Living Room Ideas Designs And Inspiration House And Garden

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Taken from the May 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Get carried away with these dreamy designs for rooms with a view

Want to make a modern, striking piece of art the star of the show? An all-white scheme, design-led accessories and clever placement (seen framed by a door frame from an ajoining room for instance) will do just that.

Young Swedish interior designer Beata Heuman had the L-shape sofa of her living room custom-made to fit the space. It is upholstered in ‘Pods’ linen from Christopher Farr and includes a useful pocket to hold magazines. ‘People are sometimes afraid of custom-made things, but you just need to know where to go,’ she says. She also recommends looking for inexpensive off-cuts, available direct from individual fabric manufacturers. The antiqued bronze table cost £30 from Portobello market, and above the sofa is an abstract that she painted herself.

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Relocating to Oxford after 15 years in Japan and Hong Kong, the owners of this modern Victorian house put together a team of experts to create a mostly open-plan layout full of intriguing design details to capture the imagination.

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Furniture from every decade fills designer Mark Smith’s Kensington flat. In the Victorian drawing room, the 19th-century Dutch secretaire is offset by a 1960s-style Perspex coffee table made by Nigel Carew Jones to Mark’s design. Another modern piece is the small side table from Michael Reeves Associates, made of iron with a black-stained finish.

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It took artist Isabelle de Borchgrave years to find her perfect studio in Brussels. When she discovered an extensive warren of Sixties workshops and garages in the heart of the city, she knew that she had found her new workplace. Once her spectacular new studio was completed, however she turned her attention to the derelict, nineteenth-century building that stood beside it, realising that this might just make the perfect home.

Designer Fiona Parke and owner Bodil Blain opted for a bold rug from The Rug Company in the sitting room of Bodil’s Bayswater flat, set against the neutral backdrop of the walls, art (Mat Collishaw’s Insecticide 13 print) and furniture (‘Bone’ chair by Joris Laarman and sofa by Francis Sultana).

A gallery of prints and posters in the living room of this extended Victorian flat turns a blank space into an eyecatching feature wall. Plan your arrangement with pieces of paper laid out on the floor before fixing the frames in place.

Don’t underestimate the power of fresh flowers in tying a room scheme together, especially in a long room like this one, which was extended in designer Mark Smith’s London flat by sacrificing a bedroom to create more space. Here, the pink and green accents of the room are echoed in the bouquet.

Michael Keech and Graham Green have a considerable pedigree working with historic buildings, and were unfazed by the need to reinstate damaged cornices and missing marquetry.

This drawing room is furnished in a more contemporary style than the rest of the Carskiey house. It features a B&B Italia sofa, a mustard coloured rug (similar can be found from Christopher Farr) and Fermoie cushions and lampshades.

This traditional country living room full of chintz was created from two rooms in the Fifties. Most of the pictures in this traditional scheme were collected by owners Hugh and Grania, while the eighteenth-century wooden plant stands belonged to Grania’s stepfather. The pictures above the workspace at the back are early-nineteenth-century Cantonese watercolours. (See how to hang pictures for more ideas.)

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Simple pieces of Georgian furniture, including a glazed bureau bookcase, have been used in the sitting room of Ben Pentreath’s Georgian parsonage. The effect is eclectic and welcoming.

The open-plan sitting and dining room is drag-painted the colour of milky coffee; it’s a clever trick that softens the large space. The neutral palette is pepped up with splashes of indigo, green and coral and some wonderfully decadent details, including teal cushions woven from peacock feathers that glimmer exotically on the sofa.

Celebrated interior decorator Nicky Haslam’s west-London apartment is an elegantly playful showcase for his masterful use of scale and dramatic details. One of a pair of ‘Swedish stoves’ in the sitting room conceals a drinks cabinet and hi-fi equipment, but the undoubted highlight is the elegant statement lighting.

*Modern, traditional or shaggy, Modern Rugs has a great selection for your floor.

Taken from the February 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text by Lisa Freedman.

Turn your living room into a masterpiece with painterly patterned fabrics, arty effects and a palette of soft colours. Choose fine cottons, linens and silks printed in washes of colour as a starting point for your scheme. Team highly decorative pieces with streamlined furniture for a perfect balance of form and function.

Interior-design duo Keech Green reworked and redecorated this London flat for their young clients: the result pays homage to the house’s Arts and Crafts heritage and also the couple’s favourite local football team.

Bespoke steel doors and frame: 297 x 385cm, from £9,000, at Clement Windows.

*This Small Silver Decorative Buddha Elephant Ornament, £5.91 from Amazon, is perfect for a coffee table.

Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Make your hallway a stylish room of its own with these design ideas

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Formerly a rabbit warren of small, dark rooms, this modern Victorian family home in west London has been opened up, flooded with light and filled with the owners collection of art and furniture, to create a balance between its original character and modern style.

ACCESSORIES Arm cushions in ‘Vintage Jeans’ (03), by Larsen, linen, £96 a metre, at Colefax and Fowler; edged in ‘Panarea’ (marine), by William Yeoward for Designers Guild, cotton/jute, £75 a metre, at Designers Guild. Front cushions, from left: ‘SS151003’ (ivory/black), £104; ‘SS151002’ (ivory/black), £76; ‘SS151024’ (ivory/black), £60; and ‘SS151005’ (khaki/black), £104. All from Abraham & Thakore. Back cushions, ‘Favialla’, as before; centre cushion, ‘Raw Linen’ (indigo), 110cm wide, £15 a metre, from Merchant & Mills. Oak floor light, ‘Finnieston’, 152 x 70cm maximum extension, £675, at Channels. On shelves, from left: Obeche timber ‘Paleys Upon Pilers’, by Studio Weave, commissioned for ‘Space Craft’, a Crafts Council touring exhibition, similar models made to order, from £5,000, at Amodels; and wood and plastic architect’s models, £250 each, at Maison Artefact. Oak tapas board with leather handle (small), £29.99, from Wild & Wood. Porcelain teapot, £260, and milkjug, £45, from Ikuko Iwamoto.

In the sitting room of Sarah Stewart-Smith’s Herefordshire Cottage, bronze gongs from Vietnam hang above the stove in the snug living room. Moving from a large London house to a small country cottage, she decided against selling her larger furniture. Instead, against expectations, it adds to a feeling of space.

Houses by furniture designers can all too easily look like showrooms; smart and full of well­ designed pieces that are covetable individually, but en masse create a one-dimensional look. However, the interior of this large Brussels town house owned by designers Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada, though stuffed with their creations, is anything but bland.

Take a look around Anne-Marie and Jorge’s house in the south of France

The living room in this 1940s house is a celebration of luxurious finishes. The velvet sofas and plush carpet are complemented by silky cushions for a wonderful feelgood factor.

Before moving in, the owners asked the interior designer, architectural historian and natural paint expert Edward Bulmer for his help. ‘Edward has a marvellous eye,’ says the owner. ‘He has a great feel for colour and he is fantastic at arranging furniture and pictures.’ For his part, Edward says that these are delightful clients, and are unusually united on aesthetic decisions. Despite their very different backgrounds, they share a taste for the modest grandeur of English country-house style, for antique rugs, traditional chintz and books.

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Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton. Locations editor: Liz Elliot.

Kit Kemp designed this room for Wool House, a Campaign for Wool exhibition at Somerset house in London. Be inspired similarly by pairing bold pattern in a simple colour scheme with brightly-coloured artwork.

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This drawing room beyond – divided into two parts by sliding doors – is dominated by two monumental works by Anselm Kiefer, one from the ‘Alkahest’ series; the other, from ‘Palm Sunday’, is a collage of palm leaves. ‘We thought a vibrant, lettuce-green colour would be a good backdrop for them and would bring a freshness and femininity to the room.’ Painted by Colchester Lister Associates (020-7228 8229) the vivid green colour was mixed to Fiona’s specifications, but ‘Green Melon’ by Designers Guild has the same pep to it and costs £39 for 2.5 litres of matt emulsion.

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The drawing room is a comfortable space for watching television in the evening. Warm pink walls in Dulux ’90RR 52214′ are the perfect backdrop for the Walton Ford prints. ‘They appear to be naturalist illustrations, but if you look closely, they are trippy and quite naughty,’ says Beata.

The forest green sitting room in Luke Edward Hall’s flat is painted in Leyland’s bold ‘Forest Storm’, which makes the space cosy. Although there was initial concern about how dark it was (‘I did think for a moment, what have we done – we’re living in a dungeon,’ says Duncan), the final result is very beautiful. The room fortunately benefits from two large sash windows, so it remains bright and light. (For more tips, see our ideas for green wall paint.)

ACCESSORIESCork basket, from chestnut ‘Companions’ bedside table, by Ilse Crawford, 55 x 45cm diameter, £1,146, at De La Espada. Suedenotebook with pencil, £18, from Anthropologie. Porcelain teapot, £220, and cup and saucer, £90, ‘Highway’, by Mandy Cheng, at Contemporary Ceramics Centre. Cushions, from left: ‘Small Damask’ (green), by Blithfield, linen, £84 a metre, at Tissus d’Hélène; ‘Sand Strie’ (charcoal), by Lee Jofa, linen, £86 a metre, at G P & J Baker; ‘Luni’ (mangue), linen, £51, at Caravane. Oak floorlamp, ‘Pull’, by Muuto, 151 x 31.5cm base diameter, £359, at Haus. Terracotta vases, ‘Gardenias’, by Jaime Hayon for BD Barcelona, £425 (left), and £490, at Viaduct. Waterproof fabric storage bag (on shelf), ‘Chadi’ (charcoal), £30, at Designers Guild. Cork and earth- enwarevessel, ‘Element’ (white), by Vitamin, £130, at Heal’s.

Wanting a place to display her treasured book collection, Emma Burns, senior decorator at Sybil Colefax & John Fowler, transformed a converted barn at her country home into a library and guest cottage full of hidden suprises and witty details. The sitting room is flanked by shelves on both sides. The glass-fronted bookcase is from Robert Kime, while the pair of armchairs are upholstered with jajim rugs. See the full story of Emma’s cottage here.

At Bradwell Lodge, the paint on the drawing-room walls was mixed by the owner to complement the upholstery. A Bennison sofa in ‘Tatting Stripe’ complements the eleborate ceiling, inset with monochrome grisaille panels.

Edo Mapelli Mozzi, CEO Banda Property, has maximised the use of each inch of the main room in his small one room flat, fitting in a large sitting area and a dining nook with banquette seating in Linwood’s ‘Moleskin Velvet’ fabric in mustard. A trio of Michael Anastassiades pendants and a photograph by Nick Knight above the chimneypiece accentuate the high ceiling.

In the drawing room of Clare Mosley’s Georgian house, the atmosphere is warm and cosy, especially with the fireplace lit. Chimneypieces were truffle-hunted from the backyards of various dealers in north London, since the owners were very particular that these should be of the same period as the house. The light in front of the right window was once an aspidistra stand, which Mark converted. The sofa is from George Sherlock.

Blue and green should never be seen? Not when it comes to turquoise and cobalt. The two hues blend together beautifully, especially if you include all your accessories (down to books) into the scheme.

A cosy living room idea? Incorporate a stylish snug, complete with deep-set furniture, perfect for curling up in. Roaring fire, optional (but highly recommended). This property is a 17th-century rectory turned weekend family retreat in Oxfordshire, designed by Rabih Hage.

A simple Roman blind and textured flooring has resulted in an elegant update for this neutral living room.

Anyone who wants to conceal a television or music system take note. This sleek media cabinet, designed by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay for the family room of a London house, is a great piece of design. Smart and unobtrusive, while looking just as good open as it does closed, the sliding doors – which perfectly align with the shelves when open – feel almost Japanese in their simplicity and functionality. See more pictures here.

A panelled hallway opens on to the drawing room, furnished with an antique chest of drawers inlaid with mother- of-pearl from Albrissi and a deep-seated sofa from Soane, plus plenty of extra seating for hosting parties. The adjacent dining room, with its oak table designed by Keech Green and Soane leather chairs, is more intimate.

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Set against a grey feature wall painted in Dulux ‘Night Jewels 3’, smoked oak flooring and a Nepalese rug from Selfridges add warmth to this smart living room.

Eschewing chintz, the owners of this Cotswolds house took a fresh approach when they renovated the run-down former rectory to create a modern weekend retreat full of colour and bold patterns.

The curtains in this cosy living room are in Le Manach’s ‘Galigai’ cotton, which dictates the colour palette of the space. Neutral carpets and pale walls balance the rich fabric and answered the client’s desire for a light, bright space.

Curtain fabric: ‘Ubundu’ (ivory), linen, 310cm wide, £110.20 a metre, at Nya Nordiska.

This open-plan space in a dramatic London home by Shalini Misra is furnished with a pair of B&B Italia sofas and ‘Rita’ chairs by Martino Gamper. Wood floors by element7.

This Georgian house in Somerset was an irresistible challenge for its owners, who put together a team including architect Ptolemy Dean for the painstaking restoration, which won a Georgian Group award in 2015.

‘The Byre will be the most perfect space for the boys to invite their friends from university,’ says Maria. They are now aged seven, five and two – that is long-term planning.

In the modern living room of Lucy and Richard Turvill’s award-winning newbuild in Suffolk, the sofas and ottoman are covered in turquoise fabric from Pierre Frey, with the Georgian armchair upholstered in Raoul Textiles’ Ananas fabric in lake. The house was decorated by Lucy’s interior designer sister, Virginia White

FLOOR Engineered-oakflooring, ‘Tapis Blanc’ (oiled white), £81.40 a square metre, from Kährs.

Having collaborated with local artisans on several projects, Wilbert has just developed a UXUA Casa collection of textiles, furniture and ceramics available to guests and online . The chair is part of the UXUA Casa collection. A weaver works within the grounds of the hotel itself, while Wilbert also collaborates with – among others – a ceramicist in the town and an artist from the local Pataxó tribe.

*If you want a show-stopping lighting display opt for this beautiful Montserrat Leaf Gold Table Lamp, £95 from John Lewis. Everything about it is spectacular.

*This geometric rug by Traum (from £45, Amazon) would suit a contemporary home perfectly.

Heavy suzani curtains from Istanbul hang at the windows in this Somerset railway cottage belonging to Julia Barnard, while the sofas, in Soane’s ‘Old Flax’, were created from two larger sofas.

All the original features of the house – chimneypieces, doors, panelling and cornicing – were intact and extremely well preserved, so no structural work was required. Anne-Marie is a firm believer that ‘you can’t impose on a house like this,’ so they kept the walls where they found them.

The jewel-like sitting room of Hannah Cecil Gurney’s west London flat is home to a sumptuous collection of velvets – even the antique lamp from Les Couilles du Chien is swathed in a rust-coloured cloth. Red accents contrast with the turquoise of the hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper.

Living room design with gold chinoiserie wallpaper by de Gournay

*Snuggle up warm in the colder seasons with the VonHaus Electric Fireplace Stove Heater with Flame Effect (£69.99) – it’s an Amazon best seller.

This west London house was extended with the addition of a basement, creating a brighter, larger space that flows perfectly for better, more modern family living. The ground floor is devoted to a two-part living room: one formal, for entertaining or reading by the fire; the other for relaxing in front of the television. This informal sitting room has access to the kitchen, which gives the entire floor a pleasing circular flow.

FLOORCement tiles, ‘Piano’, in two-, four-, eight- or sixteen-stripe versions, 20cm square, £105 a square metre, from Afroditi Krassa.

This exotic living room colour scheme was inspired by the vibrant colours and bold patterns of the Ballets Russes costumes and set designs. The pattern on the black parquet floor is the perfect partner for the brightly coloured Regency daybed (at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler and upholstered in ‘Dashwood Ikat’ by Madeline Weinrib, £175 a metre, from ABC Carpet at Harrods).

The panelling in this Manhattan townhouse designed by Hugh Leslie was bleached to take out the orange tone of the oak, setting the mostly neutral palette of the room. An abstract artwork by Julie Mehretu adds a shot of colour that is complemented by the fabric on the cushions, from Claremont and Turnell & Gigon, and the armchairs.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

Beata has concealed the television in a red-lacquer cabinet with glazed doors framing maps. The ottoman serves as a coffee table, so the top is upholstered in ‘Asphalte’ by Métaphores, a double-sided linen/cotton cloth with a rubber coating that makes it wipeable. It also provides storage. ‘This style of decoration can look cluttered, so I have put storage everywhere to streamline it,’ says Beata. The armchairs are from the owners’ old at, reupholstered in cotton denim from I Want Fabric.

Walls and woodwork in ‘Murrey Red’ from Papers & Paints, has been used by designer and antiques dealer Adam Bray in this room. A light gloss finish bounces the light around, while the nineteenth-century alabaster light was chosen to impart a grown up mood.

The conversion of this Victorian terrace in west London was a collaborative effort between Thomas Croft Architects, John Cullen Lighting and designer Sarah Delaney. Period features were retained in the living room and an upholstered window seat put in so the family could look out over the communal gardens.

This white modern living room features a resin coffee table by Gaetano Pesce and a number of other striking pieces, including a soft sculpture by Julie Verhoeven on the sofa. Filling a white room with artwork is one way to inject character and individuality. The curtains also add a traditional element to the space.

This living room styled by House & Garden’s Ruth Sleightholme was inspired by Seventies Palm Beach. The brown leather sofa is at once inviting and luxurious. Elsewhere emerald green velvet chairs and a bubblegum pink side table add colour and a rattan bench continues the retro theme.

The blue-greys of the drawing-room walls, sisal carpet, unfussy curtains and deep, slim-backed sofa form a neutral palette for discrete splashes of colour in designer Jane Churchill’s small Chelsea home – including two chairs covered in silk ikat.

As well as their own home outside of Marrakesh, Maryam Montague (a passionate blogger among many other things) and husband Chris Redecke have built two guest pavilions; the living room of the Atlas Pavilion, pictured here, is decorated with Berber rugs, armchairs covered with Moroccan blankets and Indonesian ikats, and Egyptian lights.

An Anglo-Indian sofa covered in ‘Antalya’, an embroidered linen by Vaughan, and four armchairs uphostered in a green mohair velvet make up a smart seating area.

‘We spent six months doing architectural drawings, and the design fell into place after that,’ says interior designer Hugh Leslie, who gradually transformed this west-London terrace house into a smart family home. The sitting room, like much of the house, is painted in Sanderson’s, ‘Oyster White Lt’, a neutral backdrop for the art. Love the antique bobbin chair? Julian Chichester’s ‘Bobbin Carver’ is a modern piece in the same style and costs £900.

For a start, each of their designs – be it a decorative pressed-tin headboard or a coffee table with an elaborate nickel-plated base of intertwining branches – is handmade by crafts­men in Mexico; they work very closely with over 40 artisans, including tinsmiths, metalworkers, glass-blowers and mosaicists to develop and make the original and striking pieces for their company, Casamidy.

Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman and Emily Tobin. Locations editor: Hatta Byng.

Using tiles to face a chimneypiece creates a strong decorative focal point in a room.

Above the doorframe she has used mirrors to reflect the light, and create an illusion of space and increased ceiling height. An L-shaped sofa is upholstered in ‘Pods’ linen by Christopher Farr. The antique bronze table was £30 from Portobello Market, and the curtains are made up in a discontinued fabric – an inexpensive off-cut direct from the fabric manufacturer.

Interior designer Robert Moore used a mix of furniture and periods (with a touch of glamour) for his Georgian home in London. The flanking, ceiling-high bookcases create a recess for the sofa, which Robert chose to cover in a rich yellow cotton velvet (‘Safari’ in Old Gold, £69.50 per metre from Marvic Textiles). The geometric carpet is ‘Synchronised’ from Tim Page Carpets (£210.84 per square metre). Lucy, Robert’s Jack Russell, is a one of a kind.

Wall-to-wall French windows let in an abundance of light in the living room of Tino Zervudachi’s Gstaad chalet. When Tino has friends over, they are just as likely to eat in the comfort of the living room, around the large coffee table, than they are the dining area.

Toning grey walls teamed with upcycled furniture and vintage finds give this living room a cosy feel.

This grey living room with mixed fabrics in Lavinia Bolton’s Chelsea flat is a thoroughly elegant design. A simple colour palette prompted by pale-grey walls is lifted by the mix of fabrics on the elegant array of sofas, while arched bookshelves and a collection of paintings instantly add character. (See 100 ideas for hanging art for more tips.)

This has to be one of the best examples of living room lighting we’ve seen: a two-arm wall light – perfectly practical yet gorgeously graphic. Designer Ebba Thott chose this one by Serge Mouille for a stylish family home in south-west London. Want something similar? Try the Signal Wall Light, £156 by Jieldé at Made in Design.

‘The inside must be what the outside prepares you for; no velvets or silks here, but natural fabrics and warm colours that blend with the neutral shades of the flint and the meadows.’

London-based designer Tara Craig transformed this Paris apartment using a rich mix of pattern and texture. Commissioned by a British client who asked her to redecorate the two-bedroom apartment in a nineteenth-century hôtel particulier. It was a project that required multiple trips to Paris and follow-up meetings via Skype to thrash out the finer details. The original layout of the flat was retained: a small entrance hall leading into the kitchen, and from there directly into the sitting room and mezzanine. The four-metre-high windows and a washed-oak sitting-room flooring was installed by the previous owner and created, ‘a personal canvas for my client to layer up’, says Tara.

In this living room, an aztec pattern rug reflects red walls, while a comfortable green armchair introduces another colour to the scheme.

Having taken on the lease of a Georgian parsonage situated in a Dorset village, Ben Pentreath set about furnishing and gently restoring it, making an impact with small, considered changes.

Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Emily Tobin. [/i]

If you’ve got huge double doors that look out over the sea, surely there is only one thing to do. In this dreamy holiday home in France architect Jonathan Tuckey has dramatically suspended the sofa, virtually the only piece of furniture in the room, from the ceiling on thick chandler’s rope – ‘to make it seem like a daybed that rocks in the breeze. I wanted the room to have a feeling of generous nothingness; exactly what holidays are about.’

Situated between Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains, this elegant house is decorated in a combination of English country-house style and traditional Moroccan elements.

Taken from the October 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Anthony Gardner and Emily Tobin. Locations editor: Lavinia Bolton.

WALLSPaint, ’45S05′, £37 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Little Greene. Graphic artworks printed on cotton paper with handmade, painted plywood open frames, by Federico Pepe, from €130 for 25 x 18cm, from Spazio Pontaccio. Curtain, ‘Brera Lino’ (from top: chalk and noir), linen, £65 a metre, from Designers Guild.

Purple walls, velvet, and floral patterns make for a vibrant snug in Cameron Kimber’s Australian house. Cameron found the Forties French abstract painting in a gallery in Sydney’s Queen Street. He covered the sofa in velvet because, he says, ‘I like everything to be comfortable.’

*This gorgeous Wild Flower Blush Wallpaper from Graham & Brown would make a great feature wall.

Mixing decorative eras with finesse, a Sandra Blow painting is flanked by a pair of twentieth-century, tortoiseshell chairs, bought from Michael Pruskin of the Pruskin Gallery and covered in a custom-made silk by Toyine Sellers. The tables and rug are of Douglas’ own design.

The bespoke shelving unit is the star of the show in this elegant room by Todhunter Earle.

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This living room in Christine Van Der Hurd’s London mews house has a soothing palette in pale pink. A Cappellini sofa covered in a Pierre Frey fabric and a Robsjohn-Gibbings armchair, in a bouclé from Toyine Sellers, form a seating area around a mahogany and lacquer coffee table from Carden Cunietti. The set of three bronze side tables are the ‘Bridger’ design from Caste.

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Beside the kitchen table in a London house designed by Rabih Hage, there is a living area. A sleek grey sofa sits before an exposed brick wall, which offers a stylish contrast to the original cornicing and white ceiling. Similar sofas and cushions can be found from Designers Guild.

*Velvet cushions work well here. This oversized velvet cushion by Linea (£20, House of Fraser) fits the bill.

British Television director Alex Hardcastle (New Girl, the US version of The Office) has a Sixties house in the Hollywood Hills built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Inside however, he’s gone for a Thirties-inspired style. In his living room, an open fireplace has, on one side of it, an African carving from Andrew Martin and, on the other, a fun-size alligator – shot by a forebear, it came from a former family house in Oxfordshire. A basket of sawn logs, straight from felled garden trees, feels very English.

The linen curtains are in the same sandy colour as the walls, set into the window recesses. ‘You don’t notice the curtains,’ says Jo. ‘I think that’s how it should be, rather than having big, pouffey ones.’

Interior-design duo Keech Green reworked and redecorated this London flat for their young clients, the result pays homage to the house’s Arts and Crafts heritage.

The walls, sofa and decorative plates in the upstairs sitting room of Anita Lal’s home in India share a sky blue palette. This charming space has light printed voile curtains and tall french windows that open onto the balcony.

New Bond Street Wallpaper in Burnish, £61 per roll; Light Bronze Green 123 Intelligent Eggshell Paint (seen on woodwork), £48 per 2.5L; Chocolate Colour 124 Absolute Matt Emulsion Paint (on chimney breast), £32.50 per 2.5L all at Little Greene

Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole.

Wool rug: ‘Ben M Rit’, 200 x 300cm, £2,100, at The Conran Shop.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Claire Wrathall and Emily Tobin.

Fabrics in red and blue from Robert Kime, Claremont and Pierre Frey create a layered effect in the library.

The original boarded ceiling in this high, former studio, now living room is located in Chelsea, London. Owner and interior designer Hugh Leslie painted it in ‘Skylight’ by Farrow & Ball, while the sisal rug is from Crucial Trading (since discontinued, but they have plenty more to choose from, priced around £56 per square metre).

Apart from the Louis XVI sofa in turquoise silk, Ashley designed all the furniture in his sitting room, and painted the walls – ‘in a random geometric design in earthy colours to make the beige carpet work, and to inject some life, excitement and verticality in to the space’ – and faux-mosaic, coffee-table top himself.

Numerous intricate patterns work well against bold red walls in this library-cum-sitting room, while a rug gives a cosy feel to the reading area. Click to see the rest of this New Zealand house.

Known for their restoration of historic buildings in Scotland, conservation architects Nick Groves-Raines and Kristin Hannesdottir relished the challenge of saving Lamb’s House in Leith, where they now live and work.

Crystal-glazed glass bottles, by Milan Pekar: small, £175; medium, £400; and large, £600; at Mint.

In Chelsea, London, this open-plan sitting area (above) and dining area (not shown) were created by combining two adjacent houses. Several pieces of art are displayed here, including a painting by Romanian artist Nadia Grossman-Bulighin behind the piano, a slashed sculpted steel disc by Jacques Maistre and a second-century Roman sculpture of a torso. The furniture is has a 1970s, vintage feel which works well in the airy space.

