Keep a file of your favorite samples and inspirational images even if you can’t afford a makeover yet, or haven’t found the home of your dreams. This homeowner/designer kept all the fabric samples that she loved in a bag until she found the right home to settle in. She'd also been acquiring updated yet traditional pieces for just the kind of collected look she liked.

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Designed by Redmond Aldrich Design, this living room manages to be unique and versatile, colorful and understated, approachable and impressive, all at once. That's thanks to the quirky, eclectic mix of frames, a light wood paneled wall, a classic carpet, and an unexpectedly colorful sofa. If you typically like to stick to more neutral tones at home but find yourself generally drawn to color, consider venturing out with a dusty rose, forest green, or navy sofa—they're the new neutrals.
"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.

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.


Go Green: Bringing in plants into your living room adds both color and life to the room. Adding greens to a room always makes it look classy and cool. Buy a couple of potted plants and arrange them in a corner of the living room where there is some light. You can also keep your plants in a dark corner and hang a lamp on top. This will not only make sure that your plants live; it will also result in a beautiful corner arrangement.
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.
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.
A hand-me-down buffet's original cherry finish felt a little formal for this Arizona ranch home, but with some matte chalk paint, the item took on a more casual look that set the tone for equally laid-back vintage pieces, from the leather luggage (that stores extra blankets) to a coffee table made from an antique mission door. A midcentury turquoise sofa adds a splash of happy color.
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