I'm a Livingetc Editor - These Are the 5 Best Living Rooms I've Seen in 2023 (and I've Seen Hundreds!)

I've seen hundreds of beautiful living rooms this year, but these are the stand out spaces that really caught my eye

A living room with mural on the ceiling
(Image credit: Image credit: Nicole Franzen, Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

2023 has been a stellar year for interior design. We've seen a shift towards calming, minimalist curves, warm and earthy color palettes coming to the fore, combined with luxurious decor and natural materials. The result has been a beautiful minimaluxe aesthetic that feels very now.

I've seen a whole load of stunning interior design projects this year that symbolize the year so perfectly, so it's hard to pick any clear favorites, but these five have really stopped me in my tracks and made me think. Here are my top five living rooms of 2023 that showcase some of the biggest interior design trends of the moment.

1. This Edwardian San Francisco home

A living room with ceiling mural

(Image credit: Image credit: Nicole Franzen, Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

Susan and Ben Work of HOMEWORK designed this San Francisco home. The space had great bones but lacked vibrancy and the beautiful details to make it the perfect family space. 'The home we inherited featured clean, neutral architecture and we turned up the personality and vibrancy by overlaying a palette inspired by the expansive views of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge,' says Susan Work.

The living room decorative highlights include a mirror by Sabine Marcelis and a Pierre Augustin Rose sofa. The centerpiece is the mural on the ceiling that cascades like puffs of billowing smoke down the walls.

'We wanted to bring in an element of ethereal fantasy to complement the stately classical architecture, so the ceiling is a hand-painted mural by a local artist in San Francisco,' says Susan. 

2. This colorful Brooklyn home

A living room with white walls and colorful furniture

(Image credit: Jeff Holt. Chused & Co)

When I first saw this home, I was immediately struck by the designer's clever use of color. Jenna Chused of Chused & Co embraced the bright white walls of this three-story loft - giving the furniture and decor a leading role, with a selection of burnt orange, green pops to tie together a cohesive color palette. 'I started with a deep, dark saturated color because I like the contrast against the white. Then I used complementary colors to develop the space and bring it to life,' says Jenna.

The sofa by Rogers and Goffigon also made a big impact. Cleverly placed in the center of the space, it divides the room with its dual-aspect nature and offers up two perspectives of the space. It makes the sofa the star of the show and proves that white walls can work as a fantastic palette from which to build a cohesive living room color scheme

3. This elegant SoHo loft

A living room layered in brown shades

(Image credit: Adrian Gaut. Design: Studio Todd Raymond)

In a year when going antique and finding your very own flea market finds and sourcing independent really took off, Studio Todd Raymond transformed his own SoHo loft by furnishing it with an abundance of treasure trove antique finds.

Highlights include a 1950s sideboard by Vittorio Dassi, a vintage 1960s Guillerme et Chambron cabinet integrated with light, a contemporary table purchased from a gallery in Madrid, making this modern home a treasure trove. 

The home's dark color scheme, with off-white walls layered with a palette of browns also feels very 2023. Brown has certainly been one of the biggest color trends of the year. 'Brown is one of my favorite neutrals,' explains Todd, 'this is because it is a color found in nature everywhere, and I think that is why it is timeless. The world will never get rid of it!

'We like to introduce colors in subtle and very saturated ways. For this project, we started with a dark, burnt cinnamon color as a jumping-off point, as I thought it paired nicely with the chocolate brown.'

4. The Tribeca apartment of a New York stylist

Colin King's New York apartment

(Image credit: Future/Matthew Williamson)

Colin King's New York apartment certainly deserves a spot on our list. The aesthetic is so soothing and perfectly embodies the minimaluxe movement - not to mention the fact that the living room, dining room area was the shot that made it to our March magazine cover.

Colin found the 1980s apartment two years ago and fell in love with the tall ceilings and plentiful natural lighting that gushes through the frosted glass panes. He transformed into a stylish space with layers of color creating a neutral color scheme,with natural materials, pine flooring, and painted moldings and paneling.

Decor is minimal save a scattering of stone or wooden pieces, and a large indoor tree is used as an ornament. ‘I experimented over and over again with paint colors and furniture layouts until it clicked and the space felt like a home I was excited to come back to,' Colin says.

5. This ultra-cozy Seattle home

A living room with large deep sofas

(Image credit: Haris Kenjar. Design: Hoedemaker Pfeiffer)

Another living room that gets a top spot on our top five is this Seattle home. With oversized Lawson Fenning sofas that face inwards, the living room's set-up stimulates conversation and the room feels open and flexible. The oversized sofa look is so synonymous with 2023 sofa trends, with living rooms prioritizing coziness.

'We wanted this room to feel open, flexible in use, and not too precious,' say Tim Pfeiffer and Peak Petersen who designed the space. 'The room could handle a large sectional, but we did not want to block the entry point from the kitchen to the seating space. The sofa pair solved this issue, allowing for easy entry and exit.'

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

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.