These 33 spaces in one word? Wow.
For a jaw-dropping space that leaves a lasting impression, it’s all about drama, drama, drama.
From Yves Klein blues and Scarlet reds to metallic wallpapers, hand-painted murals and statement ceilings, to striking pendant lights, artworks and unusual displays, the interiors that have appeared in Livingetc over the years all seem to have one thing in common: they were designed to be seen.
From New York lofts to Grade-listed townhouses in Edinburgh, and from rambling English manor homes to seriously stylish villas in Scandinavia, below are just some of the homes that have left a lasting impression.
Looking to create a sense of drama in your own home? You may want to browse these statement stairs, wow-worthy hallways, dining room pendants that pack a punch, living room wallpaper ideas, and cool and unusual ways to bring the outdoors in.
The pink rug and pops of pink velvet bring a shot of vibrancy to the otherwise monochromatic palette.
Get the look: The Shera rug, Imperial sofa and pouffes are by Layered. The armchairs are from One Kings Lane. The ceiling light is from Dusty Deco.
1970s chairs reupholstered in soft suede splay brass legs across vivid red-veined rugs. White walls are offset with throbbing pink upholstery and red lines that snake like veins and capillaries across the rug. The vaulted ceiling of Catalan brickwork contrasts with the rich pink elegance of the décor.
Get the look: These are vintage Onda lounge chairs by Giovanni Offredi for Saporti. The Oxford sofa, cushions, coffee table and rugs are by Jaime Beriestain. The red artwork is by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi.
Red lampshades punctuate aquamarine walls in an unexpected colour contrast. The original grey shades of these Forties wall lights were replaced with these poppy red drums as a contrast to the pervading blue.
Get the look: The plaster wall lights are antiques salvaged from a French bank and purchased in Beirut. The deep-buttoned sofa is bespoke, upholstered in Kentia velvet in 02 Aquamarine by Wemyss. The Serge Roche-inspired female figurine on the living room arch was designed bespoke together with Fullbrooks of England.
This playful yet polished look is down to the rich palette of luxurious fabrics, mirrored surfaces and brass finishes, with the oversized chandelier as a starting point.
Get the look: The vintage marble dining table is by Willy Rizzo. These are Milo Baughman chairs, recovered in a Dedar velvet. This is a Seventies Vistosi chandelier. The rug is from Stark Carpet. The artwork is Jason Shulman’s The Wizard of Oz.
Lighting doesn't get much more dramatic than this chandelier of 31 taxidermy pigeons, each with a light bulb stuffed in its beak. This living room has a 12-foot-high ceiling, so it needed something dramatic. The chandelier is by British designer Alex Randall and took three days to install.
Get the look: The double-sided sofa is a custom design by P&T Interiors, covered in cashmere and wood fabric from Designers Guild. The throw on the sofa is by Hermès. The side table beside the sofa is a custom design by P&T Interiors. The checked armchairs are by Kofod-Larsen and covered in wood fabric by Osborne & Little. The 31 Pigeons chandelier is by Alex Randall. The painting leaning against the wall is a portrait of Pol Theis by Charlotte Hagen-Cazes. The antique ram’s heads on the wall are from the Black Forest in Germany. The wool rug is a custom design from Morocco.
The combination of modern Tom Dixon pieces, bold turquoise walls, classic Seventies furniture and Georgian antiques really gives this room an eclectic feel.
Get the look: The Plane chandelier is by Tom Dixon, as is the Micro wingback chair and Base wall light. The Serpentine Cloud sofa by Vladimir Kagan is a vintage Sixties piece that Roddy and Andrew had reupholstered. The coffee table is by Aerin Lauder. The Indian rug was brought back from Jaipur and the antique Berber rug was found in Paris.
Everything about this room is va-va-voom, from the wood panelling and beams to the enormous 3.6 metre long dining table, oversized rug and statement pendant. In the background you can even spot a cluster of disco balls, complementing the globe pendant lighting while also bouncing light around the room.
