The 3 Living Room Trends Experts Love Are Also Surprisingly Low-Key

published Jul 26, 2019
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Credit: Minette Hand

From playing board games with your inner circle to bingeing whatever cheesy movie Netflix just released, your living room probably plays host to a lot of your at-home leisure time (it is called the living room, after all!). And because you spend so much time there, creating a functional, yet stylish, living room might be one of your biggest design priorities.

While finding that perfect style that falls somewhere in between model home and cluttered can be a difficult task, a well-appointed living room can pay dividends—both in your enjoyment of the space and when it comes time to sell. You may not think trend-spotter when you hear the term “real estate agent,” the fact is these professionals spend a lot of their time in living rooms. Between looking at hundreds of them and trying to make them stand out among the competition, these agents are the perfect unexpected experts for what’s actually working in home decor trends right now. And in hopes of bringing you closer to that perfectly-balanced living room, I’ve talked to a few about the trends they love the most. Here, three of their favorites for 2020:

Credit: Jill Ruzicka

1. Cool and comfy

Gone are the days of living rooms that give off “too cool for you” vibes, says Wendy Arriz, a real estate agent with Warburg Realty in New York City. Now, comfort is king, as the trendiest rooms are those that look inviting, not camera-ready or formal.

Deborah Ribner, also of Warburg Realty, agrees that a living room built for lounging is here to stay. She says she’s seeing more inviting furniture and decor (think plush couches in cool, rich jewel tones of green and blue), fluffy faux-fur pillows and blankets, and coffee tables and other surfaces made out of wood, stone, marble or other natural materials.

2. Eclectic boho-chic

Think everything should be matchy-matchy in your living room? Think again. According to Samira Tapia of Compass in Los Angeles, the boho-chic trend is a smart one for living areas. Since a complementary color palette grounds the room, you can mix and match your decor items as you please. Boho-chic rooms feel cohesive but non-conforming and have a similar effect on the people in them, too: Since nothing in the room is perfect, you really can relax in it, she says.

Additionally, Tapia notes that many of the textiles that fit this style are machine washable, making them ideal for families with kids and pets who are prone to messes.

Credit: Viv Yapp

3. Minimal, but personal

According to Kate Meier of Corcoran in New York City, minimalism isn’t going anywhere—you can thank Marie Kondo for that! But you don’t have to chuck all your possessions (or design personality) to make it work. Meier has been seeing what she refers to as “intimate minimalism,” which is comprised of the clean lines and white or neutral colors of regular minimalism, but punctuated with colorful or grand statements.

“It creates the intimate feeling of home; gives the opportunity for color through art, a favorite knick-knack, or thoughtfully-curated shelf; and keeps the peaceful, minimal vibe,” she says.

Beatrice de Jong of Open Listings says that she’s seen more living rooms featuring fewer, but more intentional, objects, like sturdy, timeless furniture and decor, as well as personal trinkets from travel.

“Instead of focusing on trends that can be over in a flash, people are surrounding themselves with meaningful belongings,” she says.

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