7 living rooms that are sure to inspire

Is your living room feeling sad and underwhelming? Then check out these 7 examples to motivate you with their presence and functionality

Story by: Loukas Tsitsiridakis Photography by: Contributors
Strive to achieve a balance of functionality and architecture, house, interior design, living room, furniture, furnishings, tile floor,  glass extension, contemporary, renovation
Strive to achieve a balance of functionality and aesthetic in your living room.

Your living space is important for entertaining guests, and also to provide a space for you to relax and unwind in. To accomplish both of these goals, you should strive to achieve a balance of functionality and aesthetics. 

To inspire you, here are some eye-catching living spaces we've featured, and what makes them stand out from the crowd.


It's the artworks that add life and a furniture, interior design, living room, room, gray
It's the artworks that add life and a sense of humanity to this living space

1. Artful emphasis

Interior designer Sherry Koppel says simplicity was also the focus for this home's interior design. All the ceilings in the living areas are 10ft, while the ceilings in the transition spaces are 8ft.

"To provide a suitable backdrop to the owner's extensive collection of contemporary art, all the walls, trim and ceilings are painted the same shade. It's a very soft gray with a subtle hint of blue, and the effect is just like being in a cloud. It is enhanced by the white epoxy flooring.

"It's the artworks that add life and a sense of humanity," the designer says. "This is a far cry from the owner's former house, where the art was so crowded it didn't have a chance to breathe, and many pieces were lost amid the clutter. Here, every piece has been given space, and works have been specifically selected for certain areas.

"For example, the photographs, that need to be kept away from sunlight, are hung in the gallery the long circulation area leading from the front entry."

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Theres an easy indoor-outdoor flow to this family ceiling, house, interior design, living room, real estate, room, table, gray
Theres an easy indoor-outdoor flow to this family living area.

2. Let it flow

Architect Chris Wilson of Wilson and Hill Architects ensured this rebuilt Christchurch home worked well, both visually and in practical terms. As a result, there's an easy indoor-outdoor flow to this family living area. 

Both the family living area and formal lounge open up to a large, covered terrace with an outdoor kitchen and gas fireplace. 

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The owners of this apartment had several Mid-century interior design, living room, real estate, window, brown
The owners of this apartment had several Mid-century Modern furniture pieces that they wished to incorporate.

3. Mid-century Modern

The new owners of this 1970s apartment wanted a contemporary living space where they could entertain, which required some consideration from interior designer Christopher Kwek.

"The owners are keen art collectors and required plenty of space to display artworks. They also have several Mid-century Modern furniture pieces that they wished to incorporate, but they didn't want an obvious retro look," he says.

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The interiors of this home are clean-lined, airy home, house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, window, gray
The interiors of this home are clean-lined, airy and light but with nods to the past

4. Modern classic

The brief for Paul Leuschke of Leuschke Kahn Architects was to combine a grand traditional exterior with modern, open-plan interiors. In terms of design, decor and finishes, the interiors are clean-lined, airy and light but with prominent nods to the past. 

While a historic home might have also had the high ceilings, it would have lacked the large wall openings and open layout that let occupants make the most of the natural light. Sliders and French doors open two sides of the room to the outdoors.

Despite the old-world exterior and classic detail nods on the interior, this is a modern home in terms of function, and day-to-day living.

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The owners' existing art collection was a starting ceiling, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, gray, white
The owners' existing art collection was a starting point for the interior in this living room.

5. Eclectic mix

The owners of the house undertook a major renovation, wanting a far more eclectic, contemporary design. They commissioned Nestor Santa-Cruz to design the interior and oversee the architectural detailing. This was an evolving process the owners describe as a "creative collaboration".

Santa-Cruz says the owners' existing art collection was a starting point for the interior. The rest of the design was influenced by their appreciation for the Art Deco period, and classic modern furniture from the 1920s right through to the present.

Designer pieces in this living room include a Mies van der Rohe Barcelona coffee table, Hans Wegner Wishbone dining chairs and two Arne Jacobsen Swan dining chairs. 

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Integrated living spaces fulfil the client's desire for ceiling, interior design, living room, real estate, orange, white
Integrated living spaces fulfil the client's desire for the new interior to be very social.

6. Loft living

Architect Andrew Wilkinson was asked to completely renovate this classic New York loft, integrating various living spaces seamlessly together to fit the owners' needs.

“The owners wanted the new interior to be very social, so the kitchen needed to be designed to communicate openly with other spaces in the apartment, such as the sunken living room and adjacent dining area,” says Wilkinson.

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Internal walls were knocked out to make this architecture, house, interior design, living room, furniture, furnishings, tile floor,  glass extension, contemporary, renovation
Internal walls were knocked out to make this living area more spacious and light-filled.

7. Light and spacious

An expansive downstairs living space was transformed beyond recognition from the closed off collection of rooms in this part of the home prior to its renovation by Anonym Studio. A steel and glass extension adds metres of floor area at the back of the home and brings an abundance of natural light into the once dark, uninviting ground level.

"To complete the new look, we designed a bold diamond floor pattern in black and white marble, and added a warm wood batten ceiling that balances the cool of the marble and steel." says architect Phongphat Ueasangkhomset.

The monochromatic flooring and wood ceiling are clearly reflected in the space's furniture and decor choices as well.

Feb 26, 2019
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