Decorating Ideas Unique Living Rooms Traditional Home

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Tip: Repeat motifs to knit a space together. The border design on this living room’s rug recalls the angles of the mirror’s Greek-key pattern.

A hand-carved wooden deer snuggled up close to the fireplace and a vintage ski scene plopped on the mantelshelf above it bring warm whimsy to this winter-themed showhouse living room. But all year long, the design exudes character with a bold-striped screen and a fuzzy faux-fur bench. A massive 10-arm chandelier dramatizes the textural mix.

This fireplace view of designer Skip Sroka’s Washington D.C. living room reveals more of his secrets to creating an elegant space. The gold-leaf mirror above the fireplace is ornamented with a Greek-key motif, the grandfather of classic patterns. (Think the opposite of trendy.) The mirror does more than introduce classic lines, however. It also swings out to reveal a flat-screen TV. This kind of cleverly concealed hard-working function provides one more clue to the meaning of elegant decorating. Efficiency. (Apple products’ efficiency makes them the most elegant in their industry. The same rules apply to both interior and industrial design.) The entire fireplace presentation is refined through the symmetrical balance of the mirror between a pair of antique sconces.

Even the best architectural bones can be enhanced with a touch of exotica. Objets d’art and accessories from across the globe are design’s ticket to uniqueness and inspiration. The grand carved-limestone fireplace establishes character in this showhouse space at the DC Design House, but what tips the scales to a singular style are the exotic details of the decorating. For example, a dozen Zodiac figures from the Han dynasty cluster at one end of the mantelshelf, suggesting travels across time and place and the thrill of collecting. A pair of large Moroccan vases huddle at the hearth, adding another layer to the design’s character.

Tip: Usher in a piece or two of seasonal art to change your living room’s character.

Interior Design: Larry LasloArchitecture: Tony Greifenstein and Keith Boyce

Inspiration for the bright white living room in this Seattle home was the Hamptons house of Diane Keaton in the movie Something’s Gotta Give. That clean, almost effortless look of the movie’s beloved home actually is as sophisticated as it is simple.  As interpreted here, it’s a crispness that emanates from the architecture. A deeply coffered ceiling works in tandem with the careful gridwork of shelving that flanks the fireplace to define the space in bold, linear strokes. Symmetrical balance extends to both the architecture and the clean-lined furniture to impose formal structure on an informal, feel-good style. So just two words to remember: clean-lined and balanced.

A custom bookcase that wraps around the window ushers in personal style in this Cape Cod home’s living room. And even if your home isn’t already outfitted with wraparound shelving, it’s an idea that’s easy to implement, even for DIYers. Because it wraps around the window, the shelving unit becomes the room’s natural focal point. That means opportunity with a capital O.  Whatever is displayed on the shelves can stamp the room with special style. Here, it’s a repetition of like boxes across the top two rows—clean, even—and a medley of illustrations all given the same framing treatment. The objects on display aren’t all that special, but their presentation is—and that’s the style source.

Tip: Don’t be afraid to mix inexpensive, casual, or even rustic pieces with finer objects. The tensile energy brings designs to life.

There’s no mistaking the living room of this Hamptons house for any of its neighbor’s. A signature grass-green color painted on the room’s two-story walls makes sure of that. The color, a combination of restful and zestful, generates its own kind of aura. Against it, the classic white-painted millwork pops, and neutral-upholstered seating pops. Even the furniture’s traditional exposed wood appears a little fresher, a little happier, a little more youthful.

Elegant living rooms display fine design without appearing flashy. And it’s harder than it sounds. This living room in the home of Washington, D.C., designer Skip Sroka reaches the pinnacle of elegant traditional design with gentle curves on the window treatments and furniture. Both chairs and the sofa have beautifully rolled arms as well as subtle curves at the back. The windows are adorned with curved Roman shades in a damask tone-on-tone that underlie simple pleated silk panels. All together, the curves convey a shapely beauty that ties the room together. This is the essence of soft decorating.  The coffered ceiling and quiet palette continue the understated charm.

There’s an art to imbuing a living room with a unique style. Literally. Nine times out of ten, it’s the artwork or its display that gives the design standout style. In this DC Design House, a 10-piece collection of art pieces titled Memories of France, by Paule Marrot, does just that. The pieces’ uncommon yellow-green color tugs the eye, and their creative display in two vertical rows inset in paneling completes the unexpectedness. The result: a design that radiates reviving energy.

When your shopping excursions mine gold like the exquisite antique embossed leather screen in this living room, indulge your instincts, even if you’re uncertain where or how you’ll use the piece. Thinking outside the box assures the most impact. Instead of cowering in a corner, this outstanding screen anchors the living room’s design. In decorating, a single statement can be the final word.

