In homes that have both a family room and a more formal living room, the living room often gets left out in the cold. For years, these formal gathering spaces were located near the front of the home, far away from the real entertainment hub - the kitchen.
If you have a home that is pre-open space plan, then you know how hard it can be to get people to feel comfortable in your living room. But with the right décor and furnishings - including living room tables - you can turn this once little used space into a beehive of activity, not only for visitors and guests, but the family as well.
If you have the advantage of doing a complete revamp of your room, you may want to consider going with a little less formal look. These days, homes are more relaxed in their décor, becoming more inviting to visitors and family. Selecting a different style of furniture or a more colorful pattern of fabric can make the room more user friendly.
The same, of course, can be said for the tables. More formal spaces tend to feature tables with darker woods and more ornate features. You can change things up and add a bit more informality by turning the tables so to speak on traditional décor.
For example, you can go with an oval or round set of living room tables. They are less formal than square or round. You can also choose to go with lighter colored woods, marble or even glass.
Glass is the great equalizer when it comes to these tables. It automatically lightens up the visual weight of the room, since they are transparent and translucent instead of solid. You can take them another step further by making glass tables totally non-traditional, such as going with a freeform glass top or a sculpture that serves as its base.
If you want you can press other pieces into serving as living room tables. There's no hard and fast rule that says that every living room has to have two end tables, a coffee table, a sofa, two chairs and/or a loveseat. By adding elements of surprise to the room, you can create less formality as well.
If you want, you can opt to forgo the traditional coffee table or any other tables in the living room and go with something that is stylish yet unexpected. A set of nesting tables comes to mind, which serves well as both end tables or when un-nested, as a coffee table.
In fact, you don't even have to use a traditional table in your living room. If you have a passion for antiquing, you can pick up a period steamer trunk or old suitcases and press them into service in your living room as tables. If you want a period look without the often musty smell of period pieces, you can go instead with a reproduction trunk or set of suitcases. Many manufacturers sell these, both in traditional furniture stores and online.
That said, you can choose to add a fresh new look to a stuffy looking living room by going with a theme, such as the African savannah, jungle, animal prints, travel, nautical - the list is endless. It's easy these days to find pieces that fit nearly any theme imaginable and a cohesive, overarching theme can really tie a room together while making it look fresh and welcoming.
With just a few easy to implement design ideas, you can transform the formal living room from one of the least used spaces in the home to one of the most popular, for friends, family and visitors alike.
Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of a wide variety of online specialty shops including that offer both items and information on how you can easily furnish and decorate your space. Whether it is coffee tables for your living room or accent tables for you newly remodeled home, there are many tips you can use to make any spot both functional and beautiful. Click today and indulge your senses.