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35+ Minimalist living room ideas – colours, furniture, and layouts

By Elise Hodge

Published: October 4th, 2019

A small space doesn't limit your design, be inspired by these 35+ different minimalistic living room ideas.

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The living room is no doubt one of the most used spaces in your home. But just because it’s the hub of activity doesn’t mean it needs to be filled to the brim with furniture and ornaments. In fact, you can create a very livable space by paring back your living room to just a few key pieces. And just because you adopt the ‘less is more’ mantra doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on decorations. As you’ll see, you can make a minimal space for entertaining, hanging out and every-day lounging around that looks and feels beautiful. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to start, so I’ve had a look around for some of the best minimalist living room ideas to suit any house.

First things first you need to have a think about what you need to have in your living room. You’ll need at the very least from a practical standpoint a sofa, a table and television (although this may not be a necessity for everyone). But from moving on from functionality, you might also want to consider floor lamps, side tables, bookshelves or bookcases, tv cabinets, rugs and artwork.

1. Add a print to the wall

Just because you want to go the minimal route doesn’t mean you have to leave your walls blank. Take this neutral-themed space for example – it includes a statement print on the wall in a complimentary yellow-gold tone frame.

Print on wall
Source: Pampa

2. Highlight feature pieces

And you’ll be pleased to know that you can have a lot of fun with your furniture while still keeping it minimal. Look at this round bobble pillow and neutral rug with black pom poms. It’s these little touches that add a whole lot of character to this small space while still keeping it minimalist by sticking to a consistent colour scheme.

Feature piece
Source: Pampa

3. Use earthy tones

This small minimalist living room incorporates two key colours throughout to keep it looking streamlined. Also, the desert-brown couch matches with the cabinets and small details to achieve a minimalist look without completely stripping away decor.

Small living room
Source: Shake my Blog

4. Include a sitting chair

This chair creates an extra area in the living room which can serve as a reading chair or seat for a guest. And the green checkered pillow matches the curtains and is tied in with the greenery in the basket and on the coffee table.

Sitting chair
Source: Jacquelyn Clark

5. Add a single hanging light

Create a simple yet minimal lighting solution by hanging a single light from the ceiling. This will work particularly well if you have a very neutral-coloured space like this light grey one. Also, the glass coffee table and jug add to the minimal feel.

Hanging light
Source: From Luxe with Love

6. Create symmetry with facing sofas

Another way to incorporate minimalism into your small space is to create symmetry with furniture. This living room uses two sofas faces each other and connected with a small coffee table and rug. While the Scandinavian style is naturally minimal, you can spruce it up with a touches of blue and green in the pillows and plants.

Tiny living room
Source: laredoute

7. Incorporate a clever bench seat

Create interest while keeping it simple with a strategically placed bench seat. This beige-coloured chair is an extension on the left side of the television unit. And it’s a great way to maximise space, especially if you have a small minimalist living room. Add colour and texture to the room with a statement piece of art like this soft pink and coloured painting on the wall.

Bench seat
Source: Kyal and Kara

8. Have fun with a swing chair

Add fun to your living room by adding in a cane hanging chair. These beauties are very on trend right now and they look fantastic in a coastal-style home. And try to keep the colours in shades of white and sandy beige to create this easy, minimal style for your own small living room.

Swing chair
Source: Pampa

9. Add a vase of flowers

A minimalist living room doesn’t have to be devoid of life. Inject colour into your space by keeping a bunch of beautiful flowers on the coffee table. You can update them each week with fresh florals or you can find your favourite fake flowers from Spotlight or any other decoration store. And the good thing is that they come in so many different types – from peonies to sunflowers to more – and they look good all year round!

Personal touch
Source: Choosing Chia

10. Include a statement mirror

The great thing about mirrors is that they can make small spaces appear much larger than they really are. So if you have a tiny living room, choose a mirror that can sit on top of furniture (like this gold mirror on the mantelpiece), hang from the wall, or one that can sit on the floor. And you’ll be amazed at how open your space appears by using this simple hack.

Mirror
Source: Jacquelyn Clark

11. Frame your living room around a key feature

If you have a feature piece like a fireplace, painting or mirror, frame your living room furniture around it. This creates a cosy space to gather together family and friends. Also, add to the comfort by including a basket full of blankets and by throwing some soft pillows on the couch.

Fireplace
Source: Jess Ann Kirby

12. Don’t be afraid to add colour

A small minimalist living room doesn’t have to stick to black and white to be effective. Don’t be afraid to include colour in your little space. Take this living room, for example, which incorporates blue with beige neutrals. The blue is intertwined in the lampshade, pillows, armchair, rug, and with books on the coffee table.

