The Intentional Apartment: Get The Look – A Classic Navy Living Room

intentional apartment navy living room
The Intentional Apartment: Get The Look – A Classic Navy Living Room
Give your living room the redesign it needs with this affordable inspiration.

Inspiration source

Are you sick of your bland, off-white apartment? Maybe you have a fancy new job, and you’re ready for an upgrade… or perhaps you’re trying to impress that certain someone in your life. Whatever the reason, coming home to a more grown-up space will be a welcome change. And it doesn’t require much effort at all. Not anymore. Because we’re here to map it out for you, step-by-step.

The space we’ll be using as inspiration has a timeless feel with a dark, manly color scheme. Navy blue is a classic, easy color. It packs a big punch visually, but seems almost neutral in large quantities. It pairs well with white, lending a hint of nautical appeal. In our inspiration image, the designer has played up that maritime feel with the artwork on the walls and the blue rug. We’ve found affordable options that won’t assault your bank account – but the high-end look of your new space will make your friends think that you’re loaded.

1. The first thing you’ll need is a large area rug to anchor the space. This loom knotted wool one from is just the ticket. It provides a soft spot for you feet after a long day at work, and the textured finish makes it look more expensive than it really is. Rugs USA often has major sales, too… check their website for deals. Rugs USA, $69-699

2. Next, let’s add an end table to the space. The dark walnut veneer finish on this round table will add a bit of character to the room, with curved legs and a surface big enough for your iPad and a Heineken. All Modern, $88

3. A set of ottomans can be a great addition to a room. They look good, but they are also functional – providing extra seating for friends when the couch just isn’t enough. An ottoman is mobile, too, so you can easily shift it from room to room. This particular style has a modern faux leather finish with tufting, and its compact size will allow it to fit in even the smallest studio apartment. Amazon, $40

4. Speaking of couches, this affordable black one doubles as a futon so your college buddy has a place to crash the next time he comes to visit. The clean lines give it a contemporary look, while the microfiber material lends a soft yet durable feel.  WalMart, $199

5. Choosing artwork for your walls can be daunting, but here we’ve picked an abstract print with the same color scheme as the rest of the room. This is a good rule of thumb when choosing any piece of artwork. The waves in the image complement the moody feel of the space perfectly. Buy the large size and hang it above the sofa in a white frame. Society 6, $30

6. Using clear materials such as acrylic and glass are a great way to maximize a small space. Here we’ve picked a compact lamp with an acrylic base. Using a large, dark light fixture in this room would feel clunky with so much navy blue everywhere else. The lightness of the lamp helps to balance out the dark elements of the space. Target, $18

7. Many landlords will allow you to paint your walls; if that’s the case, do it! Paint is the easiest and cheapest way to completely transform a room. While you’re waiting for all of these products to arrive in the mail, go grab a can of paint at your local home improvement store. If you don’t feel like painting all of the walls, consider doing just the one behind your sofa to create a focal point for the artwork that you’ll be hanging there later. This shade of navy from Behr is called Soulful Music, and can be purchased at Home Depot.

8. A functional coffee table is a crucial element for any living room. This particular one has multiple shelves for storage, and a large surface area that will fit all the takeout food you could possibly order. The rectangular shape gives it a modern feel, and the dark espresso finish will coordinate perfectly with the navy blue theme of the rest of the room. And you can’t beat the price. Amazon, $69

9. Throw pillows are often overlooked, but they are a great way to make your room feel complete. These brown and white striped pillows will make your couch feel extra comfortable, and they will add some character with their bright, contrasting colors. The perfect finishing touch! Zazzle, $29

Once you’ve purchased everything, the last step is to arrange your new finds. Use the inspiration image above as your guide. If your living room has a different layout, then start by placing the largest piece of furniture, your couch in this case, in the most logical location and work out from there. Use your gut… if something feels out of place, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to move things around until you have created a layout that is appropriate for your lifestyle.

It can be intimidating to furnish and decorate a room from scratch, but using our step-by-step buying guide, you’ll be on your way to a new living room in no time. Your guests won’t want to leave!

Faith Towers is a designer and writer with a passion for all things creative. She received her art degree from Skidmore College, and her work has been featured in many well-known publications such as Forbes, Yahoo and Curbly. Visit her blog Design Fixation for more creative inspiration.


  • Reply June 30, 2014


    If you want to add a wing chair to the mix, Ikea has one that works well:

  • Reply June 30, 2014


    The couch is the photo looks different from the Walmart one. Is that accurate and if so what couch is in the photo?

    • Reply June 30, 2014


      All the items in the photo are significantly higher quality (and price) than the ones in the list. The photo is to establish appeal; the list is a collection of knock-offs and approximations—not necessarily a bad thing, but the lack of disclosure is disappointing.

      • Reply July 2, 2014


        It’s mentioned. Calling the headline image the Inspiration image and referring to the chosen pieces as “affordable options” is a tactful way of saying “here’s some cheap enough for your broke asses.”

        I like it, and even though I’ve got my living room set, it’s still nice to see some lower budget masculine interior ideas. It’s not a well covered niche, and I’ll welcome any decent articles on the subject.

        • Reply July 2, 2014


          Well, not actually seeing the cheap options arranged together, I have no idea whether it really comes together the way the “Inspiration” photo does. Because pulling a room together is about subtle cues in one piece echoing and complementing larger traits in others: the curvatures of the armchair, the side table and the lamp stand; the grounded effect of the coffee table’s bottom level barely clearing the floor; the brown piping on the sofa and the ridged borders on the lamp stand…

          The IKEA/WalMart knock off collection won’t look remotely as good, and no one without a practiced eye will understand why not. This article certainly won’t help.

  • Reply July 1, 2014

    i woz ere

    Another load of trendy garbage.

  • Reply September 5, 2015


    We are currently redoing our living room to match this style. We even went and got the same paint color, Soulful Music.

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