Employing expensive materials in restrained but meaningful ways lets you enjoy the finer things while staying on budget. Display a fancy wallpaper on a focal wall or as a patterned backdrop for built-in shelves. Buy one really good leather chair, but pair it with a less expensive garden-seat table. Create pillows that showcase pricey silks, brocades, and velvets on their face, but that boast inexpensive fabric backs.
A hand-me-down buffet's original cherry finish felt a little formal for this Arizona ranch home, but with some matte chalk paint, the item took on a more casual look that set the tone for equally laid-back vintage pieces, from the leather luggage (that stores extra blankets) to a coffee table made from an antique mission door. A midcentury turquoise sofa adds a splash of happy color.
Color stretches all the way up to the high rafters in this living room designed by Thomas Jayne and William Cullum. As you can see in the mirror, the color of these walls changes depending on the way the light hits it, shifting between sharp mint green and soft sea foam green. The red and blue work nicely, too, as the red is featured in the carpet, coffee table, and sofas, blending everything together beautifully. All together, the room feels traditional and formal, country chic and casual. To elongate your already tall ceilings, hang a pendant light high above the sitting area.
When shopping for living room furniture, remember that 'budget-friendly' means nothing if the furniture isn't well-built, made with durable materials and designed to last. While furniture pieces of low quality will need to be replaced time and time again, costing you more in the long run, affordable furniture crafted from solid wood, thick wood veneers, 100% leather and high-density foam will keep you – and your wallet – happy and comfortable for years to come.
We like the fact that the living room featured above uses a series of two-tone patterns juxtaposed with one another to create a rich and stimulating area that’s full of personality and well-judged elegance. Follow suit by keeping your color palette and print combinations precise for consistency and keep scale in mind as every element should be harmonious with one another, especially in a small living room.
A black marble fireplace strikes the perfect balance between edgy and timeless. It anchors this living room designed by Arent & Pyke, which get a contemporary lift from the jute rug, modern and bright artwork, and shapely table lamp. And because the armchairs are a classic silhouette, they'll last forever—you can reupholster them with different colors and prints throughout the years as your taste and style changes.
While this sophisticated living room is located in a renovated and repurposed barn (really, it is!), it delivers rustic inspiration that can be applied to any space. The walls and ceiling are planked with reclaimed pine, and the homeowners had the rustic cedar post cut at a local sawmill, requesting that the original bark and moss stay intact to remain as natural as possible. A built-in corner shelf, made of the same wood as the wall and ceiling paneling, adds a charming spot for books and collections. Adding to the rustic vibe: The chandelier is made of an antique wagon wheel, and the coffee table is an old industrial cart.
The walls of the living may be covered in wallpaper or paint. Do you think the walls are outdated? Wallpaper may be tricky to first-timers, but there are now easily adjustable wallpapers that you do yourself without the help of professionals. You can easily peel and adjust these wallpapers. If you decide to use paint, make sure to keep the theme in mind.