In a new build house in the Scottish Borders belonging to artist Sue Phipps who has filled the space with interesting objets and curiosities. Building a new house enabled her to capture the best light for painting, and add character with architectural details. The mellow colour scheme used throughout was inspired by her favourite shade of oil paint – Winsor & Newton’s ‘Burnt Sienna’. The drawing room features an ottoman upholstered in fabric by George Smith.

Taken from the May 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Jonny Beardsall.

The living room design of this Chelsea home illustrates designer Stephen Eicker’s ‘layered’ style, with a varied mix of colour, pattern and texture, backed by a hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper by de Gournay. The lampshades are from Robert Kime; the mirrors are from Hilary Batstone.

As you would be aware, there are many different ways living rooms can be set up. Since we suggest that it’s best to be an individual, it’s essential to consider what fits your personality and lifestyle best. Once you’ve made decisions about the bigger elements, such as wall colour or flooring, you can begin to question the other features in the space. Do you prefer to splash out with bright colours or play it safe with muted tones? Functionality and long term usage is just as important as appearance, so do consider that your tastes may change. Of course, it is possible to combine different requirements and needs together. However, the more you know in advance, the easier it is to implement these ideas both now and in the future. browse through our images above for some great living room ideas as well as living room designs.

Palermo Linen Wallcovering (apple) by Carolina Irving Textiles, £120 a metre at Redloh House Fabrics. Chaise Longue £2,211 (uncovered) at Chelsea Textiles, upholstered in Janpath Linen (Indian pink) by Peter Dunham, £194 a metre at Tissus d’Hélène

An elegant tableau in this eighteenth-century house in Bath. The French twin-arm standard lamp dates from 1900 and is one of a pair. The artwork is by Tony Bevan, from Robin Katz Fine Art.

This cleverly designed new build by Michaelis Boyd architects with interiors by Sarah Delaney, is hidden behind a gate in west London. White walls and oak floors provide an elegantly simple setting for an unusual mix of mid-century furniture and a Victorian art collection.

*The Hudson Living Capri Leather Chair (£379 from John Lewis) is ideal for a lounge.

This living room was designed by deputy decoration editor Ruth Sleightholme as part of a modern Scandinavian-inspired scheme. ‘I wanted to use pieces that were super, super simple, so in that sense the scheme is rustic. But they end up looking quite refined and polished against the white, canvas walls. It was about creating an unfussy space, stripped back to the essentials in a comfortable way.’

The living room of this converted school house in South London might be blessed with high ceilings and large windows that allow the light to flood in, but an all white scheme softened with pastel hues and a few feature pieces – the rug and velvet pouffes – turn it into a glamorously cosy space.

Walnut and leather armchair, ‘Safari’, by Carl Auböck, 76 x 55 x 62cm, £6,000 a pair, at Sigmar.

The owners of this west London house employed a skilled team to restore and complement its original features, and create a home with a feeling of permanence after a lifetime of moving. The house is a tall, mid-nineteenth-century white stucco building that they wanted to work well for twenty-first-century family life. ‘We were determined to avoid beige “banker chic”,’ the owner explains.The grey sitting room provides a less formal space.

The iconic art-deco building that houses this Manhattan apartment had a subtle influence on its interior decoration, devised by its owner, Anne Dubbs, and her decorator Alexander Doherty. The mirror in living room belonged to Anne’s grandmother, while fabrics by Anne’s company, Blithfield, are mixed with antique textiles.

The sitting room of Alexander Breeze’s rented flat is a bright, south-facing room with a large bay window. Alexander used Mylands ‘Egyptian Grey’ marble matt emulsion on the walls – ultra-matt paint was needed to hide as much of the heavily textured wallpaper as possible. The pine bookcase is the only piece of furniture that remains after the redesign.

Limewashed walls and loose-covered sofas lend a light, relaxed feeling to the sitting room of this stone beauty in Luberon. Two reupholstered green armchairs from Lee Wright Antiques add colour.

Highly decorative ceramics are undergoing a renaissance; complement them with simpler designs and delicate, indoor ferns to create the ultimate peaceful corner in your living room.

In this grey living room, a blue sofa adorned with patterned blue-and-white cushions adds colour to a neutral scheme.

Create a Scandinavian-inspired living room using modern furniture and ceramics against white walls for a comfortable, unfussy look.

This modern white living room in a Victorian west London terrace was redesigned by Sarah Stewart-Smith. Used for relaxed entertaining it has a grey L-shape sofa and an ottoman designed by Patrick Moulton Black at Origins Designs. Sliding floor-to-ceiling windows give access to an outside dining area.

Chair, ‘Simplified Scallop’ (blue velvet), 82 x 51 x 65cm, £1,950, at Soane.

Inspired by Rose Hilton’s vibrant paintings – one of which (Life Class Painting at Botallack) hangs on the wall – Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory have applied a palate of sizzling colours to this modern living room. The walls are in ’33D01′ and ’29C01′ both from Little Greene, while the sofa is the ‘Airport’ from Poliform, upholstered in ‘Raphia’ by Elanbach, which is repeated in different colours on the cushions.

WALLS Paint, ‘Amsterdam Green’, £39 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Sanderson. Glass tray (on wall), ‘Tones Painter’s Studio 15’, by John Derian, £295, from The Conran Shop.

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The sitting area in Rita Konig’s London flat is a masterclass in layering, with textiles in different patterns and textures covering the sofas and cushions; Etro’s red cotton velvet ‘Palinuro’ from Pierre Frey is used on one sofa and China Seas’ ‘Ziggurat’ from Tissus d’Hélène on the other. The open fireplace surrounded by a chimneypiece found at Petworth Antique Centre, and walls covered with a mix of framed prints, photographs, drawings and paintings, add to the relaxed look.

At Giles Vincent’s west London town house the living room is a neutral scheme with coral accents. A pair of nineteenth-century Indian column capitals serve as coffee tables. Louis Valtat’s ‘Still Life with Pumpkin’ hangs above a plaster and marble bolection chimneypiece designed by Giles, who was inspired by the work of Oliver Messel. Giles also designed the bronze wall lights to echo the shape of the gourds in the painting. An Oushak rug underfoot, patterned in pale lemon and coral, is a perfect antidote to the silver leaf ceiling above.

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Though the room is filled with a plethora of ‘stuff ‘ – pictures, objects, furniture – there is not a jarring note among the crowd. ‘Too often the English country look is anonymous – like a country-house hotel,’ says Vivien. ‘I don’t think you can really get the right look without using old things – rugs, paintings and antiques. It is those things that give a room a permanent look, and a depth of feeling. I don’t think the things have to be grand – much of the stuff here I have just collected over time – but I do think you have to have a bit of an eye.’

‘Comfort, colour and a certain carefree attitude are the hallmarks of a good interior’, says Kit Kemp, designer of London’s hotel of the moment. Kit created this ‘layered’ style living room with a varied mix of colour, pattern and texture, backed by a simple backdrop. The handcrafted fabrics and mix of artwork on the walls add life and orginality to the room.

ACCESSORIES Pressed paper bowls, as before. Ceramic teapot and cup, ‘Patmian’, £595 for a set with two cups, from William Yeoward. Corten steel lamp, ‘Fold’, by Established & Sons, 75 x 45cm square, £345, from Mint. Bolster cushion, ‘Wild Thing’, as before. Linencushions, from left: ‘Patchwork Loop’, 50cm square, £300; ‘Asymmetric Loop’, 45cm square, £285; both by Aimee Betts, from The New Craftsmen.

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Taken from the December 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Caroline Clifton-Mogg

Like this? Then you’ll loveThe full story of this impressive Notting Hill town house

At the far end of the sitting and dining room is the media room, a casual living area. Sophie has covered the back wall in Apparatus Studio’s ‘Strata Study’ wallpaper, a monochrome design that might have been cleft from a rock face. The rest of the room is a distinctly more laid-back affair, with a slouchy L-shape sofa heaped with Kuba-cloth cushions and a stonking great television that emerges from an ebonised cabinet at the flick of a switch.

In a 1920s chalet filled with glamorous 20th-century pieces, floor-to-ceiling French windows were added in the living room to connect the main seating area with the new terrace and garden, creating a light-filled space that’s open-plan through to the kitchen.

Give mid-century living room furniture a modern, industrial edge by teaming classic wood with sleek materials like brass and steel.

In this converted Cotswolds barn, designer Pippa Paton has combined modern design with natural materials to create a minimalist haven that maintains its rural identity. In the sitting room, clean lines and bright white furnishings contrast with textured elements and artefacts. The fossils, cogs and tools on the mantelpiece were all found in the garden.

By combining a considered approach with individual touches, interior designer Sophie Ashby has ensured this large Chelsea flat has the key elements of a glamorous yet relaxed family home.

Richard and Antony Joseph, creative geniuses behind the innovative kitchenware company Joseph Joseph have struck the perfect balance between work and family in their homes in Wandsworth. Richard headed the creative direction of his home and commissioned the geometric bookcases in the first-floor sitting room.

Though the first impression is one of great calm and tranquillity, wherever one looks there are visual delights: antique Chinese pots, vintage lights, gold silk curtains from Jim Thompson, a classic round rosewood table from Denmark, Queen Anne chairs reupholstered in purple velvet and a chandelier by Jeff Zimmerman.

ACCESSORIES Glass vase, ‘Candy Couture’, by Glashütte Comploj, £99; brass bowl, by Louise Roe, £65; both from Couverture & the Garbstore. Glass and brass lamp base, ‘End of Day’ (white splatter), by Bridie Hall, 33 x 10cm diameter, £465, from Pentreath & Hall; with cotton lampshade, ‘Gathered Bedwyn’ (yellow Fermoie plain), 35cm diameter, £185, from Fermoie.

This sitting room of this Notting Hill townhouse has several striking features, including the antique marble fireplace from Gervais Duc in West London and a bespoke floor lamp by Hannah Woodhouse and an elegant ‘Claude’ sofa from Pinch.

Taken from the June 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Virginia Fraser.

The drawing room in print maker Cameron Short’s house is home to a beautiful iron framed day bed. Above the bed, Cameron has created a gallery wall of framed paintings, prints and drawings. They look striking against the rustic, blue-grey wall.

In the double-height sitting room, a nineteenth-century copy of Pietro Perugino’s Sermon on the Mount hangs above an antique console table topped with a pair of resin lamps by Marianna Kennedy. Plump comfortable sofas are covered with Celia Birtwell fabrics.

Interior designer Michael S Smith’s modernist house in Los Angeles couldn’t be more different from his previous home – a Georgian-style manor – but he loves its ‘heroic’ architecture and large volumes of space, which allow him to create ‘sculptural compositions’ with his furniture and art. In the ‘gallery room’, Michael has complemented his classical collection with various twentieth-century pieces, among which are the ‘Meander’ coffee table by Mattia Bonetti and a pair of armchairs by Paul Dupré-Lafon. The giant burl-wood sculpture is by Mira Nakashima.

For an unusual look for your living room walls that goes beyond wallpaper, try these copper panels, which have a pretty, marbling effect.

At the centre of the main house are the dining and drawing rooms, which are separated from the more contemplative end – with the study and main bedroom – by a flint grotto with mirrored ceiling. This is lit at night by fibre-optic lights embedded in the flints.

Taken from the December 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Kasia Macie Jowska.

The layout of this rustic living room has been planned to take advantage of its original features, with chairs and sofas arranged around the opened-up fireplace and facing the half-shuttered windows.

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For the interiors of his beach house in Portugal, interior designer Jacques Grange decided to keep things unfussy, with furnishings of varied provenance. The straw that had been in the sitting room inspired several naturalistic touches. The carpet comes from southern Morocco, and African fabrics were used for the cushions. There is also a long teak table from Bali, at which Pierre likes to paint and draw.

Pastel blue walls are paired with red soft furnishings and accessories at a club space at Soho Farmhouse – a perfect scheme for a living room that is both elegant and bursting with colour.

Sandberg’s Brunnsnäs collection of wallpapers has quite novel beginnings – literally – as it was inspired by the eponymous homes of Swedish novel The Mansions Around the Lake, where the company’s head office is based. ‘This is our twenty-first-century interpretation of this piece of Swedish history,’ explains design director Sissa Sundling. Likewise, we could see this paper fitting in a modern living room or a country-style scheme.

The furniture arrangement in this sitting room couldn’t be better for encouraging convivial gatherings. Robert Kime is a friend of the owner and helped him decorate this house near Dartmoor. While the colours veer towards the neutral end of the spectrum, the bold red ottoman is a strong centrepiece.

The cabins at Soho Farmhouse are built using reclaimed board cladding and feature indoor relaxing spaces such as this sitting area with a log burner. A variety of textures make the room feel even cosier, and the reclaimed wooden door is appealingly rustic.

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Suzy Hoodless used geometric pattern teamed with modern furniture to create this playful and sophisticated sitting room. Large striped rugs designed by Suzy run along the sitting room, creating a sense of space. A white marble table by Bethan Gray for Lapicida stands in front of a stone chimneypiece by Jamb, while full-height, glazed doors lead in from the entrance hall.

The chimneypiece in the living room of Robin Muir’s house is from Renaissance. One sofa is upholstered in a plain cotton, the other in a green silk velvet from Abbott & Boyd. The walls lined in floorboards give this room a cosy, rustic feel.

In this decoration scheme centred around a bold sofa from the September issue of House & Garden, a neutral palette for this living room is livened up with the addition of a beech sofa, ‘Jules’, from George Smith. It is covered in ‘Gelim Stripe’ (bauhaus), a grid patterned fabric from Lewis & Wood.

Hotel designer Kit Kemp has used a mix of colourful pattern and interesting texture in the seating area of this room in her Soho hotel Ham Yard.

A gallery was installed in the living room to make the most of the high ceilings. The symmetrical layout is given life through contrasting the side-tables and the placing of the objects on them. The red velvet sofa was found at auction, while on the walls the panelling is picked in a subtly harmonious scheme blue and white, which echoes the chairs.

Come cosy up to these designs for fireplaces and wood-burning stoves

The owners of this London house called on interior designer Beata Heuman to create a family home full of fun, distinctive design. ‘The owners are both artists. They have quite wild tastes and they love strong colours,’ says Beata.

Taken from the September 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Judith Wilson.

In the Artist Annie Masey’s home a white and cream colour scheme, is simple yet still cosy. Anne’s collection of creamware plates take pride of place on the octagonal walls of the drawing room in Virginia, along with two of her own large oil paintings. The paintings were created for a joint exhibition by Anne and her artist mother, Anne Adams Robertson Massie.

After spending time working abroad, Richard Parr moved his family from London to a farmhouse in the Cotswolds, and has developed it into an ispiring setting for his architectural pratice. The builidng was ‘almost industrial’, says Richard who decided to take out all the recent modernisations leaving the bones of the house intact.

‘This is the place where I recharge and reboot,’ says fashion director and street-style star Pernille Teisbæk. She is sitting in her Copenhagen flat, located in the Frederiksberg district. ‘Everyone who visits us says it’s so calm here. Whenever I’ve been away and staying in a bunch of hotel rooms, it’s always amazing to come back here for the space, light and energy. I feel very free here.’ The white living room features a blue velvet sofa and Moroccan rug, which add warmth to the minimal scheme.

A panelled hallway opens on to the drawing room, furnished with an antique chest of drawers inlaid with mother-of-pearl from Albrissi and a deep-seated sofa from Soane, plus plenty of extra seating for hosting parties. The adjacent dining room, with its oak table designed by Keech Green and Soane leather chairs, is more intimate.

Charged with adding character to a London flat modernized by a property developer, Max Rollitt has used his characteristic combination of unusual antiques and luscious colours.

This grey living room features bold yellow Talisman sofas, which are covered in ‘Monceau’ velvet from Designers Guild. Bold lighting includes a floral fabric-covered floor lamp by Squint Limited and Poul Henningsen’s ‘PH Artichoke’ pendant light, a Fifties design that lifts the gaze upwards.

Although this flat is in a building that was built in the Fifties, a traditional chimneypiece was added by the previous owners; Lavinia painted it in the same shade as the wall. The large windows create a light and airy feel about the room, complimented by the light textured carpet, and French windows open on to a balcony.

A large painting by Irish artist Martin Finnin hangs in the living room of a tiny barn decorated by antiques dealer and designer Christopher Howe. The barn sits on the edge of a Gloucestershire meadow and is filled with varied treasures collected by the designer, providing its owners with an idyllic country bolt-hole.

Architect Francesca Oggioni had to set aside her rationalist principles when she was planning a new layout for her listed house in west London, so it would work as a family home, workspace and backdrop for an extensive art collection. In the first-floor drawing room, a Fifties walnut coffee table by George Nakashima sits in harmony with a sofa from Axel Vervoordt and a photograph by Peter Beard.

This sitting area is in Casa das Artes, a house near to the hotel designed by Wilbert, that is used for visiting artists and rented out to guests. With a casual yet sophisticated aesthetic, the rooms are decorated using reclaimed and recycled materials for sustainability, but also to add texture, history and character. ‘We had always dreamed of having a place with the luxury of a hotel and the comfort and decoration of a home,’ says Wilbert. ‘I want to feel that someone has put their love into a place. There needs to be real passion and character behind it.’

Taken from the January 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Natalia Rachlin.

This room in a hotel designer’s west London home is actually the bedroom; not the living room. However, the furnishings and colour scheme in neutral tones with shots of lime green would work equally well for a living room. The stool emblazoned with a pair of red lips is by Fornasetti. Part of the same collection, the ‘Occhio’ version costs £700 at Themes & Variations.

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The morning room of Max Rollitt’s home in Hampshire is filled with an eclectic mix of antiques. The room is painted in Edward Bulmer’s ‘Lilac Pink’- a warm-toned shade, perfect for country houses.

Swedish designer Ebba Thott of Sigmar is known for her intelligent take on modernism, encapsulated by the sophisticated blend of vintage and new furniture used in her interiors. In this West London sitting room a cool palate of greens and blues is anchored by a statement patterned rug. The grey woollen pouf is by Christien Meindertsma for Thomas Eyck.

*Etsy is a great online portal for finding some vintage furniture.

While it’s contemporary and designed for modern living, this derelict barn transformed into a stunning family home also makes a virtue of retaining original details, such as this exposed stone wall.

The owner of this seventeenth-century Chilterns farmhouse took a sympathetic approach to its restoration, reorganising the layout to highlight its many original elements and making the most of its glorious rural location.

Designer and architect Rabih Hage did little to the structure of the living room of this west London house. Instead he focused on repairing the plasterwork and the cornicing, reinstating the dado, and putting in an elegant oak floor in a slightly unusual herringbone pattern – the wooden blocks lie at 60 degrees instead of the more usual 45 degrees.

The mirror beneath the staircase in this Wiltshire farmhouse is a Swedish Baroque piece; the door on the right opens into the sunroom. Striped textiles are a theme that runs throughout this Wiltshire farmhouse, so this ‘Stripe Grainsack Oblong Cushion’ from Maison Brocante would fit in well. Made of linen grainsack sourced from Provence, with a red stripe, it measures 28 x 38cm and costs £23, including a feather filling.

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*Continue your love for teal with this Large Loft Hanging Floating Frame (£22 from Oliver Bonas).

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A beautiful blue colour scheme (even on the skirting boards) teamed with flashes of golden yellow and pretty pattern make for a cosy living room with a retro twist.

This elegant living room is calm but colourful with its painted panels, striped rug, and uplifting cream and blue colour scheme.

The living room of this hotel designed by Jocelyne Sibuet features a sapphire blue settee sofa, behind which stairs lead up to a wonderful bookcase. The simple staircase seems as if it belongs outside, adding to the rustic feel of the room and creating the impression of a balcony for books.

ACCESSORIES Cotton velvet cushion, ‘Eclipse’ (green and black), 50cm square, €240, from India Mahdavi. Glass jug, ‘Amber & Smoke’, £75; tumblers, ‘Amber & Clear’, £18 each; all by Ichendorf Milano, from The Conran Shop. Metal floor lamp, ‘Nyx’, £160, from Habitat. Glass jar with brass lid (as planter), ‘Tota Cylinder’ (rose), by AYTM, £39, from Couverture & The Garbstore. Earthenware plant pot (on windowsill), ‘Dots’ (black), by Camilla Engdahl, £30, from Darkroom. Brass watering can, by Carl Auböck, £820, from The Garden Edit. Brass and glass acorn vase, ‘Floating Forest’, by Michael Anastassiades, £58, from Sigmar.

Flint House is an award-winning cutting-edge example of modern architecture that sits in a valley on the Waddesdon Manor estate. Home to the Rothchilds, it is the perfect mix of old and new with marble pillars sitting next to gloor-to-ceiling windows. The curtains in the drawing room and study are an off-white wool and linen French weave and natural fabrics and warm colours blend with the neutral shades of the flint and the meadows.

WALLS Paint, ‘Blackened’, £39.50 for 2.5 litres estate emulsion, from Farrow & Ball.

This living room was originally a landing but an L-shaped sofa and clever planning has transformed the unused space into a comfy relaxation zone.

Blue living room with marbled wrapping paper in IKEA picture frames

We visit the London flat of our very own columnist, designer Rita Konig

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Even if your home (or a room) has an overarching theme, don’t be afraid to stray a little. While this is the study of interior decorator Douglas Mackie’s Marylebone flat, there is plenty of inspiration for a living room. The bias is French, although a smattering of other influences are visible, including a Thirties portrait by Spanish-Cuban artist José Segura Ezquerro and a lampshade made from an antique sari.

The drawing room at Cadland House was once painted a striking peacock blue chosen by David Hicks, but now has softer walls in ‘Blue Ground’ by Farrow & Ball. The chimneypiece is an Adam design salvaged from the original mansion, known as Old Cadland.

In Louise Jones’ living room, a pair of bronze Charles Saunders oak leaf lights look well against soft ochre walls; a round mirror brings light while two wicker baskets filled with firewood add tonal depth to the scheme.

The sofa in the drawing room of this Hampshire vicarage designed by Max Rollitt dates from the Regency period. The walls are lined with prints and Adam Calkin’s ‘Chateau’ wallpaper from Lewis & Wood.

Wool throw, ‘Everyday’ (indigo), 180 x 140cm, £475, at The Conran Shop.

FLOOR Seagrass rug, ‘Sinnerlig’, 300 x 200cm, £50, from Ikea.

Display what you love, even if it seems out of context. Curiosities in this drawing room belonging to interior designers Philip Vergeylen and Paolo Moschino include two of Paolo’s collection of silver tortoises.

A corner sofa, such as this leather Freya from DFS, can help to give shape to a featureless room. A console table arranged with tall vases is a clever idea that gives the scheme height.

This is the adults’ end of the sitting room in a renovated Georgian house. The curtain trim and the ceramic Emery & Cie side table are both peacock blue. The antique wicker rocking chair is sophisticated but still cosy and comfortable.

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A leather chaise longue from Douglass Workroom contrasts with a blue palette in this drawing room. ‘The sturdy linen fabrics and sofas in the sitting area have strength in their scale but tones that bring a calming mood to smaller spaces.’ Curtains from Lewis & Sheron Textiles hang in place of doors to the drawing and dining rooms, delineating the spaces and allowing light and views to flow unobstructed.

When it comes to mixing pattern and colour, hotel designer Kit Kemp – who is behind Ham Yard – is an expert. In her own drawing room (shot for the July 2013 issue of House & Garden), Kit paired a patchwork carpet from the The Rug Company with a striped sofa and an array of patterned cushions. Exquisite.

This double-fronted Georgian town house was transformed by Caroline Harrowby. This large sitting room has a very traditional English feel. The curtains are made from Colefax and Fowler fabric, that add grandeur to the room and help to enhance the classical proportions of the room. The floral-print and embroidered cushions add colour to the soft colour palette.

A woodburning stove, rough wood panelled walls and cosy soft furnishings make for an ambient scheme in one of the cabins at Soho Farmhouse. The space combines the traditional American country club with the new trend for ‘cabin porn’. The sofa features crochet detail.

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While the sitting room and kitchen walls are white, the sitting room sings with pops of colour and abstract patterns. The palette for the apartment was inspired by particular references: the ocean hues of the furniture and fabrics in the sitting room were inspired by some woven Zulu bowls and a navy diary and green purse, both from Smythson, belonging to the client.

Musician Jamie Norton’s Stoke Newington home was the brainchild of design maverick Alex Haw, director of the art and architecture practice Atmos. The distinctive staircase is the architectural centre point of the space, directing free-flowing structural lines of seating and shelving out into the second-floor sitting room.

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The sofas in Guy Tobin’s south London house were made for the space and have been covered in cotton velvets – the yellow one is in Lelièvre’s ‘Cosmos’. The coffee table is topped with Lumachella antica; this stone also features on the fireplace, combined with a mid-eighteenth-century carved pine surround. To the right of this is a Lucian Freud etching.

The eighteenth-century painting above the Victorian chimneypiece provides a focal point in this living room, with its grisaille walls painted by Jessica Fletcher at Colefax and Fowler. The pale walls, depicting natural forms and classical columns, are offset by a bright and glossy red coffee table.

*Achieve a similar look with these beautiful handmade Moroccan leather pouffes by Bohemia (£98,

‘An informal sitting room should be a place where guests feel like they can put their feet on the furniture, with everything at hand,’ says Nicky Haslam. ‘Next to sofas should be a place to rest things at arm’s length.’ This cosy cream scheme with myriad unusual details delivers this tip beautifully.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Claire Wrathall.

MDF Screen, £105 per panel at The Dormy House; painted in ‘Rebel’, £23.99 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion at Crown Paints; photocopied découpage flower print from Japanese Woodblock Flower Prints by Tanigami Kônan, £17.99 at The Dover Bookshop; Lyra Sofa, £450 at Habitat; Tuve Lamp, £40 and Lappljung Ruta cushions, £9, both at Ikea.

The sofa, from The Bolton Sofa Bed Company, is upholstered in a Sister Parish fabric from Tissus d’Hélène, and the patterned cushion is from Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam.

There are naturally dyed rugs on the oak floorboards, and books everywhere – on Stubbs, Munnings, Degas, Agasse, Géricault, Sargent and John – as well as a volume of early Derby winners. A Mongolian saddle lined with shagreen is a prized possession.

Textiles are used generously on tables as well as on chairs, sofas and cushions, all lit by distinctive lamps and unusual, very pretty lampshades. Indeed, throughout the house, the lampshades call out for attention – unsurprising, given the fact that Sarah’s mother is the interior and textile designer Penny Morrison. Her company Irving & Morrison sells a range of one-off lampshades, cushions and textiles. Some of Penny’s shades are here, as are others made by Sarah from collected textiles and sari fabrics. ‘Lampshades make a house feel really cosy, and if you don’t have a lot of money to spend in one go, they are the things to get first to make an instant difference.’

