93 Living Room Decorating Ideas We Love


Table of Contents

Make the Room More Inviting

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

In this family-friendly remodel, multiple rooms were cleared away to make one large living space. The sofas offer plenty of room and invite conversation and games. With such a light, inviting space, the family is certain to spend hours here.

Don’t Forget Greenery

Brie Williams

If you love the look of a muted, natural color palette, adding greenery can really make your space come alive and compliment the atmosphere. This living room incorporates large plants to draw the eye in.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

James Ransom

While bright, white, and neutral living rooms have become the norm recently, darker and moodier living rooms are absolutely stunning and add an element of uniqueness to your home. Designer Hannah Maple contemplated on lightening it up when she was first rebuilding the room, but she decided to keep the aesthetic moody to match the existing architecture.

Use a Bold Accent Color

Carmel Brantley

White upholstery and the natural texture of the rug, blinds, and furnishings set the tone in this relaxed room. Vibrant pillows and drapes in bright, beachy colors add a tropical flavor. Try a strong punch of your favorite color to add interest to a subdued space.

Embrace Your Wild Side

Hector Manuel Sanchez

While animal print is usually thought as a loud and bold design move, you can incorporate animals in an understated, classic way. This living room features many different animals prints and patterns, but they all have similar color palettes to keep it tasteful.

Neutral Farmhouse Style

Cody Ulrich

The farmhouse style is a trend that Southerners will keep around forever, and it’s easy to incorporate it into your home’s aesthetic. This Texas farmhouse’s living room keeps a neutral color palette to highlight the farmhouse elements like the wood pieces and stone wall sections.

Mix Furniture Styles

Brian Woodcock

While many believe that aesthetics need to be linear or monotone, designer Cathy Groome disagrees with that sentiment. She incorporated different styles of furniture in her living room and says that it gives her home a “more warm feel.”

Show Off Your China

Alison Gootee

If you have china, glassware, and any dishes that deserve to be put on display, consider the living room as an area to do so. This living room uses a large wood cabinet to hold glassware in a decorative and practical way.

Highlight Great Views

Joseph De Leo

Natural lighting takes center stage in this living room with large windows that span the length of the wall. When a living room provides such stellar views, the seating is the most important aspect of the room. Here, there is a custom sectional by Cuellar Upholstery (covered in a Rogers & Goffigon fabric) and a pair of armchairs by Lawson-Fenning.

Bring the Outdoors In

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Materials that connect to your location are key to adding character. In this coastal Lowcountry living room, a natural sisal rug hints at marsh grasses and is also durable and easy to clean. The alligator skull speaks to the local wildlife, while palms in antique glass and fern-patterned pillows add to the room’s Lowcountry vibe and carefree polish. A vintage kilim is layered over the sisal rug in a spot that is protected from heavy traffic.

Add Pops of Color

Laurey W. Glenn

This woden cottage living room adds pops of vibrant yellow through the pillows, art, and a patterned rug,

Enhance an Architectural Feature

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The owners of this historic Louisiana home painted the coffered ceiling in a whimsical light blue to make it stand out. A similar approach could be used with decorative wall paneling. An Early American sofa is covered in a contrasting dusty rose silk velvet.

Invest in Antiques

Photo: Laurey Glenn

As your budget allows, invest in one fine antique per room. Here, a round French marble-topped gueridon table becomes a focal point and provides rich color in an otherwise ivory room. A pair of armchairs by the windows creates a secondary gathering space in this Birmingham home.

Host Like Your Grandparents


This living room already had good bones, but it was due for a once-a-century makeover. Laura Kay, owner and interior designer wanted her Chattanooga home to have touches that give the space just enough flair. “I splurged on this space. I wanted it to be a little fancy. The antiques give it a collected persona, but I also made sure to keep it youthful with lively prints like Lee Jofa’s Althea Linen and a classic animal print, Brunschwig & Fils’ Les Touches on the curtains, with funky ikat pillows from Etsy,” says Laura, who carved out three seating groups within the living room. “There’s purposely no TV, and we love to entertain here after dinner.”

