Sometimes, even the most beautifully designed living room begins to feel a bit stale. As a result, there are a lot of people out there who want to know how to update a living room without breaking the bank or doing a complete redesign. There are three main ways to do this, ways that will immediately make your living room look very current.
The first way to do this is to bring in modern pieces. And by modern pieces I mean bringing in accent tables and cocktail tables, little modern items that, juxtaposed with some of your older pieces, really give your space a designer look. You can bring in tables like this white concrete one from CB2. These are great and can float anywhere in the room, either next to the coffee table or as a drinks table in front of the sofa.
Another item I think makes updating easy and is not expensive is CB2’s Peekaboo Acrylic table, known as a ghost table because now you see it, now you don’t. Because it’s transparent, it can float in the room without taking up permanent visual residency. So if you have an old weathered table, this could be a great replacement. Lastly, I love this particular table from 1stDibs, a black drinks table that can sit next to any of the pieces that you already have to refresh the room.
Obviously the two examples of living rooms I’m going to give you are rooms that are already done, but notice how they each have a little modern marvel in them. In the first one you’ve got the modern Wassily Chair designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925. Inspired by the frame of a bicycle and influenced by the constructivist theories of the De Stjil movement, Breuer was still an apprentice at the Bauhaus when he reduced the classic club chair to its elemental lines and planes.
And in the second living room you have that modern marble cute side table. These are conversation pieces in and of themselves, so if you’re ever worried about what to do, just remove and then add. It’s fine to have fewer pieces. Fewer pieces are always better in my opinion and bringing in a couple of modern items can help you achieve the designer look.
The next way to update a living room, and is probably my favorite of all possible updates, is to add a daybed. I love daybeds in living rooms, whether it’s a Mies Van der Rohe or one of the beautiful new beds just released by CB2. What a daybed does in a living room is bring a sense of luxury and comfort at the same time. It invites your guests to come in to lounge, but it also gives your room a very chic look. I put them into most of my clients’ living rooms because the rooms are large enough be able to handle a daybed and sofas in them.
Other options for daybeds is this striking one from Crate and Barrel. With a clean-lined frame wrapped in soft leather, and button-tufted by hand, it stands at the intersection of mid-century and today.
This is a very simple one, and then there’s the Jonathan Adler one that’s a bit jazzier, but certainly fun if you have a living room that has some brass in it. Take a look at decorator Daniel Romualdez’s living room in his Los Angeles home. This room has two of the items we talked about, a great daybed and those ghost chairs. So again, modern mixed with traditional brought together by a faux mink rug. This place is beautiful.
My next very favorite living room has the best daybed in it, Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Couch which is also in my living room and in Ralph Lauren’s Montauk home. You cannot go wrong with this particular daybed. It’s literally timeless and looks good in every room and is the perfect item.
Nothing makes a room come together or updates it faster than an accent chair. Any of those who know me know I have a collection of accent chairs. In fact my garage is filled with them. There are so many of them that it’s turned into a problem. However, if you don’t have the disease I do, you must start buying accent chairs because they will update your space in no time. You can place your accent chair next to a coffee table, across from your couch, in a corner and on one side of the fireplace.
And you don’t have to use a pair of chairs, a one-off is fine. One beautiful chair. Take a look for example at this France&Son’s chair that I actually have in my beach house. It’s inspired by the mid-century modern armchair designed by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret. I’m sure you guys have seen it. They’re everywhere. They are wonderful and I have the outdoor version because it’s in a beach house. I just love it.
Also, if you can afford a real one, definitely go ahead and invest in one.
Another gorgeous chair that is pictured here is by Leanne Ford and comes from Crate and Barrel. It’s a real statement piece and if you have nothing in your room but this and a daybed you’d be done. People are going to be elated when they walk into your living room and see that. The chair’s playful proportions take shape in the ultra-slim black metal legs and oversized, tubular cushion that flows seamlessly from arm to back.
The last chair I’m proposing, from West Elm, is really beautiful because it has that leathery rich rust color and has its own ottoman. This piece would look great in any room. It could be in your living room – but don’t stop at your living room. Keep going, update it all. Bring it into your bedroom, your office. The piece is gorgeous and definitely gives you the update you’re looking for.