Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Closer Look: A Chic Living Room

How many times have you come across a room that's really caught your eye and "wowed" you? If you read other blogs, design magazines and design books as much as I do, it probably happens quite often! Do you ever stop to actually study the space and figure out why everything works so well together?  There's definitely a "formula" to every design and specific reasons why a room looks amazing when completed. I came across this bright and colorful living room via Country Living and decided to take a closer look at why everything works so well together. It may seem pretty basic, but every space has several layers, beginning with the wall color, flooring, ceiling, and so on. Here's a closer look at the things I noticed...

{The Living Room - bright, colorful and fresh}

The designer created a neutral backdrop, starting with nearly white walls and several upholstered pieces in neutral shades of tan, grey and cream. Creating a room with a neutral base gives you flexibility with accent colors and allows you to change things up when you get bored.

Although nothing quite matches, the colorful accents and modern fabric prints all work very well together. I especially love the orange tray on the upholstered ottoman - it adds a bold pop of color; any other color, such as green or yellow, wouldn't have had the same effect. The subtle robins-egg blue color is repeated a few times in the rug, chair and end table, which helps visually tie everything together and gives the space a touch of continuity. What else do notice about this space?  What's your design process when pulling a space together? 


  1. I just love this space, Julie! Thanks for pulling out all the elements for us should we wish to recreate it!

  2. Hi Julie,

    Interesting post. My design efforts are beginner at best. Colors are usually my downfall so I like to take inspiration from a photo or other item and then build around that. Since I like to budget, I might start by checking out the flooring selection at a place where I know I can get discounts and then add on some kind of funky furniture piece for interest and then after that, it's pretty much whatever I have laying around. As you can guess, I'm never finished.

    I think from now on, I'm going to go with your method. It turns out better.


  3. Gracious SpacesMay 18, 2011

    Julie, great eye! That's a stunning living room. I love the neutral palette with the fabulous colorful pillows. The robin's egg blue makes this so fresh. Love that skirted ottoman. It's all beautiful!

  4. Love the neutral living room and that's what we're in the process of trying to's a bit harder than it might seem!

  5. I like how the room has seemingly traditional pieces and took it more modern with the play on prints and colors. For me I tend to work with a fabric and pull color from that inspiration but I always have an anchor that pulls it all together. White works well for that. Sometimes when you have allot of pattern going on you need something to tone it down and take it from crazy to chic and relaxed. I plan to do this in my daughter's room where I have bright teal, hot pink and damask but all are anchored with white and cream to keep them grounded.

  6. I love how most of the colors don't match. The rug is my favorite piece in the entire room. Love it!
    Lila Ferraro

  7. I tend to be very conservative with prints but I love how the patterns on the pillows all go so well with the rest of the whole look.

  8. I love this breakdown! This was the best post! I have a question though I love the coffered ceilings...what's the rule with those though do you need 9 foot ceiling for them?

  9. I would love to the know the other three paint colors in the neutral color scheme that coordinate with BM's/Marilyn's dress! Any ideas what they are?

  10. if you were going to add an abstract painting on your wall with these color schemes , would you suggest to go with colors similar in palette ?


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