Venetian plaster walls and antique beams give this new Atlanta home the sense of history that figures so prominently in elegant Southern style. Gracefully turned-wood furnishings including a fainting lounge (what’s more Southern than that?) join posh but soothing fabrics to increase the elegance. Window treatments are important in the South, and these full panels hang ceiling to floor. But the palette of dreamy cream and taupe with accents of blue and chocolate ensures that all is easy on the eye, an imperative for true elegance.

In New York’s renowned Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, designer Noel Jeffrey went against trend by allowing the living room’s original dark-stained woodwork to have its say. And it is the language of elegance. By not painting the lovely paneled walls and fireplace, Jeffrey allowed the space to bask in the warmth of the wood’s rich grain. He underscored that warmth with creamy furniture upholsteries, a white rug, and billowy beige silk draperies that ensure a dramatic contrast between dark and light.

When sophistication is the design goal for a seaside home, it pays to pause before bathing the living room in blues. “You have to test them to discover the ones that read sophisticated and not silly,” says designer Jack Fhillips, who did precisely that in the living room he designed for the Shippan Designer Showhouse in Stamford, Connecticut. A pale, almost Prussian blue painted on the walls reads as Old World elegant, especially brushing against white-painted dentil crown moldings. A white silk tufted sofa commands the conversation area with a formality that’s made approachable by a pair of comfy blue club chairs.

Tip: Rethink what goes behind the sofa. A paneled screen is an arresting alternative to framed art.

Along the history-conscious East Coast, the living room of an Oyster Bay, New York, home in which George Washington really did sleep (during a 1790 visit) had a lot to live up to. So when designer Sallie Giordano bought it as her family’s weekend retreat, one of her overarching impulses was to honor its age. (The Long Island house was built in 1651.) For the living room, that meant glazing the walls in a multi-layer gray plaster finish that looks like it’s been there since the founding father’s sleepover. “It resembles old plaster that’s been painted many, main times,” says the designer. The striated finish adds depth, patina, and a sense of history. And those add up to elegance.

The strongest living room style statements often are about how, more than what; inflection, more than content. In this Houston home’s living room, the style strength lies in how the art is displayed, versus what the art is. (A correlation in the fashion world might be how a scarf is worn, instead of who designed it.) This homeowner, acting as her own designer, gleaned the best ideas from her favorite showhouses. Stacking art in vertical rows all the way to the ceiling is a fave idea she plucked from the repertoire of Atlanta designer Dan Carithers. Its unexpectedness draws the eye beyond the normal boundaries, and makes pieces like the re-covered grandmother sofa appear as stylish as they are personal.

Who better than furniture designer Bob Williams to master the modern mix? In the living room of his home in Hickory, North Carolina, the cofounder of furniture manufacturer Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams pairs his new designs with vintage favorites from the mid-century. His eye for quality is revealed in his treasured old Lucite chair, Eames-style white leather armchair, and Frank Gehry cardboard chair, all of which mingle with his own clean-lined designs. Traditional toile draperies from Duralee and ice-blue walls set off the elegant mix.

A pint-size apartment can live larger than life. This 340-square-foot studio is proof. Its unique look in the living area begins with an oversize Federal-style mirror. The big piece defies its small confines and makes the space breathe. Teaming the traditional mirror with a modern tripod occasional table and a bright Hermès-orange rug shrugs off play-it-safe design rules to embrace a character-creating abandon.

Interior Design: Heather Dewberry and William C. Huff Jr.Architecture: William Harrison and Bulent Baydar

Dove gray and attention to detail create serene sophistication in the living room of this Connecticut home overlooking Long Island Sound. “I didn’t want a beachy home so we went with dark floors and classic details,” says the owner, architectural designer Louise Brooks. Farrow & Ball’s “Skimming Stone” is painted on the walls, while the wood comes clean in the venerable paint company’s “All White.” Silver-gray cocktail and side tables pick up the thread of color from the room’s gray-and-white striped  Elizabeth Eakins rug, while the furniture remains calm in white upholstery fabrics. Even the accessories on the fireplace wall’s shelves are pared down for importance. Most notable is the pair of antique lanterns on the middle shelves.

An inimitable and unforgettable style is created in this showhouse living room with a trompe l’oeil mural. Painted to look like the view outside a pair of big windows, the scenic mural portrays the gardens of Chateau de Villandry. Onlookers feel transported to France as a result of the “windows” being draped with ceiling-to-floor panels and including all the proper millwork parts. The mural creates the room’s magic. But it’s underscored by another wall of gold leaves cleverly stamped with real gold leaf. The room’s little bit of trickery feels like a treat.

