Big or small, you can recreate this creamy, dreamy living room. Layers of ivory and white, punched with some dark neutrals, make this living room peaceful, soothing and brilliantly warm. Our living rooms are one of the most public spaces in our homes and where we host parties, welcome guests and celebrate family traditions. Your own living room might be multifunctional and less traditional, serving as a family room for lazy Sunday mornings, movie night or friendly video game tournaments. No matter how formal or informal you living room is, it’s easy to design a space that’s full of warmth, personality and comfort. Find more living room inspiration and ideas on my styleboard at Hayneedlezfbzcuyqsybrvyararsyawfcfawwursr. Use these tips to recreate this gorgeous living room from Susan Marinello Interiors.

1. Lighting is everything

The best lighting rooms depend upon lighting from multiple sources to help open up the space and create flattering light. Remember that living rooms are often used at night, so having an assortment of table lamps, floor lamps and sconces can help bring small amounts of filtered light throughout the room. Shade diffuse light and throw the most flattering effect on faces. Set all lighting on dimmers so that you can completely control the amount of lighting in the room. A fireplace can create a soft, warm glow in a room, so can candles and under-cabinet lighting. Don’t forget to keep safety in mind by securing cords, not overloading outlets and not leaving flames unattended.  Pro tip: Make sure all corners are lit; dark corners will make the living room appear smaller than it is. 

2. Few (but functional) furnishings

Living rooms can be easy to design as they usually require few pieces of furniture. Most living rooms look best with a sofa, armchairs, coffee table and occasional tables that are designed for comfort and conversation. Adding multifunctional pieces like bookshelves, mantles or ottomans mean that your living room can be both a room for display and entertainment. Adding an area rug will create a cozier look and help center the room.  Pro tip: If you are short on space, find furniture that can serve serval functions. Bookshelves can hold decorative objects or a television, a storage ottoman can hold blankets as be used as extra seating.


3. Be textile savvy

Most homeowners are intimidated by a nearly all-white room but any color combination can work if you’re smart about your textiles and upholstery choices. Spills and stains can show up even on dark colors – it’s the type of material, and it’s clean-ability, that can help maintain a cleaner look. When shopping for upholstered goods, ask about the fabric’s durability and cleaning methods. Textile manufacturers have several ways to test and measure tensile strength, friction, durability and clean-ability. If you want furniture to withstand heavy use (you have kids or pets, for example) ask for fabrics that are heavy-duty or commercial quality. If your family has a habit of spilling drinks or eating on the furniture, ask for fabric that has a stain protectant or even an outdoor-quality fabric. Leather is incredibly durable, so is faux suede or microfiber. Ask for fabric samples (or swatches) and bring them home to test spilling and cleaning them. Pro tip: Mixing and matching patterns is easy if you purchase fabric from the same color family. Collect swatches and bring them with you when shopping so you can accurately gage the color.

4. Show off your personality

The living room is traditionally the space we get to “show off” and display our favorite objects. Because it’s mostly a room for sitting, and usually has little foot traffic, it can be the perfect place to showcase cherished objects, delicate items or family heirlooms. Placing these items over the fireplace or adjacent to it means that they’ll receive the most amount of attention. Vintage objects can lend a warm, comfortable feel, while sculptural items create a more modern, contemporary look. Pro tip: Reflective materials like mirrors, glass or ceramics bounce more light in to the room and can give a larger feel to the space. 

Top image credit: Susan Marinello Interiors