See examples and pictures of the 17 main types of living room styles including modern, country, Scandinavian, Asian, cottage, mid-century modern and more.
Living room styles dictate much of what the space will look like. Why is it important to have a great looking living room? Is it because it is where we commonly accommodate guests? Accept visitors? Or take some quality time discussing any and all aspects of life with family members?
Whatever way you utilize your living room, it is always important that you are keen into planning and executing any living room theme as this will give you quite a good reference in any actions to be taken.
Now back to business. Speaking of planning and executing living room themes, there are a few basic things you should keep in mind once you are planning.
Themes should not just stay as they are but they should otherwise give an on hand function depending on the lifestyle you have. In such cases as having kids around, this certainly calls for a less vulnerable design that would allow them to roam around without hurting them or breaking anything.
2. Determine interior design style
There are several types of interior design styles you can choose from, starting from traditional to rustic, transitional to comtemporary and modern. Once you have decided, everything will follow.
3. Invest in good seating
Since the living room is the very spot were numbers of individuals gather and sit around, choosing a comfortable sofa is a top priority. However, before buying make sure to determine the size, color and fabric type.
4. Add-on and decors
Consider the type of furniture, greenery and stuffs to be incorporated in your living room. Remember, there are decors that may look nice but are not fitting into your living room’s design and turns out of place, or worse, distractive.
With all this in mind, planning would remain abstract without executing it. It is advised, that as much as possible, stick with the plan and avoid changes unless necessary. This may change the whole design and may result with a different outcome.
Most Popular Living Room Styles
We analyzed 916,645 living room designs and from that data set were able to determine what are the most popular living room styles. Here they are from most popular to least popular. For example, traditional style is found in 13.49% of living rooms, making it the second most popular living room theme.
- Contemporary: 29.09%
- Traditional: 21.72%
- Transitional: 13.49%
- Modern: 11.83%
- Eclectic: 5.45%
- Rustic: 3.08%
- Beach Style: 2.68%
- Mediterranean: 1.93%
- Craftsman: 1.92%
- Scandinavian: 1.87%
- Farmhouse: 1.81%
- Midcentury: 1.60%
- Industrial: 0.97%
- Asian: 0.95%
- Tropical: 0.61%
- Shabby-Chic Style: 0.37%
- Victorian: 0.35%
- Southwestern: 0.28%
18 Living Room Styles
Yeah, there are 18 living room interior design styles. We list them out with custom style diagrams below.
1. Traditional Living Room Style
Traditional design is a style that is steeped in elegance and sophistication. The look in traditional rooms is built on concepts from back in the 18th and 19th centuries. The furnishings in this style are finely crafted and eloquent finished wood tone pieces. Adornments should be sophisticated and fancy.
Furnishings should be finely crafted, and have a element of elaborate woodwork. Harsh and sharp angles should be avoided.
It is important to balance the refined look of the 18th century, all while avoiding becoming overly stuffy and cluttered. The rooms themselves should have a balanced feel, without being overloaded on either side.
Colors in a traditional design should be rich and warm. A floral influence is welcome, leaning on the side of cozy. You can manage a bold color or two, to create a dramatic effect. Artwork is a great addition to a traditional design, and should be elegant and not too modern.
Traditional styles often use architectural embellishments in its designs. While line, color, space, texture, and shape are among the main elements that should be considered, there are also the determinants from other designs.
The elaborate moldings and bevelled wood panelling are often seen in this style. The intricacy on the tile and wood floor patterns are moreover presented. While the arches, columns, and built-in cabinetry astound among its finish.
As seen in this illustration, the key elements of a traditional style boil down into soft curves, furniture, textiles, details, warm colors and mouldings.
This is becoming of a more traditional style. Because of the extra soft pillows on a sumptuous sofa and warm color choices, it makes a simple example of a traditional living room.
The warm color combinations of maple and walnut surfaced over the furniture and extravagant sofa set, while curtains traditionally fabricated match the overall design.
