Keep a file of your favorite samples and inspirational images even if you can’t afford a makeover yet, or haven’t found the home of your dreams. This homeowner/designer kept all the fabric samples that she loved in a bag until she found the right home to settle in. She'd also been acquiring updated yet traditional pieces for just the kind of collected look she liked.
Here, 1" x 4" pine boards, spaced about a foot apart, offer the look of custom paneling at a fraction of the price. Curtains in narrow vertical stripes break up the wall's horizontal lines. Multi-stripe pillows in complementary hues band together to dress up a neutral sofa. A wide white stripe, applied to the armchair's center using fabric paint (available at craft stores), packs a graphic punch.

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.


A hide rug and Edwardian boxer photographic prints lend a sly masculine charm to the casual refinery of this room’s interior layout, without overtly overpowering the more graceful elements. Clean lines and simple color schemes keep the tone cool and laid back, while eye-catching pieces such as the wooden lobster trap-like ceiling lamp and repurposed rolling coffee table, as well glass dome-covered plants, allow guests plenty to admire and inquire about.

Your rustic living room doesn't have to be dark and dreary, as this room proves. Accents and fabrics in white, cream, and taupe amplify the effects of sunlight streaming in through a large window. But a few notable features give the space its rustic style. Primitive, chipped-paint candlesticks fill the window alcove, rivaling the more traditional fireplace as a focal point. At the center of the room, a natural wood coffee table stands on split logs, still dressed in rugged natural glory.
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