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Posts Tagged ‘living room design’

Lavish Traditional Style for your Living Room

Friday, January 21st, 2011

A lavish, opulent and imposing traditional style living room is an attractive and timeless place you and your family will want to spend time. Since a living room should be a place to relax, watch TV or enjoy an evening entertaining friends, it might seem counter-intuitive to use a traditional interior design to decorate this type of living space. But there is some about traditional living room furniture that reflects Old World design principles that are classic and enduring.

Set the Stage

The bolder the color palette of the walls and accessories the more lavish your traditional style living room will feel. Select a wall color or wallpaper pattern that will provide a dramatic backdrop to richly-toned wood accent tables, end tables and sofas. If you prefer softer shades, choose richer hues of classic neutrals such as beige, cream or silver paired with a bold colored accent wall. Another option is to paint the living room a neutral color, but wallpaper one wall as an accent point in the living room.

Traditional Style Living Room Furniture

Traditional style living room furniture should, of course, be made of woods such as walnut, teak, mahogany and palissander. Finishes are typically medium to dark in color and can be highly polished, distressed or anywhere in between. When selecting traditional style living room furniture with a lavish look and feel, focus on traditional sub styles such as Queen Anne, Sheraton, Chippendale or French Provencal. If you don’t want to stick to just one traditional sub style, simply pick furniture pieces like end tables, a coffee table or a console table that is typically opulent and elaborately decorated with detailed carvings, motifs and intricate scrollwork. For a truly luxurious look, choose a leather sofa with overstuffed rolled arms and tufted upholstery.

Lavish Traditional Style Accessorizing

To create a lavish traditional style atmosphere, when accessorizing you will want to add enough “layers” for visual effect or texture while still keeping the living room sophisticated yet “uncluttered.”

Window treatments that possess the formal look created by heavy panel curtains paired with sheers and a valance would not be out of place in a traditional style living room. For that extra luxurious feel choose materials like brocades, velvets or silks.

Another automatic place to pile on the luxury is the sofa (or any other kind of seating including accent chairs or club chairs) by selecting accent pillows in different materials. To really mix it up, throw some cushions made from nubby materials or with a “raised” pattern.

Select accessories like candlesticks, vases and decorative bowls with gold trim and/or detailing.

 Come back next Friday for Lavish Traditional Style part 3 when I will be discussing how to create a luxuriously indulgent bedroom environment.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Home Decorating

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Design Question

I need your help. I have a coffee coloured settee and cream coloured walls. The ceiling is white. What colour of curtains will suit the living room to give it a beautiful vibe? Thanks

Design Answer

I would match the color of the curtains with the sofa. But choose a patterned fabric that will include cream and white, as well as another color like red, blue or green. When selecting additional colors for the patterned fabric, tie them in whatever other predominate color is in the room. The predominate color doesn’t have to be a substantial piece of furniture such as a club chair or a recliner; you could also pick up on a particularly bold shade in a painting or piece of wall art, throw cushions, a vase, etc. that is already in the room. Choose a patterned fabric for your window treatments, especially if it’s geometric or striped, as this will also add both texture and visual interest to the living room’s décor.

I hope this helps. Thanks for writing in. Don’t forget to come back next week when we’ll tackle another design question.\

From the Design Files of Heather B – Looking for Design Ideas

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Design Question

 Hi there, I am wondering what some better ways to set up my living room are? Also do you have any ideas about how to make the space more dramatic? I have put up some red sheers and am hoping to finish my window treatment soon. Thank you.

Design Answer

Many times you can improve the look of a room by simply rearranging the furniture. There are some simple things you can do to increase the aesthetic appeal of the room and to make the space more dramatic. 

  • It looks like there is just a plant in the left-hand corner of the living room on the other side of the entertainment center. If it’s possible, I would trade places; put the desk on the other side of the television. This will give the work area a sense of privacy, simply because it won’t be the first thing someone sees when they enter the room.
  • Once the entertainment and floor lamp have shifted down the wall toward the “entrance” of the living space, move the armchair in the far right corner to the left side of the room by the lamp. Then center the sofa and coffee table on the right-hand wall and position the dark-colored armchair accordingly. By placing the armchairs opposite each other, it creates another conversational group.
  • If the bookcase on which the aquarium is sitting has a finished back, perhaps you can turn it sideways; not only would it act as a focal point but it would function as a “divider,” defining the living room from the other areas of your home.
  • Adding red sheers is certainly a good start to making the living room more dramatic. If painting is not an option, you could give the walls some color with bright or bold colored prints or artwork. Try replacing the two smaller pictures on the sofa wall with one big colorful framed print. See how the two smaller pictures look on either side of the entertainment center. You might also consider placing an area rug that will work with the red sheers underneath the coffee table.

