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I love formal living rooms, but I think they must be an inviting and comfortable space, otherwise it’s a waste. I also subscribe to the belief of full access and my children sit, play and use our living room – I’ve been called crazy more then once because of this! We have silk and velvet sofas and antiques, but I have taught them from a young age not to jump on the sofas, take their shoes off if they want to lie down on them and to take any toys they bring in, out.

Now, my dogs? That’s another story! I let them on the furniture in the rest of my house, but not in there, although at least once a week, I walk in on one of them lounging on a sofa. They do not like to put their tushies on the floor…spoiled puppies!

That’s why when a reader asked me to help her with her living room design and needed some design inspiration, I was more than happy to help. There’s a skew towards blue since that was the color she was dealing with. I hope you enjoy:

Taking the shade of color from the furniture and putting it on the wall and drapes (which are hung my favorite way – high!) With this, a cream rug or carpet is the perfect foil. Note the classic stacked crystal orb lamp, which complements the crystal of the chandelier.

A very saturated color. Here they introduced patterns, pillows, drapes, rug.

A blue-grey (bley??? just source me if you use!), which I find very appealing if accented with silver, chrome, etc. For me, and I have crow-like tendencies and love shiny things, without reflective items, it can become a little drab.

Another example of pulling the same color up on the wall and drapes.Note the artwork. Why not attempt it? Go to you craft store and buy a big canvas and paints. If you mess up, you paint over the canvas and try it again. After your are done painting, instead of framing, you can paint the edges a dark color or gold or silver leaf them (also sold at craft stores).If this seems confusing, comment and I can do a post on this process. 

Taking the color from the sofa to the end of the spectrum. The fabric on the upholstered bench is fabulous! And tying the chandelier shades and candles and the mantle shows attention to detail. The way the picture is hung from the picture molding is a beautiful (and historic) touch.

Having one statement piece is sometimes all you need.

Whoopsie! How did the living room of Adam Levine (Maroon 5) slip in here? No idea πŸ˜‰ I love the rich plum of the velvet sofa offset with the creamy white.

The color from the furniture is taken to the floor and walls with a pattern on the drapes. The sofas here, however, does not look comfortable. Blue can go with so many colors and here it is paired with brown with pops of berry.

I choose this because this is similar to the color of the readers furniture and I wanted to show her what it would like like on the wall and also I love pictures hung like this. Having tall ceilings, it is hard to find art to fill all the wall space, so I always look for compositions like this.

Showing some complementary color options with blue. And how unique is the picture arrangement?

The first thing I notices was how deep the seats were! The problem is that you couldn’t lean back and have your feet on the ground; you would have to have your feet curled up in order to be comfortable! The sofa is more like a daybed.Here is a room feature that frequently are left unaddressed or not address properly: if you have a fireplace like the above, you need to address either side. I have a million pictures because I have 7 fireplaces in our house and they all have this set up. On one, we built bookshelves on either side, which I will blog about that DIY! On another I put demilunes and lamps.The main upholstery fabric color is shifted and lightened for the walls as wells. 

With blue there are many viable options for accent colors, likeΒ orange, yellow, green, cream, white, brown, pink and probably others that I can’t think of right now. Try to think of the feel you want. Is it serene? Then you might want to consider just shades of blue and a cream rug. A little more? Bring in some pattern in the pillows and rugs. Even more? Color.

But if you ask me, make sure you have some shine and sparkle πŸ™‚