You don’t have to be a rock star to live like one. This showhouse living room draws energy from flashy features including a jewel-like end table composed of small mirrored circles, and an extra-spiky shag rug. A midcentury-mod chair wears a traditional Greek-key fabric to amplify the edginess with the contrast of modern and classic. (Note: The pattern is placed on the diagonal for a fresher look.) More glam shimmers from four vertical mirrors propped between the windows. And to assure this room is equipped for all kinds of partying including Grammy night or Super Bowl Sunday, a flat-screen is mounted high on the wall just above the mirrors.

Architectural Design: Louise BrooksInterior Design: Lynn Morgan

Making the right decorating decision sometimes means doing nothing at all. When a living room like the one in this East Hampton house is blessed with beautiful French doors and an abundance of light, a smart designer knows to leave well enough alone: Keep the windows undressed. Designer Larry Laslo did just that. He also enhanced the architecture’s airiness with a monochromatic palette of soft pearl and sand with dark wood accents.

The large living room in this DC Design House (Washington, D.C.) exudes elegance with a deftly played palette that keeps all parts of the space in harmony. A tasteful mix of icy blue, ivory, yellow, white, and khaki creates the polished look. A large table in front of the fireplace divides the space into two conversation areas, and its yellow-and-white cotton striped skirt introduces a sunny spirit that’s essential for a room so large to feel livable. Matching sisal rugs define both sides of the room, and their Greek-key edges are banded in yellow to plant the palette underfoot.

In the same Hancock Park house you just viewed, the other side of the living room portrays elegance on a much grander scale. Here the room’s original double-decker wall of leaded-glass arched windows soars tall and airy, overlooking the garden. Still, there’s nothing ornate in the design. The elegance lies in the arches—pure and simple beauty.

Get more ideas for your living room in Decorating Ideas: Unique Living Rooms.

To lift your living room’s design out of the doldrums and elevate it to a more rarefied realm of style, tap into tensile power. The best designers know that mixing diverse styles creates a tension that visually empowers any room. In this living room, that tension is created by mixing the classic architecture’s beautiful white-painted millwork with modern geometric rugs and abstract art. The quiet elegance of the architecture juxtaposed with the punched-up colors of the modern elements increases the room’s energy, drama, and excitement.

A surfeit of square footage thankfully is not essential to an elegant design, as this cozy living room in the Atlanta home of designer Lori Tippins proves. In fact, the human scale of the space contributes to its elegance, for design is as much about how a space lives as it is about how it looks. Here beauty begins with the bones of the room. Pairs of French doors flank a small antique marble fireplace for a full flow of natural light, symmetrical balance, and pleasing proportions. The trumeau above the fireplace is a major player in getting the right proportions, drawing the eye all the way up to the same height as the curtain rods. (It’s also gorgeous!) These, too, are placed high on the walls, nearly a foot above the doors to skim just beneath the extra-thick crown moldings. Decorative elements are few but fine. The pair of floor lamps, for instance, were converted from gilded iron candlesticks. The vertical border on the draperies introduces color and pattern in an exquisitely subtle fashion.

Real-life living room decorating is one thing; showhouse living room designs are another. Showhouses encourage experimenting; taking risks; going for the unique. That’s what New York designer Eric Cohler and his sister Jennifer Mason did in this Manhattan mansion on the Upper East Side. To discover what makes the design special, look no further than the room’s original richly paneled walls. The sister-brother team painted them a high-gloss indigo for a mega-dose of drama. A white sofa and yellow abstract art stand in stark contrast to the walls’ moody blues.

A single glance at the living room of this 1928 Mediterranean Revival in Los Angeles—even without furniture—was enough to announce the home’s elegance. The room’s original scalloped plaster moldings were a decorative feature architect Gordon B. Kaufmann brought to his early Hancock Park commission. Designer Mark Williams respected the original features, which include the fireplace, with quiet furnishings in creamy neutrals. “Kaufman kept the details rather spare so that the interiors feel tranquil rather than overly ornate,” he says, summing up all of elegance.

Decorating a stellar living room sometimes demands getting down to the bare bones. That’s the case in the living room of this handsome Los Angeles Mediterranean Revival designed in 1928 by architect Gordon B. Kaufmann. The room’s original plaster moldings were too perfect to tamper with. Instead, the walls were kept clean and light to allow the arched moldings to make the design statement. A pair of custom sofas and a Baker sunburst mirror remain understated to give the glory to the original architecture.

For more decorating ideas for your living room, see Elegant Living Rooms in Neutral Colors.