Small living room
Source: Bria Hammel Interiors

13. Add a minimal fireplace

You may not have factored this in, but even your fireplace can be minimalist! This fireplace is unobtrusive and certainly doesn’t take over the room. In fact, it works in perfectly with the black feature wall behind it. But it’s also an elegant addition to the living room.

Fireplace
Source: Igor Sirotov

14. Create a neutral base

The most simple way to create a minimalist living room is to start with a neutral base. These colours typically include black, white, grey, brown and beige and or often referred to as ‘earth tones.’ In this example, the living room uses light beige and light grey.

It then adds in a touch of colour with the dark green plant in a terracotta pot. The great thing about a neutral base is that it will look complete on its own, or you can add layers of colour for interest – the choice is entirely yours!

Neutral living room
Source: Yana Suschick

15. Choose quality over quantity

When designing your small minimalist living room, try to select good quality pieces of furniture that will last a long time. Because you’re selecting neutrals, they’ll never go out of fashion. So think ahead, and choose furniture that will serve you in the years to come.

Grey living room
Source: Igor Sirotov

16. Create integrated open spaces

This living room flows on naturally from both the kitchen and bedroom areas in this open loft-style home. Minimalism works great here because it keeps everything looking tidy and seamless. This space could easily look like a mess if it were filled with too many colours.

Living room
Source: Igor Sirotov

17. Invest in beautiful storage

The key to minimalism is to rid your living room of all unnecessary clutter. This is often found on top of surfaces, like coffee tables, tabletops, shelves, and cabinets, and inside drawers. Do yourself a favour and give your living room a tidy up and deep clean. Once you’ve removed all clutter, take the time to invest in stylish storage.

Beautiful cabinets keep your chaos contained inside the cabinets while looking chic on the outside. This is a handy hack for those of you who are wannabe minimalists but are truly maximalists on the inside. While you should clear your space, you can keep some choice pieces hidden away inside your cabinet doors.

Storage
Source: BHDM

If you’re getting cabinets built-in, a custom fitting is the best solution but you should leave it to the professionals and get a cabinet designer to take care of it for you.

18. Create contrast with black and white

Going down the monochrome route can make for a striking space as it really defines zones. A minimalist living room could include a white couch on clean white walls and a white coffee table, this will also make the space seem a lot larger too.

Then in another section of the room, you could use darker colours to really highlight that it is a different zone. For instance black or dark navy paint, furniture and cabinetry.

On the opposite side, the kitchen cabinetry and flooring is a slick dark grey with a shiny black six-person table. You can then bring white into the dark area by way of a small vase with white flowers or other decoration to tie it all together.

Contrasting colours
Source: OporskiArchitektura

19. Add greenery

Any minimalist space will be brought to life with a vase full of greenery. Use a small vase with a little bit of greenery for a subtle touch or take a leaf out of this living room’s book and choose a large vase that makes a statement.

Living room
Source: BHDM

20. Choose clean lines and shapes

Choose furniture with smooth clean lines to create a minimalist space. Clean lines make a space feel uncluttered and simple. Like in this picture, it’s still using a lot of different materials such as timber, marble, grey and black but as it’s all straight edges it’s still maintaining its simplicity and minimalist design.

Minimal living room
Source: From Luxe with Love

21. Incorporate green velvet

Now you’re probably asking yourself but why velvet? Well not only is it very on-trend at the moment but a coloured couch in a plush textured finish really lifts a simple room to the next level.

A velvet couch can come in all colours such as a deep blue,  dusty pink to mysterious purple, golden yellow, and even this gorgeous bottle green! Throw in a rug for texture and warmth and add in a small pod of coffee tables to complete the room, in a minimal way.

Green living room
Source: From Luxe with Love
A colourful feature piece of furniture is one of the best ways to add excitement to a minimalist living room.

22. Add unique furniture

Just because you’re creating a minimalist living room doesn’t mean you need to stick to rectangular or square shapes. Have fun with interesting shapes and sizes but just make sure your surfaces are tidy and clean so the space looks uncluttered.

Simple living room
Source: From Luxe with Love

23. Go all white

White is one of the most wonderful ways to make a small living room appear much larger than it really is. You can achieve this look with white walls, thick white curtains, a white couch and a white lamp shade.

While you’ll want to keep the focus on white, don’t be afraid to add a little bit of colour and texture by layering rugs and adding some geometric-print pillows.

