If you love spending time in your living room or always use that space for entertaining, then you have to make it look great. There are so many living room designs to choose from—and it can be hard to find your way around all the industry jargon. What exactly is “minimalist,” “eclectic,” or “maximalist”? And how do you find the style that’s right for you?
Don’t worry—we’ve got your back. Here’s a rundown of the most popular living room styles today, decoded by us for you.
1. Modern Living Room
A modern living room is all about clean lines and open spaces. Everything has room to breathe—from the furniture to the lighting fixtures to the artwork. Straight-line designs with less curves and more edges are characteristically modern. Go for polished-looking furniture pieces made of glass, finished wood, glossy stone, and the like. Accessorize with abstract or futuristic-looking lamps and ceiling lights, making sure to position everything in an order. When it comes to choosing fabrics, go for subdued hues with minimum patterns.
- Minimalist Living Room
If you want minimum maintenance and a spacious and organized look, minimalism might be for you. It works well for smaller flats because its pared-down vibe makes any room look bigger.
To achieve a minimalist style, keep everything furniture and artwork—as well as other bits and bobs—to a minimum. Go for subdued hues when it comes to wall paint, upholstery, and artwork. Minimalist living rooms are not meant to be cold, though, so be sure to add some personal touches to bring life to space, such as a uniquely shaped table or chair, lovely greenery, and hints of décor such as plain glass vases.
- Contemporary Living Room
Some people get confused about “modern” and “contemporary,” thinking that they both mean the same aesthetic. This is not true. While these styles share certain characteristics, they are distinct.
A contemporary living room is a modern living room that incorporates trending styles in furniture, upholstery, lighting, decor items, and so on. Design elements that are currently considered chic—such as stripes, fairy lights, and coloured glass bottles—are some examples of things you might see in a contemporary living room. The idea is to add some up-to-the-minute artwork, textures, colours, and patterns while still keeping the vibe luxe and clutter free.
There’s more freedom when it comes to colours, as long as you don’t overdo it. Overpowering hues such as red, pink, blue, etc. should only be used as highlights—perhaps an armchair or the curtains.
- Eclectic Living Room
Think bohemian, free-spirited, artistic, and curated. That’s the eclectic vibe.
When it comes to creating an eclectic living room, there are virtually no rules. Go ahead and mix and match your wallpaper, furniture, and curtains. Choose a bold wall colour like electric blue, wine red, or purple. Unleash your offbeat and whimsical side.
Have you amassed all kinds of collectibles from your travels around the world? Bring them out and display them. Don’t be afraid to use unique art pieces put together cohesively to create an interesting—even interactive—living space.
- Traditional Living Room
A traditional space often means carved wood furniture, ornate lamps, lush carpets, and rich upholstery—from metallics to beadwork and so on. Do you love rich European aesthetics? Then traditional might be your style. Create a vintage living room with heavy drapes, chandeliers, fine fabrics such as silk, velvet, or satin. Add porcelain sculptures, lace in your upholstery, and tassels on your curtain. Choose classical art to decorate your walls.
Traditional colours are all about beiges, soft browns, and off-white. Use gold and silver accents, too. Those pieces of furniture and décor that were passed down to you by your grandma will look right at home in a traditional living room. Don’t forget to add some framed black and white pictures of the family to bring charm to the space.
- Retro Living Room
If you prefer the fun and bold pop-art vibe of the 60s to the 90s, you will love a retro living room. Think an explosion of neon colours, check print on the floor, shiny decorative pieces, and movie posters. Or you can also do the opposite and go for a black-and-white style.
Some elements to add: Coloured pots and lamps, a retro telephone, a Marilyn Monroe poster, and the like. Candy stripe or pastel floral wallpapers will also go a long way if you’re aiming for retro.
- Rustic Living Room
Organic, raw, natural—that is the theme of rustic living space. Stick with beiges, browns, and greens to create this vibe. Your main furniture pieces should be wooden. If possible, go for stone or brick walls, animal-inspired decor, and linen or cotton upholstery. Decorate with plants, plant prints, and even rocks you’ve picked up at the beach.
- Maximalist Living Room
Maximalist is quite simply the opposite of minimalist. It’s about “more is more”—about pushing the boundaries of excess without succumbing to overwhelming clutter. There is almost no negative/empty space in a maximalist living room—no nook left undone. That said, everything in the space should still keep with an overarching theme that guides the design.
One of the easiest ways to incorporate a maximalist style into your home is to leave almost no space between art and images hung on the wall. You can also go for richly textured upholstery for drama. Don’t be afraid to go colour blocking with using bold hues, mix neon with greys, or even use different wallpapers for each wall for that mix-and-match aesthetic.
There you go—some of the most popular living room styles for your inspiration. We hope this list helps you get started on your interior design project.