If you could only choose one room in your home to put your heart and soul into designing, the living room would top the list. It’s that treasured (and often off-limits) space that sets the tone for your entire decorating style. Seeing Red: The secret to taming a fiery red? Balance it with pops of white. A smattering of dove white wall accents with the white fireplace, chair rail, and coffee table keep the bold color in check. Pattern Play: Trellis, ikats, florals oh my! The trick to mixing patterns is to pick a color theme here, reds, browns, and blues and to use big swaths of solid color (the brown sofa, red chairs, and green ottoman) to anchor the space. Light and Airy: You can pack a lot into your living room even a dining set if you keep furnishings from weighing the space down. Lucite dining chairs, an open weave coffee table, and an unobstructed wall of windows keeps this room from feeling cramped.
Viewing Area: The eternal question: What to do with the TV? If space allows, try placing your television in a corner so the flow of the room is uninterrupted (but where you can still enjoy Downton Abbey comfortably from the sofa). Bursts of Cheer: Maxi floral prints and super-sized stripes are whimsical touches that give this living room an affable appearance. Warm and Inviting: Nothing says, “curl up and stay awhile” like an extra-deep, sink into me sofa and a plush ottoman to rest your feet. Load on Layers: Stimulate the senses with plenty of textures, including a scratchy jute rug underfoot, a tweedy wallpaper, and a luxurious cashmere throw on the sofa. Polished Pairs: Ah, the power of two: A pair of identical console tables flank the fireplace and two different, but similarly colored, sofas face each other for a pulled together look. Natural Elements: A mix of polished and unfinished wood pieces, and a neutral shade on the wall, can make a room feel chic and not campy. Feeling the Blues: A palette of navy blues makes this room feel instantly inviting and cozy. It’s a durable color for big pieces of furniture, like this plush sectional, since it masks everyday dirt. Small-Space Solution: The trick to turning a small-space into an elegant living area is to use appropriately sized furniture. A sectional sofa might seem too big for a petite area but in fact it’s the perfect size and helps define the space. (Using small furniture in a tight space only exacerbates a compact feeling.)
Silver Accents: Cool metal touches give this room a sophisticated air. The scrolling mirror, the legs of the coffee table, even the fireplace andirons are all glossed in chic silver. Writing on the Wall: For truly unique (and sometimes quirky) decor. You can search by theme, type, even lyrics to your favorite Men Without Hats song. Does your living room work double duty as a front entry? Keep the two separated and well defined by lining one wall with a welcoming wallpaper, and keeping the living room furniture appropriated to an area rug. Flower Power: Here’s a bloomin’ brilliant idea: Keep oversized patterns in check by limiting them to well defined spaces (here a bouquet of blue flowers covers an occasional seat and an oversized roman shade). It will keep the powerful pattern from taking over the room. Back to Back: Create a dynamic seating arrangement by placing a set of sofas in the center of the room and with their backs to each other. It’s a bold move that creates two conversation corners.
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