How to decorate your living room based on your style
When it comes to living room styling, your perfect room will have a lot to do with your design inspiration. While there are many ways to approach the living space, only one version will likely feel right to you.
To help in your quest for your dream living room, we’ve put together a mini-guide on how to style the space according to a few common design styles. We’ll give ideas for minimalist designs, Mid-Century Modern designs, boho designs, and farmhouse designs. If we’re missing your favorite look here, let us know what you’d like to see in a future blog post!
Without further ado, let’s dive into a minimalist-inspired living room setup.
Minimalist Living Room Design
Minimalist style is all about keeping things simple. For a minimalist living room, each piece should serve a purpose and add something very specific to the room’s feel and function. Unlike the other design styles on the list, nothing will be added just for the sake of decoration or filling space.
A minimalist living room will have a “less is more” feel, which many people swear by for its calming effect and ease of use.
The trick to getting minimalism right is not letting the space feel too sterile. There’s a fine line between a space that’s deliberately kept to a minimum and a space that feels unfinished or empty. The key is to accentuate the features that you do want to focus on, and leave space for those pieces to shine.
Here are some tips for creating a minimalist living room.
- Build your layout around natural light.
If you have natural light in your space, it’s important to let as much of that light in as possible. It’s common for people to accidentally place furniture in configurations that block the light or to put up dark curtains that keep everything out. Light will go a long way towards helping your minimalist space feel happy and lived-in rather than cold and empty.
- Focus on understated colors.
Even if you have a simple design, if each item you feature is colorful and bold, the finished space won’t feel minimalist (although it will still be beautiful, if that’s what you like!). If you’re aiming for a traditionally minimalist space, try to keep your color scheme natural or muted colors. You can get away with bold colors for a few accent pieces here and there, but those items won’t pop unless the majority of the space feels more understated. When in doubt, start with colors like white, beige, grey, and black and see how the space feels as you add new elements.
- Mix and match styles and textures.
Because your color scheme will likely be somewhat simple, your styles and textures can be more playful. Textures also help with cozying up the space and making it feel more inviting than stark. Try out a variety of pieces in close proximity to each other, like a plush rug, a metal sculpture, and a wood coffee table. The more you can mix and match, the more complete your space will feel.
- Spend extra time on art.
Speaking of the metal sculpture, plan to spend extra time on art in your minimalist space. The perfect art piece is often the finishing touch that makes a minimalist living room feel complete. Don’t settle for the first thing that catches your eye—put some time and thought into your art investment to make sure you’re getting the right piece for the space.
- Maximize your storage.
Clutter is the enemy of minimalism. However, in your living room, you’ll likely have some personal items that you have to keep in the space to make it more functional. Think TV remotes, coasters, fireplace tools, and other necessities that don’t have a high-design feel. For these items, having a storage solution is the key to keeping everything hidden away. Try unique storage features, like coffee tables that open up to store TV accessories or ottomans that can store shoes or board games (our Monty Storage Bench is a great option). Artfully hiding this natural clutter will unlock your minimalist space.
- Add natural features like plants.
Lastly, make sure to incorporate some natural features like house plants. Greenery will make your space feel more alive, and it can add beautiful color to your muted theme. If you’ve finished designing your space and it still feels too cold, chances are you need a few natural elements to liven up the room.
Mid-Century Modern Living Room Design
Mid-Century Modern style evolved out of the post-World War II boom in the North American economy and population. At the time, there were an abundance of young families looking to purchase and design their first homes, and their priorities differed from generations prior. Think family-centric spaces, more windows and natural light, and an overall sense of optimism behind each design element.
Mid-Century Modernism is incredibly popular today, and it’s common to see modern homes decorated in this slightly retro style. Here are our tips for Mid-Century Modern living rooms.
- Start small.
If your goal is to build a Mid-Century Modern living room, don’t go all out right away. Instead, build up your style piece by piece so you can see how everything fits together. It’s common to start with one statement piece that screams Mid-Century Modern, like a credenza, an armchair, or a lamp. Then, you can wait until you’re inspired by another piece to continue building out your collection. The key is to give it some time to see how everything looks in your space before you start bringing in more items.
Plus, Mid-Century Modern pieces look amazing when you mix and match them with other design styles, so don’t feel like you have to have a fully Mid-Century Modern room to notice the style’s influence. In some cases, less is more and you’ll find the perfect balance with just one or two perfect pieces.
- Feature a few pops of color.
Mid-Century Modern designs run the gamut when it comes to color schemes. The style itself evolved over time, so some designers focused on pastels and muted colors while others went bright and bold. Where you fall on this spectrum is entirely your own choice, but don’t be afraid to feature a few colorful statement pieces.
- Go big on natural materials, like wood.
Wood is everywhere in Mid-Century Modern designs. Its natural look and feel help warm up the space while still looking high-design. If you’re not sure which piece to choose for a coffee table, credenza, side table, or other feature piece, go for wood options more often than not. You might be surprised at how far these items go in giving the space a Mid-Century Modern feel. Check out our Marina Coffee Table for an example of what to look for.
