The secret to taming a fiery red? Balance it with pops of white. A smattering of dove white wall accents with the white fireplace, chair rail, and coffee table keep the bold color in check.
Trellis, ikats, florals—oh my! The trick to mixing patterns is to pick a color theme—here, reds, browns, and blues—and to use big swaths of solid color (the brown sofa, red chairs, and green ottoman) to anchor the space.
Light and Airy
You can pack a lot into your living room—even a dining set—if you keep furnishings from weighing the space down. Lucite dining chairs, an open-weave coffee table, and an unobstructed wall of windows keeps this room from feeling cramped.
White on White
You can’t go wrong with an all-white space. To prevent it from feeling like a hospital room, introduce different textures. A crocheted throw, a rough-hewn linen sofa, and a nubby rug all add depth to a monochromatic look.
Carve out a quiet moment in your living room to entice a little reading time. Drag a cozy chair over to a window or next to a bookshelf and be sure to provide ample light for late-night page turning.
Give tradition a twist and try a living room filled with old standby silhouettes—a Chesterfield sofa, bamboo side chairs—in super-saturated colors (ocean blue and lime green).
An extra-large coffee table with a feminine shape is the modern take on the traditional game table. Invite friends over for game night; the edge on the table will keep board pieces (and drinks) from sliding onto the floor.
Touch of Trend
Update your living room as you would your wardrobe—with a few new accessories each season. This neutral room is an easy canvas for a few pops of color and pattern—an aubergine throw, a zebra pillow, and a metallic side table.
Cool metal touches give this room a sophisticated air. The scrolling mirror, the legs of the coffee table, even the fireplace andirons are all glossed in chic silver.
Writing on the Wall
For truly unique (and sometimes quirky) décor, try the online retailer etsy.com. You can search by theme, type, even lyrics to your favorite Men Without Hats song.
Does your living room work double-duty as a front entry? Keep the two separated and well-defined by lining one wall with a welcoming wallpaper, and keeping the living room furniture appropriated to an area rug.
Here’s a bloomin’ brilliant idea: Keep oversized patterns in check by limiting them to well-defined spaces (here a bouquet of blue flowers covers an occasional seat and an oversized roman shade). It will keep the powerful pattern from taking over the room.
Create a dynamic seating arrangement by placing a set of sofas in the center of the room and with their backs to each other. It’s a bold move that creates two conversation corners.
Designed for entertaining and little tête-à-têtes, this formal living room’s oval furniture arrangement keeps the focus inwards.
Plus Size Arranging
An extra-large sofa can mean plenty of room to stretch out, but it can also engulf a room. The trick is to anchor an oversized piece of furniture against a wall and use other voluminous accessories (a jumbo print or a king-sized ottoman) for balance.
A rustic retreat gets a pop with slipper chairs covered in a tribal ikat. It gives the outdoorsy cabin a feminine spin.
Spike the interest level in a neutral room with a few splatters of pattern. The bold designs on these throw pillows might be overwhelming in a larger scale, but in a petite form they add a casual chic vibe.
Two Moroccan poufs set on the floor give a wanderlust feel to this traditional living room and provide extra casual seating for guests.
Swathe one wall in a cheery wallpaper to warm your space. Choose a print that picks up other colors in the room.
Create a petite home office in your living room that’s big on style: Instead of a traditional desk chair (that would look out of place) appoint a living room chair that looks good facing the desk or the rest of the space.
The eternal question: What to do with the TV? If space allows, try placing your television in a corner so the flow of the room is uninterrupted (but where you can still enjoy Downton Abbey comfortably from the sofa).
Bursts of Cheer
Maxi floral prints and super-sized stripes are whimsical touches that give this living room an affable appearance.
Warm and Inviting
Nothing says, “curl up and stay awhile” like an extra-deep, sink-into-me sofa and a plush ottoman to rest your feet.
Load on Layers
Stimulate the senses with plenty of textures, including a scratchy jute rug underfoot, a tweedy wallpaper, and a luxurious cashmere throw on the sofa.
Ah, the power of two: A pair of identical console tables flank the fireplace and two different, but similarly-colored, sofas face each other for a pulled-together look.
A mix of polished and unfinished wood pieces, and a neutral shade on the wall, can make a room feel chic and not campy.
Feeling the Blues
A palette of navy blues makes this room feel instantly inviting and cozy. It’s a durable color for big pieces of furniture, like this plush sectional, since it masks everyday dirt.
The trick to turning a small-space into an elegant living area is to use appropriately sized furniture. A sectional sofa might seem too big for a petite area but in fact it’s the perfect size and helps define the space. (Using small furniture in a tight space only exacerbates a compact feeling.)
Sea of Space
Make your living room a welcome respite for a gang of friends with ample seating and a circular coffee table that’s easy to navigate.
Keep a formal living room from getting too fussy by mixing dramatic accents like these floor to ceiling drapes with everyday classics, like a pair of neutral slipper chairs.
Soft, muted colors and sinuous curtains infuse a living room with a little feminine grace.
The right furniture layout, with a quirky accessory added here and there, can broaden a living room to accommodate large groups and big parties.
Mix It Up
Throw caution to the wind and mix in a bunch of different patterns for a lively look. Pick complimentary colors to guide you when shopping.