Visually Divide a Great Room

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Modern homes often have an open floor plan in the living space. Use architectural details, like the cedar ceiling beams in this room, to help visually divide the living room from a dining area or kitchen. In this Georgia home, a rug and a pair of leather chairs also define the space.

Make An Indoor Garden

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

A classic floral chintz pattern was used here for both the curtains and the armchairs. Chalky green walls and botanical-themed accessories, like the prints around the fireplace and even a branch under the coffee table, complete the garden effect. The shades and lamps also add a natural element.

Modernize Heirloom Pieces

Laurey W. Glenn

The settee in this room was given a modern update with wild fabric, while neutrals were used to cover the curved vintage sofa and rounded swivel chairs. The brightly colored lamps, art, and fabrics add a punch that keeps this room from being stuffy or staid.

Lighten Up with Whites

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Achieve a luxe neutral look with white upholstery and decorative accents in a variety of soft hues to add extra depth and dimension. By using overstuffed furniture, this formal living room feels more relaxed. Try washable slipcovers if you have a high-traffic area.

Embrace Ideas from the Past

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Lydia Pursell

Try a great idea from the past. Glass-fronted cabinets are a common feature in historic bungalows that can be incorporated in a newer home. In this living room, green leather chairs offer a modern touch.

Let History Take Center Stage

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Comfortable furnishings, historic moldings, and museum-quality antiques go together in this 1830s Charleston living room. “Rooms in Charleston have a personal, collected look that is rich with layers of history,” says interior designer Jenny Keenan. “If you don’t include those traditional pieces, such as an antique secretary, you’re cheating all the people who lived in your home before you.” Use antiques to anchor your room and then mix in modern touches with bold fabrics, mid-century lighting, and sculptural accessories.

Make Existing Pieces Work

Brian Woodcock; Styling: Page Mullins

Because the house was already full of furniture, the designer, Allison Allen, didn’t have to start from scratch. In the living room, for instance, Allen re-covered the traditional sofa in a white stripe and wrapped a couple of ottomans in a cheeky animal print. New pieces—like the pair of skirted love seats and wicker urns from Mainly Baskets Home— provide a welcome layer of youthfulness.

Round Up Pieces with Personality

Dane Tashima, STYLING: Buffy Hargett Miller 

The couple who bought this weekend escape in Pass Christian, Mississippi, knew exactly what style they wanted. They filled their living room with color, bamboo and rattan, beachy things and an eclectic mix of artwork. To find these treasures, the homeowners went to eBay, Chairish and estate sales. The resulting bounty reinforces what the couple calls the Palm Beach-meets-Bahamas-meets-Fantasy Island vibe.

Use a Barn Door

Laurey W. Glenn

A barn door allows the living space to be separated from the kitchen if nessessary, while taking up less space than traditional hinged doors. Close it to make your living room feel private and intimate. Then slide the door open anytime you have a free-flowing party.

Unify Your Space

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Designer Sam Blount used the biggest rug possible to tie this blue and white space together. “I’m a big fan of large rugs in small spaces—too many bitsy ones visually chop up the floor.” says Blount. The rug and upholstered chairs also have similar prints that tie them together.

Play With Color

Laurey W.Glenn

An elk antler trophy is the focal point in this primarily gold-hued living room. The soft wall color and muted ceiling keep this space feeling relaxed, while a palm tree triptych and blue, green, and mulberry furnishings and fabrics provide colorful accents. Adding splashes of color in an otherwise monochromatic space makes for a more lively room.

Whitewash the Walls

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Allow your guests rather than your walls to provide any color to the space. Here a homeowner painted all of the background surfaces, including the brick fireplace, a clean shade of white. A few touches of deep blue make the whites appear even more brilliant.

Forgo the Chairs

Laurey W. Glenn

These oversize sectionals allow everyone to sit with plenty of room to spare. The bench-style seat cushions look cleaner and don’t shift around like multiple seat cushions do. With a furniture arrangement like this, you’ll be lounging and conversing comfortably for hours.

Create a Neutral Backdrop for Collections

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

If you’re a frequent redecorator, keep the base neutral in order to let accessories really shine. White or off-white walls and furniture stay the same while a rotating collection can change with the seasons. You’ll have the freedom to add a splash of color or change things up with pillows and throws.

