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.
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.
Architect Luís Bernardo Brito e Abreu renovated his São Miguel home to reflect his family's artistic, maritime history. The living room features a vintage chair by Illum Wikkelsø, and the mantel and stone benches are both of local basalt. The sculpture of a head on the bench at right is by Ernesto Canto da Maya, and the wall sculpture above the mantel is a 16th-century naval decoration.
Bring your artwork up to trick the eye and expand or accentuate the height of the room. A gallery wall might seem too busy for a small space, but it can actually make it feel larger if it extends to the ceiling. In this family room designed by Kate Ridder, the mirrored effect of this glossy red paint on the ceiling makes the small space feel like a fun house.
This space demonstrates why color choice has such a large impact on a room. It shows that sometimes, achieving a stellar small living room design is as simple as using black and white. Using black, white and grey as your primary colors and adding a pop of color here and there would be a dramatic departure from the norm. The eye is drawn to color by nature, so it can be used to draw attention to specific areas of the room or it can be placed all over the room to provide a concise tour of the room in moments.
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.
The difference really is, as they say, in the details, whether that's a new lipstick, a touch of truffle oil, or in this case, pillows and paint. This living room already had a lot going for it: a rough-hewn coffee table, a versatile sofa by Cisco Brothers, and a gorgeous ceramic garden stool. But apply one shopping trip's worth of accessories—all under $100—and this just-okay space turns remarkably elegant.
Previously buried under decades of neglect, Tere and Mac Thomas's circa-1825 Mississippi home has new stories to tell, thanks to diligent research—and a three-year gut renovation. When the Thomases purchased their Fayette, Mississippi, home six years ago, it was uninhabitable. However, the unfinished rooms, like this dilapidated living room, allowed the homeowners to start from scratch to create the perfect home.
Keep a list – Creating a list of the things that you need for your living room remodel project allows you to keep track of the expenses that you might incur as you go along with the renovation. Prioritize important items first, then put a contingency for extra items like accessories and other decorations. Leave room for finishing touches as they can go a long way in terms of visual appeal.