Essential Elements for Designing a Traditional Living Room

The living room is a space to relax, read, and watch television. It is also the place to entertain visitors, so as the most public space of your home, it is an ideal room to reflect your personal style. Here’s a glimpse of some important elements of a traditional sitting room.

Introduction to Traditional Living Room

Traditional sitting room in modern times

The traditional sitting room is a place to relax alone or with company, perhaps watch television or listen to music, or curl up with a magazine or a good book and warm your toes in front of the open fire. 

Transitioning To Traditional Living Room

TransitioTransitioning to traditional sitting roomning to traditional sitting room

If you live in an old building, the shape and height of the room probably suggest that you would like to adopt traditional living room design decor ideas. The great thing nowadays is that we have so much choice, not only in colour schemes but also in lighting, furniture and accessories. Gas-fuelled open fires are more realistic than ever, and whether you’re after chandeliers or gilded mirrors, you will find excellent reproduction versions in department stores or the genuine article in antique markets. Traditional sitting furniture includes armchairs and comfortable sofas.

Elements of Traditional Living Room

Elements of traditional sitting room

There are many elements of a traditional sitting room that bring in the flavour of a traditional lifestyle. Editor Fiona B[386] has enlisted some specific elements in “The House Book”. Adding these components to a traditional sitting room will help you create the desired look.

Let’s take a closer look at these living room traditional interior design components and some helpful tips to revamp or purchase them.

Colours of Traditional Living

Colours of traditional sitting room

Colours are an important component of a traditional living room. Most paint companies now have a range of historical colours that are suited to create different decorative periods. You don’t have to recreate the past, but getting the colours right is absolutely important. Editor Jeff D[84] asserted in the book “Decorating 1-2-3” the fact about using bold and rich combinations to create traditional impact.  Pastel yellow and pink are traditional sitting colours, with contrasting maroon and dark blue. If you are looking for professional tips, check out these 13 living room design tips.

Traditional Open Fireplace

Traditional open fireplace

There was a time when fireplaces were boarded up because they were too old-fashioned for the modern home. However, they were soon opened up because sitting rooms seemed so much colder and less inviting without them. If you have a real fireplace setup, dress it up with a full log basket, a coal bucket, and a range of fire implements. Victorian and Edwardian-style traditional sitting fireplaces are still made from the original designs and today some of them don’t even need a chimney. They can be gas-fuelled and lit from the comfort of your armchair via a remote control. If you want to decorate your fireplace, check out

Traditionally Fitted Carpets for Living Room

Carpets in traditional sitting room

An element of a traditional sitting room can have polished floorboards with a scattering of rugs or good old fitted carpets. Hard floors are fashionable at the moment, but you really can’t beat wall-to-wall carpets for traditional sitting for warmth and comfort. Choose a warm neutral colour or a woven natural material like sea grass or coir matting, which matches most furniture styles.

Beyond adding charm to floors, there are more fun carpet ideas to decorate your space.

Traditional Living Room Armchairs

Traditional sitting room’s armchair

Many comfortable traditional sitting armchairs look terrible and then there are lovely armchairs that were never intended to be sat in! You should strike a balance, but looks must come into the equation. A brand-new armchair can cost almost as much as a sofa, so look out for a second-hand bargain. Give an old chair new life by re-upholstering it to match the rest of the furniture.

Well, you need not be restricted by just one type of chair check out

Rugs and Cushions in Traditional Living

Rugs and cushions in traditional living

Rugs are an element of traditional sitting rooms that are like pictures on the floor. Traditional rugs don’t have to cost a fortune but can become the focal point in a room. Plain floors can be brightened up with splashes of colour and rugs also provide soft islands of comfort on hard wooden floors. Cushions do the same job on furniture. Don’t be mean to them. The more, the merrier!

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Traditional Throws

Traditional sitting throws

Throws are not really a new invention. They are just blankets with a new name, paving their way to becoming one of the stylish elements of traditional sitting room. We have all been liberated by them, though, no doubt about it! Before the throw came along there was no alternative but to send for the steam cleaners or to re-upholster when accidents happened, but now we chuck on a throw and hide a multitude of sins. Throws can also introduce strong, contrasting colours and create a more casual, relaxed, and informal look.

