When you think of the living room, what comes to mind? Probably couches, chairs, tables, and lamps. But for your space to be truly functional, lots of other things are included in that mix. So here are 50+ living room essentials you’ll want for your living room. These can help set you up properly, whether it’s your first apartment or your dream home.
Want the whole house? Check out our New House Checklist!
List of Living Room Furniture Essentials
This is one of the rooms in a house where you spend a good amount of time, so it’s important you have the essentials first. Let’s start with the big items. These furniture items should be included in virtually all living rooms:
This may seem obvious, but not everyone has a sofa or loveseat in their living room. If you plan to use this space to relax and socialize, having at least one comfortable place to sit is essential. A built-in couch will take up less space than an individually-purchased sofa or loveseat but will also be more expensive. So whether you call it a sofa, chesterfield, or couch when you have a large family, it’s a good idea to make sure this is on your new furniture list.
Here are some of the Best Couches Under $200
This is where most people will spend their time relaxing with family members after work or school – so make sure it’s comfortable and fits your personal style. Plus, it should be able to seat at least two people.
This is perfect for extra seating when entertaining and for another place to put your feet up.
This is a timeless personal choice, as a good recliner keeps you comfortable for a long time. It can take your living room furniture to the next level. It also makes watching television and relaxing after a hard day so much more worthwhile.
An accent chair is an ideal spot for reading or relaxing with your feet up – especially if you don’t have room for a recliner. Plus, accent chairs add depth to a room.
An ottoman is a great extra seat if you find yourself always hosting large groups of people, and it’s also a good storage option for blankets or other small items that might get lost in couch cushions.
Upgrade to a Storage ottoman: You’ll be surprised how much this can hold, from blankets for chilly nights to remotes that are constantly getting lost during movie time. Make it easy for guests to find these items by adding a serving tray that can be used for chips and drinks.
Side tables are great for holding lamps and other decorations. These come in handy since you can use them as an extra surface or as a place to store items that won’t fit somewhere else. Plus, they’re good places for decorating with candles and knick-knacks.
No living room essentials list is complete without coffee tables. This is another excellent place to add some warmth and personality, with different patterns and textures that bring the room together. Whether it’s just sitting on top of another surface or standing alone, this is an essential piece because it serves as a decoration and a place to hold drinks or snacks while watching TV. It also provides extra seating when needed.
An area rug is the foundation of your space, so make sure it’s something that fits with your decor style. You can also add multiple rugs for an even bigger statement.
An underlay is critical if you don’t want your rug sliding all over your hardwood floors.
Drapery panels, valances, and swags
While these are typically used in bedrooms or bathrooms, you can also use them in the living room to dress up windows and provide privacy when needed.
Curtain rods & hardware
You’ll need hardware like brackets, cord pulls, finials, and more to hang your drapery panels.
Curtains or blinds
If these aren’t already included in your decor, consider adding them to the room. Not only will it help decrease the amount of heat and cold coming into your home, but it will also provide you with privacy.
If there is no ceiling fan installed already, you will want one that functions in the summer and winter months.
Media and Entertainment
This is the place for your flat screen, as it helps with the organization and can serve as a focal point in the room. TV stands are more of a functional decoration than ever in living rooms these days.
If you don’t have a TV stand and need a little extra storage space, this will do just the trick. It’s a great spot to put family photos or other decorations on display.
Video game or media console
If you have teens in the house who play video games, this is a good investment. Not only can it hold all of their equipment, but it also has drawers for storage and charging to keep things neat and organized.
If you don’t have a Smart television, then you will need one of these to connect to your Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu account. A media console player is a must these days for being able to watch your favorite content.
For those who don’t have a streaming device, this is another option for watching basic cable. But if you’re cutting the cord, then this isn’t necessary.
It may seem unnecessary since you probably only need them for the TV and DVD player/streaming device, but having this many electronics in one room can result in losing crucial components if they’re hidden away. Keeping them all in one spot will save time and prevent your guests from getting snippy about not finding the right button.
Upgrade to a Universal Remote Control: A universal remote control is an easy way to keep these little devices in one place and control them all from a central unit.
A family that plays board games together stays together, so make sure to stock your living area with all of the classics like Monopoly®, Scrabble®, Clue®, and more to keep everyone entertained.
Whether watching TV or listening to music, having a quality sound system will make your entertaining experience that much better.
You may not have a projector, but having a collection of newer and older DVDs on hand will give you a lot of choices when it comes to providing entertainment for your family.
