16 Boldly Beautiful Living Rooms

In these art-filled and color-charged spaces, vibrant style and brave designs lead the way.
16 Boldly Beautiful Living Rooms
Barrie Benson living room

Outfitted with a Jacques Adnet bench, an Edward Wormley sofa, and a Murano chandelier, this decadent den in an art-collecting couple’s North Carolina home was Barrie Benson’s answer to a glamorous evening room. “The goal was to be a little daring but with an Old World sensibility. It’s what led us to use the oxblood red in high lacquer on the walls,” says Benson. “Although daring, the red serves as the perfect backdrop for Chandra Johnson’s favorite piece by Cy Twombly.” Photo by Chris Edwards

Barrie Benson Charlotte North Carolina living room

When designing this chic, comfortable, and color-charged living room for a family ranch in Charlotte, North Carolina, Barrie Benson carefully juxtaposed sophistication and ease. “This is a room with direct access to the pool outside, so we wanted it to feel like a pool cabana,” says Benson, who balanced a vintage reupholstered Milo Baughman swivel chair and a Lucite coffee table with an overall relaxed atmosphere that felt none too precious. Photo by Chris Edwards

Carden Cunietti Kensington living room

Created for a showhouse in Kensington, London, this penthouse living space by the firm Carden Cunietti conjures up the bold eclecticism of 1980s designs by the Memphis Group. “This main living room is massive and divided only by the fireplace,” says designer Eleanor Cunietti, describing the custom hearth partition made up of color-blocking metal panels. “This side of the apartment is the music room,” she says of the elegantly appointed space arranged with bright-seafoam swivel chairs and an alpaca rug. Photo by Charlie Dailey

Kay Kollar modernist cabin

In her reimagination of this modernist cabin, built in 1967 by architect William Turnbull along the coast of Northern California, designer Kay Kollar says she sought to contrast the sandblasted-wood interiors with “jewel-like colors” and “sophisticated furniture silhouettes.” Those include the living room’s lime green sofa by Hans Wegner, chairs by Ico Parisi, and a coffee table of her design, all of which serve, she says, “as a counterpoint to the fog shrouded, muted colors of the surrounding land and seascape.” Photo by Richard Powers

Kirsten Kelli Dallas living room

Inside a family estate in Dallas, sister designers Kirsten Fitzgibbons and Kelli Ford created this spectacular gallery space that blends classical beauty with whimsical colors and witty modern art. Taking center stage is the sculpture, Baroque Egg With Bow, by Jeff Koons, who also created the Teddy Bear mirror. A Picasso drawing and Roy Lichtenstein’s Seductive Girl overlook the seating area lavished with a blush sofa, Lucite tables, and leopard-print chairs. The geometric floor was inspired by David Hicks. Photo by Max Kim-Bee

White Webb LLC Manhattan den

“It ended up being the sexiest media room,” says designer Frank Webb, one half of White Webb, the bold force behind this Manhattan den. The homeowners had traded in their suburban dwelling for this city gem, which was, says partner Matthew White, “designed as a modern reinterpretation of Pre-War grandeur.” To give the couple the vibrant interiors they craved, the duo drew from the den’s pillow fabric to create the cinnabar-and-aubergine palette, “the perfect mix of fire and ice,” says Webb. Photo by Art Gray

Fawn Galli infused Greenwich Village home

Designer Fawn Galli infused this Greenwich Village home with, as she describes, “disciplined dreaminess.” Brimming with fantastical whimsy, the living room captures the owners’ desire for a space that feels “bright and dynamic with an otherworldly Alice-in-Wonderland twist,” says Galli. She added “pops of color and pattern but nothing too overwhelming,” such as drapes by Missoni and armchairs in a Manuel Canovas animal print. The painting is by Anne Siems. Photo by Costas Picadas

Ashley Hicks London living room

While living in this apartment in Chelsea, London, designer Ashley Hicks injected his signature flair for eye-catching color and pattern in every corner of this sitting room. “I painted the walls with a geometric pattern in sandy tones to enhance the existing beige carpet,” says Hicks, who added bright pinks and turquoises to give “an effect of ice cream in the desert.” The antique sofa belonged to his grandmother, and Hicks designed all the other pieces, including the hand-carved wall sculpture. Photo courtesy of Ashley Hicks

