5 Stylish New Living Rooms with Personality

A well-designed living room often reflects the people who use it. And design and remodeling pros are good at teasing out homeowner preferences to create a special mix of color, pattern, decor, and architecture that feels full of personality. Here, pros share details about how they did just that in five stylish new living rooms with personality.

living rooms with personality

Amy Pigliacampo Interiors

Midcentury Mood

Designer: Amy Pigliacampo
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Size: 450 square feet (42 square meters); 18 by 25 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The architecture of the space was so special,” designer Amy Pigliacampo says. “It’s a midcentury home designed by Thomas Nixon and Lincoln Jones that incorporates indoor-outdoor spaces with large windows and design elements that continue past the glass. But the homeowners had dark, heavy furniture from their old home that didn’t do the room justice. So the goal was to highlight the beauty of the space by utilizing elements that felt complementary and like a natural extension of the design.”

Main feature. “Every space should tell the story of the people that live there — what’s important to them, how they live their lives, and how they come together to celebrate moments big and small,” Pigliacampo says. “So my aim is always to highlight the key features of the home while optimizing the space based on the realities of their day-to-day.

“This home has so many unique architectural elements, and while we wanted the room to have a curated look, we didn’t want to compete with those strong details,” Pigliacampo says. “The use of indigenous flagstone throughout the home also served as a major inspiration for the palette and design.

“By layering creamy whites with the grays, terra cottas, and pink tones found in the rock, we created a cohesive concept that complemented the original structure. We chose contemporary furniture with clean lines and brought in warmth with soft texture by using natural materials like jute, wool, and clay and a vintage Acrosonic walnut piano.”

Other special features. “The accent chairs are pretty special,” Pigliacampo says. “They were much bolder than anything we initially discussed, but when I showed the client, she loved them immediately — and they really tied everything together in an amazing way.”

Designer tip. “Floating furniture,” Pigliacampo says. “There’s a tendency to want to push furniture up against walls and oftentimes it creates awkward proportions. But you can actually create a much more intimate setting when large pieces ‘float’ in the room. This is also a great way to delineate spaces within a large room, using rugs to anchor the various zones.”

living room with personality

Mark D. Williams Custom Homes

Coastal Character

Designer: Kate Regan of The Sitting Room
Construction: Mark D. Williams Custom Homes
Location: Excelsior, Minnesota
Size: 399 square feet (37 square meters); 19 by 21 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The clients wanted an approachable yet classic-inspired great room that overlooks the lake,” builder Mark D. Williams says. “The intent of this room was to be used and yet also be dressed up and inviting for guests. They also wanted to hide the screen porch and grilling area from the main views.”

Main feature. “The coffered ceiling beams really accent the great room from the rest of the main level,” Williams says. “We also designed the south-facing windows with a hidden remote blind in the bottom of the beam to be used for privacy and to help on sunny summer days. For the flooring, we went with classic 5-inch white oak with an almost clear stain that was really light and played on the natural beauty of the wood.”

Other special features. “The clients wanted to feel very sunny and joyful in their home, so we made sure to incorporate a lot of colors into the furniture selections to play off the neutral tones,” designer Kate Regan says.

CMC Designs Charleston

Pattern Persona

Designer: Catherine Carabello of CMC Designs Charleston
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Size: 270 square feet (25 square meters); 15 by 18 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners purchased the home in September and needed a small renovation and a complete face-lift,” designer Catherine Carabello says. “They are a young family and needed a home that they could entertain in but also allow their 2-year-old son the freedom to play and feel comfortable.”

Main feature. “The jumping-off point was definitely the wallpaper,” Carabello says. “We felt it was fun but also classic enough that they would not get tired of looking at it.”

Other special features. Brown Tuxedo-style sofa. Boucle accent chairs. White beadboard wainscoting (Cloud White by Benjamin Moore). “It’s a wonderful color for both traditional and contemporary spaces,” Carabello says. “The natural shades added the softness and texture needed to balance the white wainscoting and the wallpaper.”

Designer tip. “Texture and layering are always needed to complete a design,” Carabello says.

Wallpaper: Thibaut

10 Living Room Features Pros Always Recommend

living rooms with personality

Alison Kandler Interior Design

Cottage Collection

Designer: Alison Kandler Interior Design
Location: Los Angeles
Size: 255 square feet (24 square meters); 15 by 17 feet
Homeowners’ request. Play down the home’s Spanish Colonial Revival architecture with a colorful cottage style. “It’s a fun mesh of styles,” says designer Alison Kandler, who used photos of colorful rooms found on Houzz as inspiration.

