From button-tufted sofas to blue-lacquered walls, these living rooms turn up the glitz and glamour.
In the living room of Nina Farmer's Beacon Hill apartment, originally the parlor of a c. 1850 house, her subtle palette blends proper Bostonian restoration, cosmopolitan taste, and relaxed modernity. A custom mirrored cabinet atop the mantel hides a TV. Art Deco armchairs face John Derian poufs, a Plexi-Craft table, and an indigo leather ottoman color-keyed to the antique fireplace tiles.
An Allyson Reynolds diptych adds a burst of color to a living room in a Rye, New York Tudor house. Designer Sara Gilbane treated the clients' sofa to a glamorous makeover with Schumacher's Antique Linen Velvet, trimmed in bullion fringe by Samuel & Sons. Walling up a doorway to the right of the sofa created more space for a traditional seating arrangement. The clients' club chair is covered in Classic Cloth's Limoges. Stool from Bunny Williams Home in Vaughan's Milas. Side tables from Mecox Gardens. Lamps by Roy Hamilton for Christopher Spitzmiller.
Black furniture grounds the living room of a Manhattan apartment and lends an extra note of sophistication. A Hubert le Gall Nenuphar table in patinated bronze from 21st Twenty First anchors one of two seating groups. Designer Jamie Drake softened the large windows with elegant curtain panels in New Silk Twill by Jim Thompson. Paramount sofa, in Glant fabric, and Trenton club chair, in Donghia's Sabrina, both by Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman. Bon Vivant chair in Pierre Frey's Moire Princesse II, by Hutton Home. Patrick Naggar daybed, in Donghia's Sand Art, from Ralph Pucci. Pillows by Arabelle Taggart in Glant, Donghia, Jim Thompson, and Pierre Frey fabrics. Hollis brass side table and Beaumont lamp, Arteriors. Vintage floor lamp, Flair Home Collection. Rug, Stark.
In a Florida house designed by Marshall Watson, a 1980s Lucite-and-glass table provides a jewellike accent to the muted tones of the living room. Asilah chandelier, Jerry Pair.
To make the sofa in this Manhattan living room appear longer, designer Ashley Whittaker ordered a single cushion for the seat of the Century Furniture chesterfield, covered in a Rogers & Goffigon canvas: "It's more comfortable than individual cushions — no one falls into the cracks." The Billy Baldwin Studio slipper chair in a David Hicks linen from Lee Jofa is on a swivel, "so you can turn and talk to people at either end of the room," and the acrylic coffee table opens up the seating area. Hanna chair by Oly Studio in Cowtan & Tout's Barcelona.
There's never such a thing as too much blue according to designer Tobi Fairley. She wrapped this glamorous Fayetteville, Arkansas, living room in layers of pale blue tones. For a hazy and serene look, the walls are a powder blue Venetian plaster.
In the living room of this Victorian home in Illinois, original Beaux-Arts plasterwork and parquet set off imports from designer Annie Brahler's company, Euro Trash. On a seagrass rug from Lowe's, she grouped linen-covered Belgian bergères and a Louis XVI side table with a 19th-century French gilt settee and Dutch footstools. Vintage curtains hang at the windows. A Belgian crystal chandelier and sconces sparkle against walls in Ralph Lauren Paint's Design Studio White.
In the living room of a Los Angeles house, designer Mary McDonald employed hints of color against a neutral backdrop for a quietly refined mood. "In monochrome rooms, texture is key," says McDonald, who covered the custom-made chaise in Pierre Frey's Ice linen, and Reagan Hayes's Henry sofa in a Duralee cotton velvet, with pillows in Schumacher's Chinon silk and Padova damask. McDonald designed English-style bookcases in taupe with back panels painted a pale blue. The Klismos chairs are from JF Chen.
A seating area of the living room in a New York apartment has a glamorous, exotic feel. A sofa is covered in Vesuvius by Clarence House, and an Empire fauteuil sits on a custom Moroccan rug from Metropolitan Carpet. The box-pleat ruffles on the unlined silk taffeta curtains — Dedar's Big Bang — "give you a sense of fantasy and femininity," says designer Miles Redd.
Designed by Hal Williamson, this romantic living room in New Orleans features Louis XVI wing chairs and a sofa that may look formal, but the chairs "have a wonderful pitch, so you can sit comfortably for hours," says Williamson — "and many naps are taken on the sofa." The chandelier, the urns flanking the fireplace, the mirror on the mantel, and the tiered sconce were found in New Orleans antiques stores.
Designers David DeMattei and Patrick Wade used tailored furniture and sleek white ceramic accessories against a chocolate background, keeping the living room current in this 1905 Edwardian San Francisco house. The crystal chandelier casts an elegant light and gives the room an air of relaxed formality. White ceramic fox is 1950s Italian.
"The sun beats down, rotting the velvet on the sofas, and I am okay with that," says chef and cookbook author Alex Hitz of the living room in his Los Angeles house. "What am I going to do — put up curtains and miss out on the view?" He mixed Maison Jansen bergères with Marcel Breuer leather-and-steel chairs, which flank a Louis XV-style table. The trio of turned wooden bowls are by Ed and Philip Moulthrop.