Japanese homes are famous for their unique minimalist style. Take MUJI for example, a Japanese brand that is now popular in many western countries. It’s championing modern Japanese designs and fusions with ‘Scandi’ styles that are popular in the west.
Minimalism is both a lifestyle and aesthetic. To create a minimalist living room, designers avoid cluttering the space by ensuring that no unnecessary decor is incorporated. Instead of incorporating additional decorative items, such as vases, picture frames, cushions, and art, use only practical items to decorate. So you could instead choose a stylish sofa, or stylish living room curtains to decorate since these items are needed in the apartment anyway.
Here are some tips on how to create a simple yet stylish living room space. Instead of buying excess furniture and decor, we think about how to create a vibe using living room lighting, a statement sofa, or unique living room curtains.
Here are some of our tips on how to create a minimalist aesthetic for your stylish living room:
- Use a neutral color palette. Bright colors can clash and may make a room feel overly busy. Instead, focus on having light colors such as cream, beige, and white. If you want to introduce an accent color, focus on colors that can be found in nature, such as sky blue, forest green, sunset orange, and brown.
- Experiment with textures rather than patterns and colors since textures are much more subtle.
- Bright the outside inside by using natural materials. Nature has a calming effect on us, so natural materials like wood and bamboo can recreate that sense of peace.
- Similarly, houseplants are a great way to add color and texture to create a stylish living room. Houseplants have become an increasingly popular way to decorate minimalist living rooms.
For more minimalist design tips, read our article here on How to Decorate your Apartment Without Clutter.
Simple Living Room Sofa
The sofa often forms the centerpiece of the living room. It is usually placed in front of a television screen and may have a coffee table in front of it.
In some stylish living room spaces, mismatched and bold sofas add to the maximalist vibe. These statement pieces can be quite elaborate and aren’t in line with the simplicity people often crave when creating a minimalist living room. However, it is still possible to have a ‘statement piece’ of furniture in a minimalist living room, and a statement sofa is a good place to experiment.
In your average western living room, there may be more than one sofa. If you are trying to go for a minimalist living room, it may be best to avoid having multiple sofas so that there is more empty space. If multiple sofas are necessary, it may help to go for more neutral-colored sofas. For a smaller space, consider getting a settee instead of a sofa, or a small armchair.
Perhaps, for a traditional and stylish living room, consider taking inspiration from the traditional Japanese style of having furniture close to the ground. You could choose a sofa that is close to the ground, or seating on the ground. Being closer to the floor can help you feel grounded so it has its benefits beyond the aesthetic. As well as this, it can help encourage you to have good posture.
Living Room Curtains (and alternatives)
Although a patterned curtain can have a similar effect as a painting when pulled closed, bright and patterned living room curtains can make a room feel a bit too busy for many people’s tastes.
Light-colored living room curtains can make the room feel more spacious, so consider white, beige, and pastel colors. The simplicity of neutral-colored living room curtains will help to create a more relaxing atmosphere and appear cleaner.
If things are looking a little too clinical and plain, consider experimenting with the textures of living room curtains to create a more homely and stylish living room. Lace, linen, and other sheer fabrics can create a more interesting space whilst still maintaining a minimalist look. It’s important to bear in mind that these sheer fabrics will still let a lot of light into the room, which can be a benefit for anyone looking to use them for privacy, but will not be suitable for anyone looking for blackout curtains to block all light.
One effective and stylish way to block out the light is by installing blinds rather than curtains. Consider sticking to neutral colors and natural materials for a minimalist-style American living room.
Alternatively, for anyone looking for more privacy, take a note from traditional Japanese design and use shoji screens to cover the windows. Shoji screens are made from natural materials so they add a pleasant element to any decor.
Living Room Lighting
In an American living room, one popular way to decorate is by incorporating a statement ceiling light or lampshade. All living rooms require living room lighting, so this can be a great feature when used to decorate a minimalist living room. By choosing a statement piece of living room lighting for decoration, you can avoid cluttering up an apartment with other pieces of decor that aren’t as useful.
When choosing a statement ceiling light, look for geometric designs incorporating circles and squares, since these ceiling lights often have a minimalist feel.
Rental apartments may come already fitted with bright LED ceiling lights. LED lights are often more economical, however, you may also want some warmer lights for the evening. This can be solved by incorporating a lamp or two into your living room lighting.
Lamps are a great opportunity for creating ambiance and are often used in an American living room. Again, with lamps think about using natural materials and neutral colors, wood, bamboo, rattan, and woven materials have been used for either lamp fittings and lampshades, and they’re a great way to decorate whilst still maintaining a minimalist aesthetic.
When decorating a minimalist living room, it’s important to remember that the key element is avoiding clutter and unnecessary items. Be sure to read our article, Top Organizing Mistakes to Avoid for tips to organize your home for the ideal minimalist interior. For anyone wanting to incorporate this whilst having a stylish living room, the easiest way to do this is by carefully choosing the necessary furniture. Good luck with the decorating!