 Don’t forget to take measurements, both of the furniture piece you would like to move and the space to which you like to move it to. Assuming that you can shift a chair or table from one place in the living room to the opposite wall and have it fit is not always a good thing (and I speak from personal experience).

Thanks for writing in. Don’t forget to come back next week when we’ll tackle another design question.

Speaking with a French Accent – The French Country Living Room

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

French country style is ideal for a living room because, while it has strong ties to more traditional formal French styles like Louis XIV and Neoclassical Empire, it possesses a casual charm that reflects the colors, sights and sounds of life as it lived and celebrated in the rural areas of France. It echoes the seasons and the timeless dance between the people and the land. By mixing the old with the new – the antique table that was handed down from great-great grandmother and provides a stylish resting place for the oversized blue and white porcelain vase rescued from a flea market – you will create a room with a chic, rustic appeal that perfectly reflects your lifestyle, personal tastes and individuality.

SEI Fireplace

The focus on French country interior design is on comfort, while still maintaining elements of casual elegance and relaxed sophistication. So naturally a common focal point of a French country living room is the stone fireplace. There are several great things about the Southern Enterprises Slate White Corner/Flat Fireplace: it can be placed flat against a wall or adapted for use in a corner of a living room; it is an electric fireplace; and it has dark slate accents that bring natural organic elements into a living space common to French country style such as stone, cane and wrought iron.

The way in which French country approaches the use and arrangement of individual furniture pieces also serves to make this style comfortable and inviting. While furnishings will complement each other, they don’t tend to match, as in the three-piece living room suite (sofa, loveseat, armchair) often found in North American homes. This gives a living room an overall relaxed look and feel. It also allows for a more flexible and conversational seating arrangement.

Start with an oversized sofa, preferably with rolled arms and a wide enough seating area to which you can add at least one or two layers of accent pillows and still be able to sit comfortably. The decorative pillows should be chosen with texture and shape in mind; cotton stripes with nubbed wool; solid colors with toile. The Simmons Upholstery Bixby Sofa in Peat has the obligatory rolled arms, a pillow back with accent cushions and wood bun feet. A couch with a skirt instead of legs would also be an alternative choice for a French country living room. Metal legs are good too, especially if they are antiqued or rustic-looking. But do avoid a sofa with more contemporary style legs of polished chrome, steel or nickel.

Coffee tables, end tables, side tables, console tables or any other kind of accent table or occasional table you select for your French country living room should be made of either wood with a distressed finish or of metal and glass or stone. If you choose the metal and glass option, again pick rustic as opposed to contemporary – anything with wrought iron, brass or copper legs, frames or decorative accents are perfectly acceptable construction materials for a French country interior design.

The Magnussen Aidan Round Wood Cocktail / Coffee Table has a richly layered finish with soft wood tones that enhances its round profile and uniquely shaped legs. It will definitely lend an old-world charm to your room.

Since elements like terra-cotta, marble, slate and even ceramic tile are popular materials for tabletops or decorative accents, the Steve Silver Valencia Cocktail Table is ideal for a French country living room. The metal base includes scrolled legs and has a distinctly rustic metal finish.

The Butler Specialty Artists’ Originals Round Wood End Table displays another distinguishing characteristic of French country furniture: wood is commonly hand-painted with a floral or fruit motif.


French country wall colors (shown here from Sherwin-Williams) reflect the brick of a wall in the old part of town or the crate of tomatoes sold in an open air market; the mustards and golds of autumn leaves; the brighter yellows of butter, lemons or the sun.

Accent chairs and armchairs play an important role in French country design. Placed singly or on either side of a bombe chest or wood console table, you create a comfortable place to sit and read or to chat with a friend while sipping a cup of tea or café au lait. You can even pair two totally different accent chairs together, like the Powell Furniture Belvedere Accent Chair and the Klaussner Furniture Bellavista High Leg Reclining Chair as long as they are comfy and a great place to relax for a fair period of time.

