Traditional brown furniture Moroccan rug. A redbrick fireplace is quite traditional and the tones tend to go well with dark wood furniture and rich leather. But if you want to shake things up a bit try rolling out a fluffy Moroccan‐style rug beneath it all and paint the walls a pale shade of "greige". The creamy tones work with the brick and leather while giving the traditional style a current twist.
Oversize art. If you have a large expanse of brick to cover – a fireplace that reaches all the way to a high ceiling for instance – artwork is a great way to break it up. As long as your brick is not a really bright red most artwork should work with it. If you are unsure try bringing a clear photograph of your fireplace with you when you're looking for art and check if you can bring the piece home on a trial basis before committing to buy it.
Keep a thoughtfully edited book collection. Books can be one of the great pleasures in life – staring at an overburdened bookcase with tomes spilling onto the floor is not. Aim to keep only the books you love and those you will read again and let go of the rest. Your living room will thank you.
Use furniture with hidden storage. Another option is to choose a storage ottoman or bench either as your coffee table or as an extra seat tucked away beneath a console. You can store media games magazines and even shoes inside. The key is to use it to hide the things that usually look messy when strewn all over your living room. If that means you use drawer organizers inside your ottoman and keep junk‐drawer stuff in there so be it!
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.
Same material different patterns. The weight and texture of a fabric is key – choosing a similar type of fabric for accent pillows poufs and chairs can help make your striped sofa fit in. For example in the space shown here a rough textured striped sofa is accented with a few equally nubby pillows and a kilim pouf. If you have a fine linen sofa try pairing it with cotton voile pillows; a velvet sofa would call for something thick and luxurious like wool (or more velvet).
Use rolling storage for kids' toys. Keep a variety of your child's favorite toys in storage baskets on wheels. The bins can be wheeled from room to room making it easy to clean up and stow things away when you need a tidy space like now.
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