*Marks & Spencer’s Loft range is perfect if you’re looking for contemporary, streamlined furniture for compact spaces.

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Jacques has also integrated some vernacular touches. Lattice panels of the cupboards in the kitchen, were copied from a design he saw in the sacristy of the Sintra Palace. Elsewhere are small groupings of slightly kitsch nineteenth-century Portuguese ceramics.

Use these gorgeous living room ideas as a starting point for your next decorating project – and shop similar looks with our suggestions.

Oak cabinet, by Kaare Klint, 154.5 x 118 x 59cm, £8,200, at Sigmar. Sofa, ‘Hogarth’, covered in ‘Linara’ (antique white), by Romo, 78 x 176 x 90cm, £2,275, at The Sofa & Chair Company.

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The drawing room of the Ludlow house designed by Caroline Harrowby has a traditional English feel. Curtains are in a Colefax and Fowler fabric, while floral-print and embroidered cushions add colour.

Taken from the January 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

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Living room storage ideas: media units, wall-mounted shelves, bookcases

Gabby Deeming and Ruth Sleightholme created a pretty yet sophisticated colour scheme in this sitting room. The walls are covered in the ‘Mughal Flower’ fabric by Lisa Fine Textiles (available at Tissus d’Hélène).

The vivid teal sofa and footstool in the living room of this Victorian home rich with bold colours and original features, demonstrate a confident use of colour that really brings the space to life.

In the drawing room of Ugbrooke Park, the frames of the eighteenth-century sofas still have their original green paintwork. Clarissa chose to replicate this shade on the fabric covering the sofas, commissioning Gainsborough Silk Weaving Co to recreate it on an archive damask design.

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The informality of hand-blocked textiles and woven furniture creates a laid-back look in this living room, featuring a simple blue and yellow colour scheme.

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Living rooms are a great place to display art collections or objects collected on travels. Take inspiration from this exotic room, which is part of the lobby at the Leela Palace Chennai. Interior designer Madhu Nair has blended traditional Indian craft with contemporary furnishings and artworks, including this intricate mother-of-pearl marquetry table. The popular craft from North India was used to ornament the door and window of mosques, palaces and mansions.

Open-plan living is made cosy with warm touches to this mews house in London owned by designer Caroline Riddell.

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Formerly owned by Howard Hodgkin, this Victorian house in west London is filled with artwork. In the orange drawing room, with its magnificent Agra carpet, this includes a monumental wartime painting by Laura Knight, depicting the construction of the first-ever concrete railway sleeper. ‘I adore this painting because it represents an extraordinary moment in history,’ explains Linda. ‘I think it’s her great masterpiece and should really be in the Imperial War Museum.’

The sitting room of Susan Deliss’s house in France has blue walls, which soften the effect of the original floor tiles. An eighteenth-century French panel hangs over the grand marble chimneypiece. An antique cabinet provides stylish DVD storage.

The informal living room in a Victorian country house is perfect as a space for children. Map wallpaper covers the walls above the grey painted panelling and a comfortable L-shaped sofa provides ample seating.

Create a relaxed, New England-style holiday-house atmosphere with painted wood, faded stripes and pretty florals.

This living room in a converted barn is decorated with a cohesive mix of old and new artefacts – including even a difficult-to-spot Bluetooth speaker. The room is part of a tribal-themed scheme created by House & Garden’s decorators Gabby Deeming and Ruth Sleightholme.

From left to right: ‘Marlowe Floral’, £135 a 10-metre roll at Ralph Lauren Home; Hand-sprayed paint gradation, from £40 a square metre, by Annie Millar; in ‘Pink Ground’, £35,50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, at Farrow & Ball. Wallpaper, ‘Katie’ (pink/cream), £76.20 a 10-metre roll, at Nicholas Herbert.

Taken from the August 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lucie Young, Hatta Byng and Jennifer Goulding.

In this country living room, antique furniture is combined with pieces found in Istanbul, such as the three Syrian inlaid side tables bought from Iznik Classics. The carpet, from Farnham Antique Carpets, sets the colour scheme.

An arresting palm leaf light fitting is the centre of this sitting area at the Playa Grande Beach Club in the Dominican Republic. Wicker furniture is covered with a fun mix of patterned and plain cushions. Six framed floral prints make back wall into a design feature. This is an unusual room with real wit and style.

‘My husband’s a bit of a “White Cube” man, while I’m more a colourist and a mood person,’ says interior designer Bunny Turner of Turner Pocock. In the family’s drawing room, the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Hague Blue’, reading lights from La Lampe Gras illuminate a pair of chairs from The French House and the jute rug is from Tim Page Carpets.

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In the living room of graceful, coastal country estate, Cadland House, an antique Goyard trunk found in the cellar is used as a coffee table, while the desk, chair and writing seal were maintained from Old Cadland.

Jo Vestey and her husband filled their farmhouse with a mix of old and new furniture and accessories. In this sitting room, the top of an old French wine table hangs above the chimneypiece between two dark scaffolding poles, echoing the wooden beams above. Neutral limed-plaster walls and oak flooring provide a blank canvas, allowing interesting pieces to stand out such as vintage and contemporary photographs.

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In this drawing room by interior designer Charlotte Crossland french windows open onto a covered balcony. The George Smith sofa picks up the red notes in a Persian painting from Robert Kime and Farrow & Ball’s ‘Setting Plaster’ on the walls.

A patterned carpet, such as this striped design from Carpetright, works best when the walls are kept neutral. Pick out a colour from the carpet to co-ordinate with upholstery and accessories.

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The palette is warm, with the drawing room cocooned in grey silk wallpaper with accents of gold. A gilt pier mirror is flanked by six photographs by Miles Aldridge.

In the 34-foot-long sitting room of this farmouse, though the space is imposing, Maria Speake of Retrouvius has been careful to keep the room relaxed and casual. ‘It’s a place where you can stretch out on a sofa and read the paper,’ she says. At one end, Maria installed a late-nineteenth-century, Royal Doulton glazed-ceramic chimneypiece in peacock blue, with the same blue picked up in the paint on the chimney breast, in the corduroy loose covers on the Arflex ‘Cousy’ sofas and on the trim of the curtains, which run the length of one wall. A vintage leather gym bench is used as a coffee table.

A very modern library-cum-snug has been created in this London house by designer Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay. The B&B Italia shelves make a great feature wall, and an attractive home for the television. The sofa and chairs by Amy Somerville and covered in Neisha Crosland’s ‘Zig Zag Printed’ fabric, with wall lights by Serge Mouille. The rug is bespoke from The Rug Company.

The living room of decorative artist Bridie Hall’s house includes many of her own designs, including the cowhide and beech ‘Trav’ chair, and her ‘Roman Emperor Intaglio Cases’ which hang on the wall, working with the Ikat and Kelim cushions to add a burst of colour to the blue/grey scheme. On the mantle piece is ‘The Scholar Set’, also by Bridie – a group of shapes based on the Platonic solids. All can be found at Pentreath & Hall, the Bloomsbury shop started by Bridie and Ben Pentreath.

A pair of eighteenth-century carved and gilded mirrors hangs on the wall beside the chimneypiece in this London apartment designed by Hugh Henry. The curtains are in a cream silk, ‘Faille Antoinette’, by Fleurons d’Hélène from Tissus d’Hélène.

This London house is a mix of mid-twentieth-century Scandinavian and European pieces together with a layering of contemporary and that all-important bit of Seventies glamour. Interior designer Suzy Hoodless opted for a chic sofa from Ligne Roset in the sitting room. Designed by Didier Gomez, this is the ‘Malhoun’, and the modular design is available in different configurations. The Fifties walnut and brass table by Italian designer Ignazio Gardella is flanked by Chiavari dining chairs bought in Stockholm. The Seventies chandelier is by Seguso, while the wall light is a mid-century classic by French designer Pierre Guariche.

‘I devise the big vision, we put flesh on the bones together and Jo focuses on the detail. Our combined design aesthetic provides better solutions’, says Tennessee-born Scott Maddux of his partnership with Jo leGleud at Maddux Creative.

Vintage, painted-metal watering cans, from left: £600 and £750, at Robert Young Antiques.

Architect Daniele Petteno was challenged to design a modern and open living space in a compact London flat of only 69 square metres. His solution for storage in this sitting room was 3.8-metre high, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Daniele favours a muted palette, with a sprinkling of natural materials. Walls are white, the built-in cupboards and bookshelves are made from white satin-finish spray-lacquered MDF and the curtains are crisp white linen. See the rest of this small flat.

In the London home of Lady Wakefield and her late husband Peter decided to move their drawing room up to the first floor. Here, they created a comfortable space with panelled walls and purposely unmatched upholstery that mix well with paintings and objects acquired over the past three decades. Two rugs from Turkey demarcate separate sitting areas, while bookshelves on either side of the original marble chimneypiece display ceramics from Iran.

This restful flat at the top of a Victorian town house in west London makes the most of the light. The kitchen/dining room/living room hybrid features units by Bulthaup, lights by François Muracciole and Philippe Starck’s slick ‘Kartell Eros Swivel Chair’ from Heal’s.

Taken from the August 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

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In their Twickenham home, Lady Wakefield and her late husband Peter decided to move the drawing room up to the first floor. Here, they created a comfortable space with panelled walls and purposely unmatched furnishings that mix well with paintings and objects acquired over the past three decades. The sofa is strewn with a cosy collection of needlepoint cushions.

*You can’t go wrong with a statement vase. The Fifi red ceramic vase (£15) from Habitat is stunning.

When Emma Burns inherited the former stables that her parents had progressively converted as a weekend retreat, she put into practice the principles that guide her professional work as a designer. The oak corner cupboard is eighteenth century and came from Cowbridge in Wales.

‘The irregularly plastered walls were originally covered in a time-remembered recipe of bull’s blood and distemper. This soft colour gives a complexion-flattering glow, especially if the buff card-shaded lamps are lit. Use subdued light upwards, but bright pools below for reading. A dirt-colour hair-cord carpet covers the floor, over which I have layered a white flokati rug from Greece. They are cheap as chips, and you can bin them when they’re past it. The sofas are slip-covered in ‘Jaisalmer’ by John Stefanidis, a hard-wearing off­-white cotton. The covers are the same ones I had when I first moved in 40 years ago and they still don’t need to be replaced.’

Taken from the December 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman. Locations editor: Liz Elliot.

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The drawing room of Holker Hall in Cumbria has a layered look built up over generations. While time is an invaluable ally of this aesthetic, a considered approach to buying furniture and decorative accessories can speed up the process.

This seating area on a mezzanine level has a bright and airy, yet nonetheless cosy feel. The space combines modern style with rustic features, including exposed beams and plaid blankets on the sofas.

In the morning room of Ugbrooke Park, a sofa and armchair, both covered in fabrics from Claremont, are positioned around an ottoman topped with a leopard-print rug. A column lamp from Vaughan sits on the console table at the side of the sofa.

An array of supporting beams on a much larger scale were revealed during the restoration of this barn, and these became the focal point for its decoration. The barn now has a mezzanine bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and sitting room, and is completely separate from the main house.

This sitting room-cum-playroom in Chelsea is tailored to the children of the house. ‘The key with toys is to design somewhere for them to go,’ says the designer Bunny Turner of Turner Pocock. The huge ottoman acts as a giant toy box and kids seating area. ‘They won’t sit on the sofa to watch television any more,’ says the owner. ‘They use the cushions as pillows and lie on the ottoman as if it’s a bed.’

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A sense of timelessness combined with simplicity and sophistication characterises Arnaud Zannier’s collection of hotels, as well as his shoe business. It is a design ethos reflected in his family home near Ghent. Large photographs of the couple’s children hang in the sitting room.

The seating area in this restored Victorian water tower fits with the home’s blue colour theme with deep blue sofas. The geometric lattice design rug is ‘Damascus Blue’, made with hand knotted Tibetan wool, from The Rug Company.

It makes a subtle background for the furniture too, which is a clever mix of periods, such as a Regency sideboard and mid-twentieth-century pieces including a Hans J Wegner chair and a favourite Fornasetti ‘Palladiana’ chest, bought from Themes & Variations gallery. The fireplace overmantle is from the Aesthetic Movement. On the right, a Gesso lamp base from Pentreath & Hall is topped by a Green ‘Turquoise Flower’ Ikat Lampshade by Melodi Horne.

A few good pieces can turn any room around. Here, the Ditte by Fred Shand sofa, pineapples (a microtrend we’re seeing everywhere) and pops of fashionable emerald turn this room from sedate estate to modern marvel.

Laminate marquetry and powder-coated-steel table, ‘Moon Rock’, by Bethan Laura Wood, 22 x 86cm diameter, from £3,000, from Nilufar.

WALLS Paint, ‘Caddie’, £42.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Paint & Paper Library. Curtain, ‘Tree 315’, by Josef Frank, linen, £127.70 a metre, from Svenskt Tenn. Toquilla-palm Panamanian bird masks, by Ethic & Tropic, from £166 each, from Joss Graham.

*If you have no space for a large coffee table, alternatives like this gorgeous Small Selenite Side Table, £145 from Oliver Bonas, is top of our list.

The monochromatic ninth-floor sitting room of this restored Victorian water tower has 360-degree views of London. The flood of natural light is further emphasised by the light walls and sofas and see-through furniture, creating a bright and modern space.

Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Dominic Bradbury.

ACCESSORIES Glass and brass lamp base, ‘Column’ (blue), by Bridie Hall, 33 x 10cm diameter, £450; with cotton lampshade, ‘Bookcloth’ (blue), 27cm diameter, £90; paper-covered box files, ‘Regency Caning’, A5, £21 each, and A4, £26 each; all from Pentreath & Hall. Pink linen cushions, ‘Box’ (colonel), 50cm square, £96 each, from Fermoie. Cotton cushions, ‘Picasso’, 45cm square, £85 each, from The Conran Shop.

Three singular pieces of furniture – a handsome, mid-eighteenth century Irish bureau bookcase, a Queen Anne oyster chest on a stand, and a carved reproduction side table from Max Rollitt, with a breche violette marble top that matches the corner chimneypiece – add elegance and gravitas.

*Full length mirrors can create an illusion of space in a room. The Linea Eden Leaner Mirror, £130 from House of Fraser, is bold yet elegant enough to work with in any interior.

FURNITURE Beech-framed armchairs, ‘Clareville’, 80 x 56 x 60cm, £1,600 each excluding fabric, from David Seyfried; upholstered in ‘Romilly’ (hunting green on natural), by Virginia White Collection, linen, £110 a metre, from Tissus d’Hélène. Painted hardwood ‘French Cane Console Table’ (black), 82 x 104 x 32cm, £1,434, from Vaughan

The owners of this west London house employed a skilled team to restore and complement its original features, and create a home with a feeling of permanence after a lifetime of moving. The house is a tall, mid-nineteenth-century white stucco building that they wanted to work well for twenty-first-century family life. ‘We were determined to avoid beige “banker chic”,’ the owner explains. The drawing room has an armchair covered in Jasper Fabrics by Michael S Smith’s floral ‘Grace’ fabric in the original colourway.

Piles of books sit by the window, hinting at Duncan and Luke’s inspirations. The books chronicle everything from Cecil Beaton to mid-century architecture, and Fornasetti to Nigel Slater.

The first-floor drawing room of this west London Victorian terrace is nine metres long; a monochrome silk and wool rug from The Rug Company sits underneath a L-shape sofa by Patrick Moulton Black, upholstered in Romo’s ‘Kintore’ linen. High-gloss surfaces used here include India Mahdavi’s ‘Bishop Stools’ and an acrylic unit by the window, which was designed by interior designer Sarah Stewart-Smith.

In the sitting room of architect Johnny Holland’s mansion flat in Richmond an entire wall is hung with a large Hamilton Weston wallpaper copy of a 1746 Rocque map of London. The flat has wonderful views of the River Thames and the decoration scheme is based on the colours of the river – blues, greys and soft neutrals are used throughout the living room. A dusky blue velvet L-shaped sofa provides snug and glamorous seating and a well-stocked drinks tray is an inviting touch for guests.

Taken from the June 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton and Emily Tobin.

[i]Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman. Locations editor: Hatta Byng. [/i

Taken from the June 2009 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Ian Phillips.

The red sofa and ottoman are upholstered in contrasting Le Manach ‘Toile de Tours’ fabric from Claremont.

In the sitting room of Alice von Baum’s enchanting Goa Home, several old doors were salvaged from the former 1836 house, which was previously comprised of just two rooms and an open fireplace.

Hotel designer Kit Kemp is famous for her flair with pattern. Here, at London hotel Ham Yard, she doesn’t disappoint. The symmetry of the stylish blue-grey living room colour scheme keeps it all looking neat.

*The Anself Shabby Chic Console Table, £79.99 from Amazon, features three cabinet drawers for extra storage.

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As a design director in the hotel industry, the owner of this mews house in west London comes across some amazing artwork. But you don’t need a grand design to emulate the look. Flank a favourite piece of art with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. The neutral backdrop of the wall gives the eye a place to rest next to the multicoloured books.

This colourful living room, part of vivid schemes created by decoration director Gabby Deeming, feature ‘Les Chenapans’ fabric on the walls and a green velvet sofa.

These natural fabrics and warm colours work with the fireplace to make the room a cosy space despite its white walls. The curtains are an off-white wool and linen French weave.

A sense of timelessness combined with simplicity and sophistication characterises Arnaud Zannier’s collection of hotels, a design ethos also reflected in his family home near Ghent.

A wood-burning stove provides a focal point in the living area, which also features a George Smith sofa with cushions in a Robert Kime weave. A Fifties Hungarian rocker is covered in ‘Aralia’ designed by Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn in the Twenties. Mustard blinds from Susan Deliss add a splash of colour to the tongue-and-groove panelling.

The monolithic marble coffee table, which packs a punch in this living space, picks up the pattern on the Fornasetti floor lamp. The large abstract painting by Frédéric Heurlier Cimolai behind the sofa subtly brings all these elements together.

Heidi Lightfoot and Steve Gibbons own this modern, colourful Thirties house in rural Hertfordshire. Built in 1936 by the renowned public sector architect Mary Medd, Sewell’s Orchard was apparently unpopular with the locals at the time, who likened its monopitch roof and pared-back design to that of a canning factory. This is not a view shared by Heidi Lightfoot and Steve Gibbons, however, who have lived in and loved the daring modernist property for the past few years.

Owner Lavinia Bolton needs no introduction to regular readers of House & Garden, as she has been one of its legendary house finders since 1986. Between then and now, she has scoured the British Isles and beyond in pursuit of the best in interior decoration, and at last count has visited about 4,000 houses on behalf of the magazine. This is the first time that one of her own houses has featured here. ‘After all these years,’ she says with a laugh, ‘I thought, well, why not?’

We’re not suggesting this room is uber modern – there are elements of traditional country style, from the toile de jouy wallpaper to the classic furniture and heritage fabrics – but the colour scheme and uncomplicated approach give it a contemporary country feel.

The room is arranged for convivial gatherings with inviting divan-style sofas piled with cushions. These cushions are a combination of old designs and pieces from last season’s Silk Road-inspired Samarqand collection.

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Swedish company Sandberg’s Arkiv collection of wallcoverings celebrates the work of four eminent Swedish architects. The delicate lines of ‘Nordiska Museet’ show original sketch plans by Isak Gustav Clason of the Nordic Museum in Stockholm. ‘We have long wanted to share these wonderful patterns, but, until now, the technology had not been available to reproduce these larger designs to their full potential,’ says Sissa Sundling, design director at Sandberg. ‘Embracing digital technology is a new challenge for us, but one that opens up so many exciting avenues.’

Feminine furniture and decorative details give this drawing room a comfortably elegant feel. The striking antler-design chandelier made by Frank Howell in Sydney is a nod to Jamie’s Scottish roots, while the floral upholstery and chestnut flooring add warmth to the room. The table, which is in two halves, comes from Spain and the curtains, chosen by the interior designer Colin Orchard, were created by the London-trained, Auckland-based curtain maker Robert Andrews.

*If you always forget to water plants, buy artificial ones instead, like this artificial indoor Eucalyptus plant, £9.99, Amazon.

Soft grey tones and crisp white details bounce light around this contemporary living room. Pale wooden furniture also helps to keep the room looking bright and airy.

WALLSScreen (on window), ‘Grace’ (jasper white), by Mark Alexander, linen/cotton, £110 a metre, at Romo.

Mayfair’s Albany apartments were designed 200 years ago as pied-a-terre for gentlemen about town. The challenge for owners Jojo Grima and William Grant was to update theirs into a space fit for modern living – an ambition realised with strong colour, elegant furniture and discreet storage by interior designer Chester Jones. In the living room Chester worked with the idea that the room would be used mainly in the evening. ‘I coloured the room using shades that come alive after dark. The whole mood of the place was intended to suggest this.’ The furniture in the room was primarily designed by Chester for the space. Unlined reefed curtains were carefully chosen to delineate and emphasise the architecture, also – Chester points out- casting a soft and flattering light. A subtle rug by Sandy Jones unites the elements.

This living room proves that budget needn’t constrain style and a striking scheme doesn’t need to break the bank.

Known for their irreverent take on English country-house style, the American duo behind Madcap Cottage have created a home filled with outlandish pattern and colour. Transformed from an open porch, the sun room is decorated in a predominantly green palette, with fabrics from Madcap Cottage for Robert Allen, including ‘Cove End’ on the ceiling.

Tara works closely with several British upholstery workshops, in this case commissioning a Howard-style sofa and a hand-sprung ottoman for the sitting room. The latter has sensibly been upholstered in a graphic print because, as she says, ‘people put their feet up and pattern is a good tool for hiding marks and spills’.

Taken from the May 2013 issue of House & Garden, Hotels by Design

The owners of this Hampshire house, parts of which date back six centuries, have gently modernised it by simplifying the layout, adding personality through decoration and giving it an established feel.

Hand-painted wallpaper, ‘L’Eden’ (paradiso), £1,112 a 300 x 97cm panel, from de Gournay.

The owners of this newbuild Bahamas beach house turned to trusted interior designer John McCall to provide their house with a British sensibility, practical furnishings and interiors that are not ‘too beachy’. A George Smith sofa and armchairs, along with Fifties rattan chairs with cushions from A Rum Fellow and nineteenth-century bobbin chairs from Westenholz, form an inviting seating area at one end of the great room. The painted panels on the wall are by Suffolk-based muralist Graham Rust.

‘Ava’ wallpaper from the Brunnsnäs collection, £89 per roll from Sandberg.

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Two white ‘Tulip’ chairs flank the Pierre Frey sofa in Bianca and Vincent’s home in Paris (Vincent is the grandson of the eponymous Pierre Frey founder, and the current deputy manager of the company). For something comparable, try Bluesuntree, whose take on the classic design costs £99 and measures 82 x 68cm. The Jacques Charpentier Plexiglas armchairs were salvaged from a warehouse belonging to Vincent’s father. Originals like these occasionally turn up at auction so it is worth keeping an eye on 1stdibs. Alternatively, Rose Uniacke sells a chair designed by Elin Raaberg Nielsen made from thick glass sheets and priced £12,500 for the pair. The graphic rug in the living room was custom-made by Braquenié.

FURNITURE Beech side table, ‘McIlarth’, 72 x 46 x 36cm, £1,625, from Ensemblier. Mohair-velvet-upholstered sofa, ‘Serpentine’ (bottle green), 86 x 220 x 95cm, £12,000, from Rose Uniacke. Beech-framed armchair, ‘Clareville’, 80 x 56 x 60cm, £1,600 excluding fabric, from David Seyfried; covered in ‘Romilly’ (pink blush on natural), by Virginia White Collection, linen, £110 a metre, from Tissus d’Hélène.

Vanessa Macdonald explains that her husband, who works for Sotheby’s, is ‘very English’, and insisted on having a casual sitting room in their elegant Georgian home, where the boys can watch television and the whole family can relax. The calm colours of the painted walls are a nod to the house’s early Georgian roots and contribute to a serene atmosphere, with Farrow & Ball ‘Old White’ in here. The modern patterned rug is designed by Melissa Wyndham and Robert Stephenson.

WALLS Paint, ‘Invisible Green’, £41.50 for 2.5 litres natural emulsion, from Edward Bulmer Natural Paints. Hand-printed and painted papers in cardboard frames, ‘Domino’, by Antoinette Poisson, from £57 each.

Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay, the owner of this Victorian country house in Shropshire, has enhanced the interiors of this grand property with her signature mid-century aesthetic without compromising original features.

The English owners of this picture perfect beach house on Cap Ferret, near Bordeaux enlisted London architect Jonathan Tuckey. The sofa has been suspended from the ceiling using thick chandlers rope – half daybed, half hammock, with views out to sea – ‘like a daybed that rocks in the breeze,’ says Jonathan. Above it hangs a pair of ‘Victo 4250’pendant lights by Secto Design. Timber claire-voie screens subtly separate the rooms – a striking device that cleverly maintains the transparency between the spaces while creating a sense of enclosure and allowing each ‘room’ to have its own identity. ‘The house needed the drama of a big space. Our feeling was that you should be able to see the whole floor right through from one side of the house to the other.’

Interior-design duo Keech Green reworked and redecorated this London flat for their young clients, with the results paying homage to the house’s Arts and Crafts heritage.

The designer Jane Gowers discovered her London house by chance, but its restoration and decoration have been the result of good judgement and a sympathetic approach. A bright seating area lit by the skylight and glass doors leads onto the terrace garden, bringing some of the outside indoors. The green fabric of the sofa keeps with the earthy colour scheme.

In the Delhi home of Anita Lal, founder of Good Earth, white arches in the sitting room frame eclectic artworks hanging above a sofa. This seating area creates a quieter place to sit away from the main living room.

The coffee table and black chair, from B&B Italia, add to the industrial theme created for this Shoreditch living room by Maurizio Pellizzoni, of MPD London, with the patchwork rug part of Maurizio’s own collection sold at the MPD shop for £4,500. The painted white brickwork, featuring a bio fire from Indian Ocean, makes the most of the natural light which comes in from the towering windows.

This west London house was extended with the addition of a basement, creating a brighter, larger space that flows perfectly for better, more modern family living.

In this blue living room, watery reflections captured in the tinted mirror glass add a touch of other-worldliness. Gabby Deeming created dramatic schemes combining glass and mirrored surfaces with natural elements.

A smaller room at the rear of Steffanie Brown’s west London home is used as a library and a ‘smart snug’. Decorated by Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay, the sofa and chairs, by Amy Somerville, are covered in Neisha Crosland’s ‘Zig Zag Printed’; the wall lights are by Serge Mouille. If you’re looking for something similar, try the Signal Wall Light, £156 by Jieldé at Made in Design.

