8 Steps to Designing a Minimalist Living Room
By Interior Designer & Author, Chris Carroll
Contrary to popular belief, taking a minimalistic approach to design in a space like your living room doesn’t mean you have to declutter the zone within an inch of its life.
Minimalist living rooms can be rich, inviting, interesting and cosy. You just have to approach the design in the right way and avoid some common style mishaps.
Here are some top tips that’ll help you create a minimalist living room without giving up all of your treasured possessions and sense of story. Because a living room should always reflect you and your personality. You just want to make sure you’re showcasing key elements properly.
1. Choose Furniture with Clean Lines
When creating a minimalist living room, you should always keep a sense of simplicity in mind. That means looking to furniture with clean lines.
When I say clean lines, I mean that pieces should be quite simple and refined in their structure. There are no curved arms with stud details on sofas There are no tufted button backs on armchairs. Coffee tables feature simple shapes and legs that aren’t too busy.
This approach keeps the space feeling visually light. You always want the living room to feel orderly and structured, with a few curated wow moments.
The Como Sofa above is the perfect example of furniture with clean lines, but with enough gorgeous pipe detail to keep the look interesting and restrained.
2. Each Piece Should Have Subtle Detail
Because you’re looking to have less pieces in the living room to evoke that airy feel, each piece of furniture should have some subtle detail. A piped arm on a sofa, for example. Or, consider a coffee table with a marble top featuring a light vein throughout.
You might even look to a console table that is smooth to the touch but where a slight wood grain is visible. Or, let some intricate detail in the front of a sideboard be the standout moment, like in the Marlon Sideboard above.
Always gravitate toward pieces where there is one element that stands out, but it should always whisper, not yell.
3. Raise Furniture Off the Floor
A minimalist living room design is all about evoking a sense of space. You want to feel like air is passing through all of the furniture pieces.
When shopping for a sofa or armchair, look to options on legs that are raised off the ground. This makes the space feel visually lighter. Avoid low sofas on stumpy legs that allow no airflow underneath. You want to avoid a heavy feel altogether in this zone.
The same goes for your consoles, coffee and side tables; you want to include pieces in the room with small profiles (thin top and legs).
The Walter Bar Cabinet above is the perfect example of furniture raised off the ground on thin legs. Packed with subtle character, and impactful without being dominant.
4. The Colour Palette Should be Carefully Considered
A minimalist living room doesn’t have to be void of colour altogether. It’s a common assumption that minimalist = neutral, but that’s incorrect.
You just need to make sure the living room features only a few colours, and you’d be wise to make them muted throughout. The idea is that one item doesn’t scream as the hero piece, but rather that all of the elements interplay quietly together.
Your sofa could be a soft grey, for example, but paired with a pale pink rug and glass coffee table. Of course this would make the rug the hero, but it’s a soft hero. Minimalism is about a room being easy on the eye, not having multiple elements fighting for your attention.
Bonus tip: add some warm timber tones to a living room to keep it feeling earthy and organic, like in the living room above which features the sleek Mia Console Table.
5. Style with Larger Decorative Objects
You don’t have to have every sideboard or tabletop void of decor just because you want the living room to have a minimalist design. You just need each decorative moment to be carefully considered.
The best approach is to stage just one larger item on something like a sideboard. It might be a few branches in a vase, for example. That’s all you’ll need to make the space feel interesting but not overbearing. Keep it large in scale but delicate in shape and you can’t go wrong.
On a coffee table, it might be a stack of books and a vase. The idea is to still have beautiful things to look at, but to have less of them cluttering up the room. It’s always a less-is-more approach with your finishing touches. But always have them feel special.
Case in point: The Slim Small Sideboard above just needs a minimal lamp on top to complete the scene.
6. Invest in Quality Furniture
Because your minimalist living room design is going to have less items in it, you want every single piece to not only feel visually interesting, but to be packed with quality as well.
Avoid filling the room with cheap furniture of low quality. That’s going to mean you’ll be rotating in new items all the time once the inferior ones fall apart.
A minimalist living room is always about each piece feeling like a design moments in its own right. So do look to quality timbers, the best linens, and refined craftsmanship when it comes to construction.
The Christoph Sofa above illustrates my point perfectly; constructed with a solid timber frame that has been kiln dried, it’s sturdy and strong with a frame that won’t warp over time.
7. Pull Back on the Cushions and Throws
We already know that you’re approaching the design of your minimalist living room with restraint in mind. So it should come as no surprise that pulling back on soft furnishings is a key consideration too.
That’s not to say that cushions are a no-go. Throws are though. The nature of a throw can be quite thick and packed with too many plush textural details, so I would avoid styling your sofa with one. Keep it stored away instead and pull it out as required.
Cushions are best kept to block colours, or have one with a calm abstract pattern. Keep it to two or three across the entire sofa. Your armchairs, being a design moment in their own right, won’t need a cushion at all.
The Seta 4-Seater Sofa above already comes with matching cushions, so your already half of the way there!
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8. Embrace Statement Artwork
Artwork is a great way to give your room a focal point. But in a minimalist living room you don’t want a loud or busy print to dominate the room and take away that sense of order and ease.
If you’re locking in a large-scale artwork as the hero in the room, ensure it features something rather tranquil, and match the colours to other elements that are already in the space.
Also ensure other pieces like rugs are kept quiet in comparison, so that there aren’t any other elements detracting from the art at all.
You can place more than one piece of art in a minimalist living room design, but just ensure there’s a sense of symmetry at play and don’t take it beyond more than four frames. All the frames should be the same colour and ideally they’re reasonably thin in profile.
Start curating your dream minimalist living room and be inspired by Brosa’s stylish designs. With Australia wide shipping, free fabric swatches and virtual consults, you can have the same Brosa experience from home. Visit our website for more info.
About the Author: Chris Carroll is the designer behind TLC Interiors; an interior design studio and home style blog that helps both clients and readers make their interior amazing without breaking the bank. Outside of designing and blogging, Chris is also an author and presenter, having hosted styling segments on Sunrise, The Morning Show and Sky News, to name a few. His passion lies in creating spaces that evoke approachable designer style; real homes for real people that feel contemporary but timeless.
Brosa Experience: I’ve been a fan of Brosa since its inception, not only because the furniture is stunning, but because the philosophy of the brand is very aligned with the TLC Interiors message, and that is that an amazing home doesn’t have to cost the earth. Brosa is my go-to for good-quality, affordable and on-trend furniture for not only my own space, but for client homes as well. There’s such a huge gap in the market between low-cost furniture and high-end furniture, and Brosa have bridged that gap with beautiful pieces that stand the test of time.