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Traditional Curtains

Curtains in the traditional sitting room

The rustic luxurious curtains can be terribly expensive, and choosing the fabric is the only exciting part of the experience. The linings, weights, tracks and hooks are not at all thrilling and they can be costly too. This explains the popularity of curtain poles and tab-tops which are simple to put up. Buy them readymade for convenience or make them yourself. If you still long for a grand-looking set of curtains for traditional sitting there are specialist second-hand curtain dealers who are not cheap, but you do get totally authentic stuff.

Furthermore, decorate your house with various types of curtains and drapes.

Framed Photographs, Paintings and Prints

Framed photographs, paintings and prints

The elements of traditional sitting rooms need art on the walls. Traditional paintings for living room gives you something to look at while you are relaxing and something to talk about when friends drop by. Don’t worry if you don’t know Picasso or Leonardo, you can always cheat a little! Buy old frames from a flea market and revitalize them with gilding cream or antique gold spray paint. Look out for framed mirrors, prints, photocopied drawings or etchings, and old black-and-white photographs. To create a unique design, check out

Lighting the Traditional Living Room

Lighting the traditional sitting room

Most sitting rooms have central lights that hang from the ceiling, but very few of them actually flatter the room. It is difficult to get the proportions right, and the light is very often far too bright, which creates a stark atmosphere. Large table lamps are ideal for lighting traditional sitting areas. They can sit on tables and cast a warm glow onto the seating area To add more ambient light to the room, use picture lights or wall uplighters. It is necessary to set the light at a certain angle to create a good ambience here are 5 little-known ways to set angle of lighting.

Comfortable Sofas in Traditional Living Room

Comfortable sofas in traditional sitting room

There are so many cheap sofas and special offers in the shops, but for the traditional look, it makes more sense to wait until sale time and spend as much as possible on a quality piece of furniture in a traditional design such as a Chesterfield. Getting a traditional living room sofa can be a difficult task at times. If you don’t mind buying second-hand pieces, it is worth checking out local furniture auctions. They can be great fun, and you never know what you might find. Factory outlets are also worth looking into because many sell end of lines and uncollected special orders at knock-down prices. Design professors Kilmer, R. and Kilmer, W. O.[402] emphasized the importance of a well-designed chair in their book “Designing Interiors”. Poorly designed seating units can cause backaches and contribute to many health-related issues. Make sure to check out

Bookshelves in Traditional Room

Bookshelves in traditional room

Restaurants, pubs and hotels have recently caught on to the fact that rows of books make the place feel like home. To add traditional living bookshelves to your home, you can do the following:  Fit a row of shelves into an alcove and make a display of your favourite books. You can cheat a bit as well – think of them as accessories and buy sets of second-hand books just for their bindings. Book spines can be extremely decorative and charity shops always have large quantities of hardbacks to choose from.

Mix Matching the Elements of Traditional Living Room

Mix matching the elements of traditional sitting room

One very good reason for decorating a sitting room in a traditional style is that you can mix old and new elements of a traditional sitting room. Furniture is passed down through families, and whether it’s priceless antiques or simply granny’s standard lamp, it adds a sense of history to a home. And if the idea of granny’s lamp fills you with horror, remember it can always be repainted and treated to a new lampshade. Comfortable old sofas can be upholstered or dressed up with colourful throws and cushions. Try mixing old with new. To buy old rustic elements you can visit your nearby flea market. They are often exactly what a traditional cozy living room decor needs to settle down and turn into that comfort zone.

Comfortable sofas, colourful rugs and a generous scattering of cushions make the traditional sitting room a comfort zone.

Few Tips For the Traditional Living Setup

The vibes of traditional sitting room

While working with the elements of a traditional sitting room, mix the old with the new, so it is an ideal place to arrange your family heirlooms. Wall up lighters and large table lamps are far better methods of lighting than central ceiling lights, as they cast a warm ambient light over the room.

Let’s give a much-needed overhaul to our sitting room and paint it in the traditional hue…!

If you are planning to revamp your dining room and seating, then don’t miss to check out:

The classic ingredients that make traditional dining room!

Image Courtesy: Image 1(a), Image 1(b), Image 1(c), Image 2, Image 3(a), Image 3(b), Image 4(a), Image 4(b), Image 4(c), Image 4(d), Image 5, Image 6, Image 13, Image 14, Image 15, Image 16(a), Image 16(b)

Author Bio

Huta Raval – An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.

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