The grounds of Holker Hall, where our former editor spent her childhood

The 1960s tan leather Walter Antonis chair is a recent acquisition from Goldwood by Borris, a dealer in Antwerp, Belgium, and it is decorated with a vintage kelim cushion. A collage of framed prints and pictures surrounds the chair, including an oil pastel sketch and a print by Luke, a large Rene Magritte poster from the Penny Guggenheim Collection in Venice and a Pablo Bronstein print. ‘We buy lots of old exhibition posters from eBay – they’re great value and lots of fun,’ says Luke.

The brown palette of the sitting room is accented with Seventies brown furniture and still has the original chimneypiece. Perched on the mantelpiece is an eighteenth-century, Spanish baroque carving found by Richard on his travels. For something similar try West London, an antique dealer that specialises in architectural salvage. It trades out of a Grade 1-listed Victorian church in east London and occasionally has baroque pieces in stock. The beautiful embroided pouffe is from Beldi Marrakech, Lorfords Antiques now import and stock some pieces from the same artisans. Prices for a similar pouffe start at £975.

‘If you are planning an interior around a collection, first consider the architecture of the house. Often that dictates where certain pieces will go,’ says interior designer Amanda Baring, of the scheme she has created for the home of her sister, a prolific collector of contemporary ceramics.

Like this? Then you’ll loveMore pictures from this former fishing lodge

Designer Rabih Hage kept to a neutral palette in the first-floor drawing room of this west London house and created focal points with a photograph by Benjamin Faga of the Arethusa Fountain in London’s Bushy Park and a brass table by the Haas Brothers. A tall spun floor lamp by Anton Alvarez stands beside a baby grand piano.

The owners of this Somerset country house had not anticipated taking on such a large project, but their careful renovation enhanced by modern decorative touches has resulted in a smart, yet comfortable, forever home. Statement yellow wallpaper featuring a bold floral pattern modernises the wooden glass-door cabinets in the library. A grey sofa brings out the grey detail on the wallpaper, tying the room together beautifully.

Sleek leather sofas and chrome details give the living room in this Edwardian home a contemporary Bauhaus feel. The floor, although dark, has a reflective surface that actually helps to bounce light around the space.

Amanda felt it was important for the drawing room to retain a certain formality, as it would have in the nineteenth century, but without its looking like part of a museum. The solution lay in the carpet – a fine and striking bright yellow Tabriz that sets the tone for some ceramic showstoppers: Edmund de Waal’s Word for Word on the wall, and dishes by Marit Tingleff and Sandy Brown.

This living room designed by Samantha Todhunter adjoins the girls’ bedrooms in this south London home, which was once a Victorian school. A reproduction of Eero Aarnio’s ‘Bubble’ chair hanging from the ceiling, while two leopards prowl across the floor. These hand-knotted silk rugs are a design by Diane von Fürstenberg for The Rug Company, where they can be custom ordered in any colour for £1,775 per square metre.

The drawing room at Bowood House, Wiltshire, was designed by John Fowler. The walls are lined in cotton cream damask; a perfect complement to the pretty patterned sofa and cushions. Huge sash windows let in an enourmous amount of natural light. The trefoil stool was added by Fiona.

Combine pretty wallcoverings and specialist paint techniques with faded fabrics and vintage furniture to decorative effect in your living room.

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Although the main footprint of this fairytale Oxfordshire barn is original, much of its glorious eccentricity and atmosphere is totally fake. Lincoln and Tish Seligman’s home designed by the artist Paul Nicholls (who was the former occupant) has been divided cleverly using beams, ladders, platforms and mezzanines. They were insistent that all wiring should be concealed. They also hid lighting in tiny, unseen spots in the wooden beams. ‘It is now wonderfully cosy,’ says Tish.

Before settling on a wall colour, you should consider whether you want to give the entire living room a new coat of paint or accentuate sections of it through a feature wall. The size of the room should play a crucial role in the decision making process. As a general rule of thumb, pastels and pale colours are better suited to a small living room, whereas bolder and brighter colours can be used much more freely in a larger space. The other pivotal factor is determining how much sunlight enters the space. Think about testing a colour on a small, discreet area and see how it changes throughout the day.

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There are a variety of flooring options available for a living room. While floorboards have a warming effect and suit virtually any style, maintenance tends to be higher. To ensure your floorboards always look uniform, it is essential to re-stain and polish them to ensure any major dents or scratches don’t become permanent. Carpet on the other hand can be replaced easily, and is better suited to climates where the winters and long and cold. If you’re the sort of person to walk around without shoes on inside, carpet helps to keep your feet warm and radiates an aura of cosiness. Ultimately, what you choose should depends on the conditions of the room and your lifestyle. As we mentioned earlier, think about the effect you want to achieve. Is your living room your mecca of peace and comfort, or a statement room in your home?

Consider the shape of your sofa when it comes to styling your living room. This grey number from has a chaise lounge, giving a relaxed vibe that contrasts with the more traditional design elements.

Having moved from a Georgian manor, Clare Agnew reworked the conversion of a 300-year-old barn in Norfolk to create a secluded home for her family, in which the inside works in harmony with the garden and the marshland beyond.

This living space has been decorated by design duo Bunny Turner and Emma Pocock with a bold monochrome scheme, including a grey L-shaped sofa, black walls on the left and white walls on the right. In-built shelving provides elegant space-saving storage, and baskets add a stylish touch.

Art dealer Patrick Perrin has stuck to a monochrome design for his living room in Paris. The black and white colour scheme has a more modern feel with an art-deco twist thanks to curved accents.

Interior designer Penny Morrison had the task of turning this typical Victorian terrace in London into a modern home for a bachelor. Penny avoided the stereotypical furnishings with a simple colour palette with pale-green walls by specialist painter Cornelia Faulkner and curtains in ‘Samos’ embroidered linen by Vaughan Designs; the antique Moroccan rug is from from Irving & Morrison.

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This vividly coloured and eclectic sitting room (in the home of Lulu Lytle from Soane) demonstrates how to mix pattern and colour with treasured objects including a narwhal’s horn and an Indian chainstitch rug depicting a lion hung on the wall. Interspersed with these items is Lulu’s impressive collection of Middle Eastern textiles and art.

While every surface has been painted bright white, Isabelle loves colour, and her vivid textile collection, which she displays on tables and the glass balustrade, adds shots of red, yellow and blue. ‘Textiles have always inspired my work,’ she notes. In fact, her painted paper costume collections, based on historic patterns and designs, have toured the world, dazzling those who see, not for the first time, what she can create from paper – even wedding dresses and delicate lace veils.

The elegant drawing room in the Inchyras’ country estate has large, comfortable sofas from George Smith, panelled Dutch oil paintings and a chandelier that belonged to James’s grandparents.

Taken from the June 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming. [/i]

An exposed brick or stone wall does not just add texture to an interior – it can also firmly position the building within its surrounding landscape. This converted barn has a backdrop that speaks of its agricultural history, while allowing modern pieces such as the John Minshaw-designed cast-bronze lamp and Paolo Buffa table to stand out.

Colour is a vital ingredient in this space – pink walls are set off by woodwork in graphic Memphis-style monochome and turqouise.

‘It’s a touch of Duchess of Windsor,’ comments designer Douglas Mackie of the Maison Jansen Louis XV-style writing table in the right hand corner of his Marylebone living room – the French firm of decorators numbered Wallis Simpson among its prestigious clients in the middle decades of the twentieth century, and were known for creating reproduction pieces like this, that are now highly sought after in their own right.

The double-height Great Hall of this historic manor house in Sussex has a door out to the garden; it is furnished with sofas and chairs from Howe, which surround an oak ottoman designed by Joris Van Apers.

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Taken from the January 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Hatta Byng and Emily Tobin.

This scheme created by Ilse Crawford in Stockholm’s Ett Hem hotel combines some serious pieces of modern design with a lightness of touch that means the room still feels welcoming and comfortable. Delicate wall lights by Michael Anastassiades, are combines with Soane’s ‘Crillon’ chair. While a picture by British artist Bridget Riley sits on the wall.

Taken from the August 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Dominic Bradbury.

With a Victorian brick façade almost filled by a two-storey window, this house was built in the mid-nineteenth century as part of a group of artists’ studios when land in the area was cheap and Hampstead was still a village.

When two architects bought one of the smallest houses in New York, they transformed the interior, creating a bijou interior with a sense of spaciousness that belies its exterior appearance.The pink velvet sofa in the sitting room was purchased at auction.

The neutral limed-plaster walls and oak flooring provide a blank canvas, allowing interesting pieces to stand out, such as vintage and contemporary photographs. Reflecting the family’s love of travel and adventure are a hundred-year-old taxidermy giraffe bought from Christie’s, which stands apparently gently grazing in the sitting room, and a patchwork armchair from Bokja in Beirut.

The drawing room at Faringdon House juxtaposes sunny yellow walls with a lovely brick-red rug.

There’s no denying that much of the appeal of this living room comes from the striking architectural features, but when some eternally stylish mid-century furniture in pale greys and moss and lime green is added, the slick space with its white wash walls becomes even cooler.

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Using a combination of Regency furniture and ‘Chateau’ wallpaper by Lewis & Wood, designer Max Rollitt has created an elegant sitting room in this Hampshire vicarage.

For the past two decades, Valeria has been an ardent patron of women in the arts. ‘Art history belongs to everyone,’ she asserts. ‘Not just Caucasian males.’ Anybody in doubt of her commitment need only visit her west London flat: cast a cursory glance around her drawing room and you will spy works by Goshka Macuga, Berta Fischer and Lily van der Stokker. These are not shy and retiring pieces. Quite the contrary: they are loud, bombastic, expressive and often irreverent. They announce their presence in an explosion of harlequin colours, gelatinous textures and glistening surfaces.

In this white living room, shelving units built into the alcoves echo the lines of the Portland stone chimneypiece from Jamb. The books also provide a pop of colour in the pale scheme. The space is full of textures, including elm milking stools, natural linens in soft colours and metal Islamic artefacts. These contrast playfully with one another and with the geometric aspects of the room, most notably the rug.

Taken from the September 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Olivia Gregory.

This uplifting snug and garden is seen from the dining area in a west London Victorian terrace, reconfigured by Sarah Stewart-Smith. The two spaces are linked by a glass walkway made by Trombé, which connects the rooms at the front and back of the house. Reflected in the glass wall is a lightbox image from Dede Johnston’s Forest series, which merges with the view of greenery in the garden.

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For a living room that’s full of personality, customise your sofa with a fabric you love. The Button sofa from Designers Guild can be upholstered in any of their fabrics (although if you’re feeling a little less than adventurous you can always start by customising a cushion instead).

The owners of this London house have called upon the expertise of Maddux Creative’s design duo to maximise space and light, and play up the distinctive period details. The first floor drawing room is a glamorous space, where curved furniture and voluminous curtains in a Bruno Triplet taffeta reflect the curved shape of the window and ornate architraves.

In the drawing room at Bradwell Lodge, the armchair and sofa in the drawing room are upholstered in ‘Hollyhock’, a classic woodblock chintz by Lee Jofa, available at GP & J Baker.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: David Redhead.

Taken from the August 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton. Locations editor: Liz Elliot.

Owner and interior designer Hugh Leslie shares his flat, a former artist’s studio in Chelsea, London, with his partner Robert Boniske. The living room is home to much of Hugh’s collection of mid-20th century classic furniture, including the carved table designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1931. Two paintings by Alvaro Guevara are grouped asymmetrically above it, while the armchair is designed by Hans Wegner.

Art doesn’t have to be a huge investment. The framed items on the wall of this blue living room were just £22.50, and made by mounting hand-marbled paper in IKEA frames. Why not try the same? Use wallpaper scraps, or even wrapping paper found on sale at a stationery shop. Other bargains? The rattan chair is another Ikea find – just £80, while the vintage-looking blue glass bottles used as vases are just £10.50 (on sale) from Skandihome.

Patterned sofas feature in Soho House Chicago, where open-plan spaces are decorated with pastel-coloured walls and mid-century coffee tables.

ACCESSORIES Olive tree, from £145, from Villaggio Verde Olive Trees. Mid-twentieth century French painted concrete planter, 59 x 55cm square, £450, from Puckhaber. Cotton cushions (emerald green/white), 50cm square, £95 each, from Darkroom London. Silk and linen cushions, ‘The Nature of Colour’ (polygonum pale green/reseda yellow), by Katherine May, 30 x 50cm, £145 each; glazed stoneware jug (yellow), by Nicola Tassie, £210; both from The New Craftsmen. Faience candlesticks (white), by Gien, 25 x 12.7cm diameter, £150 for a pair, from Rachel Bates Interiors. Coloured candles (jade), £1.50 each, from Cologne & Cotton.

FLOOR Seagrass ‘Basketweave’, 400cm wide, £39 a square metre, from Crucial Trading.

Slim Crittall windows and two matching monochrome rugs demarcate the two sitting areas, which in turn lead through to the kitchen. Artworks by Henry Brudenell-Bruce and David Hockney hang above the chimneypiece and beside the desk respectively.

Rupert Bevan’s home gives a sense of having evolved over time, filled with delightful and amusing details mixed with his own designs.

What was originally the dining room of this apartment building was transformed into a library by Anne Dubbs, co-owner of London-based fabric and wallpaper company Blithfield & Company. The Lucite and glass table is from John Koch Antiques in New York. Like the chic armchair? Tarquin Bilgen stocks similar.

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Resin and patinated-steel coffeetable, ‘Lunar’ (midnight blue), 50 x 70cm diameter, £4,095, from McCollin Bryan.

Fiona Shelburne has had plenty of experience in decorating historic country houses. Previously a designer for Colefax & Fowler, she is also chatelaine of Bowood House in Hampshire. Expertise which she put to good use in this large house decorated for young clients and their family.

Taken from the January 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

For House & Garden’s Carole Annett, a passing request for decorating advice from her friend, the interior designer Emma Sims Hilditch, turned into the top-to-bottom redecoration of her Surrey house in time for Christmas.

While juggling the demands of a growing family and an interior-design business, Nicole Salvesen updated her south London house to increase the feeling of space with bright colours and more streamlined rooms. Clever built-in shelving sits at one end of the open-plan living area and the light from the windows make the most of her books on display – sorted according to colour of course.

In the wood-panelled back porch of this Virginia home, antique wooden and upholstered white furniture shines out against against the dark wooden floors. Framed artworks are hung in grids, mirroring the pattern of the windowframes.

Vintage furniture, pastel colours and prints are a match made in design heaven.

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Plenty of seating is arranged around an ottoman in the sitting room of designer Ben Pentreath’s Georgian parsonage, including a sofa from Max Rollitt, an original Howard & Sons armchair bought at a local auction, and a Regency cane bergère chair. The black linen-covered fireside chair is the ‘Chauffeuse’ from Pentreath & Hall.

Mustard yellow sofa with high back contrasts with black walls in a seating area in this Somerset country house. This smart sofa is perfect for a more formal drawing room. Yellow furniture and accessories appear throughout the house, connecting every room in an over-arching scheme.

WALLS Paint, ‘Plaster II’, £42.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Paint & Paper Library. Curtain, ‘Landscape’ (graphic), by Métaphores, linen, 300cm wide, £292.80 a metre, from Abbott & Boyd. Jesmonite knobs (used as curtain cleats), ‘Pilotis’, by Malgorzata Bany, £75 each, from The New Craftsmen.

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Most impressive is the ocean view from this room at Soho Beach House. The decor of the space is cosy and vibrant, with sunny colours reflecting the hotel’s Miami location.

FURNITURE Jesmonite stool, ‘Hourglass’, £2,160, from Rose Uniacke. Nineteenth-century camel-back sofa on mahogany base, 86 x 230 x 80cm, £2,800, from Lorfords Antiques; covered in ‘Alexander’ (petrole), cotton with wool pile, £200.50 a metre, from Dedar. ‘Picton Stool’, 40 x 140 x 90cm, £740, from David Seyfried; covered in stripes of ‘Savile Row’ (from left: 02, 023, 025, 009, 011, 010), wool, £103.60 a metre, by Métaphores, from Abbott & Boyd. Forties Danish sheepskin and beech armchair, by Philip Arctander, 80 x 61 x 83cm, £16,000, from Hemisphere Gallery.

In the tranqil Brazilian town of Trancoso, designer Wilbert Das works hand in hand with local artisans on the continuing evolution of the decoration of the UXUA Hotel and its villas.

‘We were tasked with completely reinventing the original space, which had a much more conservative layout and character,’ says Sandra, who had worked with the owner in the past on a large family house outside New York City. ‘Together we envisioned something that would give rise to her ultimate city life: a glamorous loft-like abode that would work with her existing art and also be perfect for entertaining.’

Designer Jonathan Tuckey redesigned this London mews house in Notting Hill for a former submariner. The modern living room is screened with Douglas-fir panelling, with a compact study tucked behind it.

The grey living room in the home antiques dealer and designer Max Rollitt is a canny blend of traditional and eclectic design. The sofa is upholstered in clashing fabrics, colours and prints.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Hatta Byng.

Taken from the March 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Interior designer Douglas Mackie has a passion for detail, including unusual finishes. The walls, for instance, aren’t covered in paint but exquisite, hand-glazed wallpaper which resembles flattened-out tobacco leaves. Created by SJW studios in Seattle, it is made using a complex process of folding and hand-glazing.

Ashley Hicks redecorated a rented flat in west London, using handmade details and David Hicks fabrics to achieve a sophisticated and very personal look that was designed not to last. Apart from the Louis XVI sofa in turquoise silk, Ashley designed all the furniture in his sitting room, and painted the walls and faux-mosaic, coffee-table top himself.

‘The basement has plenty of light, so now works well as the sitting room. My client retained the polished-concrete floor; I wanted to celebrate its industrial nature, but I have deliberately chosen unstructured furnishings to soften the look. The George Smith sofas have loose covers in “Brera Lino” linen in oyster and the curtains are unlined “Charente” linen in vanilla, both by Designers Guild. I love mixing old and new, and I like it when things are a little bit distressed,’ says Harriet Anstruther of her client’s home in Chelsea, London. The coffee table is made from antique folding pine benches, another up-cycled touch.

FLOORStained in ‘Heritage Garden Shades’ (somerset green), by Cuprinol, £20 for 2.5 litres, at B&Q.

The dimensions of these shelving units, designed by Clare Stevenson and Claire Sa from architectural practice De Rosee Sa, were dictated to the millimeter by the height of the speakers that nestle discreetly among the coded volumes.

The Regency sofa is covered in a Colefax and Fowler fabric with a pair of ikat cushions from Yastik By Rifat Özbek. Above it hangs a student painting by Andrew Gadd, which is framed by a cluster of smaller oils and watercolours.

A sofa from Christian Liaigre and armchair from Arflex with neutral linen covers and a Vanderhurd rug create a comfortable seating area in this Edwardian villa designed by William Smalley. The chimneypiece is in flamed Purbeck stone, while the wall light is ‘Hanging Lamp No 1’ by Muller van Severen, from Viaduct.

At one end of the room, a bespoke desk based on a Giò Ponti design creates a small study area.

*The West Elm Mid-Century Narrow Ladder Wood Shelving Unit, £249 from John Lewis, will show off your items in style.

Cushions, from left: ‘Toile de Tour Behanzin’ (ecru ground/noir/giroflée), by Le Manach, cotton mix, £339 a metre, at Claremont; ‘Jessup’ (sepia/indigo), by Oscar de le Renta for Lee Jofa, cotton, £145 a metre, at G P & J Baker; and ‘Toile de Tour Bamako’ (ecru ground/noir), by Le Manach, cotton mix, £274 a metre, at Claremont.

FURNITURE Button-back armchairs with beech legs, ‘Malmsten Samsas’, 83 x 70cmsquare, £5,900 a pair, from Hilary Batstone. Oak table, ‘Overbury’ (greyed oak), 75 x 137cm diameter, £3,127, from William Yeoward.

Living Room with Velvet L-Shaped Sofa and Map Print Wallpaper

The main building of this bamboo house includes the great room, a magnificent living space at the top of the house. At 15 metres long, it is a combined sitting and dining area, its walls and pitched ceiling completely re-clad in 10cm-diameter cured bamboo stalks. It is open to the elements on four sides, so sea breezes keep it cool, although storm windows are stored in cupboards for when bad weather threatens. The room faces west and gets beautiful afternoon light and a grandstand view of the daily extravaganza of the Caribbean sunset.

After restoring the Georgian details to this Marylebone flat, its interior-decorator owner, Douglas Mackie, added furniture with a French bias and twentieth-century art to create an elegant, sophisticated ensemble. Many different textures are seen against a background of paper-backed linen, by Warris Vianni, in the sitting room. The large, asymmetric bookcase, designed by Douglas, is made of bog oak, brass and straw marquetry. The two armchairs by Terence Robsjohn-Gibbings are covered in a custom-made fabric by Toyine Sellers.

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Combine contemporary furniture with colour-block paint effects, graphic chevron and bold prints to create a living room scheme that’s modern and bright.

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‘Bruno was a stickler for primary materials being used throughout, such as wood and steel. “Visual truth, nothing fake,” he would say. “You cannot restore a medieval tower to its original condition – you would have only stone. So be honest with what you add.”

Designer Martin Brudnizki’s compact west London flat perfectly demonstrates the cleverly layered look of which he is a master. The open-plan sitting and dining areas flow into the kitchen at the back of the room. The vintage Danish rosewood dining table is surrounded by chairs sourced from Fiona McDonald; the Murano glass chandelier is by Venini.

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A flash of green via a feature wall looks glamorous and dramatic when paired with monochrome and gleaming gilt accessories.

To extend his small 1800s Swedish farmhouse, designer Lars Bolander ingeniously joined it to a neighbouring barn, creating a light-filled sitting room and entrance hall in the transitional space. The window of one of the bedrooms in the main house opens on to the atrium. Lars sourced some of his furniture from the antiques shops in Lillie Road SW6, which is an excellent place to browse as well as to buy. Maison Artefact at number 273 is hard to beat.

Cypress and ebonised-oak dresser: ‘Downtown Modern’, 90 x 170 x 53cm, £9,925, at Ralph Lauren Home.

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The walls of the house were finished by a craftsman he always works with in the States, who carefully applied imperfect plaster, creating a texture that allowed a glaze of raw sienna and yellow ochre to collect in the grooves, which gives the walls an aged finish.

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Almost as soon as Vanessa and Duncan moved into Charleston, they began to paint, not just on canvas, but over every available surface – walls, of course, but also tables, chairs, bed heads and bookcases; all glowed with swirls and spirals of colour and pattern, full of life and vitality, that was as far from the conservative, conventional monochrome interior decoration of the time as it was possible to be.

While all the specialist work was taking place, the family lived in the Byre – the lovely old stables in the garden, which Maria Speake of Retrouvius restored before work began in the farmhouse. It is now the husband’s study and used as overspill for guests.

In the Twickenham home of Lady Wakefield, at one end of the drawing room, three tall Georgian windows frame the greenery of the garden. The full-length floral-print curtains from Colefax and Fowler add to the effect.

‘Both Henrietta and I love a bit of twinkle in a room,’ says Maria. Here this comes from a Seventies mirror that hangs above the marble chimneypiece, and from the two eye-level cupboards in the recesses, with removable glass fronts that open to reveal pictures pinned to the fabric behind.

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This sitting room has a certain grandeur, positioned within cool white arches that mark the centre of the house. Anita is very particular about the soft blue that she chose for the walls. ‘This colour never comes out properly in photographs,’ she says. ‘It always looks too blue.’ We have been warned!

Wood panelling and a matching fireplace feature in the living area in the library at Wardington Manor in Oxfordshire. This traditional look is softened by a chintz sofa and fresh cut flowers from the Victorian walled garden on the property. Garden designers The Land Gardeners now run a thriving cut flower business using the manor as a base.

Take note from this modern monochrome scheme and make the most of what you have. Need a new side table? See if you already have something unique hiding in a cupboard that can be repurposed.

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The task of decorating the interiors was entrusted to Rose Uniacke, a British designer whose particular brand of understated luxury was the perfect fit. Rose took the black-and-cream palette of the Jo Malone box as a starting point, filling the space with a mix of antique furniture and pieces of her own design. ‘I used the “Drawing Room” sofas upholstered in cream from my Bespoke collection, alongside my “Hoof” occasional tables and standard lamps,’ she says. ‘Many of the decorative elements refer back to nature or the making of scent. For example, I used raw wood throughout, and the design of the bespoke, painted-tin chandelier is made up of intertwining oak leaves. All the art on display includes floral or plant motifs.’

The living room and library-cum-dining room of the Ett Hem hotel in Stockholm truly is a thing of beauty. Designed by Ilse Crawford of Studioilse, the 1910 Arts & Crafts building was completely stripped and refurbished with ornate paneling that frames a pitch perfect mix of objects and furniture.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Taken from the December 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman and Emily Tobin.

Bright cushions, including a cross design from Lindell & Co, decorate the sofa. A wall of prints decorates one end of the room: John Rocque’s eighteenth-century map of the cities of London and Westminster.

Notting Hill living room of Keith McNally, founder of cult restaurant Balthazar, places emphasis on comfort, warmth and casual intimacy. “I suppose I wanted a country look; I wanted to create a home where children can run around and knock anything over, and nothing matters,” he explains. What he has achieved is an environment that, despite its visual impact, is intriguing, instantly relaxing and stylish.

From the May 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text by Hatta Byng.

Taken from the August 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Ruth Sleightholme. [/i]

Taken from the November 2012 issue of House & Garden. Locations edtior: Lavinia Bolton.

Known for their irreverent take on English country-house style, the American duo behind Madcap Cottage have created a home in North Carolina filled with outlandish pattern and colour. With a richer, Indian-inspired palette, the ceiling is covered in a wallpaper from Osborne & Little with a vintage Robert Allen fabric on the screen.

This scheme created by Ilse Crawford in Stockholm’s Ett Hem hotel combines some serious pieces of modern design with a lightness of touch that means the room still feels welcoming and comfortable. The green armchairs are by Cassina, combined with delicate wall lights by Michael Anastassiades and the Eames ‘Stool C’, available at The Conran Shop. Try Eleanor Pritchard for a similar graphic print blanket.

Inspired by the Art Déco glamour of the Twenties and Thirties, Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory have created an elegant scheme using an understated palate of pale pink and grey. The walls have been painted in ’16A03′ matt emulsion from Little Greene. The Thirties limed-oak armchairs were source from Marchand Antiques, while the wool and silk rug is the ‘Maille’ from Riviere.

