Living rooms play significant roles in our homes as central meeting areas. It is where we accommodate guests and also spend quality time discussing any and all aspects of life with family members. The living space is the perfect place to express your personal style.
Below we’ve put together an illustrated guide of living room themes with photo galleries for each of the 18 styles we’ve identified.
When planning a theme for your living room design, there are a few essential components that should be considered:
Themes for your living room interior should be functional and reflect your lifestyle. For example, if you have children and/or pets, living room furniture should be chosen to withstand everyday life’s wear and tear.
2. Determine interior design style
You can choose from several interior design styles: traditional to rustic, transitional to contemporary, and modern. Once you have decided, your living room design ideas will follow.
3. Seating arrangement
Since individuals gather and socialize in the living room, choosing a comfortable sofa is a top priority. However, determine the size, color, and fabric type before buying.
4. Add-on and decors
Consider the furniture pieces and other items (storage, textiles, wall decor, technology, lighting, etc.) that should be incorporated into your living room.
With all this in mind, planning would remain abstract without execution. It is advised that, as much as possible, stick with the plan and avoid changes.
Most Popular Living Room Styles
We analyzed 916,645 living room designs and, from that data set, determined the most famous 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 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
There are 18 living room interior design styles. We list them below with illustrations and photo galleries.
1. Traditional Living Room Style
Traditional design is a style that is steeped in elegance and sophistication. The look is built on concepts from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Furnishings should be finely crafted and have an element of elaborate woodwork. Harsh and sharp angles should be avoided.
It is important to balance the refined look of the 18th century while avoiding becoming overly stuffy and cluttered. The rooms should have a balanced feel without overloading 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 an excellent addition to a traditional design and should be elegant and not too modern.
Traditional styles often use architectural embellishments in their 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.
Elaborate moldings and beveled wood paneling are often seen in this style. The intricacy of the tile and wood floor patterns is popular. While arches, columns, and built-in cabinetry also have their place.
A traditional-style living room design featuring soft pillows on a sumptuous sofa and warm color choices is an excellent example of a conventional living room.
The warm color combinations of maple and walnut over the furniture and extravagant sofa set, while traditionally fabricated curtains match the overall design.
A detail-oriented design is seen in the wood carving in the chairs, cabinets , and tables. This is a good example of classic, traditional interior design with antique decor and furniture.
Contemporary living room ideas are often mistaken for modern designs. But contemporary and modern are not the same.
As far as modern living room design is concerned, the style is fixed and will remain so, as the style was initially created between the 1920s to 1950s.
Contemporary living room ideas created in the present are ever-changing and flexible.
Contrasting light and dark colors and patterns are showcased with natural light pouring into the living room.
Elegant furnishings and a marble accent wall create a contemporary look in this living room.
Colorful bright yellow and blue accent pillows, cushioned center table top with a serving tray, and upholstered pattern sofa sets look quite sleek in this interior design.
Dark shades of blue and black give life to this large living room. The double-height space is quite vast and clutter-free thanks to wall-installed storage cabinets.
3. West Coast Contemporary Living Room Theme
West Coast Contemporary is a mixture of several designs such as classic and modern. They often mirror traditional designs with a twist of modern design.
Here are some of the elements included in West Coast Contemporary:
- Large windows
- Exposed heavy timber structure
- Grand entrances
- Wood finishes
- Designs corresponding to the site
- Stone fireplaces
A West Coast Contemporary design featuring rich and dark colors with a wooden center table and sofa set.
Clay Construction built this home 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.
More spacious modernity here, with a wall of windows, wide door opening, and stone fireplace.
A cathedral ceiling with exposed beams and a stone fireplace are showcased in this West Coast Contemporary design.
Modern design is uncluttered, simple, and pairs very well with a minimalist sensibility. Glass is a suitable adornment for this kind of design and lends to the room’s clean and straightforward 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 separate 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
This is a clutter-free space with no knick-knacks except a few centerpieces, a pair of elephant figurines for diversion, and a little frame.
