Steven Gambrel, one of America's top-tier interior designers, recently had a chance to consider the question. Although he lives and often works in the most urbane precincts of Manhattan, Steven grew up in Virginia and still has ties there. When the owners of a Middleburg horse farm asked him to convert one of their barns into a place for large, casual parties and just hanging out and watching TV, he took it on with relish—his first barn, and on home turf.
Front and back doors open directly into a two-story-high living room, where spruce-planked walls and wood beams salvaged from an 1890 Tennessee barn reflect the home’s rural setting and give the space a refined, barnlike feel. Interior decorator Phoebe Howard balanced the rustic elements with color. “I added an air of elegance with a soft color palette that reflects the surrounding sky and hills,” she says.

This probably isn't what you want to hear since we don't think of cleaning up as fun, but adding a few pieces that ease organization can make a huge difference. Consider installing coat hooks or bringing in a stylish coat rack coat by the front door. Then place a small folding chair underneath it to sit on when you take off your shoes. This will prevent those dreaded (and previously inevitable) clothing pileups.
I understand the reasoning behind this decorating idea, but I have concerns about hanging very long curtains past the bottom window frames in my bedroom. Underneath our window is a heating unit that fits the width of the window (6 to 7 feet) and goes all the way down to the floor. Our home is 90 years old and has radiators, a heat pump, and whatever this thing is. Two other rooms have this heat apparatus in them as well. I don’t want the curtains to cover the heat source of the room, nor do I want them to catch… Read more »
It sure got my attention when you said that one of the simplest ways to update the look of the room was the use of throw pillows, and seeing the way you used them in one of the pictures, I can agree that you were right. I have been thinking about upgrading the look of the living room for a while now, and I want a collection that I can use for all occasions and seasons. Now I’m thinking that throw pillows will work. I will continue researching, but I will be sure to keep this in mind. Thank you.
Looking beyond the traditional with wallcoverings can create a truly standout design presence. "I do think I might have scared [architect Ken Linsteadt] a little bit when I announced I was planning to install two levels of green floral fabric on the walls of the grand salon," says Ken Fulk of his Sonoma Valley lakeside retreat, yet the fabric gives the high walls a richness that wallpaper alone might not have achieved.
Spruce up your home décor with signature items from At Home, from contemporary lighting solutions to creative and unique accessories that add personality and style to any room. Choose from thousands of tasteful home décor items, and find the lamps, rugs, mirrors and home accents you need to put the finishing touches on any home design project. Add comfort to a room with At Home pillows and throws, and take advantage of the wide assortment of options, from oversized and oblong pillows to those designed with classic solids and creative prints. Transform your home’s bedrooms and living rooms with easy yet sophisticated window treatments, and take advantage of unused space by incorporating decorative and versatile wall décor items.

Reupholstering your furniture will automatically freshen up an entire space. And if you love eclectic decorating, take notes from this impeccable living room. All the juxtaposition in this room is working so well—the angular mirror, vivid orange photography, marble fireplace, rustic stool, and geometric pottery are all unexpectedly complemented by the softness of the blush pink chairs.
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