As part of a whole-home renovation in Boston, interior designer Kelly McGuilltransformed what had been a dark living room into a bright, comfortable but still formal gathering space for the homeowners. “It’s beautiful, but we kept it very plain and simple,” McGuill says. White walls brighten the room, with matching tailored sofas covered in an indoor-outdoor fabric adding comfort and durability. Layered rugs and throw pillows soften and cozy up the space.
Blue-gray walls (Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore) create a serene backdrop in this stylish living room in San Francisco’s Marina District. Interior designer Lauren Nelson maintained a harmonious color palette of mostly greens and blues, while the distinct lines and textures of the tufted turquoise sofa, custom barrel chairs and abstract area rug pop.
This robin’s egg blue and lime green living room in Palm Beach, Florida, features one of the boldest color combos on this countdown, with walls painted a high-gloss blue, armchairs covered in a marbled-patterned fabric and lime green poufs and pillows. The designers behind the room were disciplined when filling it — even matching the flowers on the clear coffee table to the color scheme — so that the result feels cohesive and classic.
Shiplap paneling, bleached wood and aquatic-colored textiles contribute to the coastal feel of this living room by Jesse Vickers of JLV Creative in Charleston, South Carolina.
The combination of a sofa, love seat and two armchairs offers plenty of seating options without making the room feel too crowded or closed off from the rest of the house. “The sofa and love seat offer more cozy, comfortable seating, and the chairs offer an airy, organic modern seating option,” Vickers says.
The floating mantel, lack of a hearth and console tables framing the fireplace also result in a more streamlined, contemporary feel.
For homes that don’t have the luxury of having both a family room and a living room, this space by The Fox Group in Salt Lake City is a great example of how you can get the best of both worlds.
The structured, tailored sofas form a stylish conversation corner but still feature soft, comfy cushions for kicking back and watching TV. Leather armchairs offer more seating options. The understated area rug, ring chandelier and throw pillows elevate the design without compromising comfort.
Iron fixtures and black-framed windows give this living room an industrial feel, while elegant architectural details and plush, clean-lined furniture pieces result in a sophisticated, contemporary design. The TV above the fireplace is the focal point, but two swivel lounge chairs can easily reposition to create a conversation area with the sofa or to overlook the backyard.
The ocean view is the star in this family vacation house in Stinson Beach, California, and interior designer Lauren Nelson capitalized on that during the renovation. By relocating the fireplace from its original spot along the wall of windows to its current one on the adjacent wall, Nelson opened up the view completely and gave the room a secondary focal point.
The designer looked to the home’s surroundings to inspire the room’s finishes, pulling in ocean-colored fabrics and tiles and staining the oak floors to match the color of the sand. Rope art above the fireplace and whitewashed plywood walls reinforce the casual, beachy style.
Dark-painted built-ins draw the eye in this mostly white-and-warm-wood living room in Los Angeles, highlighting a collection of light wood bowls displayed on the shelves. Throw pillows scattered around the furniture pull in the casework’s dark gray-blue color as well as the white upholstery, tying the whole room together.
The setup emphasizes both the TV above the fireplace and the backyard view.
A mostly monochromatic color palette helps give this living room in Houston a clean, serene and uncluttered feel. While there’s a lot going on around the fireplace, for example, with the tile surround, built-ins and millwork, the neutral colors and simple detailing don’t close off or overpower the room.
“The placement of the furniture allows the client to sit and talk to guests face-to-face or watch TV comfortably,” builder and designer Ross Huthmacher of Ashwood Designs & Custom Homes says.
The most popular living room of 2019 so far features a slightly different setup than you might expect in a living room, with four large, comfy armchairs encircling a tufted ottoman. “We saw the opportunity for an intimate space for the homeowners and guests to gather,” says interior designer Gordon Kessler, who designed this space with Larry Johnson, both of Gordon + Johnson. “We wanted to create a pretty, soft and comfortable space for the homeowners to sit, talk and read by themselves or with friends.”
Light gray shiplap walls (Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore) create a soothing backdrop, with a glass-tile fireplace surround, original artwork, light blue paint on the back of the built-in bookcase (Adrift by Sherwin-Williams) and dark gray interior doors (Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore) adding depth without overwhelming the room. “We utilized materials that had a sprinkling of color versus solids,” Kessler says.