Main feature. “The fireplace is symmetrical in the room so everything is designed around that existing, very large fireplace,” Kandler says. “Also, the ceilings are tall — 10 feet — and they had dark-stained beams. To play down the Spanish Colonial Revival style, I painted the beams white and added wallpaper between the beams to make the room feel more playful and cottage-like.”

Other special features. “The white sofas, covered in outdoor fabric, and black furniture pieces are great neutral backdrops to all of the colorful accessories,” Kandler says. “The window coverings are sheer, allowing for privacy and softness but still maximizing the natural light. The colorful vintage rug helps tie the room’s colors together. I always mix in one-of-a-kind vintage pieces so each room feels unique.”

Designer tip. “Adding built-in bookcases at the end of a long room helps shorten the overall look, which makes the room feel cozier,” Kandler says.

“Uh-oh” moment. “My client really wanted a large TV in the living room over the mantel, since there is no separate den in this house, but also wanted the room to feel elegant,” Kandler says. “We agreed on a TV with fine art screen savers so the room would never sit empty with a big black TV on the wall.”

Wallpaper: Quadrille; blue sofa fabric: Jaali in Iznik Blue, Peter Dunham Textiles & Wallpaper

living room with personality

 Moore House Design

Barn Beauty

Designers: Blair Moore and Bromley Moore of Moore House Design
Location: Cutler, Maine

Homeowners’ request. “This was a relatively unconventional and labor-intensive barn overhaul,” designer and homeowner Blair Moore says. “It’s the original barn of an old stick-and-shingle Colonial cottage by the name of Coasters’ Chance that’s been in our family for a few generations. The goal was to extend the livable space of the cottage to turn it into an entertaining paradise. What is now the great room was originally the cottage’s barn and was filled with horse stalls. If you look closely, you’ll see the wide planks on the floor and hints of hydrated lime. We wanted to highlight these hints of the structure’s history throughout the design. Making this space functional, inviting, comfortable and of course beautiful were our top priorities.”

Main feature. “The barn used to be totally limewashed and filled with horses and hay, so we really didn’t want to lose that rustic character,” Moore says. “There was a fair amount of old limewash still covering some of the walls and flooring, so adding plaster walls was a sensible material choice for us that we felt would help blend the old with new.

“After much deliberation with the family and our design team, we made the decision to only bring the plaster halfway up the walls. The original vaulted barn ceiling and beams were simply too wonderful to cover up. They’re the real McCoy that everyone always tries to replicate in new builds — covering them up was a no-go for the family. We also enlarged and rebuilt the windows using traditional techniques and old ripple glass to add more light. The final product is a barn that feels modern but still has ties to its traditional Colonial heritage.”

Other special features. “Since this space was so large, we knew that filling it would be a big undertaking,” Moore says. “Step one was adding a massive, cozy sofa that would almost wrap around the room. We also layered in some of our favorite pieces, like the 1970s Hunter easy chair by Norwegian designer Torbjørn Afdal, a vintage rug and our newly designed Passerine daybed.

“We found this wide-planked table with the most incredible patina and we immediately knew it needed to live in Coasters’ Chance. Obviously, we wanted an equally massive coffee table to go with the sectional, so we added two modern-feeling legs with perfectly placed cutouts so that the table actually slides into them on either end. This gave way to a sleek design without any exposed screws or weird joint plate supports.”

Moore House Design

“Uh-oh” moment. “Our team began by pulling up the gorgeous old wide-plank flooring only to reveal a foundation in worse shape than we had expected,” Moore says. “The foundation was cracked to bits and most of the beams under the floorboards had a significant amount of rot due to a large amount of water. This meant we were going to have to put the barn up on jacks.

“When a structure this old has to be put up on jacks, there is always a possibility that it will collapse on itself. This was super stressful for our team, as we were being filmed and needed this to work in order to renovate the space. After the foundation was dug out and the chimney base repaired, we began the delicate process of replacing the beams. Then, much to our relief, we took the barn off the jacks and relaid all those old floorboards. This was a little more than our design team had bargained for amid a three-month, 3,500-square-foot turnaround, but we love learning on the job and were lucky to have some solid, highly experienced contractors to help us through the process.”

Custom furniture and lighting: Moore House Coasters sectional, Passerine daybed, The Sabi coffee table and Steampunk sconce, Moore House Design; plaster: Dillon Construction

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis, and humor.