Layered glass, resin and watered-silver ‘Acqua Alta’ mirrors with polished gesso frames from Tom Palmer Studio are combined with ‘Amime’ wallpaper by Farrow & Ball in this dramatic scheme by House & Garden decoration editor Gabby Deeming. The watery reflections captured in the tinted mirror glass add a touch of other-worldiness to the room, which is balanced by a polished concrete floor from Puur.

The small but perfectly formed sitting room in the designer Nicky Haslam’s country house is the ideal cosy space. The low Victorian bench, upholstered in petit point, takes the place of a coffee table. ‘An informal sitting room should be a place where guests feel like they can put their feet on the furniture, with everything at hand,” says Nicky. “Next to sofas should be a place to rest things at arm’s length. This may seem like a silly detail, but it is an important one in practice.’

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This living room in London’s Spitalfields is a perfect example of how to mix old and new. The sofa by Clarke & Reilly is a recent purchase, yet works well with the many antiques.

This Baisongstoke home features this gorgeous drawing room, decorated in traditional English country-house style. It incorporates a mix of patterns and antique furniture like the eighteenth-century mirror from James Graham-Stewart. The wall paint, ‘Nabis’ by Adam Bray, sets the blue palette of the room.

Kit Kemp, the famed hotel designer and author of A Living Space (Hardie Grant, £30) displays her flair for colour schemes and pattern in her London house. In the living room, Kit designed the coffee table herself and covered the two chairs in fabric by Raoul Textiles. On a budget? eBay is a great source for bright, vintage-inspired prints.

Maximising light and space was essential to show the owner’s post-war art and sleek French art deco furniture to their best advantage in this elegant Pimlico flat.The seating area includes a coffee table by Maison Jansen and a boxy Forties velvet-covered armchair by Maurice Jallot.

ACCESSORIES Steel and walnut Bluetooth speaker (on stool), ‘Gramophone’, by Gramovox, £395, from The Conran Shop. Twentieth-century vessels (on walls): Congolese wicker storage vessel, £450; Ugandan wooden milk pots, £380 each; gourd-palm wine container, £280; all from Bryan Reeves Tribal Gathering London. Patterned square cushions, ‘Watom’ (caramel), linen/viscose, £182.40 a metre, from Pierre Frey. Rectangular cushions, ‘Hackan’ (coal), by Lee Jofa, cotton/linen, £125 a metre, from G P & J Baker. Merino wool throw (on sofa), ‘Tweed Emphasize’, by Mourne Textiles, £285, from The New Craftsmen. British stoneware cup and saucer, £67, from Willer. Steel and cast-iron floor lamp, by Workstead, 101 x 116 x 15cm base diameter, £725, from Another Country. Raffia Kuba cloths (on cabinet), from £99 each, from The Conran Shop. Throw (on chair), ‘Phinda Ré’ (dix-huit), wool mix, from €465 a metre, from Toyine Sellers; trimmed with ‘Palm Frond’ (sea oyster), by Mary McDonald for Schumacher, linen, 7cm wide, £88.20 a metre, from Turnell & Gigon.

In the main bedroom are two collages by the late Yves Saint Laurent – one of Jacques’s most steadfast clients – and a pair of chairs from a famous Art-Deco villa in Marrakesh called the Villa Taylor, which was completed in 1926 and played host to luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin and Rita Hayworth.

Known for their restoration of historic buildings in Scotland, conservation architects Nick Groves-Raines and Kristin Hannesdottir relished the challenge of saving Lamb’s House in Leith, where they now live and work. This formal drawing room has grey painted panelling.

In the middle of this grey living room, belonging to newlyweds Dan and Sophie, is an early Valentino coffee table bought by Sophie’s mother in the Seventies. The mirror above the fireplace is another family piece, given as a wedding present. The Beni Ouarain rug was bought from a friend, Lara van Rhede of Collection Souk, a company that sources Moroccan rugs and other textiles.

This white room with a minimal fireplace in Anna Valentine’s bright London flat is truly chic.

Merida Rug, £249 at; Storsele Black Rattan Chair, £80 at Ikea; Jasper Corner Sofa, £2,169 at; Hand-Marbled Papers, from £6.50 each at Ann Muir Marbling; Ribba Black Fibreboard Frames, £16 each at Ikea; Alva Pichet Blue Glass Bottles, £15 each at Skandihome

Here’s a living room idea for those who like bright colours but don’t want to commit to a whole room in them. Paint your living room a cool or neutral colour, then simply add warmer tones in the furniture and accessories. Aqua green pairs beautifully with jewel-like coral pink. Antique furniture and an eclectic assortment of glassware and gold complete the look.

Taken from the November 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Dinah Hall

Hannah Cecil Gurney’s west London flat is a feast of luxurious colour, texture and pattern – little surprise given that her father founded the handmade wallpaper company de Gournay.

Bold colours, textures and weaves showcase wool’s versatility in this bravely designed living room.

The chic room is decked out in a Seventies symphony of Hermès orange and chocolate brown complete with a bar orange and brown, with Abbott & Boyd’s grass-paper wallcovering.

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Ochre’s designer and owner Harriet Maxwell McDonald has added vintage glamour to her graphic, linear design scheme by using an overmantel with heavily foxed glass.

WALL Fabric, ‘Les Chenapans’ (015), by Brunschwig & Fils, cotton, £88 a metre, from G P & J Baker. Painted punched steel wall lights (maize yellow), by David Turner, 40 x 12cm diameter, £900 a pair, from Pentreath & Hall. Antiqued brass mirror, ‘Sharks Tooth’, 96 x 72cm, £5,600, from Soane.

Interior designer Edward Bulmer and his wife Emma’s beautiful Grade II listed Queen Anne manor house was bought in a state of ‘benign neglect’ which they have sensitively and imaginatively transformed, mixing period detailing and furniture with modern pieces designed by Edward. The mix of old and new is particularly effective in the living room, with its dark panelled walls punctuated by richly coloured art and patterned fabrics. Mongolian sheepskins add a layer of inviting texture.

In this decoration scheme, bold colours combined with clean lined cubist shapes make for a living room that is bright and punchy without being gaudy. The beech sofa, ‘Salvesen Graham’, is from David Seyfried; and has been upholstered in ‘Cubist’ (peacock) fabric, by Miles Redd for Schumacher. Rainbow window transfers add interest and create a feature out of what is usually a plain area.

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The colours of the bold portraiture over the sofa match the multicoloured cushions and rug in the sitting room of Giles Vincent’s west London home. Brass candle holders on the wall and wooden side tables either side of the sofa add symmetry to the space.

Taken from the July 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Fiona MacLeod. Locations editor: Liz Elliot.

House & Garden’s decoration editor Gabby Deeming chose Farrow & Ball ‘Mizzle’ for the walls of her Bloomsbury flat, while the pink sofa fabric is from Dominique Kieffer . ‘I was determined to have a pale pink sofa that had to be deep and comfortable, but also elegant. While I love slouchy and low, the room isn’t really big enough to take it,’ she explains. The ottoman fabric is from Etro, while the pink map of Paris was unbelievably found in a bin.

Event designer David Stark and his artist husband Migguel Anggelo have reconfigured their Brooklyn apartment to create calm and flowing spaces brought alive by theatrical objects and unexpected finishes. Two wicker armchairs by Vittorio Bonacina are paired with a mother-of-pearl Moroccan table and coffee table by Jacqueline Morabito.

Select a neutral paint colour with a warm tone as a backdrop for soft furnishings in rich russet shades. Team with classic patterns and choose rustic wooden furniture with simple industrial lines to complement the look.

Moved into a new place? Be inspired by the French owner of this Chelsea pied-à-terre, Cécile Chancel, and enliven existing features with your own touch. Cécile retained the previous owner’s neutral palette but added splashes of colour and modern furniture. The two pretty coral-coloured armchairs are from Gallery 25 in Pimlico (find similar from Quindry for around £990). C’est chic.

Paint: ‘Peony Pink’, £39 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, at Sanderson.

At Slackwood Farm – a 400 year old farmhouse with a modern interior – the sitting room’s original fireplace is now fitted with a wood-burning stove; the doorway leads through to the glass dining room and garden extension, where a sculpture of a man by Sean Henry sits.

At the front of this Belgravia house, a sitting room and study are to the right of a long, ground-floor entrance hallway. These are comfortable and lived-in rooms, where books fill alcove shelves and are stacked under side tables. Theodora, the couple’s heartbreakingly cute cockapoo, can usually be found snuggled at the head of a zebra-skin rug in the sitting room.

Taken from the July 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

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Black slate flooring runs alongside white Travertine in the ground-floor sitting room of this medieval tower in Italy belonging to the celebrated architect Bruno Sacchi and his wife Jane. Orginally completed in the Seventies, Jane and their children recently resuscitated the project’s original decor, which had fallen in to disrepair following her husbands death.

What are some great living room ideas & living room designs?

FURNITURE Twentieth-century Ghanaian wooden stool (left of sofa), ‘Leopand’, £950, from Bryan Reeves Tribal Gathering London. Sofa, ‘Edward’, by Niels Bendtsen, 70 x 265 x 175cm, £4,164, from Viaduct; sofa and back cushions covered in ‘Milford’ (ivory), linen, £105 a metre, from Colefax and Fowler; and brown back cushion in ‘Sack Cloth’ (ginger), jute/linen, £115.20 a metre, from de Le Cuona. Aluminium and wicker cabinet, ‘Meet The Wicker’, by Chudy & Grase, 125 x 65 x 35cm, £1,800, from Mint. Twentieth-century wooden stools, from left: Tanzanian ceremonial stool, £470; Kenyan elders’ stool, £450; Congolese chief’s stool, £750; Zambian village stool, £320; and Ethiopian cooking stool, £380; all from Bryan Reeves Tribal Gathering London. Seventies rattan armchair, 86 x 76 x 89cm, £3,600 for two, from Talisman.

Max Rollitt chose to paint this living room grey, using a lime-based paint custom-mixed by Naismith Robertson. The collection of porcelain vases layered on the whatnot are from Max’s own range.

Custom-made lights, created in collaboration with Robert Clift, help define the spaces in Kelly’s new open-plan house. Silk and blown glass lights hang in the living room.

FLOOR Wool kilim, ‘NK0014.S1’, 120 x 180cm, £518, from Vaughan.

When two architects bought one of the smallest houses in New York, they transformed the interior, creating a bijou interior with a sense of spaciousness that belies its exterior appearance. The dining area is cleverly included at one end of the living room.

Bunny Turner of design duo Turner Pocock is unafraid of pattern, and her London living room is a case in point. A fire designed by gas-fire-specialist Neville Stephens adds warmth to the north-facing room, while a bergère chair, reupholstered in a greeny-yellow linen from Tissus d’Hélène, provides a splash of colour, as do the cushions by Suzanne Sharp from The Rug Company (try their ‘Key’ cushion for a slightly less expensive option). The sofa is covered in ‘Fuji Moderne’ by Kelly Wearstler, and the graphic picture above the chimneypiece (by artist Julio Rondo) adds yet more pattern.

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Taken from the June 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

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The owners of this newbuild Bahamas beach house turned to trusted interior designer John McCall to provide their house with a British sensibility, practical furnishings and interiors that are not ‘too beachy’. The cypress-panelled library walls are decorated with maps of the Caribbean. The pattern on the blinds matches the one on the rug.

This room, designed by Kit Kemp, features blue striped wallpaper and remarkable curtains. A fabric-covered track, known as a lath and fascia, reduces the light that comes through, so is effective in bedrooms and on bay windows. Here, Kit has used Bennison Fabrics’ ‘Cherry Tree’ linen, £197 a metre, at the Covent Garden Hotel.

A neutral, yet richly textured grey silk wallcovering provides the perfect backdrop to a painting by Harland Miller, which hangs above a sofa (designed by Peter) in this living room. Interior designer Peter Mikic redecorated this west-London town house for his clients, stripping back a previous, over-slick modernisation to display the house’s considerable original charm. Once the original features of the interior architecture were shown in their full glory, it imbued the house with an atmosphere that was less self-consciously grand and more bohemian. A feeling reinforced by their extensive collection of contemporary art.

This guest cottage, a conversion of a former garage at the Oxfordshire home of Vanessa Macdonald, has its own wood-pannelled sitting room. The condensed arrangement of furniture around the rug make the room feel cosy while also leaving well-proportioned open space.

Combining cashmere curtains, silk carpet and walls, and a sofa upholstered in the softest of slate gray velvets, this siting room by Louise Jones is the last word in luxury. The two ornate mirrors were sourced from an old opera house in Paris.

The ceiling is constructed from palm trunks, combined with acacia and eucalyptus for strength, and the walls have the same finish outside and in: a mix of mud, limestone and straw applied by hand, as Romain did not want the smoother tadelakt finish more typical for interiors. In another departure from Moroccan tradition, he opted for black floors, made of concrete that was cleaned and highly polished with black soap made from olives.

However, before Gavin could get going, there was a lot to be done to return the house to its original 1850s state. Simon Hurst of the architecture firm SCHD was the obvious choice to do this. A graduate of what was then the Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture and a winner of a Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Scholarship, Simon was recommended by Gavin for his sensitive work restoring the fabric of old houses. Windows, doors and cornices were remade to historically correct patterns, and working with the building firm Sympatico Design & Restoration. In the new study and library a tour de force of wood graining by decorative painter Hughie Turner, has a vibrant mustard-coloured felt on the walls.

Art collector Valeria Napoleone’s passion for collecting works by female artists is reflected in her bold London home.

Max Rollitt has filled his cosy living room with his collection of antiques, an antique Persian rug is spread on the floor.

The panelling in the first-floor living room of a Chelsea house by interior designer Freddy van Zevenbergen is painted in three shades of grey – a subtle but impactful detail. The artwork above the chest of drawers is by Tracey Emin.

Ceramic tiles, ‘Prismatics’, 10cm square, £23 a square metre, from Tile Mountain. Nineteenth-century, Afghan, hand-spun wool rug, 326 x 274cm, £15,000 at Robert Stephenson.

Inspired by the Japanese feel of the latest furniture and furnishings, decoration director Gabby Deeming has created a calm, pared-back scheme combining past, present and future classics.

Anne-Marie Midy inherited this house in the south of France and has since lovingly restored it to refresh the interiors without losing the charm of the space. Anne-Marie Midy and her husband own the Mexican furniture company Casamidy.

Bold patterns and prints are mixed in this modern living room to stylish effect. The secret to mixing pattern? Unite them with a colour scheme and stick to clean, sharp lines for maximum impact. Wallpaper, upholstery and cushions, all from Harlequin.

‘The wall was pine but it was very yellow,’ says interior designer Gavin Houghton, who brought the panelling in this Grade I-listed Tudor house up to date by rubbing lime into the grain. The pale colour looks fresh and modern, acting as the perfect foil to the bold colours of the upholstery and curtains (‘Imperial Trellis’ by Kelly Wearstler). In ‘a nod to David Hicks’ who designed the Sixties geometric carpet, the trellis pattern reigns supreme in Gavin’s striking scheme – even down to the metallic wallpaper lining the back of the bookshelves. The ‘Art 308’ chairs from Andrew Martin have a special painted frame to give them a crisp, updated look.

A feature wallpaper helps to emphasise the shape of this open-plan living room makeover. Plain white roller blinds allow the beauty of the traditional sash windows to shine through.

Blue and white is a classic colour combination that’s perfect for a nautical scheme. Whale motif wallpaper adds a quirky twist to this timeless look.

FURNITURE Three-seater Sixties leather and chrome sofa, by Jørgen Kastholm, 76 x 217 x 76cm, from £3,000 for similar, from Two Columbia Road. Ceramic side table, ‘Bishop’ (powder pink), 60 x 40cm diameter, €910, from India Mahdavi. Velvet and steel chairs, ‘Beetle’ (green), by GamFratesi for Gubi, 87 x 54.6 x 49cm, £689 each, from The Conran Shop. Rattan chair, ‘Paris’, by Arne Jacobsen, 83 x 68 x 102cm, €1,395, from Sika Design. Brass side tables, ‘Pebble’, 50 x 40cm diameter, £2,160; and 40 x 40cm diameter, £1,945; from Birgit Israel.

Taken from the December 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Charlotte Fairbairn

Set across the top floors of four Victorian houses, this flat’s interior was remodelled to create an open-plan living area that blends into the terrace. ‘I was fed up of moving from room to room and wanted a more relaxed way of living’, says the owner. The saffron yellow walls are illuminated by a large skylight, and the rug is by Sinclair Till.

In the living room of this renovated Georgian house a vintage leather gym bench is used as a coffee table in front of the sitting room’s Royal Doulton ceramic-tiled chimneypiece. Turquoise accents tie the whole scheme together.

A yellow sofa adds a pop of colour placed in front of a bookcase in a converted chapel in Somerset owned by artist Jonathan Delafield Cook and illustrator Laura Stoddart. The family took to village life with verve, and turned this chapel into a home. Built in 1850, it consisted of one big room with Gothic pointed windows, and a lean-to at the back, tacked on in 1950. In the main chapel, there was a small stage, with benches all around the walls, its only decoration a metal scroll inscribed with the words ‘In God We Trust’. The couple put their trust in the enlightened local planning official, councillor Martin Lee, who convinced them to build a second storey repeating the Gothic windows of the building. This meant they had an elegant home, with enough space for three bedrooms.

The cosy white scheme in the living room of Harriet Anstruther’s restored Sussex farmhouse features a distinctive cowskin ottoman from George Smith that adds punch to the house’s original features.

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Chair upholstered in ‘Montmartre Stripe’ (antique linen), £155 a metre; ‘Juliette’ pillowcase (natural), £215; Table ‘Sculptor’, £10,185 all from Ile Saint Louis Collection at Ralph Lauren Home.

The living room in this eighteenth-century house in Bath is a study in restrained grandeur. On the nineteenth-century Persian carpet, Christopher Howe’s ‘Weimaraner Sofa’ and ‘Gainsborough Stool’ are joined by an antique chaise longue by Howard & Sons. The heads on the oak table are by Christopher Marvell (from the Yew Tree Gallery) and Dora Gordine. On the easel is a work by Antony Gormley.

Tasked with reinventing a conservative Park Avenue apartment, New York-based designer Sandra Nunnerley has created a modern, relaxed space that also works for formal entertaining. At the opposite end a pair of Louis XVI gilded armchairs sits in harmony with a late- nineteenth-century studded African chair.

The house is blessed with spectacular cornicing on the ground and first floors, a Bacchanalian feast of plump grapes and spreading leaves reminiscent of a miniature Roman palazzo. When Peter’s clients bought the house two years ago, this was mostly obscured under thickly caked paint, but as the layers were painstakingly removed by hand over many months, the extraordinary beauty and exuberance of the designs were revealed. As Peter explains, the last thing to do was repaint them. ‘We decided that the focus needed to be thecornice itself,’ he says. ‘Usually, I begin with a floor and work up – but this was a totally reverse process.’

So, in his flat, designer Ben Pentreath started with the easiest part first: the sitting room, which he promptly painted white. ‘My philosophy with walls is to start off light, live with them, pin up different colours and, if you can, wait for a winter to pass before you finally decide what to cover them with.’ By the following spring, the walls were hung in a pale grey grasscloth.

When interior designer Rose Anne de Pampelonne decorated this French apartment, she collaborated with antiques specialist Florence Lopez to source appropriate pieces for the flat. This sunburst gold and black screen, by Laurent Leveque, punctuates the living space by introducing pattern, while also acting as an elegant barrier between the two rooms. For similar, the New York-based company Atelier Viollet produces a beautiful selection of gold straw marquetry pieces, including desks, screens, and side tables.

ACCESSORIESCushions, from left: ‘Mini Blason’ (ecru/bleu), by Le Manach, cotton/viscose, £280.80 a metre, from Claremont. ‘Manises’ (negro), linen/cotton, by Gastón y Daniela, £91.80 a metre, from Abbott & Boyd. Woven plastic basket, ‘Alma’, £23, from The Conran Shop.

Known only as the Chapelle, the rectangular, red-brick structure’s original use remains something of a mystery, but it has provided the canvas for a remarkable collaboration between the owners and their architect friend, Claire Bataille of Wave Architecture. Enter through an unassuming door on the street and a world of light and dramatic space opens up.

While having a small living room presents more challenges than a bigger space, the design can often turn out to be better resolved and better planned thanks to the size restrictions. But don’t worry as there are plenty of small living room ideas on homify to help you get inspired. Just because you have more room, doesn’t mean your design will automatically turn out better. The number of square metres you have has no influence on how cosy or inviting a the room can feel, but in principle, wild patterns and bold colours should be avoided if you want to visually enlarge the space as much as you can. It’s possible to create clever optical illusions with orientation, light, furniture layout, colour as well as living room storage space; fooling even the most discerning designer into thinking your room is much larger than it actually is.

FLOOR Sisal flooring, ‘Oriental’ (silver), £59 a square metre, from Crucial Trading. Wool rug, ‘Jasper Waffle’ (red fossil), 274 x 183cm, £3,000, from Vanderhurd.

Taken from the January 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Florence Rolfe.

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‘We were determined to avoid beige “banker chic”,’ the owner explains. Having looked through the pages of House & Garden in search of suitable interior designers, they found that they admired the work of Gavin Houghton. Their brief to him was to make the house traditional, featuring the best of classic English interior decoration.

A blue painted fireplace complements a patterned petrol-blue velvet ottomon and a blue moleskin-covered sofa in this white living room designed by Paula Barnes, who transformed this nineteenth-century London rectory into a comfortable family home. While some designers plan schemes down to the last specific colour reference, Paula charmingly refers to ‘an off-grey-blue thing going on’. Of course, she knows exactly which off-grey and which off-blue, as seen in the blue living room, which she created by covering one sofa in moleskin and another in a combination of fabrics from her own Eliza Barnes collection. The room extends from the front of the house to what was originally the back, where there is now a door leading to the kitchen.

Flea-market finds can easily overwhelm a scheme. But here they are seamlessly combined with soft furnishings in classic designs that, together with an ultra-realistic gas fire, offer the sense of tradition and comfort the owner also craved.

Faringdon House in Oxfordshire was once home to ‘the mad boy’ Lord Berners, the inspiration for Lord Merlin in Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love. Now in the hands of his descendant Sofka Zinovieff, the character and eccentricity of the home and its history is lovingly preserved.

Interior designer Sarah Chambers’ south London home is blessed with high Victorian ceilings. The cornicing is painted a crisp white and the walls a soft grey, a great shade as a base for her framed photography collection. The fireplace is edged with a modern carrera marble chimneypiece. Oriental accents scattered across the room create a sense of cohesion.

Bright colours and graphic lines are a match made in interiors heaven. Interior designer Andrzej Zarzycki and his partner Anthony Collett chose this bold number from The Rug Company for the living room floor of this Parisian home.

Looking for a living room that’s a little bit different? A log-filled fireplace, scattering of books and funky fabrics make this stylish sitting room the ultimate in quirky cool.

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Pink silk embroideries from the Swat Valley were the starting point for this living room, picked up in the pink lampshades and offset by the custom-made sofa, covered in an indigo Manuel Canovas fabric. The laidback retreat is the Languedoc home of designer Douglas Mackie and his partner Julian Jackson.

Taken from the October 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole.

Taken from the January 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

FURNITUREWood stool, ‘Potluck’, by Lola Lely, 48 x 20cm diam- eter, £925 each, at Mint. Linen sofa, ‘Lavenham’, 82 x 240 x 110cm, £4,595, at The Conran Shop. Ash and steel shelving system, ‘Stick’, by Jan and Henry, 171 x 194 x 51cm, £1,260, from Menu. Ash and leather chair, ‘Campaign’, by Virginie Lobot, 74 x 57 x 60cm, £1,095, at The Conran Shop.

In the drawing room of print maker Cameron Short’s restored Georgian house, a lamp with a ‘Varx’ shade made by Cameron sits on a restored eighteenth-century oak table, which was unearthed in a barn adjoining the house. The carpet-covered ottoman and chair were both auction buys.

Designer Max Rollitt gave the sitting room of this London flat a flavour of early English vernacular with sixteenth-century-style panelling. The seating area is marked out with a big square of rush matting.

Steffanie Brown, owner of Notting Hill-based jewellers Laviandbelle, enlisted the help of decorator Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay for her west London home. The modern living room sets the tone for the combination of pattern and texture to be found throughout the house. The walls are hung with a collection of starburst mirrors from various antiques fairs.

Anne-Marie admits she is a shopper. ‘I love objects,’ she enthuses. Her philosophy is that if you like something, you will find a place for it. ‘You have to trust that,’ she says. ‘When you are forced to improvise and find solutions for the things you already have, it makes interiors more vivid. I never regret my buys, but I still think about the things I let go.’ Indeed, every surface and shelf is crammed with interesting, quirky, even kitsch finds, but all displayed in a considered way.

The sitting room of Clare Mosley’s Georgian house, on the raised ground floor, extends from the front of the house to the back. The cream armchair is from Howe on Pimlico Road, the blue sofa is from George Sherlock and the blue footstool is from Sean Cooper Sofas. The gilded lamp on the occasional table and the walnut-framed mirror that hangs over the chimneypiece are examples of Clare’s work.

In the living room of their home, furniture designers Anne-Marie and Jorge have mixed with art, antiques and pre-Columbian artefacts (the couple own design company Casamidy). Colour is added by the blind – ‘Gemstone’ by Jim Thompson – and the cushions; Anne-Marie chose the bright yellow fabric to combat the often gloomy Brussels light. The couple are French (her) and Mexican (him) and live in the Belgian city with their two young sons.

This living room features fine panelling, a richly stuccoed ceiling and a most impressive marble fireplace. A carpet from Robert Kime in shades of pale blue and gold sets the colour scheme. ‘I sourced the curtain fabrics or carpets for each room and built the colours of the sofas, walls, etc around them, trying to use different textures,’ designer Sophie explains.

Hearing the call of the wild? Keep animal motifs to one or two choice accessories and add another statement feature – some striking pictures, perhaps? – to balance it out.

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A grey L-shaped sofa makes the most of the large sitting room in a Saint-Paul-de-Vence house designed by Andrzej Zarzycki, as does an artwork by Caroline Achaintre which highlights the double height of the room. A double-sided fireplace links the sitting room to the dining room next door. The coffee tables were designed by Andrzej and made by Matt Grant using ammonite from Dale Rogers.

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Bold floral sofas – upholstered in fabrics designed by Josef Frank – are the focal point of this sitting area. The window seat between them has been used to emphasise the symmetrical design of the room.

*Wall art is now more accessible than ever. This beautiful Blue Skies Framed Print by photographer Mike Shepherd (£95, John Lewis), deserves a place on every living room wall.

Since moving into her husband’s Wiltshire farmhouse, designer Sarah Vanrenen has enhanced its quirky charm, with an adjusted layout and unexpected colours. Eye-catching pieces hold their own against the bright walls. The large mirror and sofa were both inherited by Sarah’s husband Grant and she made shades for the Vaughan wall lamps in an ikat fabric.

