables with no adjustment necessary.
This apartment could be anywhere, but the combination of sandy and aqua tones creates a subtle coastal vibe that makes the space feel fun. The area rug is just large enough to anchor the sofa and accent chairs, perfect for making sure your set will fit in any floorplan. And the aqua accent in the corner offers a consistent color for the backdrop. You can use room dividers to create apartment-friendly “accent walls” or even to create privacy by blocking a poorly-placed window.
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If you think apartment decor can’t capture classic elegance, think again. All you need is a sophisticated area rug to anchor a few pieces of classic furniture. Here, the sofa and ottoman introduce an inviting texture to the space, while the end table adds versatility with timeless appeal. And the rug pulls it all together in a lustrous elegance. You can capture something similar in any apartment with just a rug, sofa, ottoman, and side table.
Light, neutral palettes create an instantly chic space, and they're sure to go with any apartment, regardless of existing colors. Here, we see a modular sofa that allows you to move the ottoman chaise to either side, depending on the layout of your living room. The simple yet functional coffee table is home to a beautiful, rustic vase of cotton branches that fit with the palette of the rest of the space. We love the eye-catching artwork on the wall and how the light plays gently through the semi-sheer curtains. And don’t forget the soft shag rug grounding the whole seating arrangement—it adds texture and makes the living room feel instantly inviting.
The contemporary apartment living room features comfy seating, an eye-catching texture drug, and a lovely color palette. The red-orange lamp and accent chair create vibrant pops of color to keep things interesting, as does the platform sofa with its built-in side tables. Our favorite part is the grey fabric behind the sofa, though—it’s covering up an unused fireplace while creating an accent wall that won’t violate your renter’s agreement!
With so many apartment living room ideas to choose from, it’s time to pick your favorite(s) and start designing your living room. Whether you’ve just moved in or you’re ready for a change, deciding how to decorate your space is often the most challenging part. And if you haven’t found the right inspiration, head over to our collection of living room area rugs for thousands of additional images to peruse. You won’t be disappointed!
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