Mix Instead of Match Fabrics

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

“I don’t think fabrics have to be matchy-matchy to communicate with each other,” Lindsey Ellis Beatty says of her sunroom. “If they share a similar vibrancy and color temperature, they’ll look good together.” The designer set the room’s happy mood with a bright color palette of pink, turquoise, and chartreuse. A base of whites and neutrals helps keep the space grounded.

Mix Up the Seating

Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Seating shouldn’t be limited to club chairs and sofas. Utilize benches, ottomans, and odd side chairs to accommodate more people. As a plus, the bench in this Sea Island beach house allows for conversation in either direction and can be moved around the room.

Layer Neutrals for a Relaxed Look

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

“To give Country French my minimalist spin, I avoid the expected ruffles and plaids and keep it about the painted antiques and white linens,” says homeowner and designer Regina Lynch. “In this house, curtains would have been too much, so instead I painted the trim a dark gray for a similar, but cleaner, look.” Soft green walls and a seashell lamp make the space relaxed and beachy.

Use Unexpected Materials

Laurey W. Glenn / Styling Scott Martin

Horizontal wood paneling clads this chimney from floor to ceiling instead of the usual brick or stone. The wood material ties together with the built-ins flanking the hearth, making the entire wall an interesting feature of the room. Deeply stained wood floors and furniture add additional warmth to the space.

Try Bold Patterns

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

This Louisiana living room shows that you don’t need to shy away from bold patterns or unusual colors in a small space. A loveseat is covered in an unexpected lilac, while an animal-print chair heightens the drama. A floral rug and coordinating pillows add further texture and color.

Let the Light In

Photography: Laurey W. Glenn

Short on windows to capture natural light? Replace solid exterior doors with glass ones for an airy feel and pretty views of your yard. A skylight was added when renovating this 1935 cabin to make the room even brighter.

Add Historic Charm

Laurey W. Glenn

Former editor-in-chief Lindsay Bierman sprang for real V-groove wood ceiling to add more character to the ceiling of his lakefront hideaway. Beaded board is cheaper and looks great too. It adds historic charm to any brand-new house. Ditto for chunky window casings.

Add Color to Collectables

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Don’t be afraid to personalize the items you buy. Almost every chair in this North Carolina living room was refinished: Two armchairs were whitewashed, and the blue velvet chair was gilded. “Neutrals can be so beautiful, but I am always drawn to bold color because it brings a room to life,” says interior designer Megan Young. “Using a variety of colors adds to the sense that furniture and objects have been collected, not just bought for the space.”

Know When To Save or Splurge

Laurey W. Glenn, Styling: Heather Chadduck,

This sofa with its supreme comfort, rich color and fabric, and clean lines is definitely a forever piece, so it was worth spending a little more money on. The honeycomb mirror over the fireplace was an inexpensive purchase from a chain store. It’s unique enough to look like a custom-made piece.

Add Interest with Decorative Trim

Photography Van Chaplin, Charles Walton IV / Styling Buffy Hargett

The designer of this room in a Georgia mountain home added trim to the bottom of a basic sofa to dress it up and a mix of custom pillows to pull colors from around the room. Diamond-shaped molding on the walls provides an unusual focal point, while grass-cloth walls also add interest and texture.

Accent with Red

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Liz Strong

Use bright colors and strong patterns to punctuate an otherwise neutral space. The red upholstery and fabric in this living room add energy without overwhelming the area. Boldly patterned pillows also bring in a touch of blue.

Fake a Tall Ceiling

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn / Styling: Anne Turner Carroll

In a restored 19th-century farmhouse, ceilings were made to look taller by painting the baseboard and crown molding the same color as the walls. The uniform wall color also allows the original mantel and wood-paneled ceiling to shine. Wingback chairs and an antebellum piano hearken to the past in this historic home.

Get Inspired by a Favorite Textile

Photography Van Chaplin, Charles Walton IV / Styling Buffy Hargett

Use a fabric pattern to inspire the color scheme and style of your room. The fabric on these armchairs pulls together the bright red and gold tones of the family room in this Georgia mountain home. The coffee table and built-in furniture provide space for storing games and books.