When Fiona first saw this house, everything was a shade of custard: ‘Carpets, walls, sofas, curtains. The plan was to turn it into a family-orientated home in the English country-house style, but with a contemporary twist.’

A huge sitting-room-cum-party-room now takes over the vast, former schoolroom of Saint Paulinus, a nineteenth-century church in North Yorkshire that is now the home of Sophie and Greville Worthington and their three children. The atmospheric setting reflects the couple’s passion for fashion and art, from which they have both forged successful careers. Sophie runs the girls’ clothing company with Lucy Enfield (wife of Harry Enfield) while Greville is a busy curator of contemporary art exhibitions, including Gavin Turk’s exhibition of neon sculptures at Bowes Museum.

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After visiting her friend Kathryn Ireland in France’s Tarn region, Anne Halsey bought a French farmhouse retreat there and enlisted the help of the decorator to create a relaxed space perfect for entertaining. This farmhouse sitting room is decorated in a mostly neutral scheme, with Kathryn M Ireland’s ‘Quilt’ fabric on the armchair and ‘Tonal Ticking’ on the sofas.

A corner of this open-plan living space in Paris has plenty of personal touches added by artist Craig Hanna and his wife Georgina. A cable light is nonchalantly looped over a ceiling beam, while old stacked old suitcases provide extra storage.

The walls of the drawing room in designer Max Rollitt’s London home have been painted grey, using a lime-based paint custom-mixed by Naismith Robertson. The collection of porcelain vases layered on the whatnot are from Max’s range.

She has worked hard to achieve visual unity throughout the small space, by replacing mismatched flooring with engineered boards, and picking fabrics in large scale prints but soft toning shades. ‘Less is more when it comes to colour,’ she adds. Farrow & Ball’s ‘Pavillion Gray’ on the walls gives a sophisticated evening mood.

Taken from the March 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Tristram Holland.

The sitting room is filled with light on both sides through contemporary, floor-to-ceiling windows, recently replaced to mimic the Seventies design. Arflex ‘Strips’ ottomans, are reupholstered in blue linen, and Ikea sofas work with the white travertine shelves on either side, which hold Bruno’s collection of African figurines, sculptures and art books.

The centerpiece is a coffee table of crushed, polished aluminium, set in glass by Fredrikson Stallard, flanked by two Howard armchairs. The gilded side tables with carved wild-boar heads on each side of the chimneypiece were found by art consultant James Miller. All sit on a contemporary, custom-made Mahal Ziegler rug, which is from C B Parsua.

In a valley on the Waddesdon Manor estate sits Flint House, an award-winning example of contemporary architecture commissioned by Jacob Rothschild, a champion of houses of the future.

Taken from the September 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lucie Young.

A bespoke Vanderhurd silk dhurrie, on which sits an Italian mosaic coffee table, draws together the disparate elements and colours in the furniture and accessories of this small London family home, which measures just 90 square metres. The furnishings include vintage Quindry vases and pots designed by the flat’s interior designer, Eve Mercier, for Atelier Buffile.

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See the rest of the house here or take a look around Anne-Marie and Jorge’s home in the south of France.

A large sofa from George Smith, with cushions covered in hand-embroidered linen from Ranjit Ahuja, provides a comfortable spot in the drawing room of Ed and Polly Nicholson’s home in Wiltshire.

The living room area in this transformed city flat features a curved sofa designed by Studio Ashby, the shape of which was inspired by the River Thames, and was decorated with pale colours. The joinery piece maintains the open layout of the flat, keeping the overall scheme light while using strong angles and varied materials to add interest. Its design reflects the strong lines of the modern architecture along the Southbank. Calacatta marble, unlacquered brass (forming a characterful patina over time) and birds eye maple were used to create the facets.

In this living room, white walls are enlivened with a painting by Emily Lamb; the rug is from Robert Stephenson. A variety of textiles make this space vibrant and cosy.

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Combining classical proportions and traditional furnishings with the informal elements of family life, this house in Cornwall has proved to be the perfect acquisition for its owners. In the living room, walls in ‘Sea Green’ from Edward Bulmer Natural Paints provide a backdrop to the art and the floral fabric on the sofa, which is ‘Roses’ by Bennison Fabrics. The chandelier is from Christie’s.

Wardrobes from Oka sit either side of a chicly styled mantlepiece and a fireplace filled with logs – a clever trick for adding warmth where it is non-functional – and a bold chevron rug adds colour to the space. This may be the master bedroom of designer Bunny Turner’s London home, but we’ll be taking inspiration for our living room.

*For a wide selection of posters, art prints and framed art, visit for an affordable selection. There’s something for everyone!

‘Bruno’s project for the house was innovative and ahead of its time in its solutions to the technical problems of a building of its age,’ says Jane. ‘He took time to consider each space and how the light falls at different times of day, making every angle, aperture and window a picture in itself. He created contemporary interiors that managed to contrast with and yet enhance the ancient setting.’

*Browse more from the House Beautiful collection at Carpetright here.

Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Caroline Clifton-Mogg.

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The furniture in the sitting room of Caroline O’Donnell’s London flat is a blend of classic contemporary designs and understated antiques and vintage pieces, many bought at The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair at Battersea Park. ‘It was an expensive day, but a fun day,’ recalls Caroline on going with interior designer Harriet Anstruther.

Taken from the February 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Hatta Byng.

A limited black and white colour palette always looks stylish. But introducing just one or two pops of bright colour, such as in this Glasgow flat, will add a sense of fun.

Go for a softer, more relaxed approach in your living space by layering up inviting textures – a rug laid over bare wood flooring will give a welcoming feel underfoot. Add personality with a mix of pattern on ceramics and soft furnishing. Tone down the palette with upholstery in mid to dark grey and dashes of black.

This is open-plan living on steroids. Under three tall windows at the front of the house is a seating area that stretches nearly the entire length of the building. Two eight-person sofas are butted up against each other, facing various armchairs, chaise longues and two-seat sofas. Kelly entertains a lot, and there is space for up to 30 people to sit, perch and mingle.

Cornicing and antique wooden floors have been religiously reproduced in the home of Will and Charlotte Fisher in south-east London and it’s no surprise – the couple are behind Jamb, the antique and reproduction specialists in London’s Pimlico.

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Taken from the March 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Taken from the October 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

In Kim Wilkie’s London flat, natural light floods in from the south-facing windows in the sitting and dining room. The furniture is kept simple to draw the focus onto the industrial artwork. To the right of the Purbeck-stone chimneypiece, shelves hold 35 sculptural ploughshares dug up on Kim’s farm, with cast-iron gratings and schist roof tiles on top.

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*Oliver Bonas do a great selection of gold accessories, all with a chic twist.

The home is a former nineteenth-century grain store just off London’s Marylebone High Street, which has been transformed with help from the architects at RDH. It is now the effortlessly stylish home of clothes designer Anna Valentine. Her eponymous clothing label, known for its quality and attention to detail has been weaved into the renovation of her timeless London flat.

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A plethora of pattern – chintz, checks, muted stripes – and strong carpets, soften the eighteenth century paneling, which is painted a shade between duck egg blue and watery green – darker below the dado rail and lighter above. Pictures are perfectly hung. Large imposing portraits on the walls; and small charming watercolours in tight groups around the fireplace.

An outdoor area was created at Paul Priestman’s mews house in Notting Hill by shortening the roof and adding a glass wall. Like the look of his contemporary grey living room? Paul is one of the leading transport designers in Britain and counts Skandium and RE as two of his favourite shops. “I like things with a sense of history that have proved their value through longevity,” he says.

In the original part of interior designer Louise Jones’ house, the living room has a warm palette. The walls are painted in a pale ochre by DKT Artworks and complemented by checked curtains from Handicraft Haveli in Jaipur.

Taken from the October 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Dinah Hall and Emily Tobin. Locations editor: Liz Elliot.

17 ideas for curtains and blinds hand-picked by our Decoration Director

Designer Patrick Williams has carefully transformed an eighteenth-century house in Bath into a welcoming home. In the library on the first floor, the family’s Penguin and Pelican books are housed in bookcases made by Patrick, who combined new shelves with Georgian architraves. The rug belonged to his grandparents and survived a Second World War bomb blast.

*The Urban Obsession matt paint by Dulux (£13.12 for 1.25L) would work well for a feature wall.

Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Living room Decorate How to make your living room look lighter, brighter and bigger 5 design tricks for a small living room 15 stylish living room ideas The 4 best ways to arrange living room furniture 6 wow-factor living room decorating ideas The top 6 living room design ideas living room ideas living room inspiration living room decorating Living room

*Achieve a similar look with Vita Copenhagen’s Eos lampshade (£99, Amazon) – it will give guaranteed wow factor!

This classic country style scheme is made relaxed and informal with a squashy sofa and chairs, neutral colours and natural textures. The gilt-framed mirror and glamorous table lamps add a touch of elegance to the look.

A spin painting by Damien Hirst, in addition to turquoise cushions and glints of gold, adds colour to the room.

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20th-century industrial convex mirrors, 122cm diameter, £2,200 each, at Alex MacArthur; deep-buttoned velvet sofa, 68.5 x 200 x 89cm, £7,799 at Talisman. Sofa (in foreground) , ‘Gilston’, 83 x 73 x 183cm, £2,000 at David Seyfried; covered in ‘Foch’ (ciel) by Manuel Canovas, cotton, £95 a metre, at Colefax and Fowler.

FURNITURE Maple and straw stool, ‘Rani’, by Pour Les Alpes, 48 x 38cm diameter, £950, from Mint. Beech modular sofa, ‘Hayward’, 70 x 265 x 95cm, £4,015 as shown, from The Sofa & Chair Company; covered in ‘One Way’ (end segments: pistachio; middle segment: lemon), by Kit Kemp, linen, £135 a metre, from Christopher Farr Cloth. Oak and bamboo coffee table, ‘Low Table B’, 38 x 124 x 54cm, £1,700; ‘Stool D’, 44 x 38cm diameter, £1,200; both by Nendo for Industry+, from Mint.

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Taken from the January 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Emily Senior, Hatta Byng and Jennifer Goulding.

How to make your living room look lighter, brighter and bigger

A sofa with a low back looks contemporary and won’t interrupt a great view, as can be seen in this modern farmhouse in Scottish highlands.

What is immediately impressive about the living room in Kelly Hoppen’s London house is the volume of the space. Five Carrara marble steps lead down from a spacious entrance hall to a living area of gymnasium-like proportions. It took six months to dig down the one-and-a-half metres to create the six-metre-high space that Kelly wanted. ‘If it wasn’t for Matt the foreman, from London Projects, I might still be in the hotel today,’ Kelly says.

Blue and white is a classic colour combination, but it also works beautifully in contemporary designs. Pair traditional ceramics with bold graphic lines for a stylish scheme.

Designer Harriet Anstruther has chosen two glass ‘Wire Frame’ tables from The Conran Shop to sit in the centre of this sitting room, which create a contemporary contrast with the reclaimed wood floor and Edwardian chimneypiece.

Architect Johnny Holland has chosen a neutral palette for the sitting room of his Richmond mansion flat to direct the focus on views of the Thames. The bespoke L-shape sofa by Hackett Holland is big enough for the whole family. Through the double doors is the hallway to the bedroom.

Mix and match styles of art, but take note of the way designer Ebba Thott has used pictures with complementary tones to bring together colours of the walls and furnishings in this room.

The artist owners of this London house called on interior designer Beata Heuman to create a family home full of fun, distinctive design and punchy colours. A highly original space, unapologetically theatrical and oozing energy. ‘The owners are both artists. They have quite wild tastes and they love strong colours,’ says Beata.

WALL Wallpaper, ‘Décor Chinois’ (pink), £880 for a 390 x 53.5cm panel, from Zuber & Cie. Nineteenth-century verdigris copper wall lantern, 53.5 x 36 x 25.5cm, £2,400, fromSibyl Colefax & John Fowler Antiques.

Built just outside Marrakesh and inspired by Berber style, Swiss designer Romain Michel-Ménière’s house combines traditional materials and techniques with a modern aesthetic, resulting in an ambience and layout ideal for entertaining and relaxation. The living area is voluminous and arranged on two levels, with high ceilings, and a fireplace in the middle that separates it from the dining room.

An abundance of antiques and flowers adorn this Wiltshire home

This 90 square metre former artist’s studio in Chelsea is the work of designer Eve Mercier, who created it for a family of five. The original Perspex roof on the top floor lends the small living room the feel of a conservatory and creates the illusion of space.

Situated on a leafy street in Manhattan’s West Village, Jos and Annabel White’s six-storey town house has been extended, gutted and completely renovated to create open-plan interiors tailored for family living by architect Basil Walter and interior designer by Poonam Khanna of BW Architecture. ‘We drove the neighbours mad,’ says Jos White of the project, which is on one of the most desirable streets in Manhattan’s West Village.

The ‘Mystery’ lampshade teamed with a plaster lamp base, reminiscent of designs by Syrie Maugham, is by Alexander Hamilton. It illuminates to reveal a hand-painted image.

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Keith McNally of Balthazar adds the same sense of style to his family home

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The decoration of this house is a cool blend of contemporary yet comfortable furnishings, bold fabrics in jewel-like colours with strong geometric patterns, enriched with the Turner Pocock’s signature attention to detail. ‘We can’t let a sofa go without adding a contrasting piping, or a drinks cabinet without lining the inside with wallpaper. It adds interest and looks considered without feeling too put together,’ says Bunny. There is also a sense of fun. ‘We are never too serious, and this had to be a practical family house.’

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*Introduce pops of colour with the Hill coffee table and two side tables (£99 from MADE).

In the sitting room of artist Sarah Graham’s London house, abstract artwork brings sophistication to the comfortable space and adds interest to white walls. Art books fill every nook and cranny of storage space.

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The sitting room of this converted artist’s studio is of a size that is a rare luxury in a city. A fire flickers within a stone chimneypiece and in the broad, high alcoves on either side of the chimney breast, bookshelves climb towards the apex of the double-height, sloping ceiling. Around the fire, two plump sofas and two stout armchairs offer an irresistible temptation to sink down, kick off your shoes and settle in for a quiet read or a long conversation, while admiring the view of trees, birds and sky through the towering studio window. The gaze wanders across walls of art, including a John Bellany painting over the chimneypiece and a glowing nineteenth-century copy of Pietro Perugino’s Sermon on the Mount. You could get very comfortable in this room.

Their simple design echoes the lines of the Portland stone chimneypiece from Jamb, balancing the strong graphic print of the carpet.

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Below the sitting and dining room in this Caribbean bamboo house is the TV room, in which the walls and ceiling are clad in cured bamboo from Saint Vincent. The curved coffee table and chairs soften the rigid bamboo lines, while white and green fabrics are in keeping with the theme of nature. The house was designed by Veere Grenney.

Interior designer Peter Mikic redecorated this west-London town house for his clients, stripping back a previous, over-slick modernisation to display the house’s considerable original charm.

Jamb director Henry Bickerton has revived his Victorian town house with carefully chosen elements of English country-house style. The sitting room is a handsome space painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Railings’. ‘I chose a really dark colour to make it as uninviting as possible to my children,’ Henry deadpans. Far from stygian, the room is warm and cosseting, particularly when lit by candles – ‘the less my guests can see of me the better’. But the pièce de résistance is the Bennison Fabrics curtains in rich shades of red and gold: ‘I fell in love with the pattern and, by complete luck, they had exactly the amount of fabric I needed.’

Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Hatta Byng.

A neutral colour palette and an emphasis on adding texture and light have turned this Grade II listed former schoolhouse’s living room into a family home.

The combination of metallic wallpaper, rustic wood and soft furnishings pulled together in a muted lilac, cyprus and oyster colour palette creates a chic and informal scheme.

Interior designer Virginia Howard had no intention of moving from Knightsbridge to Pimlico, until a nineteenth-century balcony flat garden square changed her mind. In her streamlined and calming living room an Italian marble bust sits on a base designed by George Carter, inspired by scagliola plinths at Holkham Hall in Norfolk. The ‘Tangier’ rug is from Robert Stephenson. The gentle palette is lifted with patterned details such as the cushions and upholstered chair.

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Houses by furniture designers can all too easily look like showrooms; smart and full of well­ designed pieces that are covetable individually, but en masse create a one-dimensional look. However, the interior of this large Brussels town house owned by designers Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada, though stuffed with their creations, is anything but bland. This corner of a living room uses a smart configuration of chaise longue, and yellow lights which pop against the dark walls.

FLOOR Seagrass and cotton rugs, left of sofa, ‘Nora’ (blanc), right of sofa, ‘Square’ (blanc), 200 x 300cm, £284.73 each, from Caravane. Braided jute rug, ‘Sequoia’ (nuage), by Elitis, 200 x 300cm, £1,430.20, from Abbott & Boyd.

Passed down through inheritance for nearly 400 years, former House & Garden editor Sue Crewe’s childhooh home Holker Hall has a rich history, and an interior that combines comfort with charm. The loose covers on the chairs in the ‘brown hall’ are made from a recreation of an original Warner fabric.

The sitting room of Nicole Salveson’s home features a mix of complementary patterns: the blinds are in Neisha Crosland’s ‘Medallions’ design, while the green cushions on the sofa are covered in ‘Celadon’ from Irving and Morrison.

But decorating your own flat is not at all the same as doing it for someone else. ‘The difference between doing a scheme for a client, when you have to plan everything in advance with no room for trial and error, and doing it for oneself is that, when it is your own, you take time – sometimes a lot of time – to get it right, making existing pieces fit in and looking for others quite slowly.’

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FLOOR Rug, ‘Ikat Kilim’ (red), wool, 397 x 314cm, £7,669.05, from Sinclair Till.

Henrietta Courtauld, one half of The Land Gardeners, and the owner of this 1850s London terrace house commissioned architect and designer Maria Speake of Retrouvius to decorate this duck egg blue living room.

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In the sitting room of this Chelsea house designed by Freddy van Zevenbergen, colour is introduced in the form of a green velvet corner sofa designed by Freddy (his bespoke sofas start at £21,600) and a painting by Vik Muniz. The sofa is covered in ‘Prince Igor’ velvet from Abbott & Boyd.

Taken from the April 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Teresa Levonian Cole. Locations editor: Lavinia Bolton.

In Serena & William’s Foyle’s ravishing Cadogan Square apartment (pictured) one of William’s early self-portraits hangs above the chimneypiece in the drawing room, offset by a mixture of traditional and more modern paintings, as well as several eighteenth-and nineteenth-century fans.

*Flowers will brighten any room. Shop the very best bouquets from Interflora, Marks & Spencer or Waitrose.

ACCESSORIES Porcelain jar, ‘Cactus’, by & Klevering, £19, from SCP. Terracotta turtledishes, from left: £135 and £110, from William Yeoward. Cushion covers, from left: ‘Hibi’, raffia, 50cm square, £150; ‘Parrot’, cotton- and raffia-embroidered linen, 30 x 50cm, £85, and 45cm square, £95; ‘Shell Weave’, raffia, 50cm square, £150; and ‘Flag’ (celery), embroidered linen, 45cm square, £75; all from The Conran Shop. Linen throw, ‘Vice Versa’ (absinthe), 250 x 140cm, £260, from The Conran Shop. Ash floor lamp, ‘Abacus’, 140cm high, £1,800, from Porta Romana; with card lampshade, ‘Lido’, 45 x 50cm diameter, £150, from Luke Edward Hall.

Like this? Then you’ll loveSee the rest of Lucy Turvill’s amazing home

*Layer up with this velvet cushion, £19.50 from Marks & Spencer.

This extraordinary chimneypiece in the drawing room of Paul Lyon Maris and Robin Muir’s home dates from the Renaissance. Try Westland London for something similar.

We have major girl (and design) crushes on the ladies behind the blog A Beautiful Mess. Here, Emma Chapman transformed her previously 1980s-style yellow-and-tan living room with some modern black paint and a gallery wall. See the full living room (complete with one amazing bookshelf) here.

Our favourite children’s rooms designed by members of The List

Passing down through inheritance for nearly 400 years, Holker Hall has a rich history resulting in an interior that combines comfort with charm. It is quite unusual for an English country house to have never been bought or sold in 400 years, but Holker Hall has passed down through three families by inheritance – sometimes through women – since 1610.

Known for their irreverent take on English country-house style, the American duo behind interior design studio Madcap Cottage have created a home filled with outlandish pattern and colour. After seeing dozens of properties, they settled on this Thirties white-brick house built in the neo-Georgian style, complete with a Doric-columned portico and a decorative Greek key frieze. The eccentric exterior is reflected in their richly decorated living room with eye-catching wallpaper.

A fourth-generation Parisian art dealer, Patrick Perrin founder of the PAD art fair, has filled his apartment (belonging to his family for the better part of a century) with inherited treasures and modern finds. Chairs sourced from Galerie Eric Philippe in Paris, and a comfortable black velvet sofa, are a perfect ground for a veritable wunderkammer of objects, including drawings by Fragonard, Le Brun, Boilly, and a Millet ink drawing of a house. There are also roughly 100 tortoise shells collected by Patrick over the years.

At the back of interior designer Louise Jones’ Victorian cottage there is a second, more informal sitting room with views to the garden. Here Jones has played with colour and print, creating symbiosis between house and garden.

Briefed to steer clear of white and leather, Adam Bray and his team set about transforming this London flat – created from two one-bedroom flats joined together – with rich colour, luxurious fabrics and attention to detail.

Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Emily Tobin.

Annabel White, a former director of The Rug Company in New York, moved to Manhattan in 2001 with her husband Jos. The pair spent three years renovating their dream home in the West Village. The resulting house is an enchanting mix of grand and practical; open-planand intimate; English and American. Pink upholstery and a tapestry by contemporary artist Julie Verhoeven feature in the living room. The opulent 12-metre-long living area also has Christopher Howe sofas. A wall of windows open onto the terrace overlooking the city garden.

The music room at Faringdon House is decorated in a rich scheme of jewel colours, full of artful curiosities such as starfish and a carved elephant. Owner of this Palladian gem Vassilis Papadimitriou is pictured here reading in the music room.

Taken from the November 2013 of House and Garden. Additional text: Emily Senior.

In one of Zannier’s hotels, Le Chalet, interior designer Geraldine Dohogne created the interiors, mixing bespoke elements and period pieces with locally made ceramics and antiques. The sitting room of the largest suite at Le Chalet has a welcoming open fireplace that is the centre of the rustic decor.

Mixing prints can be a tricky business, but a flash of the unexpected can reap stylish rewards. Here, the graphic tile of the wall clashes with the bold pattern of the wool rug; both tied together through a black-and-white and red all over colour scheme.

Anne-Marie Midy and Jorge Almada mix striking modern art and Mexican artefacts with quirky ornaments and accessories that catch their eye. Although the markets of Mexico are a long way to go, you can log on to Viva La Frida, which specialises in brightly coloured Mexican oilcloth and Mexican folk art of the kinds you might find in this house. Jorge designed the armchairs in this room and the tin-framed mirror is a Casamidy design scaled up specially for the room.

The pair were tasked with tranforming this converted factory in Queen’s Park into a dynamic family home. In its previous incarnation, this exposed mezzanine was a no man’s land used for storage. A pair of deep-seated, Seventies leather armchairs are combined with a plush Berber rug and a circular Sixties table with a ceramic mosaic top, found at a gallery in Brussels. ‘We don’t prescribe a look’, says Scott Maddux of Maddux Creative. ‘We like to enhance the ideas and interesting pieces our clients have already’.

Danish model and stylist Pernille Teisbæk’s Scandinavian home lifts minimalist interiors with clever design pieces. A cosy chair and an indoor plant in the white living room softens the expanses of whiteness.

The living room of Ptolemy Dean’s home in Sussex, is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Light Blue’, this contrasts well with the rust red ottoman from Teasal England, used as a coffee table. ays she wanted it to be comfortable rather than grand. The large mirror above the fireplace was a lucky find from Long Street Antiques in Tetbury and the kilim-covered sofa is from Settle.

Taken from the September 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

In this open plan living room, two armchairs have been upholstered in a leopard print fabric. A cabinet behind provides storage and opportunity to display objects – perfect for the Florescu family who ‘visit galleries, junk shops, antique shops and art fairs’ wherever they go.

A sense of timelessness combined with simplicity and sophistication characterises Arnaud Zannier’s collection of hotels, as well as his shoe business. It is a design ethos reflected in his family home near Ghent. Exposed beams add an element of rustic cosiness to this sitting area in the chalet.

A nineteenth-century painting from Brussels provides a scenic background to a magnificent green-winged macaw perched on an art deco stand, which is the focal point of the sitting room in Ferry van Tongeren’s house – that is, if you don’t count the two-metre-high giraffe’s head propped up close by.

Taken from the August 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton and Emily Tobin. Locations editor: Liz Elliot.

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Cool, modern and family friendly. The owner of this Bayswater flat, Bodil Blain, paid every bit as much attention to the kids’ areas as she did the main rooms, which she decorated with the help of Fiona Parke. The family living room, pictured here, has a striking Stuart Haygarth chandelier, a Moroccan rug, and a sofa that Fiona had made and upholstered in grey wool.

Taken from the September 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Ros Byam Shaw

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This graceful drawing room in the Cotswolds is blessed with light thanks to a large bay window overlooking the garden. Architect Robert Hardwick designed the panelling, which is painted in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Old White’. Antique textiles and paintings enhance the airy feel. The house in its present form is only 20 years old, the result of hard work and imagination on the part of the owners and Robert, who is an expert in Costwolds vernacular.

The coffee table, which was made by a skilled UK-based woodworker from a rare single piece of burr elm, almost mirrors the shape of the sofa. Its design, consistent with the theme of nature, complements the flat’s earthy palette.

Incorporate antique and vintage furniture into a modern home, as seen in this Edinburgh flat, by including different pieces from a similar period.

Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay, the owner of this Victorian country house in Shropshire has enhanced the interiors of this grand property with her signature mid-century aesthetic without compromising original features.

Pink is still a huge interiors trend! Layer soft rose with grey, choose a classic sofa as the room’s focal point and introduce pattern with decorative cushions and a rug. Contrast the soft colours with a statement floor lamp and coffee table.

A small round table and chair create a second sitting area in the living room of the flat. The table is placed next to one of the double height windows, which is accessorised with dark blue blinds. de Gournay wallpaper makes another appearance. One of the joys of the paper is that it can be taken from house to house as Sophie explains – ‘I can take it with me if I move; it just peels right off in full pieces’.

The armchairs towards the back of the room are ‘Mark’ club chairs from am designs, upholstered in their Belgian linen.

