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living rooms


Although we’re far more connected than we used to be, cultural differences still exist. From food to fashion, the way we differentiate ourselves from other people around the world is astonishing — and this doesn’t stop when it comes to interior décor.

Our living room décor is often missed when we consider our cultural differences. However, this room remains an integral part of the house and should be designed in a way that can captivate our guests with the most pristine and unique furniture. With a range of design options, the ways in which you truly can create a quirky home are endless. In this article, we take a look at living rooms from around the world and understand what makes them so different.

Arabic living rooms

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Vivid shades and intricate details are key to the Arabic living room. Usually, Arabic homes are filled with some of the most luxurious pieces of furniture that truly have the ability to catch the eye. These living rooms all embody a sense of community and are one of the most important rooms in the home for Arabic families, as it’s a place where everyone can get together and bond, usually in the evening.

Gold is adored across the Arabic region. The colour is associated with royalty and luxury; so Arabic families are bound to use it throughout their homes. On top of the colour gold being used, these living rooms usually include lots of prints which delivers a strong presence within the room.

From furniture to walls, patterns and motifs feature heavily in these living rooms. Sofas, in particular, usually take a curved shape and are decorated with countless cushions that are there for presentational purposes.

To create symmetry, coffee tables made from wood are often placed in the centre of the room to fill in the gap between sofas. These coffee tables are then dressed with plain throws with a patterned runner positioned on top. You’ll then find vases, fruit bowls and other essentials. Also a common feature in Arabic living rooms is a large chandelier!

UK living rooms

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Living rooms in the UK are very important to family life. Traditionally, this room in the home is used to bring the family together and discuss what happened throughout the day. It’s also a great space to occupy guests.

27.02 million households in the UK will have a television by the end of this year. The television is usually placed on a stand in the corner of a room, so that no matter where you’re positioned in the room, you can still watch it while drinking a cup of fair trade tea.

Petite and plain is generally the style of choice for British sofas. However, although this design may sound simple, it’s dressed with cushions and throws to add a bit more character. Think threaded patterns and bold colours that bring the room together and make everything stand out.

Photos also feature heavily in UK living rooms. Brits like to mix and match with frame styles and colours and place them in different areas of the room, including wall and unit placements.

Of course, there is still a divide between boarded floors and carpeted floors in UK living rooms. Wooden floors are usually a dark/natural oak and are accompanied with a bold rug. However, this is often a no-go for those that have softer surfaces in the room.

Roaring fireplaces are adored by the Brits. However, more people are installing stoves into their homes and forming the iconic inglenook look on their chimney breast.

Japanese living rooms

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The iconic tatami mat is evident in many Japanese living room décors. These mats were once used by the wealthy but became more commonly used and can now be found in almost every home in Japan — so much so, living rooms are now referred to as tatami rooms.

And the style gets even more creative and charming from there. Japan is big on sliding doors, which are usually referred to as fusuma or shoji. Although they are both different in appearance, they both give an edgy-studio look. Fusuma doors are made up of wooden frames that are covered by thick, opaque paper and can usually be removed to create a larger space — these are usually accompanied by wooden transoms. The shoji differs slightly as it is covered in translucent paper which allows the light to filter into the room.

As it is custom for the Japanese to sit and dine on the floor, tables are often low-standing. However, during the colder months, heated low tables (kotatsu) are popular. Essentially, they are covered by a blanket and are heated underneath. For those who opt to not sit directly on the mats, cushions are usually used. Often, they are put on top of low chairs that don’t have legs to support the back.

Minimalism is a big thing in Japan. A clutter-free space allows them to properly clear the mind once they’ve returned home after a busy day at work.

French living rooms

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Luxury and elegance typically spring to mind when we think of French fashion and design. A traditional French living room will have a high ceiling, which allows everything else in the room to be grand in size and mirror the look of the Palace of Versailles.

Artwork is another important feature. Also, colours differentiate too, although this depends on the set décor. However, in traditional settings, the paintings are usually big and bold with aims to capture the imagination.

Thick curtains offer a regal feel to the room and these are often tied back and curved in shape. The French pride themselves on the sharp details of their furniture, and the threads of their curtains are no different — with intricate designs making each room feel bespoke.

Padded sofas with lots of cushions are important in French living rooms. However, the design is more noticeable than other countries we have mentioned. A common sofa design in France is the use of thick stripes that are symmetrical.

Large mirrors embellished with detail is another common part of the French living room. With large mirrors and high ceilings, the entire room can be captured and make the room feel much bigger than it actually is!





We’re very proud to bring you this feature in association with Traidcraft. For more inspiration for your home, please pay a visit to our interiors page.

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