Premier Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com

5 Stylish New Bathrooms with a Low-Curb Shower

There are many benefits to a low-curb shower. The low barrier creates a safe entry point, helps visually expand a space, and keeps water from draining out. Plus, a low-curb detail is often much easier to construct than a true curbless design. Here, five design pros share how they handled this popular bathroom feature.

Low-Curb Shower

Haven Design and Construction

Geometric Gem

Designer: Jana Valdez of Haven Design and Construction

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Size: About 60 square feet (5.6 square meters); about 6 by 10 feet

Homeowners’ request. “This bathroom is on the basement level of a new-construction home and belongs to the clients’ teenage son,” says designer Jana Valdez, whose clients found her through Houzz. “His parents requested a modern masculine design that could later be used as a guest bath once he goes away to college.”

Low-curb details. “The clients hired us to design the bathroom after the foundation was already poured for their new home,” Valdez says. “The floor was not initially sloped for a curbless shower when the foundation was poured, so incorporating a low curb versus a curbless shower was much more budget-conscious at that point in the project. Many clients don’t realize that on a new-construction home with a concrete foundation, the decision to go with a curbless shower should be made prior to the foundation being poured.”

Other special features. “Patterned geometric shower tile (Nolita matte porcelain tile, 24 by 24 inches, from Tile Bar) adds personality and a modern vibe to the space,” Valdez says. “The geometric tile is set against a simple white subway tile for contrast. A frameless sliding glass door with matte black hardware is the perfect finishing touch.”

The custom vanity is painted in Onyx by Benjamin Moore. The wood-look tile flooring conceals a radiant heat system.

Designer tip. “We tiled the whole wall next to the vanity to give a more cohesive look and to visually expand the size of the shower,” Valdez says.

Wall and ceiling paint: Swiss Coffee, Benjamin Moore; trim paint: Snowbound, Sherwin-Williams; countertop: London Grey, Caesarstone

Low-Curb Shower

SGDI Sarah Gallop Design Inc.

Aqua Attraction

Designers: Angela Neyman and Joty Randhawa of Sarah Gallop Design

Location: Burnaby, British Columbia

Size: About 50 square feet (4.7 square meters); about 5 by 10 feet

Homeowners’ request. “This was the main-floor bathroom in this home, so it would be frequented by guests,” says designer Angela Neyman, whose clients used Houzz idea books to share inspiring ideas. “It was also partially used by a teenager for the next couple of years before moving out to go to university. With these things in mind, the space had to have good storage, be functional and easy to maintain, but also be aesthetically pleasing and fun for guests.”

Low-curb details. “Wanting to downplay the break in the floor, the curb was wrapped in a coordinating tile to match the shower side walls and shower floor,” Neyman says. “This allowed the curb to blend into the shower flooring, allowing your eye to continue to the feature tile on the back wall.”

The back wall is 5-by-5-inch ceramic zellige-style tile in a glossy aqua finish.

Other special features. Patterned white-and-gray ceramic floor tile in a matte finish. Shaker-style alder vanity with marble-look quartz countertop.

Designer tip. “Easy to maintain was a primary goal, so sticking with man-made products is a great way to achieve this,” Neyman says.

“Uh-oh” moment. “Getting the correct layout and variation for the shower feature wall was a challenge to ensure it didn’t end up splotchy or too dark in some areas and too light in others,” Neyman says. “To ensure the client was happy with the blend, we did a dry lay of the tile prior to installation. After a couple of adjustments, we got the blend just right and the client was quite pleased with the end result.”

Shower accent tile: Tencer Mestizaje zellige wall tile in aqua, 5 by 5 inches, Tierra Sol; lighting: Casoria single sconce in antique brass, 14 inches, Visual Comfort; paint: Intense White (walls) and Distant Gray (ceiling and trim), Benjamin Moore

Low-Curb Shower

Betty Balian Design

Palm Punch

Designer: Betty Balian Design

Location: Glendale, California

Size: 250 square feet (23 square meters)

Homeowners’ request. “The entire layout of the room was reconfigured to include a two-sink vanity, separate washroom area, and a wet room,” designer Betty Balian says. “The garden window was also added to allow in natural light along with a touch of nature.”

Low-curb details. “I used a graphic tile pattern to run the course of the floor and curb to make the transition, dimension and perspective of the space more interesting,” Balian says. “The advantage to having a low-curb shower is that it allows for the water to remain in the wet-room area. While a curbless shower has its own appeal with regards to a seamless transition, it can and tends to have water seep outside the shower door, especially when there are drainage issues.”

