Unique Living Room Design Ideas

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When it comes to decorating a living room, some people love classic traditional furniture, or perhaps a cozy country or sleek modern theme. Others, however, want to find the most unusual furniture they can, to create a living room like no other. If you fall into this group, you don't have to be a millionaire or a carpenter to fill your living room with one-of-a-kind pieces. You may be surprised how easy it is to find, build or adapt attractive and unique living room furniture.

Out of the Ordinary Seating Options

Every living room needs a place for you, your family and your guests to sit and relax. Here are some ways to design the most unique living room seating in your neighborhood:

  • Change the fabric: The simplest way to change the look of your couches and chairs is with fabric. You can choose colors, patterns and textures to match your wildest vision. If you're skilled at sewing, reupholster cushions on your own; otherwise you can find a professional to do this for you. A less complicated option is to create custom slipcovers for your furniture. Don't forget unusual throw pillows. They will go a long way toward changing the look of your seating instantly.
  • Refinish: If your chairs and couches have lots of exposed wood, metal or wicker, you can paint or refinish them to design the look you want.

For the very creative and ambitious, offbeat living room seating can be built with almost any materials. A steamer trunk with cushions becomes a bench. Even the back seat of a junked car can become an interesting couch. Imaginative people have built couches and chairs from the most unexpected things including:

  • Bathtubs
  • Coffins
  • Foam blocks
  • Foam noodles
  • Oriental rugs.
Ready for Planting Finished Product


Special Living Room Tables

You don't have to settle for ordinary coffee and end tables in your living room. The tables you have can be easily adapted to become your own creations by refinishing or repainting. Wood finishes are available that will make your tables look like they were made from an entirely different type of wood. Or choose a paint to match any color scheme. For a very bold statement, you might want to try a metallic or sparkly finish.

Tabletops will become works of unique art with a little imagination and effort. Some nice options for tabletops include:

  • Decoupage
  • Mosaic tile
  • Photo collage under glass
  • Stencils and paint.

If you're looking to make your own complete table, you might want to try designing one out of other items including:

  • Industrial spools
  • Ottomans
  • Trunks
  • Wooden boxes or crates.

Your original table can be finished or painted to fit in with your décor. You can then leave it as is, drape with a decorative cloth or cover with a piece of glass or pretty tray.

Creative Storage Possibilities

To complete your living room, you'll need space for your books, nick-knacks and entertainment equipment. As with your other furniture, refinishing what you have is the easiest way to make your shelving and cabinets unique. If you'd like to build your own pieces, you may also want to explore some of these possibilities:

  • Bricks and boards: With everyday bricks and well-finished boards, you can design a beautiful custom bookcase with no nails or glue. Build up, out or wrap your design around a corner. You can also use construction stones with flat edges/right angles for this type of bookcase. Glass shelving is another option, however, it will only work to store and display lighter items.
  • Crates: Stack wooden crates any way you'd like to store books, collectibles and entertainment equipment.
  • Magnets: Mount a strip of magnetic material to your wall and glue strong magnets to the bottoms of boxes in various shapes and colors. Stick them to the strip and store books or collectibles in the hanging, open boxes.
  • Tubing: Cut large tubing, stack and glue to create unusual, modern shelves.

Remember, you don't have to just build your shelves into squares and rectangles. You can combine shelving and seating by hollowing out a reading nook in a sturdy bookshelf, experimenting with different shapes or just hanging everything on a diagonal for a stylish, diamond shaped look.

International Furniture Options

Perhaps you'd like to share your ethnic heritage or maybe you just have fond memories of a favorite travel destination. In any case, international style furniture will make your living room an exotic retreat. Some beautiful and dramatic choices include original pieces from Africa, Asia or India.

Offbeat Designer Pieces

If your budget permits, and you want to make a very bold statement, you may want to invest in a truly unusual designer piece of furniture for your living room. Artists have designed couches that look like anything from a splashing drop of milk to a large wild animal. You can find designer pieces sculpted from every material imaginable and some that even light up from within.

Your Unique Living Room

Choosing, building or adapting unique living room furniture can help you design a room that is the only one of its kind. No matter what your skills and budget, you can create a space that allows you to express yourself and brings enjoyment to everyone who visits.

Last Updated: January 18, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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