45 Lovely Living Rooms | Midwest Living

45 Lovely Living Rooms

Browse our collection of living room styles—traditional to contemporary, rustic to elegant—for ideas to inspire your decorating.
  • Maximizing the view

    This living room in an Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, house puts the focus on its lake view with a wall of windows and glass doors as well as a muted, natural palette inside. The family feels as if they're living outside whatever the season!

  • Vintage appeal

    Vintage finds highlight this room. The old door leaning against the wall is one of the Chicago-area homeowner's favorite pieces because its back is an awesome blue color; depending on the time of year, the door can be flipped for a new look. An antique chandelier offers a one-of-a-kind look, too. 

  • Open feel

    White walls and unfinished beams form a natural canvas for a collection of folk art and antiques in the soaring space of this Ohio living room.

  • Lines to outside

    Kerfed paneling and a long mantel create horizontal lines that lead eyes to the outside world in this Chicago-area home, a renovated 1959 ranch house.

  • Architectural accents

    Architectural salvage pieces add character to this Illinois living room. An old arched window graces the top of an armoire, and a chippy old column provides a perch for a lantern.

  • Relaxed vibe

    The patterned carpet in this Indiana living room beautifully hides dirt and spills.  “The life in this house doesn’t come from busy patterned fabrics or lots of color,” the homeowner explains. “It comes from people, which is why the only statement the decor needs to make is—relax!”  

  • Bold and beachy

    Water views and vivid Lilly Pulitzer fabrics sparked the bright and cheerful color palette in the living room of this home on Lake Michigan. Zippy lime green enlivens the room’s soothing blues. 

  • Airy scene

    Whispery purple colors walls set the tone for this corner of an airy living room. Naturally organic, the shade harmonizes with raw-wood furniture and animal prints.

  • Neutral cocoons

    Neutral cocoons

    The living room adopts the 80:20 color rule. Creamy neutrals cocoon the majority of the space, letting the designer get colorful with a few accessories. 

  • Seaside setting

    Bright aqua walls accent white woodwork. Rattan furnishing plays up a seaside theme. Setting furniture at an angle keeps things casual--appropriate for a shore setting.

  • Balanced mood

    The living room in this Michigan home looks both inviting and tailored. To achieve a balance, traditional-style furnishings sport casual linens and serene colors—neutrals with greens and blues pulled from outside. Wood panels, instead of drywall, reflect the aesthetic, as does the white-stained oak flooring. Sunlight floods the room through skylights and clerestory windows, making the cavernous space feel simply cozy.

  • Bold choices

    Floor-to-ceiling navy stripes, framed with white stripes, wake up bland spaces. Continue the hue on throw pillows and mantel art.

  • Totally vintage

    In this Minnesota living room, bargain chipped-paint furniture brings low-maintenance style, while one-of-a-kind finds take on new, fun uses: An enamel casserole dish becomes a flower pot; a 1950s salon hair dryer gets new life as a floor lamp; patchwork feed sacks cover a pillow on the sofa. Upholstering vintage iron patio chairs with red-and-white feed sacks makes them indoor-ready.

  • Natural connection

    Wood-look wallpaper and weathered textures warm this family room, their rustic tendencies tempered by gold accents. In-swing patio doors usher in the outside. Decorative barn doors double as a window treatment, sliding closed for privacy.

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  • Mix modern and vintage

    Combine furnishings from different periods, such as French antiques with contemporary pieces, for collected-over-time interest. "You never want your furniture to look like it arrived in one day," says St. Louis designer Amie Corley. 

    Inspired by a Parisian photo shoot in Vogue, Amie painted her living room walls two shades of aqua. 

  • Focal fireplace

    It is only natural that at night a fire in this massive stone fireplace in this Lake Michigan cottage would be the focal point. But pale walls and a cupola with working windows above keep the focus on the fireplace even during daylight.

  • Family comfort

    Soft taupe on walls highlights the slate fireplace surround, which pops against white woodwork. The lively patterned rug anchors the seating area filled with comfy perches.

  • Top of the class

    Two large baskets under a sofa table not only add storage but also class to this lovely living room.

  • French country influences

    White walls create the perfect backdrop for a color scheme pulled from the homeowner's collection of watercolor paintings. Garden colors repeat in floral fabrics and accents that brighten curvy furniture for a fresh-as-the-outdoors look.

  • Sophisticated ambience

    Abstract art, animal print fabric accents and a chunky textural rug enliven contemporary traditional style for a dramatic modern look.

  • Updated city style

    A remodel of a small city home required some space-saving choices. A shallow fireplace faced in thin-stacked stone is a relatively unobtrusive focal point in this narrow room. Two "coffee tables" (an ottoman with tray and a round side table) offer flexibility for entertaining. A modern art collection, juxtaposed with a cow skin rug, adds visual energy.

