Dwell's Favorite 373 Living Room Design Photos And Ideas

“This house for me is about contemplation,” says Adrian. “You come here from the city and the place is saying, ‘Hi, meet yourself again.’”
This 4,500 Square Feet house was designed and built for a family of four. It is situated at the intersection of two large farm fields and a small naturally occurring basin in Sagaponack, New York.
When designing her weekend getaway in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, architect Fernanda Canales knew the remote nature of the plateau and erratic weather conditions would prove tricky. In addition to withstanding the harsh climate, the house would need to also be self-sufficient. To embrace the beauty of the landscape while being open to sun exposure, the home wraps around four courtyards. Brick and concrete with high thermal mass create the foundation; its red hue and rough texture are juxtaposed against smooth concrete and wood inside. A unique facet to the home are the arches in the roofline—barrel-vaulted ceilings span the family room and all the bedrooms.
To add more space to her petite Florence apartment originally designed by Roberto Monsani, architect Silvia Allori incorporated fold-down furniture and storage into the white laminate walls that also support bookshelves.
Rustic, Scandinavian-style The Hut, in Ohio, is a true family affair; the sustainable cabin, covered in cedar shingles, was built by architect Greg Dutton and his brother and father. Inside, views are amplified through a 25-foot wall of floor-to-ceiling windows.
In this renovated midcentury in Seattle, the living room’s fireplace has been powder-coated orange to complement the vintage furnishings, including a test bomb discovered at an antiques mall.
Resting along the crest of a volcanic crater on the little-known island of Nisyros in the Aegean Sea, Villa Nemésis marries the mystique of ancient Greece with modern design.
Rug designer Nani Marquina and photographer Albert Font created their home in a peaceful corner of the Spanish island of Ibiza. In their living room is a pair of kilim-covered chairs by Philippe Xerri, a chest of drawers by Piet Hein Eek, and a handmade Tunisian rug that provides bursts of color amidst the overall color scheme of white, ecru, and cream.
Infused with traditional materials and aesthetics, this open-plan home in Japan strengthens the bond a young family has to nature and to each other.
The master bedroom has access to the netted play nook through a whimsical door that punches through the upper part of a wall. A repurposed street lamp from Copenhagen is suspended from the ceiling.
Halfway through a pregnancy isn’t exactly the ideal time to buy a house. So after spending months scouting San Francisco’s Victorians and turnkey cookie-cutters—and almost defecting to the East Bay—Lorena Siminovich and Esteban Kerner decided to put the hunt on hold until after their baby was born. But then one afternoon Kerner, a design director with Old Navy, logged on to Craigslist on a whim. He saw a below-market listing for a single-family home in Noe Valley, their neighborhood of choice.

With crumbly brick cladding, peeling rust-brown paint, and rotting garage doors, the house lacked curb appeal. But the Argentine couple was drawn to the interior. "It was amazing and strange at the same time," says Kerner of the 1,485-square-foot, multilevel, midcentury maze. "Mind-boggling," adds Siminovich. "It was just a knot of doors and a series of insane stairs to nowhere."
The living area features a weathered metal fireplace, warm wood furniture, and travertine floors sourced by Destefano Marble & Granite.
Within the walls of this updated 1920s Spanish Colonial home is a world-class art collection that includes the work of James Turrell and Jenny Holzer. The abode was meant to contrast with the creative couple’s main residence in San Francisco—a Victorian on a steep hill. The Los Angeles getaway, designed by Síol Studios, was renovated to embody indoor/outdoor living while maintaining the original charm with beautiful bones and arched windows. The placement of the art was an organic process—some were designed in place, while others were placed afterwards such as the Barry McGee surfboards in the dining room.
When glass dominates a home, the result is a borderless residence that syncs with its environs, creating a stunning, new visual and psychological sense of space. See how these glass homes use the versatile material to create ambiance and connect with the outdoors.
All of the exterior furnishings are from Fermob. The wood-burning fireplace anchors the open living-dining space.
A custom sofa was installed on the far side of the bathroom for even more space to relax.
The mountain abode is nestled on a quiet street a mere 10 minutes from the slopes, and it shares its lot with a gathering of large trees. The house also comfortably accommodates up to 10 people, so it's perfect for hosting friends and their families.
