How to Decorate Your Living Room in Minimalist Style

A minimalist's uncrowded living room has an overall look that's understated, serene and free of clutter. Here are some characteristics to strive for.

Step 1

Choose furnishings that are simple in construction, ornamentation and look. Use only pieces that you really need in the room - footstools, occasional tables, plant stands and spare chairs can be left out.

Step 2

Go with a sofa and easy chairs that are plain - a rectangular transitional style or a simple Chippendale (curved backs with straight legs). Skip the toss pillows or use just a couple of unembellished ones - forget the fringe, lace and flounces.

Step 3

Keep the coffee and end tables understated, too. Consider Parsons styles; simple cubes of wood, laminate and clear acrylic; or glass- and stone-topped metal tables.

Step 4

Be sparing with the floor coverings and wall treatments. A simple area rug such as sisal or a Berber style over a hard-surface floor is fine (but don't layer over wall-to-wall carpet).

Step 5

Keep the walls one color - a soothing neutral is popular for the minimalist look.

Step 6

Choose lamps and shades that are of simple design (nix the Tiffany styles and faceted crystal). Lamp bases of plain ceramic or wrought iron, and contemporary, spare brass designs tend to work well.

Step 7

Add ambient lighting from recessed fixtures such as cans, and indirect lighting. You won't see ornate chandeliers and fussy shades over faux-candle lights in minimalism.

Step 8

Hang the windows simply or leave them bare. Tab-top curtains on a simple wrought-iron rod, plantation shutters or 2-inch-wide wood blinds, and Roman shades are all options.