How to create a vibrant, bold living space

Colour and pattern are back, we take a look at how to express yourself in the living room

Living room with orange sofa, red chair, blue footstool, multicoloured patterned rug
James Stokes Amsterdam

Throw out the conventions and create a lounge that’s a true reflection of your personality.

Express yourself
Why restrict yourself to one statement piece of furniture? Create a confident explosion of colour by combining your favourite designs. The bold palette of Dimore Studio’s ‘Paralleli B1’ rug for Golran sets the tone, with its vivid stripes pulling together the bright red and green of Lucidi Pevere’s ‘Chignon’ chair for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna and the mustard hue of the small ‘Highline’ sofa bySebastian Herkner for Linteloo. Here, more is more – fringing, velvets, wool and coloured glass. It’s proof that being brave makes you stand out from the crowd.

Era of change
Weaving several historic styles into the design of your room ensures a curated, well-rounded atmosphere. In this home, New York-based architectural and interior designer Giancarlo Valle lets the 18th-century timber ceiling anchor a look that nods to mid-century design and the contemporary. Modern paintings by Nathalie Du Pasquier and Landon Metz decorate the deep-blue walls, while the furniture is a mix of classics – a Jean Royère ‘Sculpture’ chair, concrete ‘Loop’ chair by Willy Guhl, Gianfranco Frattini table and Jorge Zalszupin sofa.

Living rom with contemporary furniture, teal walls and timber ceiling
Stephen Kent Johnson

Tropical storm
Murals are a playful way to instantly add personality to a space. Interior designer Daria Zinovatnaya has chosen the striking abstract pattern of Wall & Decò’s ‘Floridita’ by María Gómez García for this contemporary living room, pairing it with light, elegant pieces that bring an element of calm to the oversized foliage and Miami-inspired colours. From the sleek, simple lines of Walter Knoll’s ‘Jaan Living’ sofa by EOOS to Space Copenhagen’s delicate ‘Rén’ chair for Stellar Works and the slimline frame of Pulpo’s ‘Oda’ light by Sebastian Herkner, the aim is to allow the wallpaper to dazzle.

IF YOUR WALLPAPER MAKES A BIG DESIGN STATEMENT, KEEP THE REST OF YOUR FURNISHINGS SLEEK

Living room with grey leather contemporary modular sofa and oversized palm print wallpaper
Daria Zinovatnaya

Lofty ambitions
Where high ceilings are involved, think about decorating upwards. This interior by Montréal-based practice La Shed Architecture makes the most of the room’s height, with an elongating stripe of Benjamin Moore’s ‘Outrageous Orange’ paint. The coordinating stairs lead into the lounge, creating a sculptural effect against the white walls, while the bespoke slatted timber screen further plays with the dimensions of this space, carving out a cosy corner for relaxation.

Living room with orange wall and staircase, modular sofa and slatted timber screen
Maxime Brouillet

Happy glaze
Tiles are no longer just for the bathroom or kitchen. Whereas hard surfaces would once have been considered a practical, but cold choice, the recent influx of tiles with richly coloured glazes, intricate patterns and unusual shapes makes them an attractive alternative for stylish living rooms. Architect Hannes Peer used floor-to-ceiling enamelled terracotta tiles in cobalt from Fornace Bernasconi to bring an ocean-like shimmer to this space. Their handmade quality lends the scheme real character, especially when accessorised with statement furnishings in confident shades of red and green.

TILES CAN CREATE A COSY LOOK – JUST BE SURE TO SELECT HANDMADE ONES THAT CREATE A SENSE OF WARMTH

Living Room with glazed blue tiles and black leather sofa
Andrea Ferrari

Pastel power
When devoting an entire room to pattern, colour is key. Every surface in this striking living room is covered in a different geometric design, with the walls and floors married only by their shared palette of turquoise and white. By restricting themselves to these two shades, Spanish interior design brand Miriam Alía Studio was able to exercise complete freedom in all other choices. Bespoke latticed walls, a white tiled floor and stencilled ceiling interact with an in-house-designed powder-pink sofa and gold accents to create a room buzzing with energy.

Living room with white mosaic floor, pink sofa, teal armchairs, teal and white latticed walls and brass light fittings
Nacho Uribe Salazar

Build a legacy
You can give even a blank canvas of a home a welcoming, heritage feel by concentrating on texture and pieces with a personal story. In this apartment by Ukrainian design studio Rosko Family Design, the tapestry – a reimagining of a vintage work passed down within the owner’s family for generations – has a pleasingly tactile quality that is mirrored in Bonaldo’s plush and inviting ‘Peanut B’ velvet sofa by Mauro Lipparini. Choosing fixtures that will age elegantly also adds a timeless quality –as the oak parquet flooring develops more of a patina over time, this room’s appeal will only increase.

CONCENTRATE ON TEXTURE, PATINA AND PIECES THAT EVOKE A SENSE OF HISTORY

Loving room with green velvet modular sofa, torso sculpture and wall hanging
Rosko

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration May 2019

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