Minimalist Living Room Tour
Many times over the last year, after readers have browsed our kitchen tour, I’ve been asked to post other areas of our home. Because our home is small (1132 sq. ft.) it can be challenging to really capture the essence of it, but this morning I decided to buckle down and give it my best shot. Welcome, friends, to our living room!
Our home is old, 1882, but was definitely a hard working house with very little bells and whistles. The kitchen is the only area that we have remodeled, which means that all the walls are currently lathe and plaster. It certainly gives me grief when I want to rearrange wall decor!
The wood floors are painted white. When we purchased the house, the floor was covered with very old tan carpet, which we tore out as soon as Titus (pictured playing on the rug) was walking. The floors had been painted a variety of colors and were in horrible shape. Painting them white was a rather crazy notion, and though I knew I LOVED white painted wood floors, I didn’t know how I much I would love it with 6 children and a dog.
Turns out, painted floors are so much easier to keep clean than the worn out scuffed floor we had been living with for several years. I got a great dust mop and the kids love using it too, so that helps. I end up sweeping & mopping the floors once a week and I’m very happy with it.
The rug was purchased from Amazon (here) and is made from scraps of fabric. I love the craziness and bright colors.
At one end of the living room is a very sentimental bench. The corners are now worn and the top is stained, but I’m not quite ready to recover it.
This bench sat at my maternal grandparent’s home, normally near the large fireplace. Each year at Christmas Grandma would set the bench in front of the Christmas tree and each family took turns sitting and having their picture taken.
I fondly remember looking through Grandma’s Christmas albums and seeing how I (and all my cousins) had grown and changed from year to year.
When Grandma passed away, this was requested by almost everyone in the family. We ended up putting all our names in a hat and mine was drawn.
The couch was given to us by a lovely couple who were moving and had to let it go. The bright colors in the rug pull out the bright floral pattern. I love the detail put into the couch. (I very much avoid over-stuffed furniture.)
Next to Brian and I is our miniature schnauzer, Janie. She is well behaved most of the time, only hates delivery men and howls when she’s excited. She avoids the little children for the most part unless they are throwing a ball for her.
Her favorite thing to do is chase birds, clean up the floor after a meal and make me aware if there is anyone in view of the house, because, really, people should know that anything we can see from our window, is our space and shouldn’t be intruded upon. Doesn’t matter if you live in that house.
Most of the artwork in the house is mine. Painting is my “me” time. Being creative is how I cope with things, process through all my emotions and get my mind sorted out.
I painted this last year to exhibit in our local ArtWalk. I loved the blue, but never wanted to be “one of those people” who have a huge picture of their dog in their living room. But, alas, no one purchased it and it’s the perfect size for that spot. So there it is.
On the other side of the couch we have an old fruit crate that we use as an end table. It houses a few books that the kids have left out (the rest are stored in “George” in the dining room).
On the other side of the room, we have our TV cabinet. It’s an antique cabinet we found at a tiny antique store that is about 5 blocks away from us. We had to remove a shelf and cut a hole in the back for cords.
After we purchased the cabinet, we went and bought a TV to fit it. It’s smaller, I think 25″. We are used to a small screen and prefer not to have a huge TV as a focal point to the room.
Our DVDs and Blu Rays fit because we store them in wallets. This is also where my husband stores his chainmaille supplies.
The 3 framed pictures are the hinged frames that hold the kid’s current artwork. They hold about 20 pictures and when they get full, we spread them out, have the child sit by them and take a digital photo. This way I can keep track of what they did without keeping so many physical papers.
You can view the rest of the room in the dining room tour.
Minimalism is going to look different for everyone. Some people enjoy blank walls or only black and white pieces, and some want intricate detail and only a few pieces, others prefer large collections on the walls and very little furniture. Whatever way you prefer to live, is perfect! Never change your style for the sake of “being a minimalist.”
Remember that there is no perfect way. Find your own expression of minimalism and enjoy your space.
What type of decor is in your living room?
What do you do for light? Where do you set your drinks? No TV?
Light: main ceiling fan/light
Drinks: We do have a little crate on the other side of the couch, but mostly, if we’re drinking, we’re holding it in our hands.
TV: yeah… I forgot to take a picture of that wall. We have a small TV in a cabinet that closes so we don’t have to look at it unless we’re watching it.
What did you use as a finish on the painted floor so it wouldn’t chip or scratch off?
We used a water based polyurethane. It’s holding up fairly well, but have worn down slightly under the table where the chairs are.
I like a minimal look but this is way to stark for me. Even with your family treasures I don’t feel any warmth in this room. Certainly to each their own but I need more cozy. Sorry…..
I think it’s very stark as well, but i do love the concept. A vibrant, yet simple rug; a couch for sitting; personal, simplistic wall decor — made, not purchased; a piano for everyone’s enjoyment; and a place for the beloved pet. The only thing I would change is having the paint and floors be all white, but that can be summed up to personal preference. Overall, I think it’s a great example of a minimalist living room.
I know you have six children, but I don’t see any “kid stuff” in your living room. I would love to do this but can’t manage it. You mention arts and crafts, but where do you keep those supplies? We keep toys and books in their rooms but I have a shelf with craft supplies and a small table in the corner so they can be downstairs doing art and not feel isolated upstairs if I am downstairs.
