A Modern View Living

Simple, geometric shapes combine in this living room for a modern design that is both stylish and functional. A gridded entertainment center hides electronics, the massive coffee table is a great spot to prop up feet, and the glass-and-wood doors close the space off from adjoining rooms.

Flanked by twin sofas, the mantel features a gently arched detail that's repeated on the wall niche above. Notice more curves on the sofa backs, vases, and chandelier overhead.

Though all-white interiors are not everyone's cup of tea, rooms without color can communicate a sense of elegance and serenity. White in this space is interrupted only by an occasional plant or expanse of wood, and seems cool, calm, and collected.

The owners of this home merged elements of tropical, European, and contemporary, creating uncommon style. What seem like unrelated elements -- a log ladder, linen curtains, wicker chair, and antique oil paintings -- are all connected by common neutral tones.

Before, too many patterns cluttered this room, making the eye restless. Now those layers of print have been cleared away, leaving a living room that exudes calm. Fabrics in the wall-hung quilt inspired the pale yellow wall color as well as the hues for pillows and furniture.

A preference for chocolate hues is hard to miss in the living area, where a mahogany Chinese Chippendale daybed, wicker coffee table, and Thebes-style (Egyptian) stool are complemented by artwork, pillows, blind trim, and other accessories.

Pair a beautifully refined shade of red with white and natural hues for a no-fail color palette. Repetition of the focal-point red, here in the toile-style fabric, unifies the decorating scheme. Touches of black and gold add sophistication, while white is fresh and clean.

A striking mix of old and new, comfort and style create a living room that is both elegant and inviting. Silk draperies lend elegance, a sisal rug introduces soft texture, and a honed-marble fireplace surround injects sleek sophistication.

Blending stately architectural features with eclectic furnishing isn't always easy. The keys here were texture, clean lines, and proportion. Objects on the mantel wall are placed from low to high and back down, keeping the eye moving within the room.

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