Get the Look: Muted Tones in the Living Room

By : Nick Marr

Welcome a little Scandinavian chic into your living room by decorating with muted tones.  This serene, paired back decorating style is wildly popular in the UK right now.

This style of decorating originated in the Nordic counties of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland – long winters and limited sunlight meant interiors tended to be white, bright and light for practical reasons.  

This coming season, it’s all about using a minimal palette in muted colours and decorating the room using wintery shades like cool blues, greys and whites.   The finished look is cool, calming and simple.   The end result is a cosy room, ideal for relaxing at the end of the day.  Muted tones will turn your living room into a welcoming space, ideal for entertaining.

If you’re planning on renovating your living room, this guide will help inspire you.

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A home fit for a Scandinavian King:

Create a calm, relaxed room with a “Gustavian” feel by filling your room with pale furniture, decorative mirrors and showstopper chandeliers (see below).  Layer shades of soft greys and off whites to achieve this style of decor, which dates back to the 1780s and originated in the Swedish royal palaces. 

Living Room with walls in Pavillion Gray and woodwork in All White

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas:

Christmastime doesn’t have to mean gaudy baubles, bright tinsel or big ugly inflatable Santa out on the lawn.  By opting for a muted colour palette in your living room this winter, you can decorate with whites, greys and silvers over the festive season.  Invite the outside in with plenty of lush green foliage too.  You don’t have to go gathering holly – plenty of shops sell fake garlands that look wonderful.

Adding a little warmth:

Although your muted colour scheme can be inspired by winter, your living room need not feel cold and stale.  Use subtle metallic accents in either copper or gold (such as furniture and lamps) to strategically add little bursts of warmth into your room.


Choose simple scandi prints for your soft furnishings (such as cushions and curtains) for an authentic feel.  When choosing scatter cushions, “less is more” should be your mantra.  Stick to desaturated colours for simplicity.  Don’t clash colours – mixi and match prints instead. 

Source a chunky cable-knitted blanket/throw for your sofa.  Not only will it add an air of cosiness to the room, it’ll come in useful for keeping you warm during the winter.