The New Living Room: 4 Top Trends

published May 12, 2015
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(Image credit: West Elm)

Living rooms are like living, breathing things that constantly evolve along with their inhabitants. We watch them change over time, as tastes and moods shift. Where are they today? If you’re thinking of redecorating or renovating, here are four of the top trends for modern living rooms.

Moody Modern

We’ve seen a lot of light wood and Scandinavian pastels in recent years, but lately there’s been a shift — perhaps ushered in by Abigail Ahern — towards dark walls and moody decor. Black is prevalent, but so are deep blues, greens, and purples. The result is sophisticated and comfortable spaces that are dramatic and glamorous.

  1. A black room with a cheerful pink sofa from 47 Park Avenue.
  2. Dabito’s new New Orleans living room appeared on West Elm’s Front + Main. (Also lead image above.)
  3. Deep red walls in a Georgian townhouse styled by Benjamin Kempton and Melina Keays for London Design Festival last year. As seen on Dezeen.
  4. A living room from the annual Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Home for the Holidays showhouse, as shared by Cloth & Kind.
  5. Black is a great choice for this sunlit room from The D Pages.

Floor as Focal Point

Gone are the days when a beige rug was the inevitable choice for the living room. People are turning to what’s underfoot to make their statements. Encaustic floor tile, patterned hardwood, and Moroccan rugs boot neutral right out the door, and bring in powerful texture and color.

  1. Encaustic tile was used throughout this Moroccan home seen on Domaine, and especially in the living space.
  2. A beautifully worn brick floor is unexpectedly beautiful in this space spotted on One Kings Lane.
  3. This living room from Rue uses a large red rug to ground an otherwise all white room.
  4. Nuevo Estilo featured this long narrow living room whose rug grabs your eye and holds onto it.
  5. SF Girl by Bay used two Moroccan style rugs in her living room to add great color and texture.

Statement Lighting

We are in a Golden Age of lighting right now, with so many technological and creative leaps happening with fixtures. Where once there were boring boob lights, or chandeliers in the dining room only, there’s now form and function found in every room in the house —regardless of price point.

  1. Nanette Lepore’s eclectic cabin living room with a Roll & Hill fixture, via The Glamourai.
  2. The London living room of Jo and Graham Atkins-Hughes, from Milk Magazine.
  3. This DIY lamp wasn’t expensive, but has a special place in Rennes’ living room.
  4. Patrick Townsend’s Orbit Chandelier in the Brooklyn apartment of Johanna Methusalemsdottir, from Freunde von Freunden.
  5. A Pelle bubble fixture in the Brooklyn loft of Marco Pasanella and Rebecca Robertson.

Texture, Texture, Texture

Textile art, reclaimed walls, sheepskin: all these things combine to make a whirlwind of sensation that both looks and feels fantastic.

  1. The newly renovated living room in Daniel’s New York home, with a rope chair and sheepskin for a lot of delicious feel.
  2. Meredith’s city apartment shows deft use of texture with jute blinds, driftwood mirror and shag rug.
  3. A large macramé wall hanging by Sally England lives above a large sectional sofa in the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon (which is like a living room).
  4. Between the brick, wood wall, plant, rug and textiles, Brooke’s Seattle abode will keep you gazing for months to take it all in.
  5. Adam’s small space has texture nailed down, and its Bohemian elements are varied and interesting.