Nothing says relaxation quite like scrolling through Pinterest and saving images of gorgeous minimalist interiors, #amirite? The living room is one of the main hubs of any home and is a great place to start. Minimalism's pared-down aesthetic — with its neutral color palette, clean lines, and intentional negative space — can make your living area feel effortlessly elegant.
With the promise to declutter and simplify your life, minimalist style can also make your home the serene oasis that you've always wished for. And if you're a reformed packrat like some of us, it can be hard to decide which pieces to part with. But to help make the transition easier, we've come up with a few easy ways to integrate the streamlined look into your own home. Read ahead for 30 minimalist living room ideas that will help you turn your humble abode into a chic refuge of serenity.
1. Paint your walls white to amplify relaxation.
Curling up on the couch with a good book might be your favorite way to spend an afternoon, but busy patterns can be a major distraction. Surround a comfortable lounging area with crisp white walls instead, like this minimalist masterpiece by Sandra Weingort, to create a tranquil escape from everyday life.
2. Keep the conversation going with lots of seating.
If you're dreaming of the perfect spot for a spirited conversation, ample comfortable seating is a must-have. Consider keeping your decor simple and your color palette neutral to ensure that the focus is on the discussion at hand. You'll be able to maintain eye contact without being distracted by flashy artwork or a collection of coffee table books. This living area from design firm Arent & Pyke is an ideal spot for late-night chats — without any decorating diversions.
3. Stick to simple finishes.
While jewel-tone velvet and sleek metallic finishes might be popular trends right now, that doesn't mean you have to jump on the bandwagon in order to make your home a minimalist haven. This cozy living room crafted by Norm Architects combines wood paneling and an earthy wall color, light wood furniture, concrete flooring, and gauzy sheers to create a comfortable, streamlined design that feels very au courant.
4. Make texture the star of the show.
Not a fan of plain old white? Treat your walls like a canvas and cover them in texture to make a simple space feel bold. Take notes from this room by Schulberg Demkiw Architects. The cool concrete walls make the room look effortlessly put together.
5. Give dramatic furniture its due.
The best way to highlight a piece of killer furniture is by making it the centerpiece of an otherwise simple room. This elegant, curved sofa spotted in a minimalist living room that was showcased on Coco Lapine Design refuses to blend into the neutral background, and instead makes a statement you simply can't ignore.
6. Showcase your unique style.
Love the idea of minimalism but don't want to sacrifice your individuality? Well, the good news is that you don't have to. The trick is to find a way to subtly integrate one or two accents that you particularly love into your living room design. This neutral setup showcased on Rock My Style combines stacked logs and a live edge mantel to add a cozy and unique layer.
7. Accent minimal walls with bright greenery.
Give your plants room to grow with an open layout. Not to mention, there's no better way to make your bright green babies stand out than to place them against a stark white backdrop. Designer Katrine Martensen-Larsen from KML Design has the right idea with this Scandinavian-inspired living space paired with vibrant leafy greens.
8. Don't be afraid to display a large book collection.
Still clinging to every book you've ever read? You're not alone. And just because you want to incorporate minimalism into your home, that doesn't mean you have to get rid of the majority of your collection. Just take a look at this tranquil setup by Quinn Architecture that includes a trio of open shelves perfectly designed to function as a mini library.
9. Make a big difference with pops of color.
Oftentimes homeowners mistakenly assume that minimalism means lacking in color. However, that couldn't be further from the truth, as proven by this dreamy living room from Ohlo Studio. A color palette filled with cool gray, muted green, and warm terra cotta adds a dose of dimension and interest to an otherwise subdued lounging area.
10. Amp up the drama with dark features.
Pops of dark color can feel downright theatrical, especially when balanced with clean white walls and neutral flooring. The rich charcoal sectional sofa and matching drapery panels in this minimal space showcased on Est Living amplify the drama and set the mood. The dark curtains make it easy to control the amount of sunlight that flows into the room, which will come in handy when you want to watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon.
11. Highlight your favorite art pieces.
Smaller pieces of artwork can get lost in a large gallery wall. Instead, opt to show off one of your favorites. Take a look at this beach house by InForm Design and you can see firsthand how a large piece of art, even one comprised of a simple black line, becomes an instant focal point in this minimalist living room.
12. Modernize dated materials.
Not all of us are blessed with the cash to revamp every outdated aspect of our home, but don't despair: Paired with clean neutrals and sparse decor, your old-school parquet flooring (or other outdated feature) can feel oh-so-sophisticated. Designer Ilaria Fatone shows us exactly how it's done.
13. Emphasize your to-die-for view.
Don't compromise a jaw-dropping view with piles of clutter. If you're lucky enough to be located near a lush forest — like stylist Lisa Moir — or in a penthouse overlooking skyscrapers, balance the stunning exterior with a minimal interior to keep the focus on your home's greatest asset.
14. Feature delightful patterns.
Unique patterns earn respect in minimalist rooms. With nothing else to distract the eye, play up interesting lines, or geometric details to anchor a simple space. Instead of a gallery wall with different sized prints, stick to a grouping in the same size and color for a cohesive and intentional finish, like this living room from Greige Design.
