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.
Materials that connect to the location are key to character building. Sisal hints at the marsh grasses in an elegant way and is also durable, easy to clean, and ideal for layering. The alligator skull speaks to the local wildlife, while palms in antique glass and fern-patterned pillows are additional nods to the room's Lowcountry vibe and provide a carefree polish.
Keep a file of your favorite samples and inspirational images even if you can’t afford a makeover yet, or haven’t found the home of your dreams. This homeowner/designer kept all the fabric samples that she loved in a bag until she found the right home to settle in. She'd also been acquiring updated yet traditional pieces for just the kind of collected look she liked.
In the living room of designer of textiles and interiors Kathryn M. Ireland's compound in Santa Monica, the custom sofa is in a linen velvet from Ireland’s fabric collection; the armchairs are covered in an Otis Textiles linen slipcover (left) and a fabric purchased in Marrakech (right). The rag rug is from Amadi Carpets, the steel-framed sliding doors are by Chateau Domingue, and the wall hanging is a 19th-century suzani.
A Brooklyn townhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, features a sofa from ABC Carpet & Home upholstered in a fabric by Soraya Shah for Studio Four NYC. The space also includes a chaise by Timothy Oulton, a Danish cocktail table, the Akari pendant light by Noguchi, window treatments in a Rebecca Atwood fabric, and a vintage Moroccan rug. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Huntington White and the trim in Iron Mountain. A photograph by Claire Nitze and a cameo portrait by Doug Meyer complete the living room.
Want to go a little glam without looking too showy? Add in minimal brass accents, like a metal-frame coffee table and eye-catching metallic lighting. This living room is also a good blueprint for small space decorating. While the only three furniture items are two seats and a small coffee table, the ceiling light is all it takes to make the entire room feel special.
Rearrange: If you already have furniture in your living room but want to create a new look, try rearranging the furniture. By simply moving the items around, you might realize it looks like a different space entirely. Don’t line up all your furniture along the perimeter of the room, especially if you have a large space. Be creative and arrange the furniture in two groups, creating two separate areas in one!
1) Mix Up the Furniture – Stir things up. Pull your sofa, chairs, and tables out of their current positions to the middle of the room. Then switch them up by placing them all back in new places. Try putting things at angles you hadn’t thought of before. If you don’t like how things end up, switch it all again. I like to turn it into a great little party game.
Rearrange: If you already have furniture in your living room but want to create a new look, try rearranging the furniture. By simply moving the items around, you might realize it looks like a different space entirely. Don’t line up all your furniture along the perimeter of the room, especially if you have a large space. Be creative and arrange the furniture in two groups, creating two separate areas in one!
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