Ever walk into one of those living rooms that just take your breath away because it is so tranquil and well edited? I love that experience. You want to stand there for a few moments and take in the ambiance of the space.

This is what happens with everything in a room works together. Nothing stands out but functions as a well-tuned orchestra to create one unified sound. This is the most difficult mode of decorating to achieve. But if you are planning on redecorating your living room, then you need to make sure that it all works well together. You need to look at all the pieces of furniture you have and see if they complement each other. You also need to ask yourself if there is enough light in your living room, you don’t want to walk into a room and for it to be dark. If your living room is dark, then it’s time to invest in some new lights, if you don’t know what to get, you might be thinking to yourself that you need some lounge ceiling lights ideas? Once you’ve found an idea that you like then you’ll be all set.

How does it happen? Well, first of all, it doesn’t just happen, every detail has been carefully selected to work in unison throughout the space.

It starts with tone. The tone is the base color in paint that makes it a hit or just slightly off. Have you ever heard someone say, that shade of beige has a lot of yellow in it or that gray has brown undertones? It’s the tone that makes a room work. You can never create a drop-dead gorgeous setting if you mix tones.

Stanley Furnture
Layered artwork leaning against wall, over the fireplace creates an interesting focal point. Photo by Stanley Furniture.

I once discovered a small blue vase at the ABC Carpet store in Manhattan. It was the exactly color I wanted to use in my bedroom. I carried that vase with me everywhere. I used it to select the paint, rug, drapes and bedding because it was the perfect tone. The easiest way to pull a room together is start with the fabrics. Most of us have a limit number of fabrics from which to choose. The tone of the fabric you’ve selected will dictates every item use in that space. If you find yourself struggling trying to match the fabric you’ve selected, change the fabric.

I once had a client accompany me to the High Point Furniture Market to select her living room furnishings. She brought a swatch of fabric from two pillows that she had purchased. After a long day we still hadn’t found upholstery fabric that would work with the tones in her swatch. I finally ask her, “Are you really going to spend $10,000 furnishing this room based on two pillows that are obviously not working? Let’s pitch the pillows and start fresh with a great upholstery fabric that you love and build a beautiful room.! To this day she loves the space we created.

Not everyone can afford to start fresh with all new furnishings. If you?re going to keep your sofa then use its fabric as your starting point. The same is true about the flooring and any stone, marble or granite. These are our hardscapes, expensive and difficult to change. Paint, accessories and drapes are easier and more affordable to replace.

Rich, green velvet upholstery brings layers of color to a neutral space. Photo by Bassett Furniture.

Learn how to edit. Most rooms suffer from over the top accessorizing. Furnish the space by placing each item one-by-one, until the room looks perfect. Then stop. Even if you still have half-dozen accessories left over, you simply don’t need them.

I love leaning artwork against a wall if possible instead of hanging. You can layer them making even a simple sketch appear more interesting.

Want a pop of color? Use fresh flowers.

This is how you build a room, layer-by-layer, object-by-object to create an atmosphere that takes your breath away every time you walk through your own house.