15. Welcome statement lighting.
Don't forget to include light fixtures in your new minimal design scheme. Without the warm light of day, any room can begin to feel cold and uninviting as soon as the sun sets. Keep your home cheerful and bright with adequate ambient lighting, like in this living room by Aarre Ekman featured on Finnish Design Shop. Here, a well-placed arc floor lamp is the perfect finishing touch.
16. Show as much floor space as possible.
Maybe an all-white living room just isn't your style, but you still want an open and airy look. Just opt for raised furniture and options with narrow legs that allow you to show off as much floor space as possible. In this minimalist setup belonging to artist Kristen Giorgi, showcased on Rip & Tan, the room is full of furniture yet doesn't feel cramped in the slightest.
17. Layer textures to keep the room from feeling sterile.
When you're dealing with a living room that has both white walls and a white ceiling, things can quickly start to feel like a doctor's office, albeit a super chic one. Combat the feeling of sterility by taking a page out of Amber Lewis's design book and layer in various textures, like armchairs with leather detailing, linen throw pillows, and a plush blanket. It's all in the details.
18. Opt for a bold patterned rug in a neutral color.
When dealing with a small living room, steer clear of busy patterns on large items like the rug — which should be one of the main focal points. Instead, make a big impact by selecting a soft landing pad with a big pattern in a neutral color, like the one seen in this New York triplex by Nune. Tie in the bold black lines of the rug with other black accents like lighting and furniture to achieve the same clean minimalist look.
19. Add an accent wall.
If floor-to-ceiling white has you craving a splash of color, pick a small area like your fireplace or a built-in bookcase and transform it into an eye-catching accent wall with a few coats of paint. Opt for a color that is still neutral like the deep forest green employed in this space spotlighted on Rock My Style. The muted shade makes accessorizing easy.
20. Let architectural features double as artwork.
Don't be so quick to slap a coat of white paint over every inch of your space. Let your home's unique architectural details double as artwork. The red brick fireplace and rich wood ceiling in Kate Davison's minimalist living room are statement pieces that make this room a showstopper.
21. Anchor the room with a statement sofa.
Bring in a single splash of color and visual interest with a sofa in a lush hue like the sumptuous green velvet that designer Catherine Kwong selected for this minimalist living room. The low-profile platform and rich color add just enough drama and flair without distracting from the overall design.
22. Display accessories with purpose.
Just because you're trying to achieve a minimalist vibe, doesn't mean you have to hide away all of your favorite accessories. Instead, thoughtfully select a handful that are the most meaningful, and artfully display them on floating shelves or in built-in bookcases, as beautifully demonstrated in this living room by Jae Joo Designs. The black backdrop framed by lighter wood acts as the perfect display case for curated treasures, and the limited space is a subtle visual reminder that less is more.
23. Choose larger accent pieces.
Since minimalist style means opting for less stuff in your living room, make sure you consider the scale of the pieces you do keep. Instead of three small macrame wall hangings, opt for a single large one that fills the wall like the one hanging in this setup belonging to Loni Parker of Adore Magazine.
24. Layer rugs for an easy upgrade.
Is your minimalist hangout in need of a refresh? Start by changing out your rug or just adding another one, in an interesting shape or design, on top of it for a quick and easy upgrade. This living room from Downshiftology combines a large plush rug and a rust-colored cowhide to make the room feel cozy and beautifully layered.
25. Get rid of your coffee table.
If your living room is on the petite side, ditch the coffee table altogether. As an alternative, if you need a place to rest a few glasses of wine or a bowl of chips and salsa, choose a lightweight side table (or two) that can easily be moved around. This setup by Nune is a great example of how to maximize a small space just by saying goodbye to your traditional coffee table.
26. Bring in bohemian vibes.
Can't decide between bohemian and minimalist design styles? Lucky for you, you can have both. Take a cue from Avenue Design Studio and bring in things like a patterned rug and desert-inspired prints. Complete the look with whitewashed brick walls and a sleek coffee table to achieve a perfectly balanced look that's all your own.
27. Let the art inspire a perfect color palette.
If you're having a hard time selecting a color palette for your upcoming living room makeover, let the artwork be your inspiration. Pick one or two pieces that speak to you and use them as the basis for your room's entire scheme. The forest green and golden yellow echoed throughout this living room design by Quiet Studios are pulled directly from the abstract art hanging above the sofa.
28. Use sheer wall-to-wall curtains for a seamless look.
Create a cool seamless look by hanging your curtains flush with the ceiling and extending them along the entire wall. Fabric choice is important though. Copy this look from the design duo Kyal and Kara and go with sheer white drapes to keep the room from feeling too dark and heavy.
29. Or, ditch the drapes entirely.
If you live somewhere where privacy isn't an issue, take advantage of the natural light and ditch the drapes altogether. Take this inviting design by Amber Lewis for example. The large open windows, sans curtain rod and yards of fabric, bring an instant lightness (both literally and figuratively) to the room.
30. Warm up a cool room with color and texture.
Warm up your all-white living room and still keep things neutral by adding in wood, rich leather, and rust-colored pieces. For example, the decadent velvet sofa in this room designed by Byrdesign is one of the items that help to balance out the cool tone of the walls. Plus it also just looks amazing!