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8 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

I was thinking that it would be fun to share 8 Great Living Rooms and detail why because it may inspire some of your own decorating ideas over the weekend. Please note that in each of the photos below I’ve actually listed what about each of these looks I love since in some cases, the entire room itself isn’t one I would copy piece-by-piece but there are certain elements about it that I like. Okay let’s go! Ready? Here is the first…

8 looks I love

I’m cravin’ me some: Crushed velvet old-fashioned grandmother sofa action. This is such a dreamy couch. I love the pillows but I also hate them which sounds funny but it’s true – they are bad but oh so good! The wall color is also quite amazing. This photo is from Shitery.

8 looks I love

I’m feelin': The minty green brick walls, the orange-y leather sofa that is definitely vintage, the spacing between the art work on the wall – it’s not tightly grouped, it’s relaxed and very no-frills. This photo is from New York stylist extraordinaire, Lili Diallo, via google images.

8 looks I love

I’m likin': The shelves, the art and the unexpected pattern on the sofa. This is Shelley Street’s home in Real Living magazine, scanned by Dust Jacket Attic. Photographed by Martin Hahn.

8 looks I love

I’m swoonin’ over: The light in the left corner – I keep seeing them in German magazines – must find source! The concrete floors which is currently a love of mine… I like how easy breezy this place feels – it’s totally beach cottage meets urban industrial. Love the furry yeti-ish chair and just about everything else going on in this space. Sometimes a room has more of a mood happening over anything else that attracts me to it. This place says Style Without Effort. I like that. Photo from Home is where the heart is.

8 looks I love

I’m diggin: The whole moody energy here – the wall color, the sofa style and color, the shot of fuschia and the painting leaning against the wall. Of course, this is a styled shot – you couldn’t live with a painting propped against the wall on the back of your sofa because it would fall but you could also hang it on a wee nail just a bit higher but still keep it very low to the sofa in the off-centered position as it is currently. Photo from Fey Handmade.

8 looks I love

I’m all for: The gray walls and the wall they’ve nestled that L-shaped sofa into to make a cozylicious corner, it’s very nice there and the white shelf with the art makes for a lovely gallery-in-rotation, which is perfect for Etsy print collectors to move stuff around without hammering into the wall each time I decide to change things up! Like the yellow accents, too. Photo from Angelica Gonzalez.

8 looks I love

This is kickin': Okay how cool is this anything goes approach to decorating, huh? I’m liking this eclectic bohemian mama look a lot. This is from Matchbook magazine. This place is rockin’ out some major ‘tude. It’s like, “Yeah, I live here and I love all of this stuff so deal with it.” I’m happy to deal with it – it’s quite pretty.

8 looks I love

Major love here: This is Bri Emery’s living room loft space in L to the A. It’s nice, right? I love the sofa style and fabric and the wall behind it – so much personality! It was shot by the super amazing Bonnie Tsang, who I have a major girl crush on at the moment because Bonnie downright rocks it out with her whole great eye camera goddess thing.

When I taught mood board workshops for Anthropologie stores last year, I stressed that when building a style file to always make notes in it detailing exactly what you love about the magazine tear that you’ve pulled. That’s why I’ve done this as an example with each of my tears above. Sometimes you’ll find that there are only a few elements and then you can start to notice definite themes which then lead to finding your personal style or at least what you’re into at the moment. From my looks above it is obvious that I have a real thing for gray walls at the moment and pretty sofas and gallery walls.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend! I will see you soon again on Monday… Loads of hugs – I’m off to Paris soon until Tuesday night so I’ll be blogging from Paris for a few days next week. You can also follow me on Instagram while I’m there, my Instagram user name is decor8.

xo, Holly

Posted by decor8 in Decorating Tips on February 17, 2012

Your comments...

  1. Becky - Pretty Dandy Homewares commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 7:59pm

    I think we might be living room twins! Grey walls, gallery spaces and squashy comfy sofas are so good right now! I think the last two images are my favourites, along with the super dark one. I’m a “more is more” kind of girl!


