Right White: Residential designer Jodi Macklin followed up by coating virtually every surface of the living room in crisp, clean white. The paneling, trim, and ceiling got Donald Kaufman Color Collection DKC #38, the walls got the slightly darker Donald Kaufman Color Collection DKC #51, and the floors got a hardworking Benjamin Moore enamel (Moore’s Latex Floor & Patio Enamel #122).
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.
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.
The secret to this inviting rustic living room? Top-to-bottom texture: starting from the scuffed ceiling beams (salvaged from an old warehouse) to the velvet-covered armchair to the dhurrie-topped sisal rug. Add a wood-planked coffee table, some foraged pine cones, a stack of birch logs, and a vintage tobacco basket above the mantel, and you have a rustic look that can’t be beat.
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.
Family photographs instantly add warmth and personality to your home. Take them out of the attic, off your computer, or out of the infrequently viewed albums on your bookshelves, and enjoy them every day. Pick a wall, corner, or entire room. If your chosen spot already has picture molding (found in many older homes), your job will be easy. If not, adding new molding is not that complicated.
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