An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘living room furniture ideas’

Stylish Seats for Your Living Room

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Accent chairs aren’t just for sitting. A well-placed accent chair can give a punch of color to a neutral palette living room; lend the room some charm or style; and add texture to the décor, especially if it is upholstered in a different fabric from the rest of the living room furniture. While accent chairs may be used for their good looks, to boost a living room’s functionality quotient they should be comfortable as well.

Accent Chair Style

Stylish seats for the living room don’t have to exactly match the other furnishings. After all, that’s the whole point of accent chairs, to have them stand out rather than blend in. But in order for an accent chair to work with the décor, it should complement the style and mood of the living room. Dramatic, trendy or casual? Since accent chairs are available in a wide range of styles, when selecting one for your living room, focus on the mood you would like to create as well as the chair’s overall appearance.

Accent Chair Material

Stylish seats like accents chairs should look good, but they should be practical too. If there are children in the home, particularly young ones, choose fabrics that are kid-friendly. Even if you don’t have to worry about children, you may prefer enjoying sitting on it rather than cleaning it. To add visual interest to your living room, pick an accent chair that is “textured.” This could mean that it is made from fabric that has a visible weave or one that has a bold or intricate pattern.

Accent Chair Color

Fabrics also contribute to the impact the chair will have in a room. A red leather accent chair or one in a zebra print will provide more “punch” than twill fabric chair in an earth-toned color.

Accent Chair Shape

Accent chairs such as lounge chairs, occasional chairs with no arms or other types of stylish seats can have interesting shapes that will make them a natural focal point of any room they are in.

Accent Chair Placement

The right placement of your accent chair can really make the living room come alive. And speaking of focal points, an accent chair in an unused corner or next to a fireplace is an ideal way to create visual interest. Take a pair of accent chairs and put a small occasional in between, and you have instant conversational grouping that makes your living space warm and inviting.

Furniture Ideas for a more Stylish Living Room

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

You may be in the market for new living room furniture or you might just want to replace one or two living room furniture pieces like your old sofa and the worn coffee table. While purchasing a sofa set is an easy and economical way to decorate a living room, it can make the décor look uniform or even bland. Whatever your reasons for wanting to give your living room a facelift, here are some living room furniture ideas to consider when designing a more stylish living space.

Mix it Up

Choose a sofa set that gives you the option to select a different material for the armchair than the one the sofa is made of. They will still be connected by style and design but the overall look won’t be so “matchy-matchy”.

If you’re in the market for a new sofa, select one that stands out from the other pieces in the room. You will still want it to blend in. But by choosing one that has a unique profile, a fabric pattern not currently part of the décor or is a complementary instead of matching style, you will add visual interest to the living room’s overall design.

Function is as Function Does

You will want to take your lifestyle into consideration when looking at living room furniture ideas for an inspired, stylish living space. The purchase of that lovely patterned red velvet accent chair should perhaps be put on hold until your toddlers are older. In a word, when buying furniture for a more stylish living room, keep in mind that it should be functional as well. The sofa you’ve got your eye on may look fabulous, but if it only seats three people and you love to have people over, you may need a larger sofa or even a sectional.

Scale it Right

Especially if you are replacing one or two living room furniture pieces instead of redecorating the entire room, proportion and scale is very important. Accent chairs and console tables add that certain stylish “punch” to a living room’s décor, but if you don’t get the scale of the furniture pieces right, they can (really) stick out by appearing too large or too small in relation to the other tables and chairs in the room. A good rule of thumb is to take the measurement of the largest table or accent chair and buy one that is comparable in size.

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.

Another Take on the Rustic Themed Living Room

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The great thing about a rustic themed living room is that it can be as casual or formal as you would like it to be in a way that will perfectly capture your lifestyle. Blend Arts and Crafts with cottage country for transitional style furniture that might best be described as formal country or mix Arts and Crafts and with Mission for a more casual yet sophisticated look. The choice is yours. But whatever rustic themed focus you select, remember that lines are clean and profiles are simplified for living room furniture that is calm, tranquil and inviting.

The Arts and Crafts design style emerged out of Great Britain around the turn of the twentieth century as a reaction to the mass produced furniture of the Victorian era that essentially made cottage industries virtually disappear, putting many crafts people out of work. The Arts and Crafts movement emphasized traditional woodworking and metalwork skills, resulting in handcrafted furniture made of natural materials such as wood, including tables and other furnishings that incorporated metal decorative elements.

While of course today living room furniture is more mass-produced than handcrafted, Arts and Crafts furniture design principles are still popular because of their clean lines and simple profiles. The emphasis is on simplicity and the appearance or spirit of handcrafted furnishings. The Arts Crafts style can be especially welcome in a living room or family room where a casual yet inviting atmosphere is conducive to enhancing the quality time spent with family or entertaining friends.

The Arts and Crafts style furniture looks handcrafted. It typically has little ornamentation; when decorative elements are included, furnishings like coffee tables, end tables and accent chairs should appear as though they are handmade. For your rustic themed living room, Arts and Crafts furniture should have a straightforward design, an “organic” appearance and be functional as well as esthetically pleasing.

