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.
Low profile. The position and shape of this great fireplace call for shelving that enhances its sleek design. The low‐set shelves echo the rectangular fireplace and provide a platform on which to display stylish pieces.
Crystal chandelier. It might be all about low‐slung pendants and marquee lights right now but a crystal chandelier is never dated. More than a mere light it adds instant sparkle glamour and just a smidgen of grandeur to any space. Even a budget model – as opposed to an original French rewired antique – gives that extra je ne sais quoi. Don't automatically choose bronze by the way. The jewel‐like version here perks up a plain ceiling and echoes other colors in the room.
Persian rug. Their intricate patterns and warm colors give any space a homey feel as well as a touch of exoticism. Plus these traditional rugs work equally well laid over wooden floorboards stone or carpet. Period settings are their natural habitat but they can also cozy up a modern space. For a tapestry effect mix several smaller rugs as seen here. The most skilfully handwoven rugs can be pricey but purse‐friendly designs are not hard to find.
Dusty blue. Like warm gray dusty shades of blue work well with most tones of red brick complementing rather than competing with them. In this kitchen a brick oven is surrounded by dusty blue painted cabinets a warm cherry island counter and chandeliers for a bit of sparkle. Pale dusty‐blue walls look stunning in this bedroom around a brick fireplace. Off‐white trim and distressed white furniture looks richer than pure white.
Whitewash. If you have a truly massive brick fireplace and you are not fond of the color consider giving it a gentle whitewash to lighten the hue. This can be a good compromise for those who do not want to paint their brick as it allows some of the texture and color to show through. You can water down the whitewash even more than was done here to very subtly tone down the color of your brick fireplace.
Faded Oriental or floral rug. For a sophisticated twist roll out a faded rug – the more washed out the better. Keep the rest of the pieces in the room simple with solid‐hued armchairs and pillows and a soothing color on the walls.
Natural tones. The fireplace mantel in this living room invites you to sit down and read awhile by the fire. The timber shelving unit ties in with shelving used elsewhere in the room – a nifty trick to prevent fireside storage that looks like it doesn't belong.