Minimalist Living Room – A Simple Space for Happy Relaxing

The living room is a place for family to gather, friends to reminisce, and to just relax.  When it is a minimalist living room, all of these things are possible without all of the usual distractions.  Let’s look at how to create a minimalist living room for maximal living.

A minimalist living room is a space for gathering that is uncluttered, consists of essential furniture, and is very comfortable.  There are different types of minimalist living rooms including Scandinavian and Japanese, and styles from Bohemian to industrial.

Do you feel like it’s time to make some changes to your living room?  Are you feeling like there’s too much clutter, or not enough living space?

What Is a Minimalist Living Room?

A minimalist living room is a gathering place for family and friends, maximized for space with only the essential furniture and accessories.  This is based on the principle of minimalism, or “less is more”.  A minimalist living room is a living space that is uncluttered and very comfortable.

The goal of a minimalist living room is to create a serene and uncluttered space that promotes relaxation and a sense of calm. A minimalist living room emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and a sense of calm. It is a style that promotes a clutter-free lifestyle and a focus on the essentials, resulting in a visually appealing and tranquil space.

Minimalist living room - Minimalist Living Room - Gone Minimal
Minimalist living room

Types of Minimalist Living Rooms

Different types of minimalist living rooms originate from different parts of the world, which also influences what’s incorporated (and what’s not).  We love Scandinavian and Japanese minimalist types, so let’s dive in.

  A minimalist living room is a living space that is uncluttered and very comfortable.

Scandinavian Minimalist Living Room

The Scandinavian minimalist living room is based in the minimalist style you’ve seen, with comfort thrown in.  This style is simple and based in practicality, but the Scandinavians add in comfort (hygge) with pillows, blankets, and furniture.  The focus is on the daily needs of the resident met with natural light and materials, plants, and whatever contributes to comfort and warmth.

Japanese Minimalist Living Room

A Japanese minimalist living room is focused on nature and inspired by Buddhism.  It is an open floor plan comprised of natural materials as well as natural light.  There’s usually only the essential furniture like a couch, but there is a great deal of Zen.  Author and designer Hiroki Hayashi says the Japanese have a long-held belief in not throwing things away, but making the most of them.  This means using high quality furniture that is built to last.

Minimal Japanese room - Minimalist Living Room - Gone Minimal
Minimal Japanese room

Minimalist Living Room Styles

We’ve looked at a couple of different minimalist types, but let’s dig a bit deeper.  There are multiple fun styles of minimalist living rooms to choose from!  Let’s review a few.

Boho/Bohemian Minimalist Living Room

A boho minimalist living room is created with natural textures, neutral colors, simple furniture, and natural light.  Throw in a few houseplants for a cozy, natural feel that will also help detoxify the air.  A mirror or two can also brighten the space and add interest.  A few blankets and pillows add to the comfort and make it feel like a truly relaxing gathering space.

Modern Minimalist Living Room

The modern minimalist living room has only the essential furniture as well as functional pieces.  There is emphasis on clean lines and architecture throughout the space.  It’s a light and bright space with mostly natural light sources.  The modern minimalist living room is comfortable, simple, and uncluttered.  

Modern minimalist living room - Minimalist Living Room - Gone Minimal
Modern minimalist living room

Rustic Minimalist Living Room

The rustic minimalist living room has a countryside feel to it with simple yet comfortable furniture, a few accessories for charm, and a neutral color palette.  There’s a great deal of warmth to the room with natural light and wood, plants, curtains or rugs for texture, and a pop of color on one (or all) of the walls. It’s kind of like the log cabin out in the woods feel, but tailored to the homeowner’s tastes.

Industrial Minimalist Living Room

An industrial minimalist living room is similar to modern, but with focus on the building materials and architecture.  There will be exposed pipes and brick, wide open spaces, and functional furniture that is simple.  Exposed cement is a popular element in some industrial looks, which can be warmed up with rugs.

White Minimalist Living Room

A white minimalist living room is just like it sounds-white walls, white/off-white or natural wood essential furniture, neutral colored pillows and accessories.  It’s a comfortable space that you can choose to add a bit of color to with a plant or a blanket, otherwise the space is mostly white.  Natural light adds to the brightness of the space and also makes it feel cozy.