The Pulaski French Floral Bench is classic French country with its lovely hand-painted floral designs, sleigh-style rolled arms and oval decorative panels. It would be a wonderful piece to put in a hallway that opened into the living room, if not the living room itself.

Achieving a French country look for your living room is not difficult. With a few choice furniture pieces that look like they have withstood the test of time; a color palette captured from spending a sunny day in the orchard and a few pastoral prints on the wall in carved frames and accent pillows piled on the sofa, you will have an enchanting and inviting living space that possesses an old world charm you and your friends will appreciate for years to come.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Living Room Help

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Design Question

My living room needs some expert advice. I have a 3-seater leather sofa that is a rich burnt orange or terracotta color. There is a dark chocolate brown leather chaise lounge, a painting in a dark chocolate brown frame that has got shades of pink and orange and a dark chocolate coffee table in the living room as well. I would like to add two small grey/sage green fabric chairs with small polka dots scattered all over it in orange and light grey and putting a side table between them. I would also like to add an area rug. I am hoping that I did not make a mistake. I am just trying to move away from what we used to do before, which was to buy the whole sofa set, put a coffee table and voila! I like very cool colors (blue is really my favorite) but I have been attracted to orange for a while.

Design Answer


It sounds like you have all of the pieces of the puzzle but you just need to tie them all together. Cool colors are a good choice for the living room furniture you have described. But because of the small gray fabric accent chairs and the fact that there is currently nothing blue in the room, I wouldn’t pick that color for the walls or area rug. I would select cool tones in more neutral or earth tones that will complement the leather sofa and bring out the pattern of the side chairs.

Neutral shades and earth tones chosen to work with the sofa will also provide a rich canvas for the chocolate brown coffee table. Any of the colors in this palette (from a selection of paint colors by Sherwin-Williams) will work well with the wall art too.

As mentioned above, an area rug should blend all the other interior design elements in the room together.

The Calvin Klein Home by Nourison Loom Select Woven Bands Area Rug Collection in Brown has warm terracotta tones that will match the sofa. It also has a hint of green that might work well with the accent chairs.

The Couristan South Beach Area Rug Collection in Sahara Tan is predominately earth toned but with hints of color that give it some texture. The geometric pattern is very contemporary, in keeping with the style of the living room.

The Brink & Campman Area Rugs- Luna Collection Stripe 90607 has a bold pattern but the colors in it are muted enough to work with the décor and the chosen color palette.

Thanks for writing in. Stay tuned next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

To view other entries in the “Design Files Of Heather B.” series, click here.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – Paint Color for a Living Room, Dining Room & Family Room

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Design Question

Room 1

Could you please help me in selecting some paint colors that will go with the current decoration of this living room, dining room and family room? I like greens, mustards, blues, browns and reds. However, I do not like too dark colors on the walls.

Room 2

We are not planning to change the dining set or living room furniture or curtains anytime time soon. Dining and living room have high ceilings. Family room does not. Dining room and living room are together. Attached are some pictures.

Design Answer

Since there are no plans to replace the furniture or curtains, I would select colors that match or complement the living room furniture. Paint colors are from Sherwin-Williams.

Option #1

Option 1

Choose two colors, one light (Lemon Drop or Sagey) for the majority of the space. Then select an accent wall, like the one with the windows, and apply the darker color (Escape Gray or Clary Sage) to it.

Option #2

Option 2

Choose one color for the walls of all three rooms. Again, selecting shades that match the sofa in the living room.

Option #3

Option 3

Paint the living room and dining room (Mauve Finery or Inspired Lilac) a different color than the family room (Golden Fleece or Edgy Gold).

Thanks for writing in. Stay tuned next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. And don’t forget to keep sending me those emails!

To view other entries in the “Design Files Of Heather B.” series, click here.

The Keeping Room

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Given my love of history, Colonial times and houses past and present, imagine my surprise when, in the process of doing research for an entirely different project, I came across a type of room I was totally unfamiliar with. In Colonial homes, the keeping room, while it sounds like something out of Bluebeard’s castle, was the room located directly off of the kitchen. Because the area was still well within the warm reaches of the kitchen stove, family members would often sleep here when the other rooms of the house became too cold. It was actually a multipurpose room. Reserving the formal dining room (if they had one) for holidays and special celebrations, they would also use the keeping room as a place to eat the last meal of the day, for the same reason; it was the warmest place to be. It was also used for child minding; babies and young children could sleep and play within view of the women of the home while they worked throughout the day.

