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.
Sea of Space: Make your living room a welcome respite for a gang of friends with ample seating and a circular coffee table that’s easy to navigate. Easy Elegance: Keep a formal living room from getting too fussy by mixing dramatic accents like these floor to ceiling drapes with everyday classics, like a pair of neutral slipper chairs. Ladylike Charm: Soft, muted colors and sinuous curtains infuse a living room with a little feminine grace. Extended Seating: The right furniture layout, with a quirky accessory added here and there, can broaden a living room to accommodate large groups and big parties. Mix It Up: Throw caution to the wind and mix in a bunch of different patterns for a lively look. Pick complimentary colors to guide you when shopping.
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.)
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