1. Use contrast to make a statement. Deep, rich fabrics such as velvet make a traditional living room feel warm, cozy and intimate. The contrast of the pink chair in this dark-tone room makes a strong statement. Color communicates the emotional feel of a room most powerfully. Pink and brown are both considered warm colors, so the combination gives depth without taking away from the room's warm feeling.
2. Add an element of whimsy. Traditional living rooms can, from time to time, lack fun and festive elements. Try adding a fur or flokati pillow for a whimsical twist. The formal, ultratraditional art and rugs in this space make it feel grown-up and chic, while the use of shine, pattern and texture add a shot of youthful energy.
3. Play with texture in neutral rooms. In a traditional room with a neutral palette, textiles and materials are undeniably important. Textures and tufting in this space make a simple palette seem more interesting. When we walk into a room, our eyes notice pattern and color first, then texture. In a room like this, with very few patterns and essentially one color, texture is extremely noticeable and keeps the eye engaged.
4. Go beyond the Persian rug. While traditional rooms often are equated with Oriental or Persian rugs, a chunky sisal or jute rug adds texture and fits seamlessly. The subtle texture is one of the last things the eye and brain process in this room, allowing for an understated but interesting look.
5. Mix up your style with textiles. Textiles and materials can integrate more versatile elements in a traditional living room. Covering long-term investment pieces of upholstered furniture in neutral fabrics is a timeless choice, while easily interchanged pillows and curtains can add pizzazz in bold patterns and colors.
6. Add some shine and shimmer. Shine is an often-overlooked design element. The bright, glossy golds in this room contrast beautifully with the matte surfaces. The more shimmering materials are used, the more glamorous a room will feel. On the other hand, using fewer elements with shine makes the room feel more casual.
7. Use materials to create the style you want. Even in a room that doesn't have traditional architecture, furnishings and materials can create a classic look. In this mountain lodge, the traditional colors and patterns of the sofas and rugs juxtapose with the rock and rough beams, giving the eye tons of points of interest.
8. Be practical. For homes with children, pets or messy parents, picking textiles and materials can be tricky. Darker rugs and fabrics can be a good idea, but if you still want to incorporate neutrals, focus on finding textiles with pattern and texture. The colors and intricacies of patterns can help conceal stains, and it's harder to spot inconsistencies in highly textured materials.