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9 cosy brown living room ideas

Whatever the weather outside, a warm and inviting living space is a year-round must-have. Our brown living room ideas make it easy to create a living space that’s wonderfully cosy – and effortlessly cool.
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Industrial style wood and metal dining table

Look around and you’ll find a fantastic selection of industrial storage pieces for your brown living room, including sideboards crafted from timber and set on authentic sturdy metal bases, as well as coffee tables and lamp tables.


Wooden industrial sideboard

1. Go industrial chic with wood and metal

If brown living room ideas appeal, then the industrial trend is for you.

There’s nothing too finished about industrial-style furniture – it’s rough hewn and features beautiful natural wood which is often reclaimed, repurposed or salvaged. Knots, uneven grain, markings and divots are celebrated, and the more weathered the finish the better.

Industrial style wood metal handled sideboard
Industrial coffee table

2. Invest in a brown leather sofa

For style and comfort that will stand the test of time, there’s nothing quite like a beautifully-made leather sofa. And a gorgeous brown leather sofa is the perfect centrepiece for any brown living room idea.

Relaxed contemporary brown leather sofa
Chesterfield style buttoned brown sofa

Whatever style you choose – a classic Chesterfield sofa or oversized contemporary sofa, corner couch or chic mid-century modern sofa – a brown leather sofa will always feel timelessly traditional, and that’s a good thing. Because this is a piece of furniture that will be with you and your family for years. Whether you accessorise with cushions and throws or leave it stylishly unadorned, a brown leather sofa can’t help but take centre stage in any living room.


3. Or opt for something softer

We love leather for all kinds of reasons – it always looks fantastic, it improves with age and it’s a great family-friendly choice. But if your quest for brown living room ideas tends towards the softer side, know that you can enjoy classic sofa style in rich warm tones without investing in a leather sofa.

Instead, opt for what we like to think of as the fabric versions of leather – fabric that offers the same feeling of luxury, warmth and authenticity, like textured velvets and chenilles, and even corduroy.

Shop brown fabric sofas

Chocolate brown velvet touch scatter back sofa

4. Make a feature of your walls

One of the least expensive and easiest ways to follow the brown living room ideas trend is to simply use paint. Our biggest piece of advice – don’t be afraid to be bold. Yes, brown can be a dark shade, but there’s a huge variety of tones in the spectrum of brown hues. Opt for something warmer and lighter, like beige, sand or wheat, or a greyer brown like elephant, taupe or tobacco. Or embrace this warmest of colours and pick a rich dark brown like chocolate, russet or walnut.

Start with a feature wall and then give your inner designer free rein – add framed prints and wall art, illuminate one corner with a statement floor lamp, and use cushions and throws to connect your sofa upholstery with your favourite new colour. And, who knows, your feature wall might be such a hit that you’ll feel emboldened to try a feature room.

Abstract canvas wall art

5. Expose your living room’s natural features

If you’re looking for rustic living room ideas, it’s quite possible that you might have to go only as far as your own living room. Step across the threshold and, with fresh eyes, look to see if your space already has its own touch of naturally rustic charm like oak beams, stripped wooden doors and beautiful wood window frames.

Of course, you may just have to do a bit of gentle refurbishment – swap blinds for curtains to expose window frames for example, or remove a tired carpet to reveal floorboards. And don’t worry if your floorboards are, well, a little too rustic. Introduce several contrasting area rugs in different sizes to give your living room a welcoming Nordic-style ski lodge feel.

6. Fake it with faux fur

If your definition of brown living room ideas is a masculine brown leather sofa and sturdy industrial occasional table, then be sure to accentuate the positive by incorporating textures that go in entirely the opposite direction.

Soften things up with faux fur throws, oversized knitted blankets, and plush accent cushions in chenille and velvet. All those lovely textures will highlight the rustic nature of your living room and make things just more beautifully cosy.

If you’re a crafty kind of person, why not crochet a cushion cover or knit a throw? Don’t worry about your efforts looking too homespun (after all, what could be more rustic than something homemade?), but try to stick to a neutral colour palette for your wool or other crafting materials, like cream, off white, pale grey and fawn.

7. Bring real wood into your living room

The original brown living room idea? Real wood. If your living room floor is polished parquet or stripped pine you’re already ahead of the game, but if your home is lacking in real wood there are a couple of easy ways to bring in this most natural of resources.

How about a stylish nature-inspired floral arrangement? We’re thinking elegantly twisted twigs rather than big blooms. Try birch or willow – your local florist may be able to help, or go foraging in nearby woodland. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have an open fire or wood burner in your living room, consider stacking your firewood from floor to ceiling and create a visually-striking arrangement that’s both rustic and chic.


8. Go chic and stylish with a tone on tone approach

Borrow a brown living room idea from many a successful interior designer and develop a knack for colour layering.

Brown is a great choice for a chic tone on tone approach. Start with your brown sofa in leather or fabric, add a cream or sheepskin rug – at the lighter end of the brown spectrum – darker brown wood furniture, and accessorise with brown cushions in every shade from café au lait to (if you’ll permit our extended caffeinated analogy) espresso.


A selection of cushions in all colours

9. Go rustic underfoot with neutral rugs

Whatever style attributes a wood floor might bring your living space, warmth may not be one of them (unless you’re one of those far-sighted home decorators who opted for underfloor heating).

So instead of a rustic wooden planked floor, opt for a natural fibre rug or carpet in a neutral or brown tone. Sisal and wool rugs are great flooring choices to bring your brown living room ideas to life, but man-made fibres can be especially durable (and better for families) and they feel super soft and cosy underfoot, too.


Moleskin brown colour silky rug
Brown silky rug with hexagon pattern

There are so many ways to create a brown and rustic living room, and we hope that we’ve given you some inspiration. Most importantly, as with all design trends, this is a look that has to work for you and your home.

So remember, rustic doesn’t have to be brown (think white washed wooden floor and comfy sofas upholstered in off-white brushed cotton). And brown doesn’t have to be rustic (just picture a stunning brown-painted architectural space with mid-century sofas and armchairs).

For more home styling tips, visit The Home of Inspiration, our online hub for interior design trend articles and advice.


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