Guest Picks: Get a Soothing (but Not Snoozy) Traditional Living Room
Fresh yet classic, these furniture pieces, lighting and accessories offer an updated take on traditional
Valorie Hart August 17, 2013
Hi! I live in New Orleans, but work everywhere as a stylist, interior decorator, designer of boutique events, and as a freelance writer. I authored book House Proud and the blog The Visual Vamp.
Hi! I live in New Orleans, but work everywhere as a stylist, interior decorator,... More
This is a classic living room I designed. Much of the client's furniture was recycled via remodeling and reupholstery, and several pieces of furniture were repainted. The style is traditional but still fresh. A palette of soft and deep grays was used. Here, I've shared some shopping sources and ideas of how to get the same look using widely available alternatives. — Valorie from The Visual Vamp
The living room is the everything room. It's used for socializing and TV watching. My client's furniture is 20 years old and was refreshed with new fabrics. The club chairs were given new swivel bases as well.
My client had a classic Oushak rug that was in good condition, so it remained. This well-priced Oushak-style rug in gray would be perfect for a similar look.
This is the ikat fabric used on the chairs. It looks way more expensive than it really is.
If you don't have club chairs to recover, a pair of these ikat slipper chairs could give you the same look.
If your budget allows a little more to spend, this armchair is really close to the look of the chairs in the room I designed.
I used a set of gilded nesting tables with stone tops in the room. They came from a local shop, but these are similar.
You could use nesting tables in a different shape too. These rectangular ones are pretty and very well priced.
My client got a new bench cushion made to replace the original three seat cushions on the sofa. If you need a new sofa, this one is affordable and good looking.
And it also comes in gray.
I chose this Robert Allen slub linen for the couch slipcover. Tip: Prewash linen before you make the slipcover to avoid shrinkage when you wash it later.
I mixed prints by adding a pair of chinoiserie pillows on the sofa.
The Imperial Trellis print also mixes well with gray ikat.
The client had a stone-top coffee table that we decided to keep. I love this table with a travertine top and metal legs from Crate & Barrel. I think it has the same vibe as the one in my client's home.
They kept a console table behind the sofa and repurposed it as a desk.
This classic Queen Anne console table makes a great desk.
The classic console table got an update with an acrylic desk chair.
My client already had the collection of lamps, and I just refreshed them all with clean white drum shades.
If you like the stacked ball lamp on the desk, these have the same look.
Simple and fresh white linen drapes were used in the new design in the living room.
Here's another view of the room. You can see another texture: a furry pillow on a classic French chair.
I got the furry Mongolian lamb pillow covers from West Elm.
The homeowner had a pair of French-style chests that were brown. They were painted in a gray antique finish to lighten the look and the room.
I love this demilune chest. Get a pair of these to get a similar look.
There's a square-shaped lamp on each chest, and I think this gray lamp with a square base would be lovely.
The homeowner is an artist and did the paintings that are hanging over the chests in the living room. These affordable pieces of art are in the same vein.
Hang three of this style of painting over each chest for the look of the inspiration room.
Here's one more photo to show you another view of the living room. The homeowner already had the round mirror, which was made from rusted railroad spikes.
I love this oversize mirror with a rusted finish.
I added orange silk pillows for the energy they bring. Plus, I think orange pairs well with gray. I found them at a local store, but I think these would do the trick. You could add white ribbon trim if you are in a DIY frame of mind.
Next: So Your Style Is: Transitional
Next: So Your Style Is: Transitional
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