39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (2024)

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Kristin Hohenadel

39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (1)

Kristin Hohenadel

Kristin Hohenadel has written on design for publications including the New York Times, Interior Design, Slate, Fast Company, and the international editions of Elle Decor.

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Updated on 01/29/24

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39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (2)

A minimalist living room that focuses on the essentials can help you to keep clutter at bay, come home to a calming space, and make whatever square footage you do have feel larger and airier.

Minimalist living rooms take a pared-back approach to furniture, color palettes, and decor, an approach that can be used to create a streamlined feel in any style of interior. Your minimalist living room might have white walls and pale woods for a Scandinavian feel, woven accents and plants for a modern bohemian look, or embrace the clean lines and clever storage solutions of midcentury modern furniture pieces.

From stark black-and-white interiors to streamlined spaces that use color and decor in bold and concentrated ways, check out these stylish minimalist living rooms in a range of styles and sizes to inspire you.

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    Stick to Black and White

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    Using a limited color palette of crisp white and jet black will give your living room a minimalist feel.

    Brophy Interiors decorated this contemporary space with a few carefully curated decorative objects, touches of wood for warmth, and enough seating to make the space ready for gathering and entertaining.

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    Choose an Anchor Piece

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    Anchor a minimalist living room with a large piece of furniture to minimize visual clutter.

    Interior designer Alvin Wayne chose a comfortable overstuffed sectional lined with pillows in the same clean white fabric. Wood accents add warmth, and a single piece of black-and-white framed art gives the eye a place to rest.

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    Use a Pale Neutral Palette

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    Choose a mix of finishes in a pale palette to create a tranquil feel. This Welsh countryside retreat designed by award-winning British minimalist architectural designer John Pawson for Living Architecture was conceived as a place to encourage calm and reflection.

    Influenced by Japanese design and the architecture of the Benedictine monks, Pawson outfitted the interior with light Danish brick walls, polished concrete floors, and Douglas fir timber ceilings complemented with low-slung furniture and soft drapes to keep the focus on the wrap-around views of rural Wales.

    Minimalism is a trend made popular by the modern-day battle against consumerist clutter, but it is rooted in the long and influential history of minimalist design in architecture, interiors, art, graphics, fashion, and virtually every other facet of design.

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    Lift With Soft Color

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    Large furniture pieces with simple lines and pale colors create a comfortable, laid back atmosphere for hanging out and entertaining. In this Palm Beach, FL living room from Calimia Home, a minimalist approach to furnishings showcases the architectural details of the 1920s Spanish style home. Barely there pale pink walls give the black-and-white palette a lift.

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    Choose Stylish Storage

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    In a minimalist living room, every choice counts. Cathie Hong Interiors outfitted this San Francisco condo living room with stylish storage and display solutions such as a wall-mounted Danish midcentury bookshelf and a sculptural freestanding book tower that double as decor.

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    Bring the Outdoors Inside

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    Rooms with sweeping views of the ocean lend themselves to a minimalist approach. Interior designer Maite Granda complemented this Florida living room with shades of white and blue to reinforce the coastal look. Natural wood accents and a collection of butterfly prints above the sofa add a touch of color.

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    Embrace Symmetry

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    Embrace symmetry to create a minimalist feel in a more traditional living room. Interior designer Kara Mann placed identical white linen sofas opposite one another and flanked the fireplace with a pair of matching floor lamps in this neutral space ready for entertaining.

    Change up a minimalist space decorated in neutral tones by bringing in seasonal objects or flowers to add some variation without renovating the whole room.

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    Highlight Raw Materials

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    Minimalist decor works especially well in living rooms with striking original features like brick or stone walls.

    Home Consultant decorated this Los Angeles Historical Landmark home built in 1922 with tones of leather, wood, and natural materials like rattan that allow the floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace wall to do most of the talking.

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    Choose a Statement Piece

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    Interior designer Jessica Risko Smith of JRS ID create a calming foundation in this living room using white, gray, black, and leather. Then she added a curvy green velvet sofa that takes center stage with a bold dose of color.

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    Feature Organic Shapes

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    In a room with a pared down palette and minimal decor, choose furniture and decor with organic lines and sculptural shapes, like this modern space from Emily Henderson Design.

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    Play With Asymmetry

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    Accentuate asymmetrical elements to add wabi-sabi character to a minimalist space.

