8 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

February 17, 2012

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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 Great Living Rooms & Why They Work

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


  • Reply Becky - Pretty Dandy Homewares February 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    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!


  • Reply ide-puffen February 17, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Just love your blog!
    Found you on Twitter.

  • Reply desiree - vosgesparis February 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Paris hey!! must follow you ;P loving the detailed story here!

  • Reply Rebecca February 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    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

  • Reply Sydney Ballesteros February 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    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!


  • Reply marta February 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    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!

  • Reply Tracy A. February 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Love the “unexpected pattern on the sofa” – sofa! Such a soft delft-like color.

  • Reply Josie February 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Ooh yes to the minty green brickwork.

  • Reply Dee February 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    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.

  • Reply Maria February 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    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!

  • Reply Amber February 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    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 http://www.luciekoldova.com/projects/muffins

  • Reply Igor February 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Love this round up, Holly. I really like no. 4, 6 and 8.

  • Reply Jessica @shimmerkai February 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I love that grey room…very intense, but inviting at the same time! The pink accents are perfect

  • Reply Kelly February 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    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

  • Reply shanon February 17, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    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

  • Reply dustjacket February 18, 2012 at 2:52 am

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

    thanks so much for the linkback,

  • Reply Ann February 18, 2012 at 3:45 am

    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.

  • Reply Syndi of Beachnut Lane February 18, 2012 at 4:32 am

    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!

  • Reply Marianne February 18, 2012 at 7:01 am

    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.

  • Reply hillcrest cottage February 18, 2012 at 7:06 am

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

  • Reply Rose February 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    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.

  • Reply Zane February 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    they look so perfect

  • Reply jackie February 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Thank you for an inspiring post today. Our living room is “getting there”… l

  • Reply Katherine Ross February 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Such a fun/inspiring post!

    FYI, the sixth image (gray walls, L-shaped sofa) is originally from the Norweigan blog Ideas to Steal (http://www.ideastosteal.com/2010/11/stue-norske-interiorblogger-utfordring/) It’s a great little blog that you should totally check out!

  • Reply MissRouge February 18, 2012 at 5:16 pm

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


  • Reply MissRouge February 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    MissRouge :D

  • Reply Meghan @ Wishful Thinking February 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    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!

  • Reply Daniel - Let me be inspired February 18, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Hi – they look great – especially love the last one!! Have a great weekend!!

  • Reply MsXpat February 18, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    They are all so cosy in their own way. Gorgeous.

  • Reply Christine at Mai Autumn February 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    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 :) :)

  • Reply ANETTESHUS February 18, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    lovely and inspiring!!


  • Reply Sara @ Zahara Dessert February 19, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Oh my… thank you for sharing such an amazing collection of living areas. All so different, yet all amazing. Have fun in Paris

  • Reply Stacey February 19, 2012 at 2:26 am

    gorgeous eclectic round up!

  • Reply Sara February 19, 2012 at 2:45 am

    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.

  • Reply Mademoiselle I do ! February 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    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!

  • Reply Brooke H February 20, 2012 at 12:53 am

    That white furry lambs wool chair looks heavenly!

  • Reply deb February 20, 2012 at 7:31 am

    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

  • Reply Jasmijn February 20, 2012 at 9:56 am

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


  • Reply Adrienne February 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    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.

  • Reply Greta February 21, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    this really gets me inspired to make some changes to my living room! thanks a lot!

  • Reply Bonnie McCarthy February 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    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!!

  • Reply the chronic utilitarian February 21, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    i love all of these, holly!

  • Reply Salli @ Tiipii February 22, 2012 at 2:15 am

    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.

  • Reply Karen February 22, 2012 at 4:26 am

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

  • Reply Stéphanie Rousseau February 22, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Wouah ! So beautifull pictures.

  • Reply Suzie February 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

    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?

  • Reply Jutta February 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Love the minty green bricks wall!

  • Reply Laura Trevey February 22, 2012 at 10:54 pm

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

  • Reply MissRouge February 23, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Super Artikel und tolle Seite.


  • Reply Catherine Mason February 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

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

  • Reply JoAnne Loftus February 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    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.

  • Reply Glenda Childers February 24, 2012 at 2:58 am

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


  • Reply Chrystina February 24, 2012 at 5:08 am

    These color schemes are awesome. I think my favorite is the gray and yellow. That’s probably one of my favorites these days.

  • Reply Wendy February 26, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Those curtains have just given me a fabulous idea. Thank you.

  • Reply Melina March 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    These living rooms are awesome! I love the third!

  • Reply Patti Trostle March 11, 2012 at 6:29 pm

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

  • Reply Sandra March 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm

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

  • Reply Nina June 4, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Sofa with third picture is wonderful :)

  • Reply Jessica April 24, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Such vivid and warm colors, all those are amazing. But in particular I’m in love with the sofa from the third picture.

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