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.
The nubby texture of a sisal fiber area rug makes an attractive anchor for furnishings in a rustic living room. When choosing an area rug, select one large enough to create a cohesive look. Follow this rule of thumb: When the furniture grouping doesn't touch walls (but "floats" in the center of the room), the rug should be large enough that all the furniture legs rest on the rug without crowding the grouping. If your furniture backs up against walls, then the rug should be large enough to extend beneath front legs.
A hide rug and Edwardian boxer photographic prints lend a sly masculine charm to the casual refinery of this room’s interior layout, without overtly overpowering the more graceful elements. Clean lines and simple color schemes keep the tone cool and laid back, while eye-catching pieces such as the wooden lobster trap-like ceiling lamp and repurposed rolling coffee table, as well glass dome-covered plants, allow guests plenty to admire and inquire about.
Dark, glossy walls create a sophisticated backdrop for simple, clean-lined pieces and even colorful, bold items. Use the small space to your advantage and make it feel like a jewel-box. Painting your ceilings the same color can enhance the sense of intimacy even further. Then have fun with brighter furniture throughout, as done in this small living room designed by Andrew Felsher.
While this sophisticated living room is located in a renovated and repurposed barn (really, it is!), it delivers rustic inspiration that can be applied to any space. The walls and ceiling are planked with reclaimed pine, and the homeowners had the rustic cedar post cut at a local sawmill, requesting that the original bark and moss stay intact to remain as natural as possible. A built-in corner shelf, made of the same wood as the wall and ceiling paneling, adds a charming spot for books and collections. Adding to the rustic vibe: The chandelier is made of an antique wagon wheel, and the coffee table is an old industrial cart.
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.
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.
A neutral palette comes alive when it consists of a combination of light to dark hues in mix of textures, as this rustic living room by designer Melissa Ervin exhibits. From top to bottom, natural woven-shade capped lamps sit atop metal-and-wood side tables, pillows made from vintage textiles decorate a mohair and leather sofa, and a hide rug tops the nubby sisal floor covering.
Banish the superfluous, stow the clutter, and rethink furniture arrangements to overhaul your living room without spending a dime. Get a pal to help you move furniture around until you have visually pleasing groupings that are conducive to conversing. Watch the video below to learn the basics of furniture arranging that will help you plan a no-fail arrangement.
Crisp whites combined with punches of bright colors immediately transport you to the coast. In this living room, aqua accents in the pillows, throw, and rug mimic the ocean’s dazzling blues, and the pops of bright orange are inspired by the magnificent hues of the setting sun. Whitewashed horizontal shiplap planking evokes the feel of old Gulf-front beach houses.
3. As we said before, this room should have a spacious atmosphere, you don’t want to spend time in a gloomy place. Therefore, you should use pastel, soft and light colors throughout the room. Will there not be vibrant and eye-catching colors? Of course you will, but you will use them less. These vivid colors will dominate the room and come to the fore.
"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.
These homeowners wanted to let their guests be the color to their space, so they painted all of the background surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a clean shade of white. A vintage advertisement and an Arkansas license plate hang on the wall. The casual furniture is covered in washable slipcovers for easy cleanup when inevitable spills happen.
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.
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.
In country superstar Ronnie Dunn’s barn-inspired retreat, he and designer Rachel Halvorson created a cozy-and-inviting (hello, towering white slipcovered wingbacks) meets rough-and-tough (read: stunning antler chair) aesthetic. Surrounding the rustic furniture, interior Z-brace board-and-batten shutters give a playful nod to a barn, while varying widths of creamy white poplar paneling create an airy ambience.
Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.
So the interior didn't compete with views of the farm, the owner of this Alberta farmhouse opted for crisp white paint on the walls and ceiling, and blue draperies that complement the large stretch of sky outside the windows. Light pine floors with a single coat of whitewash allow the wood's natural grain to show without taking away from the room's airy feel.