The 10 best living rooms of the year – our pick of the most beautiful designs we've seen

We've trawled through the archives to cherry-pick the living rooms that have stood out to us this year

A honey toned living room
(Image credit: Dave Kulesza. Design: Angelucci Architects and Fenton & Fenton (furniture and styling))

2022 been a fantastic year for interior design. Our homes and their functions have shifted and design has followed, with designers producing spaces that are elegant and sculptural, yet functional and transitional all at once. 

It's been a hard task to cherry-pick our favorites, but trawling through the archives it's no wonder these 10 living rooms in particular stick in our minds. Serving up sophistication and exhibiting forward-thinking design, from cozy schemes to minimalist spaces, these are our favorite living rooms to inspire your interiors as we enter a new year.

Oonagh Turner
Oonagh Turner

Oonagh is a content editor and writer for Livingetc. For this story, she searched through the archives to come up with 10 brilliant living room designs that stick in her head from 2022.

10 of the year's best living rooms

1. This ethereal Upper East Side apartment

A high end living room design with luxury pieces of furniture

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Design: Husband.wife)

I love everything about this living room. From the minimalist decor over the fireplace and the indoor plants, to floating mustard yellow armchairs, the overall look is ethereal and emanates timeless elegance and warmth. The sheer curtains and ethereal quality of light steal the show for me, and really exemplifies how important lighting is in the home.

Husband.wife (opens in new tab) are the New York-based design duo and masterminds behind this brilliant scheme on the Upper East Side, and used material and texture to create a dream-like quality of light. 'We chose a sheer curtain with a tone similar to the walls to avoid contrast and soften the environment,' explains co-founder and principal, Justin Capuco. 'Despite this tonal softness, we chose a fabric (Dedar Omega) with subtle presence - a gridded structure that balances with the built-in architecture of the room.'

2. This colorful LA home

elegant modern living room with green curved sofa, plaster pink walls and stripy coffee table

(Image credit: Roberto Garcia)

It's the color scheme of this living room designed by LA-based studio, LALA Reimagined (opens in new tab) that earns it a spot on our list. Soft pale pinks and pops of orange exude playfulness, and that rich and verdant green sofa gives the room a feeling of nature. It's a great example of using a decorative rule - like the 60-30-10 rule - to apply color, and the result is effortless and charming

See all of this elegant Hollywood home here.

Round ottoman in linen from Target (opens in new tab)
Cozy up

Round ottoman in linen from Target (opens in new tab)

Everyone needs a pale pink pouf, adding a bit of color and extra seating.

3. This modernist Australian bungalow

a terracotta living room

(Image credit: Fiona Susanto. Design: Nicholas Kaiko)

This modernist home exhibits an important exercise in color. Bohemian terracotta is applied to the walls of this living room, yet the interiors and furniture contrast heavily with sleek and sophisticated grey and silver tones. The result is elegant and refined but not stuffy. The mix of vivid hues, graphic applications of white and black and curvilinear forms reflects a contemporary nod to 1960s modernism as well as influences from American abstract artist, Frank Stella.

Take the tour and see more of this home here.

4. This sitting room in Melbourne

A living room with a strong color scheme

(Image credit: Dave Kulesza. Design: Angelucci Architects)

This project by Angelucci Architects (opens in new tab) is a masterclass in texture and color, bringing real warmth to a small living room. I love the cheery pops of red and orange, the careful placement of the furniture, geared toward conversation, and the elegant curve of wood paneling, bringing softness to the space. 

5. This neutral scheme 

A living room full of organic shapes and a pale color scheme

(Image credit: Pablo Enriquez. Design: Night Palm)

This Miami condo by Tiffany Howell of Night Palm was designed for founder of Agent Nateur, Jena Covello. I love it first and foremost for the shapes used throughout the space - organic curves, pleasing waves and beautiful textures and fabrics. Its neutral color scheme is evocative too, filled with sandy creams, bright whites, and pops of dusty pinks transporting you to a 1980’s Miami party pad. The main veranda overlooks the ocean featuring all-weather velvet oversized lounge chairs and the sounds of the crashing waves provide a tranquil soundtrack.

Agatha curvy full length standing mirror from Neutypechic  (opens in new tab)
Get the look

Agatha curvy full length standing mirror from Neutypechic  (opens in new tab)

This wave-edge full length mirror will bring a playfulness to any living room, and look perfect leaned casually against a wall.

6. This airy California home

a california inspired living room design

(Image credit: Aaron Leitz. Design: Lisa Staton)

Belingham-based Lisa Staton (opens in new tab) is the mastermind behind this laidback, airy California home and the living room is where the Bohemian vibe really kicks in with a pleasing pale scheme, vintage finds and plenty of texture.

'The living room was all about creating a relaxed and casual vibe,' Lisa explains. 'We upholstered a vintage sofa in flax linen and set it atop a Mohair wool plush thick rug, while the vintage wicker chairs were an online auction find that was white and slightly broken when we found them. We took a chance and had a local maker repair the wicker and stain the chairs to a more neutral tone.'  

See this California home in full here

7. This Chelsea apartment

A Chelsea apartment

(Image credit: Le Whit)

A recently completed home by the women-owned, New York City-based interior design firm Le Whit (opens in new tab) also makes it to our top 10 living room designs. Featuring a nod to Art Deco style designs with simple geometry, curving forms, and long horizontal lines, along with tasteful pops of color and custom-made wallpaper illustrations by the client, Le Whit’s latest Chelsea project is full of character and whimsy.

8. This minimalist apartment

A living room with neutral decor and colorful seating

(Image credit: Styling: Sania Pell / Photography: Michael Sinclair)

This fourth-floor apartment in London's South Kensington was designed by local designer Tala Fustok (opens in new tab), who has transformed the modern home's interior to suit the surrounding grandeur outside, complete with a serene neutral scheme punctuated by clever uses of color.

In the living room, white walls leave the furniture and decor to do the talking. Colors are muted and pared-back, the deep purple of the armchair, the lush green from the houseplants nestled in the corner, and the brass accents culminate in a sense of luxury and refinement.

'In comparison to many of our other projects, we were fairly modest with our color pops,' admits Tala. 'It’s important to give rich fabrics and the combination of juxtaposing shades a voice to mask the noise of a white wall, and bring character to a room,' Tala explains. 

Take a look at the apartment in full here.

9. This sunken living room in Hudson Valley

A modern living room with neutral decor including a white sofa, burnt orange chairs and a natural woven rug., juxtaposed with cement architectural features

(Image credit: Sarah Elliott)

This unique home nestled in New York's Taconic mountain range exhibits a sunken living room that is characterized by the use of concrete, with a painted black ceiling, but manages to stay warm and inviting thanks to the soft furnishings and neutral color scheme of browns, beige and earthy rusts. The large sloped window floods the room with light, while offering visual intrigue with asymmetrical lines and the sunken nature gives it a cozy feel of a beckoning snug.

See the home in full here.

10. This home in Paris

A Parisian apartment with layered lighting

(Image credit: Kasha)

This apartment is located in Paris’ Left Back on Rue de Verneuil. Kasha Paris (opens in new tab) did a full renovation of the apartment which was completed in 2021, and then decorated in 2022. In the living room, paneled walls and crown molding are typical of Parisian style decor, and it's the decorative aspect that gives it real charm and earns it a spot on our list. Super chic and modern, yet at the same time, paying homage to the opulent architecture of the French capital in a tasteful way.

Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.