How to Design a Classic-Style Living Room

How to Design a Classic-Style Living Room

Classic design concepts are at once elegant and timeless because enduring styles evoke a sense of comfort and warmth. They’re suggestive of the past, but not so old-world that they feel outdated or lacking in style. There’s a feeling of harmony and tranquility about traditional interior design elements, all of which contribute to both the fashionable appeal and functionality of your living room.

This is an ideal spot to introduce hints of classic flair to the design. For a start, it’s fairly simple to do using a variety of different home accents. You can also make more dramatic changes by swapping your existing furnishings for new pieces that evoke a sense of history. The overarching themes in any classically-designed room are charm and peace. Features like wood, warm colors, and hints of Art Deco and Victorian influence can transform your space. Distinctive points you may find in a classical living room are columns, statues, and artful moldings that bear an antiquated quality.

From swapping your existing throw pillows to adding decorative area rugs, there are many effortless ways that you can make a difference. Here’s how to transform your living room and lend it an entirely new look that takes its influence from decidedly older styles.

Focus on Accent Pieces

Start small if you don’t want to delve too deep into a complicated project that takes up a great deal of your time. You can easily transform the tone and character of your living space simply by swapping your existing accent pieces for those that evoke a more traditional sense of design. For example, decorative and overstuffed floral throw pillows are perfect for lending the living room a truly classic finishing touch.

Solid colors, geometric patterns, and stripes also work well, provided you select colors that resonate well with the generally understated design aesthetic. Be careful with shades that are super bright and upbeat; those may work well if you want to add a pop of color to a modern space, but may not fit in as comfortably in traditional spots. If you love the idea of working a few bolder tones into the mix, try richer, more sophisticated colors — think maroon, navy, and emerald. They’ll play beautifully with lighter hues, especially if the dominant shades in the room are brown or tan.

Add Dark Wood Furnishings

The deepest and richest shades are among the most practical and inviting options for a traditional living room design. If you’re shopping for side tables or coffee tables, look for low-key hardware that doesn’t add too much gloss or threaten to overwhelm the space. Though minimal, shiny hardware can catch the eye and rob the spotlight from more authentically classical elements in the room. Burnished and matte metals are straightforward and work well in the space.

Complement dark wood with the aforementioned accent pieces in dark tones that provide subtle contrast. For example, if your sofa features telltale legs that turn inward and ornately carved arms, you could drape a luxurious throw blanket over the back to create a sense of warmth that nicely balances the outward elegance of the furniture. Little homey touches like these lend the living room a more approachable quality.

Establish a Symmetrical Layout

Classical designs are, by nature, very sensible. There’s nothing too outlandish or extraordinary involved in the scheme. This is why symmetry is such an important element that you should consider when decorating the living room. When everything is evenly laid out and well balanced, it establishes a sense of order and continuity throughout the space.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to place identical pieces opposite one another. It’s more about proportion and scale. If you have a thick, plump couch on one side of the coffee table, then you might place a pair of equally cushy chairs on the other side. If you have a seagrass basket set next to one chair to store magazines, you can place something else across from it to create a visually intriguing, balanced look. Try a small plant, for example, or a statue.

Finish With Different Textures

What sets a classic space apart from other parts of your home is its relative consistency. That’s not to say it’s ever dull, however — and there are so many ways that you can add even greater interest to the living room than you might expect. Experimenting with different textural elements, for example, is an excellent way to breathe new life into the space. You expect the natural grains that come with authentic hardwood, for example. The texture is a bit bumpy, but it’s a welcome sort of sensation that indicates character and authenticity.

Balance that out with smooth fabrics, like suede and velvet. During the holiday season, hang artfully embroidered needlepoint stockings from the mantel. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone as you create a comfortable living space with roots.

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