An obviously detail oriented design as seen in the wood carving present in the chairs, cabinets and tables. This is one perfect example of an old and classic traditional interior design with all the assortments of antique decors and furniture.
Contemporary designs are often mistaken with modern designs. Contemporary is not what you think it is as being modern or such. These are designs created presently, occurring on this time and will still undergo changes. Hence, contemporary is ever-changing and flexible. These can be a combination of all types of traditional, modern or rustic designs.
As modern design is concerned, this is fixed and will remain as it is to infinity because this design was only created between 1920’s to 1950’s. The making of this design was concluded by then but has been incorporated in several designs in the coming years. Thus, contemporary design has been falsely thought of becoming a modern design but in reality it is the modern design incorporated in contemporary designs.
Contemporary even has touches of traditional designs into a more wider, brighter and lighter approach. Dark and warm colors to a brighter and intricate highlights, coated to bare floor, compact heavy furniture to free moving space, curving and moulding to a simple and plain lines and shapes.
The bottom line is, contemporary designs are forms of architecturally twisted and enhanced primarypiece borrowed from other designs.
An illustration of contemporary design varying from clean lines and shapes on the counters, open spaces starting from extra-wide windows, built-in wall storage and cabinetry, plain designs with no extra carvings and curving.
Striking dark color and patterns on the flooring is added together with the extra wide window that gives natural lighting to the living room. In addition are the plain designed sofa and vanities tucked in the corners leaving movable space.
Wood floors and marbled walls touch up a contemporary look in this likely traditional looking curtains and warm colored ambiance. The simple and plain center table made of glass, plain fabric sofa set with purple cushioned pillows are among the contemporary touches in this design.
Colorful accent pillows in bright yellow and blue, cushioned center table top with serving tray and upholstered pattern sofa sets are quite sleek and nice. These give color to a monotone wall and ceiling.
Wider window sizes and glass doors give way to fresh air and natural lighting. Also, the added dark shades of blue and black give life to this large living room. The space is quite wide and clutter free because of wall installed storage cabinets. As you can notice, there are a few touches of greenery inside, one of them is planted in a sleek center table.
3. West Coast Contemporary Living Room Theme
West Coast Contemporary is a mixture of several designs like classic and modern. They often mirror classic cabin designs with a twist of modern design. These designs used West Coast local materials, which is where the name of the design itself is inspired from.
Here are some of elements included in West Coast Contemporary:
- Large windows
- Exposed heavy timber structure
- Grand entrances
- Wood finishes
- Designs corresponding to the site
- Stone fireplaces
An awe-inspiring design featuring heavy and dark colors of wooden center table and sofa sets. The marble wall and fireplace, and exposed heavy timber lingering on an over sized window show off quite a West Coast attitude in a traditional and classic look.
This home was built by Clay Construction in New Westminster, British Columbia. It’s a classic West Coast Contemporary interior design with a mix of chalet and contemporary. I love it. See the rest of this home here.
A touch of modern here, twisted into a nicely and elaborately designed West Coast Contemporary with large window, wide door opening, and stone fireplace.
Heavy timber exposed on large windows and cathedral ceiling as well as the stone fireplace are among the examples of being a West Coast Contemporary designed living room with a touch of traditional furniture and sofa sets.
Oftentimes, modern design is mistaken to be the same as contemporary design, which is actually not. Modern design was created in the 19th century and was made known for its simple yet profound design. These are known to be fixed while contemporary are ever changing designs, borrowing ideas from either modern or traditional designs.
Nonetheless, modern designs are still looking better and trendy nowadays.
Modern design is uncluttered, simple, and pairs very well with a minimalist sensibility. Glass is a good adornment for this kind of design, and lends to the room’s clean and simple motif.
The color palette can range wildly. Most importantly, white and bright colors should work as a base. You can contrast the white with almost anything. A color as dark as black can work very well as a contrast color. In a monochrome base, you can add one dramatic color as an accent color and fit very well with a modern design.
