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Colonial Living Room Ideas

Colonial living room ideas and inspo.

Are you designing a colonial living room and looking for inspiration? You’ve come to the right place. Spoak has all the interior design inspiration to get those creative juices flowing. Browse room designs, inspiration images and decor ideas or take our free room design tool for a spin below!

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mood board -aug22 designed by Bridget Nelson
mood board -aug22Designed by Bridget Nelson
Living Room designed by Sheldon Jones
Living RoomDesigned by Sheldon Jones
Untitled designed by GABRIELLA FERREIRA
UntitledDesigned by GABRIELLA FERREIRA

Design tips for decorating a colonial style living room

Here’s how to achieve the colonial aesthetic room of your dreams.

What’s the best way to design and decorate a colonial living room?

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. But if you ask us, the living room gives it a run for its money since it’s likely the most used room in your house. From entertaining guests to lounging around reading a book to watching way too much TV (no judgment here), your main living space has to be both comfortable and functional. Open-concept living spaces may also include an eating area or a full dining room for easy living.

Whether you're in the process of a living room remodel or looking to makeover your existing one, these are the key elements to include in your design:

  • Paint or Wallpaper: Select a color or pattern that sets the desired mood for the living room and complements the colonial style you want to achieve. We are partial to covering walls, ceilings, and trim in a uniform paint color to create a cohesive look. Or consider an accent wall to serve as a focal point.
  • Sofa, Couch, or Sectional: A staple of any living room, the sofa or couch provides a comfortable seating option for relaxation and socializing. The sofa should be the functional focal point of the room. When creating the furniture plan for your living room, start with the sofa as the largest piece of furniture and plan the rest of the room around it. If you have a small living room, you may want to select a sofa with a shallower depth or a L-shaped sectional to maximize your seating space. If you have a large living room, you may want to consider multiple couches to take advantage of your space.
  • Armchairs: These individual accent chairs offer additional seating and can be placed strategically around the living room to create cozy conversation areas. In addition to leaving space around furniture groupings, make sure to also leave space around each piece of furniture. This allows people to move freely using various routes within the living room. It's important to strike a balance between creating a cozy seating area and providing enough room for easy navigation.
  • Coffee Table: A central piece, the coffee table sits in front of the sofa and provides a surface for placing drinks, books, and other items. Pro tip: The recommended distance between a coffee table and the sofa in a living room is roughly 15-18”. This allows for enough space to move around comfortably and ensures that the coffee table is within easy reach from the seating area.
  • Side Tables and/or Ottomans: Placed next to sofas or armchairs, side tables offer a convenient surface for placing lamps, drinks, or other small items. Ottomans are even more versatile and can serve as a footrest, extra seating, or even a side table or coffee table when paired with a tray. Choose side tables or ottomans that are proportionate to the furniture they accompany. The height of the side table should be similar to or slightly lower than the armrest or seat height of the sofa or chair.
  • Console, Entertainment Center or TV Stand: This furniture piece typically houses the television and often includes additional storage for media devices, gaming consoles, or to display decorative items. Ensure that the size of the media console is proportionate to the size of the screen it will be supporting. Even if you don’t plan to include a TV in your living room (we support your decision for less screen time!), a freestanding console or built-in shelving unit is great for storage and organization. You can hide (or replace) your TV with a large piece of wall art.
  • Area Rug: It’s common to include an area rug in a living room for extra warmth and coziness. If possible, all furniture pieces should “live” on the rug in your living room. If your rug doesn’t really allow for that, then at least the front legs should be atop the rug. This ensures the furniture doesn’t look like it’s floating in the room.
  • Decorative Lighting: Combine task, ambient, and accent lighting for a layered lighting scheme. Typically in a living room, you’d want a flush surface mount light or chandelier on the ceiling and wall-mounted sconces or table lamps placed around the room for mood lighting.
  • Colonial Decor Accessories: Decor in a living room can transform a living area into a vibrant tapestry of textures, colors, and forms, creating a welcoming and personalized environment that reflects your colonial style. The strategic placement of books, vases, and candles on coffee tables or shelves infuses the room with character and warmth. Throw pillows and blankets introduce texture and color helping to make the space feel cozier. Wall art helps to ground the space and showcase your personal taste and interests. Mirrors can amplify light, making the room feel more expansive.
  • Curtains or Blinds: Window treatments not only help control the light and provide privacy but also serve to tie the room's design together. They offer an opportunity to inject color, texture, and pattern into the living space, making it more inviting and personalized. Whether flowing and sheer for a light, airy feel or rich and textured for a more luxurious look, curtains play a pivotal role in setting the tone and atmosphere of the living room.

Get creative and have fun with your colonial living room makeover! If you need an extra hand, check out our step-by-step guide on How To Design a Living Room.

What materials and home decor should I use to achieve a colonial living room design?

Colonial style is influenced by the aesthetic of the colonial period, blending European elegance with traditional American motifs. The style features a balanced mix of formal and rustic elements, with dark wood furniture, hardwood floors, and a muted color palette defining the space.

To achieve a colonial interior design aesthetic in your living room, start with a neutral color scheme for the walls and layer in brass or pewter accents, wood furniture, and woven textiles. The overall atmosphere should be warm and welcoming, with an emphasis on comfort and historic charm. If you are set on a darker color, consider richer earth tones like chocolate, forest green, or navy. Shiplap or beadboard or floral motif wallpaper would be historically accurate choices for walls or ceilings. Natural fabrics like cotton and linen are great fabric choices for upholstered furniture and window treatments. Furnishings should be sturdy and functional. Look for furniture with intricate carvings or turned legs.

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