Any top interior designer would confirm that practicing restraint can be a challenge. A smart selection of comfortable, understated furnishings, well-curated artwork, and simple decorative objects is key to a standout design scheme, but it’s just as important to avoid a cluttered look. Curious about how to pull off a minimalist space? Click through these 30+ minimalist living rooms that get it right.
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For a Miami Beach escape, designer Lee F. Mindel settled on a seamless blend of modern touches and pop sensibilities—the perfect mix for a couple and their four children. The living room is outfitted with custom sofas in a Bergamo fabric, Marc Newson tables from Cappellini, and a 1980s side table by Vistosi. Mindel enhanced the design scheme with the eye-catching Face à Face bench by Pierre Paulin through Ralph Pucci, and a custom rug by V’Soske. The bookshelf, which is also custom, features a collection of vases and ceramics from Luminaire and Jalan Jalan.
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This Alyssa Kapito-designed living room in a SoHo duplex adheres to a warm neutral palette. The space, which is owned by a family of six with young kids, features a comfortable love seat by Elias Svedberg from Galerie Half. Kapito also furnished the living room with a daybed by Pierre Chapo, a sofa by Dmitriy & Co., and a cocktail table by Jean Royère from Gallery BAC. The J.T. Kalmar floor lamp is from 1stdibs, and the rug is from F.J. Hakimian.
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A mix of whites fill the living room in a cozy East Hampton home designed by architect Javier Robles. The homeowners—avid contemporary art collectors—enhanced the space with a piece by Egan Frantz. A sofa by Antonio Citterio for Flexform, vintage chairs by Joe Colombo, and Roger Herman ceramic vases atop a custom Marmoreal cocktail table by Max Lamb complete the look.
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Interior designer Kathryn Ireland adopted a less-is-more approach for a Los Angeles property with picturesque views out out over the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. In the minimalist living room, the sofas, cocktail table, and tie-dyed pillows are by Ireland for the Perfect Room. The 1950s armchairs are from Obsolete, the circa-1940 Swedish floor lamp is from Galerie Half, the curtains are of an Otis Textiles fabric, and the ceramic artwork over the fireplace is by Bruno Gambone.
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French Riviera Escape
A luxurious French Riviera retreat benefits from minimal furnishings, which complement the breathtaking views. The pop art-inspired home features sofas, chairs, and tables by Pierre Paulin. The 1970s floor lamps are from Galerie Harter, and the mantel was designed by the home’s architects, Francine and Pascal Goujon.
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A Study in White
Equal parts modern and inviting, this downtown Manhattan penthouse by fashion designer Jeffrey Dodd is a lesson in minimalism. White walls serve as the perfect backdrop to the design scheme, which includes artwork (above the fireplace) by Alexis Dahan and an internally lit coffee table designed by Dodd and his husband, Jonathan Reed.
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Richie Jackson and Jordan Roth’s apartment in Manhattan has a living room with a 1940s club chair by Jean-Michel Frank and a 1970s Maison Jansen circular banquette upholstered in shearling and leather by Edelman. The artwork is by Julian Opie.
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In the living area of a New Zealand house the sofa is a custom design, and the fireplace by Masport Heating is set in a custom-made steel cabinet; the pendant light is by Secto Design and the walls are sheathed in black-stained western red cedar.
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In the living room of Vivia Horn’s Japanese-style retreat in Hunter, New York, the leather-and-plastic Italian sofas, cocktail table, and wool shag rug were purchased in the 1980s at Bloomingdale’s. The Japanese-style fire pit and tin range hood are custom, the floor lamp is from the ’70s, the sisal carpet is by Stark, the ceiling beams are Douglas fir, and a series of color lithographs from Japan are displayed along the pine wainscoting.
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Grey, White, Wood
Architect Piet Boon and designer Jennifer Schmidt transformed a Washington, D.C. loft with a palette of gray, white, and wood in light tones. Textured accents, including gray velvet chairs, add interest to the open space.
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White Meets Gray
A gray marble hearth flanked by cut-outs stacked with logs is the centerpiece for this white and gray masterpiece. Iron details anchor the otherwise airy room.
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In a French-inspired Chicago penthouse living room,vibrant mustard yellow curtains in an Oscar de la Renta fabric for Lee Jofa pop against walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Cement Gray. The custom sofa is upholstered in a Kravet fabric with pillows in a Jim Thompson silk. The 1970s chairs are from Revival, and the vintage cocktail table is from Martin La Brocante. A Crate & Barrel console and vintage chandelier by Hans-Agne Jakobsson complete the look.
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In this room designed by Peter Som for The Inside, the minimal wall art isn’t noticeable thanks to a bold striped club chair and a patterned room divider.
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In the living room of this Uruguayan retreat, the custom daybed is from Lucila Del Campo, a shop in the nearby resort town of La Barra. The curtains are of a natural linen, and the walls and floor are hand-poured concrete.
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In a renovated spec house, the console is from Restoration Hardware, and the overhead light fixture is from Lambert & Fils. The custom limestone mantle was designed in house, and the low vintage coffee table was repainted. A speckled gray sofa from CB2 pairs well with vintage lounge chairs reupholstered in fabric from Holly Hunt.
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Cozy Minimalist Seating
A sitting area in the library of a minimalist Tuscan home overlooks the Maremma parkland; the Le Corbusier chairs are from Cassina, and the rug is by Golran.
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Minimalist Art Collection
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Understated Minimalist Lounge
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The den of a minimalist beach house on Long Island has a vintage alpaca rug, an ottoman covered in a Kyle Bunting hair-on-hide leather and a photograph by Darren Almond. The walls and ceiling are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Super White.
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A contemporary farmhouse in the middle of L.A. is a little bit country and a lot modern. Inside the indoor-outdoor living area, custom concrete sofas are topped with Brenda Antin pillows, the 1990 Mats Theselius chair is Swedish, the 1953 Bigfoot cocktail table is by Paul Frank, and the wall is clad in reclaimed farmhouse boards.
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Beach House Minimalism
In the living room of Meredith Melling and Zach Iscol’s retreat on Martha’s Vineyard, which was designed by Ariel Ashe and Reinaldo Leandro of Ashe + Leandro, the sofa by Restoration Hardware is covered in a Perennials linen, the Hans Wegner chairs are upholstered in a Brochier fabric, and the walnut cocktail table and stool are custom; the rug is a vintage Tuareg, the ceiling beams are Douglas fir, and the room is painted in Benjamin Moore’s Super White.
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Simple decor paired with memorable artwork can only result in the chicest of rooms. In the living area of Kris Ghesquière and Eva Claessens’s house in southeastern Uruguay, which they built on the remains of an 1810 roadside general store, the yellow lamb sculptures are by William Sweetlove and the paintings and feather sculpture are by Claessens.
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In a treehouse-style Mexican home, the family room’s sofa and ottoman are by Ligne Roset, the Saarinen side table is by Knoll, and the chairs are by Hans Wegner. The Arco lamp is by Flos, the pillows and rug are custom designs, and the tapestry was created from a traditional Bhutanese man’s robe.
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Mid-Century Modern Minimalism
Mid-century modern design is a stylish take on minimalism, as shown in this Palm Springs living room. There are vintage Barcelona chairs, back-to-back sofas by William Haines, an Arco lamp by Achille Castiglioni and a floor lamp by Dragonette. The wall is sheathed in Venetian plaster, the ceiling is cedar and the floors are poured-in place terrazzo.
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