CDs, Amazon Prime, or Apple Music are all great options for adding to your library of songs and creating a spot for them in your living room.
If you’re more of a reader than a watcher, then having an extra bookshelf or two is another way to add some storage to the room. If there’s no room on the wall, try stacking them to make it look like a little library.
Having a designated place for phones, tablets, laptops, etc., makes it easier to keep everything in one place, which also reduces the number of cords you have to deal with.
An easy solution is a cord box for those who are constantly trying to untangle themselves from their electronics. It keeps them out of sight and within reach while also keeping things organized.
Having an extra couple of extension cords for the power strip is vital if you have many electronic devices to plug in. Some people even use USB hubs by plugging them into their TV to charge everything while watching movies.
Lighting is a crucial part of any living room. Large windows, natural light coming in are all great things, but come the evening, you will need lighting of some kind. So here are your lighting essentials for a living room.
These are good for providing task lighting near couch or chairs, but they also help to brighten up dark areas in the room. A floor lamp can create a soothing ambiance with the perfect lighting. You can even paint it to match other items in the room. You may need several of these as many old houses don’t have overhead lighting and rely upon lamps to keep a well-lit room.
The lamps should be placed on tables or counters where they can illuminate your room and entire space.
These are perfect for transforming any spot into an outdoor-like environment. Plus, they’re great for creating a romantic ambiance since they have a soft light that can be flattering. These are great living room decorations and can change the feel of the whole room.
There are various sizes and types to choose from, but having candles in different places (not just on tables) is an easy way to set the mood for any occasion.
In colder months, a fireplace can become the coziest part of your living room. But if you don’t have one, you could always invest in a faux-fireplace that will give off the same effect.
While this isn’t technically part of the actual furniture, it’s still an essential item for any room since it helps make the space look bigger and brighter. Plus, mirrors are great for checking your outfit before heading out the door or applying makeup at home. It’s also a great way to improve natural light.
Living room décor
We’ve mentioned several must-haves for any family room, den, or living room decor, but you can always find more ways to decorate a new living room. Use your unique style and color scheme to pick out some great new items. First, however you find design inspiration, apply it to your personal decorative touches around the room.
These are available in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors to match any design. You’ll want at least four for your living room. Of course, the cushions on your sofa can also be used for this purpose, but having a few extra options never hurts.
Create a cozy spot on the sofa with throw pillows that can be used for added comfort or decoration. Laying down with a cozy blanket is one of the most comforting things you can do, so make sure you have several in your living room.
Your walls will tell a story about who you are – so make sure they fit your personality by adding artwork that’s meaningful to you.
These will highlight your favorite pictures and bring life to the room. Plus, they’re a personal touch you shouldn’t forget about – no matter how small or large your space is.
Wall clock or table clock
To add a finishing touch to your living room, consider getting a clock, it will almost inevitably be the last thing you look at before heading out the door.
Coffee table books
These books will remind you of what’s going on in the world – and will also inspire conversation among guests who may pick them up and flip through them during their visit.
These are the pictures that will keep your history close by, so you can always remember your loved ones even when they’re not there to celebrate with you.
If you don’t have a specific theme for your living room, consider getting artwork that can tie it all together and make it look like one big masterpiece. You can go minimalist or do a whole gallery wall (my preference) and show off all of your best moments to your guests.
Whether you’re into prints, frames, or just nice paint colors, the decor in your living room will help reflect your personal style. You can also use pictures that family members have taken as a way to display favorite memories.
Baskets and Trunks
An important factor with all of these living room essentials is how to store them without looking messy. Baskets and trunks are known for their ability to store items – so they can keep your living room organized. While the trunks provide extra seating addition, baskets are great for storing games, controllers, and throws.
Hutch or cabinet
Since these come with many shelves and cabinets, they’re ideal if you need more storage space in your living room.
Having an extra coaster or two out for parties and family gatherings is nice; you should also make sure to have some on hand for everyday use as well.
Folding Table & Chairs
While it’s not always practical or possible to have a dining room, you can still host dinner parties by bringing in an extra table and adding a few folding chairs to your living room. Plus, you can store them away when they’re not in use.
If you eat in front of the television, then having a set of TV tables is a great thing to make eating easier.
You’re going to have trash from time to time, so make sure you have one that’s accessible and visible enough for guests but not taking up too much space.
Living Room Essentials Checklist
Once you have gone through our essentials for living room checklist, you will want to make sure you have all the items before you start arranging them. Make sure to download our whole checklist, simply enter your email in the box below.