living room

Photo: Boris Breuer

Be Strategic About Where to Stay Neutral
Choose neutral tones for the big-ticket furnishings, including the sofa, chairs, and buffet. Splashes of daring color come from easy-to-change accessories like lampshades, pillows, and curtains.
living room

Photo: Nate Rea

Let Your Art Make the Color Decisions for You
If you’re grasping for a color scheme, pick tones from a beloved work of art. You’ll already know that they look good with one another, and the painting will help tie the room together.
living room

Photo: Thinkstock

Steer Clear of the Clinical Look with Gray
Conventional wisdom suggests that white rooms seem larger, but their starkness can feel institutional. A muted palette of grays achieves the former and avoids the latter.

Photo: Fernando Bengoechea

Overhaul Your Furniture with Well-Chosen Accessories
"Adding new pillows and a nice throw can make it look like you’ve got a brand-new couch or armchair," says stylist Lance Boyd.

Photo: Laura Moss

How to Go Bold—Even If You’re Busy
"A dramatic new color can make a room feel bigger,” Boyd says. If you’re short on time, then choose one wall as an accent and just paint that—it will completely change the room’s vibe.
living room

Photo: William Waldron

Arrange Seats to Create a Warm, Inviting Space
Leather club chairs and ottomans by the fireplace and two sofas rearranged in an "L" shape invite lounging and conversation.

Photo: Thinkstock

Use Shelves Strategically
Tone down a bright wall by placing open shelving. The result: a room that’s playful but, not overpowering.

Photo: Jonn Coolidge

Ditch the Heavy Curtains
Don’t bother with fussy drapes. In fact, if privacy is not an issue at your home, you have permission to skip curtains altogether.

Photo: Fernando Bengoecha

When Buying Souvenirs, Go with Your Gut
"When you’re traveling, if something speaks to you, buy it,” Nate Berkus says. "You’ll figure out what to do with it later. A cast-iron crab might find its way onto your nightstand.”

Photo: Annie Schlechter

Use Lamps as Unexpected Art
A lamp can perform double duty as an ambient light and a piece of sculpture.

Photo: Fernando Bengoecha

Turn Everyday Objects Into Artful Displays
"You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of new things to put on the mantel," insists New York City stylist Natasha Louise King. In fact, nearly anything can work as art if it’s spotlighted in the right way. A bird’s nest can get pride of place atop a pillar candleholder; balls of twine can seem almost sculptural under a glass cake stand; and a sentimental note could find a nontraditional frame in a ceramic glove mold.

Next: 5 (not impossible) ways to amp up your living room