On the walls, a bright blue paint in a similar shade to the ottoman was applied, then overlaid with five coats of glaze in varied tones of cream to give extraordinary depth of colour. While the flooring consists of simple wide pine boards that are specialist painted. ‘It’s an open plan space and we wanted something to tie it all together,’ explains Beata Heuman. ‘The fact that it’s painted wood rather than tiles adds softness while avoiding the monotone finish you otherwise get with wood.’

Heidi Lightfoot and Steve Gibbons’ mid-century house was built in 1936 by the renowned public sector architect Mary Medd. They have chosen furniture that compliments the modernist style and keeps the free-flowing interiors light and airy. In the living room they have used an Arflex ‘Naviglio’ sofa from SCP to unintrusively divide the seating and dining areas.

At a contemporary home in Primrose Hill converted from 1950s commercial buildings, the floor of the living room space was lowered 45cm to create a sunken seating area. The lowered sofa leads the eyes towards the kitchen and dining area behind it, with exposed brick walls throughout, enhancing the open-plan feeling of the living space. Light spills in through French windows, while the open fireplace and a brass chandelier by the Canadian-born and London-based product designer Philippe Malouin add warmth to the room.

A large photograph by Walead Beshty hangs above Studio Drift’s Fragile Future sculptures from Carpenters Workshop Gallery in the sitting room of art dealer Robin Katz.

Above the white living room and dining area, a mezzanine level has been built to maximise space. The rope and iron chandelier is from Pottery Barn and the sofa below it is covered in ‘Mirandela’ cotton linen from Prêt à Vivre.

The living room in this 1950s house is a glorious example of how to indulge your love of a particular interior style or period without the scheme becoming clichéd or too kitsch. Simply include a few modern pieces for contrast.

Taken from the May 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

FURNITURE Black armchair, ‘Madison’, 78 x 72 x 61cm, £1,850 (excluding fabric, 4.5 metres needed), shown here in ‘Brittany’ (black), super-glazed linen, £105 a metre; both at Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam. Three-tiered walnut side tables, 62 x 50.5cm diameter, £4,560 each; and sofa, ‘The Drawing Room’ covered in ‘Irish Linen’ (white), 80 x 220 x 92cm, £10,400; all at Rose Uniacke. Ash and resin coffee table, ‘Iro’, by Jo Nagasaka for Established & Sons, 32 x 120 x 70cm, £2,600, at Mint.

Painted figures and objects cover the walls of the living room of Charleston, the low-ceilinged old farm house and country retreat of the Bloomsbury Group, and former child hood home of Quentin Bell – artist, writer and nephew of Virginia Woolf – the father of the artist Cressida Bell, whose work is still influenced by the art that covers every surface of the house.

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Etching and aquatint painting, Small Dogs, by David Hockney, £12,000, at Sims Reed Gallery.

From the June 2012 issue of House & Garden. Photographs by Anders Gramer.

In one of London’s original ‘genteel residences’, designer Cindy Leveson has risen to the challenge of updating a nineteenth-century house to create a functional twenty-first-century living space for a young family. At the front of the house, the sitting room has an ‘Oak Leaf and Acorn’ chandelier from Richard Taylor Designs, which centres the linen-upholstered ottoman/coffee table from Julian Chichester.

Why have just one feature in your living room when you can have several? Here, the combination of a wallpaper feature wall, avocado green fireplace and subtly striking light fixture all work together beautifully thanks to a uniting colour scheme. Lovely.

Mixing pattern and whimsical colour schemes can be difficult to get right but is one of our favourite living room ideas when done right, when you can create a fairy-tale effect that plays on the senses.

This television room in a London flat designed by Adam Bray is lined with distressed mirror glass, reflecting the large banquette sofa designed by Nick Plant and upholstered in Adam’s ‘Greville’ mohair velvet.

The sitting room in Maryam Montague (a civil-rights consultant, design writer and blogger among other things) and husband Chris Redecke’s home contains a varied mix of pieces, including a sofa designed by Chris and covered with a Moroccan blanket, a peacock mirror from India, and two cardboard chairs by Frank Gehry. The couple run two rental pavilions in the countryside outside Marrakesh.

Interior designer Kamini Ezralow used a subtle palette of grey and yellow in her scheme for this Mayfair apartment, which combines luxurious materials with a light modern look. ‘They wanted a light feel – homely yet luxurious.’ The ceiling light in the sitting area is made from a cluster of ‘Rex’ wall lights by Baroncelli. ‘I love layering textiles. The curtains are a Fox Linton self-stripe wool, the sofa is in Pierre Frey linen and the “Carousel” cocktail chairs, by Robert Langford, have a Turnell & Gigon velvet on the front and an Armani Casa fabric on the back. Using contrasting fabrics adds a sense of fun. All the cushions are custom-made, and I’ve included designs from my new collection. The wool/silk Stark Carpet rug in the main sitting area was the first design I proposed to my clients. The fireplace is from Chesney’s.’

ACCESSORIES Yellow cashmere pashmina, 200 x 100cm, £420, at Rose Uniacke. Striped cushion covers, ‘Stripe Silk’ (dijon with mushroom and ruche), 60cm square, £80 each, from Yolke. Silk and cotton mix cushions, ‘Ikat’ (rich blue and green), 40 x 60cm, £225 each, at Yastik by Rifat Özbek. Tall glasses with brass cuffs, ‘Ndefu Ya Shaba’, £186 for a set of four, from Otago. Polished-gesso coated antlers with brass votives, ‘Blackthorn Candelabra’, 36 x 108 x 46cm, £2,000; and silvered mouth-blown glass bottles, ‘Silvering Tones’, 22cm high, £65 each; all from Tom Palmer Studio. For a similar floor, polished concrete overlays, £115-£180 a square metre, Puur Floors.

Taken from the March 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Ian Phillips and Emily Tobin.

Designer and writer Claire Lloyd’s house in Lesvos, Greece is a lesson in simplicity executed with warmth and style. Using a chaste palate of pure white renders any dashes of colour a work of art. Claire’s book My Greek Island Home is out now.

In the family room of Steffanie Brown’s west London home, sliding panels covered in linen-textured wallpaper by Schumacher conceal the television, a stylish media storage alternative. Steffanie is the owner of Notting Hill-based jewellers Laviandbelle. The geometric cushions in bright shades provide a playful touch. Interior decorator Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay found them at Jonathan Adler. This one is from the same collection and costs £122.50.

An artwork by Jean-Marc Bustamante, entitled The Lion, makes a statement in the drawing room of this house decorated by Todhunter Earle.

Jo Malone London’s sophisticated headquarters occupy one of a row of grand Georgian town houses in Marylebone. ‘When we first came to look at the building, we all had to wear hard hats,’ says creative director Matthew Parr. ‘It was a huge job. We had to take it right back to the bare bones and start from scratch.’

At Bowood House in Wiltshire the dogs relax on a sheepskin and comfortable armchairs in the living room. The soft terracotta-hued Cole & Son wallpaper was specially printed from its archive collection. The fireplace is surrounded by a traditional club fender.

Let the rich colours and textures from far-flung locations be the inspiration for your scheme. A dark wood floor and textured wallpaper provide a perfect base for this opulent look. Turn up the luxe factor with a mix of tactile fabrics and gold accessories.

Soft white walls allow accents of colour to stand out in this living room – for example, the malachite-green blinds, made from a Jim Thompson fabric. ‘Anne-Marie has an extraordinary understanding of colour,’ says Jorge, ‘and chooses paint colours very care­fully.’ (See how to decorate with colour for more tips.)

Symmetry characterises this sitting room, where the owner’s nineteenth-century wooden armchairs covered in a woollen fabric and a pair of custom console tables from Soane are centred around a Fifties Italian mirror from Tarquin Bilgen and a recently added marble chimneypiece.

Embarking on a new build house in the Scottish Borders enabled artist Sue Phipps to capture the best light for painting, and add character with architectural details and her curiosities. Her studio space is filled with sculptures, objets and paintings related to horses and nature. ‘Thames Mud’ from Paint Library is the background to classical friezes of spirited horses charging across the walls.

The owners of this 600-year-old Hampshire home tastefully renovated the building, opening up the layout while keeping some of the original features of the listed building. The drawing room features a cosy, country-style sofa in Robert Kime’s floral ‘Jardinières’ fabric, perfectly complemented by the warm, light blue walls.

WALL Blinds, ‘Untitled’ (red), by Kate Blee, linen, £145 a metre, from Christopher Farr Cloth.

The living room area of the South Bank Tower features a curved sofa designed by Studio Ashby, the shape of which was inspired by the River Thames. Earthy tones and natural colours are used to create a cosy atmosphere in this white modern ‘box’ flat.

The living room of this Christopher Howe-decorated house in Bray features an array of antiques and earth-toned fabrics against white walls. Next to a seventeenth-century wall sconce is a painting by John Caple, while the sofa is covered in an original floral silk.

FLOOR Wool felt rug, ‘Tapis D’Avignon’ (raspberry and bright pink), 210 x 140cm, £349, from Roger Oates.

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Jeanetta Rowan-Hamilton inherited this former-fishing lodge from her parents and carefully restored it to its former glory. She abhors waste, loves change of usage and ‘absolutely hates things that match’. Through her antique collecting, Jeanetta has mixed and matched old antiques to create a cosy living room.

Taken from the December 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Jennifer Goulding.

Choose eyecatching furniture and accessories to create impact in a big, airy room with high ceilings – as seen in this Regency townhouse renovation that’s a perfect mix of old and new.

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The gallery wall in this sitting room includes a student painting by Andrew Gadd; under it is a Regency sofa covered with Colefax and Fowler fabric with a pair of ikat cushions from Tastik by Rıfat Özbek. By the window, two Swedish Arts and Crafts pots sit above a nineteenth-century American desk by cabinetmakers J&JW Meeks.

‘Henrietta has a terrific eye for objects and colour,’ says Maria, ‘and all the furniture was hers, so I just suggested we upholster it in antique grain sacks and French linen sheets to tie the room together.’ The pristine appearance of this white upholstery speaks volumes about the forbearance of Arthur, the family’s long-haired Jack Russell. Colour in the room comes from the hand-dyed velvet cushions by Kirsten Hecktermann.

Vanessa Macdonald has cleverly combined many patterned fabrics without making them overwhelming in the drawing room of her house in the Oxfordshire countryside. While Vanessa delights in pattern, she admits she has used rather more here than she might for a client. Her first priorities were more structural: getting the proportions right and space planning. The result is a space that is both comfortable and elegant.

Since moving into her husband’s Wiltshire farmhouse, designer Sarah Vanrenen has enhanced its quirky charm, with an adjusted layout and unexpected colours. Julian Chichester’s mouth-blown, silver ‘Paris’ lamp, with a large, gathered silk lampshade, draws attention to one corner of the drawing room. The green ticking stripe fabric on the armchairs is from Ian Mankin, while the chenille throw was bought at a market in France.

FURNITUREFifties sofa with brass feet, by Ico Parisi, 75 x 250 x 105cm, £9,800, from Ebury Trading; covered in linen (off white), £26 a metre, from The Hackney Draper. Oak side table, ‘Lamino’, by Yngve Ekström for Swedese, 49 x 46cm diameter, £302, from Skandium.

In the living room of Jo Vestey’s farmhouse, there are loose-covered sofas, comfortable armchairs and linen curtains in the same sandy colour as the walls, set into the window recesses.

The country-house basics of this living room – reclaimed oak floorboards, a library of bookshelves and made-to-measure shutters – are cleverly counteracted by the latest in furniture and lighting. The rug is ‘Baba Cool III’ at Tim Page Carpets while the useful-sized side table comes from The Conran Shop. The shutters are painted in ‘Cocoa’ from the Damo Collection by Sigmar, which is co-owned by the flat’s designer Ebba Thott.

WALLS Paint, ‘Firecracker’, £39 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Sanderson. Steel doors, by Crittall, 223 x 70 x 4cm, £594 for two, from Retrouvius. Sixties French wool Aubusson tapestry after Henri Rousseau, 116x174cm, £1,550, from Quindry. Wallpaper on back wall, ‘Palampore Blossom’ (pink and red), 53cm wide, £520 for a 10-metre roll, from Soane.

The living room in Christopher Howe’s cosy barn conversion is a triumph of chic design. Wood walls play with the plush teture of the sofa as the Made by Howe ‘Greyhound Stool’, used as a coffee table, is covered with an antique textile bought in Istanbul. It’s the perfect mix of sophistaication and homliness.

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When Lincoln and Tish Seligman discovered this eighteenth-century barn in Oxfordshire, they resolved to save the magical interiors crafted by its artist owner from unsympathetic modernisation and have subtly updated it while retaining its gloriously eccentric atmosphere. The living area leads comfortably into the kitchen.

*Amara sells a great selection of cushions, including this Valbonella Cushion in Alchemilla by Designers Guild (£95).

Taken from the November 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonora Oppenheim.

FURNITURE Acetylated pine folding bench, ‘BB’, 42 x 136 x 32.5cm, £475, from Simon Jones Studio. Sofa, ‘Vizir’, 65 x 275 x 110cm, £3,625, at Caravane; covered in ‘Favialla’ (marine), by William Yeoward for Designers Guild, cotton/linen, £69 a metre,at Designers Guild. Oak and plywoodshelves, ‘Butty’, by Mentsen, 240 x 340 x 36cm, from £420, at Hand & Eye Studio.

A silk wallcovering from de Gournay provides a dark background for a pair of Twenties French dining chairs in their original orange silk velvet in this elegant living room by Adam Bray.

An early English vernacular flavor has been employed in the sitting room, with sixteenth-century-style panelling, dark painted floorboards and a big square of rush matting that marks out the seating area.

It takes courage to combine pink walls with eighteenth-century plasterwork, an orange patterned rug, textiles that call to mind Liquorice Allsorts, and Georgian reproduction furniture. But it certainly works in this magnificent house. The paintings are by Robert Doble.

Turner Pocock designed glass Crittall screens to maximise the feeling of light and space between the rooms of this house. Bold, graphic patterns on upholstery, rugs and art creates impact and richness.

Taken from the August 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Hatta Byng.

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The scheme for the drawing room in this restored farmhouse was designed around a set of seventeenth-century Soho tapestries, which hang on each side of the chimneypiece. Various shades of green, notably the British racing green velvet armchairs and the white and lime green chairs, bring the room together.

Easy whites and Provençal sages dominate the Sibuets’ hotel La Bastide de Marie, which was converted from an eighteenth-century farmhouse estate in the lavender drifts of fashionable Luberon. The interiors retain the building’s rustic charm, particularly thanks to exposed stone walls.

Patina is a Rollitt specialty and the room is painted in a soft shade of grey using a ‘secret recipe’ to achieve the slightly chalky, almost grained look, similar to that of early lead paint.

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The cosy feel of this chalet hotel designed by Jocelyne Sibuet is enhanced in the living room by wooden and furry textures, including the soft sofa blanket, cushions and rug. An antler chair maintains the countryside theme (very similar designs can be found from Clockhouse Furniture).

This white room is full of design details and ideas. The brown stone tiled floor paired with various armchairs and contrasting fabrics make up a country-style living room scheme, while red-painted beams add further colour. Symmetrical alcoves on either side of the fireplace are used for bookshelves and painted yellow at the back.

Salvaged mahogany sliding doors enclose the children’s area of the sitting room in this renovated Georgian house, where the chimneypiece is covered in peacock-blue tiles by Emery & Cie.

For more advice and images of this house, see ‘Nicky Haslam’s Folly de Grandeur: Romance and Revival in an English Country House’ (Jacqui Small, £40)

Architect Jonathan Tuckey found this timber panelled chalet in the Swiss Alps on a family ski holiday in 2008. The house is arranged over four levels, with a timber-frame structure sitting on a stone base. Ladder-like wooden stairways connect the different levels of the house but without landings and corridors, so that each living space flows directly into the next. The greatest challenge laid in the low ceiling heights, which were 1.9 metres high at best. Jonathan’s solution was to remodel the top two floors by carving out a double-height space to one side of the house, creating an open living area holding a sitting room and kitchen with a dining table. At the same time, Jonathan was able to super-insulate the house from within and add a wood-burning stove for warmth from Austroflamm and as a focal point for the sitting room. ‘Everything within the chalet is new and then we designed other things to complement the spirit of the original house.’

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The reception hall of Carskiey Estate is furnished with a pair of sofas designed by owner Tom Helme and covered in Fermoie ‘Satchel’ linen; the curved stone staircase leads up to the library.

ACCESSORIES Cushions, from left: ‘Love Me Tender’ (sapin), wool, 300cm wide, £558 a metre, by Métaphores, from Abbott & Boyd. ‘Alexander’ (soleil), cotton with wool pile,£200.50 a metre, from Dedar. ‘Tetrahedron’ (blue), £95 each, from Pentreath & Hall. Lacquered wood ‘Billy Tray’ (club navy), by Nina Campbell for Oomph, £595, from Nina Campbell. Glazed terracotta vessel, by Silvia K Ceramics, £360, from The New Craftsmen. Recycled glass candlesticks, ‘Reuben’, £59 each; and candles, ‘Column'(yellow), £3 each; all from The Conran Shop. Ash lamp base, ‘Abacus’, 72cm high, £912; and gathered Liberty print shade, ‘Bongo’, 43cm diameter, £516; both from Porta Romana.

Emma Burns transformed her converted barn into a reading room

Taken from the February 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Leonie Highton.

It is decorated in similar neutral hues to the bamboo. The coffee tables and side cabinets were designed by Veere Grenney Associates and made by Lincoln Cato, and Soane made replicas of one of the original shell sconces for the walls. Rush matting was laid on the sustainable sapele wood floors and Veere asked Raoul Textiles to recolour its huge palm-leaf design ‘Exoticus’ in bamboo shades for the sofa covers.

Upon entering the Chapelle, one of the first striking things is the over-scaling of ceiling heights and doorways, and the sweep of light reflecting off polished-concrete floors, enhanced by glass walls that give vistas right through the house.

In her Earls Court flat first time buyer and interior designer Beata Heuman has decorated her sitting room in a style she jokingly refers to as ‘urban safari chic’.

The double-height sitting room in a Provençal home by Andrzej Zarzycki features sharply designed furniture and a remarkable collection of contemporary art. There are works by an impressive roster of artists including Walead Beshty, Caroline Achaintre and Marie Harnett. There is a modular sofa, Scandinavian chairs and coffee tables designed by Andrzej and made by Matt Grant using ammonite from Dale Rogers. ‘Giving up 50 square metres of additional space to create a double-height room is an estate agent’s worst nightmare,’ quips Andrzej. It was indeed a bold move, but it has paid off in terms of dramatic impact.

Coffee coloured wall paint (‘Caddie’, £42.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Paint & Paper Library) brings warmth to this wildlife themed room, which is part of a bold decoration scheme that focusses on statement sofas with chic accessories to match. The sofa is white with a line pattern matching the whimsical cushions. The wildlife theme is continued with the addition of bird masks by Ethic & Tropic and woven furnishings including a maple and straw stool from Mint.

Ruth Sleightholme created graphic schemes enlivened by shots of colour. Here, a collection of artwork by Frederico Pepe works well against a navy blue wall.

This living room, with its muted grey, black and white colour scheme, characterful cushions and stylish feature wall would have been uber chic with these alone, but the bright pink feature chair brings the scheme to life and adds a glamorous rock ‘n’ roll edge.

Lulu Lytle, owner and director of the interiors shop Soane, uses mirror glass around her chimney breast as a light-reflecting alternative to a traditional overmantel mirror. ‘We live on the fourth floor of a building overlooking a communal garden,’ says Lulu. ‘To maintain the feeling of open skies in our sitting room, we mirrored the walls that were not shelved. Peter Twining designed the chimney wall with large sheets of bevelled mirror plate and a Syrian marble fire surround. I like the glass as a backdrop to pictures, so all the mirrors are drilled to take picture hooks.’

WALLS Wallpaper, ‘Amime’ (BP44/04), £90 a 10-metre roll, at Farrow & Ball. Layered glass, resin and water-silvered mirrors with polished gesso frames, ‘Acqua Alta’, 123 x 60 x 7cm, £3,823 each, from Tom Palmer Studio.

At the Playa Grande Beach Club, seating areas are filled with furniture and home accessories in rich, earthy reds and oranges that contrast beautifully with the pale blue and white walls. Clashing patterns and prints complete the eclectic, vintage-inspired scheme.

The panelled living room has a modern colour scheme made up of an enchanting mix of grand and practical – a Howe ottomon is covered in vintage suzani fabric, and a plaid rug by Vivienne Westwood for The Rug Company to add colour and texture.

Taken from the July 2013 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

As the founder of Good Earth, which produces modern interpretations of traditional Indian textiles and accessories, Dehli-based Anita Lal lives in a house that is, unsurprisingly, a feast of pattern, textiles and beautiful bold hues. The feeling is comtemporary, but each of the designs is drawn from and celebrates the remarkable textile heritage of India.

This living room features nineteenth-century Cantonese watercolours, suzani textiles and chintz, silk damasks and gloriously ornate eighteenth-century plant stands.

The living room of textiles dealer Susan Deliss’ French country home is painted a soft blue, this perfectly counter balances her electic mix of patterned fabrics. The red sofa, from George Smith, looks fabulous covered in a vibrant collection of cushions.

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In this living room, Phillip Jeffries linen on the walls provides a calm base for the green and blue palette. The chaise longue and cushions are in Christopher Farr Cloth ‘Carnival’ fabric, picking up the green on the Designers Guild fabric of the curtains; the three tall windows required 85 metres of fabric.

In the blue living room of Susan Deliss’ French country house, a striped ottoman is used as a coffee table. Comfortable armchairs and sofas are edged with Moroccan side tables. The scheme is French countryside with a Moorish, bohemian lilt.

This is a corner of an open-plan sitting and dining area which was created by combining two adjacent houses. Several pieces of art are displayed here, including a painting by Romanian artist Nadia Grossman-Bulighin and a slashed sculpted steel disc by Jacques Maistre. A pair of vintage armchairs is upholstered in a plush leopard print striped fabric.

‘It was both a wreck and a jewl’, says Linda. Formerly owned by Howard Hodgkin, this Victorian house in west London has a bohemian history, which the current artist owner has carefully maintained. Inside the high-ceilinged 1860s house there is an intensely personal collection of twentieth-century paintings – interiors, landscapes and abstracts, which have been assembled over the past 37 years by its owners Linda and David Heathcote-Amory.

At just 1,200 square feet the home of architects Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons is the second smallest house in Manhattan. Peering at it from the street, this is not a surprising fact, but once inside something magical happens: it grows.

‘I was inspired by the scenes with Tilda Swinton in the film I Am Love,’ says the owner of this house designed by Hugh Leslie. ‘I wanted the same stillness, golden light and velvety textures.’ Adeptly fulfilling this wish, and creating a modern interior within a traditional shell, this sitting room is a perfectly gauged balance of classic period grandeur and accessible modern comfort. Chinese Chippendale and Frank Lloyd Wright, rub shoulders with inherited family pieces. A chaise longue and a parchment étagère, both designed by Hugh, are complimented by an eighteenth-century armchair, from Richard Steemberg at Core 1, covered in green ‘Mogador’ velour by Lelievre. On the floor Hugh has used a dual-pile rug by Sandy Jones. ‘It is very calming in here just to sit quietly and read.’

A green armchair offers this living room a burst of colour. The overall decoration is a cool blend of contemporary yet comfortable furnishings, bold fabrics in jewel-like colours with strong geometric patterns.

A design ethos of timelessness combined with simplicity and sophistication characterises Arnaud Zannier’s collection of hotels, and his family home. The elegant rural villa not far from Aalter, between Ghent and Bruges, is styled with a wealth of organic materials lending it depth and warmth. The library adjoins the living room, which has plenty of shelving to display books and family photographs.

Moody greys and burnt orange tones create a welcoming, modern scheme. Offset a dark wall colour with sumptuous textures such as a wool upholstered sofa and a stylish chair in burnished leather.

To create this London terraced house conversion, Lizzie and Ion Florescu decided to combine two neighboring Chelsea town houses with ambitions of maximising outdoor space and keeping work areas separate from day-to-day life.

Taken from the March 2011 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

Taken from the February 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman, Hatta Byng and Jennifer Goulding.

The palette designer Mark Gillette chose for his flat in Manchester has a distinct art-deco reference, with a jewel-like array of jade and aquamarine paired with black and white. Mark extended the curtain pole round the perimeter of the room to give the space visual unity, using 25mm steel poles and ‘Passing’ ceiling brackets from The Bradley Collection.

In this scheme by designer Max Rollitt, ‘Chateau’ wallpaper from Lewis & Wood has been overlaid with an eclectic mix of pictures. Patterned walls give any living room a warm English country feel. Opt for large delicate floral prints on a neutral background for hanging art. Battened fabrics also work extremely well for instant cosiness.

A pendant light bought in Istanbul hangs above Daniel Arsham’s Thinking Glass Figure in this London house designed by Shalini Misra.

Ruched mustard-yellow blinds are in a crunchy Claremont silk, while the sofa is covered in ‘V W Hopper’ from Opuzen.

Taken from the February 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot and Emily Tobin.

Taken from the July 2014 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

FURNITURE Sofa with beech legs, ‘Campden’, 88 x 184 x 105cm, from £3,175 excluding fabric, from Wesley Barrell; covered in ‘Norma’ (prairie), by Manuel Canovas,linen, £58 a metre, from Colefax and Fowler. Painted oak reclining armchair, ‘The Slider’, 74 x 71 x 90-108cm, £1,995 excluding fabric, from Susie Atkinson Design; covered in ‘Saturnia’ (flamingo), linen, £126 a metre, from C&C Milano. Steel coffee tables, ‘Atoll’, large, 38 x 136 x 65cm, £845; small, 38 x 81 x 55cm, £561; fromCaravane. Nineteenth-century Dutch painted pine commode, 81 x 83 x 45cm, £2,800, from Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Antiques.

Appliqué wool flower design details add creativity and make this colourful seating area, which was created by Gabby Deeming for Wool Week, more distinctive.

The Bloomsbury Group – that amorphous circle of writers, intellectuals and artists who lived and worked in Bloomsbury before the first World War and beyond – spent much of their time at Charleston after 1916, the year that Quentin’s mother, Vanessa Bell, and the painter (and Vanessa’s lover) Duncan Grant took a long lease on the house, where they remained until Vanessa’s death in 1961 and Duncan’s in 1978.

This light-filled room in Cameron Kimber’s house in New South Wales is used for entertaining. Cameron says the combination of slim shutters, panelling and pale walls was partly inspired by rooms decorated by the late American philanthropist Bunny Mellon. A Bessarabian rug fills a quarter of the floor space, with plain matting elsewhere.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Judith Wilson.

