A living room daring to be different. Photo by Gabriel Holland Interior Design, original photo on Houzz

By Lara Sargent | Houzz

As our interest in personalized interiors grows, the days when a three-piece suite was the backbone of any self-respecting living room feel long gone. Now it’s all about letting a spirited mix of colors, prints, textures and shapes dictate our seating choices. To do it well, choose blocks of color and pieces from different eras that sit together nicely. Pick out designs, fabrics and hues you love and bring them together them with a dash of recklessness. This will work best if you follow a few basic rules, such as sticking with a neutral backdrop and pairing colors with care. But don’t be afraid to experiment. You might just stumble across something unexpected that works and figure out the rule that makes it so later. Let these ideas fuel your imagination.

Dare to be different. The living room above is lovely for many reasons, not least because it isn’t afraid to parade a fabulous hot pink. Neutral pieces, like the pebble-gray sofa and monochrome rug, tone down the look, but try to embrace your choice wholeheartedly and not dilute it too much. The same idea will translate to alternative color pairings. Take smartphone snapshots when you see clever combinations in nature, in clothing shops, on signage. Bookmark inspiring matches while browsing design photos online. This will help you identify color combinations that consistently catch your eye.

Weave together two shades. If you don’t want to mess around with different shapes and styles of seating in your living room, you can always go down the mix-and-match color route within a coordinated range. A flexible modular-style sofa enables you to combine shades, patterns and textures within the same seating arrangement. Here, a sprinkling of yellow in an otherwise all-gray scheme injects a lively modern tempo and works amazingly well against the grand backdrop, as the simplicity lets the architectural details shine.

Dabble with vintage hues. This pretty blend of chalky colors and vintage styles is spot-on if you don’t want a seating mix that’s too self-consciously eclectic. The pleasing blend of buttermilk, peppermint and coral colors weave in a considerable mix of patterns, but there’s harmony in the united colors. The green of the far sofa is picked up in the pillows of its neighbor, while the coral of the armchair is echoed in the subtle print on the larger sofa.

Play with color. Color maximalists can go full tilt with this trend and juxtapose bolds and brights with vigor. Who would have imagined that a traditionally shaped purple sofa would look so fresh and up to date when placed next to a classic Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair in a gutsy mustard shade? The key is to invest in pieces you love — both for their aesthetics and their comfort — and enjoy them every day. Add Pops of Chartreuse to Inject Energy Into a Room.

Maximize monochrome. A monochrome color palette creates a sleek, sophisticated vibe that’s unlikely to go out of fashion. Soft-edged modern leather sofas like these are the perfect vehicle for a black and white scheme, with the unfussy color duo putting a simple slant on the mix-and-match vibe.

Create a retro vibe. Don’t you just adore the laid-back style of this living room? The classic pea-green sofa and 1940s-style armchairs contrast colors, shapes and materials with pluck and a playful spirit, against a neutral backdrop of white walls and wooden flooring. Play around with even more hues and prints with a kaleidoscope of punchy cushions. Echo Bold Colors With an Assortment of Colorful Throw Pillows.

Balance it out. Lovers of symmetrical, considered design can shake up their seating with a more tailored approach and a bit of matching. This pair of plush button-backed chesterfields in an earthy hue is juxtaposed with two jet-black armchairs for a sense of poise and equilibrium but masses of drama, too. The balanced arrangement of seating echoes the balanced layout of the room, allowing the burnished gold ceiling to pull together the look with aplomb.

Work a white mix. Eschewing the traditional three-piece suite can be a much simpler design strategy than you might think. One way to create a cohesive yet eclectic look is to harness a mishmash of chairs, sofas and daybeds from different eras and in different styles and materials but the same color.

Liven things up with a bold chair. There’s no denying the livability of a large, neutral sofa that sweeps around a corner, offering masses of comfy seating for family and friends. But if it’s all looking a tad staid and, dare I say, boring, try out a statement chair in a vivid color. Before committing to a new purchase, consider temporarily moving in a chair from another room that contrasts wildly with your sofa to see how it looks. Or drape an existing chair with a piece of fabric in the hue you’re considering. Add a few coordinating accessories to make the piece look at home. If you aren’t warming to the look after a few weeks, you can try another hue. Statement-Making Accent Chairs in Every Style.

Mix color and print. This room is vibrant, yes, and packed with pattern, but it’s also fabulous and livable in equal measure. The key is the black sofa, which anchors the hot colors and busy prints with its calm, heavy hue. The black is repeated in the mirror, fireplace, lampshade and, important, the pink chair to reinforce the effect. Such a varied scheme cries out for decadent lighting, pretty wallpaper and striking accessories. This room has all three with great success.

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