Year In Review: The 13 Best Living Room Designs of 2021

As we all continued to figure out what our “new normal” was in 2021, our homes remained more important than ever. And no room was quite so used in most of our homes than our living rooms.

Living rooms continued to be a place for relaxing and unwinding after a day of video calls and a space for movie or game nights with the family. And, as we slowly started entertaining again this year, our living rooms served as a place for small gatherings with friends—though it certainly looks a little different than before.

To celebrate these multipurpose spaces in our homes, along with the end of 2021, we’re rounding up the best living room designs of the year! Take a walk down memory lane to revisit (and shop) your favorite living rooms of 2021.

70s-glam inspired living room with rich earth tones

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1. 70s-Inspired Glam Living Room

Meet Modsy designer, Hope, the talent behind this stunning space! As part of a Modsy design challenge, Hope designed this glam living room, full of some 1970s vibes. It’s stylish and chic—but also cozy and comfortable. The mustard velvet swivel chairs and burl wood side table is a stunning combination of materials, and perfect for a glam space. And did you notice that teal cloud wallpaper in the corner? Perfection.


minimal glam living room with lux materials

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2. Minimal Glam Living Room

The curved furniture trend is on full display here! From the curved sofa and armchair to the rounded coffee table and ottoman, we’re loving all the soft, modern lines in this space. It creates an understated yet playful living room that’s full of personality. And the earthy pastel palette lets the furniture forms do all the talking.

Moody rustic living room with cozy rug

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3. Moody Modern Rustic Living Room

This living room was one of our most popular spaces of the year. Don’t you just want to crawl inside of this room? There’s not much color to speak of in this living room, but the space comes to life through the contrast of light and darks, along with the use of varying textures and materials. We’re talking about those pops of natural material (the wood coffee table and dried pampas grass), along with the sherpa pillows and sheepskin rug, that enliven the space with texture.

California inspired living room in white

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4. Cali Cool Living Room With a Rustic Twist

Fans of the Amber Interiors design style, rejoice! This rustic living room design is mixed with California Casual and a dash of the eclectic for an absolutely stunning space! We love the mix of patterns, like classic-style rug and folk-inspired ottoman. And natural wood finishes add an organic and casual touch to the space. Built around the desire for a conversation space, we maximized seating not just a sofa, but also various chairs and stools.

Living room showing a mix a traditional and modern styles

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5. Modern Traditional Living Room

Here’s another dream room design—this one from Modsy designer Angela Lee! This beautiful living room embodies timeless design, with a mix of furniture styles ranging from classic to modern and eclectic. While it has a more formal vibe, the layered rugs add a cozy feel. We love how the neutral palette is punctuated with green accents—from the velvet chaise armchair to the  use of plants and flowers throughout the space. This is another layout that’s great for entertaining and conversing, with tons of cozy seating options.

East-coast style coastl living room

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6. Nantucket Coastal Living Room

If you gravitate toward a classic, preppy, and streamlined look, then this is the living room for you. This space has a more formal look, but the plush furniture is comfort-forward and inviting, and natural materials bring in some warmth. The classic blue and white color scheme, along with that use of natural materials, make the design of this living room undeniably coastal and summery. It has us dreaming of an escape to a seaside cottage in the summer!

Scandi style living room

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7. Cozy and Layered Scandinavian Living Room

Scandinavian design meets the comforting nature of hygge in this living room, which is filled with layers of coziness. Natural, rich materials add a lot of texture and bring depth to the space. That use of natural materials, along with the neutral palette—contrasted with the moments of black accents—helps ground the look in Scandinavian style. And a plush sectional offers a perfect place to lounge around and get cozy!

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Moodsy eclectic living room

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8. Modern Eclectic Living Room

This living room was another dream room design, by Modsy designer Shelly Sutton. Full of global eclectic style, this space has a lot going on—in the best possible way. A maximalist’s dream, the mix of patterns—from the zebra print rug to the marble and floral wallpaper—helps break up the otherwise neutral color palette. And the charcoal walls add a dramatic touch that acts as a backdrop to the light furniture. The use of plants and natural wood throughout the space adds an organic feel that helps temper the drama of this living room design.

Cottagecore living room with pick walls

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9. Cottagecore-Inspired Living Room

The Cottagecore trend grew in leaps and bounds in 2021. Cottagecore style is inspired by the idea of simpler life, when things were slightly more rustic and idyllic. Basically, it embodies some major English countryside cottage vibes and celebrates the look of handmade items. To bring this look to life, we opted for oversized furniture to add a cozy place to lounge and relax. While the furniture style is a mix of classic and rustic, the bold use of color and pattern adds a dose of the eclectic to this space.

