Home Decorating Every Detail Counts: The Trained Eye Guide to Designing a Living Room

Every Detail Counts: The Trained Eye Guide to Designing a Living Room

A serial renovator who knows how to make any space more beautiful – and more livable – Annie Selke shares her tips and tricks for a successful space. As she embarks on a full-house renovation of her bougainvillea-covered home designed by Hollywood Regency architect John Elgin Woolfe in Palm Desert, California, we’ll go room by room to share her expert insights and product picks:

Don’t compete with a beautiful view. When you have a room with a gorgeous view, skip the bright colors and bold patterns in favor of subtler designs. Annie’s home in Palm Desert sits between the San Jacinto Mountains and the Santa Rosa Mountains, and she says, “I really wanted to let the view speak for itself, so that the eye enjoys but glides over the furniture and up to the view. That was my mission.”

Invest in a sofa that you want to sink into. The sofa is the centerpiece of the living room in both looks and function—make sure it’s something you actually want to sit on! Annie opted for a stunning blush color on her Helena sectional sofa from Bernhardt. The generous size, traditional spring construction, and luxurious feather down cushions make it the most comfortable spot in the house.

Lift your design with visually light pieces. When you opt for a statement sofa like Annie’s, you’d be wise to choose accent furniture that has a lightness to balance the visual weight of the large sofa. Here, Annie opted for a glass coffee table and side chairs with an open base. The Organic White countertops from Caesarstone extends the light and airy feel into the open kitchen space. And, our Capri Soumak Jute rug keeps things airy underfoot.

Repeat patterns for a decorator finish. Using a pattern in more than one place is an easy way to bring a room together. Annie uses this trick in several rooms in her Palm Desert home, including the living room, where our Allium fabric appears on a pair of side chairs and the throw pillows on the sofa.

Embrace flattering hues. Pink might not be an obvious first choice for a living room, but the same qualities that make blush pink becoming in a bedroom room or bathroom (that rosy glow blush imparts!) work in a living room setting, too. Blush pink used as the main color in a living room is light and cheerful, without the starkness or high-maintenance of white.

Bethany Nauert Photography

Create moments of equilibrium. Annie knows the power of visual symmetry and often uses pairs in her designs. “I always want a room to have design integrity—those moments of, ‘Oh that’s beautiful,’” Annie says. Placing two identical chairs facing each other in front of the floor-to-ceiling glass doors creates a show-stopping point of symmetry.

Bethany Nauert Photography

Integrate your TV into your decor. “One thing the pandemic has taught us is home viewing is here to stay,” says Annie. But just because you want to enjoy a large television doesn’t mean you have to deal with an eyesore. “I did a lot of research on figuring out how to get a large television integrated into the space—it’s a challenge,” she says. The key is to camouflage the television with art hung nearby and, if budget allows, a custom cabinet. Adding in other statement pieces, like a stunning credenza, will draw the eye away from the television as well. 

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1 comment

Charlotte Urban February 25, 2022 at 3:07 pm

I love create moments of equilibrium!

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