Walnut floor with a simple and plain sofa accented with a few blue pillows. Nothing more is added except an outside view seen through a transparent glass wall. The living room is quite spacious and relaxing.
An open wall reveals rows of cushioned sofa benching around a pair of rattan center tables. While in the distance a wide opening shows the dining area.
5. Mid-Century Modern
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 essential elements of Mid-Century Modern design:
- 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 in blue, gold, and silver. A coffee table on the side and a glass center table. The design furnishing is quite plain with no added details or patterns. The cabinets are tucked into the wall for a clutter-free space.
The wooden fireplace top is the center attraction of this design. There are a few walls dividing the living room from the other areas. As you can see, no other centerpieces are added aside from a single silver bowl mounted on the table.
Exposed beams on the ceiling, the walnut floor, and a striking use of orange contrast with the monotone scheme of the design.
6. Cottage Living Room Decor Style
Cottage-style is more of an attitude than a design with specific rules. The cottage style is relaxed and centered around casual concepts. Objects 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 in the cottage style. Vintage pieces mixed with newer pieces provide a good combination of homey charm and lively spirit.
Preferred 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 interest.
Wood plank walls and fireplace accent the white overall tone of the area.
Cozy ,comfy living area with extra-soft sofa set. This feels like you can 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 composed of natural materials such as wood or stone – rugged and authentic.
A few elements of cabin 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
The rustic exposed beam Cathedral ceiling with distressed flooring and furnishings complete the authentic cabin design.
The cabin look is complete with a massive log wall, exposed beam ceiling, stone fireplace, and vintage furnishings.
Cabin-style interiors are often represented with wood craftsmanship and stone fireplaces. Vintage furnishings and wood planks on the floor, ceiling, and wall add to the authentic and rugged aesthetic.
The chalet living room design reflects an alpine lifestyle. Chalets are mainly found in colder climates, so fireplaces are a popular feature. The design often embraces warmth in its tones and coverings.
Here are a few elements found 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
A brick stone fireplace provides warmth in this mixed traditional and modern-inspired chalet. It has a few lampshades, candle stands, and comfortable sofa throws with pillows.
A massive vertical log runs through the middle of the room as part of the exposed beam ceiling.
Nature-kissed design with some greenery, animal head wall mounts, and fur. Cedar flooring and a cathedral ceiling are among the natural materials visible in this design.
Chalet living room with a touch of traditional. The old-fashioned seat covers and pillows are on trend. Of course, the fireplace works both functionally and aesthetically..
Mediterranean style is a light, breezy style that is tuned into the beach and oceanside living. Colors should be bright, welcoming, relaxed, and not too dramatic. Tiled floors and textured walls find a good home in a Mediterranean design.
Large, open windows and archways let in natural light. A blend of earthy colors with light and bright colors indicates the Mediterranean style. A warm terracotta floor against an off-white stucco wall is a quintessential look. Golds, rusts, and dusty yellows are all welcome in this style.
The southern coast of Europe’s romance and abundance of fragrance, tastes, and colors is stirred up in Mediterranean style, where an iconic way of life is mirrored in the design.
Design elements found in Mediterranean style include:
- 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, archways, and an opulent atmosphere all add to the Mediterranean-inspired look.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
Natural light floods this Mediterranean-style living room featuring an exposed beam ceiling and terracotta tile flooring.
A double-height ceiling towers over the white furniture and cream-colored walls.
A modern touch in Mediterranean design where beams and ceiling contrast with the neutral color of the wall and flooring.
Asian design 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 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 and very low-set tables are prevalent in this design. In more Chinese-inspired styles, furniture is ornate with many adornments, while in Japanese, 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 the elements found in Asian design 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 textured wall art are included in this design.
A touch of Asian design is visible in the textured wall art above the 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 tabletop.
