Tag Archives: living room ideas

Cooling Your Home Down without A/C

For centuries, older houses had no such thing as air conditioning for relief during the warmer months. Instead of flipping a switch, the following eco-friendly, old-school methods were used to get air flowing through the house during the dog days of summer.

Using the passive-cooling principles that hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, you can design or retrofit your house to make use of fresh air to stay cool and invite in those long hot days of July and August.

Open Up the Room

Open windows for ventilation in the summer

Since hot air rises, and cool air moves toward warmer air, a house that has vented openings on both sides of the building has a lot more airflow – and any air movement is a good thing. Using operable windows on the cooler side of the house, you can open them wide to draw the air through from the hotter side of your home.

Shutters Aren’t Just for Outdoors

Shutters can be useful inside too. Shutters aren’t just a decorative alternative to curtains and blinds, they’re also a green way to ventilate – you can open up the windows behind them to let in air, and close the shutters to keep out the sun, and voila! The room is cooled down the old-fashioned way.

It’s Obvious, but: Fans

living room ceiling fan

Courtesy of housesen.com

Fans have been used since ancient times to keep things cool, since any air movement is good and a fan can suck away the warm air and push cooler breezes around a space. Ceiling fans are available in every conceivable design, whether you want something unobtrusive or bold.  Fans are even offered in retro palm-frond styles, and most fans also offer a light fixture combination if you don’t want to lose overhead lighting when you install the fan. Look for fans with a reverse switch or feature for winter, which helps push warmer air (it rises, remember?) back down into the room.

Take it Outside

Screened in porch sunroom

Courtesy of jpandcompany.net

Screened-in porches have long been an architectural staple in hot regions, and they deserve a comeback. Consider enclosing your covered porch, or enclosing a deck with screens, and you will have created an airy, insect-free outdoor living space. You can use a screened room for months, provided you furnish it with pieces made from materials that can withstand some rain, like wicker or metal. Bonus: a generous couch with some indoor-outdoor cushions becomes an ideal spot to sleep on hot summer nights!

Modern Ways to Use Wallpaper

The mention of wallpaper can conjure images of a dusty grandmother’s parlor, or dated patterns that smother a room – but many designers know that modern wallpapers can add elegance and texture to a space, and there’s no rule they have to be used on all four walls.

Living Room Wallpaper Design

Courtesy of  daleeramo.com

In a room that lacks architectural interest, hanging a bold wallpaper on one wall can create visual interest and layer pattern or texture into an otherwise boring space.  Savvy designers have been using rich fabric or fabric-like papers like grasscloth or damask on the wall behind clients’ beds for years, to add luxury and color to sleeping quarters.  Modern wallpapers in of-the-moment prints like chevron, arabesque, toile, and Greek key all provide a canvas to layer pattern in a space.

Hand-painted wallpapers with botanical scenes, birds, and vines also add whimsy and romance to places like a dining room or child’s bedroom.  Botanical papers are particularly stunning in Parisian-inspired boudoirs as well.

Living Room Wallpaper Design

Courtesy of rezanouranian.com

Bold geometric or patterned patterns, and wallpapers with very rich colors don’t just have to be used on walls, either.  Clever designers have used them in the recesses behind wet bars or china cabinets for example, or as panels to cover wardrobe doors.  Textured papers printed to look like tiles or plaster scrollwork can take a space from plain to knockout with less commitment and expense than the real thing.

Textured Wallpaper Design

Courtesy of clarke-clarke.com

Some contemporary wallpapers add metallic elements to their patterns and textures as well, which can bring light and shimmer into dim spaces.

With so many choices available, at a wide range of price points, wallpaper is definitely enjoying a renaissance in interior design, and can add depth and polish to a space without ever evoking grandma’s parlor.

Decorate Your Home with Colors That Flatter

We match many things to our complexion – our clothes, our makeup, or handbags and jewelry. Yet we haven’t thought about complementing our appearance with the place we spend a majority of our lives, our home.

First, let’s start by determining your undertone. There are 4 tricks that make this a super easy process.

(Feel free to skip down to the color matches and photos if you already know your undertone)

    1. What neutral colored clothing do you look best in?
        If black and white fits you best, then you are cool toned. If you’re better complemented by off-white and brown shades, then you are a warm toned.
    2. Check the color of the veins in your wrist.
        This one is by far the oddest way to find your undertone that I have come across. Having blue/purple veins indicated a cool undertone while green colored veins are indicative of having warm undertone.
    3. Take a look at your jewelry collection.
        Is it gold that makes your skin glow or does silver do a better job? Those with warm undertones will find gold more flattering and those with cold undertones will find their complexion suited for silver.
    4. Okay, I did all of these tests and I’m getting inconclusive results.
        If your skin tone seems to go well with just about anything then you’re probably neutral toned and pretty much any color will be a compliment.

