9 Exuberant Living Room Ideas

Zoe Feldman Design

A developer was poised to strip a historic town house in Washington, DC of its soulful personality, but “thankfully, our clients swooped in to save it and enlisted us to help build that character back through architecture and furnishings,” says Zoe Feldman

Studio Eckstrom

An archival Schumacher fabric designed by Paul Poiret in 1930 establishes the narrative for the sitting room in Studio Eckstrom’s down-to-the-studs rehab of a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival in Omaha. “We loved that it was ‘age appropriate’ for the house and gave a bright blue jolt that repeats the cobalt of the kitchen’s Lacanche range,” says partner Mark Eckstrom.

Elizabeth Ghia Interiors

Throughout the renovation of a landmark Coral Gables, Florida, home built in 1926, local designer Elizabeth Ghia enlisted various shades of blue and green—her clients’ favorite colors—but in the formal living room, she invigorated the palette with soft pink on the ceiling, on curtains buoyed by Samuel & Sons brush fringe, and on the custom shades crowning Christopher Spitzmiller lamps.

Murphy Deesign

When a client presented Dee Murphy their 1940s Santa Monica abode, the founder of Los Angeles studio Murphy Deesign noted the lack of architectural interest. So she infused the interiors with an elevated boho aesthetic, as she describes it, “which meant, ‘bring-on the color, pattern, and playfulness.’ When a project asks for life—and a history that isn’t there to begin with—then my aim is to use a multitude of materials to establish texture, warmth, and a vibrant storyline.”

Alexandra Naranjo Designs

For the living room in the Mediterranean Revival villa that designer Alexandra Naranjo revamped on “one of Palm Beach’s most charming streets,” she constructed a color story that “echoed the palette of the views from each and every window, to literally make the line between indoors and outdoors disappear.” Focusing on crisp blues, seafoam greens, and “neutrals that complemented the preponderance of coquina stone—a Palm Beach staple”

Sara Bengur Interiors

Sara Bengur’s apartment “exemplifies my style, my ability to match patterns and epochs, and most of all, my love of color,” muses the New York designer. For her, richly pigmented palettes are at once energizing and serene. Her living room is a place where she’s just as likely to meditate in the morning as she is to unwind in the evening after work. Here, Turkish tiles and pillows crafted from vintage Central Asian Suzani textiles coincide with custom lampshades and a Bordeaux throw of her firm’s own design.

Avery Cox Design

In Austin’s Clarksville historic district, local designer Avery Cox overhauled a 1930s bungalow without sacrificing any of its original style. Wanting to keep the existing wood paneling on the ceiling and walls intact, she kept the intimate scale of the room as is and created workarounds. “By choosing pieces that command space and visual weight, like the vintage sofa and antique bar, you can create a sense that the room is larger than it is,” she explains.

J Cohler Mason Design

When designer Jennifer Cohler Mason was assigned the living room of an Upper East Side town house as part of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, she set out to evoke glamour just shy of over-the-top territory. Luxe textiles, including a saffron-tinted Todd Merrill Studio sofa, sunny blue Karl Springer poufs, and subtly metallic Holly Hunt shades, set the tone in the lounge-like space, complete with a built-in wet bar.

Merrilee McGehee Design

An art book published by Taschen served as designer Merrilee McGehee’s launch point for the living room in her remodel of a ranch-style home in Austin. Her team took note of the pages that spoke to the clients, then enhanced those features throughout. Rounded green wallpaper from Shagreen Art matched with two hot pink Chivasso velvet chairs calls to mind Pop art, but “we also think every room needs something antique to keep the space timeless,” she says.

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