When Cathryn, Adam and their son Will moved into their newly built home on Sydney’s northern beaches, they knew they still had work left ahead of them. “We had purposely left some spaces untouched so we could spend a little bit more time thinking about exactly what we wanted,” explains Cathryn. Fast forward almost three years, and the family still hadn’t pinpointed the look they desired for their open-plan living and dining area. “We had the white tiles and the white walls, but it needed a bit more depth,” she says.
Having worked for the Seven Network, Adam crossed paths with HB editor-in-chief, House Rules judge and interior expert Wendy Moore, who agreed to help the family find their signature style, bringing in plenty of living room décor ideas including layers of texture, warmth and colour with a modern coastal twist.
In the same way Cathryn and Adam’s home was used as a blank canvas, Wendy’s living room décor ideas can be adapted to any living room to create a welcoming family hub. Here’s how:
1. Add a feature wall
First and foremost a feature wall was created on the main wall of the living room with floor-to-ceiling timber VJ panelling painted in a dark and dramatic hue. This is now the focal point of the room and works to form a sophisticated architectural base. “Introducing the colour Dulux Domino meant that both the TV and fireplace could disappear into the wall when not in use,” says Wendy.
“Bringing in the panelling gave it a bit of architectural personality”Wendy Moore
2. Bring in timber for texture
Timber accents in the floating mantelpiece and to line the base of the built-in structure beneath the fireplace adds warmth to the room and bridges the dark paint colour with the smooth white walls.
3. Integrate storage
Custom-made cabinetry on each side of the fireplace goes almost unnoticed and ensures unsightly electronics are easily hidden. Brass mesh on awning-style doors adds a further textural element and allows for easy access and remote-control functionality.
4. Use pieces you already own
The ‘Jasper’ sofa from King Living, which the family already owned, is the centre point of their new-look living room. “It’s a classic piece and it really suited the space well,” says Wendy. The dark timber details in the shelves echo the dark paint colour of the feature wall.
5. Layer in soft furnishings
Wendy added soft furnishings to complement the existing floor rug, also from King Furniture and cushions to style up the space with a coastal vibe.
“We are by the beach, and though it’s not a beach house, we still wanted some coastal elements”Cathryn
6. Take your time
In a new build, rather than rushing into decisions without a decorating plan, take the time to collect and research, building a moodboard of your living room décor ideas as you go. “Waiting as long as we did really helped us to cement our style,” says Cathryn. Good design is worth the wait!
7. Art adds complexity
Adding a pair of custom artworks to the recesses either side of the fireplace bring another textural element and tie the whole colour scheme together. Catherine chose the artworks online to tie in the colours of timber, brass and charcoal, with a touch of nature in the subject.
8. Add a statement chair
The ‘Pretzel’ armchair creates a conversation zone with the existing sofa and injects an on-trend statement piece in the room. Covers are kept plain with the colour accent of a round cushion mimicking the shapes of the frame and provides a welcome departure from all the rectangles.
9. Keep it simple
Stick to your palette throughout the whole room. Continue to refer back to your base colours when making choices with colours and fabrics – the soft shades of sea glass in cushions and throws continue the coastal theme and the choice of a dark stain in the armchair cane echoes the timber under the fireplace.
10. Bring the outdoors in
The addition of a lush indoor plant is the perfect living room décor idea to link the indoor spaces to the garden outside. The lush tropical plantings seen through the sliding glass doors continue inside with the placement of the fiddle leaf fig against the adjacent wall.
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