Now moving onto which colors to choose for your skin tone.

You have a cool undertone:

  • Cool gray should be an obvious one here, most notably those that enter the silver spectrum.
discount upholstery fabric



You have a warm undertone

  • Browns are you friends here. Feel free to choose from a range of shades varying from light mocha to deep bitter chocolate will be the most flattering.
discount upholstery fabric


  • For those who desire a more colorful setting, than peaches and pale yellows should be the first colors to explore

Despite your skin’s undertones and most flattering colors, don’t feel limited in your options. Play around with your home’s color scheme to fit your personal style. It’s a nice luxury to have your home complement your natural looks, but it’s better to be happy with it. After all, a smile is the most attractive thing for your family and guests.

12 Living Room Design Inspiration Photos

Inspiration is such an important part of the creative process. Here are 12 living room design inspiration photos to get your creative juices flowing:

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designer fabric

We hope these photos inspire you to create your dream living room, or if you’re a designer/decorator, the dream living room for your client.

These photos are from Houzz. Follow us!!

Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 2

If you haven’t already, check out Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 1.

Here are three more things to keep in mind when coming up with living room ideas:

Do you want to tie two rooms together? 

A really cool trick to make the decor of your home seem more “designed” is by the use of color. For example, you can tie two rooms together by using a prominent color in one room as accent color in another. Look at this room, for example:

Picture of a living room and another room tied together by use of color.


The color red is used a lot in one of the rooms, and red accents are sprinkled throughout the living room. Such a cool idea! Now, if they’d just paint the dog red, it’d be SO cool! 😉

How do I make the living room in my apartment seem less cave-like?

This doesn’t apply only to living rooms; it’s relevant for any rooms that don’t have windows. But if you’re like most people living in an apartment in New York, and you’ve flexed it to add a bedroom, you may very well not have a window in your living room. So, here’s an idea to prevent your living room from seeming dark and gloomy. Don’t paint it dark!! Duh… Use light colors and brighter artwork to add some life to the room. Brightly colored throw pillows can also help! Kick it up a notch by have a couple pillows made with your favorite fabric!

What if I can’t paint my walls? Or, what if I just don’t feel like it?

If you rent, you may not want to paint your walls. Even if you own your home you may not want to paint, because, well, you just don’t feel like it! I know we mention it a lot, but pillows pillows pillows! They’re so much fun and can add life to any room! You can also supplement your living room ideas with a cool patterned rug or a fun, even crazy slipcover for your couch! Seriously, imagine pillows with this fabric:

Picture of fun fabric called lollipop by shumacher. Great for lively living room ideas.


(Lollipop by Schumacher)

Isn’t that fabric just adorable? Look at that happy couple!

So, there you have it. Three more ideas for your living room. We hope you enjoyed this installment. Stay tuned for Part 3!

Tell us some of your living room tricks in the comments, below!

Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work – Part 1

When considering ideas for your living room, there are some important things to keep in mind.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when making your living room ideas come to life:

How much space do you have, and how do you make it feel homey?

Having a ton of space is certainly a nice problem to have. For those with that “issue,” you can still make your living space feel homey and cozy by placing furniture like chairs and sofas close together. Just make sure to leave enough space for foot traffic. Have some fun looking through the latest pins on Pinterest of white living rooms.

How do you keep your living room simple, while at the same time making a statement?

There are so many great looking, fun products out there to choose from to decorate your living room. Tables, chairs, wall art, rugs, and more. It’s easy to over do it. So, we recommend starting simple, and adding accents. A really great way to do that is with fun fabric. For instance, imagine a simple, well-made sofa with a simple fabric pattern. Now imagine it with a couple of pillows that you had made with your favorite, fun fabric! Like this picture of a penthouse on 5th Avenue we worked on:

Picture of a gorgeous living room that uses custom fabric accents to add personality to the room.

Read more about custom fabric, here.

What if you’re sick of the design in a year?

If the base of your living room design is grounded in simple, neutral pieces, you won’t have a problem! Just change the accents. Upholster new pillows, or reupholster ones you already have with your favorite fabric of the season. Have a custom slipcover made for your couch; it’s like getting a whole new piece of furniture!

This is a great place to stop for now. Stay tuned for additional installments of Living Room Ideas: Fun Tricks to Make it Work. 

(Read part two, here)

And let us know some of your ideas about living room design by leaving a comment, below.