Taken from the June 2012 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming and Olivia Gregory.

*Never be afraid to bring some colour into your interiors. This Scandi Teardrop Rug (from £315, John Lewis), is a great way to stamp your personality on a neutral interior.

Wendy Nicholls of Colefax & Fowler has honed her personal and professional style in her London home, which is full of Victorian accents and unique accessories.

ACCESSORIES Ceramic hand, £95, from The Conran Shop. Striped ‘Ribbon 16’, £2 a metre, from Petra Boase.

The owners of this west London house employed a skilled team to restore and complement its original features, and create a home with a feeling of permanence after a lifetime of moving. The house is a tall, mid-nineteenth-century white stucco building that they wanted to work well for twenty-first-century family life.

The London home of Chloe Macintosh, co-founder and creative director of online furniture company, perfectly reflects her contrasting passions for modern and traditional, light and dark, clean lines juxtaposed with flea-market finds. The new, open-plan extension at the back of the house has a poured-resin floor and exposed brickwork (with a sofa from, a contrast to the Victorian proportions and features at the front part of the house.

Paint, ‘2 V 05’, £30.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Little Greene

The bookshelves were already in place, but have been repainted by Maria Speake for the owners of this Barbican flat, high up in one of the towers of the Grade II-listed 70s brutalist landmark. Maria created a sliding door so that the living room can be shut off from the hall for extra warmth – the door is clad with reclaimed parquet, each piece of which has been individually sanded to create a sculptural effect. Maria runs Retrouvius – the reclamation company – with her husband Adam Hills. If you want to make a bold statement with stripes, the cotton fabric on the sofa is ‘Twelve Bar Stripe’, £95 per metre at Mulberry Home.

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Habibi Brass Tray Table, £1,518; Charlotte Plywood Coffee Table, £546 and Habibi Steel Tray Table, £852, all at Viaduct

By combining a considered approach with individual touches, interior designer Sophie Ashby has ensured this modern Chelsea flat has the key elements of a glamorous yet relaxed family home.

Interior designer Abigail Ahern chose Farrow & Ball’s ‘Down Pipe’ to paint her east London sitting room. “The key to making dark colours work is to use other colours in the room that really stand out,” she reveals. “You can’t stick to the same dark palette for your furnishings or the room will look drab and depressing.” Want more tips from Abigail? Check out her books A Girl’s Guide to Decorating (Quadrille, £16.99) and Decorating with Style (Quadrille, £16.99), which is out 28 March.

Vintage sofas bring an elegant feel in this Victorian home. Promote a sense of intimacy in an open-plan or big room by arranging seating around a coffee table with a rug beneath. The aim is to create a cosy zone within the space.

An Eighties art deco revival coffee table by Drexel, a Fifties brass and enamel crane sculpture by Boris Lovet-Lorski and a geometric rug from The Rug Company give a sense of glamour to the main drawing room. The ‘Villa’ sofa is by Jan Showers, an interior designer friend of owner Lauren’s who helped decorate the house.

Sand-coloured hessian-effect walls hand painted by Matthew Croxford of Croxford and Saunders provide a tranquil background to the art and artefacts. The room is anchored by two ‘Massimosistema’ sofas from Poltrona Frau positioned on either side of the chimneypiece and a bespoke rug by Denis Colomb.

Ashley Hicks describes how he redecorated a rented flat in west London, using handmade details and fabrics designed by his late father David Hicks to achieve a sophisticated and very personal look.

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Isabel and Julian Bannerman’s garden in the grounds of a castle

Maria Speake of Retrouvius has restored this unattractive extended Georgian farmhouse in the Chilterns by introducing modern and reclaimed industrial elements. Going with the reclaimed style Maria used a vintage leather gym bench in the sitting room as a coffee table. She installed a late-nineteenth-century, Royal Doulton glazed-ceramic chimneypiece in peacock blue, with the same blue picked up in the paint on the chimney breast, in the corduroy loose covers on the Arflex ‘Cousy’ sofas and on the trim of the curtains, which runs the length of the wall. The 34-foot-long sitting room has been kept relaxed and casual so you ‘can stretch out on a sofa and read the paper’ says Maria.

The pale colour of the walls in this living room – ‘Grey Owl’ by Benjamin Moore – provides a restful backdrop for the owner’s fabrics and her collection of modern and contemporary art, which includes an unsigned painting found in Portobello Road (top left), a landscape by Tim Woolcock (below left) and an abstract by Chloe Lamb (right). The apartment, in Manhattan’s famous Eldorado apartment block belongs to Anne Dubbs, co-owner of the London-based fabric and wallpaper company Blithfield & Company, and her husband Richard.

WALLS Curtains, ‘Bora Bora Print Embellished’ (lava black), by Mary McDonald for Schumacher, linen mix with wooden beads, £375 a metre, from Turnell & Gigon.

FLOOR Polypropylene rug, ‘Top Cord Plain’ (anthracite), £4.99 a metre, from Carpetright.

This cosy ochre-toned living room in the home of Louise Jones is punctuated by blue design features and artwork she has collected over the years. Lamps have been conveniently placed near to the armchairs for evenings spent reading.

Taken from the November 2013 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Ian Phillips.

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As the owners of Slackwood Farm are keen birdwatchers, architect Paul Archer designed a spiralling glazed room with panoramic views. Vitra’s ‘Grand Repos’ chairs and footstools furnish the interior, while a glass circle covers an old well.

‘The sitting room seemed to need pink… After splashing splodges of various pinks about, I called Patrick Baty at Papers and Paints and he mixed exactly the right shade that warmed and softened the room.’ The colour is now in one of Patrick’s paint ranges – naturally called ‘Parsonage Pink’. The furniture is simple – no flounces, ormolu or unwanted frilly bits; nothing that is not appropriate. But more than that, nothing that is not pretty. It is quiet, peaceful and comfortable.

It’s heartening to see that a pile of books and magazines – something every home has – being put to decorative use with such insouciant style. “It’s our first apartment; we didn’t want it to look too perfect, like a hotel, so we decided to decorate it ourselves,” says Vincent Frey, deputy manager of Pierre Frey of the home he shares with wife Bianca and their young son in Paris. The coffee table is made of a sheet of glass, also supported by magazines.

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The large sitting room is decorated in a mix of Colefax and Fowler and Manuel Canovas fabrics. French windows lead out to the garden and courtyard on either side. On the colour front, Trudi wanted to keep the schemes simple, using the earth tones of Morocco, with the exception of one room in blue and white – her love of this colour combination was inspired by the late Colefax interior decorator Roger Banks Pye, whose favourite it was.

A family of dark colours “give a rhythm and punctuation through the house” explains Chloe Macintosh of her paint choices from Farrow & Ball. Thinking of decorating with blue? The sitting room at the front of the house is painted in ‘Hague Blue’, which costs £32.50 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion. Chloe is the co-founder and creative director of online furniture company

In this minimal Manhattan house designed by Rita Konig, the dining room, accessed through sliding pocket doors, has a Philippe Hurel table combined with chairs from Howe. The neutral palette of the walls, painted beams and Luke Irwin rug places the focus on the arched French windows, which open out onto the garden. Rita created a seating area by the chimneypiece with a small, chunky sofa.

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Juggling the demands of a growing family and an interior-design business, Nicole Salvesen updated her south London house to increase the feeling of space with bright colours and more streamlined rooms.

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Colourful reading lights add a playfulness to Vanessa Branson’s Holland Park house, where a artwork by Muntean & Rosenblum hangs on the far wall.

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FURNITURE Corten steel firebowl (used as coffee table), ‘Ignis’, by Skagerak, 40 x 75cm diameter, £249, from Skandium. Beech armchair, ‘Somerville’, 84 x 84 x 86.5cm, £2,540, from George Smith; covered in ‘Wild Thing’ (ginger kiwi), linen, £108 a metre, from Lewis & Wood. Jesmonite side table, ‘Pilotis’ (white), by Malgorzata Bany, 46 x 35cm diameter, £1,200, from The New Craftsmen. Beech sofa, ‘Jules’, 76 x 259 x 112cm, £5,722, from George Smith; covered in ‘Gelim Stripe’ (bauhaus), linen/cotton, £152.40 a metre, from Lewis & Wood. Oak and leather chair, ‘Hamylin’, by Gareth Neal, 74 x 60 x 57cm, £2,620, from The New Craftsmen.

By combining a considered approach with individual touches, interior designer Sophie Ashby has ensured this Chelsea flat has the key elements of a glamorous yet relaxed family home. An abaca rug from Holland & Sherry demarcates the sitting area. Sophie Ashby has added layers of pattern and texture on the ‘Cestone’ sofa from Flexform, with cushions covered in fabrics from Fameed Khalique and Zak + Fox.

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This sitting room with an interior designed by Amanda Hornby makes features of necessities – well-stocked bookshelves and a piano are both pretty and practical.

Diane Nutting, the former chatelaine of the Grade I-listed Chicheley Hall, downsized to this property, her late mother-in-law’s manor house in the Wiltshire downs, after her children flew the nest. “We copied many of Chicheley’s architectural features, and the furniture and carpets came with us,” says Diane. A bespoke sofa by Richardson & Paige in Devizes picks up the pale green of the rug. The fabric for the living room blinds blinds was bought in Paris, while the gilded pineapple finials were custom-made in 1961 by Mallett.

Taken from the February 2016 issue of House & Garden. Text: David Nicholls.

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In the living room of designer Ben Pentreath’s flat, the walls of the sitting room are hung with a pale grey grasscloth, which provides a neutral background for the brightly coloured upholstery, including the flame-coloured ottoman, trimmed with ‘Grand Galon Athenee’ from Clarence House at Turnell & Gigon, and the mint-green armchair from Pentreath & Hall.

This bright blue living room has walls painted in Dulux’s ‘Azure Fusion’ paint. Wide floorboards are covered in a geometric rug and the blue velvet corner sofa is home to a cheerful array of cushions. Our decoration Director Gabby Deeming has framed hand-marbled wrapping papers in black ‘Ribba’ frames, from Ikea for an inexpensive yet striking display.

Luke and Duncan’s decision to steer clear of beiges is typical of their decorating approach. ‘People spend so long thinking about paint colours, but you can very easily change them,’ says Luke. In this spirit, they are hoping to soon replace the green walls with a dusty, faded pink, which will compliment their collection of houseplants. ‘I think it’s good to look at lots of different paint brands before settling on a choice. I like Farrow & Ball’s range of colours very much, but I won’t always find the colour I’m after. Paper & Paints in Chelsea is also a wonderful shop, with a range of punchy colours. Dulux and Leyland are good too though,’ says Luke.

This Victorian flat was designed by duo Lambert & Thurnherr, who brought their natural urbanity and international flavor to the space, creating a home that is both comfortable and individual.

There is an appropriate sense of glamour in the drawing room of this Belgravia house, although its accent is more Hollywood regency than twenty-first-century bling. Pale grey walls, in a light shade of ‘Mineral Haze’ by Dulux, allow the eye to be drawn to intriguing pieces – from a Thirties sycamore cabinet by Suzanne Guiguichon to a flamboyant coffee table with a base made from three rams’ heads cast in brass. The surfaces are decorated with vintage finds from which Lauren creates often-shifting tablescapes of vases or glassware.

Bored of your Ikea sofa? Swedish company Bemz create alternative slip covers for Ikea sofas and armchairs; they are perfect for getting a few more years out of a sofa that has seen better days. The covers are environmentally friendly, as they are made from surplus textiles from the fashion industry. Remnants are sorted by colour, shredded, spun and woven into new cloth, with two fabrics now launched, each in three colourways. Sofa covers cost from £95.

Authentic, English country house style is hard to replicate. It is a look that manages to be both timeless and livable, grand but friendly. Having cut her teeth at Colefax & Fowler it is little wonder then that interior designer Vivien Greenock has managed to get the look spot on in her own home.

The owners of this Hampshire house, which in parts dates back six centuries, have gently modernised it, simplifying the layout, adding personality through decoration and giving it an established feel.

In the drawing room of this farmhouse in the Cotswolds, the doors to the right of the desk open to reveal a capacious drinks cupboard. It is just one example of the home’s various furnishings, which includes junk-shop finds, inherited antiques and art ranging from eighteenth-century to modern.

Having discovered this vintage German map in a skip, our decoration editor Gabby Deeming had it enlarged and made into a wallcovering by Surface View (£60 per square meter, or £280 as shown). See our favourite feature walls and wall murals and large patterned wallpaper for more ideas.


ACCESSORIES Linen cushions (from left: tickled pink, orange couture), 54cm square, £96 each, from Fermoie. Tulip, narcissi, poppy and ranunculus floral arrangements, from £50; Thirties unglazed pottery vases, by Constance Spry for Fulham Pottery, small, £190, and large, £400; silver-plated julep cups, small, £30, and large, £70; and nineteenth-century blue and white porcelain bowl, £200; all from Charlie McCormick.

This earthy living room has a pair of bespoke sofas from Amy Somerville and, between them, a hammered brass Sixties coffee table from Odette Welvaars in Amsterdam. The Beatles portraits in the adjacent sitting room are framed by the doorway.

In this converted nineteenth century Cotswolds barn, designer Pippa Paton has combined modern design with natural materials to create a minimalist haven that maintains its rural identity. This informal living area is decorated in bright colours – the grey sofas are offset by the lacquered coffee tables and velvet cushions. As Pippa explains, ‘I tend to stick to a similar palette so the eye perceives the harmony of a whole space, but in here we did something fun that works against the neutral background.’

‘It felt natural to me to be working in the English country-house style at which Colefax excelled. I worked under Imogen Taylor, who was herself taught by John Fowler. She taught me everything about detail and practicality, and instilled in me the importance of quality and good workmanship. I learned that you can make the most hideous curtains out of the most expensive fabric and you can make the most beautiful ones out of army blankets.’

For Richard Hanlon, the plan to buy a holiday home in India with his friend Trish McFarlane led to the ambitious construction of Bujera Fort, now a spectacular palace hotel in Udaipur. The library is decorated with vintage fabrics from Bennison Fabrics, including Richard’s grandmother’s Fifties dining room curtains on the ottoman and sofas.

Jochen Zeitz is a businessman, entrepreneur and passionate advocate of conservation and sustainable tourism. Here at Segera, his eco retreat in northern Kenya, there are elegant communal spaces for guests, along with eight private villas. Each has an enormous upper floor bedroom suite and a terrace overlooking the savannah. The villas are decorated practically, but with touches of glamour and local art (African art is ‘totally under-represented globally’, says Jochen). Nothing here is wasted; water is recycled and used to irrigate the gardens, while the electricity and heating is supplied by Segera’s solar farm.

White walls, soft grey upholstery and pale wooden furniture create a relaxed and welcoming look. Choose a classic sofa as the centrepiece, then introduce pattern with a mix-and-match collection of patterned cushions and a geometric rug.

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House & Garden’s decoration editor Gabby Deeming was inspired by the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern to get crafty with cut-out paper wallcoverings from de Gournay and patchwork textiles. The bright yellow sofa (‘Hackney’, £2,577, from Wrong for Hay) pairs beautifully with the bright colours, but would look equally gorgeous with grey, charcoal, deep indigo or black.

Densely hung paintings and prints – along with furniture on a large scale – gives a sense of timeless character in Keith McNally’s Notting Hill home. To increase the flow of space in the Balthazar restaurant owner’s space, the large ground-floor living room was created out of several smaller rooms.

The challenge for interior designer Penny Morrison at this Victorian terrace was to create a home for a bachelor – without the stereotypical furnishings.

Taken from the January 2010 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Wendy Harrop and Olivia Gregory.

The first floor drawing room of this west London terrace, redesigned by Sarah Stewart-Smtih, is nine metres long; a monochrome silk and wool rug from The Rug Company sits underneath a curved sofa designed by Sarah and upholstered in Rubelli velvet. High-gloss surfaces used here include India Mahdavi’s ‘Bishop Stools’ and an acrylic unit by the window, which was designed by Sarah.

Display what you love. This home belonging to Vic Brotherson, owner of flower shop Scarlet & Violet is a testament to Vic’s love of floral prints and textiles.

FURNITURE Curved-back bleached oak chairs, 83.5 x 69.5 x 70cm, £4,900 for two, from Hilary Batstone; covered in wool fabric with appliqué details. Appliqué wool flower design, ‘Folk’, from £35, from Sam Dearden. Background, ‘Mont Blanc’ (10548/03), wool, £56.50 a metre, from Nobilis. Lacquered wood with faux shagreen top ‘Tini Table’ (boler shagreen), 51 x 46 x 20cm, £320, by Nina Campbell for Oomph, from Nina Campbell.

In the living room of interior designer Louise Jones rich blue and soft yellow abound. Louise inherited much of the furniture, including this eighteenth-century drop-leaf sofa table in the living room. It is topped with collections of ceramics and a lamp with a hand-painted lampshade bought from Twig of Tetbury.

This white living room features a modern grey sofa – for a similar style, see Loaf’s ‘Rockstar’ sofa. A burst of colour is offered by a bright orange lampshade in the corner of this bright and airy space, while a rug adds further interest.

The library of artist Anne Massie’s house is cosy and eclectic. Patterned chairs, lots of paintings and a gorgeous rug add colour and visual interest to the wood panelled room.

Near the site of a Sussex country house demolished in 1911, Richard Taylor and Rick Englert have built a Jacobean-style manor at Whithurst Park. It took a year to get planning permission and two more to build. The result is striking and bears some of the signatures of the prodigy houses built in the era that its design evokes, such as Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire and Hatfield House in Hertfordshire. As Kit explains, ‘It was the site itself and essence of Sussexness that made me design it as I did.’ A seventeenth-century table inherited from Richard’s family sits in the drawing room window.

Taken from the August 2011 issue of House & Garden. Styling: Gabby Deeming.

An understated decorating scheme allows period features to shine in this Victorian terrace.

The living room in Charles Rutherford’s London home is decorated in a simple, elegant style with white walls and wooden floors. The desgin reflects current architectural ideas surrounding the play of light and flow of space. Instead of architectural mouldings, there are shadow gaps at the top of walls painted a shade of luminous blue-grey.

Copper panels, ‘Patina’ (atlantis), by Silk Dynasty, 274 x 66cm, £546 each at Tatiana Tafur

A geometric rug and floral and paisley cushions make for a striking combination. Add some contemporary artwork and the whole scheme becomes modern and extremely stylish.

Paolo Moschino has conjured up the perfect, gently nautical scheme for this Cornish cottage living room, with it’s view out to the sea.

Inject a neutral palette with highlights of bold colour through the lighting and accessories. This way you can draw attention to key areas of the room – and ring the changes from season to season at a relatively low cost.

‘Blue and green should never be seen’ is a design rule that’s made to be broken, especially when you incorporate other opulent hues into the mix. The paint used here, ‘Down Pipe’ by Farrow & Ball, beautifully changes depending on the light. In this living room, it looks almost black.

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In this minimal Manhattan home designed by Rita Konig, Fortuny ‘Persiano’ cotton (now discontinued) was used to make the blinds for the three large windows in the living room. Having discovered Jacques Adnet through Rita, the owner now has a piece by the French designer in almost every room – here it is a pair of round tables. The Clifford Ross picture above the chimneypiece was bought at New York gallery Sonnabend.

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Stefania Calice’s large and airy house in Chiswick is a hardworking hub. Not only is it a family home, but it’s also the base where Stefania and her friend Stephanie Ferrario are working to change the lives underprivileged families in Africa through innovative means. There is the artisanal homeware business Lalibella – Made in Africa, and enterprise Give A Future, which helps micro-finance 500 women in Ethiopia. With the help of decorator Charlotte Lundqvist, Stefania mixed period family furniture with modern pieces and art in her living room. The work for both enterprises goes on throughout house.

The sitting room of architect Mario Connio’s Andalucian farmhouse extends across the back of the building. Mario has filled the room with artwork and pieces collected on his travels around the world, including kilims bought in Aleppo, a lemonwood armchair from Menorca and black lacquered-bamboo lamps. In the middle of the ceiling, Mario has painted a view of the world as seen from the Antarctic.

Ebba Thott was the interior designer behind the living room in this west London home. A custom-built bookcase frames the door leading from the living room to the kitchen.

Alongside the grey sofas on the central Moroccan rug, there are also the skeletons of two young beech saplings, which reach towards the roof of this converted chapel in Somerset owned by artist Jonathan Delafield Cook, and illustrator Laura Stoddart. ‘This room is a bit of a lift shaft, and the trees help to inhabit the space,’ says Laura. The sitting room leads through to the playroom on the left and the kitchen on the right. Jonathan’s drawings of bird eggs hang on another sitting room wall behind one of two sofas from Acorn Antiques in Somerset. Birdie the Bedlington terrier relaxes on a beanbag.

*Decorate your space with ornaments like this WINOMO Nautical Beach Wooden Boat Ship Steering Wheel, £9.99, Amazon, and display your treasured photos in this Beach Themed Triple Hanging Photo Frame by Carousel Home, £6.99, Amazon.

The key to this colourful look is to layer intricate pattern on pattern while keeping the backdrop understated. Spots, stripes, ikat prints and colour block all work together beautifully when united by a harmonious palette.

Make use of decorative mirrors to include immediate light to your liveable space . As seen above, mirror doubles to make some sort of small space feel greater . For larger rooms, or even any room with some sort of more limited amount regarding natural light, mirrors located directly across through the home windows , will add instant light source . Decorative mirrors may also be used inside lieu of art in order to fill empty wall area . Large or small, wall mirrors add light and aspect to your livable space.

Make use of what you already include to decorate. Most of us include items in our property , probably packed up throughout boxes somewhere and don`t have given them a next glance. Your house needs many accessories. As opposed to running to be able to the store, take some sort of good look at everything you already have. Trays, wood , acrylic, metal or sterling silver can be on best of luggage racks, herbal tea carts, trunks, bedside furniture and coffee tables regarding extra texture and sizing . Arrange candles on these people , frames or pile publications on top of these people . Plates can be installed to create wonderful wall membrane art. Art from kid`s books can be frame and hung in nurseries, children`s rooms or their particular bathrooms. You will become amazed at your ability with what you currently have!

Living green . Add plants to be able to your living area . Add these people to every room, little or large, few or perhaps many. Plants could be an economical means to accessorizing your own space and adding colour and texture. Not simply are plants beautiful yet many can clean family air and balance dampness . They can absorb contaminants and remove harmful fumes from the air. Zero home should be without having these wonderful greens!

Paint smaller areas in softer, lighter hues which will make the room sense larger. The living area above is a fantastic sort of how in order to maximize a small living area . A room of this kind of size gets the tendency in order to seem cramped, nevertheless the big windows, light colored surfaces and ample usage of wall mirrors not only reflect the particular natural light pouring throughout from your doors and typically the windows however the use associated with mirrors also provides the optic illusion of space, producing the room seem greater than it actually will be . Conversely, darker colors will certainly make a room think smaller. Even with the particular abundance of natural lighting and the strategic hanging on to of the mirrors, this kind of room in a more dark shade may have an additional boxed-in feel into it.

Change your workout. Mix upwards patterns and textures. Blend up old and fresh , expensive and cheap. There`s nothing wrong with inserting family heirlooms alongside the 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 are usually , your personality and your current style. The vintage Chippendale office that was your grandfather`s tells a story. That tells the story regarding your past. The modern day couch you became adoringly obsessed with and just had to purchase likewise tells a story, your existing story, and there is definitely no reason the offer and past can`t co-exist beautifully together. The identical could be said for fine art. You now might not desire to place an artwork by Salvador Dali about the same wall next to a new Monet, but there`s zero reason why they cannot get in the same space together. With fabrics whether or not it be furniture, area rugs or pillows, varied shades and patterns would bring friendliness and texture into the lifestyle space.

Color or wallpaper your bookcases. This instant pop associated with color will brighten in addition to re-energize any room! It can amazing how something consequently simple as a layer of colorful paint may instantly energize and convert your space. This integrated bookcase would be easy and ordinary minus the shiny blue interior. Probably the easiest and most inexpensive method to transform a boring area would be to apply a coating of paint somewhere sudden . Bookcases are an best place to start since you don`t need to coloring a large area. Some other fun places to incorporate the pop of color incorporate painting fireplace mantels, typically the insides of closets, hallways and ceilings.

Work with area rugs to ease hardwood floors. Throw carpets give warmth and could add great texture, coloring and personality to your own living space. Hardwood floor surfaces are beautiful and effortless to take care of but they be lacking the comfort that carpeted floors offer, particularly inside the cooler months. Region rugs can also include fun and functionality in order to your livable space . Use a number of of varying patterns in addition to fabrics together to show off your character. Or put several rugs of typically the identical pattern and cloth , or different textures although the same color. Typically the possibilities are endless. An individual can change your location rugs to reflect typically the seasons using warmer shades and fabrics for chillier months and lighter kinds for the warmer occasions of the year. Right now there are many lovely organic cotton , washable area rugs which usually are perfect for those houses with children. There genuinely is no reason the reason why a house with young youngsters cannot become a trendy one.

Add a dangling pot holder to your current kitchen. Kitchens are designed to be warm and even inviting. We spend very much of our time throughout them whether it become for preparing meals, offering meals or entertaining. Some sort of hanging pot rack is advantageous elegance. Kitchens are designed to feel as although they are in regular use and a dangling pot rack certainly helps make one feel this approach . In addition to seeking so wonderful, (there a wide range of sizes and styles available) additional cupboard space under has become freed up in order to store other items. Rarely has anyone complained regarding having too much safe-keeping.

Slip into some thing a bit more comfortable!. Slip protects frequently get a poor rap but they are usually truly wonderful things. That they can act as a means that of changing your furniture`s look to reflect typically the seasons. These easily taken away coverings improve a complex look without constantly stressing about people dirtying or even spilling on your home furniture . Slip covers are best for rooms used regularly by children. Over some sort of white slip-covered couches provides the air of an everyday , comfortable, easy yet superior elegance.

Wicker baskets. Straw-plaited baskets are an cost-effective and elegant method to include storage to any area . Baskets can be utilized to store and exhibit books, architectural and decoration magazines, toys, towels plus blankets to name some sort of few. Place a few little wicker baskets within the counter-tops in your kitchen in order to beautifully display and shop your fruit and fresh vegetables.

No matter if you`ve just moved and looking for a speedy , little home pick-me-up, or even perhaps something better, presently there are some well-known interior design tricks that designers make use of that you simply too can very easily do with minimal work and cost. Sometimes the particular smallest things associated with finest impact. It could get digging in a looking glass , a painting, a lamp fixture or even a vegetable. You may want to become softer your walls, brighten the room, or exercise . warmness to your living area. Look into these clever style as well as notice how they can encourage you!

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