Designing a Unique Living Room As the public showcase of your home, the living room begs for a design that’s not only comfortable for entertaining, but that’s unique enough to wow guests with a lasting impression. The decorating goal is an “ahh!” moment. It’s a look you love, which stops others in their tracks. And achieving it doesn’t have to trip you up. Just the opposite. Going with your natural flow is the surest route to a singular style. Build your living room’s design with extraordinary furnishings, fabrics, textures, art, accessories, and colors that speak to you. Then give those faves a shout-out with a prominent display.

Used as both a family room and a living room, the 20×30-foot space in this Atlanta home gathers its elegant energy from patterns that are even more subtle than tone-on-tone—they’re created entirely from textures. The pair of modified wing chairs at the fireplace are covered in a beige fabric woven in small diamond motifs (no coincidence, the Pollack fabric is “Diamondieu”). Then look inside the fireplace. The brick firebox is laid in a herringbone pattern. Subtle. The fauteuil facing the fireplace is a taupe velvet cut to create a 3D swirl pattern. And both the sofa and the club chair opposite it play the texture game with their small-weave diamonds. With the exception of the decorative pillows, the only non-textured pattern is at the windows. A tone-on-tone. Quiet. Elegant.

Tip: Give your living room a unique look with one accessory that announces the room’s region, while also breaking from its predominant decorative finishes.

Use pattern to orchestrate one-of-a-kind style. The lemon-yellow ottoman in this room features a bold Greek-key pattern around its base. Solo, it’s pretty, but accompanied with the geometric patterns of mismatched fretwork screens that flank the windows, as well as the club chair’s modern spin on the classic flame-stitch pattern, the room pulsates with visual rhythm.

So can a living room be elegant and edgy all at once? The Honolulu home of designer Marion Philpotts Miller suggests the answer is yes. Certain stately furnishings like a grand piano are fixtures of finery, and music-loving Miller is a fan. But she’s an equally avid supporter of visual arts including those with a modern bent. The living room’s lavender pod chandelier adds an edgy layer of complexity to the room’s design, making it as interesting as it is elegant.

Tip: Not only fabric features pattern. Carved wood and even architectural plaster sport patterns of their own. Recognizing their contribution to a room’s design brings you one step closer to a sophisticated result. Pattern doesn’t need to be in-your-face brash to be enormously effective.

The irrepressible energy of a Fort Worth home designed by Joseph Minton springs from its mix of objects and fabrics. Nowhere is the tug of that energy stronger than in the living room, where Minton’s mix can be dissected on even a minuscule level. The fireplace mantel, for example, is a catwalk for some bold blue-and-white Chinese porcelains to strut heel to toe with nautilus seashells. This mix of high and low (price-wise) and of not-so-typical next-door neighbors (porcelains and found objects) is the source of the room’s excitement. The lead crystal candy dish on the coffee table goes for the same mix, laden with starfish and seashells.

In this Stamford, Connecticut, living room of beautiful antiques, one-of-a-kind identity emanates from the large shell-framed mirror. The seashells hit a more playful note than those sounded by the Louis XVI open armchair or the gilded French cane-back chair by the window. The shells’ texture, too, invites closer inspection, drawing attention away from the other furnishings’ decorative carvings and fancy finishes, to the natural world. Wisely, the large seashell-framed mirror is placed prominently in the furniture arrangement, just inside the front door. From the sofa and chairs in the living room’s main conversation area, it can’t be missed. And that’s essential for the piece that is the design’s only allusion to the nearby sea.

Slip into some thing more comfortable!. Slip protects frequently get an awful rap but they happen to be truly wonderful things. That they can function as a method of changing your furniture`s look to reflect typically the seasons. These easily taken off coverings improve a superior look without constantly stressing about people dirtying or even spilling on your furnishings . Slip covers are perfect for rooms used often by children. Over some sort of white slip-covered couches shows the air of an informal , comfortable, easy yet advanced elegance.

Paint smaller bedrooms in softer, lighter hues which will make the room think larger. The living area above is a wonderful sort of how in order to maximize a small living area . A room of this kind of size has got the tendency to be able to seem cramped, however the huge windows, light colored surfaces and ample usage of wall mirrors not only reflect the particular natural light pouring within from your doors and typically the windows nevertheless the use associated with mirrors also provides optic illusion of space, generating the room seem larger than it actually will be . Conversely, darker colors can make a room experience smaller. Even with the particular abundance of natural lighting and the strategic saving of the mirrors, this specific room in a more dark shade may have an additional boxed-in feel into it.