Create a Keeping Room

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The term “keeping room” is centuries old, but the concept is just as relevant today. Since guests typically gather in the kitchen, a keeping room is ideal for overflow and comfort. They can relax in a small seating area while still keeping company with the cook. Consider using furniture that is comfortable and durable, as this space is sure to be one of the most used in your home.

Center a Collection Around Color

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

In this living area, we established a pretty focal point with a vintage painted secretary that displays a collection of blue books and collectibles. The secretary also provides a spot for note writing and gift-wrap storage. A blue-striped rug repeats the theme.

Slipcover in Style

Charles Walton IV

Ready for a change? Washable slipcovers in lighthearted new fabrics perk up old upholstery and give the furniture a longer lifespan. Stools at the counter are slipcovered in coordinating fabric.

Achieve Balance

Laurey W. Glenn

Asymmetrical arrangements can be intimidating, but formal symmetry is easy to pull off and adds a calm balance to a room. In this Nashville home, the simple symmetrical arrangement above the fireplace is clean and elegant. The stain-treated fabrics in this formal-looking room are designed to stand up to wear and tear.

Balance Masculine and Feminine

Laurey W. Glenn

“You have to give credit to a husband who’s confident enough to handle a pink-and-purple-themed living room,” jokes designer Barrie Benson. Her expertly layered feminine touches are part of the well-executed yin and yang that balance this Tudor living room’s more masculine architecture. She also wove in menswear-inspired fabrics like wools and plaids with floral and chintz patterns.

Create a Cozy Spot for Reading

Photo Robbie Caponetto / Styling Anne Turner Carroll and Fran Keenan

This armchair is re-covered in a botanical print fabric. The legs are painted white to lighten the visual weight of the piece. Tucked into a corner of the living room and paired with a set of nesting tables, the chair is a perfect spot for reading.

Open Up Your Living Space

Laurey W. Glenn

Although less than 2,500 square feet, this North Carolina cottage feels larger because of the homeowners’ clever decision to open up and connect the main living spaces. The family room is also vaulted to reveal the loft space above―yet another way of providing extra volume to a relatively modest space.

Upgrade Your Doors and Windows

Photo by: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling by: Elizabeth Demos

To enhance the home’s 9-foot ceilings, these homeowners upgraded to 8-foot-tall doors and 6-foot-tall windows to let in maximum light. They also aligned the doors and windows at the same height to draw the eye up and create the illusion of more space. As a result, this prefab coastal college is airy and bright.

Accessorize with Nature

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Tortoise and conch shells accessorize this coastal living room, while starfish adorn the mantel. Books on South Carolina’s coastal area lie stacked on the coffee table and topped with shells. Vases of palm fronds simply picked up from outside complete the tropical decor.

Pick Interchangeable Furniture

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Use furniture that can be used flexibly around your home. In this home, the designer peppered the living room with turquoise and lavender, while in the den (which opens to the main living area), a deeper teal and violet dominate. A pair of whimsical Moroccan-inspired stools upholstered in a striped fabric serves as a coffee table, but can be converted to extra seating in either space.

Repeat Prints

Photo by: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling by: Natasha Louise King

Repeating patterned fabrics in adjoining spaces is a great way to tie them together. Here, the dining chair upholstery is repeated in accent pillows on the living room sofa. At the same time, other prints on drapes and pillows keep the space from becoming matchy-matchy.

Build-In Your Entertainment Area

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

These homeowners flanked the hearth with bookshelves, one of which is designed to accommodate the television. They also removed a wall to open up the space into the kitchen. Now everyone can get in on the action in their Alabama home.

Retrofit Your Lighting

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling: Heather Chadduck,

Don’t be trapped by a light’s intended use. This homeowner painted an outdoor lantern and wired it for the indoors. It’s a whimsical choice for a room painted in a lighthearted pink and green.

Use Art to Achieve Height

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn, Styling: Heather Chadduck,

In this living room, artwork arranged over the door casing serves to draw the eye upward. Painting the ceiling an airy blue also makes it soar. The translucent chandelier and long drapes help the room feel taller.

