One Living Room, Three Sophisticated Designs
They may be built around the same elements—sofa, table, shelves, and fireplace—but each of these smart decorating schemes has an updated style all its own
A vintage home doesn't always have to boast a traditional interior. Consider the space here and on the following pages: Three versions of the same living room in a century-old Victorian, the designs look anything but staid. Fresh colors, textiles, and furniture—a contemporary pale blue sofa in one room, a classic slipcovered option in another—give each setup a unique personality. They also highlight the room's best assets: "Wonderful light, an elegant fireplace, and grand ceilings," says interior designer Jo Ann Alston of J. Stephens Interiors, in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Read on to learn more about what makes each space work so well.
Anchored by a simple fireplace, this seating area opens itself up to many variations.
An unexpected mix of colors and sharp shapes defines this seating area, giving it a youthful vibe.
Casually strewn pillows soften the sleek silhouette of this three-seater. The light-blue fabric also balances the deeply hued walls, Alston says.
This room's burnished color palette of orange, russet, and mahogany gives the term earth tones bright new meaning.
They can look a bit stark, admits Alston, but crisp white walls serve as the ultimate blank slate for any design scheme.
Layered over espresso hardwood floors, a wool mat delivers a dose of cozy, laid-back charm.
While this unit stood out on the previous page for its traditional design and finish, it blends right in with the warm earth tones here.
A timeless combination—blue and white—takes a modern turn with bold shapes and prints.
"Used as an accent around the fireplace, this inky hue cocoons the entire seating area," says Alston, especially when echoed in the carpeting.
This perch's plush form helps balance the crisp geometric shapes scattered throughout the room.
The trim atop this tall storage unit coordinates nicely with the traditional mantel, says Alston. For a bright surprise, coat the inside of the shelves in yellow or green paint.