Here are a few elements that separates modern from other designs:
- Clean straight lines
- Oversized tiles with rectified edges
- Sanded wood floors that minimize the grain
- Wall bookcases and shelves pullouts
- Open floor plans with few walls
- Lack of moldings trimming windows, doors and walls
- Use of metal
- Bold accent color
- Clutter free, no vases, no excess throw pillows and no rugs
If you refer to this illustration it summarizes the overall difference of modern design from the others. Modern may be referred to as dull and plain yet it stands out with its own uniqueness, which is believed to be the most calming and free-spirited design among others.
This is one of the most clutter free spaces with no other knick-knacks except a few center pieces, a pair of elephant figurines for diversion and a little frame on top.
Walnut floor with a simple and plain sofa accented with a few blue pillows. Nothing more is added except from an outside view seen through a clear glass wall. This is quite spacious and relaxing.
An open wall revealing rows of cushioned sofa benching around a pair of rattan center tables. While the distance is wide opening revealing the dining area.
Mid-Century Modern style is recognized through simple clean lines of the furnishings and the geometric design of fabrics and decor items.
Here are some of the important elements Mid Century design has:
- Clean and clutter free
- Wood furniture and wooden trim, mostly made of teak
- Graphic or geometric-style wall art, starburst clocks metal mobiles
- Graphic patterns with pattern and texture
Simple design with a few throw pillows accented in blue, gold and silver. A coffee table on the side and a glass center table. The furnishing of the design are quite plain with no added details and patterns. The cabinets are tucked in the wall for a clutter free space.
The wooden fire place top is the center attraction of this design. There are a few walls dividing the living room to the other areas. As you can see there are no other center pieces added aside from a single silver bowl mounted on the table.
Revealing timbers on the ceiling and the walnut floor with a few striking orange shades of pillows and a seat highlight the monotone colors of the design.
6. Cottage Living Room Decor Style
Cottage style is more of an attitude than a design with specific rules. Cottage style is relaxed and centered around being casual and lighthearted. Things in a cottage space are simple and imperfect; avoid pretentiousness and keep things humble.
While welcoming and personal, the furnishings should be worn, distressed, and showing their history. Feel free to mix and match these kinds of pieces, as matching is not an important aspect of the cottage style. Vintage pieces mixed with newer pieces can provide a good mix of homey charm and lively spirit.
The best colors for this style are light, bright, and welcoming. White is always classic, and other colors work well if they are striped, solid, or florals. Fringe can help create depth and interesting visuals.
This is often termed as a small house but this has cottage-style interiors that are with a comforting and relaxing airy space. What’s good about it is that it is intimate as well. It has a few nooks and alcoves for sleeping areas and built-in storage for a clutter. The theme is more of vintage looking that gets even appealing in age.
Wood plank walls and fireplace accent the white overall tone of the area.
Cozy comfy living area with extra-soft couch and sofa. This feels like you can sleep and put your feet up with this set up.
Free-spirited design with bamboo center table and a few plants in pots and hanging planter.
A cool and pleasing design knocks off a marine theme. Stripe pattern seat covers and a few handmade storage bins.
This cabin house design is often called the mountain house design, which is commonly composed of wood and stones. Cabin or log cabin is known as rugged, dusty and authentic in design, which has nothing to do with any contemporary designs when it comes to furnishing, it just has to bring nature into the designs.
Few representations of this design are:
- Brick stone fireplace
- Timber fence
- Stone plaster
- Vintage furnishing elements
- Soft rugs
- Warm and natural shades for paintings
- Wide planks on floors
- Dark printed curtains
- Nature inspired
Cathedral ceiling on high top while the rustic and old fashioned furniture and carpeting on the floor completes the authentic cabin design.
Flaring authenticity on the interior, flashing with huge log wall and ceiling, stone fire place, and vintage furnishing. An animal and nature kissed theme is present.
Cabin style interiors are often represented with wood and stone fireplaces and so does these design. Vintage furnishings and wood planks on the floor, ceiling and wall are visibly making this authentic and rugged.