Use Outdoor Fabric for Durability

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A sectional sofa covered in a khaki Sunbrella sailcloth floats in the center of this room. The outdoor-rated fabric won’t fade and will easily shed stains. Outdoor, washable rugs can also be used in a high-traffic family room.

Use Flexible Furniture in a Great Room

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This living area contains leather swivel chairs that can be rotated to face the kitchen or the TV and fireplace. The long upholstered ottoman does double duty as a coffee table and a bench. In this Tulsa, Oklahoma home, everything is designed to be family-friendly.

Curate a Rotating Mantle Display

Laurey W. Glenn

Display an ever-changing arrangement of artwork and accessories above the mantel. Pick up one-of-a-kind finds at the flea market or antique store. As you find new collectibles, swap them out as a quick way to change up the look.

Make Room for Family

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Designers eliminated the breakfast room in this home and incorporated it into a more casual family room that connects to the kitchen. The den wall was taken down and the space was reappropriated as a sunroom, filling the main living area with more light. A mostly blue palette sets apart the area, which has plenty of seating to accommodate a crowd.

Hang Mini-Galleries

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Hang mini-galleries throughout the house to maximize limited wall space and showcase art. Create groupings within her collection of artwork based on styles, weight, and frames. Use artwork wherever you see an opportunity –above doors, between windows, or even wrapped around the TV.

Create a Nook for Artwork

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A stacked fieldstone fireplace takes center stage in this family room. Rather than just a sheer wall of stone, the exposed chimney is designed with a central recess for artwork, along with tapered edges on either side, to keep it from appearing too overpowering. Sconces mounted directly to the stone are an attractive way to shed plenty of light on the antique timber mantel.

Splash on the Color

Laurey W. Glenn

Don’t be afraid to try a rainbow of colors. This cheerful space incorporates lemon yellow, green, and tangerine. A neutral sofa and rug help keep the room grounded.

Create Display Cubbies

Photography: Laurey W. Glenn

Cozy built-in cubbies provide the perfect place to display antique collectibles and heirlooms in this living room. Built-in shelves and floating shelves add additional display space. Beautiful baskets can do double duty, hiding away your collection of remotes.

Salvage Original Materials

Photo: Helen Norman

Salvage materials to add unique architectural features to your home. Doors, windows, and trim can be rescued from an abandoned home or found at an antique or reuse store. In this living room, simple Shaker-style cabinet doors from a lumber salvage yard mimic the look of a custom paneled wainscot for much less.

Maximize Small Spaces with Built-Ins

Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

In this small room off of the front entry of this Kentucky home, a built-in bookshelf also provides storage behind closed doors and a flip-out desk. This multi-functional room can serve as a workspace, a quiet escape, or a fun entertaining space. Especially with more families working from home, these multi-functional areas are becoming more popular and a priority.

Divide Up Large Rooms

Laurey W. Glenn

How do you make a gigantic room look cozy in an open floorplan? Turns out it’s all about dividing the room into cozy seating areas. A console table and lamps behind the sofa help to separate the space.

Go Bold With Color

Robbie Caponetto

“I thought I could be a neutrals girl, but I’m not. I’m embracing who I am and throwing in color wherever I see fit,” says homeowner Stacie Abdallah. She fearlessly painted these bookshelves in her remodeled home a bold navy to great effect. The bookshelves were an Ikea purchase that she repainted and framed in for a custom built-in look.

Dress Up a Rustic Room

Laurey W. Glenn

Even a rustic wood cabin can be softened and made more sophisticated with fabric and furnishings. Barn builders used post-and-beam construction in rough-hewn yellow pine in this farmhouse living room. Linen curtains with vintage trim add elegance to the rustic room.

Mix Up Monochromatic

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Make monochromatic more interesting. The homeowners combined several shades of blue, from almost-black navy to a pale sky blue, in the light-filled living room. A print over the fireplace also plays up the monochromatic theme.

Add Your Own Creations

Photo: Helen Norman

In his cottage living room, designer P. Allen Smith wanted a one-of-a-kind art piece over the mantel. “It’s more affordable than you might think,” says Allen, who mounted old farm tools to make a big impact for little cost. “Original artwork adds so much soul to a home.”