Other special features. Natural oak vanity with marble countertop. Ceramic shower wall tiles. Palm print wallpaper (Palm Leaves in gold on charcoal, Cole & Son). “The color palette of this space is black, white and yellow,” Balian says. “It creates a sense of fun and whimsy while feeling like you are exported to a nature-inspired oasis. All these colors have been incorporated into plumbing fixtures, sinks, washroom and cabinetry. The lighting fixtures also add a natural geometric glow that complements the space. The wallpaper ties it all together with its color story and nature-inspired organic pattern.”

Designer tip. “When working with a smaller bathroom, a great way to maximize function and space is to incorporate the tub into the shower area,” Balian says. “I also like to use darker colors in smaller spaces, as they tend to recede in the space, making it feel and look larger.”

10 Bathroom Design Features Pros Always Recommend

Low-Curb Shower Details

Archetype Architecture

Marble Marvel

Designer: Kylie K. Bass of KKB Interiors

Architect: Archetype Architecture

Location: New York City

Homeowner’s request. “Create a timeless oasis with maximum storage capabilities and a makeup counter, as the client is a TV reporter and spends a lot of time in her bathroom getting ready” for on-air appearances, designer Kylie K. Bass says.

Low-curb details. A border of Arabescato Corchia marble frames the low-curb shower entrance and complements the vanity countertop. “A low curb allows for a bath mat to comfortably remain in front of the shower as opposed to a curbless design, where it’s easier for water to get onto the bathroom floor,” Bass says. “And we wanted to be able to fully outline and accent the shower by using the Arabescato Corchia slab as the trim.”

Other special features. “We chose black-paneled shower doors because they have a strong yet elegant presence in this small primary shower,” Bass says. “We also loved the combination of pairing them with the clean Bianco Dolomiti marble tiles, broken joint tiles on the shower floor, unlacquered brass Waterworks fixtures and lime-washed walls to create a timeless yet old-world aesthetic.”

Designer tip. “If you’d like to achieve the look of plaster walls without committing to plaster, I highly recommend exploring a limewash wall finish,” Bass says. “It gives the appearance of textured walls for a fraction of the cost.”

“Uh-oh” moment. “Being that this was a prewar renovation, most of the challenges we faced didn’t reveal themselves until demolition,” Bass says. “For instance, we were anticipating somewhat of a narrow space and, sure enough, when we opened up the walls, there were unmovable pipes in strange places. This forced us to close in on the room and drop parts of the ceiling to conceal them.”

Builder: PMN Contracting; custom vanity: GS Woodworking

Low-Curb Shower Details

Lorla Studio

Terrazzo Treasure

Designer: Laura Hur of Lorla Studio

Location: San Francisco

Size: 54 square feet (5 square meters); 6 by 9 feet

Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners asked us for a bathroom that was highly functional and also really unique and playful,” designer Laura Hur says. “They needed more storage and they wanted the bathroom to feel brighter and bigger. At first it seemed like a nearly impossible task to marry the clients’ vastly different sources of inspiration, which included images of colorful, playful and bold, almost retro-like design elements, as well as modern, minimal and very neutral spaces. But we found a way to harmoniously marry the thoughtful, minimal details often seen in Scandinavian design with the clients’ penchant for bold colors and dramatic spaces.”

Low-curb details. The floors, curb, 18-inch baseboard, shower bench and floating shelves are all terrazzo, creating a visually seamless design that helps the space feel larger than it is. Stacked glass shower tiles virtually expand the height of the room. “We primarily achieved the marriage of styles by using bold materials (terrazzo) in a minimal and modern way (clean lines, exaggerated baseboard, floating shelves, etc.),” Hur says. “We drew material and color inspiration from the city of San Francisco, with all of its funky architecture, bold colors, interesting materials and abundance of nature. At the same time, our material application was inspired by the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic found in Scandinavian design.”

Other special features. Brass fixtures and a light wood floating vanity add warmth.

Designer tip. “Streamline your material palette to make a small space feel large,” Hur says.

By Mitchell Parker, Houzz Editorial Staff. Home design journalist writing about cool spaces, innovative trends, breaking news, industry analysis, and humor.

Premier Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

For high-end home design, build, and remodeling in the greater Phoenix area that reflects your vision, Homework Remodels will help you love your home again. Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or email steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss your remodeling project.  We offer no-obligation in-home consultation. Our NARI-certified award-winning designers and craftsman are eager to work with you to make your vision for your home a reality!  See our portfolio here.

Find more informative blogs and articles on HOUZZ and on our website www.trilitebuilders.com.

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