In the David Attenborough-narrated documentary on our apartment, the living room ambiance would best be described as “whale-fall,” a science term for what happens when a whale carcass drifts to the bottom of the sea and accumulates a random but natural variation of new under-the-sea dressings, inhabitants, and tiny feeders. There are many videos on this—watch them all when you’re stoned for a good circle-of-life cry.
Anyways. Much like a precious whale carcass, our living room has accumulated its furniture and decor over time. Which isn’t a bad thing; it’s actually a delightful, organic process. C’est la vie, and it shows our vie as we’ve lived it, paycheck to paycheck, Lärabar by Lärabar, as 20-somethings in the city. But now it’s time for an ambiance zhuzh. We’re no longer spring chickens, let alone a whale carcass (#SAD); we’re just horny people living in a railroad apartment in Brooklyn with a landlord who ghosts us, and we’d love it if our living room could feel a bit more cohesive in a Nancy Meyers sort of way. And while we don’t have a big budget, we do have all the time in the world to scope out the best, most affordable living room furniture on Amazon that looks expensive.
Heretofore, you may have only purchased your bulk paper towels and shrimp from the retail behemoth. But, did you know that it’s also filled with swanky-ass furniture and decor? Amazon’s home section has double-take-worthy dupes for Togo sofas, Noguchi lamps, and museum-worthy Eames chairs; it’s packed with sick outdoor furniture that won’t make your butt sore, and comfy scratch-proof couches. Whether you’re looking to redo your whole
identity decor vibe, or finally find a credenza worthy of your record collection, we’ve found the best Amazon living room furniture that delivers on aesthetics, storage, and bangin’ reviews.
The best living room lighting
Lighting is everything. You wouldn’t want to make out under blue hospital lights, would you? Or curl up for a movie with intense overhead lighting? Populate your space with warmly lit, Japanese-style rice paper lamps from Amazon instead, including those Instagram-coveted Isamu Noguchi lamps.
This Brightech lamp was my surprise decor hit of the year. As someone whose only savings/assets are the $29 in my Acorns account and some Lord of the Rings Pez dispensers, I didn’t have the budget to buy a side table, bookshelf, and a living room lamp at once—but this Japanese-style lamp functions as all of the above. It’s def the most design bang for your buck on Amazon, where it’s being sold for almost $100 less than on Urban Outfitters, and has earned a 4.6-star average rating from its 3,000 reviews.
Do you love the look of a dangly lamp, but you’re kind of lazy when it comes to hanging stuff up? This pendant lamp will soften up your space with its woven texture, and it’s been praised by reviewers for its easy assembly and the fact that the chord is also aesthetically wrapped.
The best couches
Rivet rules Amazon, and the home decor brand’s couches are a consistent best-seller with VICE readers because of the accessible prices, solid construction, and versatile design. The Revolve sofa looks like the hot, younger cousin of the celeb-loved Restoration Hardware Cloud couch. “I really love this couch,” writes one reviewer. “It was just what I have been looking for [and] appears to be cat-proof as well, no claw marks. It’s pleasantly firm, perfect for me.”
This. This. Is. The. Couch. It’s deep-set, L-shaped, and looks like it belongs in an Architectural Digest home video tour. Plus, it’s easy to assemble. “The directions are written in layman’s terms. No tools are needed,” writes one reviewer. “I’m almost six feet tall and I am able to stretch completely out on this orange goodness. I’ve only taken one napitizer on it (when you fall asleep prior to going to bed), and awoke refreshed and full of joy.”
This couch says, “I’m rich, but I’m also approachable.” It’s the splurge of our esteemed round-up, for sure, but if you and the roomies go in on this five-star rated Acanva couch together, it will anchor your entire space with an effortlessly luxurious and comfy aesthetic. It has the kind of design that relaxes us even when we’re not sitting on it.
The best reading and accent chairs
This chair makes us feel all kinds of ways. To paraphrase Frasier: It’s warm enough to invite people in, but pretentious enough to keep out the riff raff. It’s like a sexy Scandinavian dental dam, and the internet agrees; it’s earned a 4.6-star average rating on Amazon for refusing to quit on cradling your sweet peach like a boss, and as you’ll tell your friends, “it’s the perfect aesthetic intersection of Japanese and Scandinavian mid-century modern design.” You swish little MOFO.
