Details per Space Series

Details per Spaces - Living Room.jpg

8 ideas for details to make a cosy living room

A living room, as its name indicates, is by far the most lively space of the house, where multiple activities can take place. It is a great playground to experiment subtle details and items to add background stories to your image. 

Activity items

Inserting simple items related to daily activities can create a background story for characters inhabiting your image, and clients trying to project themselves in your picture. 

Books and a pair of reading glasses, a vinyl collection and a record-player, a bike for active owners (whether you use a city bike, a mountain bike, or a BMX, will create totally different back stories), a pair of earplugs, headphones. A pair of binoculars goes well with a nice scenery you can see through the windows.

Image credits : Daysofa, Decordemon, Eightyonextra, BoConcept, Century, LEA Ceramiche, Molteni & Cie, Molteni & Cie, Molteni & Cie, Mwworks

Another type of item we often see in renderings is drinks. Depending on the kind of drink you're using, you can create an atmosphere, set a mood, and give hints of the hour of the day (unless you're keen on having martinis early in the morning) as well as set a standard of living. Renderings for luxury housing will boast alcohol and the likes, while tea, coffee, water will suit simpler scenes.

Detail-wise, drinks are a good way to generate subtle effects in your renderings: steam from a hot coffee, caustics from glass. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Image credits : Dom Edizioni, Gelderland, Home Collection Porcelanosa, Molteni & Cie

Finding toys scattered in a rendering is a simple, yet not that subtle way of telling this is a family home. We can still find some variations to make it in a subtle way: gamepads, controllers, kid drawings on a window or a kid meal box on the ground.

Image credits : BoConcept, Domainehome, Martela, mms.businesswire, lonny, Home-Designing

Contrasting with toys, work-related items are a good way to create simple plots in your images.

Whether it's a briefcase you just throw around when you get home, an open laptop with a Skype convo loading, a tie lying on the back of a chair, folders of paperwork, it is easy to add simple details in your image and give it this kind of elliptical feeling.

Image credits : Agape, Ameriwood

The idea is to try to merge what your client expects, what the potential buyer would expect to be able to project himself in the image, and what the environment (culture-wise, city-wise, etc.) calls for in order to create a bespoke identity for each of your images.


Cloth is a simple way to add warmth in a rendering, as well as a bit of messiness (or tidiness if properly folded). Playing around with the type of fabric can go a long way in changing the feeling of a place.

Just be careful not to use readymade folded cloth if you can — making your own is not too difficult and will help you in dealing with many more situations. 

Image credits : Doimo Salotti, Molteni & Cie, Target Point New, Ikea

Fashion items

Fashion items being neatly designed products, they can easily find a way into your renderings. Depending on the type of product you're using (luxury wear, workwear, DIY), you'll manage to give small hints as to what kind of potential buyers you're aiming for, or even geographical hints. Italian shoe trees on a table, a French umbrella, a Swedish overcoat, Italian heels, etc. these can all help in building a background story for your image.

Image credits : Cushandnooks, Ditre Italia, Linie, Melanie Gruening, Ofdesign, Tresde

Design items

Design items can range from a tiny sculpture on a shelf or a window, to a larger sculptures on the floor, all the way to photographs or paintings on the wall. 

Again, always take time to tweak them a bit so that they fit your scene well. If you use ready made frames, take at least the time to insert different photographs or paintings in them (preferably yours, so that you don't have any problems with copyright). 

In the same way that simple sculptures should not be considered as such since they can really emphasize the space you're depicting (play with reflective material, or specific colours), paintings and photographs can help you add complementary colors to an image, or contrast to finetune the balance in your image. 

Image credits: Artspace, Thedesignsoc, Freshome, BebItalia


Having plants in your interior is far more than just a trend nowadays, so it's no wonder they should end up in your renderings too.

Depending on your clients' request, plants can take more or less importance in your composition. Either way, they're a good way to add density in an image as well additional hues you might need.

Not perfectly foliage related, but still, another household item that brings a nice amount of details is the logs of woods you could put next to a fireplace or stove. Depending on the geographic area you're dealing with, you will opt for a certain kind of variety (ie : birch in Norway, oak and beech in France, etc.) which brings that extra touch of realness and authenticity.

Image credits : Buzzfeed, Casafloravenezia, Freshome, Freshome, Liddicoat & Goldhill, Desiree Divani


Lighting is a really important component of image composition. You can create more subtle variations with artificial or natural lighting which will also help in setting the atmosphere of your image, as well as potentially create a sort of coziness (reading light above a sofa, candles, fire place etc.)

Image credits : Century, Home Collection, Molteni & Cie, Molteni & Cie

Misc furnishings

A living room is one of the places where you'll gather most of your high-tech stuff. Although the trend is to hide as much as possible everything technology related, it can be interesting to not forget small details our daily technology entails. TV, electric sockets, remote controller, smart vacuum cleaner, wires, wifi box, etc.

Image credits : Casualalways, Berker, Jung, Businesswire, Tomek Michalski, Vive Muebles Vierge


A living room is often in a central position in a project, which means it has many connections to adjacent spaces of the house. Showing these connections, giving a bit of context, will help clarify the hierarchy of the spaces of your house, as well as unify the whole set of images for a given project. 

Image credits : Busyboo, Fubiz, Dezeen, Lonny

These 8 categories are of course non-exhaustive and I'm sure you'll find many others. The idea here, and in the rest of the series, is to show you a broad range of the kind of stories you can hint at by just using simple objects in your rendering. 

Hopefuly these tips will find a way in your workflow and help you in taking your image to the next level when it comes to storytelling.

Since the idea is to make one article per space, there will be many more articles like this one for you to read so don't forget to like us on Facebook to not miss out on our upcoming stuff.