Bronze Beauties: Metal Accent Tables

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

There is something about accent furniture that adds a little “punctuation” to your décor; that perfect exclamation point to your living room interior design. It’s a combination of functionality and sophistication that lends a room that soupçon of style or drama. A popular choice for accent tables is wood, but just by placing a metal accent table with an antiqued or polished gold, brass or bronze finish next to an armchair, you can easily add a bit of flair.

Metal accent tables, especially an accent table with a touch of whimsy or novelty, can give your living room that something extra; an element of surprise that creates a focal point. The Powell Furniture Rust Glass Tricycle Accent End Table combines an end table and magazine rack together, resulting in a table that is sure to be a conversation piece. It will certainly transform the room with its rustic charm.

An accent table that includes wine storage is a popular, stylish way to incorporate a home bar or wine rack when you might not have room for a standard sized one. Small metal accent tables that function as a wine rack display functional and decorative features, providing a chic accent piece that allows you to entertain in style.

When selecting a metal accent table for your home:

  • Choose one that is unique in design to the majority of the other furniture pieces in the room
  • Look for “eye-catchers” such as distinctively shaped legs, intricate metalwork or decorative accents in organic materials like stone or shell
  • Think about the type of tabletop you would like it to have: wood and glass, mosaic, etched glass or marble are some of the more common choices

A metal accent table is a great addition to any living space, particularly the living room. Because metal accent tables are available in so many creative shapes, textures, colors and styles, you will be able to find the right one that will perfectly express your unique personality and that touch that make your home distinctively yours.

What to Expect Design Wise in the New Year

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Even though we know that most of them won’t last very long and that we’ll be ushering in more trends this time next year, we still get a thrill from knowing what will be exciting and new for 2011. But since some trends do stick around for awhile, it’s nice to know what to we can look forward to in terms of new design trends and interior decorating ideas.

Pink and Bold

Pink is making a comeback, especially a bright shade called “honeysuckle.” Bold colors that are part of the “pink” like purple and deep reds will also be make an appearance. For those of you who prefer cool colors, you won’t be left out; intense shades of blue are on the list of 2011 color trends.

Global Influences

Global and ethnic influences appear in furniture designs, borrowing heavily from handcrafted artifacts and motifs from exotic places from around the world. Furniture pieces and accessories for the home such as area rugs, sculptures, carved wood boxes and accent pillows will incorporate tribal or ethic design elements. Living room, bedroom and dining room furniture displaying global influences will also include organic decorative elements like wicker, rattan, shell or stone. Fabrics won’t be able to escape the ethnic influence either – expect to see tribal patterns and folk motifs; bold, colorful shapes; and contrasts with bright colors paired with earth tones and classic neutrals


Furniture like sectionals, bookcases and entertainment centers with a component-based structure will be even more popular in 2011. The appeal, of course, is the freedom to change the look and feel of your home to reflect your evolving lifestyle: modular designed furniture also allows you to go as large or small as you need to when moving from one type of living space to another.

Texture and then More Texture

In 2011, add texture to a room’s décor wherever you can. Layer a sofa or a bed with accent cushions and accent pillows in different fabrics. The same strategy can be applied to window treatments and area rugs. Add lamps with fabric shades to a family room with leather furniture. A shag carpet in a den or bedroom or even the dining room wouldn’t be out of place.

Cozying up to the Fire

Friday, December 24th, 2010

From a design point of view, a fireplace is any room’s automatic focal point; a place where the eye is naturally drawn. Especially if the seating in a living room, family room or den is arranged in a conversational grouping to get the most out of the fireplace, it can instantly make the space inviting and functional. Of course, back when central heating wasn’t an option, the fireplace played an important role in keeping the home warm, as well as supplying heat for cooking meals and boiling water. But today, even though many homes have some type of central heating, the fireplace still has a timeless, emotional appeal. Here are few ideas for cozying up to the fire during the holidays.

Whether living in an apartment or not, people choose an electric fireplace because it combines convenience and ambience. It can make a room instantly inviting, particularly one that has a rich medium to dark wood finish. The mantel of a freestanding electric fireplace is perfect for Christmas; the ideal place to put greeting cards, festive candles and other seasonal decorations. When paired with a picture or a mirror, the mantel acts as a visual borderline between the fireplace and the wall art.

Nothing beats reading a good book (good being defined as anything you find interesting), seated by the fireplace in a comfortable chair. In our busy world, incorporating areas of our homes where the sole purpose of the space or the area is on quality downtime, nothing wins hands-down (in my opinion) than a club chair and a 3-way floor lamp curled next to an electric fireplace.

Aside from providing heat and ambiance, electric fireplaces are portable, another reason that makes them so appealing. And because they are portable, they are typically easy to setup, use and maintain. They add warmth and style, while giving your living space a sense of “purpose.” If you would you like to have an electric fireplace in your apartment or home but are afraid that you don’t have the room for it, you can still reap all of the benefits of a freestanding fireplace with a corner electric fireplace.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Help! Small Living Room

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Design Question

Hi Heather, We have a small living room which contains a floor level gas fireplace with a TV nook on top of it. I recently painted a red feature wall and do not like it! I also hate the nook above the fireplace with our TV and all the junk that goes with it on top. I would be willing to move the TV and could do without the small white arm chair in order to accommodate the new TV location.

