In the living room of an antique-laden apartment in Greenwich Village, the antique Swedish sofa and Baroque chair, right, are upholstered in Robert Kime fabrics, the armchair is 18th-century French and a vintage Persian Soumak rug from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar rests on a sea-grass rug from ABC Carpet & Home. Among the items on the wall are an antique water-buffalo skull, 19th-century French gouaches and a drawing by Jean Cocteau.
In the living room of Kris Ghesquière and Eva Claessens’s house in southeastern Uruguay, which they built on the remains of an 1810 roadside general store, the chair was constructed by a local carpenter based on a picture in a magazine, the vintage table in front of the sofa was found at an auction in France and the rug is from Iran; the yellow lamb sculptures are by William Sweetlove, and the paintings and feather sculpture are by Claessens.
This homeowner bucked the “matchy, matchy” rule by placing different end tables and lamps on either side of the sofa in her living room. The mismatch works because, even though one table is a white Asian-inspired look and the other is a black step-like design, both tables are the same height. A sleek brass reading lamp pairs nicely with the simple white table, while a large silver-leaf table lamp fits with the more substantial black table.
Rustic interiors derive much of their inspiration from the simplicity and romance of past times, with a pointed desire to recall some of the charm and uniqueness that dominated interior spaces before technology took over. One-of-a-kind findings and repurposed objects find their place in the rustic living area, with natural materials such as raw, stripped, or blemished wood, stone, and metal taking center stage in the way of furnishings.
Take a look at estate sales and yard sales – There are many great furniture bargains to be had at your local estate or yard sales. Estate sales are great for those looking to purchase a matching furniture set at a discounted price. There are several websites that offer email alerts you can sign up for to let you know when an estate sale is planned in your area. Stores such as Habitat for Humanity or thrift stores in your area may be another good place to search for salvaged goods of high quality.
Designed by Studio Razavi, this eclectic Parisian apartment is a breath of fresh air. Not only does it prove that you can use a wallpaper mural in a minimalist environment (the grayscale color palette helps), but it's also the perfect example of how to design a living room that's both fun and relaxed, sophisticated and formal. The key? Seating needs to be comfortable, and materials need to be casual but clean.
Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.
It’s not as much about where you put your furniture as it is about the types of pieces you choose. "In each room I design, I try to include at least one round piece, such as a coffee table, that people can walk around without bumping their knees," says interior designer Katie Rosenfeld. "I also add a few armchairs and a versatile piece like a garden stool that can be used as a stool to sit on or as a table for a drink."
Employing expensive materials in restrained but meaningful ways lets you enjoy the finer things while staying on budget. Display a fancy wallpaper on a focal wall or as a patterned backdrop for built-in shelves. Buy one really good leather chair, but pair it with a less expensive garden-seat table. Create pillows that showcase pricey silks, brocades, and velvets on their face, but that boast inexpensive fabric backs.
Aside from your own personal taste, the fabric selection also depends on whether you desire them to stick out from the remaining portion of the living room or maybe to blend with the remainder of the room in addition to the location of the windows. In short place your own personality in the room in which you like to get. If you want to entertain in your living space, it’s advisable to have a couple of lightweight side chairs which can be moved into more sociable arrangements while people come to see.
In the living room of Steven Gambrel's Chicago apartment, the custom sofa, in a JAB Anstoetz fabric, is by Dune, the 1950s chair (left) is in a Dedar fabric, and the custom armchair is covered in Arabel fabrics; the 1930s orange lacquer–and-shagreen sideboard is French, the 1950s Murano glass table lamp is by Seguso, the 1955 chandelier is by FontanaArte, the custom rug is by Beauvais, and the Venetian plaster walls are in Benjamin Moore’s Stonington Gray.
A Brooklyn townhouse in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, features a sofa from ABC Carpet & Home upholstered in a fabric by Soraya Shah for Studio Four NYC. The space also includes a chaise by Timothy Oulton, a Danish cocktail table, the Akari pendant light by Noguchi, window treatments in a Rebecca Atwood fabric, and a vintage Moroccan rug. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Huntington White and the trim in Iron Mountain. A photograph by Claire Nitze and a cameo portrait by Doug Meyer complete the living room.
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.