Let’s be honest: Minimalist design can sometimes feel cold and scant. The style has many benefits, focusing on the essentials and touting “less is more.” But, in a space like the living room — which is meant to be warm and inviting — it can be tricky to apply the style.
Rather than going for a pure minimalist living room, then, you might want to opt for a cozy minimalist living room. This design style allows more flexibility to play around with layering, textures, and even colorways while still maintaining a streamlined, pared-back look. It’s ultimately about bringing in warmth through different pieces — like rugs, throws, and seating — to imbue more hygge into your home. Curious to see how? Check out these Cozy Minimalist Living Room ideas for inspiration, ahead.
12 Ways to Create a Cozy Minimalist Living Room
1. Use Rounded Edges
Soothe the senses with soft forms and edges. Here, Corner House Creatives opts for a rounded chair, soft dark couch, and billowy pillows to juxtapose the starkness of this lofty space. A huge sculptural lamp sits on the coffee table for an organic touch, which lets the creamy white walls shine behind — decorated with a singular minimalist art piece
2. Layer Rugs
Layering always goes a long way. Here, tops a faded gray rug with a fluffy faux sheepskin for major plushness. It’s complemented by a simple marble coffee table and L-shaped couch. More personality comes through with plants, poufs, and a pared-back gallery wall up top.
3. Get Glowy
Getting creative with lighting is a sure way to create a cozy ambience. Herzen Stimme opts for string lights, a small pendant, and some flickering candles to amp up the hygge in her living room. The decor is all set in a palette of crisp white and warm neutrals. Take note of how she plays with texture: a bouclé seat is topped with a knot-style pillow, fringe throws hang over the seating, and natural branches decorate the surfaces.
4. Incorporate Subtle Patterns
Just because it’s minimalist style doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate pattern. Try a subtle approach like Erika of Home and Spirit, for example. She creates a snuggly sofa by throwing soothing striped pillows on top of it — which also add visual interest. She keeps with a grey and white color scheme, matching the artwork and coffee table books to the seating while using plants for a pop of color.
5. Warm It Up
There’s nothing like some deep caramel-hued leather (or pleather) to warm up a room. Minimalism clearly doesn’t equate to all-white-everything, as proven in Paula of Home by Polly’s living area. Though, note how she doesn’t stray far from neutrals. She offsets the milky white space with only pops of brown and some grays. Textural ceramics contribute to an organic feel, balanced by the clean lines of the shelves, fireplace, and lighting.
6. Style With Japandi Elements
Japandi design naturally lends itself to cozy minimalism, as it combines pared-back Scandinavian design with earthy Japanese design. The style focuses on clean lines, bright spaces, and light colors as seen in this space by House of Chais. Add in wood tones and natural elements for warmth. Plus, opt for sculptural forms in unexpected places — like the coffee table.
7. Elevate With Sunset Hues
A pop of color can elevate a room to new heights. Set on a creamy base of white walls and rugs, a simple splash of sunset hues on the seating warms up this living room by House of Harvee. A few statement pieces also add character, such as an abstract painting, lacy pendant, and matching white and orange florals.
8. Ground With Wood Tones
Create depth by incorporating darker tones into your living area. It can still feel bright and airy with elements like sheer drapes, a lacquer table, and crisp white walls, as exemplified in this space by Kirsten Diane. It just adds a layer of contrast and coziness to have some woodsy hues, too — which can be seen in the throws, couch, and patterned rug.
9. Opt For Natural Materials
Keep things easy and breezy with natural elements. Materials like wicker and rattan contribute to an airy yet warm feel in this living room by Leaf and Lolo. They come in so many unique designs — from coffee tables to planters to even poufs. A bohemian style rust-hued rug adds to the coziness along with some plush ivory seats and pillows.
10. Incorporate Artistry
Of course, if you want, you can still always go for an all-white-everything palette. Just be sure to inject some character into the space with artwork and decor. This living room, for example, matches a black and white line illustration on the wall with a similar printed pillow on the couch. Further touches like soothing ceramics and a textured rug add to the coziness.
11. Utilize Warm Neutrals
This space is a lesson on how to do warm neutrals right. Layering softly wrinkled linen seating with matching off-white pillows and fluffy throws, Martina’s Cosy Crib creates an instantly inviting atmosphere. The walls are coated in a sandy hue, topped with simple wooden-framed photographs. Dried plants always help create some warmth, too.
12. Add Bohemian Design Flair
This white-washed space balances out its minimalism with dark bohemian design touches. Standouts include the woven basket artwork adorning the walls and rustic ceramics on the shelves. A simple white couch is contrasted with amber throw pillows, which play off the pottery on the console. A lacy lantern tops the space off with an intimate glow.