There’s a lot that goes into properly decorating your living room. Not only do you need big-ticket items like couches and coffee tables, but you’ll also be looking for more personal touches like rugs and wall art to give the space warmth and comfort. To help us find the best-designed pieces (that aren’t overly expensive), we turned to interior designers for their go-to’s and, with their guidance, selected a few picks of our own. And if you’re looking for lamps, we’ve got you covered with some of our favorites.
Here’s a Mid-century modern-inspired sofa, recommended by Modsy stylist Tara Smith that can be customized in a variety of configurations: “It’s also offered in an apartment size for the those tight on space (but who still want quality furniture).”
Or try it in a Santiago Caramel leather. “I love this item for almost any modern and minimal style,” says Karina Lameraner, senior stylist at Modsy. “It will last forever and develop a nice patina as it gets used over the years.”
We also like this streamlined leather option from Houzz, which is made from aniline leather with a natural wood base.
Andrea Kim, stylist manager at Modsy, recommends this simple sofa from Interior Define: “It’s a really versatile, sturdy sofa, perfectly sized for any apartment or studio, with plenty of cushy seating.”
Lameraner also likes Interior Define’s Maxwell sofa: “This sofa is extremely versatile within more classic and rustic styles. It’s got great depth that really allows you to sink in and get cozy without feeling like you have a giant monstrosity of a sofa in your home.” The Maxwell was also recommended by Shelby Girard, a Havenly interior designer: “The Maxwell is a personal favorite because it comes in an apartment-appropriate length, but it’s extra deep — perfect for curling up and watching Netflix.”
“If you’re a mod customer and are in need of extra storage, this is a great option,” according to Lameraner. The seat cushions lift up for extra space to store toys and blankets.
“I’m obsessed with Industry West,” says interior designer Dani Arps. “They have an amazing selection from boutique vendors around the world and their prices are very reasonable.” She recommends this Scandinavian-inspired sofa with a European white oak frame and leather cushions.
Here’s another Mid-century-inspired design with fabric cushions for a lot less (at well under $1,000).
Kim also likes Joybird’s Ainsley: “Here’s a well crafted modern-minimalist piece that goes well with almost any style.”
Kim recommends this swooping sofa from CB2, too: “A true statement stunner. Its curvilinear shape and tapered stainless steel legs give it a modern, elegant feel.”
Homepolish designer Amanda Sacy recommends this on-trend millennial pink velvet sofa from Anthropologie. “The chic curves nod to old Hollywood glamor, and the customizable color options adds a pop to the living room,” says Sacy. “Vera is versatile — she can be dressed up to fit more formal décor or transition to a more casual setting.”
Smith also likes this Crate and Barrel model. “This may be one of the most versatile sofas,” she says. “I’ve used it for just about every type of style, and it can cross over between formal and casual depending on what you pair it with.”
Larisa Barton is also a fan of Interior Define’s couches. Her top choice is the Jasper, a sectional that comes in a variety of configurations and sizes, with three wood finishes for its base. “For people afraid of a sectional being overwhelming, it is perfect,” says Barton.
“I recently used TRNK’s Truss Sofa in Clavicle for a project on the Lower East Side,” says Homepolish’s Ashlie Broderic. “It is gorgeous and perfectly scaled for an apartment. The unique blackened steel legs lift of off the ground and keep it feeling light and airy. The fabric is commercial grade, so even though it is twice as expensive as something you would purchase at West Elm, it will last twice as long.” Truss is TRNK’s first exclusive, in-house designed collection, and each piece is made-to-order in the U.S.
According to Lameraner, “Acrylic is your best friend if you live in a smaller space.” She suggests CB2’s acrylic coffee table. “It will open up the space while still adding an extra surface.”
For more Mid-century-inspired design, Homepolish designer Liz Lipkin recommends the Table table from Design House Stockholm, which she likes “for its clean Scandinavian design — low profile, solid oak legs, lacquered steel top — but it’s also versatile and hardworking when needed.” The tabletop is actually a removable tray and comes in two colors — great for transporting drinks from the kitchen or holding a plant or a stack of books, according to Lipkin.