The four-bed, four-bath home of Peter and Sarah Diamond and their two adult children is uniquely situated in one of the most remote areas of the Berkshires: Mount Washington, Massachusetts.
After searching for the perfect plot of land on which to build their dream home, a couple instead opted to purchase a "Rummer" home -- a typical example of a low-key midcentury modernist house constructed by a local developer, Robert Rummer, in the 1960s. The five-bedroom, 2,400-square-foot post-and-beam house was strongly reminiscent of California Eichlers, and exemplified the couple’s ideal layout, but was in serious need of a major renovation. The revamp maintained the great expanses of glass, wide-open interiors, and indoor-outdoor living, and added new white concrete floors installed, fixed the radiant heating, updated the kitchen and bathrooms, and new landscaping.
Native Texans and married designers Elizabeth Alford and Michael Young came home to roost 10 years ago, when they ditched big-city life in New York for a ranch house in Austin. The couple immediately knew that the home, originally built by architect Jonathan Bowman in 1957, would need a remodel, but realized that a complete restoration would be too costly and perhaps "not that satisfying" for the designers to work solely within the existing structure. So they stripped it down to the footprint and rebuilt, shaping a family home that would reflect both the hypermodern lives they left in New York City and the deep-rooted cultural heritage that comes with growing up in Texas.
In defiance of its oversized neighbors, this sustainable 753-square-foot home in Perth, by architecture firm Whispering Smith, maximizes its small footprint through built-in furniture and textures of concrete, reclaimed brick, tile, and white metal. Devoid of walls and doors, the streamlined spaces flow into one another, and connect to the ample rear courtyard.
In the living area, sofas and a chair by Piero Lissoni for Cassina join a floor lamp by Michele de Lucchi for Artemide.
The refined architectural detailing is finished with natural textures and subtle color shifts, from clay brickwork to rose linen accents, creating a robust yet calming home.
Lovely details in living room
Loft Space
The sunken lounge was designed with "slowing down and appreciating the environment" in mind. A custom-made, built-in sofa wraps around the space, bleeding into the stairs and a custom wood display shelf. Not having a TV was an intentional choice. "We wanted the client to be able to lie back and watch the clouds and the sky, to have conversations, to read a book, to play with their pets," says Knights.
The fundamentals of Emmanuel de Bayser’s Berlin apartment toe the line of cool, muted modern design. Yet there’s a trick at play: by adding distinct shots of color, de Bayser gives every room its own richly hued rainbow and, in doing so, creates a personal paean to the more playful side of midcentury design.
Architecture doesn’t have to mean building anew. Sometimes, it can mean removing things in order to rediscover an authenticity that centuries of meddling has obscured. In Milan, the private residence of Vincenzo De Cotiis is one such project; an homage to the raw beauty of an 18th-century space, which reflects the architect’s overarching fascination with aging objects.
The strips of cedar on the ceiling that fan out from the ridge beam are “meant to evoke the canopy of the surrounding conifers,” says the firm. The built-in cabinetry throughout is Sapele.
A more narrow window focuses the eye on tree trunks, creating an “abstracted view of the landscape,” says the firm.
The family cat, Rey, steps in front of the concrete fireplace in the living room. Floor-to-ceiling windows enhance the indoor-outdoor connection.
Houston-based designer Barbara Hill is known for a stripped-down aesthetic that blends art-world cachet with Texas modernism. Vitra’s Slow chair sits in front of a powder-coated-steel bookcase made by Hill’s go-to fabricator, George Sacaris; it was originally built for the Houston house.
“Instead of using a typical frame system, we created frameless windows by burying aluminum channels into the floors and walls,” says Richard. “It kept our glazing budget much lower than normal.” The sofas feature custom upholstery by Inverse Project and HDM.
Plants adorn the edge of the lofted bedroom.
Having worked most of her life on a sheep farm, Claire is well educated, intelligent and unfailingly loyal. Now getting on in years and officially retired, she still skips like a pup in the mornings when it's time for a walk. The original Victorian weatherboard facade has been carefully restored and a modern and spacious two-story timber-clad building added at the back. Travertine floors integrate the internal and external areas.
The open living/dining area gives a good impression of Tas’s catholic approach to decorating, which includes mixing Panton chairs with antiques and homemade pieces.
