One Living Room, Four Great Designs
Good bones may define a room, but finishing touches give it style or, in the case of this space, different styles—from classic to contemporary
Blending personal taste with period features can be daunting—and terrifically satisfying. Just check out the inviting setups on the following pages. One room, furnished with basics—a beige upholstered sofa, a leather armchair, sisal carpeting, and an architectural mantel—takes on four distinct looks, thanks to creative combinations of color, textiles, and accent pieces. Classic with classic? Yup, that's shown here, at right. Classic with current paint colors? We've got that too. You want more? Read on for other ways to remodel a room without even lifting a hammer.
Choose timeless, durable staples and you'll have a solid foundation for any decor scheme.
A few unexpected touches—warm brown walls and a curvaceous table lamp—update the classics in this understated space.
The tone-on-tone design of this rich mocha wallpaper enlivens a palette of cream and brown.
Woven linen panels offer privacy while maintaining the room's airy feel.
Whether striped, trimmed, or solid in color, these plush cushions look downright luxurious when grouped together.
Temper an otherwise formal space with a handcrafted element or two—like this curvy fixture.
Swap out a standard coffee table in favor of a cushioned perch with turned legs. Balance a tray on top to create a sturdy surface.
A lighthearted array of stripes and florals freshens up the earth tones in this laid-back arrangement.
The pale yellow hue of this nature-inspired wallpaper tones down the busy print.
The fine lines of these green- and-brown panels help draw the eye up, toward the room's high ceilings.
Unsure how to combine patterns? Take a note from this foolproof display and opt for varying motifs in the same color scheme.
A slightly modern glass base dresses up this fixture's simple brown drum shade.
Clean lines and a rich walnut stain ensure that this well-proportioned silhouette will never go out of style. A bonus shelf offers smart extra storage.
Pared-down florals in a straight-from-the-garden palette of lavender and lilac set a soothing scene.
Add a shot of subtle color by painting walls the same hue as your accessories—but three or four shades lighter.
Scattered across cream panels and throw pillows, ferns and leaves make an elegant alternative to fussier florals. Ladylike purple pillows help tie the room's elements together.
A slender vase-shaped base gives this narrow shade a welcome lift.
The straight-forward profile and glossy chocolate finish of the nesting and coffee tables help ground the otherwise girly space.
Introduce a bit of vintage style underfoot with a charmingly faded floor covering that features a large-scale motif.
Rich, saturated color on walls and textiles lends this refined space a sense of drama.
This room's highest-impact design choice is also one of the simplest (and most budget-friendly): a coat of deep violet paint on the walls.
An elaborate scrolling pattern meanders down green curtains, while similarly hued throw pillows pop next to purple accents.
Introduce extra glamour by placing a violet drum shade atop a high-shine base in polished silver.
Molded acrylic coffee and nesting tables practically disappear from view, allowing the room's more eye-catching elements to take center stage.
Indulge in a little pattern play by pairing this unexpected free-form design, in shades of dark brown and gray-blue, with ornate textiles.