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New House Checklist: Living Room Essentials for Your New Home

by Jane K on April 9, 2021

Marin Sofa Living Room Essentials Checklist

What could be more exciting than furnishing your brand-new home? In today’s interior design blog, the furniture experts at Star Furniture provide you with a new house checklist, which covers the living room essentials you’ll need to design the home of your dreams! 

Living Room Essential # 1: Seating 

(Pictured Above: Carmen Living Room Furniture

When it comes to decorating a living room, seating is perhaps the most important factor. Many of us use our living room as the place where we spend most of our waking hours at home, so choosing the right seating can make all the difference. While you don’t necessarily need all the seating options listed below, each one serves a unique purpose, so you’ll want to thoughtfully consider all your living room seating options. 

Sectionals, Sofas, & Loveseats

Sofas are often the first thing people think of when considering which living room essentials they’ll need in their home. When it comes down to it, barring any space constraints, sofas are the main feature of most living rooms. That said, there are still a wide range of sofa types, styles, and sizes, to choose from. 

Because sofas are often the biggest ticket item in your living room, we recommend choosing the sofa first and coordinating the rest of the furniture with whatever sofa you choose. In addition to accounting for the size of the room and the style of your décor, you’ll also want to consider how you plan to use your living room, as that might impact the type of sofa you choose. 

If you have a large family or frequently invite guests over, for example, a sectional sofa might be right for you. If you like to be up on the latest technology or have mobility issues, a power reclining sofa might be better-suited to your needs. Loveseats work great when decorating small living rooms, and sleeper sofas are perfect for people who don’t have the space for a guest room, but may still entertain overnight guests throughout the year. 

You’ll also want to consider upholstery when choosing a sofa. This will influence the texture of the room and can impact the amount of maintenance your couch may need in the future. A couch with microfiber or leather upholstery, for example, might work especially well for people with small kids or pets.  

Recliners & Accent Chairs

While a sofa is likely the first item on your living room essentials checklist, additional seating can come in handy when decorating a living room, especially if you have a large family or like to regularly have guests over. Recliners and accent chairs offer distinct purposes and can be used as additional seating in your living room. 

While we often associate recliners with older relatives and outdated homes, recent furniture technology and design has created a wide range of modern recliners that look great and provide the comfort you’ve come to expect from a recliner. While recliners work great for anyone with mobility issues, many smart recliners now feature power reclining and massage technology for added comfort and convenience. 

Accent chairs, on the other hand, are all about style. While they obviously serve a practical function, they can also complement the décor, add to the color scheme, provide a focal point, or offer contrast within the room. Think of accent chairs as a stylistic element that can make your living room pop, while also offering you the additional seating you need. 

Living Room Essential # 2: Living Room Tables

Rio Vista Living Room Tables

(Pictured Above: Rio Vista Living Room Tables

Different types of living room tables serve different functions, but they can all go a long way toward creating a functional and stylish living room for your new home. While you don’t necessarily need all the living room table types listed below, learning more about each type can help you determine which ones will work best in your new home. 

Coffee Tables / Cocktail Tables

Coffee tables hold a high position on the living room essentials checklist. Not only do coffee tables and cocktail tables serve a practical purpose, but they also hold a prominent spot in many people’s living room furniture arrangement. Before choosing a coffee or cocktail table, you’ll need to consider the type, style, and size of your potential table. You’ll also want to consider any functionality needs you’re trying to meet. 

Lift-top coffee tables, for example, work great for individuals who like to eat or work in front of the television. Storage coffee tables, on the other hand, are essential for people who need additional living room storage to avoid clutter. There’s also a variety of shapes, styles, sizes, and materials to choose from based on your individual taste and needs, so whether you choose a modern rectangular coffee table or a traditional oval coffee table, you’ll find it can make a big difference in the look and feel of your living room. 

End Tables

Like coffee tables, end tables serve both a practical and aesthetic purpose. Placing them on either side of the couch, for example, can add symmetry to the room, while also making it easy for people to comfortably hold their drinks, reading material, phones, or any other item they’d like to keep close by. 

When choosing the right end table for your living room, you’ll want to pay special attention to the table’s height. Ideally, end tables should be equal to or just below the arm of the seat it’s next to, which is just another reason that it makes sense to purchase a sofa before the other living room furniture. Having a side table at the right height not only creates a nice visual flow within your living room, but it also makes it easier to comfortably reach items on the table. 

