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 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
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 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
It's the color scheme of this living room designed by LA-based studio, LALA Reimagined 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
3. This modernist Australian bungalow
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.
4. This sitting room in Melbourne
This project by Angelucci Architects 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
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.
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
Belingham-based Lisa Staton 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.'
7. This Chelsea apartment
A recently completed home by the women-owned, New York City-based interior design firm Le Whit 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
This fourth-floor apartment in London's South Kensington was designed by local designer Tala Fustok, 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.
9. This sunken living room in Hudson Valley
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.
10. This home in Paris
This apartment is located in Paris’ Left Back on Rue de Verneuil. Kasha Paris 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.
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Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. 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.
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