The glass-enclosed living area is furnished with Scandia chairs and a Fjordfiesta table.
The red niche is the most vibrant space in the home. Cibic says, “I like to spend time in these small little intimate spaces. It’s like one piece of furniture somehow.”
An architectural designer and an artist harnessed the collective power of their design firm to remake a dilapidated mid-century gem into a hillside perch for their family.
San Francisco’s modernists were faced with the issue of building within a firmly established stylistic tradition—think bay windows and gingerbread. Henry Hill’s 1947 renovation of a 1908 Victorian tucked away on an alley in historic Russian Hill provides a remarkable response to the dilemma.
The backsplash is a tarnished sheet of bronze. Raft Stools by Norm Architects provide understated seating.
In the living room, the custom sectional is from Village Interiors and the rug is from Turabi Rug Gallery.
In the living room, Fred sits beneath Tom Wesselmann’s Claire’s Valentine Banner, from 1973. A George Nelson Yellow Marshmallow sofa from 1956 joins a Darrell Landrum coffee table, also from the 1950s, and a pair of Verner Panton Cone chairs.
Since Josep and Encarna wanted to live on a single level, Tapias removed part of the mas’s second floor to create a double-height space. Pendants by Faro Barcelona hang near the balcony Mas. The ground floor, designed to be flexible, currently holds offices for the couple, a library, a living room, and a piano for their teenage daughter. The terrazzo floors are original to the house.
The dining room features a tongue-and- groove Douglas fir ceiling. Original built-ins include a mahogany bench anchored between cabinets whose fronts tilt at the house’s signature 15-degree angle.
The master bedroom, previously a little dormer, has been expanded to include a massive corner window that captures the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, and Richmond Bridge on clear days. A rug by Aelfie Oudghiri for CB2, wool-wrapped pouf by CB2, and vintage chaise by Maarten van Severen creates an impressive lounge area.
Rachel Nolan and Steven Farrell’s weekend house is located a couple of blocks from the beach on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula. Built with passive principles in mind, the low-slung structure features double-thick brick walls for thermal massing.
Clad in textured timber, the interior ceilings allow the structural material to speak for itself, while also providing a warm contrast to the minimal design.
Each home that Wright designed was unique to its circumstances, and the Penfield House was no exception. Set on 30 acres in Lake County, Ohio, the 1950 home has taller ceilings and an elongated profile to accommodate the client Louis Penfield—who was six foot eight.
The modern steel staircase adds a striking architectural element to the space and leads from the ground-floor living spaces to the bedrooms upstairs.
The light-filled living area is dressed with a Vipp Shelter lounge stol (available in Fall 2019), the Vipp Loft Sofa ($6,795), and a Vipp Floor Reading Lamp ($600).
Designed for “utilizing every cubic centimeter to its utmost,” the compact cabin feels large thanks to full-height glazing and clean, minimalist design.
Warm wood accents form a common thread that connects each room.
Instead of peering into the homes of neighbors, residents revel in nature.
In addition to housing the garage, the ground floor features an open living room, a dining area and kitchen, a half bath, and a flush wall of cabinetry for storage.
Artist and corrective-exercise specialist, Ruth Hiller, moved to Winter Park, Colorado from New York knowing that her home would be glass and steel with wraparound windows. She hopped on the phone with architect Michael Johnson, he drew the sketch, and it took a mere five minutes to decide on the design. The common areas are suspended and cantilevered over the backyard ravine, offering views of a winding mountain creek while also doubling the square footage. A Bathyscafocus by Focus Creations fireplace warms up the modern abode.
Designed by local architect Pedro Domingos, this four-bedroom abode in Portugal opens up with whitewashed concrete walls and geometric forms. Integrated amongst hundreds of olive, almond, and cork trees on a site that once held ancient ruins, the space opens up to the landscape with an array of patios, rooftop terraces, and large central courtyard with swimming pool. The midcentury fireplace seen here was designed in 1965 by Spanish architects Alfonso Mila and Federico Correa.

The modern living room is one of the busiest spots in the house. It is where family and friends alike gather to share stories, watch movies, read, and unwind. As you'll find in the projects below, there are endless ways to configure a fresh living space with modern options for chairs and sofas, sectionals, end and coffee tables, bookcases, benches, and more. Innovative fireplaces add a touch of warmth.