Accent Tables

Accent tables, like accent chairs, prioritize style over function. In fact, your coffee table, end table, or console table could all function as an accent table in your room, depending on how you use them. When choosing accent tables, you’ll want to consider how the table complements the room, either by offering contrast, bringing out a color scheme, or serving as the focal point in the room. While style is imperative when choosing an accent table, that doesn’t mean you should ignore function. Make sure any accent table you choose also serves a practical purpose, whether it be storage or display, and pay special attention to the way the different pieces of furniture in your living room work together to create a cohesive space. 

Living Room Essential #3: TV Stands & Media Consoles

Addison Entertainment Console

(Pictured Above: Addison Entertainment Console

While some people have transitioned to hanging their televisions, TV stands and media consoles are still a great way to keep all your electronics together. When choosing a TV stand or media console, pay special attention to your specific needs. If you’re looking to display a television and organize electronics and accessories like DVDs, a media console might be right for you, as they feature plenty of storage and display options. TV stands, on the other hand, are more minimalist and streamlined in design, and work well with televisions and a few other accessories, including game consoles, cable boxes, and DVD players. Remember, you should match your media console or TV stand with the size of your television for best results. 

Living Room Essentials #4: Living Room Lighting

Mason Floor Lamp - Living Room Lighting

(Pictured Above: Mason Floor Lamp

Unless your living room completely lacks overhead lighting, adding more lighting might not be first on your living room essentials checklist. That said, table lamps and floor lamps can make a huge difference in how your living room looks and feels. Not only do they serve a practical purpose as task lighting if you plan to read or do work in the living room, but table lamps, floor lamps, and other accent lighting can help you better control the style and ambiance of a room. Better lighting can also make a room feel more spacious, which is especially helpful if you’re decorating a small living room. 

Living Room Essentials #5: Living Room Décor 

Avezzano II Abstract Wall Art

(Pictured Above: Avezzano II Wall Art

When it comes to home décor, there are plenty of living room essentials you’ll need for your new home. Whether it’s a rug to tie the room together, curated art groupings to showcase your unique style and personality, or bar carts and cabinets to take your entertaining to the next level, your living room décor should make a statement. Here are just some of the ways you can use home décor to create a cozy, stylish living room you’ll love spending time in. 

Area Rugs

Area rugs serve numerous functional and stylistic purposes. When it comes to style, rugs can brighten a dark room, incorporate new colors into your color scheme, create visual contrast, add texture, and help anchor the room. Practically speaking, living room rugs can help keep furniture in place, prevent echoes, trap dust, protect wood flooring, and keep your feet warm in the winter. With so many stylistic and functional perks, it’s hard to imagine why you’d opt not to have an area rug. Need help choosing the right size area rug for your living room? The interior design experts at Star Furniture can help! Want a little extra cushion and support for your rug? Don’t forget to pair your rug with a rug pad. Not only do they offer extra padding, but they also add extra protection for your rugs and the floor beneath them. 

Wall Art 

Think of the empty walls in your new home as a blank slate for you to showcase your style and personality. You can use wall art in a variety of different ways, all of which will have a unique effect on your living room. 

Using wall art as a statement piece is one way to decorate the walls in your home. Whether it’s a stunning hanging textile, a large piece of wall art, or a few coordinating wall art pieces arranged artfully on the wall, adding a statement piece to your wall is a great way to add visual interest to your living room.

Alternatively, you can use art groupings to create a gallery wall that showcases your taste. If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to choose a theme and/or a color scheme for the wall, being careful to choose complementary sizes, colors, and content when making your arrangements. 

Bar Carts & Cabinets 

We’re all looking forward to when we can start regularly entertaining guests again, and bar carts and bar cabinets highlight that desire for things to get back to normal. In addition to serving a practical purpose, bar carts can add a level of style and sophistication to your living room. Plus, they can free up kitchen storage space and counter space, which might otherwise be used to store liquor and make cocktails. Finding the perfect bar cart or bar cabinet for your living room can help your home feel more grown-up, stylish, and cosmopolitan.

Throw Pillows

While throw pillows might seem like a small flourish, they can go a long way toward making your home feel cozy and stylish. In practice, throw pillows offer additional comfort and support, while also giving you the opportunity to highlight or contrast certain colors and textures in the room. In general, we recommend buying some throw pillows for every season and swapping them out throughout the year. Not only will this keep you from getting sick of the look and feel of your room, but it’s an affordable and easy way to celebrate different holidays and seasons with your home décor. 

Ready to start marking things off your new house checklist? Visit a Star Furniture & Mattress store near you to browse our huge selection of living room furniture. In the meantime, check out our interior design blog, where we cover everything from how to decorate your home on a budget to the top 10 interior design mistakes and how to avoid them

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