Work with area rugs to ease hardwood floors. Throw area rugs give warmth and can easily add great texture, coloring and personality to the living space. Hardwood floor surfaces are beautiful and simple to keep but they be short of the comfort that carpeted floors offer, particularly within the cooler months. Region rugs can also put fun and functionality in order to your livable space . Use a number of of varying patterns plus fabrics together to show off your character. Or include several rugs of typically the identical pattern and cloth , or different textures although the same color. The particular possibilities are endless. A person can change your location rugs to reflect typically the seasons using warmer shades and fabrics for chillier months and lighter types for the warmer instances of the year. Generally there are many lovely 100 % cotton , washable area rugs which usually are perfect for those houses with children. There definitely is no reason the reason why a house with young young children cannot become a fashionable one.

Color or wallpaper your bookcases. This instant pop associated with color will brighten in addition to re-energize any room! Really amazing how something therefore simple as a layer of colorful paint may instantly energize and convert your space. This built/in bookcase would be basic and ordinary minus the brilliant blue interior. Probably the easiest and most inexpensive method to transform a boring place is always to apply a layer of paint somewhere unforeseen . Bookcases are an perfect place to start since you don`t need to color a large area. Various other fun places to incorporate some sort of pop of color incorporate painting fireplace mantels, typically the insides of closets, hallways and ceilings.

No matter if you`ve just moved and looking for a fast , little home pick-me-up, or even perhaps something better, right now there are some well-known interior design tricks that designers utilize which you too can very easily do with minimal energy and cost. Sometimes the particular smallest things associated with finest impact. It could become digging in a looking glass , a painting, a light fixture or even a vegetable. You may want to become softer your walls, brighten some sort of room, or increase heat to your living room. Check out these clever design and style as well as notice how they can motivate you!

Work with what you already possess to decorate. Most of us have got items in our ownership , probably packed up throughout boxes somewhere and have not given them a next glance. Your house needs a few accessories. As opposed to running to be able to the store, take a new good look at that which you already have. Trays, wood , acrylic, metal or metallic can be on leading of luggage racks, teas carts, trunks, bedside furniture and coffee tables with regard to extra texture and aspect . Arrange candles on all of them , frames or pile guides on top of all of them . Plates can be strung to create wonderful walls art. Art from kids books can be frame and hung in nurseries, children`s rooms or their very own bathrooms. You will get amazed at your talent with what you currently have!

Live green . Add plants to be able to your livable space . Add all of them to every room, little or large, few or even many. Plants invariably is an affordable means to accessorizing your own space and adding colour and texture. Not just are plants beautiful yet many can clean home air and balance moisture . They can absorb toxins and remove harmful fumes from the air. Zero home should be with no these wonderful greens!

Make use of decorative mirrors to incorporate quick light to your liveable space . As seen above, mirror could also be used to make the small space feel much larger . For larger rooms, or even any room with the more limited amount involving natural light, mirrors located directly across through the house windows , will add instant light-weight . Decorative mirrors doubles throughout lieu of art in order to fill empty wall room . Large or small, showcases add light and sizing to your liveable space.

Add a suspending pot holder to your own kitchen. Kitchens are supposed to be warm and even inviting. We spend very much of our time inside them whether it become for preparing meals, helping meals or entertaining. Some sort of hanging pot rack is advantageous elegance. Kitchens are supposed to feel as although they are in frequent use and a dangling pot rack certainly tends to make one feel this method . In addition to seeking so wonderful, (there are extensive sizes and styles available) additional cupboard space listed below has become freed up in order to store other items. Rarely has anyone complained associated with having too much storage space.

Differ your workout. Mix way up patterns and textures. Combine up old and fresh , expensive and cheap. There`s nothing wrong with putting family heirlooms alongside your current modern couch. Great insides decorators will tell a person that one of typically the most important aspect in order to decorating your house is that this reflects who you will be , your personality and the style. A vintage Chippendale workplace that was your grandfather`s tells a story. That tells the story associated with your past. The modern day couch you became adoringly obsessed with and merely had to purchase in addition tells a story, your current story, and there will be no good reason that the offer and past can`t co-exist beautifully together. The identical could be said for skill. You might not would like to place a piece of art by Salvador Dali about the same wall next to some sort of Monet, but there`s simply no reason why that they can`t end up being in the same area together. With fabrics whether or not it be furniture, area rugs or pillows, varied hues and patterns brings heat and texture into the being space.

Wicker baskets. Straw-plaited baskets are an cost-effective and elegant solution to include storage to any area . Baskets can be applied to store and show books, architectural and design magazines, toys, towels in addition to blankets to name a new few. Place a few little wicker baskets around the counter-tops in your kitchen to be able to beautifully display and retail store your fruit and fresh vegetables.

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