I like airy, light, white and grey spaces. I am open to doing wall paper and would like to accent the whites and grays with a color of some kind. I would also like to change the light fixture which is in the center of the room and is a simple white dome. In the future I would like to re-tile the fireplace and add some type of mantle as well. I have no idea how to bring style into this space and desperately need some help! Thanks you so much!

Design Answer

Thanks for sending the pictures. They really help me to visualize what’s going on in the room. It’s actually a great space the way the room is now: it has a focal point (TV/niche/fireplace wall), furniture is arranged in a balanced, thoughtful way and the color is warm and does make the living room welcoming and inviting. It’s just my personal preference of course, but I would have put the accent color only on the TV/niche/fireplace wall and painted the niche the neutral color (reverse of what it is now and no red on the window wall).

I can see why you would like to find a new location for the TV; I did wonder how comfortable it is to watch!

I do have some suggestions as to how you can bring some more style into this space:

a)     When choosing a paint color for the room it should match or complement something in the room. You could match the color to the couch, which is a very soothing neutral. It’s a little difficult for me to see exactly what shade of white it is; perhaps an antique white or egg shell, but not pure white. You could also choose a grey hue that will go with the darker shade of gray of the accent pillow on the sofa.

b)     For an accent color, you could take some inspiration from the fireplace which is a mix of warm and neutral colors: dark grey, brown with gray in it, light brown with black in it (not yellow), green.

c)     I would get a TV stand that matches your coffee table and put it where the plants and white arm chair are now.

d)     If you choose the fireplace wall as your accent color wall, I would paint the niche your main wall color (or vice versa). Then you can use the niche for some sort of display, a large print, a wall sculpture, etc.

e)     Definitely add a mantle; it will provide a visual divider between the niche and the fireplace.

f)       I love the clean lines of the furniture – I suggest you choose an overhead light in the same style – perhaps a semi-flush mounted fixture like Minka Lighting Ansmith 3 Light Semi Flush

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out.

Time Out: Timeless Accent Furniture Pieces

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Choosing the right accent furniture pieces for a living room adds beauty, functionality and style to your home. While you don’t want them to stick out (in a “bad” way), accent furniture provides those finishing touches to the décor that helps create an inviting atmosphere.  Accessorizing a living room with a timeless piece of accent furniture, lamp or decorative item reflects your personal tastes, gives the room a personality that is unique to you.

An accent chair is an eclectic mix of function and aesthetics. By including one in your living room, particularly when placed by a fireplace or paired with an accent table, the accent chair becomes a focal point in the room. The style of the accent chair you choose for the living room should complement the rest of your living room furniture, while possessing distinct characteristics like the timeless hourglass shape of the Avenue Six Curves Hourglass Chair.

Accent tables are intended for a specific or decorative use. They are great places for a lamp, a vase of flowers or a decorative item such as a clock or china ornament. An accent table can be positioned in different parts or the living room like behind the sofa, next to a chair or, like the Butler Specialty Heritage Square Glass Top Clock Cocktail Table, in front of the sofa.

Another great piece of accent furniture for you to consider adding to your living room is the grandfather clock/curio cabinet. The ultimate living room accent furniture piece when it comes to that perfect combination of functionality and aesthetics, the Ridgeway Timeless Accents Clarksburg Curio Grandfather Clock provides sensible storage that is decidedly decorative.

Accent furniture pieces like an accent chair with a unique shape or a curio grandfather clock cabinet can give your living room a timeless style that reflects your tastes and personality.

Bare Bones: Making your Living Room Feel More Lived In

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Your place is neat, tidy and clean, but it doesn’t have any personality. Maybe you’re reluctant to add those finishing touches because you don’t quite know how to go about it. Perhaps you haven’t accessorized because having things lying around or items on permanent display feels a little like clutter to you. To successfully accessorize your living space so that it has a professional interior designer cohesive look, there are some simple things you can do.

 Windows and Walls

Window treatments should match the overall style of the furniture pieces in the room. For example, brocade curtains with a valance and sheers would be too formal for a casual contemporary sofa set.

When choosing pictures, be selective. As a focal point on a main wall, use only one framed print or picture. Don’t group more than five pictures together in one place unless it’s a “picture” wall, as it tends to make the living space look busy. Hang pictures at eye level – this will usually place them lower down on the wall, visually connecting them to the furniture.


Even if you have wall-to-wall carpet, adding an area rug in front of the sofa or to a pair of chairs on either side of an electric fireplace defines the area and makes it stand out.


 Wherever there is seating, you will want to ensure that the area is well-lit, either by a table lamp or a floor lamp.

Vases and flower arrangements on tables such as a coffee table or and end table should not be high enough to block the view of the television, a person sitting opposite, etc.

Unless the bookcase of bookshelf is in a den or library, add ornaments or a few select knickknacks to on or two shelves or compartments to give the eye something else to look at in addition to a continuous line of tomes.

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