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Creating a Classic Living Room Look

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Just like with modern styles, there are several ways of creating a classic living room look, depending on what era and culture to want to theme your room on.

Wallpaper Always Looks Classic

For a very long time, wallpaper was used because it covered a multitude of lumps and bumps, before the time it was possible to get walls as smooth as they do today. Finding classic looking wallpapers is not difficult, but generally sticking with pale backgrounds such as creams, duck egg blues and light greens, with a darker pattern superimposed, will provide you with the first stage of giving your living room a classic look.


The furniture depends on the style of decor you are trying to create. It is not unusual when someone is undertaking this task, to scour the second-hand shops for old furniture and then restore it to its original glory. Sometimes all it needs is the wood sanding and re-varnishing, and new covering on the seats and backs, and you have got chairs that really look the part.

Another alternative is to buy Amish furniture, which always has a classic feel to it. Generally made entirely from wood, it tends to be in traditional styles.

Frames For Mirrors and Pictures

You can go to any framing workshop in the US and they will have frames that are suitable for the style you are putting in your living room. Frames come in so many different colors and the choice is huge, but generally sticking with gold or black quite fancy frames on your mirrors and pictures will do the trick.


Open fireplaces were the norm in traditional living rooms, and before TV’s came along they were usually the focal point. The sofas and armchairs would be placed around the fire, as in the dead of winter it was the only warmth they had. There was no central heating back then, and close the door was a familiar shout. The living room was often the only room that got any heat, apart from the kitchen when cooking was taking place. So every time the door was opened, cold air was let in.

Soft furnishings

Soft furnishing should be the final touch so choose them carefully or they could ruin the whole effect. Often cushions would have had floral patterns or have been heavily embroidered by the ladies of the house. There would have been no sign of any blinds; all the windows would have had curtains, usually quite heavy ones.

Remove Technology

It would be a shame after all the effort you have put into giving your room a classic look to have a computer sitting in the corner. That would ruin the effect totally. You should remove, or hide, all modern technology and only bring it out when you need to use it.

Don’t Be Afraid To Mix And Match

You have to remember that it was only in the 20th century that things started being mass-produced. In classic rooms, and you will see this in many stately homes or museums that you visit, quite often the furniture was a mix of different types.  We are not suggesting that you mix a modern dining table with classic chairs, for instance, but sometimes things from the same era that are not exactly the same can be interesting in your room.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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