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10 Ways to Create an Elegant, Traditional-style Living Room

Be inspired by these beautiful rooms and create a classic living space in your home

Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More

Choose stylish furniture and pared-back tones to create an elegant, traditional living room, or add a contemporary edge with some bold colour and pattern. Whatever style you go for, check out these great ideas on how to create a classic living room with a sophisticated feel.

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Panel the walls
Create an old-fashioned drawing room feel with panelled walls. To stop the panels overpowering the space, paint them in a pale tone as seen here. These beautiful panels provide a subtle backdrop to the pared-back shades in the rest of the room.

Considering wood panelling? Read our expert advice

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Brighten up an armchair
Give your classic living room a bold twist by adding some eye-catching colour and pattern to a single armchair.

The key to creating a striking effect that doesn’t overwhelm is to stick to a limited palette. Here, the bright hues in the armchair fabric are repeated in accessories around the room, while the rest of the décor has been kept simple.

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Stick to calm neutrals
The sofa and rug are traditional, but the overall feel of this room is contemporary. It’s the pale colour palette that makes it feel light, airy and modern. The pretty painting of spring blossom adds to the tranquil atmosphere and helps to create a simple yet elegant space.

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Create a cosy arrangement
This formal room has been given a snug feel thanks to an intimate seating arrangement. Two matching sofas have been placed opposite one another, with a table in between to zone off the area and create the perfect spot for a cosy coffee and chat.

Not sure how to arrange your living room furniture? Find out how to position it perfectly

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Design with pinks and greys
Dusky greys and pale pinks give this space an elegant feel. Grey works well as a base for many schemes, so it’s a good choice for large items such as window treatments or furniture. This pink sofa adds an unusual twist but is subtle enough not to overpower the space.

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Bring in quirky patterns
Add an unexpected twist to a traditional living room by introducing bold patterns.

The bright geometric design on these armchairs is repeated in the monochrome rug, while the strong colours clash with the bright red fireplace guards. The furniture and accessories with black edges cleverly punctuate the colours, while the symmetrical layout stops the space looking cluttered.

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Jazz up with jewel tones
Ruby reds and golds help to warm up this cosy space. The traditional-style sofa and pouffe look snug and inviting with their red upholstery and textured cushions, while metallic accessories bring vibrancy to the scheme.

If you don’t want to splash out on a bright red sofa, bring in rich colour with cushions and throws instead, or use a jewel tone on a feature wall.

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Opt for classic checks
For a traditional country feel, bring some check patterns into your living room. A pale checkered sofa adds a stylish layer to this rustic space. The soft colours work well with other hues in the room to create a calm, harmonious spot in which to snuggle up in front of the fire.

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Spruce up your fireplace
An original period fireplace is a lovely feature in a classic living room but you don’t have to have a traditional open fire. Here, a classic surround frames a modern wood burner, adding a contemporary touch and providing a more efficient means of heating the room. The traditional design of the stove is in keeping with the room and an old-fashioned basket adds to the look.

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Give it a library look
A modern shelving unit is given a classic reading room feel with the simple addition of a library ladder. Elements, such as the chandelier and mirror, as well as the classic armchairs also tie in with the period feel of the room. However, the contemporary style of the shelving unit puts this space firmly in the 21st century.

What do you think of these ideas for a traditional-style living room? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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