There’s a lot of conventional advice out there about the best way to decorate a living room. And, sure: tidbits about how to choose the right sofa or what size area rug you need can be helpful individually. But when you put them together, they tend to leave out the most important part: the little details. This living room by Danish Builders Inc. has a very basic base design: a simple gray couch, white walls, and neutral wood floors. But little pops of gold, wood, and leather help wake up the design and make the space feel warm and inviting – without losing those easy-to-update, buyer-friendly building blocks.
Why It Works:
When it comes to decorating a living room from the floor up, most designers will advise you to focus on neutral pieces for your big ticket items. Things like your sofa and flooring especially should be high-quality, durable pieces that – to be quite frank – don’t have a lot of personality. Why? Because you don’t want to have to replace them any time soon. And for expensive pieces and projects, throwing your lot in with something very distinctive and on-trend is a good way to end up with a space that looks dated, quickly. Solid transitional choices in neutral colors will continue to look good for years.
The problem? A living room packed with “safe” options will always look a little bland and boring. The solution is to accessorize. Mixing warm tones of wood, metal, natural fibers, and leather or hide will introduce a tactile element to your space that will make it more dynamic and engaging. Better still, all of these options are very trendy right now, are inexpensive and easy to add in or change out, and have a big impact in small doses.
Get The Look:
So you have your beautiful new gray sofa that will last you a decade, in a living room that hopefully isn’t painted rental white, with nice light-neutral wood floors. A little bland, but that’s okay. Top the floor with a jute rug; this will act both as a contrasting color and an extra layer of texture. If you like the look, top that with a hide rug. These are a popular option that come in two main types: 1) expensive and 2) synthetic. Real, single-piece hides will be the most expensive, and small faux rugs the least, with cow or goat hide accents or woven hide rugs falling somewhere in the middle.
Add a wood floor lamp, wood-frame lounge chair, and wood coffee table (each in slightly different tones), and top off your lighting with bold brass or gold sconces and a matching chandelier. A few other gold or brass tabletop accessories or knicknacks will finish the look by putting little bright, shiny bits of color throughout the room to help draw the eye.
Layering more neutrals on top of a neutral base might not seem like the best way to liven up a so-so space. But adding warm metals, rich wood, and any eye-catching, touchable materials is a sure-fire way to cheer up any room. And unlike using bold colors (like red, yellow, or orange), putting little pops of brass and leather throughout your living room will liven it up without being quite so in-your-face.