    Home Consultant focused on the tall slanted fireplace wall of this voluminous living room, concentrating decorative elements on the feature wall to add warmth without detracting from the overall minimalist feel of the space.

    When designing a minimalist living room, pay attention to the scale and volume of the space. A small room with low ceilings will fill up quickly and should be approached sparingly, whereas a large open-plan space with high or vaulted ceilings can absorb more elements without looking cluttered and may need more decorative touches to feel warm and livable.

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    Create Open-Plan Flow

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    Create flow in an open-plan living room by using a cohesive palette throughout adjoining spaces. Forbes + Masters kept it simple with a minimalist palette of white, black, and gray, laying out furniture to create distinct zones.

    Help maintain an uncluttered feel in a minimalist living room by using multipurpose furniture such as a storage bench.

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    Recreate Midcentury Modern

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (15)

    Channel the aesthetics of a midcentury modern interior to create a minimalist living room with warmth and enduring style.

    Caroline Dooley Architects retained the authentic aesthetic of this 1950's midcentury modern home, using period-appropriate colors, furnishings, and decor that have the same minimalist appeal today that that they did back then.

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    Try a Black Sectional

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    A large black sectional sofa floating in the middle of a white-walled room brings sophistication and a timeless feel to this living room from interior designer Kara Mann.

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    Focus on Natural Light

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (17)

    Create a warm, inviting family living room feel by prioritizing natural light. Cathie Hong Interiors used white walls, pale textiles, and gauzy curtains to preserve the light and airy feeling of this spacious living room with its vaulted ceilings and access to the outdoors.

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    Paint It All White

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    Create a soothing feel in a minimalist living room by painting it all white. Kate Marker Interiors painted the walls and sweeping central fireplace that structures the room in the same shade of white for a uniform feel. Neutral furnishings are embellished with a few soft color accents in shades of green and blue.

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    Lighten Finishes

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    Home Consultant stripped the original ceiling beams and added beige stucco to the floor-to-ceiling fireplace to modernize this handsome midcentury modern California home while respecting its original character for a warm modern minimalist feel.

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    Try an Indoor-Outdoor Feel

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (20)

    If you have a wall of windows and a wide-open view, take your cues from nature when deciding on a color palette, like this living room from Latham Interiors that has a neutral color scheme and low-slung furniture that doesn't try to compete with the majestic mountain landscape.

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    Revisit the Eighties

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    Channel 1980s style with a neutral palette and a pared-back approach to add interest to a modern minimalist living room. Interior designer Kara Mann added plenty of texture and a shiny mirrored coffee table that catches light streaming in from the retro-style block windows for a subtle take on throwback style.

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    Leave Windows Bare

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    If you've got a supercharged view, taking a minimalist approach to furnishing and interior decor can help ensure that the room doesn't feel overstimulating.

    Interior designer Maite Granda matched simple furnishings in shades of white and gray that meld right into the contemporary bones of this compact Florida highrise living room, leaving windows bare to keep the focus on the light and the view.

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    Let the Room Breathe

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    Let your minimalist living breathe by leaving plenty of white space around wall decor and leaving open floor space to create flow around furnishings, like this bright space from Home Consultant.

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    Highlight Volumes

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    Interior designer Maite Granda played up the inherent theatricality of this double-height Florida living room by installing a towering potted palm tree. She kept the palette light, warm, and neutral, adding textural wall treatments in lieu of art to add interest while maintaining a minimalist feel.

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    Add Minimalist Boho Style

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (25)

    A minimalist aesthetic can work with any style. Home Consultant renovated this Spanish-style ranch house in Los Angeles with a Tulum-inspired "modern Mexican" aesthetic that includes stark white walls, graphic black accents on the updated fireplace, pale flooring, and boho-style decorative accents, all while keeping the overall design minimalist and uncluttered.

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    Revisit Traditional Style

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    Modernize a traditional living room with a minimalist approach to color and furnishings. This living room from Brophy Interiors has a traditional feel mixed with a no-fuss modern minimalist palette of black and white that demonstrates that less is more decorating can work in any style.

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    Decorate With Plants

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (27)

    This New York City living room from interior designer Alvin Wayne keeps the focus on the sweeping views by floating the seating area in the middle of the room. The space is accessorized with the one thing missing from those floor-to-ceiling city views: leafy green plants.

