How do I Make a Traditional Living Room?

S. Gonzales

The definition of a traditional living room can vary across cultures and personal style preferences. There are certain aspects of traditional living rooms that contribute to the classification, however. Some of these characteristics include emphasizing views or the traditional elements of a living room, the use of neutral colors and choosing tasteful furniture.

Red can be used in a traditional living room for dramatic effect.
Red can be used in a traditional living room for dramatic effect.

A traditional living room usually boasts walls that are painted in neutral colors. Neutral colors don't impose on visitors, and some of them can even have a calming effect. A benefit of using neutral colors is that they can direct attention through windows and onto a particularly impressive view.

Decorated lampshades bring character to traditional living rooms.
Decorated lampshades bring character to traditional living rooms.

This doesn't mean that your traditional living room has to be subdued, though. For added dramatic effect, you can choose a color, such as red, that contrasts with the other main colors in your room. Some great traditional color combinations include gold and burgundy as well as burgundy and hunter green.

Traditional living rooms often contain a matching sofa and love seat. You're free to mix up this combination, however. For example, you might choose to buy a sofa and a love seat with different patterns to give your traditional living room some contrast. Remember that sectionals are considered to be casual and are more suited to living rooms where families are expected to gather frequently. The combination of a sofa and love seat can be more appropriate for guests.

If you're looking to decorate a traditional living room for the benefit of guests, consider using pieces that can impress visitors. Formal coffee tables, over-size rugs and drapes made of expensive material such as silk can go a long way in adding some sophistication to your traditional living room. If you strategically arrange your pieces to call attention to them, they can even become talking points. Consider adding a leather couch to your living room to add some extra class.

A traditional living room has classic features, so it's a good idea to emphasize timeless pieces in the room. That means that you probably should stay away from making technology, such as your television, the focal point of your room. You want your visitors to be impressed with how elegant your living room is, not distracted by your flat-screen TV. Try emphasizing enduring parts of the room, such as your wall's faux finish or a mural, instead of technology.

Many home owners decorate their living rooms in a traditional style because of a simple desire to experiment with styles, but others do it for practical purposes. Homes that are expected to be sold often undergo modifications before being put on the market. Traditional styles are thought to appeal to a large group of people, making it easier to show and sell the home.

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Discussion Comments


I don't think that there is any one true definition of a traditional living room, but there are several key elements. Make it look inviting with comfortable furniture, and paint the walls with an attractive color. Choose curtains to match and provide privacy. Top off the room with tables and cabinets, and make sure it has enough lighting. This is traditionally how a living room is put together, but the styles will vary greatly from person to person.


I think that a traditional living room should also include end tables and a coffee table. These should be topped off with several nice lamps for a complete living room set.

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