Love your living room with interior design advice from Cathy Phillips

Want to redesign your living room? Let Cathy Phillips inspire you with her expert interior design tips.

As an interior designer I’ve spent many years studying the details that make a living room an inviting, comfortable and stylish space to relax with family and friends. Here are my top tips…

Plan the layout

Decide on a focal point – this could be the fireplace, a work of art, TV or statement coffee table perhaps – and build your design around this key feature. Then arrange your seating to create sociable groupings which will encourage people to relax and chat.

Interior design advicePick the right sofa

As well as the style and size, think about the texture, colour and durability. Be practical and think about who will be using the room. Do children and pets play here, or is the room mainly reserved for entertaining guests?

If you’re starting a project from scratch, you could choose a statement sofa in a vibrant luxury fabric such as teal or red and decorate around it. Otherwise let your sofa play a supporting role in a neutral colour, such as grey or white, which you can refresh easily with decorative cushions and throws.

If you would like ideas for a living room colour scheme, check out my Ten Sources of Colour Inspiration for Interior Design

Interior design advice storageMaximise the sense of space

First of all declutter! Then, consider investing in elegant, built-in fitted storage tailored to meet your needs. Opt for multifunctional furniture when you can too, such as an ottoman that doubles as a table and extra seating.

Mix old and new

An eclectic scheme that combines modern trends with inherited or antique pieces will give your room an interesting, individual and lived-in look. To ensure the space is balanced and elegant, every item should be of good quality and beautiful in its own right. Also try re-purposing a favourite vintage item using contemporary fabrics and colours. This will create a unique one-off piece that bridges the gap between styles.

Interior design ideas - lightingVary the lighting

Think about how you’ll use the different areas of the room and have a mix of overhead, ambient, task, and accent lighting to suit different activities, such as reading, TV watching or parties. Installing dimmer switches will also give you even more flexibility over the atmosphere.


Accessories are the finishing touches that pull an interior design scheme together. Use cushions and throws to add colour, texture and pattern, and add accent items like ornaments and candles to create a welcoming Interior design advice - accessoriseambience. Display your favourite things to reflect your personality. Start with pieces you love such as framed photos and travel souvenirs and experiment with arrangements.

If you would like help to find perfect pieces for your living room, find out about our Home Interior Product Sourcing service.

Transform your living room with help from an interior design expert

If your living room needs a makeover, our bespoke interior design service can help. At Cathy Phillips & Co we create living room schemes for clients all over London from Notting Hill in West London to Canary Wharf in East London. We would love to do the same for you. Please call us on +44 (0)7720 253939 or complete our contact form for more information.