Modern coastal living room with leather sofas

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10. Modern Coastal Living Room

This living room design comes to life through a mix of modern and coastal styles. The blue and white color palette brings out the coastal side of this style, while leather sofas add a cool, modern touch to the space—along with richness to this lighter color palette. The symmetrical design is a nod to the formality of classic coastal design, but the furniture shapes and patterns in the space make it feel more casual. The layered rugs also add to that casual vibe while also grounding the large space to make it feel more intimate.

Industrial style living room in blue

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11. Modern Industrial Living Room

A mix of modern and contemporary furniture adds a fresh look to this industrial space. The color palette is cool with its use of blue, gray, white, and black. But we brought in warmth with the use of a natural wood coffee table and leather sectional. The crystal chandelier adds an elevated touch to the space without clashing the overall casual vibe of this living room.

high contrast style living room

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12. High-Contrast Living Space

Contrast plays a big role in this living room, adding visual interest with the limited color palette. The accent wall behind the fireplace draws your eye into the space, contrasting with the white fireplace and sofa. You can also see this contrast come to life in the use of textures throughout the space—from the jute rug and stool to the textured throw pillows and cane chair. And the vivid geometric rug, bold artwork, and patterned pillows bring further depth to the space through the use of pattern.

Green California style living room

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13. California Modern Living Room

This living room design is from our musings of where the original Gossip Girl characters would live today. This is what we think Serena and Dan’s apartment would look like—an embodiment of California Modern style, with eclectic accents sprinkled throughout. The space features a simple-but-cozy color palette, with earthy green and neutrals. And we love the conversational seating set-up, with the sectional and chairs centered around the fireplace and coffee table.

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Easy, Budget-Friendly Ways to Refresh Your Home for the New Year

refresh your home

Right behind losing weight and quitting a bad habit, one of the most popular New Year resolutions is to save more money. Sounds easy, right? 

Not so fast – ICYMI only around 8% of people in the US manage to keep their resolutions every year. Yikes! 

So what’s a design-savvy, money-conscious person supposed to do? While we aren’t much help with diets and exercise, we can clue you in on some of our favorite, easy, and affordable (even free) ways to refresh your home for 2018.

Ready to hit refresh? Keep scrolling for some of our quick-win ideas for rethinking your spaces for the new year.

refresh your homeRefresh Your Accents

When it comes to easy and budget-friendly decor updates, we are all for switching up your accent pieces. Focus on updating accents and accessories will keep your budget low, while still giving your space a completely new look.

Swap in some new throw pillows, hang a new piece of art, or unfurl a new rug. All these little details have a big impact on how your space looks and feels.

The best part is that this approach can be as involved or low-lift as you want it to be! You can decide to only replace one or two pieces and leave everything else as is, or you can go all out. And if you change your mind half-way through, you don’t have to worry about living with a half-baked living room redesign for the next 365-or-so days.

A Good Home Design Resolution: If you’re not looking to spend on new accents, an easy and completely free update is to rotate your rug 180 degrees. When a rug stays in one place too long, it can become subject to uneven foot-traffic and sun exposure. Ensure your rug has even color and pile with this little design update!

refresh your homeRepurpose What You Already Have

Think new year, new perspectives. That means looking at all your furnishings in all your rooms with fresh eyes and seeing if any of your existing pieces can work in different areas in your home.

Maybe it’s time for the rug in your bedroom to switch places with the one in your living room. Or perhaps the shelves you used as a bookcase can be turned into a TV stand.

Take a moment to assess what you already have and reinvest in the possibilities of those pieces.

A Good Home Design Resolution: Let in more light by pulling back your curtains and blinds. While it may be winter, your rooms can still benefit from getting lots of natural light whenever possible.

refresh your homeReconfigure Your Layout

If moving furniture from one room to another is too much for you, simply change how pieces are laid out in your spaces.

For instance, rather than having your sofa against a wall, try floating it in your living room; instead of having your dining table in the middle of a space, consider moving it closer to the wall.

The idea is to find new ways to revel in your space by shifting your own perception of it. Take some time and enjoy seeing where and how your pieces can fit.

A Good Home Design Resolution: Sometimes it’s about paring down your furnishings to give it a new look and feel. Do a little furniture edit to see if there are pieces that no longer serve a purpose or resonate with you. This helps open up your space (so long, clutter!) and make room for new pieces.

refresh your homeRestyle Your Mix

Commit yourself to a fresh start by re-exploring design styles and furnishings that might not have appealed to you previously. Instead of going for a full furniture set or a matching look, try finding and mixing pieces in different styles that are within your budget.

It’s never easy pushing your own aesthetic boundaries, but you might just discover a few things that you didn’t think you’d love and which mix nicely with some of your other pieces.

A Good Home Design Resolution: Infuse your room with a new scent with a the addition of a candle or diffuser. This is a subtle and affordable way to enhance the atmosphere in a space instantly.

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