This homeowner bucked the “matchy, matchy” rule by placing different end tables and lamps on either side of the sofa in her living room. The mismatch works because, even though one table is a white Asian-inspired look and the other is a black step-like design, both tables are the same height. A sleek brass reading lamp pairs nicely with the simple white table, while a large silver-leaf table lamp fits with the more substantial black table.
2) Create Some White Space – Seem like you have too much junk around? I know I do. Why not get rid of some of it? Getting rid of some of the clutter will open up a ton of space and make your room seem like whole new place. Taking a piece of furniture or two out of the room will also create some space. As they say in the movies sometimes, “Less is more.” I threw out an old chair that I was hanging on to for years and the floor/wall space it cleared was amazing.
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.

The larger size of the table is perfect for everyone around the couch to be able to kick their feet up on. I love the cleaner lines and it’s completely solid and heavy (just ask the two delivery guys who wrestled it through the front door) vs. the rickety old one. It may be a little too sturdy, because my kids have taken to using it as their stage during dance parties, sigh.


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Add Space: If you wish your living room was larger than what it currently is, but can do nothing much about it, then putting up a couple of mirrors on the wall is the next best thing to breaking down walls. Mirrors add an illusion of added space, and if you do it correctly, you might just end fooling yourself about the actual size of your living room.
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.
Paint: Changing the color of your living room walls in an expensive process that will transform the look and feel of the space. If the walls and white and you want them to be softer, consider a paste shade that will relax those who enter. Or, consider one bright accent wall. Not only it is much cheaper to only paint one wall, but it can be a pop of bold color that brightens up the room without being overwhelming.
Architect Luís Bernardo Brito e Abreu renovated his São Miguel home to reflect his family's artistic, maritime history. The living room features a vintage chair by Illum Wikkelsø, and the mantel and stone benches are both of local basalt. The sculpture of a head on the bench at right is by Ernesto Canto da Maya, and the wall sculpture above the mantel is a 16th-century naval decoration.
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The larger size of the table is perfect for everyone around the couch to be able to kick their feet up on. I love the cleaner lines and it’s completely solid and heavy (just ask the two delivery guys who wrestled it through the front door) vs. the rickety old one. It may be a little too sturdy, because my kids have taken to using it as their stage during dance parties, sigh.
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