Is your personal decorating style modern or classic? Formal or relaxed? Or maybe a mix of everything? See photos of five living rooms that express individual taste, and discover how to design yours.
Are you constantly rearranging to fit in your latest tag sale find? Are you afraid to commit to one style or time period? Then try a look similar to stylist Peter Frank's living room. Here, an 18th-century Korean screen takes center stage, and a comfy slipcovered sofa hangs out with a cowhide rug. This kind of personal style gives him freedom to change things up whenever he pleases. To mix eras, styles, and sizes, he says, "It's all trial and error. My best advice is to admit your mistakes and try again." He also recommends contrasting items: mixing hard with soft, square with round, and blocky with leggy.
An 1860s fruitwood table is tea-table height in front of the sofas in the neutral-toned living room: "With a mix of textures and materials, you can get away with not having a lot of color." Rug from Stark Carpet.
Are you neat and orderly? Do you dislike clutter? Then a sleek white living room like designer Lindsey Bond's may be the right fit for you, too. Her style is "pristine white, clean lines, symmetry, neatness," she says, evident in her 1950s Birmingham, Alabama, cottage. To get the look, take a cue from Bond and remove moldings from the mantel, hang curtains from the ceiling, slipcover chairs, and try mounting free-floating shelves.
The family room may look adult and formal, but child-friendly tricks are hidden throughout. The sofa and club chairs are covered in Inside the Lines, a outdoor fabric that looks like wide-wale corduroy and feels like velvet. Clarence House's Velours Tigre Soie on the ottoman gains patina whenever Rufty's daughters plop down on it in wet swimsuits. A patterned rug hides spills. The eccentric oak leaf-shaped chair was an eBay score; Rufty re-covered it in Rogers & Goffigon's Somerset, with embroidery by Villa Savoia.
If you spend a lot of time antique-shopping, browsing art galleries, and dreaming of your next vacation, you may like this look by designer Daniel Sachs. He decorated this New York living room for an owner who loves contemporary art, antiques, Indian designs, and tribal textiles. Don't be afraid to decorate with your favorite finds and souvenirs — the result can be a sophisticated yet friendly space.