cozy European living room

Step Into My Cozy European Living Room

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Welcome to my cozy European-inspired living room! I am pleased to share with you all the design and decor details of this space. As a lover of all things French Country, I wanted to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that captures the essence of a charming European home. From the plaster fireplace to the vintage dresser and gold accents, every element in this room was chosen to evoke a sense of rustic elegance. So come on in, grab a cup of tea, and let me show you around my cozy European living room!

The Heart of the Room: A Look at the Plaster Tapered Gas Fireplace

cozy European living room

When you step into the room, the first thing that catches your eye is the tapered gas fireplace. A fireplace makes an amazing focal point and if you have one (though no problems if you don’t), you’ll find that it’s the heart of the room, exuding warmth and charm.

We wanted a tapered fireplace that extends to the vaulted ceiling, not only to highlight the height of the room but to highlight a European style as well.

We finished the fireplace ourselves (for under $200) in plaster to give it an old-world appeal. The smooth plaster finish adds a touch of minimalism, while the tapered design creates a focal point that draws your gaze upward.

Since we choose not to have a TV on our main level, I filled in the space with an ornate gold mirror. It adds the perfect amount of glam!

Creating an Inviting Atmosphere: The Comfortable Seating Arrangement

two couches facing each other living room

This room has already been through a few different layouts and I can’t say it won’t change again (that’s part of the fun!), but right now, I’m pleased with the seating arrangement.

After all, when it comes to creating an inviting and cozy atmosphere, the seating arrangement plays a crucial role. I wanted to ensure that everyone who enters this space feels welcomed and at ease. That’s why I opted for two plush couches facing each other, creating a cozy area for conversation and relaxation.

The couches themselves are not only comfortable, but they also add to the overall aesthetic of the room. The green couch, upholstered in a soft, luxurious fabric, adds elegance and sophistication.

The off-white linen couch, adds to the neutral color palette of the room and seamlessly blends with the rest of the room’s design elements, while still providing a cozy and inviting feel.

To add an extra layer of comfort, throw pillows and soft blankets are always a good idea. These cozy accessories, like my green knit throw blanket and toile pillow covers, not only enhance the overall comfort of the seating arrangement but also add pops of color and texture to the space.

Nestled between the two couches is an amazing second-hand find, my metal and glass coffee table. The size, detailing, color, and dramatic legs are perfect for this space – and for $20 no less!

Underneath the coffee table, you’ll find layered rugs. The large jute rug serves as the foundation, adding a natural and textural element to the space. On top of the jute rug, I placed a sage green and white rug.

The sage green adds a pop of color and ties into the rest of the color palette. The white accents in the rug brighten up the space and create a fresh and airy feel.

In fashion and in the home, layering is a great way to add extra style and interest! I love the natural look of a jute rug, but adding another rug on top provides an extra layer of coziness and comfort underfoot.

Creating a Beautiful Display: The Gallery Wall

vintage pictures gallery wall with vintage and antique brass frames

This gallery wall feels like a mini art exhibit, and it’s one of my favorite decor elements in the living room!

What perhaps feels the most special to me is that this gallery wall has been created with second-hand and vintage frames, and inside each curated frame are beautiful photos that complement the overall aesthetic of the room and provide a cozy display.

A battery-operated picture light is the perfect topping for this arrangement.

Underneath the frames stands one of my favorite furniture pieces (Can I keep saying everything is my favorite?) – a second-hand vintage dresser I found years ago for $25, give or take. This piece has made an appearance in all my homes; it’s been used as a kitchen island, an entryway drop zone, and now nestled next to a fireplace.

Balancing Rustic with Elegant: The Custom Iron Railing

iron railing european living room

Since our stair railing is open to the rest of the room, I knew it needed to match the aesthetic. I sent an inspiration photo to the welders and they perfectly balanced the rustic charm (hammered metal) with an elegant touch (detailed balusters and lamb tongue).

The combination of solid iron and intricate designs adds a sense of sturdiness and strength to the space, while the elegant scrolls and decorative elements bring a touch of elegance and beauty.

What I love most about the custom iron railing is how it complements the other design elements in the room. Its dark metal finish provides a nice contrast to the light colors and textures throughout the space, creating a visually appealing balance while also tying into the black fireplace and black coffee table.

It also serves as a subtle backdrop for the other focal points in the room, allowing them to truly shine.

Another favorite (there’s what word again) focal point and all-time favorite house purchase is this French medieval tapestry!

I needed something to fill this wall and I thought one large item would be more impactful than another gallery wall. I had my heart set on a tapestry, but they can be very pricey. It took months, but I kept my eye on them and then found one go on sale on Etsy!

The scene is perfect and the colors tie into the rest of the home’s color scheme so nicely. We used a gold curtain rod to hang it up and it’s absolutely perfect!

An Intimate Spot: The Charming Nook

living room nook with benches and marble table

Situated behind our seating arrangement, you’ll find a charming nook. This space started off as a mistake (it was supposed to be much bigger), so it’s seen multiple versions to find something that’s just right, and I know it will continue to change.

In the spring, the middle window is going to be replaced with a picture window so we can eliminate the middle bars in order to take full advantage of the views, and also provide peace of mind that no kids are going to open it up and fall down the hill. We are also considering adding a deck off the back of the house, but the complexities of our sloped lot demand more planning and budgeting.

But as of now, this intimate space is created with two custom benches facing each other, creating the perfect spot for conversation, eating, and working. At the center of it all is a marble table, begging for cups of tea and heartfelt conversations!

Flanking the marble table are sconces, casting a warm and inviting glow on the nook. These sconces not only provide functional lighting, but also add a touch of elegance and ambiance to the space.

Though perhaps not how I originally envisioned it, this nook in my cozy European living room feels like a gem, offering a peaceful and intimate retreat within the larger space. We’ve used it for morning coffee, reading a book, sharing laughter with friends, and coloring.

window seating living room open floor plan

Final Touches: Details to Achieving a French Country Living Room

When it comes to achieving a French Country or European living room, the design is truly in the details. It’s those final touches that make all the difference and give the space its unique charm.

From vintage brass candle holders to coffee table books, these small touches add a sense of charm to the space.

Another important detail in a living room is the thoughtful placement of plants and flowers. Greenery adds life and vitality to the space, bringing in a natural element that complements the rustic elegance of the room. I opted for a faux olive tree and faux lavender stems to bring the feeling of the European countryside to Iowa.

Lastly, the lighting in any living room plays an important role in creating the perfect ambiance. I’ve chosen a combination of warm, soft lighting fixtures, such as sconces to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The wagon wheel chandelier adds a rustic statement to the room and matches the woodsy surroundings.

cozy European living room with gas fireplace

Though I’m sure this room will see many different versions in the coming years, waking up to this cozy living room with European touches is a bright spot of my day!

Now let’s take a peek into another room: The Coziest Reading Room: Library Sunroom Reveal


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.