Leather club armchair. Fancy the private members' club look? Then opt for a classic deep‐seated leather armchair like this one; the more battered the better. Buy secondhand for extra lived‐in character or source a vintage‐look piece about town (feather‐filled cushions offer an added slouch factor). Prettify it with a floral cushion then sit back and relax with a cuppa (or glass of port).
Chesterfield sofa. It's an ongoing favorite in fashionable bars and boutique hotels and no wonder. With their clean lines and comfort button‐backed chesterfield sofas are truly timeless and look as good in a modern warehouse apartment as in a grand country abode. The classic version comes in tan leather but for a sumptuous update I love the raspberry‐pink and pewter‐colored velvet numbers here.
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.
Metallics. Gleaming silver burnished bronze and shiny gold work as neutrals and do a brilliant job of livening up a dull room. If you feel your space needs a bit of a boost try pairing your striped sofa with a metallic leather pouf sculptural metal coffee table wire chair or gleaming silver pendant lamp.
Same stripes different color family. Often a fabric pattern comes in several different color groups. If you can track down the fabric an easy way to pick pillows for your striped sofa is to have them made from the same print in a contrasting hue.
Neutrals with texture blue and red. Grass cloth wallpaper and burlap shades add texture and warmth helping a redbrick fireplace settle into the space. Wood furniture close to the darkest tones in the brick also helps. Larger amounts of blue in a rug and pillows and just a dash of red make for a classic nautical look.
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.
Keep a little‐stuff drawer. Notice I did not say "junk drawer". Every room has small items that need a home and a well‐organized drawer can be a smart place to put them. It's only a junk drawer if you think of it that way! Unless you are already using a storage ottoman as a junk drawer (see No. 3) find a drawer in a console table credenza or chest to hold small stuff such as charging cords pens stamps and scissors.