This mid-century modern chair is wide enough to make it the obligatory stuff-holding chair, but it can also moonlight as an extra seat at the dinner table when your friend brings an unexpected plus-one to game night. Also: Girthy chairs were made for statement throws, and especially this Marimekko poppy blanket.
If you own this chair, you’re definitely into butt stuff 80s postmodernism. You are the hottest person in the room with the most elevated taste, and the kind of jabroni who asks for nine olives in their extra-dirty martini. In the words of one German Amazon reviewer, it’s a sehr schön statement piece.
The best rugs
This Safavieh rug has earned a 4.6-star average rating from over 4,700 reviews on Amazon, because it’s basically the rug version of Joseph’s technicolor dream coat in a non-denominational way. Peep the subtle use of mossy greens and burnt oranges! Praise the delicate yet statement-making graphic design! Just like our one true god, it goes with everything.
Fresh from the Overlook Hotel. (Only, with none of the spookiness.) Embrace the impeccable 70s graphics and the slightly unhinged color combination that shows what a maverick you are with your design choices.
Long have we coveted our neighbor’s Cold Picnic graphic rug. This postmodern Safavieh (the brand really makes bangers, don’t they?) rug is a way more affordable option that still feels expensive. “This is an amazing carpet for the price,” writes one reviewer. “It’s plush and the designs are separated by a beveled cut which makes it look richer and adds a bit of dimension.”
The best record player and media consoles
You wouldn’t think so by looking at its compact frame, but this Googie-legged record player stand holds up to 100 albums. “[It’s not made of] particle board, this is great quality wooden slabs and shelving,” writes one reviewer. “No plastic or metal parts to it [either]. It will make a great addition to our living room.”
If it’s a larger and more low-slung media console you seek, this Mopio credenza is another mid-century modern piece capable of coddling your Audio-Technica AT-LP60X-BK turntable, a television, and a bud vase. (Nice touch.)
It’s the texture that really elevates this piece, which looks as if it sprang from the pages of a glossy West Elm ad. The credenza has a 4.5-star average rating on Amazon, and reviewers say it “looks like a much more expensive wood unit.”
The best bookshelves
We’re not just putting books on our shelves, matey. We have other precious objets to display with pride, and this mid-century modern bookshelf has various alcove sizes to highlight every last one with the drama they deserve.
This industrial-style bookshelf is one of Amazon’s best-sellers in the category, and has earned a 4.7-star average rating for its sturdiness and affordability. “Classy with a rustic vibe,” as one fan writes. It’s worthy of your fancy cocktail glasses, art books, and more.
The best side and end tables
We wish we knew exactly how to pronounce the name of this caned end table’s brand so that we could thank it for the stunning vibes. Suffice to say, thank you, COZAYH, for a side table that doesn’t feel visually heavy and clunky, but delivers on personality with its detailed flourishes.
If you seek a side table with storage that could one day transition to a plant stand, this Harmati table is just the ticket. It has a 4.6-star average rating on Amazon, where customers are saying, “I was looking for something that fit in with my Nordic minimalism style, [and] this was perfect! It is well made, sturdy, and easy to put together.” Pair it with a few faux monstera leaves in a graphic vase.
The best coffee tables
Hands down, ass up the best multi-tasking coffee table on Amazon. This piece has a 4.3-star rating from over 3,100 reviews on the site, and reviewers praise how well it hides all your junk and boosts your computer during WFH hours with its clever lifting tray—and at under $150, you really can’t beat the price.
I spy with my little eye: another Noguchi-core piece. Only, this coffee table is actually a reproduction of the iconic table by the Japanese designer that would otherwise run you into the thousands. This dupe has a 4.9-star average rating on Amazon, and customers say the glass is nice and heavy and the install “literally takes two seconds.”
It’s so satisfying to put your feet up on a coffee table that’s secretly hiding all of your throw blankets, extra pillows, magazines, and whatever else you’re trying to hide from your house guests (it’s your Minion sodas, and that’s fair).
Now go forth, and christen that new living room with nine hours of Swamp Loggers.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.