- Opt for tapered legs.
One signature feature that screams Mid-Century Modern is tapered legs. You’ll see them on everything from sofas to dining room tables. This is an interesting feature to take advantage of, because you may be able to swap out the legs on your existing pieces to give them a Mid-Century Modern overhaul. Just look for tapered legs that you like, then replace the legs on existing pieces of furniture with the tapered versions. If you’re taking the room’s full design more slowly, this is a great way to speed up the transformation.
- Look for inspiration.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to look for inspiration as you familiarize yourself with the Mid-Century Modern style. There are hundreds of great design books and online resources that can help you learn the origins of the style and hone in on what you like and what you don’t like. These resources are a great place to start if you’re not quite sure where you want to begin.
Boho Living Room Design
Bohemian design, or Boho design, is an eclectic style that combines a variety of colors, objects, styles, and patterns all together. Rather than trying for a simple, cohesive look, it tends to take a “more is more” approach to putting everything together.
Boho living rooms often feature items that don’t seem to go together at first glance. It’s also common for boho-style items to be very personal to the person curating the space. Incorporating items from past travels or from special memories is common, giving those pieces a place to be seen and experienced in your everyday life.
Here’s how we’d recommend styling your Boho living room.
- Pack on the decorations.
You can think of boho style as almost like the opposite of minimalist style. Rather than only picking decorative pieces that really serve a functional purpose, you can pack your living space with as many decorative touches as you like. The key for boho style is that each piece should have some kind of meaning to you. Rather than purchasing all new pieces that you buy all at once, boho style is more about curating special items over time that you feel connected to.
- Shop secondhand.
To help with this process, boho styles often require shopping secondhand. Your space is going to end up with a very lived-in feel, and buying all brand-new items can sometimes negate that goal. This offers a secondary benefit of making it more affordable to buy more pieces. As you’re looking for items, check out thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets, garage sales, and other places where you’ll come across items with a backstory. Combine this with a few new items that really appeal to you, and you’ll be well on your way to a boho paradise.
- Purchase items on your travels.
Another great way to find boho items is to make a point to shop for trinkets and souvenirs when you’re traveling. Even if you buy something brand new on a trip, it will still have a special feel because you’ll associate it with your trip. The more you find in your travels, the more each piece in your space will tell a story about your life experiences.
- Focus on comfort.
Comfort should be prioritized in boho living rooms. Make sure features like couches, side chairs, throw pillows, and other tactile items are enjoyable to feel. If something looks great but doesn’t feel good to interact with, skip it for your boho living space.
Have multiple light sources.
Lastly, a great trick to get to boho style is to have multiple light sources in each room. Rather than one overhead light, get a variety of lamps that each add their own vibrance to the room. If you want to take the rest of the decoration process slowly, starting with a few floor lamps and table lamps can fast-track the boho feel. Our Atelier Side Table is a great place to feature fun lamps in your living room.
Farmhouse Living Room Design
Lastly, let’s explore the farmhouse style. Farmhouse style is another simplistic style that mixes classic touches with rustic charm. While you may assume that farmhouse style is only for ultra-rural homes, it’s becoming more popular in urban and suburban areas, as well.
Key features often include wood beams, open shelving, and vintage touches incorporated throughout.
- Incorporate reclaimed wood pieces.
Reclaimed wood is all over farmhouse designs. It’s often featured in ceiling beams, barn-style doors, paneling, shelving, and other design elements. If your farmhouse living room doesn’t feel quite right, try adding more wood and see how it feels.
- Stick to neutral colors.
In general, farmhouse rooms will stick to mostly neutral color palettes. Depending on your personal preference, you may choose to go with a light, airy feel that accompanies mostly white and beige colors, or a darker, cozier feel that accompanies darker neutral tones like browns and greys. You can definitely incorporate some pops of color, but your space will feel more aligned with farmhouse influences if it’s mostly neutral.
- Try shiplap paneling.
Shiplap paneling is the first thing that comes to mind for many people when they think about farmhouse style. If you’re happy with the furniture pieces you have in your living room, try adding shiplap to one (or many) of the walls to lean into the farmhouse look. In many cases, this is all it takes to liven up the space.
- Pick pieces with a distressed look.
When you’re choosing furniture items, try to pick some pieces that have a distressed look and feel. The distressing will cultivate the rustic touches that are characteristic of a farmhouse home, and they’ll make the space feel more natural.
- Have cozy sitting areas.
Lastly, to balance out some of the rougher touches in farmhouse style, make sure to have cozy sitting areas and softer touches throughout. You’ll get an even better effect if you pick items that look soft in addition to feeling soft. The more comfortable and inviting your living space looks, the more you’ll create a beautiful contrast in the room as a whole.
We hope this is a helpful introduction to these four exciting design styles. Check out the rest of the items in our shop to help you in your design journey. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!