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Ideas, Tips and Guides for a Minimalist Living Room

Ideas, Tips and Guides for a Minimalist Living Room
modern room

By Maria Healey,

The minimalist style is trending amongst new homeowners as they take on a ”less is more” approach to design. Moving into a new home or redecorating an outdated room to breathe new life into it can be an exciting project to take on. When it comes to decorating a small space, or just decorating on a small budget, there are plenty of options available to create a beautifully decorated minimalist living room. Here’s a guide to assist you with your work in progress for a functional yet appealing bare-bones minimalist design plan.

Wall Color

When it comes to minimalist living room design, the ideal wall color is usually white, in order to keep the space bright and make it appear as large as possible, while optional accent colors add interest without overwhelming the eye.  

Neutrals: White walls help to create a neutral first impression of the room overall, and painting is generally the first job to tackle when moving in or redecorating a room. Applying a fresh coast of white paint on even weathered walls will breathe new life into the space. 

Bold colors: An accent or statement wall is also something to consider, so careful pre-planning is necessary if you wish to create one in your minimalist living room, as this will need to be completed early in the process. A single bold paint color can be used for this purpose, or consider using patterned wallpaper to create a pop of color or texture as an accent to the otherwise plain white walls and room. 


Once the wall painting or wallpapering has been completed, the next elements to consider when creating a minimalist living room design are the windows. If you are lucky enough to have a large picture window with an amazing view, this is an opportunity to emphasize the window as an art piece built into the space.  
Framing: Framing the window can be accomplished by adding window treatments such a fabric drapery or shelving, or by placing floor plants or other bright greenery in a complementary fashion nearby. 

Coverings: If instead you’ve decided to use window coverings as bold statement pieces for the room, consider incorporating textures or shapes that flow through the rest of the space seamlessly. Subtle prints will help make the room seem large, rather than busier patterns that can quickly shrink or overwhelm a room. 


Depending on what kind of flooring material you currently have in place — whether it’s wood or laminate, concrete or linoleum — the design or pattern involved will help determine what additional elements to use for complementing your minimalist living room design. A plain, simple floor can be thought of as a blank canvas ready for a bold piece; while a busy floor pattern will benefit more by displaying something muted in place.  

Rugs: Both looks can be captured with a large area rug, spanning the length and width of a room to display beautifully under all the furniture pieces, or just use a smaller rug as an accent piece to lay in the center of the room and draw all the pieces together.  

Nature: Bright greenery, florals, or natural elements in neutral tones can also fill up floor space that would otherwise make the room look too empty. Consider some beautiful artificial plants for easy care all year long (modern versions can be surprisingly realistic). 

Wall Décor

Wall décor can stand out in a stunning way, especially in a minimalist setting. 
Art: A gallery-worthy high impact art piece will really pop on white walls amidst a minimalist living room. Choose a piece of art that speaks to you or complements the other elements of the room via either shape or color. The bold elements of modern art work well when placed in a bright space that’s lacking any other large elements that might fight for its attention. 

Mirrors: Adding a large ornate mirror to a wall of this space is another way to enhance a minimalist living room design. Pay particular attention to shape and color when choosing a decorative mirror to complement the room. Metallic colors work well as an accent when the mirror is used as a focal point of a small space. Placing the mirror in a location that extends the view of the room also creates the appearance of a larger space, a common yet very effective technique. 


Furniture has a major impact on the layout of a room. When editing your space, consider what is crucial as well as what is proportional. 

Go smaller: In a modern minimalist living room, smaller furniture pieces go a long way in creating the illusion that the room is much larger. When working within the confines of a smaller space, opt for a loveseat or settee rather than a large sofa or sectional couch.  

Multifunction: Look for multifunctional pieces and consider using a set of stacking tables rather than a large coffee table, for example. Stacking tables can be stored away within their own space and pulled out when necessary for entertaining. 


When decorating for a minimalist living room, lack of space may be a significant reason for choosing to decorate with less.  In that case, storage is of the utmost importance; multifunctional pieces will again come in handy.  

Furniture with storage: While a coffee table or nesting tables might be ideal for dining or entertaining, an ottoman with storage becomes a convenient everyday addition to the room in order to help store items such as books or blankets. 

Shelving: Wall shelves or bookcases can also assist with maintaining order by providing an option for storage in a small space. Bookcases can be used to display items such as small framed photos or  other decorative elements of the room. No need to fill up every shelf space; a few bare spots will echo your minimalist theme nicely. 


When decorating for a small space or just trying to choose as few items as possible, consider what each item can do for you as more than just something to create the look of the room.  

Tray tables: A tray table is quite a useful object that can also add to the aesthetic of the room when used on top of an ottoman, rather than placing a coffee table in the space. Now you have somewhere to place your drinks without needing another piece of furniture. 

Blankets: A quality blanket can also work in the same way to replace the use of throw pillows. An attractive blanket can be put on display for aesthetics, but also serves a greater purpose for snuggling up with on a cold day while lending texture contrast and warmth to the room.  

Color Theme

One last important thing to consider with minimalist living room design is color. Simply stated – don’t overdo it. Stick to using complementary colors or a monochromatic palette and limit where the art of color is used. Choose one or two ways to use color as a bold standout piece in your space or opt for muted colors if you intend to use similar shades throughout. 

The key to creating and maintaining a minimalist living room is thoughtfully investing in high quality pieces that complement each other without competing for attention in the space. Whether you’re starting from scratch or revamping a lived-in space, you don’t have to break the bank with these minimalist living room ideas.  

About The Author

Casey Christiansen

Casey supports the PR team at Zulily.

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