Traditional Living Room Ideas

LAST UPDATED: May 05, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Jan 22, 2013 | By:

Get inspiration and ideas from our traditional living room, full of cozy and welcoming details. This is a little bit traditional with a little bit of cottage charm thrown into the mix, and it’s one of my favorite warm spaces.

Find our paint colors, furniture and accessory sources, and all the details to create your own traditional living room oozing with cottage style.

Take a before and after tour of our Colonial living room and learn what works for us!

A sofa in a living room

I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes, it takes me months to complete a project. Our living room is no exception. Last July, I began working on our living room. Pieces trickled in over the months, I’d get inspired to do more, then sidetracked by holidays and even experienced a little mishap. While it’s not yet complete, I wanted to share with you my work in progress. That’s what life is after all, right?

Chris and I have very different tastes. He is modern and I’m traditional. I also wanted to keep the space functional for the girls and comfortable for all. Our other priorities included having plenty of seating for guests. We didn’t deviate much from the floor plan I designed. We can easily seat 11, and honestly more if we utilize the “ottoman” and get a little cozy.

First for some before photos:

A living room with a large window

The room was dark and dated. We started by removing the shutters, painting the walls, trim, bookcases and windows. Then we refinished the hardwoods and removed the mantel.

A living room filled with furniture and a fire place. Shelves surround the fire place and mirror hangs over it as well.

So it’s not perfect, but we’ve come a long way! One thing I’ve learned in my nearly 6 years of marriage, is compromise. Yes, I’m referring to that big black tv that is the focal piece of our living room that I never thought would be. Another is, I’m not as perfect as I’d like to be. I ordered cabinet doors to reface those dated 60’s cabinet doors you see below. I mis-measured. I haven’t had the heart to think another minute about it. Maybe in another month or two?

A living room filled with furniture and a fire place. Shelves surround the fire place and a flat screen TV hangs over it as well.

Let’s talk about what you do see. To the left, our modern 9′ extra deep sofa slipcovered in Belgian linen from Restoration Hardware. This not only fits Chris, but easily seats 5 guests. The fabric spots clean easily and can be removed to be washed or dry cleaned, making it family practical. Straight ahead you’ll see the mantel Chris built to hide the tv cords along with two dining chairs in Belgian linen fog. These can be moved for additional seating in the kitchen or dining room. Between them, is my favorite end table from Anthropologie in brass. I’m still styling the bookcases…more on those in a minute.

A living room filled with gray furniture and a large window

I wanted two cozy English roll arm chairs. While I always thought that they would be upholstered, I found these deconstructed chairs and knew they’d be a great compliment to my traditional taste along with Chris’ modern taste. A hint of each. They are accompanied by oversized cable knit pillows from Pottery Barn. For the window treatments, I kept with traditional brass and hung basket weave linen drapes in fog, leaving an extra foot to drape on the floor for a little added luxe. I didn’t want to block an ounce of light.

A chandelier next to a window

Speaking of light, I couldn’t resist a floor chandelier lamp, but couldn’t afford the one I first spotted at Restoration Hardware. Using one of my favorite tips {don’t miss these}, I looked to their sister store, RH Baby & Child and purchased this piece for half the price. It feels so glamorous when I turn it on in the evenings to read a magazine…almost like I’m in a hotel.

A living room filled with furniture and a large window

I found this foot stool that doubles as a great side table, for just $25. It’s also one of Adalyn’s favorite seats! I love anything that can multi-task. On it, you’ll see a favorite read of mine – New York Times 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA and Canada. To the right, the MacAusland blanket I adore that my in-laws gave me last Christmas. You may have seen it before here, herehere, and here, showing you just how versatile it is!

Shelves filled with flowers and other knick knacks.
In our book cases, I displayed several favorite books, like those you see below, family photos and unique pieces, like my Grandma’s family bible collection-some dating back to the 1800’s. Above is my wedding bouquet, dried, along with the music to our song.
Shelves filled with books and other knick knacks.
The rug was a steal {click here for my tips for purchasing a rug} and I love that I can adapt the room with the seasons with its color scheme. The coffee table is actually a tufted bench on wheels. It’s wheels allow it to move freely around the room, depending on what we’re using the space for. I can move it easily to give the girls extra room to play, or move it in front of the sofa. It’s lack of sharp corners makes it safe for the kiddos as well.
A sofa in a living room
The accordion side table is a knock off of the $1,000 version I fell in love with. At just $50, I can use it in a number of ways or spaces throughout our home. For now, it takes the place of any additional end tables. I’ve had 3 sets delivered, and haven’t loved any of them! I’ll blame my pregnancy.
A living room filled with furniture and a large window
I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour of our living room. I can’t wait until it’s complete!
Update: we recently updated our bookcases with an easy DIY
Shelves filled with books and other knick knacks.