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 creating 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 primarily American folklore or French rural lives reflected 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, and animal and human figures sitting throughout white painted shelves. It represents the everyday 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 a clue of homing a happy family with some 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 those 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 tones 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. Keep any metals in the antique bronze, brass, and/or copper range to accent the natural wood tone.
Craftsman-style living room featuring numerous handcrafted pieces: coffee table, end tables, cabinets, and desk, are all high quality and finished in beautiful, natural wood tones.
The richness of the greenery stands out, while the hardwood floor and window frames highlight 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.
Craftsman-style living room design features an exposed beam ceiling, wood plank flooring, and stone fireplace.
Source: Zillow DigsTM
While other designs may try to conceal building materials, industrial design lets it all hang out. Key elements include:
- Exposed pipes and ducts
- Wood and metal surfaces
- Vintage furniture and accessories
An uncovered ceiling exposes some ducts and a metal screen railing on the second level.
Exposed ducts and pipes add to the industrial aesthetic.
Source: Zillow Listings
The wood surface and ceiling beams are designed with hanging cloth in white and brown colors to add to the vintage motif and earthy tone.
Scandinavian design was first created in the 1930s. Like modernism, it focuses on the simplicity and functionality of forms. Nature is often reflected through abstract and natural shapes. Some of the essential elements include:
- Nature inspired
- 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 entirely eco-friendly, with a few potted plants inside.
Scandinavian furniture is strikingly presented front and center with a cozy corner fireplace.
An eco-friendly Scandinavian design with thick greenery on the center table paired with Scandinavian furniture.
This very distinctive interior design is an infusion of Native American and Spanish styles.
Key elements of the Southwestern style include:
- Bold and bright colors
- Woods like oak, maple, or pine
- Wrought iron
- Stone or adobe Walls
- Stone, ceramic tile or wood floors
- Decorative accents like candles, flowers, or animal skins
- Mosaic tiles and pottery
Perfectly arranged Southwestern design with wood log and slats ceiling, wooden vanities, animal skin thrown on a bench top, and a few potted plants.
Source: Zillow Listings
Southwestern living room features an exposed beam ceilingwith brick-patterned floor.
Source: Zillow Listings
A specially made fireplace centers the living area with no other added furniture like a center table, only a pair of sofas and throw pillows.
Source: Zillow Listings
Ornate design style popularized during the Victorian Era. Some of the key elements include:
- Wallpaper and paint
- The 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 items like picture frames, vases, lace, button-back chairs, or ottomans
- Mantelpieces and fireplaces
Stained glass, decorative lampshades, vases, floral-printed seat covers, parquet flooring, and a patterned area rug all add to the Victorian look.
A vintage fireplace tucked into an ornate wooden cabinet is matched with a floral-printed area rug and seat covers, Tiffany lights, and a few decorative vases.
A bronze-plated mirror and symmetrical wall-mounted candle holders are just a few Victorian-styled pieces. The ottoman resting right before the fireplace is quite an attention stealer.
Rustic design has a comfortable and homey look. Rich wood tones are the backbone of this design, accented by stone and other natural color tones. Leather is an excellent choice for furnishings.
By thinking warm and cozy and seeking natural inspiration, you will be well on your way to a rustic design. Handcrafted antiquities look great with folk art. Adding plants can liven up the space when contrasted with the rich tones of the wood and leather furnishings.
A mahogany-colored sofa and ottoman are the focus of this living room. Rustic hanging wall decor and potted plants accentuate the earthiness of the design.
Very eclectic living room with a few timeworn items like the pots, stone fireplace, and nature-filled motif,
Weathered woods, hand-stitched fabrics, an old and rugged sofa set, and a few pieces of greenery create a rustic aesthetic with a touch of Southwestern design.
18. Shabby Chic
The shabby chic design style 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 colors 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. 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.
A shabby chic room with classic distressed-painted furniture and a bright palette. This room has a mix of furnishings ideal for making that collected and worn look.
Illustrations were published initially at Cottageandbungalow.com. Republished here with permission.