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.
A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.
A hand-me-down buffet's original cherry finish felt a little formal for this Arizona ranch home, but with some matte chalk paint, the item took on a more casual look that set the tone for equally laid-back vintage pieces, from the leather luggage (that stores extra blankets) to a coffee table made from an antique mission door. A midcentury turquoise sofa adds a splash of happy color.
"The room doesn't get a lot of light, so I decided to make it cozy and turned it into an English-style portrait room, which is ridiculous, but fun," says celebrity chef Alex Hitz. Taking the cozy route in a living room without a ton of natural light is a great solution. And what's cozier than a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf with seating beckoning you to curl up on it? To display your books more creatively, offset them with artwork. In this room, a Peter Rogers portrait of Alex Hitz's close friend, the late Nan Kempner, hangs over the bookshelves to create some contrast.
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.
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.
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.
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