Whether vivid Fiesta creamers, Grecian urns, or sleek chrome pitchers, collections handily underscore a theme and introduce colors and patterns. Curios and knickknacks -- whether valuable relics or cheap white platters -- have the greatest impact when grouped by color, shape, or subject matter. Keep those attributes in mind when you shop; you're likely to find myriad discounted objects that complement your displays.

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.
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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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.
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If your formal living room is also your family room, you want to make sure it strikes a balance between super comfortable and presentable. A cozy family room that cleans up nicely, if you will. A super soft sectional with plenty of space to spread out on movie night is a must, but choose one that also looks elegant. Then add fun, eye-catching lighting for an extra punch of fun, like the one in this Studio DB-designed room.

In the living room of an antique-laden apartment in Greenwich Village, the antique Swedish sofa and Baroque chair, right, are upholstered in Robert Kime fabrics, the armchair is 18th-century French and a vintage Persian Soumak rug from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar rests on a sea-grass rug from ABC Carpet & Home. Among the items on the wall are an antique water-buffalo skull, 19th-century French gouaches and a drawing by Jean Cocteau.

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In the living room of Kris Ghesquière and Eva Claessens’s house in southeastern Uruguay, which they built on the remains of an 1810 roadside general store, the chair was constructed by a local carpenter based on a picture in a magazine, the vintage table in front of the sofa was found at an auction in France and the rug is from Iran; the yellow lamb sculptures are by William Sweetlove, and the paintings and feather sculpture are by Claessens.

These free-form wood slab “canvases” are a striking way to display your favorite prints and portraits, all the while lending a decidedly Pacific Northwest touch to bright, open rooms and hallways. Suspended alone or in multiple rows, these wooden frame mounts work best on lighter walls, where the richness of the wood can truly stand out and draw the eye. Driftwood, glass floats, seashells, and found flea market treasures make the perfect companion pieces, with carefully crafted candles suggesting your personal gallery’s special place in the heart of your home.
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.
Pale and pristine decor meet their more primitive match with faux fur coverings, to name only a few of the charming contrasts in this rustic chic living room. Mixing tones and textures is the hallmark of great living room decorating, and this room’s careful blending of refined furnishings (glass topped coffee table and domed candle covering) and heavier fur throws and pillows, with delicate floral touches interspersed throughout, is the epitome of a modishly balanced rustic style.

You'll find affordable area rugs suiting every style at big box stores, discount home shops, and even home improvement centers (shop end-of-summer sales for outdoor rugs that can work inside). Use simple (and more affordable) large rugs to anchor a room's furnishings and smaller rugs to define conversational groupings or activity areas. Experts recommend that all furniture sits atop the rug and that an ample border of flooring is seen around the rug's perimeter.
Casters are the ultimate quick-change agents. These babies impart height and mobility to almost anything. Attach 'em to a farm table and voilà: It becomes an extra-large kitchen island with serious moves. Pop some wheels on a crate and you've got storage that rolls easily underneath a counter. The possibilities are truly endless. —Paige Schnell, Tracery Interiors
Casters are the ultimate quick-change agents. These babies impart height and mobility to almost anything. Attach 'em to a farm table and voilà: It becomes an extra-large kitchen island with serious moves. Pop some wheels on a crate and you've got storage that rolls easily underneath a counter. The possibilities are truly endless. —Paige Schnell, Tracery Interiors
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