  • Streamlined contemporary

    Simple furnishings and accessories keep the focus on the architecture and light in this airy, modern Door County, Wisconsin, living room.

  • Lake-inspired look

    Taking its cue from the Great Lakes, this room uses water-inspired colors, patterns and textures for a casual, dreamy look. Framed maps of the Great Lakes underscore the theme.

  • Green is beautiful

    This nature-inspired contemporary space, designed to be environmentally responsible, shows that being green can be stylish.

    Furnishings are made from sustainably harvested wood, recycled steel springs, soy-base cushions and organic fabrics. A driftwood lamp, a fireplace that runs on denatured alcohol, and art highlighting threatened prairie grasses create a clean and natural effect.

  • Eclectic function

    Armless love seats and small accent tables offer a range of flexible seating options for entertaining. A mix of collectibles, from a cow painting to a giraffe print rug, reflects a fun, eclectic style.

  • Bold color impact

    Dark brown walls provide a dramatic backdrop for this sophisticated room with its mix of intense colors. Focal points include an abstract painting, vintage rug and a family heirloom wing-back reupholstered in red.

  • Traditional comfort

    Elements of traditional style in this living room include the fireplace focal point, cushy upholstered pieces with to-the-floor skirting, soft-color window treatments and trimwork wall detailing.

  • Casual cottage style

    Cheery and sunny describe this living room, enlivened with yellow painted beaded board. Floral fabric on the sofas picks up the colors in artwork and collected pottery, unifying the bright cottage look.

  • Modern neutrality

    Abstract paintings and a bold patterned artlike area rug add large- scale pattern to this contemporary living room. Neutral solid-hue furnishings and walls showcase these two major design elements.

  • Updated country

    Modern furnishings update this room's rustic feel, created from country paneling, beams and stone. Pillows and the rug sport bold color stripes; architecturally inspired accessories add to the contemporary look.

  • Small-space warmth

    A vintage fireplace sets the mood for this compact space. Two ottomans and accent tables with see-through legs make the most of space. A mix of classic furniture pieces, antiques and reproduction accessories creates a warm sophistication.

  • Modern to the max

    Oversized, streamlined elements are usually a part of modern design. Here, that design is reflected in a large-scale abstract painting; a bold, over-sized pattern rug; a large red sectional; and large coffee table.

  • Pretty European charm

    The homeowner's passion for collecting antiques guided her decorating. European-influenced, shapely and delicate furniture reflect a romantic era, creating the perfect backdrop for ornate accessories and collections of beautifully detailed silver and crystal.

  • Scandinavian influences

    Pretty shades of leaf green and salmon pink combine with natural cherry bookcases, a stone fireplace, round-back accent chairs and nature prints for a dressed-up, contemporary interpretation of Scandinavian style.

  • Seasonal living room -- fall and winter

    Basic furniture pieces, wall colors and artwork stay put for warm or cool weather. But changing out accent pillows, tablecloths, rugs and small accents take this room easily from winter-cozy jewel tones (this slide) to summer-bright colors (next slide).

  • Seasonal living room -- spring and summer

    Infuse light, fresh colors into your living room for spring and summer. Drape a white canvas tableskirt over a side table for an instant clean look; energize a sofa with new pillows; replace a heavy, patterned rug with a light-tone sisal or jute one.

  • Bold modern moves

    A solid-white background allows bold-color upholstery and steel and glass accent furniture to act as pieces of art. Painted trim on tall windows draws eyes up to the high ceilings.

  • Comfortable country

    Plaid and floral prints on overstuffed, comfy furniture -- mixed with informal accent pieces -- give this room its classic, relaxed country vibe.

  • World traveler mix

    Eclectic collections from around the world form the basis of this room's decor. Antiques, modern furniture and exotic animal skins combine in a seating area that balances color, weight and scale.

  • Conversational style

    This living room encourages cozy interaction both with its warm color scheme and with the unconventional use of four comfortable chairs around a round ottoman.

  • Symmetry rules

    Balanced furniture arrangements reflect the symmetrical architecture of this living room. A sofa, two love seats and four chairs can be reconfigured for entertaining options.

  • Playful country

    County colors and collectibles shine against a crisp all-white background. Checks, stripes and an assortment of hand-made pillows accent overstuffed furniture for put-your-feet-up-and-stay-a-while comfort.

  • Collectible display

    A white background -- both walls and upholstered furniture --showcases the various colors and shapes in an eclectic grouping of art, furniture and accessories.

  • Exotic elegance

    An assortment of exotic objects -- a zebra rug, antelope antlers, an Asian screen and carved trunk -- adds interest to this traditional space.

  • European country

    Rustic wood floors, wood ceiling beams, English pine furniture and a horse painting lend an air of elevated European country style to this light-filled living room.

    See more living room ideas at our sister site, Better Homes and Gardens.

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