  2. ide-puffen commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 8:09pm

    Just love your blog!
    Found you on Twitter.
    ide-puffen´s last blog post ..Randi goes crazy with colors

  3. desiree - vosgesparis commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 8:30pm

    Paris hey!! must follow you ;P loving the detailed story here!
    desiree – vosgesparis´s last blog post ..Perfect Imperfect rugs

  4. Rebecca commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 8:40pm

    Ooh I am loving that dusky pinky grey wall colour in the first pic, so dreamy…but my overall fave is the third from bottom, love me some grey and yellow action and this looks like a real super cosy room too, all I would need is a book and a cuppa! The last pic is pretty special too….oh I just love them all!!x
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..pinterest pick of the week…

  5. Sydney Ballesteros commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 8:45pm

    I love all of these! I too have a soft spot for granny couches mixed with eclectic pillows. My coveted sofa is a 1960s regency style, cream and gold crushed velvet, in a damask pattern! It’s one of my favorite things in my entire house!


  6. marta commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 8:48pm

    These interiors look very natural, like real homes, not only a designer’ s projects. My favourite is that with grey wall and sofa. I love dark pink color, and this is a great connection. I think also that sofa with blue and white patterns is very interesting!

  7. Tracy A. commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 8:57pm

    Love the “unexpected pattern on the sofa” – sofa! Such a soft delft-like color.
    Tracy A.´s last blog post ..Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can." ~ Terry Pratchett

  8. Josie commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 9:28pm

    Ooh yes to the minty green brickwork.

  9. Dee commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 9:38pm

    Love these spaces, they show a lot of personality and character without looking staged. I also love that sheep poof chair! Very cool. Thanks for the post.

  10. Maria commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 9:51pm

    Holly, I love this post, the rooms you chose, the details you highlight and the links! Of course the Matchbook magazine was already a favorite! Have a wonderful weekend too!
    Maria´s last blog post ..My healthy (I hope!) and delicious (I’m sure!) breakfast

  11. Amber commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 10:30pm

    That lamp is by Dan Yeffet & Lucie Koldova. It’s called a muffin light. I guess it’s manufactured by Brokis. I can’t find where to buy it though. Here is the designers link

  12. Igor commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 10:52pm

    Love this round up, Holly. I really like no. 4, 6 and 8.
    Igor´s last blog post ..Happily Ever After: Mini Moderns

  13. Jessica @shimmerkai commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 10:54pm

    I love that grey room…very intense, but inviting at the same time! The pink accents are perfect
    Jessica @shimmerkai´s last blog post ..Decor from the Shore: Blue

  14. Kelly commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:33pm

    Hi Holly! Thanks for sharing your 8 living rooms. What a treat! I am always reworking mine. So much fun. Have a wonderful time in Paris. Kelly

  15. shanon commented
    February 17th, 2012 at 11:45pm

    I could see myself living in the 3rd room, I like the unexpected couch too, and how is so different from the 3 pretty pendant lights. Also, I’ve always found grey and mustard yellow to be so warm and modern… and I’ve been meaning to get an & pillow! It’s a must! =) Have fun in Paris! xx
    shanon´s last blog post ..Happy LOVE Day!

  16. dustjacket commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 2:52am

    Love that last one and yes, Bonnie is fantastic with that camera!

    thanks so much for the linkback,

  17. Ann commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 3:45am

    Just what I needed to see! After a week if being in my head these beautiful photos delighted my heart and made me smile and breathe. I’m saving the pleasure of going back and following the links for another time.

  18. Syndi of Beachnut Lane commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 4:32am

    I do the same thing…collect pictures of rooms I like, then pinpoint exactly what it is I like about them. Sometimes I then see patterns in my interests that I wasn’t really conscious of before. A great way to help define your style. Great post!
    Syndi of Beachnut Lane´s last blog post ..Charles & Ray Eames~ Iconic 20th century design

  19. Marianne commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 7:01am

    You know what is interesting! I just noticed I tend to look at the whole picture and I didn’t like your photo’s, except for the last one. But if I take a closer look I find things in the pictures, items, that I actually do like. It is something I should pay more attention to.
    Have a nice time in Paris.
    Marianne´s last blog post ..{link love}

  20. hillcrest cottage commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 7:06am

    have a great time in paris… i’m going to instagram to follow you :)