Choose a Statement Sofa for a Large Room

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

A tufted chesterfield sofa covered in family-friendly Sunbrella fabric adds scale and traditional style in this farmhouse restoration. Tip: A large sofa needs large pillows—ours are 26 inches square. Bonus Tip: Reinvent vintage finds in a new setting. Here, an old flat file cabinet works as a coffee table.

Use a Range of Textiles

Laurey W. Glenn

In this Tudor renovation, designer Barrie Benson combined 10 different textiles and prints in a single, orderly viewpoint without flinching. “I’m not shy about mixing patterns,” she admits, “as long as the scale is significantly different.” Three boldly distinct but equally strong upholstery selections converse easily with one another in this mise-en-scène, and the lighthearted purple, pink, and white leopard print on the window seat cushion keeps pace with the other prints without overwhelming any of them.

Add In Rustic Elements

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements in this Nashville house with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.

Layer Patterns and Prints

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cox

Sprinkling the same print throughout a room (on throw pillows, curtains, and walls) is an old decorator’s trick. Scattering patterns that are similar—in scale, motif, or color (like the diamond shapes in the living room)—but just a little different keeps things interesting and really wakes up the room. Colorful, loose abstract art pieces keep a formal room from feeling stuffy.

Hide Private Spaces

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Use design elements like these louvered doors to make private spaces inconspicuous. “We needed a powder room in the part of the house where the living was going to happen, but having bathrooms right off living spaces is a real pet peeve of mine,” says architect Chris Sanders. In this Austin home, he helped design a wall of louvered doors that hide an almost 5-foot-wide powder room, a small wet bar, and a row of air vents that run across the top.

Showcase Antiques

Laurey W. Glenn

Antiques are the hallmark of Southern homes, but you don’t have to have a room full of fine antiques—one nice piece in a room can elevate everything around it. The antique hutch in this room gives a sense of history.

Decorate with Cottage Style

Laurey Glenn, Styling: Matthew Gleason

Layer floral patterns and stripes on casual furniture for a cozy, cottage feel. Try a knotty pine table that won’t be ruined by spills and scratches. Cottage style is all about creating a comfortable space for the entire family.

Create a Statement with Accomplishments

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Liz Strong

A family collection of fishing-tournament awards were arranged here to create a gallery feeling in the den. The walls and sofa reflect a color pulled straight from one of the pieces. With such bold colors, matching the sofa to the wall color prevents it from overwhelming the room.

Keep it Neutral

Helen Norman

Keep the beautiful views the primary focus. A neutral palette is devoid of area rugs or window treatments, camouflaging this lake house living room with its surroundings. The soft color gives the room a restful feel.

Bring the Outdoors In

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Don’t underestimate your living room’s greatest feature: the view. The two-story-tall window in this living room maximizes natural light. An undivided lower sash and a window seat take maximum advantage of the serene exterior view.

Give Your Living Room a Sense of Place

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This home’s boho beach style is well-developed. Palm fronds and shells are scattered around the room. A painting of a seascape hangs on the wall, and the blue-and-white color scheme echoes the area’s white sands and blue waters. A large rattan coffee table gives the room a mellow, beachy edge and doubles as a game table.

Reflect Your Surroundings

Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

In this mountain home, interior designer Lauren Liess infused the living room with earthy color palettes and a tree-stump side table to create a cozy gathering space just as relaxed as the beautiful Blue Ridge setting. The living room had to be equal parts hangout spot, entertaining center, and functional pass-through. “I often use new upholstery but bring in quirky antiques—like the Victorian armchair—to add charm,” Lauren says.

Put Your Feet Up

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cullen Cox

Designer Whitney McGregor wanted every room in this Highlands, North Carolina cabin to be more inviting than the next. “This is a mountain cabin, and the wood is cozy, so I decided to roll with it and keep the walls,” she says. While a crisp white sofa and chintz slipper chairs dress the space, McGregor favors ottomans over coffee tables. “I want people to lie back and put up their feet. Comfort is my number one goal,” she says.