Get the look: The Alkar dining table is by Romanian design brand Materia. The Letters rug is by Layered. The chairs are from One Kings Lane. The vintage ceiling light is from Domino Antik in Stockholm. The brass candlestick is from Oscar & Clothilde. The silver balls by the window were bought on eBay.
On skinny legs, the furniture in this room seems to float above the floor, bringing a sense of weightlessness to the lofty space. The generously proportioned furniture and oversized rug, paired with tall ceiling height and a few individual touches such as the taxidermy sheep, bring lots of drama to this luxe living room.
Get the look: The curved sofa, patterned armchair and Cubes rug are by Layered. The grey sofa is from Oscar & Clothilde. The pale grey armchair is by Laura Ashley. The coffee table is a vintage find. The sheep artwork is by Swedish artist Michel Bussien.
Soaring ceilings, vast windows and a sweeping staircase are just a few of the grandiose features of this three-storey Grade A-listed building smack bang in the centre of Edinburgh. A carefully curated mix of antique and modern gives the space a unique style and sense of personality.
Get the look: These are the Gray 07 armchairs by Paola Navone for Gervasoni. The coffee and side tables are by Eero Saarinen for Knoll. This is the Hepburn sofa by Matthew Hilton. The rug is the Pangolin design by Roddy Murray for Boxer Rugs. The pendant is by Lindsey Adelman. The Bourgie lamp on the mantel is by Ferruccio Laviani for Kartell. The abstract art is by New York graffiti artist JMR.
Sometimes less is more. Keeping the furnishings and decor minimal in this entrance hall creates a clean transition between the different rooms and storeys of the house.
Get the look: The circular sofa is a bespoke design by Studio DB.
Sometimes a striking piece of art (or two, or three...) is all it takes to punctuate a living space with instant drama.
Get the look: The curved sofa, patterned armchair and Cubes rug are by Layered.
The show-stopping feature in this dining area is a floor-to-ceiling mural from Tres Tintas. The brave, show-stopping mural dramatically spans the dining room wall from top to toe, and arrived as five huge panels.
Get the look: The mural is from Tres Tintas in Barcelona. This is the 85 Lamps pendant by Droog. The table and bench are by Timothy Oulton. The chair is by Tom Dixon, covered in fabric from Roche Bobois.
The lovely arched frame on the wall was crying out for a mirror, so it was fitted with antiqued mirror cut into squares.
Get the look: This is the Peaks rug by Paul Smith for The Rug Company. The white vases are Sven, left, and Belly, right, by Jonathan Adler. The feather swan is from Graham and Green. The Milo Baughman Seventies chair was found on Istdibs.com.
The Versailles parquet floors pattern is subtly echoed in a wall of mirrors sliced into diamonds and reflected in shiny tin ceiling tiles in the dining room. The space is a nod to the opulence of Paris, but in an English setting.
Get the look: This is the Waste table by Piet Hein Eek. The Paper chandelier is by Studio Job for Moooi. The banquette is upholstered in Pierre Frey velvet and the curtains are in Dedar fabric. The vases are from Mint. The ceiling is clad in tin tiles shipped from the US – Rockett St George sells similar.
This space positively glows with raw silk, gold leaf, plush velvet, copper, iridescent lighting, layers of teal and rich oak. But it’s done in the best possible taste – an exercise in elegance and burnished beauty – with not a hint of bling in sight. A hand-painted Fromental wall covering combines gold and teal while period pieces add glamour elsewhere.
Get the look: The blue and gold wall covering is Fromental. This Simplified Crillon leather chair is by Soane Britain and the velvet design is the Small Snooze chair by Ochre. The coffee table is from Carden Cunietti, which also made the bespoke bookcases. The central light and side table were sourced by Absolute Flowers & Home.
Frederick Wimsett was commissioned to paint this 18th-century- style mural in this dining room.
Get the look: The mural is by Frederick Wimsett. The artwork is by Mary Temperley.
