Living Room Decorating Tips for the Minimalist

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Living Room Decorating Tips for the Minimalist

Staff Writer · Nov 19, 2009

If you have ever wanted a more modern, minimalist living room, here are some living room decorating tips to streamline your most used entertaining space. 

Clear the Clutter

The single first thing to do to create a minimalist decorating affect is to get rid of the clutter. Take the trash out, pick up the old half-chewed dog toys, recycle that stack of old magazines laying around, and take that messy stack of DVDs on the floor back to the shelf where they belong. The first step in any minimalist transformation is to get rid of all those little things that end up in a living room. Even small decorative pieces should be put aside and added back in one by one as you get an idea of what would add or subtract from the beautiful simplicity of minimalist decorating. 

Modernize Your Wall Decorations

If your walls are cluttered with mismatched decorative pieces, posters, etc., change it up by adding in modern and minimalist art. This is easy to do by making it yourself or by purchasing a pre-made print from an inexpensive store like IKEA, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Pier 1. 

Suggestions for make-it-yourself minimalist art:

  • Start with large canvases. 
  • Pick solid, somewhat brighter colors. If color isn’t your thing, some minimalist art can be made well out of greyscale, or differing shades of cream. 
  • Paint the background a solid color.
  • When the first coat dries, add in one shape, like a circle or a square in a different color. A streak across the canvas would work as well, depending on what mood strikes you at the time. 
  • Hang it proudly on the wall! 

Remove Excess Pillows

If your couch or floor is strewn with lots of soft pillows, streamline by removing all but two per couch and one per chair in the room. 

Modernize your Lighting

Removing any old lamps or light fixtures that scream from a past decade will give you room for new lights that embrace the minimalist look you seek. IKEA has wonderful inexpensive light fixtures that stay within a minimalist vision, as does Target and some at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Tips on selecting lighting:

  • Keep it simple.
  • No patterns, only solid colors
  • Base should be white, black, or silver. Absolutely no brass. 
  • Pick fluorescent bulbs, not incandescent or halogen. 
  • Use lots of light fixtures. Darkness is not minimalist. 

Add in Modern Minimalist Pieces

You may consider upgrading your couch to something low and sleek in a grey, white, black or cream. IKEA has some great and inexpensive options, as well as other inexpensive shops. 

Tips on minimalist furniture: 

  • Smaller is better – Fight the urge to get a giant coffee table unless you live in a giant house. 
  • Lower is better – High furniture does not come across as being minimalist.
  • Simple color scheme – Grey, cream, white, black, silver are the main colors to use for furniture.
  • Bring in accent color with some throw pillows in deep blue, fresh grass green, burnt orange, eggplant purple or rusty red. 

With these tips, your home will be modernized into a minimalist look that will keep you happy for some time to come.

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