Make Height a Showstopper

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Shannon Gini

In this 1940s Georgia home, an addition provided the opportunity to create a showstopping living room. The space is adorned with clean, traditional moldings and a hipped box-beam ceiling set just high enough to wow. Atlanta designer Amy Morris accentuated that height with a statement light fixture from Currey & Company and enhanced the room’s feeling of openness with a pair of large-scale mirrors to “create a feeling of windows all around,” she says.

Save With Thrifty Finds

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Kiera Coffee

“I love the hunt of finding cool things for a good deal,” says homeowner EJ Brown, who scored the round wood coffee table for $20 at a local Goodwill store. “I look for furniture you can feel comfortable in. You can put your feet up on that table like it’s no big deal,” she says. Mixing thrift store finds with newer modern pieces like the shimmering Serena & Lily globe pendant keeps this Alabama cabin feeling fresh.

Harmonize High and Low Style

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Matthew Gleason

This unpretentious living room seamlessly blends one-of-a-kind finds with discount-store purchases. Luxe custom upholstery and antique-auction furnishings mingle well with bargain buys such as a modern flower chandelier from Ikea. Interior designer Virginia Mary Brown sought to create a woodsy vibe with the tree-adorned Arbre de Matisse Reverse Brown on Tint fabric by China Seas (quadrillefabrics.com) on two bold club chairs, along with other nature-inspired accent pieces in the space. To ensure the room’s look didn’t skew too rustic, Brown layered in sleek pieces like the lacquer-and-acrylic plastic coffee table.

Keep the Charm

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Built around 1890, this beautiful Tennessee mountain cottage is a study in simplicity, mixing natural materials including stone and timber to create a warm, inviting, and welcoming space. A neutral color palette and beaded board ceilings throughout the home allow historic features to shine. “There’s not one thing that feels contrived about this house. It’s relaxed and natural,” says homeowner Terry Banta.

Celebrate the View

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Stunning views of the marshland drove the design of this Palmetto Bluff living room. The floor-to-ceiling clerestory bay window is more than just a grand gesture to the landscape; it also ensures that the wraparound porch won’t steal a sliver of light from this ethereal space. To balance the towering white walls, the dark, richly colored floors and hearth draw the eye downward.

Make a Strong Impression

Laurey W. Glenn

Bold, geometric prints reign supreme in the artwork, fabrics, and floor covering of this living room. The soft neutral upholstery and wall color allow each piece to pop. At the same time, the limited color palette of the prints prevents the room from being overwhelmed.

Open the Floor Plan

Hector Manuel Sanchez

These days most every homebuyer—or home remodeler—wants an open plan house. A multi-purpose room lets people in the kitchen keep an eye on the goings-on in the living room and vice versa. Being able to see what is happening in every room is both inclusive for hosts wanting to be included in the party or parents with busy toddlers. That’s why this practical layout is undoubtedly here to stay.

Collect With Care


This charming living room is bursting with meaning. It tells a story using art collected by homeowner Dorothy Shain Henderson and her husband William. “When William and I started dating, we decided to buy a work of art together every year. It didn’t have to be fancy, just something that we both loved,” says Henderson.

Prioritize Practical Upholstery


What’s the point of a sofa if it’s pretty but not comfortable enough for watching football? These homeowners upgraded their living room for coziness and functionality, swapping prim perches for deeper-seated ones piled with throw pillows in cheery shades. Here, color and pattern is strategically incorporated to mask the mess of kids and life. She covered a pair of chairs in a striped pattern from Schumacher and an ottoman and an armchair in a print from Quadrille Fabrics. Durable white is an unexpected winner when it comes to family-friendly upholstery because it can be bleached, unlike gray or beige fabric.

Make More Hospitable

In the living room, natural light showcases MacDougall’s eclectic style.

HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ; Styling by Christina Wressell

In this living room, natural light showcases eclectic style. Welcoming hues and patterns adorn every surface and comfortable seating beckons. This living room is also furnished with accessibility in mind, as is the rest of the house. As such, doorways and walkways are kept wide open and obstacle-free so that everyone can enjoy this lovely living space.


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