White minimal
Source: Downshiftology

24. Choose a minimalist coffee table

Your coffee table doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. In fact, when it comes to creating a minimal space, the more simple it is, the better! This dark timber coffee table is the perfect choice for this room. It brings the right amount of contrast to an otherwise all-white living room.

Minimalist living room
Source: maisonflaneur

25. Add a basic white rug

If you’re wondering how to bring all of your pieces of furniture together to create one seamless look, then it’s time to get a rug. A large rug like this one will provide a clear centre point for your room while drawing your attention to the coffee table in the middle. And if you keep the rug in line with other colours in the space (like this one), you’ll find it’s a great way to complete your minimalist living room.

Basic white rug
Source: maisonflaneur

26. Change it up with angular design

While choosing key furniture pieces often consists of looking for items that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, these angular chairs are more for people who are attracted to geometric styling with a contemporary flair.

Featuring unique, eye-catching furniture that showcases oddly angled structures can make your space feel a little less casual living room and a little more modern art gallery.

Angular design
Source: maisonflaneur

27. Minimalist statement lighting

Your lighting doesn’t have to be complex, fancy or over the top. In fact, the most effective lighting can be a unique statement piece. This interesting structure includes a single hanging light bulb with a doily-shaped cover, making for a really artsy space.

Minimalist lighting
Source: maisonflaneur

28. Square design

When it comes to keeping things minimal yet elegant, you simply cannot go wrong with a square design. And this living space is no exception – it centres around a simple white fabric coffee table in the same style as the four armchairs that surround it.

Square design
Source: jkkling

29. Coastal minimal design

Create a tranquil minimalist living room by using linen in shades of blue. Add touches of timber and lots of white to make the space a coastal delight for any beach house or wannabe seaside escape. This space will have you kicking your shoes off and cosying up with a glass of red in hand.

Coastal minimal
Source: The Stables

30. Pink and grey

These two colours are a match made in heaven. The best way to create an inviting room is to use grey as a base and then add touches of pink or blush. Take this living room, for example, which uses dark grey carpet, a light grey couch, and adds pops of soft pink with the pillows. Little touches of pink have also been added in the form of ceramics on the timber shelves of the white cabinet.

Simple room
Source: The Stables

31. Marble coffee table

If you’re looking for a classic style that will last the test of time, then you simply can’t go past marble. It looks fabulous with everything, especially when used as a centrepiece in a small minimalist living room. Add a tray, a small vase with some flowers or greenery, and your favourite coffee table book to top it all off.

Marble coffee table
Source: The Stables

32. Black-and-white style

How beautiful is this living room? I love the design strictly sticks to black and white. This creates an elegant and timeless style that you are sure to love for years to come.

Black and white living room
Source: Coco Lapine Design

33. Burnt orange leather and black

If you’re the kind of person who likes to draw outside the lines, then burnt orange might be the choice for you. Create a foundation of black and white walls, flooring and furniture, and then add a pop of colour with burnt orange leather chairs and a gorgeous orange-red glass vase on the coffee table.

Leather chairs
Source: est living

Also, scroll back a tick and look at the roof here, the panelling on the roof also makes a statement and brings together the modern furniture with a more classical designed home.

34. Pink couch

How fun is this pink couch? It stands out as a feature piece in this stark white room and something that you can easily recreate. If you have white walls, simply add silver detailing, and then include one fun couch in the colour of your choosing. But if I were you, I’d choose pink! (I really like pink, just in case you couldn’t already tell.)

Pink couch
Source: Style by Emily Henderson

35. Minimalist retreat

Simply looking at this small minimalist living room makes me feel calm. It’s because the design uses clean lines and interesting shapes in like colours and interesting textures. Also, I love the big statement light shade and how it matches the timber structure of the sofa and the small curved coffee table – the combination is so interesting!

Living room
Source: The Design Chaser

I hope these 35 unique living room ideas have sparked your interest, so you can get busy creating your very own minimalist living room. It’s amazing what you can do with a small space if you put a bit of care and attention into making it special.

So what will you do next? Add a statement couch? Perhaps a marble coffee table? Incorporate a bench seat? Or add a large white rug? Also, whatever you do, make sure you continually clear your living room of clutter so you can enjoy the calm and tranquillity that comes with a clean, minimalist space.

Do you have any other suggestions on minimalist design? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elise H

I've recently moved into a new home and I've been having so much fun decorating it with pretty wall prints and Scandinavian-inspired furniture. So as well as being a freelance writer, I'm always on the lookout for new design pieces for my home!

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