For another simple, Scandinavian-design inspired option, we like this two-tiered wooden table — and its price.
Elyza Brillantes of Havenly recommends this round, smoked-glass coffee table as a good option for tight spaces. “I love that this can be styled with coffee-table books on the lower shelf that can be seen through the tabletop,” she says.
“This one checks a lot of style boxes,” according to Smith. “It’s sophisticated, minimal, glam, modern, elegant, and industrial.”
Another small-space rec from Lameraner: “This coffee table adds a bit of storage and is great for smaller spaces.”
An ottoman is a great alternative to a coffee table, and does double duty, like this one recommended by Modsy’s Kim: “The velvet finish on this one gives it a subtle touch of glam.”
Or go for a leather ottoman, which Homepolish designer Tali Roth recommends: “It’s a great way to get leather into your space,” she says.
Kim also prefers another of Dash and Albert’s jute woven rugs, which she says is “a sturdy, durable eco-friendly rug that’s perfect for high-traffic areas.”
White Arrow’s Keren Richter likes these clever rugs by Brooklyn-based design company Pieces. Try this area rug inspired by tennis courts.
We love the floral designs on this hand-tufted rug, which is made from 100 percent wool, for an entryway or a small office.
According to Roth, West Elm is a great source for affordable rugs. “I love their Lucent line, as each rug has a little shine to it,” says Roth. “I am pining after this Olive rug at the moment to be paired with grays, leathers, and black accents.”
For something that feels vintage but at a reasonable price point, Girard recommends Loloi’s Loren collection: “It comes in a few colorways and sizes and is very versatile.”
According to Smith, “With its chunky texture and natural feel, this is one of those basics that works in every space and is especially great to layer with other rugs.”
“The simplicity of this console is great for apartments and smaller spaces,” says Havenly designer Lauren Cox. “Home Depot has a lot of hidden gems when it comes to furniture and décor.”
Smith’s choice is this minimal piece from CB2: “The lines may be simple but it can give you that finishing touch your space needs. It comes in a few different sizes and finishes and the simplicity of the frame means you can pair it with just about any style.”
And another metallic console that would fit right into any modern interior — with the added bonus of an extra shelf.
Barton likes to pair Ikea Besta frames with doors and hardware from Semihandmade: “You can have a custom built-in at a fraction of the cost.”
Kim recommends this multi-functional unit that is “perfect for any entryway, living, or dining room.”
“This console not only gives you a surface to display pretty things but also provides ample storage,” says Smith, “while the slim and elegant tapered legs keep the piece from feeling too heavy or overwhelming.”
Broderic’s choice is West Elm’s Tete-A-Tete chair: “It is small, affordable, and covered in a great cobalt blue velvet.” Arrange two of them together to create a sofa or to use as standalone pieces.
We like the Zanetta armchair for its clean lines and slate gray color — as well as for its gold-finished legs.
Richter loves this sculptural armchair in Havana velvet, while Broderic prefers the Arc in houndstooth, which is “classic while feeling playful and unexpected.”
“Big, bold, painterly strokes are on mega-trend, right now,” says Lameraner. “Here’s an affordable option that comes in a series that can be displayed all together or throughout your home.”
Or try this watercolor-y piece, recommended by Kim: “Soft abstract shapes and tranquil blues give this piece a serene feel.”
Sacy loves this large-scale abstract painting by Soicher Marin: “The eye-catching greens add life and interest to the room and transcend all different types of styles.”
Brillantes loves wall murals from DenyDesigns, especially this one made up of nine 16-inch squares. “The selection of prints and designs is basically limitless. It’s a great way to cover a large empty wall, above a sofa for example, at a lower price point,” she says.
Don’t underestimate the power of a round mirror. This particular one comes recommended by Kim for its asymmetric brass accent, “which gives it a unique touch.”
Or go with this larger one picked by Smith — “for that final touch to create an Insta-worthy design.”
For something a little more French-château-in-the-countryside, try this faux gilded mirror above a mantel or a velvet sofa.
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