While a neutral room with pops of color is typically more my style, I do occasionally love a good liberal use of color. Bright and strong colors can be so invigorating, wonderful if you want a room to feel exciting and fun. The shot above is so on point it’s alarming. Deep green walls, bright chartreuse details, beautiful maroon-pink velvet chairs and a gutsy bit of bright orange thrown in with that vase. On paper I would probably think that color combination is a little ridiculous but I can’t help but love it. Having a strong foundation of killer architecture and classy furniture definitely gives you more room to play with color.
Going monochromatic (having only one color used throughout) can be a great way to test the colorful waters. You don’t have to concern yourself with mixing and can actually achieve a look that feels somewhat neutral in character if that is what you would like. Blue has always been a very popular color and is a great one to try if you don’t normally use a lot of color.
The saturation level of a color has a huge impact on how it feels in a space. Lower saturation like you see in pastels is airier and fresher (which is perfect for some rooms), while high saturation is alluring and bold. I absolutely love it when two highly saturated colors are used together. Gorgeous strong blue walls and a dramatic deep maroon on the sofa work together to create a room that feels daring and adventurous and anything but boring.
one | Architectural Digest France
two | Honor
three | David Woolley
four | Jvdas Berra via Waiting for Tea Again
five | Nicole Najafi via Elle Decor
six | 100 Layer Cake
seven | Debi Treloar via decor8
A dimly lit cozy living room sounds brilliant to me right now. One cup of coffee is not cutting it this morning. Can we talk about that crystal ship chandelier? What a fun way to bring some whimsy to a room. I even know where you can buy that thing. For something so unusual it isn’t as crazy expensive as you might think, though still definitely an investment.
Dark blue walls, a Moroccan rug, and aged camel colored leather. A recipe for great success in my book.
Ah and then there’s cognac leather. I used to find this shade off-putting but now I love it. Of course you could put the most beautiful leather sofa in an otherwise boring or poorly done room and it wouldn’t have nearly the same effect as one in a well designed room like this one. How high are those ceilings anyway?! Yeesh. Also a pop of pink is perfect next to this color of leather. Get yourself some peonies.
one | Jonathan Adler via Abigail Ahern
two | via My Favorite and My Best
three | Architectural Digest via Coco + Kelley
While I love and appreciate rooms that are minimalist, rustic, or laid-back bohemian, I also love and appreciate maximalism and refined luxury. The room above is a bit of an enigma for me because when I focus on individual pieces there’s actually quite a lot I don’t love. Those curtains are giving off an odd yellowy glow that seems to throw off the the color scheme of the whole room. The artwork on the left wall is meh. The chairs while nice look like you could find them at a cheap furniture outlet. And yet it all works together somehow. Or maybe I just really love that chandelier because I do really love that chandelier.
Now that is some maximalist luxury. I would like to shake the hand of the person that had the guts to combine all these elements together and in a building with such traditional architecture. Would I decorate like this in my own home? I can say with some certainty no, I would not. But I love examples of decorating that are so bold and personal and fun. If you love it, just go for it! Of course to get a chandelier like that you will need to be filthy rich, keep that in mind.
This room is less traditional, but still luxurious and wonderful. I wish we had more than a peek of that crystal chandelier because you know me and crystal. A moth to the flame. Can we talk about this wall treatment? First of all the deep blue is a gorgeous color, and I am so mesmerized by the seemingly free-handed texture and stamping. Risk taking really really pays off sometimes. Gorgeous mid century furniture and pretty vintage portraits don’t hurt either!
one | Blair Harris, photo by Nick Johnson
two | NY Mag
three | Dirk-Jan Kinet for Spanish Architectural Digest via desire to inspire
For many people including myself, the living room is the most lived-in room of the home (so I suppose it’s rather aptly named, har har). Obviously we want every space in our homes to feel decorated and personal, but if you’re short on time, funds, or inspiration, it’s always a good idea to focus first on the room you spend the most time in. And yet how many living rooms have you been in that feel decidedly un-inspired, not bad just not very good either. Where’s the interest, the personality?
I’m not trying to knock people who genuinely are just most comfortable decorating in the basic, “safe” way that they’re used to seeing. Not everyone cares as much as I do, ha. But if you’re reading this blog you probably care at least a little bit. I love this collection of living rooms today because when I look at each one I think, “I’ve never visited a home that looked like that before.” That’s not say there aren’t hundreds of homes out there with styles like this, but it certainly isn’t common and you can tell that these homeowners have gone out of there way to create lively rooms with interesting details.
This last one is certified cray and not something I would ever copy, but if I walked into a home and this was their living room I would bow down to their decorating gall. It’s traditional granny with a liberal use of leopard print and a Chinoiserie/Asian influence. Who on earth thinks to combine these things? This sort of unafraid, highly personal design is what I find most exciting in interiors.
I challenge you to find something to decorate with that you love but that your hypothetical neighbor would never consider. Plop that down in your room and just see how much of a transformation it makes. It could be something as simple as a wildly colored throw pillow or a big fine art photography print on the wall. Or maybe you’re a more subtle chap and something like pom pom fringed drapery would send you over the moon (I know I love it). Bottom line: go with what makes you happy!
one | H&M Home via 79 ideas
two | Old Brand New via desire to inspire
three | Lonny Magazine
I suspect many of you are looking that photo thinking, “What the heck?” I certainly don’t love everything about it but the spirit of it is insane, in a good way. A mostly good way. I mean first of all just the architecture of this room alone is killer, and I particularly love the art all nicely framed by the moulding, and the way the pieces get progressively smaller as you go down the wall. I don’t really care for those specific modern art pieces in the center, but I do like that they mixed in modern art. I love the leopard print chairs against the wall and the chandelier (of course). I have mixed feelings about the hand seat because while I think those are awesome in a way I also think they’re creepy in a way. I’m leaning towards creepy at the moment. What do you think? Things I don’t like in this room are the carpet, the floral print on the chairs and floor cushions, the color of the sofas or any of those pillows really. Marilyn’s a little weird too.
Mmm so cozy and vintage. I really need some plants.
This is my favorite. Rustic architecture filled with modern furnishings. A hit of pink and red but otherwise neutral. Love it. The reason you see tags on the pillows and stacks of identical books is because this is the Design Files Open House.
one | Jorge Elias via Architectural Digest
two | Jessie Artigue via Design*Sponge
three | The Design Files Open House