This Is How Your Living Room Should Look, According to Your Age
First, let us preface the following by saying age is just a number, and we certainly don't want to discourage you from a purchase based on your year of birth. But while you should technically be able to style your home however you want with whatever you want, your style does inevitably vary each decade. The truth is, things change and every stage of your life is met with different needs, wants, and challenges. For instance, decorating in your 20s is usually limited by budget (or the tastes of your roommate), while your 30s and 40s are often met with the practical demands of a growing family.
As we mature, so do our tastes (along with our salary), and we typically spend more time creating our intimate sanctuaries that match our life-acquired palettes. Just like your personal style, developing an interior aesthetic takes time and confidence. So to help you enter every decade of your life in the grandest style possible, we're launching a new series, Style by the Decades. To kick things off, we're starting with the home's pride and joy: the living room. So if you've just rolled over into a new age era, or are just about to, we found the perfect pieces to bring your living room to life.
Your 20s are a veritable minefield of carefree conduct mixed with major life decisions. You have an undeniable hunger to do something with your life and make a difference, but you're also young and really just want to have fun. These post-college years might be tight on the wallet, but they're also some of the most memorable. And despite the grievances and challenges you may face at this time, you'll look back on them with great fondness.
And when it comes to home décor, just because your salary is limited doesn't mean your taste should be compromised. The seriously stylish options from high-street favorites such as Zara Home, Target, Urban Outfitters, and IKEA make it easy to decorate a cozy and chic home on a shoestring. Here are a few of our favorite picks to get you started.
So you've officially entered your 30s and you've either got little ones running around your feet, or starting a family is the last thing on your mind. You've probably climbed your way to a better position at work, which means a bigger paycheck; all the better to spend it with. Now that you're out of your indecisive 20s, you're feeling a little more confident and slowly solidifying your personal taste. Your living room is an extension of your aesthetic with a practical twist to accommodate your growing network.
Now that you're in your 40s, you're a little wiser, more in tune with yourself, and either your kids are a little older now or you're just about to begin that journey. Either way, you've refined your taste and know what you love and what you really don't. This is reflected in your interior choices throughout the whole house, but the living room is where your décor decisions truly shine.
West Elm Distressed Rococo Wool Rug ($1079)
While you've probably bought many rugs before reaching your 40s, now's the time to really invest. And as far as we're concerned, the bigger the better. Always opt for wool because it feels better to the touch and is definitely a more durable fabric to withstand wear and tear over time. An area rug really pulls a room together and is the basis for every great room. Your living space just isn't complete without it.
There's so much to look forward to as we move through life, but according to science, we actually get happier. Laura Carstensen, Ph.D., director of the Stanford Center, told AARP that happiness actually rises from your 50s onward. "As you get older, you know that bad times are going to pass," she said. "You also know that good times will pass, which makes those good times even more precious. There's an emotional savoring that comes with age." So if your children or friends' children are starting to have children of their own, then the living room is a place for you to share in that happiness with them. But ultimately, your living room should encompass all of the things in life you cherish in a setting you want to dwell and savor.
This is the era where you elevate everything. You've done away with practicality because any little ones in your life are old enough to know better, and you've swapped the house variety for decadent dinner parties. Now you can turn your living room into the elegant space you've always dreamed of. Layer it with original artwork, designer furniture, antiques, and chic-to-death accessories that don't forgo comfort, of course.
IKEA Karlstad Sofa ($499)
Your living room will be the centre of numerous house parties and movie nights, so having a sofa that will endure the many people who will be sitting on it is key. This affordable IKEA sofa is so chic but also practical thanks to the removable cover. Wine stains? No problem.