Living room ideas for men – 10 practical design tips for the modern man

Turn a dull, dreary and dated scheme into a well-executed masculine living room

Living room ideas for men
(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

Living room ideas for men and contemporary architecture can make a style statement while perfectly chiming with its environment. A successful masculine scheme depends on using the right materials and opting for a sleek design that results in an effective blend of old and new twinned with practicality and comfot. 

Less is more, so be careful not to over design. Bear in mind too that very masculine designs can sometimes feel stark and clinical, so balance this by introducing warmth with plenty of texture, wood and layered lighting to add interest. 

Living room ideas for men

Let our carefully-curated selection of living room ideas inspire you to be brave with your interior choices – and give you the confidence to take on any living room trend.

1. Decorate in a minimalist palette

Living room with wood floor, walls and beams

(Image credit: Brent Darby / Future)

Minimalist living room ideas do not have to be stark and sterile. With busy lives, modern men are now more aware of their furniture choices and aim to find a balance between streamlined minimalism and luxurious comfort for their living rooms. 

Texture in interior design is vital. Remember that the most successful minimalist spaces combine movement and depth – with elements of texture to create a warmth and interest.

2. Go for a monochromatic scheme

Living room ideas for men with black wall and leather sofa

(Image credit: Paul Massey / Future)

Black and white living room paint ideas always look smart. A monochrome decorating scheme is a minimalistic choice that requires an element of bravery, as it requires careful editing and a strong design eye.

Painting sections of your living room black is a brilliant way to create a cocooning space that is sharp yet cozy. However, a monochromatic scheme can often appear ‘flat’ if you don’t introduce plenty of texture. But put together carefully, it’s a great way to enhance a minimalistic living room. 

3. Adopt a mid-century modern aesthetic

Mid-century modern living room with Scandi influence

(Image credit: Future / Alexander James)

Characterised by clean, straight lines and flowing organic curves, mid-century style and masculine design complement each other beautifully.

Although mid-century modern style was driven by advances in technology, it was also inspired by the natural world, and wood is the most common material for furniture. When choosing which pieces of furniture to invest in, look for durable hardwoods, such as teak, cherry, maple and beech. 

4. Instil calm and serenity with symmetry 

Grey living room with brown sofa and blue chairs

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

Symmetry in interior design is vital component in a masculine space. Use this approach to create balance and a feeling of tranquility – perfect for enhancing a space in a small living room. 

The best way to use symmetry in a room is by having an architectural feature as a starting – or center – point, whether a fire surround, a pair of identical windows or even a living room sofa. However, you can create symmetry in a non-symmetrical space with pattern, with an area rug or simply a living room accent wall.

5. Turn to a brown color scheme

Brown living room with white walls and artwork

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin / Future)

The return of the seventies has been influencing interior trends for 2022; with a palette of warm tan browns, muted taupes and caramel tones that pair well with retro living room lighting and leather seating. 

The nuances of coffee-colored schemes are often underplayed but one look at this brown living room shows how complex the shade can be. 

‘Combining darker tones with lighter finishes allows our designers to balance the feeling of solidity and depth, whilst still making the most of any natural light,’ explains Andrew Hamilton Barr, director, Espresso Design

6. Decorate around a TV

Green small living room with l-shape sofa and tv on the wall

(Image credit: Paul Raeside / Future)

For most men (and women, to be fair), a living room TV is an essential tool for helping adults unwind and relax. 

If you like to keep your space as practical as possible, then embrace the look of a fully-fitted cinema room with smart living room storage, functional seating, and an on-trend block color scheme. The TV in this space is hardly hidden, but it doesn't look unsightly, in fact, it works wonders in this warm and cozy space, ideal for movie nights.

7. Go for an understated neutral scheme

Neutral living room with wood chair and leather sofa

(Image credit: Matthew Williams / Future)

The best neutral living room ideas will encompass a thousand shades of grey, oyster and café au lait – and are an exceptional option for those who prefer a subtle hue, rather than bold, dramatic shades.

Grey living room ideas are undeniably popular. This sophisticated color adds an classic touch, elegance and a refinement to a room, and is a go-to for anyone who wants an easy-to-live with tone. Plus, grey will go with just about any other color. 

8. Provide the perfect canvas to display art

neutral living room with blue velvet sofa and grey walls

(Image credit: James Merrell / Future)

If you are a keen collector, then a neutral living room color scheme will provide the perfect backdrop for a prestigious gallery wall. 

'Knowing what overall ambiance you are aiming to achieve in your home helps when creating a bespoke selection, and the relationship between the artwork and its surroundings plays a central role when designing the desired atmosphere,' advises Federica Barretta, director of Opera Gallery London.

Due to its versatility, most colors go with a cream or white backdrop – it is a neutral after all, which means it will act like a blank canvas on which you can put your mark.

9. Make a statement with a dark color palette 

Black living room with brown leather sofa

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

If you're keen to make a statement – or you simply want to add a touch of drama, a black living room will add a confidence to your space like no other color. 

A black decorating scheme is a brave choice, as it requires careful editing and a strong design eye. Take inspiration from Scandinavian design philosophy by introducing layers of textural elements, such as leather, linen and hardwood.

10. Create a verdant green room

Dark living room with green paint and gallery wall

(Image credit: Future)

Is there any color more suited to modern living than green? At at time where our happiness, health and prosperity have seemed more significant than ever, it's only right that we'd want to surround ourselves in shades that symbolise growth and renewal. So it comes as no surprise that of all the living room paint ideas available, green is perhaps the most versatile.

Green living rooms are also effective in creating a natural, grounding feel in industrial, tech-heavy homes, working well to encourage a connection with nature. And as the two colors most regularly seen together in nature, combining green and blue living room ideas requires our eyes to do little, to no, adjusting, which is perfect for evoking a feeling of balance and harmony.

How should you decorate a masculine living room?

To style a masculine living room, invest in unfussy, practical furniture. Opt for functional, fluid pieces and abstract prints based on natural shapes – rediscovered and reinterpreted for today’s modern lifestyles. 

For more living room ideas for men, look to design icons like Florence Knoll and Arne Jacobson – and film and TV shows, such as A Single Man and Mad Men for inspiration – all of which are often well-received by the modern man.

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.