Small minimal living room - Minimalist Living Room - Gone Minimal
Small minimal living room

Minimalist Living Rooms by Size

The size of the living room can have a great effect on how a minimalist aesthetic is achieved.  A small space can be challenging to work with, but then again-so can a large space when you’re going for the minimalist look.  Here are a couple of the smaller size options to give you an idea of how to plan for your home:

Small Minimalist Living Rooms

A small minimalist living room will maximize the space available with only the essential furniture pieces.  With smaller furniture placed strategically around the perimeter of the room, a small living room can feel larger.  Few accessories and comfortable pieces will keep it uncluttered and cozy, which is just what is needed for family gathering, gaming, or relaxing. 

Minimalist Living Rooms for Apartments

Space is always at a premium when it comes to apartment living, and minimalist living rooms for apartments is a good way to go.  In order to use the apartment living room efficiently, researchers Saruwono, Zulkiflin, and Mohammed from Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia tell us careful consideration should be used in planning how furniture is arranged to meet the activity and equipment needs for the occupants.  The space can also be maximized with smaller furniture and fewer pieces, plus apartments usually come in neutral colors to make the room feel bigger. 

Modern minimal living - Minimalist Living Room - Gone Minimal
Modern minimal living

Minimalist Living Rooms for Different Budgets

Not sure what kind of budget you have to work with?  Have no fear-you don’t have to break the bank to maximize your minimalist living room!  Let’s look at a couple of options based on budget.

Thrifty Minimalist Living Rooms

The thrifty minimalist living room is created using what is already on hand.  Taking out the unnecessary furniture, décor, and accessories will declutter and make the living room feel spacious.  Repurposing items from other rooms can add to the comfort, style, and feel of the room without spending a dime.  Then what is added to the room is found at a garage sale or thrift store to save big bucks!

Luxury Minimalist Living Rooms

Luxury doesn’t sound like a minimalist thing, but there are luxury minimalist living rooms.  It doesn’t have to be the top-of-the-line plush velvet couch, but it’s a couch that you find soft and comfortable, like a piece of luxury.  High quality accessories like pillows and lighting add to the feel of the room, and it’s all about living luxuriously without clutter.  You spend a lot of time in your living room, so make it as luxurious as you want!

Learn 20 tips to achieve a minimalist home in this helpful video below.

Related Insights

How Do I Make My Living Room Minimalist?

You can make your living room minimalist through a few simple steps: neutral wall colors are a great place to start, then declutter and get rid of the things you don’t need.  Keep the furniture down to the essentials, arrange them in a way that maximizes space, then keep accessories and decorations down to just a few pieces.

What Is a Minimalist Decorating Style?

A minimalist decorating style is pared down to just a couple of pieces.  Sometimes it’s just a painting on the wall, and sometimes there will be a couple of pieces like a vase or a plant to bring in some color and tie the space together.  The minimalist decorating style is simple, uncluttered, and natural elements.

How Do You Make Minimalist Furniture?

Minimalist furniture can be made with natural, comfortable materials.  It should be small enough to fit the space, yet large enough to accommodate your lifestyle.  Wood, soft fabrics, and cotton or pillows can create simple furniture that serves its purpose.  There are many resources available to help you learn how to make minimalist furniture.

Minimalist living room with tv - Minimalist Living Room - Gone Minimal
Minimalist living room with tv

Multi-use Items and Living Room Changes

I asked 5 friends/family, to describe the following things in their living rooms. 1) An item that serves more than one purpose (maybe it’s a table/ottoman that also serves as storage, or a TV that is both art and TV), 2) One thing they would change about the living room (layout, decor, furniture, color of the room, flooring, etc). Here is what they shared and what I learned from the poll:

Multiple Use Item/Something To changeTally of Family/Friends
1) Ottomans are foot rests, storage, and table surfaces1
2) Paint color3
1) Couch has storage and reclines1
2) Decorations (less)3
2) Flooring4
1) Recliner has power (outlets)1
2) Curtains3
2) Need new couch2
2) Windows (better quality)3
2) Layout4
2) Crown molding1

Other Resources:

A minimalist living room can be accomplished in any home, with any budget, and styled just to your liking.  There are no rules to creating a minimalist living room-it’s what you want to do and what meets your needs.  If it’s comfortable and fits the space as well as your lifestyle, go for it!  When are you starting on your minimalist living room redesign?

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