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23 Beautiful Formal Living Room Ideas


This large and bright great room has enough room to fit two living rooms. This first one is directly facing the tall glass walls and it has glass-top coffee tables to match that. Images courtesy of

Welcome to our curated site of beautiful formal living rooms. Be sure to scroll through our hand picked interior photos so you can read all about the designs. You can also click on any links to view additional designs and read about further architectural details and resources. We hope to inspire and ignite creativity on your design journey.


1. Traditional Touches in this Formal Living Room

White formal living room featuring a cozy sofa set with a glass top center table in front of the fireplace. The wall lighting looks very lovely.

You’ll want to collapse onto one of those comfy slip-covered sofas, which create a lovely seating area around the fireplace in this traditional style home. The beautiful white coffered ceilings make the room seem spacious. Take a look at that stunning view out to the boat deck from the glass accordion doors. There really is no shortage of lighting with the wall sconces, floor lamp and table lamps on the console behind the sofa. 

2. Transitional Formality in this Bright Living Room

Spacious formal living room with white walls and ceiling.

The vaulted ceilings in this formal living room make the room feel so spacious. There is a mix of traditional and modern furniture throughout which is why we consider it transition design. The plush rug makes you want to take your shoes off and relax after a long day. The large moulding throughout the room adds a bit of formality to the overall design. 

3. Modern Scandinavian-Inspired Formal Living Room

Simple white formal living room featuring a modish sofa set with a fireplace, along with artistic wall decors.

Your eyes are automatically drawn upwards to this stunning coffered ceiling made of natural wood.  It feels like a very cozy space even though it has a very modern and airy design. I love the unique art and light furniture palette paired with the sheer curtains and white paneled walls.  The large custom light gray sofa and armchairs create a welcoming space for entertaining.

4. Grand Contemporary Living Room with Earthy Vibes

Large formal living room featuring white sofa set on top of a classy rug set on the hardwood flooring. There's a modish fireplace too that looks very attractive.

Natural elements like the brick fireplace, wood cabinet and woven ottoman add an earthy touch in this formal contemporary living room. Roomy white sofas with pops of blues and orange complete this warm palette. It would be fun hanging out with the family playing games, sitting by the fireplace.

5. Traditional Meets Modern in this Cozy Formal Living Room

This home boasts a beautiful living space with hardwood flooring and a classy rug. There's a fireplace in front of the white sofa set. The high ceiling adds elegance to the home.

This spacious living room has an indoor-outdoor feeling with those large sliding doors that open onto the deck. I’m sure many summer days are spent with them open as everyone gathers around. The white sofa and woven high-back chair have traditional elements, while the coffee table and tiled fireplace have more modern touches. You feel rather cozy in here with the wood console table and warm throw blankets, even though the ceilings are vaulted. 

6. Nature-Inspired Modern Formal Living Room

This home boasts a formal living space with classy sofa set on top of a beautiful rug set on the hardwood flooring. The fireplace looks so charming.

I love the massive stone fireplace in this formal living room, although it’s more modern it also feels very natural. The wood built-ins and shelving are a good combination of modern design and nature. The gray tuxedo sofa and matching armchairs provide ample seating or you can curl-up on the cozy shag rug. The best part of the room has to be the views, nature is streaming through creating a light and bright environment. 

7. Modern Chic Formal Living Room

A modern home featuring a large formal living space with cozy sofa set in front of the stylish fireplace set on the hardwood flooring.

I absolutely love the open walls of this super chic modern living room. What an amazing room to entertain for your family or guests during the holidays. The light buttery leather sofa and armchairs paired with the caramel swivel chair create a cozy seating area around the show stopping fireplace. The abstract wall art, plush rug and white drapes add texture and dimension to complete the design. 

8. Light & Minimal Formal Living Room

Modern home featuring a small formal living area featuring a stylish gray sofa set in front of the cozy fireplace.

You can’t help but notice the incredible vast open space in this bright formal living room. So much natural light flowing throughout and the outdoor tree feels like it is inside of the space. The furniture is very modern and minimal, and the space almost feels like a loft in NYC. I love the abstract art on the walls and the sleek 2-dimensional fireplace. The only thing missing in here is a rug, just to add some warmth. 