There’s an edge to this living room, but it’s also very dark, cosy and womb-like. To prevent the palette feeling oppressive, layers of texture have been woven in, with plenty of reflective surfaces and luxe finishes. The original embossed ceiling has darker layers of paint applied on top and is finished with a light-reflecting glaze that looks almost like it’s waxed. The mirrored wall in the living room is actually a wallpaper. The light reflection adds another dimension.
Get the look: The Art Deco Ibex table lamps were bought in the US. This is Antique Mirror wallpaper from the Mariinsky Damask collection at Cole & Son. The sofas are upholstered in Rubelli velvet and faux- alligator-skin fabric from Altfield. The zebra-print fabric used for the cushion is by Abbott & Boyd.
This kitchen was inspired by the look of Thirties Parisian pharmacies. The island was designed to look like a freestanding piece of furniture and the unlacquered brass brings warmth and depth to the space. The Forties circular light is the pièce de résistance.
Get the look: The pendant is from Marché aux Puces in Paris. The Tiffany Blue Amazonite is from The Marble & Granite Centre. Find similar wall tiles at Fired Earth. The cabinetry and shelving are bespoke.
This space is all soft edges and sinuous curves thanks to the liberal application of plaster. The enormous polished-plaster dining/work table weighs over a tonne, but can be moved with ease as it’s fitted with aviation casters. The dentist’s chair by the window was sourced from an antiques dealer in Wiltshire.
Get the look: The multipurpose table was designed bespoke and enlisted the help of Ciprian Zama, of Atelier Zama, for its creation. The pincushion boudoir chair is upholstered in a deep-dyed black silk dupion by Designers Guild. The large photographs were taken by the home owner in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico and converted into 2.8m lenticular prints by Jake Purches of Base 2 Studio. The Seventies American chinoiserie chests are from Paul Smith’s Mayfair furniture shop.
A soft grey paint shade tones down the decorative panelling on the walls and ceiling in this dining room, linking with gunmetal-effect velvet curtains. Mid-century furniture and mesmeric lighting provide modern focal points. The grey softens the period decoration that gambols across the walls and ceiling, leaving just some key areas – the fireplace and a set of sliding doors – in the original dark oak, while the gentle curves of furniture by mid-century masters Arne Jacobsen and Yngve Ekström sit comfortably in the setting.
Get the look: These are vintage Series 7 chairs by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen and Rondino swivel chairs by Yngve Ekström for Swedese, all from Dagmar. The Celestial Pebble chandelier is by Ochre. The dining table and console table are bespoke for Barkerdesign by Dean Edmonds. The artwork, left, is by Mark Powell at Hang-Up Gallery and, right, by Peter Blake. The wall light is by Buster + Punch. The walls are painted in Grey Teal absolute matt emulsion by Little Greene.
This collection of Tom Dixon pendants make a striking display.
Get the look: The Met sofa and chair are from Cassina. This is the B1 speaker from Vivid Audio. The table is bespoke. The side table is the DLM (Don’t Leave Me) model by Hay. The cushions and throw are from Heal’s.
A multi-tiered light transcends all three floors in this stairwell, adding drama by the bucket-load, while the simple design and monochrome scheme has a sophisticated, elegant effect.
Get the look: This is the Hanging Mobile No.405 light by David Weeks Studio. The framed photograph is 5Pointz by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao.
This dining space strikes an elegant but informal note, thanks to a Palm Springs palette and rosewood dining table.
Get the look: The Channels wallpaper is by Kelly Wearstler. These are Beetle dining chairs by Gubi. This is the Caboche pendant for Foscarini.
Distinctive plasterwork and unusually tall windows of this Edwardian property are the setting for an enviable collection of antiques as well as contemporary pieces.
Get the look: Find a similar inlay chest at Myakka.
A huge window lets light fill this dining room, allowing the statement and unexpected wallpaper (snake print – yes, really) to create interest rather than overwhelm the space.
