Source: What are the things to be kept in mind while buying living room furniture? – Quora by Carolyn Cho

My tips for furnishing a room with focus and style:

Take your time.
Many people furnishing their space rush to “fill” the room without thinking about how they use the space first. Take some time to really live in your living room (literally) and watch how you use the space. Is it a place for lounging? Working?  How you spend your time in your living room will dictate which pieces of furniture are most appropriate for the room.

Work with the room, not against it.
Look at the constraints of the space and plan accordingly. For instance, a small living room is no place for a giant sectional.

Measure, measure, measure.
The old adage states measure twice, cut once. The same could be applied to the process of furniture buying. Measure your space carefully before making a furniture purchase. It consistently amazes me how few people do this, and as a result, how many “too big/too small” pieces later end up on Craigslist.

If your budget allows, consider built-ins.
Custom built-in units, while expensive, offer tremendous storage capacity with much less of a space footprint than furniture such as bookcases, armoires or chests. If your budget allows, consider having shelving and drawers built right into the wall.

Troll design blogs and shelter magazines for inspiration.
Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy, Remodelista and a host of other great sites and magazines offer a wealth of inspiration for smart, creative interior design. Examine the home tours of these sites and mags, with a focus on the living rooms. See which ideas you can adapt for your own living room.

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the right mix.
Try experimenting with different pieces of furniture in different arrangements, and keep arranging until the positioning feels right. Don’t be afraid to pieces from different eras in different styles.

For inspiration, some pretty living rooms:

Some suggested sources for furniture purchases:

  • Craigslist (when budget is a factor, and there are some real gems that pop up)
  • 1st dibs (when budget is no factor)
  • West Elm (modern, on-trend, affordable furniture)
  • CB2 (ditto)
  • eBay (for great vintage rugs, pillows and textiles)
  • One Kings Lane (flash sale site for furniture)
  • Joss and Main (ditto)

Happy decorating!