Darker floors lighter walls. This combination positions the tone of the brick fireplace between the dark wood floors and the soft beige walls folding the brick into the scheme beautifully. The medium red‐brown tones of the brick are repeated in the wood furniture leather chair and red throw pillows.
Retro sideboard. It might not feel as key as a coffee table or sofa but a stylish vintage sideboard transforms the look of a living room (and keeps clutter at bay too). Here a midcentury number adds a quirky retro attitude and provides a handy surface for showing off precious ornaments and pictures. For a timeless look stick to warm woods such as teak or rosewood.
Enough's enough. Take care not to plan for more shelves than you need. Asian‐style homes tend to display only the most thoughtfully selected items so simple modern shelves that frame this fireplace top and bottom suit the space perfectly. Consider downlights as a way to give those display items pride of place.
Matching striped upholstery and solid pillows. Have your armchairs covered in identical striped fabric as the sofa and finish the look off with a cluster of solid‐hued pillows.
Give newspapers and magazines a temporary home. One neat basket of magazines or newspapers looks fine – a table strewn with them not so much. Dedicate one generously sized basket to house periodicals and commit to weeding out old issues when they no longer comfortably fit in the container.
Go large. Small knickknacks can look rather lost and insignificant on a mantelpiece. The solution? Choose chunky oversized pieces that are guaranteed to make an impact. Here a kind of gothic‐meets‐pop‐art look gives this mantelpiece masses of original style. The hot‐pink letters add a zingy focal point against the gray backdrop and prevent the skull and statues from looking too intimidating.
Lots of white. Just as with floral upholstery if you have a bold stripe that is threatening to overwhelm your room try whiting it out with crisp white walls and white slipcovered furniture.
Tripod floor lamp. The architectural lines of the tripod floor lamp have made it a living room staple in recent years and it looks set to stick around. As well as adding atmospheric pools of light these cool pieces make a statement in their own right. Place one at either end of a sofa as here for oomph. If you don't fancy neutral lampshades like the ones here swap them for colorful ones to energize your scheme.