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.
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On this page we explore ways to get beautiful living room décor on a budget. The living room is like a person’s physical appearance. When you first meet someone, you first notice their clothes, their hair, their shoes, and their facial expression. In a house, the first thing you see is the exterior: roof, door, windows, landscape, fence, and paint. When you enter the house, it is commonly the living room that first greets you. This is the first room that welcomes you and sets the tone of the house for you. If you are sharing the house with other people, the living room also becomes a common room where anybody can hang out.
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.
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.

Take a good look around your living room. What are the aspects of the room that you find unpleasant? Is the room cluttered with books? Is it too dark? Is the paint faded? Do you feel that it is outdated? The first thing is to decide on what you want to change. Try picking out a theme. Would you like the living room to feel modern? Minimalist? Cottage? Traditional? Or do you just want to brighten it up? Deciding on how you want the room to look will prevent you from binge shopping for new décor.

Aside from the adorable dogs (Jacob and Wylo) cuddled up on the armchair-meets-dog-bed, that gallery wall is the clear statement-maker in this living room designed by Philip Mitchell. Mix and match frames for a subtle nod of personality. And speaking of personal touches, consider hanging art that means something to you, whether it's your children's artwork, your own, or a portrait of your pets.
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