A Countdown of the Most Gorgeous Living Rooms We Saw in 2019

published Dec 4, 2019
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Credit: Viv Yapp

Some say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but for me, it’s the living room. In my opinion, the living room is the crown jewel of a home’s decor… it’s where you can set the tone for the look of your whole house. You can splurge on a few key items because it’s where your guests congregate. It’s where you can laugh with friends, watch movies with family, or melt into your couch watching a ton of TV until you become one with the piece of furniture.

I’m not sure why I torture myself with offering to do these countdown posts, because it truly is painful trying to narrow down the best living rooms from house tours this year when I love each and every home we toured passionately and equally. So, for this post celebrating my favorite room in the home, I’ve not only focused on counting down the 10 most gorgeous-looking living rooms, but also the rooms filled with ideas anyone could steal for inspiration in their own home. As usual, there are a million (conservative estimate) other living rooms we toured this year that are absolutely worthy of countdown list inclusion, but these few really stuck out to me in terms of overall style and their blend of trendy details plus timeless elements.

10. This design editor’s gorgeous living room has a surprising amount of affordable ideas

Actually, Sophie Donelson’s ENTIRE Queens home is filled with pretty brilliant ideas on how to get a good-looking space without spending a ton of money. Her incredibly simple but smart idea in the master bedroom—buying a bed with a square headboard so she can tuck a few yards of fabric over it and swap out the look—is an idea that I will remember for the rest of my life. And in her living room, she placed two large patterned rugs side-by-side to give the appearance of an enormous 10×16 rug. It’s the kind of genius that leaves you with a beautiful home without breaking your budget.

Credit: Sylvie Li

9. This Montreal apartment’s living room has the perfect blend of minimal energy and Paris vibes

Lauren MacLean’s smallish Montreal apartment has A LOT of great architecture, from the beautiful wood floors to the tall ceilings, to that STUNNING fireplace. But absolutely any living room Lauren designs will be beautiful no matter the surrounding architecture, because she has the ability to design a space minimally but powerfully. In this living room, she played with proportion, shape, color, and other elements masterfully and intentionally, creating a room that is at once minimal and soothing and bold and refined.

8. “The Yellow House” author Sarah M. Broom’s New Orleans living room is stylishly sumptuous

Need another example of using only a few design elements in a way that creates a bold space? “The Yellow House” author Sarah M. Broom’s New Orleans living room is it. There’s the use of Anthropologie’s mural wallpaper to make a huge impact on an accent wall. There’s a giant gold mirror leaning against the wall. A simple potted palm reaches for the sunlight. It’s a few key pieces of furniture all combining for a room that exudes effortless elegance.

7. This living room in Argentina may inspire you to add curtains, color, and stripes to your home

Architect and artist Mariana Pussacq is in the textile trade, and that shows in her stunning home. Sprawling and maximalist, yet airy and cozy, it has certainly inspired ME to want to add more curtains and textures into my living room. The color combinations in her whole home are actually worth examining, too.  

Credit: Minette Hand

6. A Scandinavian-inspired NYC living room was designed for connection and community

Not only is Marika Frumes’ NYC loft living room lovely, perfectly proportioned, and a soothing space, it’s the intention behind the room’s design that puts it on this list. “My internal inward mission is to create environments where everyone is welcome, and I feel so grateful to now have a space that can let me live out that manifestation in real life and that I can actually bring people to the table and create environments where they are seen for just themselves.”

Credit: Viv Yapp

5. A deliciously dark and romantic UK living room just might convince you faux flowers are cool

Somewhere along the way, faux flowers (and using them in your home decor) became one of the biggest sins of home design. While their looks have approved loads over the years, folks have been slow to adopt them for their decor. That’s why Jade Oliver’s living room was so stunning and startling to see. The walls are coated in a dreamily dark black color, and a medley of furniture styles are dripping with faux flowers. The result is a bold yet refined mix.

4. Comedian Nicole Byer’s living room is a marvelous maximalist mashup

I took LOADS of design notes when we toured comedian Nicole Byer’s Californian home (the bedroom alone is worthy of worship) and a lot of those notes were from the living room. Designed by Caitlin Murray, founder and CEO of Black Lacquer Design, the space has no dominant design style, no limit on patterns or colors, and a furniture and art collection I’d kill to have. It’s incredibly inspiring and reminds me to go big or go home.

Credit: Viv Yapp

3. The couch matches the walls in this lovely UK home’s living room

Honestly what makes the living room in Naomi Wilkinson’s UK home stand out is how easily recreate-able many of the elements are. There are no pricey, big-budget furniture pieces in here (the sofa is from IKEA), and the art and accessories are clearly a mix of elements they’ve collected over the years. It’s the combination of choosing a bold wall color and the skill of arranging existing decor items—and the casual but beautiful result—that put this living room high on the list.

2. This California rental home’s living room is just so cool

Is the living room of Dazey LA founder Dani Nagel‘s home my dream living room? Yes, yes it is. Is that why it’s on this countdown list? You bet. But even if the color palette doesn’t quite make your heart beat as fast as mine, there are still loads of inspiring ideas to borrow for your own living room. Dani clearly has an eye for design, which is seen in how she chose bold colors for the furniture upholstery, how an energetically patterned rug anchors the seating arrangement, how brass details elevate the space, and how the whole room is crowned by that cool art piece.

1. This colorful San Francisco house’s living room is like a “Victorian on Acid”

I’ve absolutely put this house—even this exact room—on “best of” lists before. It’s just SO GOOD. Every single inch is bursting with style and personality, and yet it all blends together so beautifully. There are so many different patterns and colors yet it WORKS. Even if your personal style isn’t as maximalist or wild as designer Allison Muir‘s, there are still plenty of ways to translate some of these ideas into your own living room—even if it’s just being inspired to be go bolder! 

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