Hi Elizabeth, the kids keep their own toys in their rooms, we have shared things (craft supplies, blocks & books) in “George” in the dining room: https://nourishingminimalism.com/2015/09/minimalist-dining-room-tour.html
We also keep kids stuff in their rooms (ages 5&7), they are not allowed to bring kids stuff in the living room (we set the example so none of our personal stuff in the living room either). we do have a bookcase in the dining room that has crayons, paper, color books, board games, card games for family time.
I love it!!!! The warm and cozy are found right there, the people in the room! Beautiful space!
Thank you Toni!
I love this. Where we live, the houses are all about 800-900 square feet (3 bedroom, 1 bath, living room, kitchen, utility room). Many of the older people tell me they had anywhere from 5 – 8 kids in those houses, no problem. When I asked how, they simply said that you have to concentrate on people, not things. Some well-adjusted adults came out of those families.
Thanks Dawn! Each time I have thought of moving, I have considered that. So many people grew up in very small homes, especially as you go back in time. And I know smaller homes force us to spend time together, I think it does help teach kids a lot of things- part of that is how to get along. 🙂
Hi! Thanks for sharing. I think it is lovely. Very peaceful. I can feel that you all spend a lot of time enjoying each other there.
We are doing well clearing clutter and simplifying our lives and this is certainly inspirational. I think we’ll always have additional stuff in our space. I love having books and photos around. I have cut back some and hung more so they aren’t “cluttering” up a surface, and are more visible.
Currently we have two sofas, a glider (my kid will not let me sell it 🙂 ) and two bookshelves (filled!). We also have a player piano that my husband’s grandfather refinished. It is a lovely piece and both my son and I use it to learn piano (both of us are taking lessons). My husband plays so it is a used piece. It houses family photos.
We have a lot more kid toys in the family room than we want. We are pairing down toys and are moving them to out of the way places. We want to be able to rotate toys so the kids (and we) aren’t overwhelmed. Also, it will allow them to always have “new” toys!
Thanks again for sharing your home with us.
Thanks Amy! Sounds like you are doing great with hanging onto the things that bring you joy. That’s the way to do it!
I love your colorful rug and the dog painting is great–it adds so much color! My living room is so much less cluttered than it used to be. We have been getting ready to sell our house and I’ve been reading all about staging my house—everything I read is along the minimalist mindset. The less you have, the more spacious your house feels. We have a very large room, so I’ve tried to balance things out—2 chairs and a couch surround a coffee table. I like to put small displays on the coffee table. I even took down all of our family photos for the purpose of selling and I like the nice clean look, though I plan to make a gallery wall when I get a new house. I have 2 floor lamps 2 corners of the room and a large potted fern to add life.
You’re home sounds lovely Patty- clearing out the clutter definitely improves the feeling of the home. I hope it sells quickly for you!
Very nice…although I personally don’t consider it a small house. We had 6 in a 1060 sqft house with no garage.
What! Her house is 1132 sq ft. We’re talking about a 72 sq ft difference…LOL.
If your house is small then her house is small. Is this really worth quibbling over?
I love the white floors. They are gorgeous. Oh and I adore painting of the wiener dog. Its a functional space that is bright and fun! Gives a great vibe.
I have too many visible books at the moment, but the living room is my favorite spot in the house. Its tidy and there isn’t too much there. Although, I would like to change the TV stand to more of a cabinet to hide all the wires and electronic items, but that will come one day.
Thanks Denise! It’s wonderful to enjoy your living room, isn’t it?!
Thank you so much, that after requests from your readers, you are kind enough to take the time, to write about and open up your home in such an honest and raw way. To invite those of us that appreciate and value your blog and share with us a very personal space you should be commended. I feel quite embarrassed for the people who are bold (or should I say rude) enough to so abruptly share their disgruntled thoughts. It saddens me that simple manners and that the most common phrase, something that I’m sure most of us have heard repeatedly during childhood, and that is, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything at all. You have a such kind, loving and gentle soul and I pray that any comments that lack love and consideration, are brushed aside and overlooked. I would just delete them
Thank you Lisa. <3
Sorry, I just have to comment, 1132 sq. ft is NOT small by most world’s standard.
In fact, most of Europeans live in far smaller homes and nobody would ever call a home of 105 sq meters a small home.
Just something to think about since obviously you have readers from outside the US.
I love your living room! It’s so simple and peaceful. Makes me feel calm just looking at the pictures.
Yes, many Euopeans do live in smaller homes, flats etc but from a demographic perspective most Europeans do not have 6 children.
This is one of my favourite posts. i love it! would also love to see your kids’ rooms, if you would be willing to share 🙂
Love your decor! When im in spaces like that i want to leap
Thank you! <3
I think it’s very charming. The colors giVe it a lot of life. Thank you.
I like the look but the couch doesn’t seem like enough seating for your family?
That was my thought. She has 6 children. Are they only allowed on the floor?
Mostly we don’t sit on the couch- if we’re reading a book together we do, if our entire family watches a movie together, people bring out pillows or chairs from other rooms. But 2 are out of the house, soon to be 3, so we only have the younger 3 that are here all the time generally.
Yes, Brian and 2 of the kids make chain maille and sell it at our local Renaissance Festival: https://www.facebook.com/HeritageChainmaille/
I think it’s lovely! Bright colors feel fun and lighthearted and I don’t think it’s stark at all! Inspirational!