Musical Living Rooms: A Playlist of Living Rooms Moods

Musical Living Rooms: A Playlist of Living Rooms Moods

Grace Shu
Aug 13, 2009's been awhile since we had one of these! We've been entertaining a lot this month--friends from all over have been coming in roves every weekend. During the day, we take them to some of our favorite local spots; but at night, nothing is better than just hanging out in the living room, having a few drinks (and/or digesting a big dinner) and chatting it up with some music in the background. So, if you're in the mood to listen to some music and look at a few inspiring living rooms, take a look and listen at our musical playlist of living rooms after the jump...

To kick things off, we're starting with this bold living room done up in blues and white with a gorgeous red couch as the main focal point. The energy from the contrasting colors seems to lend itself well to a hip cocktail party, or even just a great place to have a one-person dance party to blow off some steam. Our musical pick:

Maybe it's just us, but...are vintage oil paintings of beautiful women becoming the trend that's replacing antlers? It seems like we've been seeing them slowly gaining popularity when we looked through some of our House Tour archives. We definitely love how this collection is arranged and mixed with classic mid-century modern pieces--sort of gives the room some soul....which is why we chose Mayer Hawthorne as a musical companion to this room:

If you're a lover of plants, you might like how exuberant this living room is: Combining the living and sleeping areas into one thanks to the daybed, this room is unapologetically bursting with floral patterns. But what seems to make it work is the balance of black and white patterns with strong greens and touches of red. We love the energy of this space so much that we're pairing it up with one of our favorite songs, ever:

As much as we use the living room for entertaining, sometimes an ideal weekend morning is hanging out solo, having some coffee and reading the paper. Especially when it's one of those rare gloomy days when all you want to do is hibernate. This room looks so cozy and inviting--with just a touch of bizarre with the fascinating trio of gold vases in the corner. The same could be said for Bat for Lashes: When I saw her perform live this summer, I was blown away--she's other-worldly in that Björk kind of way (or as my friend whispered to me, "Can't you see her just living out in the woods doing peyote and writing this album...?"), but she really is amazing live. Give it a listen and picture yourself in the armchair by the fire:

Seems like the general consensus for all-white rooms is that it's so lovely to look at, but difficult to maintain in actuality. In fact, it's hard to even imagine having an all-white room in my own home without foreseeing at least ten different traumas happening within the first five minutes (it's Murphy's Law...). But this living room in particular looks so airy: The white element coupled with low furniture makes this room appear thirty feet high. When searching for an appropriate song for this room, we went through quite a few albums before deciding on this:

If simplicity is more of your jam, here's a great example of mixing muted patterns with soft colors and pastels. It's not too over the top (okay, well, maybe the gigantic beat-up golf ball sculpture is a bit out there), and the classic mismatched stripes keep it interesting visually. To go with this down-to-earth room, we picked this tune from the folk-tinged group, Slow Club:

There's a lot going in this living room, but we love how seems. It literally looks like it was decorated with the a few new pieces, some hand-me-downs, and treasures that have been held on to for years. It may not coordinate perfectly, but it's got personality.

We were debating on including this photo in the playlist until a friend observed that it looked "very 80's. You know, if there was a Nagel piece hanging on the wall, it would fit right in." So true! We went on the hunt for finding the perfect 80's song to go with it...after debating over some choice Hall and Oates songs (and even a few Chicago tunes, we admit), we remembered how one of our co-workers loves this song. In fact, his love for this song is only one-upped by his love for the music video...

In our first apartment, it took us awhile to get a couch--in fact, we were sans couch for a good six months or so. Our living room looked a lot like this one where it ended up being not only the space where we lived, but also where we ate, worked, and relaxed. By the time we actually got a sofa, we were so accustom the open space that it seemed bulky and claustrophobic. The advantages of having a sofa far outweighed being without for us at the time; but at least there was one thing we learned about the process: You don't always need a sofa immediately. We kept this lesson in mind when we moved to a new apartment a few years later and took our time evaluating what furniture needs we had. Our pick for this living room is from a group that gets the most play after a break up:

Our final pick of this playlist: It's a bit gothic and weird, but at the same time, bright and light. We love the idea of using books as displays on the wall, and how the radiator becomes its own visual element in the room. For this eclectic living room, we're ending on this classic tune from the ever talented (and ever strange--in a good way) Fiona Apple...

(Images: Living Etc)

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