  21. Rose commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 2:47pm

    Awh…. I am just swoonin over this article….. so luvin it. I found it such a huge boost of inspiration. Images that stuck with me ….. the moody grey / pink sofa and wall….. somewhat sexy even. And then Bri Emery’s image. By the way, a lot of the the art on the shelf of Shelley Street’s lounge is that of one of SA’s iconic artists ( local to Cape Town in fact) Vladimir Tretchikoff. Belated now, but was very controversial in his time.
    Have loads of fun in Paris.
    Rose´s last blog post ..Décor Dictionary: Houndstooth

  22. Zane commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 3:27pm

    they look so perfect
    Zane´s last blog post ..Valentine’s Owls

  23. jackie commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 4:22pm

    Thank you for an inspiring post today. Our living room is “getting there”… l
    jackie´s last blog post ..Press

  24. Katherine Ross commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 4:52pm

    Such a fun/inspiring post!

    FYI, the sixth image (gray walls, L-shaped sofa) is originally from the Norweigan blog Ideas to Steal ( It’s a great little blog that you should totally check out!

  25. MissRouge commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 5:16pm

    Wirklich tolle Bilder!
    Der Blog ist super und mit super vielen Tipps zum nachmachen versehen!

    MissRouge´s last blog post ..Musterwelten von Catalina Estrada

  26. MissRouge commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 5:37pm

    MissRouge :D
    MissRouge´s last blog post ..Musterwelten von Catalina Estrada

  27. Meghan @ Wishful Thinking commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 5:52pm

    Aah! What I would give to have one of these living rooms! I am currently obsessed with velvet sofas so I really loved the first room but my favourite has to be the living room with the L-shaped sofa and the grey walls, it just has such a nice ‘feel’ to it!
    Meghan @ Wishful Thinking´s last blog post ..Addicted to denim!

  28. Daniel - Let me be inspired commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 6:16pm

    Hi – they look great – especially love the last one!! Have a great weekend!!
    Daniel – Let me be inspired´s last blog post ..Saturday inspiration #16

  29. MsXpat commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 6:20pm

    They are all so cosy in their own way. Gorgeous.
    MsXpat´s last blog post ..Kids and cars: how to make the journey enjoyable

  30. Christine at Mai Autumn commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 7:45pm

    This is such a gorgeous collection of living rooms! Thanks for linking back to my old blog, Holly!! :) Hope you’re doing so well! It was a nice surprise to discover this post on this lovely Saturday :) :)

  31. ANETTESHUS commented
    February 18th, 2012 at 11:43pm

    lovely and inspiring!!

    ANETTESHUS´s last blog post ..FESTDAG

  32. Sara @ Zahara Dessert commented
    February 19th, 2012 at 12:53am

    Oh my… thank you for sharing such an amazing collection of living areas. All so different, yet all amazing. Have fun in Paris
    Sara @ Zahara Dessert´s last blog post ..Glebe Markets – Challenge: Explore Sydney’s Best Markets

  33. Stacey commented
    February 19th, 2012 at 2:26am

    gorgeous eclectic round up!
    Stacey´s last blog post ..Esprit Home Paris.

  34. Sara commented
    February 19th, 2012 at 2:45am

    I really love all of the personality in each of these rooms, and the color. I wish I had a space I was brave enough to do a moody dark charcoal on the walls.
    Sara´s last blog post ..Style in unexpected places

  35. Mademoiselle I do ! commented
    February 19th, 2012 at 1:55pm

    They all look great but my favourite is number 4 with the furry yet-ish chair!
    Thank you for sharing all these beautiful pictures. French people love your work!
    Mademoiselle I do !´s last blog post ..{ La prison dorée de DSK à New-York }

  36. Brooke H commented
    February 20th, 2012 at 12:53am

    That white furry lambs wool chair looks heavenly!
    Brooke H´s last blog post ..Whitney Houston

  37. deb commented
    February 20th, 2012 at 7:31am

    Hi like them and yet they are not my taste except the “swoonin” one!
    Amazing how seeing the full picture of things you would not normally like, makes you see it in a different light. Thanks Holly.
    Deb x
    deb´s last blog post ..OUT OF AFRICA

  38. Jasmijn commented
    February 20th, 2012 at 9:56am

    The lights are Muffin Lamps by Dan Yeffet and Lucie Koldova!

