Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
The sofas in the living room of this contemporary Hancock Park home are by RH, Restoration Hardware, the 1950s chairs are Danish, the cocktail table is by Charles Hollis Jones, the end tables are from Lucca Home, and the antique stool was a Japanese rice box. The antique mirror is Indian, the mantel is original, the pendant is by Paul Ferrante, the floor lamp is by Visual Comfort, and the sconces are by Ralph Lauren Home.
There is nothing like crafting a well-designed living room that is suitable for enjoying family time and entertaining loved ones. This primary spot sets the tone for the rest of your home’s decor. It’s also one of the best places to showcase your design aesthetic by experimenting with color palettes, layers of texture and patterns, and a variety of furniture layouts. It’s meant to be comfortable, inviting, and full of style. Plus, if you’re a design enthusiast, it’s an ideal space to put your favorite trends to the test, whether it’s opting for maximalist art or going bold with metallic wall paint.
A 1920s Palm Beach home, owned by art adviser Heidi McWilliams, serves as the perfect backdrop for displaying her impressive collection. The living room is furnished with claret armchairs (right) and hexagonal table by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, along with a neutral rug by Patterson Flynn Martin. An Anish Kapoor mirrored wall sculpture accentuates the 16th-century Italian limestone mantel, and the coffered ceiling, which is original, adds character to the room.
Adding warmth and creating an inviting atmosphere can be a challenge for square living rooms. When all of your furniture is pushed up against the wall, which leaves seating far away from each other, you can make the space feel cold. But you can also make your square living room feel crowded or awkward if all the furniture is forced into one corner. Instead, float furniture away from the walls.
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.
First, start with the ceiling. It is always best to turn down the whole ceiling if you want to change the atmosphere of the house. If it is too low then give it a height. If it is too high that you are already sacrificing the energy efficiency of the house, adjust a bit on its height. Also, take note of the materials. Since the living room usually functions as the entertainment room, it is often more appropriate to use sound-proofed materials as ceiling.
Wallpaper is one of those trends that just keeps on giving and giving. If you go with a classic chinoiserie wallpaper, you can do just about anything with it as your style changes over the year. This modern self portrait by Chuck Close is a bold contrast to the chinoiserie wallpaper (Iksel's Eastern Eden) behind it in this Miles Redd-designed home. The contrast doesn't stop there: Redd continued to venture beyond design convention by incorporating contrasting jewel tones and mixing modern furniture styles with antique pieces. Oh—and believe it or not, the lime green chair is from Ikea! Proof even the best designers love a good deal.
"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.
Wallpaper is one of those trends that just keeps on giving and giving. If you go with a classic chinoiserie wallpaper, you can do just about anything with it as your style changes over the year. This modern self portrait by Chuck Close is a bold contrast to the chinoiserie wallpaper (Iksel's Eastern Eden) behind it in this Miles Redd-designed home. The contrast doesn't stop there: Redd continued to venture beyond design convention by incorporating contrasting jewel tones and mixing modern furniture styles with antique pieces. Oh—and believe it or not, the lime green chair is from Ikea! Proof even the best designers love a good deal.
Our living rooms wear a lot of hats: we watch TV, entertain friends, have conversations and spend time reading in them. Sometimes they double as home offices, playrooms for kids or even dining rooms, too. With all these considerations, it can be tricky to decide how best to arrange this area, but thinking about the feeling you’d like the space to convey in combination with how you’ll spend time there is a solid way to start. Here are 10 living room layout ideas to get those creative wheels spinning.
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.
Looking for some cheap DIY decor ideas for the living room? When it comes to decorating, you need not spend a ton of money to have awesome furniture and decor. When it comes to creative and cool furnishings, often the things you can make for your home look better than anything you can buy in stores. If you’ve seen the little plastic fake chalkboard labels on things for sale in stores, you will know exactly what I mean. When stores start selling copies of the top DIYs on Pinterest, you know your love of making things is about to pay off big. Make the home decor of your dreams while maintaining your budget so you can retire early, go on that big vacation or whatever it is you’d rather save that money for. Make these cool projects this weekend and get to decorate anyway. From wall art to seating to coffee tables and mantle decor, we have you covered when it comes to the best DIY living room decor ideas you can make inexpensively.

"You can gain more surface space by having a console table behind a sofa and a variety of seating, like one sofa and four chairs that are not all the same that can float in a room and even be moved around," says Rybock, "and then use a cocktail table as the anchor in the center of the space." Once you have the furniture in place, Fenimore suggests using textural or colorful artwork to visually fill the room.
The cheapest flooring options for living room remodel projects are vinyl, laminate and cork floors, however they do not have the same quality as the materials mentioned above. Cork and vinyl flooring can get easily scratched by furniture and they do not have much aesthetic appeal. Ultimately, what you decide to use as a flooring material for your living room renovation project will depend on the look you want to achieve and the purpose of the room
If you just want to spice up a dull space, that one visual oddity can make all the difference. This is especially true in a small living room since there normally isn’t much to look at. The rug in this room is a great example because it breaks up the plainness and uniformity the room otherwise has. It also accomplishes this without being overly intrusive. It also forces you to look down at the floor, then up at everything else in the room, ensuring you see every bit of the room’s contents. The right accent pieces make all the difference.
What do you do when you don’t agree with your spouse on what to do with a space? This is a very common problem that just leads to hurt feelings and an empty wallet. Rather than try to push your style over theirs, figure out what elements each of you likes and incorporate both of your tastes into the room. This small living room design is a marriage of masculine and feminine with an exceptional mix of bold lines and pastel accents. The ceiling light is also a perfect representation of the two merged styles, being both geometrical and curvaceous.

Even if you're lacking in square footage and surface space, you can get a lot of mileage out of high ceilings. To take advantage of that vertical space, accentuate tall windows with high curtains and a show-stopping wallpaper. Also, curtains hung well above a window add airiness and height to a small room. Keep the curtain design basic but use extra fabric for fullness.
In many homes, the living room is where families and their guests go to kick back and relax after a long day. In many homes, this room is also where the television, computer and other knickknacks come together and choke the space. This is even truer in a small living room, which fills up after putting just a few pieces of furniture inside. Because of this, many people think that having a larger space is better but that isn’t always true. The secret to making a small living room look good is to take advantage of the living space you already have.
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.
One of the keys to a successful renovation is plenty of forethought, knowledge and information — especially if you're making structural changes, or working with several professionals and a big budget. Take your time to plan before you begin, so that you are less likely to have regrets when you are finished. "Designing a room or a remodeling project is a journey or a process," says interior designer Karen Soojian, ASID, "and it takes time to develop ideas and do things right. In other words, you need to know your destination and how you plan to get there."
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