7 Tricks on How to Decorate Your Living Room in an Instant

Jett’s first project is a blank slate living room with a fireplace as its focal point. The homeowner, Carrie, wants this living room (one of two in her home) to function as an adult entertaining area. Jett suggests a dedicated area to mix cocktails and store liquor bottles. Imagine a drinks area with a handsome bar cart. Adding a fun lamp gives this nook additional charm and rounds out the space. 

2. Play with texture

For a room that doesn’t have anything in the way of window or floor coverings yet, Jett recommends drapery “with a rod that hangs higher up beyond the window” for added softness and a textured rug (consider jute, hemp, or sisal) underfoot to tie the room together. To punch up the bare white walls, Jett suggests a fresh coat of paint with faux texture. His trick? Limewash painimewash painimewash painimewash paint to keep the walls from looking “so flat and so new.” Then complete the living room by placing artwork for a dose of interest.

Seda Chai Tea Dupioni Silk Window Curtain Panel

3. Add curves to seating arrangements

Sinuous lines of a curvy sofa can add much needed flair to a standard living room.

Photos: Jack Belisle

The next homeowner, Carol, describes her living room as “stiff” and wants something fresher that will flow into the adjoining dining room. To update the boxy sofa and chairs in the room, Jett suggests a new seating arrangement around the fireplace, something like a serpentine Vladimir Kagan design or a neutral off-white sofa with gentle curves that could help draw people into the space. “When you walk in the door, you see this form that takes you around, almost like an arm giving you a hug,” he explains. For the other chairs around the fireplace, he prescribes softness, like what you’d find in an upholstered boucle armchair. 

Muir Camel Velvet Curved Sofa

4. Dial up the contrast with earthy paint

A room is “much more impactful if [you] aren’t afraid to play with color,” Jett notes. His suggestion? Painting all the walls and ceilings terracotta to warm up the “imposing architecture” of the space. “When you have something that’s light and white, sometimes it can feel too big and a little bit too impersonal,” he explains. Plus when everything on the walls is richer and moodier, it heightens the feeling of lightness evoked by the creamy seating arrangement. 

BACKDROP Premium Interior Paint, 36 Hours In Marrakesh–1 Gallon

5. Fix messy spaces with sleek storage

Minimize for maximum functionality.

Photos: Jack Belisle/AD Archive