A stacked fieldstone fireplace takes center stage in this family room. Rather than just a sheer wall of stone, the exposed chimney is designed with a central recess for artwork, along with tapered edges on either side, to keep it from appearing too overpowering. Sconces mounted directly to the stone are an attractive way to shed plenty of light on the antique timber mantel.
Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.
A living room decorating scheme truly fit for a snow queen, the wintry whites and silvers of this rustic chic living room are anchored by comfy fabrics and an unvarnished wooden table. Plenty of candles enhance the enchanted feel, while a cheerful silver wall clock lends a welcoming bit of familiarity. A faux fur sofa throw adds an enticing Narnia touch, and is perfect for snuggling in for long snowy nights.
"The room doesn't get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun," says celebrity chef Alex Hitz. Taking the cozy route in a living room without a ton of natural light is a great solution. And what's cozier than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with seating beckoning you to curl up on it? To display your books more creatively, offset them with artwork. In this room, a Peter Rogers portrait of Alex Hitz's close friend, the late Nan Kempner, hangs over the bookshelves to create some contrast.
Winter wonderland or mermaid’s abode? The silvery, shimmery rustic chic decor of this living room leaves either open for interpretation. Grays, ivories, silvers, and taupes abound in this lovely communal space, with pillow-piled sofas and large (and slightly clam shaped) floor cushions providing ample options for reclining in comfort. A multi-toned wall lamp and tall candles give off a soft white light that’s ideal for such intimate and ethereal interiors. Tip: try to keep wall hangings and floor clutter at a minimum to enhance the elegance and add to the ethereal quality of the decor.
Alisa Bloom recreated the environment of a French interior in her sophisticated Chicago penthouse. In the living room, she opted for a custom sofa in a Kravet fabric with pillows in a Jim Thompson silk. The 1970s chairs are from Revival, and the vintage cocktail table is from Martin La Brocante. She finished the space with a console by Crate & Barrel, a vintage chandelier by Hans-Agne Jakobsson, and curtains in an Oscar de la Renta fabric for Lee Jofa. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Cement Gray.
Rustic interiors derive much of their inspiration from the simplicity and romance of past times, with a pointed desire to recall some of the charm and uniqueness that dominated interior spaces before technology took over. One-of-a-kind findings and repurposed objects find their place in the rustic living area, with natural materials such as raw, stripped, or blemished wood, stone, and metal taking center stage in the way of furnishings.
A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.
3) Walls, Walls, Walls – Leave the furniture be. After all, maybe its happy where it is. Instead, concentrate on making some changes to those walls. I’ve painted the wall behind my entertainment center a color that matches some of the items in the rest of the room, but left the other walls their basic white color. Painting one wall really makes it pop out in the eyes of the viewer and gives the room whole new dimensions. I believe the experts call this an “Accent Wall.” I just think it looks pretty sweet, so I call it…a “lookin’ pretty sweet wall.”
In the Decorist's San Francisco showhouse, by Decorist elite designer Simone Howell, everything is personal. "The living room is a place where you should feel totally at ease, whether you love a calm neutral palette or something vibrant. Layering objects like coffee table books that represent your family's passions in addition to travel trinkets such as blown glass votives bring an additional layer of intimacy to a space."
Banish the superfluous, stow the clutter, and rethink furniture arrangements to overhaul your living room without spending a dime. Get a pal to help you move furniture around until you have visually pleasing groupings that are conducive to conversing. Watch the video below to learn the basics of furniture arranging that will help you plan a no-fail arrangement.