9. Industrial Meets Nature in this Formal Living Room

Modern home featuring a large formal living area that features a cozy sofa set and a charming fireplace. The tall glass windows overlook the beautiful outdoor views.

The indoor-outdoor influence you get from this spacious industrial designed room is beyond imagination. You almost feel like you’re living in a grown-up tree house. So many interesting things for your eyes to look at like the beautiful pendant trio or the unique built-ins by the fireplace and behind the sofa. I imagine the leather lounge chairs are really comfy and I’m sure you can turn them around to stare outside all day long. 

10. Transitional Contemporary-Inspired Formal Living Room

A modern formal living room featuring a cozy set of sofa in front of the stylish gray fireplace with an attractive wall decor above it.

Pops of color are injected in all the right places in this cozy transitional and contemporary living room. The oversized sectional sofa provides plenty of seating with the addition of two armchairs. The colorful stripe rug brings a cheerful tone into the space as well as the colorful art above the concrete fireplace. I love the detail of the firewood cubby on the right side of built-ins. My only complaint is that it appears they didn’t finish accessorizing the shelves. 

11. Eclectic High-Rise Formal Living Room

Large modern formal living room featuring classy sofa set on top of the beautiful rug set on the hardwood flooring. The wall decor looks so charming.

I love that this eclectic formal living room in a modern high-rise apartment, is situated so it overlooks the vast city. Can you even imagine the view at night with all those lights? The unique art combined with the solid wood ceiling and elegant chandelier all come together to create an eclectic design. There are so many textures and layers to this room including the jute rug, formal armchairs and large sectional sofa. 

12. Formal Living Room Ski-Chalet with Industrial Roots

Formal living room with tall ceiling, amazing view and huge custom built sectional sofa facing large modern wood fireplace in modern ski chalet

It’s like your own personal ski chalet with incredible mountain views. You almost don’t know where the house ends and the mountains begin. There is a really cool mix of nature, industrial and modern design in this living room. Catch me lounging all day on the massive custom sofa staring at the snow-capped mountains. Plenty of storage for wood under that incredible metal and stone fireplace, you’ll never get cold. 

13. Mid-Century Living Room Meets the Mountains

Large formal living space featuring stylish gray sofa set on top of the attractive brick tiles flooring topped by classy rugs.

The combination of Mid-Century and rustic design create an eclectic feel in this formal living room. I love the juxtaposition of the brick floor and the wood ceiling paired with the classic Eames lounge chairs and arc floor lamp. The vintage rugs add warmth to the room and the wall of windows allow light to stream in continuously. It appears that the room just extends the length of the house, which would make for an entertainers dream. 

14. Classic Traditions in this Formal Living Room

Traditional formal living room with white surface fireplace (with beautiful molding) surrounded by gray traditional living room furniture including an elegant white tufted square ottoman serving as coffee table.

Beautiful moulding around the fireplace and tray ceiling really captures the essence of a classic traditional living room. You feel a sense of a calm and relaxation in this space.  The cozy grey sofa and armchair in the corner provide ample seating. The tufted ottoman can double as a coffee table or additional seating if necessary. The additional of art greenery and lamps complete the overall design.

15. Scandinavian-Influenced Formal Living Room

Small formal living room in the Scandinavian style with classic Scandinavian style gray furniture centered around two small natural wood round coffee tables all on a very light wood floor.

Stark minimalism in this monochromatic Scandinavian style living room. A mix of chair shapes and tables throughout this space almost give it an eclectic feel but the monochromatic color scheme keeps it simple. I appreciate the small touches of blue in the lamp and accessories and the chic vibe of the cow-hide area rug. I would have probably added a semi-flush pendant light in the ceiling to complete the design. 

16. Classic Shabby Chic Formal Living Room

Here's a light rustic living room with towering white ceiling and distressed beamed fireplace mantel. The light beige sofas tie in the distressed wood with the otherwise all white space.

This is a great example of the shabby chic design with all the white fabric and rustic wood elements. It feels very cozy with a light and breezy element to the room and the seating seems super comfy. The wood box appears to represent a fireplace, however, you couldn’t actually burn wood in there. The addition of throws, pillows and accessories create a real homey space.

