Like a luxury mountain resort, this rustic chic living room boasts sumptuous furnishings set within a comfortable, unpretentious backdrop. Medieval sconce lighting illuminates the interior while a generous stone fireplace provides a welcoming reprieve from the cold, with creamy whites and deep blues providing a soothing scheme to relax in. Wildlife scenes, as depicted in the mantle piece art, and multi-sized candles put the finishing touch on this eclectic but carefully curated space.
Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
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.

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Simplicity and New England sensibilities are the key living room ideas on display here, with a clean but cozy beachfront feel. A repurposed wooden “filing cabinet” chest steals the show as both a unique and functional coffee table, while mix-and-match patterned throw pillows and an organic centerpiece collection keep the atmosphere on the easy side of elegance. Tip: if you’re unsure where to begin when designing your rustic living room, start with an all-white or neutral canvas (walls, shelves, flooring) and incorporate your fabrics, prints, and furnishings over time. You may be surprised at where your findings and inspirations take you!
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.
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