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).
Stick to one material. Choosing a theme for your mantelpiece display is a helpful way to impose some stylistic order. Try picking items made from the same material. Here glass objects of various sizes look fresh and pretty on this mantel but you could choose to group wooden ceramic silver or brightly painted items.
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.
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.
Solo ledge. When there's ample shelving and storage elsewhere in the house it can make more sense to keep things simple around the fireplace. The single shelf in this living room is enough to add some chic coastal style with accessories.
Choose bilevel furniture. Clear surfaces look great – but let's face it they are hard to keep clear. One way to solve that problem is by picking out coffee and side tables with a lower shelf. You can spread out your stuff when you're home alone and then stack it up and stash it on the bottom shelf when company comes.
Decorative over‐the‐mantel mirror. It's the oldest interiors trick in the book. A striking over‐the‐mantel mirror gives even a supersnug living room a sense of space and light. However don't settle for just any old mirror. For old‐school elegance go for a Shabby Chic–style French‐looking piece with an ornate white plaster or gilt wooden frame. If you can afford to get an original vintage mirror complete with authentically aged silvering. If not consider reproductions – they work a similar magic for less cash.
Clean lines. Floating shelves are one thing but floating cabinets add an unexpected element to a minimalist living area like this one. Hide any clutter in the cabinets and show off only the most beautiful objects.
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