Chalet is commonly designed to reflect an alpine lifestyle, which is aesthetically designed either in traditional or modern motif. Chalets are mainly found in colder climates which is why fireplaces are always present. This design often embraces warmth in its tones and coverings. This is also why lamps and candles are found to light up the place.
Here are a few elements present in a chalet living room:
- Deep, rich shades of red and green
- Mixed neutral creams and soft greys
- Lots of wooden elements
- Comfort blanket or covering
Brick stone fire place provides warmth in this mixed traditional and modern inspired chalet. It has a few lampshades and candle stands with a few comfortable sofa throws with pillows.
High rise log stands in the middle of the house from floor to ceiling. As usual, a fireplace and lamps are present.
Nature kissed design with some of the greenery, animal head wall mounts and fur. Cedar flooring and cathedral ceiling are among the wooden elements visible in this design.
Chalet living room with a touch of traditional. The old fashioned seat covers and pillows stay trendy in this area. Of course, the fireplace works perfectly in providing warmth during cold seasons.
Mediterranean style is a light, breezy style that is tuned into the beach and oceanside living. This design should have a sun soaked feel with an air of cool breeze. Colors should be bright and welcoming, as well as relaxed and not too dramatic. Tiled floors and textured walls find a good home in a Mediterranean design.
Large, open windows and archways are your friend because they let in natural light. A blend of earthy colors with light and bright colors are indicative of the Mediterranean style. A warm terracotta floor against an off-white stucco wall is a quintessential Mediterranean look. Golds, rusts, and dusty yellows are all welcome in this style.
Try to reflect the sky and sea in your style, where the waves meet sand and the sun pierces through a blue sky. Place warm terracotta and pale yellows against cobalt blues and dusty lavender.
Southern coast of Europe’s romance and abundance of fragrance, tastes and colors is stirred up in Mediterranean style, where a friendly way of life is mirrored in the design.
- Rustic furniture
- Wall textures
- Vibrant and earthy colors
- Large, dark wooden ceiling beam
- Nature inspired
- Uses terra cotta tiles, rough-cut stone and pine wood
Rustic furniture and center pieces are eminent in this design in addition to the abundance of flower ornaments and nature-filled painting inspired seen hanging on walls.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
Live orchids blooming in white petals and a potted palm is incorporated inside the living room. The clear and and wide windows facing vast wild greenery outside.
Rustic pots with plants and gothic posts blend among the white furnishings and cream colored walls while the dark ceiling beams give contrast.
A modern touch in Mediterranean design where beams and ceiling give contrast to the neutral color of the wall and flooring.
Asian design is perfect if you are going for an eastern feel, or if you appreciate balance, tranquility, and order. This style is marked by clean, uncluttered spaces, with a cohesive and balanced look. All pieces should work together in harmony. Stark contrast pieces are out of place here.
Colors in Asian design should be light and airy contrasted with a bit of the dramatic. Consider creams, tans, oranges, and yellows all cut with bold black and reds. Bright gold and bronze may also be used for a bit of drama.
Furnishings should sit low. The lower to the ground the better. Floor seating is popular in this design, as well as very low set tables. In more Chinese inspired styles, furniture is ornate with lots of adornments, while in the Japanese style, furniture is simple and uncomplicated.
Asian style is more of a zen-like inspired atmosphere that evokes serenity and tranquility in its design. Mostly, it is a fusion of Japanese, Chinese and even Indian themes.
Some of its elements are:
- Use of clean and simple lines
- Floral motifs
- Wall art and furniture
- Natural materials
- Low table for tea sessions
A few symmetrical lines on the floor, natural plants and a few pieces of textured wall art are seen in this design.
Vivacious atmosphere with shades of bright colors on the window seat cushions blending into the maple ceiling and floor. The touch of Asian is visible in the textured wall art hanging right above a walnut desk, while a low walnut tea table rests in the center.
A relaxing Asian inspired design with a few spears standing behind the blue glass wall and some ceramic ball centerpieces on the table top.
Country style is the kind of style you would find in an old farmhouse. It is a classic design that uses simple lines and welcoming color palettes along with vintage style and a relaxed atmosphere to build a cozy feel.