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    Add Bold Color Accents

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    A minimalist living room doesn't have to be shy about color. Interior designer Maite Granda used a bold but sparing approach to color in this streamlined Florida living room, starting with a neutral foundation of white and sandy beige stone walls, a beige carpet, and white furnishings. Then she woke the whole thing up with confident dashes of blue to bring it to life.

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    Add a Quiet Gallery Wall

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    A minimalist living room doesn't have to eschew all art or decoration. Hannah Tyler Designs hung a quiet gallery wall of black-and-white photos laid out in symmetrical rows over the sectional sofa that work in harmony with the minimalist color palette of the room.

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    Add Graphic Patterns

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    Keep a minimalist interior simple but dynamic with graphic patterns, like the bold area rug in this sunny California living room from Brophy Interiors.

    Large decorative objects—a leaning floor mirror, a patterned surfboard, and natural greenery—are positioned behind the sofa so that they fill the empty wall without taking up space.

    One way to create a minimalist feel even in a living room with ample seating and decorative elements is to leave plenty of floor space clear—both to encourage flow and to create the impression that the room isn't chock full of stuff.

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    Add Natural Accents

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    Bring warmth to a minimalist living room with natural wood and woven accents. In this simple living room from Hannah Tyler Designs, natural touches like woven window shades, a midcentury modern-style armchair, and a large wood stump coffee table add warmth to the beige-and-white color scheme.

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    Hide the TV

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    Maintain an uncluttered feel in a minimalist living room by hiding the TV in plain sight, like this space from Brexton Cole Interiors that features a flat screen on a dark shiplap wall to help camouflage it when not in use.

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    Hang Large-Scale Art

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (33)

    Hang a large-scale piece of art over the couch to personality to a minimalist space while maintaining an uncluttered, serene feel, like this warm minimalist living room from Mel Burstin for Emily Henderson Design.

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    Add a Colorful Rug

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (34)

    In a minimalist, neutral-toned room, add a hint of color with a large multicolored area rug, like this basem*nt living room from Hannah Tyler Designs.

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    Focus on Curves

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    Create an organic feel in a modern minimalist living room with plenty of texture and curved lines, like the furniture and decor in this neutral space from Sissy + Marley Interior Design.

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    Float the Furniture

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    In an open-plan space, float the furniture to create flow and define zones with an area rug. Sissy + Marley Interior Design kept it simple with a black-and-white palette in this airy guest house.

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    Choose Textured Wall Decor

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    Maintain a minimalist feel by choosing oversized wall decor with plenty of texture rather than a number of smaller pieces scattered throughout the room. Sissy + Marley Interior Design added texture and interest with a giant wall hanging that energizes the neutral space.

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    Try Coastal Style

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (38)

    Decorate a minimalist space with a coastal palette of blue and white for a relaxing feel, like this beach house living room from Chango & Co. that features a large navy sofa and dark blue area rug that add contrast with the white walls and pale woods of the room.

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    Use Vertical Space

    39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (39)

    Use vertical space to keep things off the floor and tabletops of a minimalist living room, like this bright and airy maisonette living room from Chango & Co. that features floor-to-ceiling shelves and a library ladder to display books and objects along a single wall that draws the eye upward to the tall ceilngs.

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    Create a Focal Point

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    Paint a dated brick fireplace matte black to create a striking focal point in a minimalist living room, like this Southern California space from Home Consultant.

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    Add a Standalone Shelf

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    Decorate a minimalist living room with a freestanding bookshelf that can be used to display objects while leaving the rest of the space clutter-free, like this renovated Boston brownstone living room from Desiree Burns Interiors.

What should be in a minimalist living room?

A minimalist living room should include essentials like comfortable seating, good lighting, and window treatments for privacy and temperature control.

It may also include furniture such as a coffee table, built-in storage such as bookshelves, rugs, minimal decor, simple wall art, and plants. Start with the essentials and build from there to determine what level of minimalism is right for your space.

Why is minimalist interior design so popular?

Minimalist interior design is popular amongst those who crave simplicity in a complicated world. An uncluttered minimalist interior is easier to clean and maintain and appeals to people who want to reduce consumption in the context of the climate emergency. Minimalist interiors with an emphasis on clean lines, natural light, and neutral palettes have a calming feel that many people find appealing.

60 Minimalist Bedroom Ideas for a Calming Refuge That Focuses on the Essentials

39 Minimalist Living Room Ideas For a Streamlined and Simple Look (2024)

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