While the name might have changed, the location hasn’t really. Today, the keeping room is known by a number of names including the great room, the hearth room and the family room. Not much has changed in 200 years. Today, the family room still plays multiple roles. To make the space ultra-functional as well as a place everyone in your household will want to hang out, design a family room around your lifestyle, interests, who will be using the room the most (kids vs. adults) and your favorite ways to relax. A family room is also a great place for entertaining when you don’t have the occasion to do it often, but when you do, you end up hosting a large gathering.

When planning and decorating a family room, first decide what the focus of the room will be. For example, if you’ve always wanted a home theatre, but don’t have the space for a separate media room, the family room might be the ideal place to start. Once the room’s main purpose has been established, it will be easier to decide what kind of furniture you will require to make the space both practical and comfortable.

Whether or not your family room will have a home theater focus, the television will probably be a major focal point in the room. Select a sofa or sectional that will be comfortable, easy to clean and as large as will fit in the intended space. Ensure that it is placed at least 10 feet from the TV stand or entertainment center for optimal television viewing.

No family room is complete without a coffee table. A coffee table is the perfect place to put a cup, a bowl of munchies, reading material or the remote control. Choose one as wide as possible; it can double as a crafts or games table. A coffee table set is handy when decorating a family room, because they are already conveniently matched in style and finish for functionality and practicality – you don’t have to spend time shopping for each piece of furniture separately.

Particularly if you have young children, choose furniture with rounded corners; steer clear of furniture with glass tops, shelves and doors; and if you have a home bar, wine cart or TV stand on casters, make sure they are lockable.

Because the whole purpose of the room is to relax, hang out and put your feet up, choose darker color palettes for the walls, furniture and carpet. This will save you from constantly having to clean up after spills, etc.

Divide the space into zones. Especially when there are young kids in the home, it’s good to have clearly defined areas where they can play while you get some well-deserved down time.

Select furniture such as end tables, the coffee table or an ottoman that includes lots of drawers and/or hidden storage.

If older children will be using the family room on a regular basis, include places they can “flop” like bean bag chairs or body pillows.

Lighting for a family room can be divided into three basic types: general (typically overhead or ceiling) lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. For a balanced and functional family room, especially when the space is large, all three types of lighting should be a part of your design plan. Different types of lighting will allow you to watch television (task lighting) while your kids are crafting (general lighting).

Choose a sofa or couch that can be used as a bed like a convertible sofa, futon or sofa bed. Especially around the holidays, extra sleeping space always comes in handy.

Color Your Home with the Shades of Fall

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Looking out my window today I noticed the trees – the leaves are a riot of different shades of reds, from deep burgundy to fire engine red. Ditto for the trees whose leaves turn yellow; gold, butter yellow, soft lemon and flame orange. Fall colors are everywhere, bringing with it a wealth of tones and shades. Here are a few simple ways to bring the colors of fall into the rooms of your home.

Bring Fall Colors into the Living Room


The living room is where you relax; spend time with your partner; watch TV with the kids or just sit and do nothing for six seconds before you have to make supper. This is the one room in your home that will benefit the most from a pick-me-up of fall colors. Give the room an inviting feel with lots of pillows, a cozy throw or an accent rug in a warm autumn palette.

Lawrence Home Fashions Enchanted Decorative Pillow

Make a comfy armchair or favorite recliner shout “Sit here! Sit here!” with a selection of decorative pillows from Lawrence Home Fashions in rich wine and earth tones.





Daniadown Utah Berry Throw

Drape the end of your sofa with the Daniadown Utah Berry Throw. Having a warm blanket close at hand will be a perfect way to keep toasty while watching TV when the nights become a little chilly.



Brink & Campman Area RugsEven if your living room is carpeted, especially in a solid or neutral color, adding an area rug like the Brink & Campman Area Rugs- Himali Collection Aqurel 93303 in front of the sofa featuring the colors of autumn will warm up your toes, as well as the décor.

American Drew Dining Table Set

Bring Fall Colors into the Dining Room

Change the look of your dining chairs to match the season by adding chair covers in oranges or deep reds for a bold  statement or rich neutral colors like taupe, light brown or gray.