Ojai living room by Unheim

For Aileen Getty’s Ojai home, built in 1929 by Paul Revere Williams, designer Micah Heimlich of Unheim thoughtfully reimagined the house for today. “I wanted to make it appear current while retaining the well-preserved detailing,” says Heimlich. He repainted the living room’s faux-wood ceilings with white as a nod to the home’s original plaster and to “modernize the historical house,” he says. A painting by Ugo Rondinone overlooks a massive sofa by Henge07, and the revolving bookcase is by Gianfranco Frattini. Photo by Robert Ransom

A technicolor wall sculpture commands focus in this bright and sumptuous living room that Celerie Kemble of Kemble Interiors designed for a home along New York’s Park Avenue. “The family wanted a colorful, comfortable living room that was set up for easy cocktails and hanging out, but also a space that was not off-limits for their children,” says Kemble, who brought in a bold mix that includes striped curtains by Madeline Weinrib, a coffee table from John Salibello and ottomans by Karl Springer. The light fixture is by Lindsey Adelman. Photo by Francesco Lagnese

Frank Roop Boston living room

“The clients are avid art collectors and are not afraid of bold colors,” says designer Frank Roop of this Boston apartment living room. “We wanted the furniture and the art to have their own identity while having an overall balance,” he adds of the invigorating furnishings, which include a 1930s Murano fixture and a coffee table of his design with a stone top by Jansen. The upholstery and “star door” leading to a hidden bar are also designs by Roop. Photo by Eric Roth

For his home inside a new Herzog de Meuron building in Miami Beach, designer Robert Brown of Brown Davis filled his living room with serious vintage pieces — Vladimir Kagan sofa, Joe Colombo swivel chair, Dunbar desk, rosewood cabinet from Pace Collection — all found on 1stdibs. “I was drawn to the sexy furniture of the 1970s,” says Brown. “Since the architecture is clean and contemporary with 11-foot-tall ceilings and terrazzo floors, my vision was to add the visual juxtaposition of vintage furniture,” he says. Photo by Moris Moreno

Cloth & Kind living room

“This keeping room is off of the kitchen and we wanted it to be an intimate gathering spot for the family,” says Cloth & Kind’s co-founder Krista Nye Nicholas of this modern farmhouse den in Georgia. “We went for a rich, saturated hue to create a cozy enclave,” says partner Tami Ramsay of the room painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue, which provided the ideal backdrop for colorful vintage textiles — from the flatweave rug and suzani pillows to the frazada on the ottoman. Photo by Sarah Dorio

Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd. Chelsea living room

When London designer Samantha Todhunter was tasked by her American clients with transforming a lackluster house into a vibrant, light-filled home, she happily complied — and didn’t hold back. Todhunter chose this lively color scheme, featuring sorbet hues of bright raspberry and lemon that bring a touch of Art Deco boldness, in the living room to complement the homeowner’s captivating art collection; she then brought in a sumptuous array of silks and velvets to further play up a lush and luxe note. Photo by Oliver Clarke

DHD Architecture & Interior Design Manhattan living room

Fabulous color and pattern enliven this family room, located in a townhouse in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. “We filled it with complex layers of wallcoverings, rug patterns, and pop art,” designer Steffani Aarons of DHD Architecture & Interior Design says of the over-the-top motifs, which include butterflies, graphic florals and lemon prints. “This room is about having fun,” she says. The chandelier is 1970s Italian, the hand-knotted rug is by Doris Leslie Blau, and the marble table, dining chairs, and nesting rounds are all by B&B Italia. Photo by Emily Andrews

Amy Lau living room

Designer Amy Lau was delighted when asked to boldly incorporate her clients’ favorite hues in their Manhattan home. “It ensured that color contributed to the design process as much as the architecture and the furnishings,” she says. This culminates in the living room, where a coral Vladimir Kagan sofa is grouped with sky-blue and golden-yellow armchairs. The freeform table is by John Widdicomb, the vintage pendant is by Donzella, and Lau designed the rug with Fort Street Studio. Photo by Kim Sargent

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