17. Transitional and Modern-Style Formal Living Room

The gray stone textured wall of the fireplace is the highlight of this medium-sized living room. It matches well with the gray cushioned sofa across from it facing the dark wooden coffee table that sits in the middle of the furry beige area rug.

The highlight of this formal living room are the built-in shelving units flanking the stone fireplace. The furniture placement is great and creates a cohesive seating space. I love all the lighting additions including the canned spotlight over the built-ins. It’s all accessorized perfectly, I almost feel like I’m in a model home.

18. Halston-Inspired Modern Formal Living Room

This living room may have a small floor space but it makes up for it with a high white ceiling that spans two floors. It goes well with the tall beige walls and the brown panel accents. These set a nice background for the pair of beige sofas on the dark hardwood flooring.

If the clothing designer Halston was still alive, I imagine his living room would look something like this. I feel like I’ve stepped back into the 1970’s in this chic stylized space. I love all wood elements and architectural design on the walls which extends all the way to the ceiling. The large white sofas provide ample seating as well as the caramel lounger and floor pillows. Lots of overhead lighting all around and a projector in the ceiling, which I assume projects movies onto the opposite wall. 

19. Grand and Elegant Formal Living Room

This large living room has a massive vertical space thanks to its tall and bright ceiling that hangs a couple of contrasting dark chandeliers. These go well with the colorful patterned area rug and the dark earthy tones of the sofas as well as the marble mantle of the fireplace.

Loads of detail in this classically designed and elegant living room. The sheer grandness of the ceiling creates the illusion of an even larger space. Matching patterned sofas paired with a velvet brown sofa offer plenty of seating. The Persian-style area rug adds warmth to the large room and all the white moulding and pillars make you feel like you stepped back in time. 

20. Country Charmed Living Room with Traditional Touches

The beautiful shabby-chic light blue walls are complemented by the fabulous colorful beige curtains of the two bright windows. This also complements the light blue sofa that is paired with a beige cushioned armchair and a cushioned ottoman coffee table.

The baby blue painted walls create a cozy space for this country-inspired formal living room. From the rustic wood door and matching wood floors to the patterned drapes, you feel like you’ve stepped into a charming cottage. However, there are traditional elements like the curved arm sofa, upholstered ottoman and decorative wall mirror. The only thing that strikes me as odd, is the modern globe lamp on the side table, it’s too modern for this space and seems out of place. 

21. Indoor-Outdoor Formal Living Room

The modern white tray ceiling of this living room is lit with beige tray ceiling lights giving it an ethereal glow complemented by the pair of ceiling fans hanging over the pair of woven wicker coffee tables in the middle of the surrounding built-in cushioned benches.

You’ll feel like you’re on vacation every day in this spacious modern living room. The indoor-outdoor living is breathtaking and the spaces flow seamlessly.  I love the monochromatic color palette for all the furniture and accessories, it creates a soothing and relaxing design. The massive built-in sofa surrounding the entire living space is a genius no-fuss design element. Imagine the parties you could have here, with drinks the flowing and music playing all night long. 

22. Contemporary Living Room with a Penthouse View

The stunning view of the formal great room of the penthouse, next to the stairs, with its glass walls and soaring ceilings.

 Stunning penthouse views of the ocean from this formal living room. Gorgeous floor to ceiling windows surround this contemporary designed space. Loads of seating to choose from with the many sofas and comfortable armchairs. A large greek key-style area rug along with the geometric wall screen, add pattern and texture. I can’t quite make out the massive light fixture hanging from the ceiling but I imagine it’s spectacular. 

23. Modern and Minimal Formal Living Room

A contemporary living room with wooden floors gives the room an aesthetic feel.

You can’t help but look up at the beautiful wood-vaulted ceiling and admire just how spacious this formal living room feels. The simple color palette and minimal furniture allow you to relax and enjoy life as you gaze out into the water through the glass doors. I love the architectural detail of the fireplace and the carved wood art hanging above. No lamps needed because you’ve got light streaming through all the windows, all day long. 

Related: White Modern Formal Living Room Ideas | White Formal Living Room Ideas | Living Rooms With Dark Wood Floors | Living Rooms with Mirrors | Living Rooms with Big Windows

Please see our gallery featuring 22 stunning living room flooring ideas.