Colors in a country style should be upbeat while also being cozy and worn. Straw yellow, dusty periwinkle, and sage green all work well in a country design. Paired with creams and whites, this design can be crisp, clean and classic.
When working to build a country design, lean toward a well-worn homestead aesthetic that is relaxed, simple, and welcoming. Antiquities work well in a country style by building a vintage look. But remember to be upbeat and use a bright color palette with straight lines and simple silhouettes.
Commonly, country styles would boil down to mostly american folklore or french rural lives reflected right through each design detail. Harking back to the American old days and traditions in farming, handmade textiles and indigenous materials emblem into the theme itself. Not only that, simple accents and cheerful colors are incorporated together.
The simplicity of this country inspired living room is accented with a few picture frames, animal and human figures sitting throughout white painted shelves. It represents the normal lifestyle of the homeowner.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
Lively accents of bright yellow and blue awaken the spirit of this area. A few figures and frames are on the shelves while the handmade seat and pillow cover unravel past.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
This certainly gives clue of homing a happy family with having some of their family pictures hanging on the wall and an extra wide wall frame catching the attention.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
It was primarily inspired by the Green brothers in the 20th century, who were inspired by English art, the Crafts movement and oriental wooden architecture.
This design is said to have a cottage-like feel and may even look rustic in some cases. And a few elements like below can be seen present in some of the Craftsman design interiors.
- Rich wood trims
- Wooden furniture
- Hardwood floors
- Hand-made furniture and accessories
- Area rugs
- Fireplaces with wood and stone
- Exposed beams that include dark and warm wood elements
Craftsman design is centered around sturdy, handcrafted wooden pieces. Both finished or raw in tone can be utilized, as long as the wood is not covered in paint or unnatural colors. You want to showcase those rich and varied tones.
The whole room should fall in the range of natural hues. The inside should reflect the outdoors, and the furnishings should be strong and well crafted. The form of the crafted items should stand alone as elegant components, without leaning on adornments.
Handcrafted details should stand out, and should be of such quality that the pieces look like they could last 100 years. To accent the natural wood tone, keep any metals in the antique bronze, brass, and/or copper range.
This craftsman living room is a beautiful example of this style. You can see the high quality nature of the hand made wooden features. Craftsman style is steeped in the natural and rich tones of natural wood. These natural colors really build a cozy and warm environment for this living room.
Craftsman style has numerous hand crafted pieces. Coffee tables, end tables, cabinets, and desks, all high quality and all in beautiful, natural wood tones. They can be highly finished or more in tone with raw and untreated.
The richness of the cool greenery stands out while the hard wood floor and window frames highlights the space with yellow accents contrasting the tone.
Hardwood furniture is present along with exposed beams in the ceiling. It also has a wood and stone fireplace.
A searing hot fireplace gives warmth to the area while wooden furniture is attractive in its unique look.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
While others try to hide and conceal a lot of building materials, this design is one of the honest and revealing types that stands proudly on its raw and unfinished look. Key elements in design should have to be counted as industrial with at least one of the following:
- Exposed pipes and ducts
- Wood and metal surfaces
- Vintage furniture and accessories
Who says “warehouse look” is ugly? Those who do not know anything about Industrial designs need to take a closer look at the illustration above. It summarizes the features Industrial design has.
An uncovered ceiling exposing some ducts and a metal screen railing on the second level.
Showy ducts and pipeline above seems to look more decorative than it should be.
Source: Zillow Listings
Wood surface and beams above are designed with hanging cloths in white and brown color to add up a vintage motif and earthy tone.
It was in the 1930s when Scandinavian was created. It belongs to modernism, which is engrossed in simplicity and functionalism of forms. Nature is often reflected through abstract and natural shapes. Most of its important elements are the following:
- Nature inspired
- Sauna addition
- Forms and functions
- Antique Scandinavian furniture
- Corner fireplaces
- Eco-friendly interiors
- Neutral colors
- White wood floors
- Natural light
Naturally lit up space glows even brighter with neutral colored walls and furniture. The interior is quite eco-friendly with a few potted plants inside.
