5 Things You Need for Your Living Room Overhaul

Because I live in a studio and my living and sleeping space are one in the same, I’ve grown in appreciation for making the living room space an extension of yourself.

When my friends come over, they always gravitate towards my big blue velvet couch. It’s comfy and inviting, with clusters of throw pillows arranged under the bright bay windows. When someone walks into your space, they should have a focal point that is obvious — something that beckons “come here, sit down and stay for a while.”

Below I’ve laid out 5 things you need if you are planning on overhauling your living room space. These can also be applied if you are starting completely from scratch!

Haven’t seen my apartment checklist yet? I would love for you to check it out! It includes everything you need to furnish your very first apartment, including living room decor.

color story living room moodboard.png


Define your look with a color palette that inspires you.

The color scheme and theme that you use in your space will set the tone for how you feel when you are spending time there. Go on Pinterest and create a living room board, and start searching for pins. Check out my living rooms board for a little bit of inspiration to start you off! Once you add about 5-15 ideas on the board, you should start to sense a color theme. Do you have a lot of dark accents in your current space but you want to lighten it up? Commit to that this time around! Are you ready to add in some color? Pick tones that make you feel happy, calm, peaceful... whatever you hope to get out of your space. 

living room studio apartment style


It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together… finding the perfect pieces that fit.

Make sure you are filling the room with items that make sense in both size and shape. I was lucky that my couch fit so perfectly under my large bay windows, and that my 9x12 rug that I already owned was the perfect size for the living area, but still would reach my bed so I could get up every morning with something soft underneath my feet.

If your hand-me-down couch is too large, it’ll throw the whole room off! If the rug is too small, it’ll make the space feel awkward and makeshift. Be conscientious about the size of the furniture in your room. If you are able, take measurements when you are visiting a potential apartment. Then, when you go shopping for furnishings, bring those dimensions alongside you so you can make decisions that you won’t regret later on.

Another thing to note is the shape and style of the furniture — notice if all of your pieces have hard corners, or if they are all dark wood. You want to make sure there is some sort of variety so that the eye doesn’t get bored! On the flip side, you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the sight of too many different styles! Stick to one or two styles that you want to blend together (I chose mid-century and a little bit of boho/feminine cottage style in my space).

wall art in studio apartment


Walls weren’t made to be bare!

Wall art is hard to find when you don’t know what you’re looking for. But now that you’ve defined your color story and found your furniture, it should make it a little bit easier! If you aren’t ready to commit to a one-of-a-kind piece, check out Minted or Society6 and search by color, size and type of art (photography, painting, graphic illustration, etc.) they can also frame for you! I also love Framebridge if you have a photo that you’ve taken and want to showcase. The print above my bed is actually a photo I took in Point Reyes at the lighthouse and had framed quickly and beautifully by Framebridge.

personal mementos


Make it yours.

How would someone know this is your living space if they walked in for the first time? Photos from your travels, little trinkets you’ve collected throughout the years… these are all ways to celebrate your unique story in your space.

I like keeping my special jewelry on display (my grandmother’s wedding ring, necklaces I’ve collected at local boutiques) as well as books that have been gifted to me by my mom. Throughout my apartment, cards that I’ve received over the years also make an appearance.

By adding in touches that can’t be replaced or found anywhere else, you’re letting visitors in on the behind-the-scenes of your beautiful life!

cozy living room accents


What is a living space if it’s not cozy?

These are the things will make you and your guests want to stay for awhile! I suggest taking an audit of what you currently have, and if you aren’t IN LOVE with it, toss it, sell it or donate… and replace!

Here are the cozy essentials every living space needs:

  • Throw blankets and pillows (my fave spots are Lulu & Georgia and Anthropologie)

  • Lighting (all my lighting is from Target!)

  • Candles (you can never have too many!)

  • Coffee table books (Amazon is a great place to shop for the best deals on new & used books)