Get the look: The Snakeskin Damask wallpaper in Black is by Timorous Beasties. The Tulip table is by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, as are the Executive chairs. The chandelier is from Georgian Antiques. This is the Mondel rug, designed by Roddy Murray for Boxer Rugs.
Black is the prevailing tone for these walls. It’s a bold and unexpected choice that adds a sense of calm and sophistication to the loft, making the vast space feel less sparse and more cocooning. Brass lighting pops against the black walls. This combination of gold and brass tones teamed with darks is a trick that can make any home look super-stylish, whether in a bathroom or a larger living space. The mix of old with new is a great way of adding tension to a scheme, while keeping the look fresh. The mix of statement accessories match the loft’s imposing scale.
Get the look: This is CB2’s Uno sectional sofa. The throw is by New York-based textile designer Toyine Sellers. The floral cushion is by Martyn Thompson. This is the Highwire ceiling light by Apparatus.
The colours of this glamorous living room were inspired by an Eighties Emanuel Ungaro sideboard. It has influenced the dusky-pink hue of the walls, the velvety shades of the furniture and the kaleidoscope of colours in the bespoke rug. A flea-market painting, bought for next to nothing, has been so exquisitely framed and displayed, that it looks more like an Old Master.
Get the look: The mirror was designed by Peter Mikic using angled platinum-leaf glass. The customised fireplace is from Jamb. The blue painting is Fade XXIV (Turquoise Blue Green) by Oliver Marsden. The framed vintage painting was discovered in a Paris flea market.
In this living room, previous design eras are toasted in style. Moody blues and pale greys highlight the graceful outlines of mid-century armchairs. The central space is an open-plan living room with a dining area, united and softened with rich velvets, a gleaming étagère and layers of lush curtains.
Get the look: The Seventies brass étagère was imported from Holland and the Fifties German side chairs were reupholstered, all via The Mint List Interior Design.
One side of this expansive loft space is covered entirely in this eye-catching ombré wallpaper. Proof that you don’t always have to fill a big wall with photos or artwork – choose a moody wallpaper to add a more nuanced sense of drama and texture to a space.
Get the look: The Ink Wall Mural wallpaper is by New York interiors specialist Brett Design. The Betwixt Bench is by Brooklyn-based designer Alex P White. The rug is from One Kings Lane, which has recently opened an interiors studio in SoHo.
The made-to-measure sofa / daybed was inspired by John Galliano’s love of the bias cut. The diagonal lines elongate its perfectly square two-metre dimensions. Curtains that wrap right around the room add further drama.
Get the look: The velvet fabric for the sofa bed upholstery and curtains is by JAB Anstoetz.
Luxe finishes, dramatic decorating ideas and striking artwork set the tone for this surreal yet surprisingly grounded apartment. An obsession with Dulux’s Blue Poppy shade was the starting point. The swathes of blue envelope you, like that blissful feeling of being submerged in water.
Get the look: The coffee table and white chairs are by French sculptor Jean-François Buisson. The decorative wall mouldings, cornices and mirrored ceiling light were created in fibrous plaster by Fullbrooks of England. For similar radiators, try Castrads.
Pure pastel shades are used as a backdrop to vintage lighting and a dreamily intense artwork.
Get the look: The painting is by Rachel Glittenberg. The wall lights are Italian vintage and the vintage table lamp is from In House Junkie. The back wall is painted in Teresa’s Green estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball. The chair is from The French House. The sofa is by Sofas & Stuff. The side tables are by Zara Home. The ottoman is vintage. The rug is by Designers Guild.
Black is an unexpected colour choice for this library room, but it really offsets the fuschia sofa and colourful rug, and creates a dramatic and cocooning effect.
Get the look: The sofa and chair are from Designers Guild. This is the Borghese coffee table by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance for La Chance. The Split Bright rug is by Paul Smith for The Rug Company. The mirror is French vintage. The prints reflected in the mirror are by David Hockney from Richard Gray Gallery. For a cactus vase like this one, check out The Conran Shop.