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.
Designers Cecilia Sagrera and George Brazil of Sagrera Brazil Design created zones in this open-plan living area. "Using a curved sofa with curved console behind it helps to separate the living and dining areas. Using a few curved pieces of furniture helps to break up the hard angles of the architecture." If you have an open-plan living room, consider incorporating some curved pieces of furniture.
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.
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.
In the living room of Steven Gambrel's Chicago apartment, the custom sofa, in a JAB Anstoetz fabric, is by Dune, the 1950s chair (left) is in a Dedar fabric, and the custom armchair is covered in Arabel fabrics; the 1930s orange lacquer–and-shagreen sideboard is French, the 1950s Murano glass table lamp is by Seguso, the 1955 chandelier is by FontanaArte, the custom rug is by Beauvais, and the Venetian plaster walls are in Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray.
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.
Get the furniture layout just right, says interior designer Amanda Teal of Amanda Teal Design. "Always measure your space and start with a plan, so you know the furniture sizes that best suit the space. In this room, we started with the perfect spot for the piano and layered in the sofa and plush lounge chairs around it. Because we had a plan, the scale and proportion of the furniture is harmonious in the space. This configuration also maximizes seating and creates multiple intimate conversation areas."
Before you even start decorating your living room, remember where you are. If you live in a casual beach house, your design scheme is going to look very different from an urban industrial loft space, for instance. In this beach house by Arent & Pyke, the design team focused on channeling the tropical vibe of a coastal home through fun motifs and casual materials. Yet, they still maintained a look of sophistication through fresh upholstery, beautiful artwork, and a thoughtful layout. That being said, if you're a sucker for kitsch and wish you were always on island-time, add a hint of it with one statement piece, like a vintage Hawaiian-print rattan chair.
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.