Whether your living room is big or small, keep these tips in mind.

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Bright living room
Credit: Francesco Lagnese

1 Pick Elements That Speak to One Another

The best way to give a room good flow is to choose pieces that coordinate in some way without being matchy-matchy, says Shea McGee of Studio McGee in Salt Lake City. “If you have a wood coffee table, add a wooden tray on the console, or choose a sofa pillow with one color that’s similar to a shade in the rug.”

2 Vary the Shapes

If you have mostly squarish pieces in a room, it can feel one-note, says Amber Lewis of Amber Interiors in Los Angeles. Sprinkle in some softer or rounded accents— an end table, a lamp, an ottoman, a glazed ceramic objet—to offset the other elements.

3 Layer Your Lighting

“People think if there are overheads in the living room they’re set with lighting, but that’s never enough,” says McGee. “A good rule of thumb is to add at least one floor lamp and one table lamp to brighten up the space and make it functional for reading.”

4 You Can’t Go Wrong With a Pair of Poufs

“Low seating is my go-to,” says McGee. “I put poufs, stools, or ottomans in every living space because they’re so easy to move around for wherever you need seating at any moment.”