Architectural salvage offers another simple avenue for creating your rustic living room. Visit any good salvage dealer to tour a wide selection of possibilities; you're bound to come away with plenty of rustic decorating ideas. This antique door, for example, leans against the wall like a prized piece of artwork, displaying multiple coats of old peeling paint that tell a story of days gone by. Be sure to cover the surfaces of any old painted piece with clear polyurethane to preserve the beauty of the finish and seal in any issues with lead-based paint. Choose flat or low-luster sheen so the look remains old and worn.


These homeowners wanted to let their guests be the color to their space, so they painted all of the background surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a clean shade of white. A vintage advertisement and an Arkansas license plate hang on the wall. The casual furniture is covered in washable slipcovers for easy cleanup when inevitable spills happen.
Family photographs instantly add warmth and personality to your home. Take them out of the attic, off your computer, or out of the infrequently viewed albums on your bookshelves, and enjoy them every day. Pick a wall, corner, or entire room. If your chosen spot already has picture molding (found in many older homes), your job will be easy. If not, adding new molding is not that complicated.
With the multihued curtain fabric as her jumping-off point, designer Ashley Whittaker splashed an amped-up version of pink in three places in the living room—the footstool, the contrasting pillow welt, and the slipper-chair trim. "We wanted the home to feel bright and colorful like Florida but not like a vacation home," says Ashley. She pulled off the cozy yet elegant vibe by grounding the sun-and-surf palette with serious touches, such as the antique demilune tables.
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