Skip to Content

What Can You Do with an Empty Living Room? Ideas

An empty living room with candles and flower vase.

It was known as the death room until the late 20th century. Thankfully, today, the living room is a space used by family members to unwind or socialize. But you shouldn’t feel tied down to that either.

In reality, there are an infinite number of ways you can fill the space of an empty living room and bring it to life however you want. This can be in the way of a color scheme that makes you feel good, a fun theme, or deciding what you want to do in the room. You’ll want to decide how you plan on using the room, if not as a traditional living. The following gives you some room ideas.

What Do You Do With a Living Room That is Not Used?

Study room

A modern study room with carpet area.

You might consider transforming your living room into an office or a study room. This is especially great if your empty living room is at the front of your home, which often has a large window, where light can come through. Light exposure can make you feel more alert, so it’s a good idea to position your desk in front of it to reap the benefits.

Theater room

A woman standing at the room theatre.

Turning your empty living room into a theater room is taking a traditional living room one step further. What separates a simple living room with a TV from a theater room goes beyond adding a nice entertainment system. Think about adding a shelf to display DVDs (if you still have those somewhere gathering dust). Maybe put up some classic movie posters.

It doesn’t have to look like a teenager’s bedroom either—frame them and hang one or two. Find blackout curtains that match your color scheme as well as a few armchairs or a comfortable couch. I tend to think black and red for this type of space, but it’s entirely up to your individual taste.

Meditation room

A woman meditating and a burning incense.

Whether you actually meditate in the room is up to you. A meditation room can simply be a calm space to relax. Perhaps you can leave the TV for another area of your home and instead include things like a yoga mat, a small fountain, muted colors, aromatherapy candles or some incense. It’s even better if the room has a large window to let in light.

Hobby room

A woman working on her painting in the room.

For painters who’ve ever complained that it takes too long to bring out their paint brushes and paints, why not turn your empty living room into a hobby room? This is also great for home musicians that have to unpack recording equipment each time they want to work.

How to Decorate Empty Space in a Living Room?


A room with color palette design.

A color scheme will begin to set a mood for your entire space. The shades you choose for your walls, furniture, and decor can be light, warm, subtle, rich, or bright. For a dramatic effect, you can paint your walls black, which can simultaneously look very elegant if done right.

If you’re going for a modern feel, then cool and subdued tones like blue or cream might fare better. Green can create a sense of calm for some, while blue will feel energizing. 


Ceiling lights with different designs.

Research suggests that various colors of light can impact physiology. Short wavelength light like blue are more arousing than longer wavelengths of light like red. So, the blue light from an LED light fixture can make you feel more alert and is better used during the day. Red or a soft yellow light is a better option for a dimly lit living room in the evening.


Wallpaper gives you options of adding patterns and textures to your living room walls that you aren’t able to achieve with paint. Floral wallpaper is perfect if you’re going for a retro look. Additionally, you can cover only one wall with wallpaper for a more contemporary look.

Area Rug

A modern living room with rug area and fireplace.

Instead of wallpaper, you can try an area rug to bring everything else together. An area rug gives a cold tile floor some warmth. Additionally, there are a range of colors to choose from and you can change the look easily if you get tired of one pattern.

How Do You Transform a Living Room?

But, instead of choosing single elements to fill the space in your living room, you can decide on an overall theme. Personally, I love the idea of themes because it gives me something to work with.

To transform an empty living room into something you’ll love takes a bit of insight into what kind of designs are appealing to you. You can consider the following themes for your living room:

  • Modern: sleek
  • Minimalistic: simple
  • Contemporary: bold
  • Retro: fun


A modern living room with chandelier.

A modern living room is all about straight edges and clean lines. Think metal, glass, and polished wood. Stick to furniture that is smooth, glossy, and simple. For instance, you can use metal end tables, or a glass coffee table. Opt for symmetrical lines over curves like square or rectangular furnishings.


A minimalistic living room with empty picture frame.

A minimalistic design is a great option if you’re easily distracted by your surroundings. So you might consider this theme if you plan to transform your living room into a home office or a relaxing study. Less is more is the key to minimalism and it doesn’t require your living room to actually look empty.

Rather, minimalism focuses on simplicity. Instead, fill your space with what you need and eliminate clutter. Stick to a primary color and furniture that isn’t’ too busy. One couch, one table, and a few pieces of framed artwork are great to start with.


A contemporary living room with brick walls.

Go for a contemporary theme if you want to transform your living room with bursts of colors and varying textures while maintaining a minimalist, clutter-free style. Use bright colors to highlight large curtains or a unique piece of furniture.

Use a variety of decorating elements, like glass, wood, and colored lights. Just don’t overdo it. Rather, use splashes of color to bring the eyes to parts of the room without watering everything down.


A Retro living room with analog clock.

For a retro-themed living room, think pop art style paintings, neon colors, and lots of contrast. Accessories go a long way for a retro-themed room. This is the time to display unique collectibles like a retro phone, old movie posters, and 1960’s -1990’s inspired furniture. Thin, tapered legs on couches, chairs, or tables are great to achieve this look.