For a Gramercy Park apartment, designer Bennett Leifer upholstered a settee in a Sabina Fay Braxton velvet, and chose a pair of carved wood armchairs by de Gournay covered in a Stark velvet. The Empire console is from Lucca Antiques, the cocktail table is by Ebanista, the vintage stool is by Maison Baguès, the Louis XVI secretary was purchased on 1stdibs, the Tabriz rug is antique, and the walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Alexandria Beige.
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."
Imperfections are perfect for rustic living rooms. In fact, rough is one of the words used to define rustic. So when you incorporate elements into your rustic decor, celebrate any less-than-pristine aspects of the piece. This large hutch retains doors once stripped of almost all the paint but was never repainted. The resulting natural wood frames with specks of paint draw attention to the treasures displayed inside while exuding rustic charm.
Look for clearance bargains – This can be a little tough to find the real deals. We’ve have seen those signs saying a furniture store is having a “going out of business sale!” and then realize that sign has been up for years. However, by searching for clearance sales that are different from standard sale prices one can occasionally find great deals.
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.
Winter wonderland or mermaid’s abode? The silvery, shimmery rustic chic decor of this living room leaves either open for interpretation. Grays, ivories, silvers, and taupes abound in this lovely communal space, with pillow-piled sofas and large (and slightly clam shaped) floor cushions providing ample options for reclining in comfort. A multi-toned wall lamp and tall candles give off a soft white light that’s ideal for such intimate and ethereal interiors. Tip: try to keep wall hangings and floor clutter at a minimum to enhance the elegance and add to the ethereal quality of the decor.
Banish the superfluous, stow the clutter, and rethink furniture arrangements to overhaul your living room without spending a dime. Get a pal to help you move furniture around until you have visually pleasing groupings that are conducive to conversing. Watch the video below to learn the basics of furniture arranging that will help you plan a no-fail arrangement.
When you want to introduce just a hint of rustic appeal here and there in your living room, consider the Rule of Three to prevent your efforts from appearing random or lackluster. This philosophy, long observed by interior designers, says that groups of similar items create visual impact; odd numbers make the most eye-pleasing groupings. In this living room, for example, a trio of tree stumps creates a clever coffee table arrangement with rustic flair.

The fiddle leaf fig tree definitely wins the popularity contest as far as design favorites for indoor trees. And for good reason: They look great with pretty much any interior design scheme, from bohemian to modern spaces like this one designed by Hecker Guthrie. It really freshens up the cooler gray tones of the living room and makes that floral-printed pillow pop even more.
Make it easy on yourself by sticking to a very consistent, very simple color scheme. In this space designed by Leanne Ford Interiors, she worked within a strictly all-white color story. Even the firewood is painted white! We'll let that be a lesson in attention to detail. Then she choose one item to really pop in a bright color. In this case, she went with a bright red Pierre Paulin Ribbon Chair.
Buy blank canvases that you can paint and place prominently above a mantel or sofa. Using paints in your favorite hues, brush on a variety of cool geometric shapes or simply splatter colors at random to compose contemporary compositions. Like something less abstract? Use the canvases as bases for painted images, stenciled motifs, or collages created from all sorts of crafting remnants.
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