Create a centerpiece from found objects straight from nature or place a vase of seasonal flowers like chrysanthemums or carnations in the center of your dining table.

turkish red

Dressing your dining table with table linens in reds, browns or yellows is an inexpensive way to color your dining room in autumn. The richly toned Daniadown Sateen Turkish Red Tablecloth is a perfect example.

Bring Fall Colors into the Bedroom

Bringing autumn from the outdoors into the bedroom adds a naturalistic element to the place most of us think of as a sanctuary after a tiring day. Mixing rusts and soft greens introduces a calming aspect to the room. Oranges and blues with warm undertones give the room punches of color. Medium to dark browns, especially a comforter or duvet, are particularly soothing.

cozy kids 3 piece bedding set

The Cozy Kids Elk River 3-Piece Twin Bedding Set manages to include all of the major colors associated with fall.

Southern Texttiles Bed In A Bag Set

Ideal for a master or main bedroom, the Southern Textiles Elite Collection Wilmington 11-Piece Queen Bed In A Bag Set uses oranges, browns, subtle reds, greens and golds with stunning effect.

Liz Claiborne by Nourison Modern EleganceWith its wine tones and green accents on a neutral background, the Liz Claiborne by Nourison Modern Elegance LH01 Area Rug Collection in Oatmeal creates a look that is textured yet restful and inviting.

Bringing the colors of fall into your home, with autumn’s signature earthy browns, sunflower yellows, pear-tinted golds and pumpkin oranges, celebrates the change of season and mentally prepares us for Thanksgiving and the colder temperatures of winter.

Small Living Room Design Tips To Mazimize Your Space!

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Small Living Room Design TipsSmall Living Made Large!

Small living room design is no easy task. You want your living room to be the perfect place for spending lots of time, whether socializing, reading or relaxing in front of the television. But if your living room is not of the largest size, you may want some design inspiration to make the most of the limited space. There are many design techniques, from the color of the walls to the style of the coffee table, which can enhance your living room.

First of all, approach the project with a view in mind to keep it simple. You do not need lots of furniture for a small living room; in fact, this is one of the instances when less is more. There should be no clutter, as it will just make the space look smaller.  Therefore, storage space of some kind is essential.

Leather Storage Ottoman JadeOne good idea for easy stylish living room storage is the Jade Leather Storage Ottoman, designed by Coaster Furniture. Not only can it be used as a stowaway piece, but also as a footstool and coffee table. Ottomans take up little room, can be easily moved around and have a multitude of purposes.

If a coffee table is a must-have possession for your living room design, opt for one with a glass top. Reflective surfaces broaden the area’s appearance, which is why mirrors are also a smart choice. The reflecting light gives the illusion that your living room has a greater depth to it than it actually does.

On marble or wooden living room floors, put down a large rug. By breaking up the floor space in this way, the area will appear elongated. Rugs can be used to link colors in the room together. If the walls are pale blue and the furniture is brown, tie the two themes together with a blue and brown rug.

When choosing what shade the walls are going to be, really think about what your preference is. Different colors have varying effects on the atmosphere of the your living room and your own personal mood. Pale shades will make the room feel more spacious and airy, whereas deeper tones will create a cosy feel. Whatever color you do select, try and incorporate your furniture effectively.small white leather sofa & loveseat set

One of the hardest items to single out for a small living room is the sofa set. The initial factor to take into consideration is the size of this type of furniture. Try to buy small to medium size pieces that take up less room. A love seat would be a good example of this, such as Global Furniture USA’s 757 Series Sofa and Loveseat Set in White Leather. This sofa can be used well as part of a light colour scheme, generating a bright and modern appearance.

brown leather sectional sofaSectional sofas are also valuable in saving space. They provide all the seating you need, but through combining two sofas into one, the overall design is much more compact. Take the 729 Espresso Brown Leather Sectional Sofa by Global Furniture USA. The dark espresso brown leather would be very effective if teamed up with cream walls and metallic accessories, inspiring a more creative and luxurious area. The geometric design of this sofa is also beneficial in giving a minimalistic appearance.

There are endless design possibilities when it comes to interior design, no matter how small your living room is. For a small living room, consider mirrors, stowaway furniture and a large lamp to distract away from the limited space. A sleek leather sofa is ideal for giving a fresh, contemporary finish. But above all, focus on what colors and styles you like the most so you can create your perfect room.

Please send me some of your small living room design projects!  I would love to see them, how did you maximize your design ideas in your small living room?

Interior Design Diva Nicolette

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