Scandinavian furniture is among the striking and appealing pieces in the design added with a cosy corner fireplace.
An eco-friendly Scandinavian design with thick greenery on the center table paired with Scandinavian furniture.
This is a very distinctive interior design that is an infusion of either Native American and Spanish Styles. This ethnic style is known to be very inviting and cool.
Traditional style is also incorporated with this, working with bold and bright colors, woods like oak, maple or pine, metal details like wrought iron, furniture, walls made of stone or adobe, light colored wood floor, decorative accents like candles, flowers, or animal skins, mosaic tiles and pottery.
Perfectly arranged Southwestern design with wood log and slats ceiling, wooden vanities and animal skin thrown on a bench top, as well as a few potted plants.
Source: Zillow Listings
A simple designed Southwestern living room with log beams and wooden ceiling. It also features a brick patterned floor.
Source: Zillow Listings
A specially made fireplace centers the living area with no other added furniture like center table, only a pair of sofas and throw pillows.
Source: Zillow Listings
This was of course popularized during the Victorian Era and is known for having extravagance in ornaments just like below:
- Wall paper and paint
- Parquet flooring with patterned carpet
- Soft, subdued tones for color
- Fabric and patterns in silk and floral print
- Lighting with several lamps like tiffany lamps
- Soft furnishings and décor like picture frames, vases, lace, button back chairs or ottomans
- Mantelpieces and fireplaces
Stained glass, decorative lampshades, vases, floral printed seat cover and parquet flooring with patterned carpet touch this room with a Victorian look.
An old fashion fireplace tucked in a wooden cabinet border is matched with a floral printed carpet and and seat covers, tiffany lights and a few decorative vases.
A bronze plated mirror and symmetrical wall mounted candle holders are just a few of the Victorian styled pieces. The ottoman resting right in front of the fireplace is quite an attention stealer.
Rustic design is a design that is a comfortable and homey look. The tones present in a rustic design are those found in nature. Rich tones of wood are the backbone of this design, accented by stone and other natural color tones. Leather is a great choice for furnishings.
By thinking warm and cozy, and seeking to gain inspiration from nature, you will be well on your way to a rustic design. Handcrafted antiquities are a perfect fit with the rustic design, and look great with folk art. Adding plants to a rustic design can really liven up the space when contrasted with the rich tones of the wood and leather furnishings.
It refers to creating an eclectic design that highlights nature, weathered woods, cosy colors and patterns, hand-stitched fabrics, distressed metals and found objects.
Quite an overwhelming design of a rustic living room with mahogany colored sofa and ottoman in the center. Rustic hanging wall decor and potted plants show the nature and earthy side of the design.
Very eclectic with a few timeworn items like the pots, stone fireplace and nature-filled motif with all the animal and flower additions.
Weathered woods, hand stitched fabrics, an old and rugged sofa set and a few pieces of greenery make it more rustic with a touch of Southwestern design.
18. Shabby Chic
The shabby chic design is a style that focuses on a lighthearted, comfortable, and well-lived-in feel. Items in a shabby chic room should be elegant, but not stuffy. It is vintage, with a bright, light, and breezy air.
Color palettes should be unified and cohesive. Pink and green florals, rust tones cut with greens and golds, or off-whites against soft light blues are all great palette choices for a shabby chic style. All palettes should be dusty, worn, and faded, cut with shiny silver adornments.
Furnishings are often painted and distressed. It is appropriate for furnishings to show their age. Mix and matching pieces is perfectly fine in this style. In fact, a hodgepodge collection of pieces serves well to build the shabby chic look.
This shabby chic room uses simple, and vintage design mixed with bright adornments to complete the look.
Here is a shabby chic room with classic distressed painted furnishings, and the bright color palette. This room has a mix of furnishings which is ideal to make that collected and worn look. Things don’t have to match to make shabby chic work.
Illustrations originally published at Cottageandbungalow.com. Republished here with permission.