  39. Adrienne commented
    February 20th, 2012 at 3:21pm

    I’ve been debating between using a ledge or just hanging my art in my living room. Since I’m still collecting, I like the flexibility of the ledge but, like in the image above, certain pieces get usurped by others.
    Adrienne´s last blog post ..Shades of Gray

  40. Greta commented
    February 21st, 2012 at 2:59pm

    this really gets me inspired to make some changes to my living room! thanks a lot!
    Greta´s last blog post ..Acorn

  41. Bonnie McCarthy commented
    February 21st, 2012 at 8:22pm

    You know, I love your advice to actually note WHY I pull the tears…sometimes it’s easy to forget exactly…mental head slap! Something so simple will make a big difference. Have fun in Paris -look forward to the photos!!
    Bonnie McCarthy´s last blog post ..Movie Interior: Green Card

  42. the chronic utilitarian commented
    February 21st, 2012 at 11:38pm

    i love all of these, holly!
    the chronic utilitarian´s last blog post ..six more

  43. Salli @ Tiipii commented
    February 22nd, 2012 at 2:15am

    Oh, the grey walls with the yellow accents. One of my favourite colour combinations at the moment. Fresh, yet moody. And the artwork on the ledge is just perfect.

  44. Karen commented
    February 22nd, 2012 at 4:26am

    Love these photos, Holly! Gray is my new favorite color. It’s gorgeous and calming in a room.

  45. Stéphanie Rousseau commented
    February 22nd, 2012 at 11:42am

    Wouah ! So beautifull pictures.
    Stéphanie Rousseau´s last blog post ..Petit Raton Laveur cherche son coeur: la Couv’ ♥

  46. Suzie commented
    February 22nd, 2012 at 11:48am

    Dear Holly,

    since in your first pic on the left I spotted a grandfather clock, I am wondering if you can help me about what to do with a grandfather clock without feeling like a grandfather or grandma.

    We got it from my father-in-law and it has some elaborated painting on it. However, I am tempted to laquer it entirly in a new colour. Risking to be disinherit…

    Any modern version in your large files?

  47. Jutta commented
    February 22nd, 2012 at 7:06pm

    Love the minty green bricks wall!

  48. Laura Trevey commented
    February 22nd, 2012 at 10:54pm

    I am really loving the color combination: yellow and gray. It’s very calming and soothing to me :)

  49. MissRouge commented
    February 23rd, 2012 at 8:16am

    Super Artikel und tolle Seite.

    MissRouge´s last blog post ..Wohnwaren

  50. Catherine Mason commented
    February 23rd, 2012 at 2:28pm

    Love the dark grey walls and sofa for winter, very snuggly but elegant

  51. JoAnne Loftus commented
    February 23rd, 2012 at 8:01pm

    The hodgepodge approach to artwork is great. It’s much less structured feeling, but still has a real flow about it. The different shapes and sizes keep it interesting.

  52. Glenda Childers commented
    February 24th, 2012 at 2:58am

    We just decided to buy a new couch … so I enjoyed this window shopping.

    Glenda Childers´s last blog post ..Three weeks off-line (part two) ~ What I Missed

  53. Chrystina commented
    February 24th, 2012 at 5:08am

    These color schemes are awesome. I think my favorite is the gray and yellow. That’s probably one of my favorites these days.
    Chrystina´s last blog post ..grunge fonts

  54. Wendy commented
    February 26th, 2012 at 10:06pm

    Those curtains have just given me a fabulous idea. Thank you.
    Wendy´s last blog post ..Poetry Friday: Imaginary Garden by Ella’s Edge

  55. Melina commented
    March 7th, 2012 at 10:21pm

    These living rooms are awesome! I love the third!
    Melina´s last blog post ..Leaf Wall Hooks by Jeong Hwa Jin

  56. Patti Trostle commented
    March 11th, 2012 at 6:29pm

    I love the eclectic look. Rooms that are artistic and comfortable. These are great rooms!

  57. Sandra commented
    March 29th, 2012 at 2:40pm

    These living rooms have really interesting designs. My favourite is No6.

  58. Nina commented
    June 4th, 2014 at 11:05pm

    Sofa with third picture is wonderful :)

  59. Jessica commented
    April 24th, 2015 at 2:26pm

    Such vivid and warm colors, all those are amazing. But in particular I’m in love with the sofa from the third picture.
    Jessica´s last blog post ..Transforming Your Kitchen With Stainless Steel Kitchen Shelves

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