Living Room Decorating Checklist

Decorating your house can be a pretty time-consuming project. Choosing wall colors, furniture, flooring, lighting, and accessories can take a lot of time, money, and legwork. I know because I’ve been working on our living room. I’ve got the basic parts done and now I’m working on the finishing touches.

Living Room Decorating Checklist

Whether you’re starting a decorating project or stuck in the middle, I’ve got a checklist to help you simplify and organize your decorating projects. This checklist is for your family or living room, which happens to be one of the most important rooms in your house.



  • Buy a folder or binder to use for collecting decorating ideas.
  • Look through books, magazines, and online websites.
  • Collect pictures of anything and everything that catches your eye. This includes color schemes, fabrics, prints, specific furniture and decor pieces, and pictures of rooms that you like.



  • Color scheme – main colors and accent colors. Decide where and how you want to incorporate your colors.
  • Furniture. Decide how many pieces, what type, and what fabric you prefer.
  • Lighting. Figure out what type of lighting you’ll need, depending on how the room will be used. If possible, use lights that can be dimmed or use 3-way bulbs.
  • Window treatments. Decide what styles, colors, and fabrics you like.
  • Floor – hardwood, carpet, and/or rugs. Decide what type of flooring and what colors you like.
  • Wall decor and pictures. Decide how many and what type of wall decor you want to add to the room.
  • Accessories, pillows, nic nacs. Be specific in what types of accessories you want to add to complete the room.


Start with the basics and move on from there. I’m not a professional interior designer, but this is the way I’m simplifying and organizing my decorating process.

  1. Paint the walls.
  2. Add flooring, if necessary, such as hardwood floors, carpet, or area rug. 
  3. Window treatments
  4. Furniture
  5. Lamps
  6. Pillows for sofa, loveseat, accent chairs
  7. Wall decor and pictures
  8. Accessories, such as nic nacs on fireplace mantel, coffee table, and end tables


  1. When choosing paint colors, don’t depend on tiny paint chips from the store. Buy two or three paint samples, a poster board or paint testing kit, and then test a few of your choices. Move them around to different parts of the room and test in different lighting and different times of the day. Paint color is a very important decision!
  2. Before buying expensive furniture, measure your room size, the size of the old furniture, and then measure any furniture you’re considering before buying. Before buying, go home and measure out the room again with the measurements of the new furniture to make sure it will fit. Make sure it will be in proportion to the room. If the store will let you, take fabric swatches home and hold them up against your wall color.
  3. When picking out an area rug, measure the actual spot in the room where you want the rug to be. Keep in mind that you’ll want a few inches to go slightly under the furniture.
  4. When buying lamps, make sure they are the right proportion for your side tables. You don’t want tiny lamps on big tables or tall skinny lamps on small round tables. Proportion is the key!
  5. When buying pillows, think of these as an opportunity to add pops of color. You can easily have neutrals in the room and use your pillows to add accent colors. These can later be changed to update your room.
  6. When picking out a picture to go over fireplace, check measurements at home before going out to buy something. Also, check the lighting over the fireplace. I learned this the hard way. A stone fireplace, like mine, doesn’t work very well with pictures that have a dark background. It blends in with the stone and doesn’t look good. So, check measurements, lighting, and the background color.
  7. Pick accessories that go with the style of the room. For instance, if the living room is casual, don’t go for crystal candlesticks. When possible, go for accessories that are also functional, such as a decorative box to put remote controls in.
  8. The most important tip of all is to make this room comfortable for your family. What good is a room that can’t be used? Now, I have to confess, since I got my new living room furniture, I’ve been following my cat every time she goes in the room, for fear that she’ll start scratching the furniture. It’s a big investment! So, I’m still struggling with this myself. Maybe it just takes a little time for the newness to wear off.


I hope this checklist helps you to simplify your decorating projects that you’re working on now or in the future. Just go through the process and take your time to get it right. But most of all, I hope you’ll make it a room with all the things you love and make you happy! That’s a successfully decorated room! 

I would love to hear about your decorating projects! Please let me know in the comments below!

Till next time, have a wonderful day!


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