Inspiration Album

Living room

Chair and foot stool

I don't know about your home, but at my place, even with an open concept kitchen and a dining table, we always seem to end up in the living room with all the snacks and drinks squeezed on the coffee table. Let's face it: it's more casual and comfortable than standing around a kitchen or sitting on a stiff dining chair. These days it's rare to have both a family and living room, so it's nice to really put a lot of thought and style into the one you have. If you're looking to refresh your living room and you can't decide between Mid-century modern, transitional, industrial, or bohemian, this look has a bit of all four-for any budget. The aqua sofa is definitely the star of this look and is where the inspiration started. It a great example of how you can have a large piece that's a bold pop of color but still have a calm and neutral look. If you want even more color, go with a more colorful rug that either complements or contrasts the aqua. The gold and wood accessories give this living room an overall warm but luxe look. Of course, you can always mix and match-just remember to buy pieces you love!

Bright living room

A perfect question for Colors Month: Help! After water pouring through my roof for the last month, my landlady has made the repairs and wants to paint my room neutral colours. Does anyone have any good ideas, I'm not sure I want to be another victim of 'Magnolia'? Any ideas would be more than appreciated! I also have dark wood exposed beams and would appreciate any ideas for what to do with them! Thanks in advance, James.

Living room

We love looking to European retailer Zara Home for staging inspiration. Their catalog photos always present unique ideas, usually with a unifying theme behind them. This year, the spring catalog is all about rustic style: timber headboards, layered blankets in natural colors, and lantern light fixtures. Click below for a few ideas.... Rustic Metallics: soft gray walls, antique mirror, white cotton blankets, and a wooden chair rail. Cabin Chic: clapboard walls, distressed metal side tables, and a checked blanket. Cottage Colors: pale gray, worn white, and a bunch of wildflowers. Cool and Calm: worn wood side tables, lantern lights, and a crocheted bedspread. Dark and Moody: blue-gray with glazed ceramic accessories.

Contemporary living room and dining room

'This awesome castle is both a toy and a piece of furniture, and the whole thing was made from a single 48x84' piece of cardboard. The designers built the chair around a triangular inner structure and urge users to take out the little silhouette figures and play. Li, Yang and Lee are sophomores in RISD's Industrial Design program where they completed the project in one week when challenged to make a child's chair from cardboard. Check out some of their classmates' constructions here, and visit Kebei Li's site for more inspiration and beautiful images of this project.

Chair and fireplace

Even though the Polaroid has faded out into the annals of photography history with the advent of digital photography, a lot of us still hold onto the fond memories of shaking, waiting and laughing at what the film technology would reveal after a snapshot. Guess the demise of the beloved low tech photography has brought it back into the popular zeitgeist, with a couple designers bringing out very similar ideas of the Polaroid reimagined as mirrors.... Colin O' Dowd's Polaroid Mirror is 107 x 88mm, comes with a stand, and is available via Design Boom for $29. Then there's the similar, but slightly different Relax Snapshot by Atypyk; this version is flexible, offering a funhouse effect for $12.60.

Light blue ascent living room with fireplace

Q: My husband and I recently bought and moved into a house. I have to choose the curtains for the living room, but I am not sure which is the best optionit has high ceilings. Please does anyone who lives with high ceilings have recommendations/sources for curtains for windows like mine? Editor - Andrea, be sure to check out some of the recommendations made here from a previous reader question about a similar dilemma for some excellent advice about covering windows in a high ceiling space. Got a good question you'd like answered? Send your queries and a photo or two illustrating your question, and we'll see if the Apartment Therapy LA team or our readers can help answer your question.

Living room

I've lived with a few lacklustre bathrooms - in rented apartments and then in my own place before we got around to renovating - and it got me down. So here are some simple but effective ideas for perking up a tired bathroom without ripping the whole thing out and starting over. A new shower curtain, bathmat or towels will add a blast of color to your bathroom and immediately raise your spirits. This could backfire if your bathroom is really past its prime, as it will highlight how scruffy the rest of the room is. It's not as much fun as choosing a new shower curtain, but this chore really will make your bathroom look cleaner and fresher. Plants love bathrooms, and they are good for body and soul too. Find a longer list of suitable bathroom houseplants here. No matter how small your bathroom, there is always room for a picture or two. Most bathrooms play it safe with all white fixtures and walls.

Leather chair

Short on cash for new furniture? There is no reason that improvised furniture pieces have to look cheap and haphazard. This crate buffet is well thought out to be both functional and attractive. You're not alone if you have furniture constructed out of found items. Most of us have something that is making do until we can buy that dream piece or until we find that perfect item. This project from Recyclart proves that even though it's not a gorgeous designer piece or lovely antique there's no reason that it can't look designed and purposeful.

Couch and multiple art pieces


Minimalist living room and dining room


Living room with fireplace



Most of the time we go the elbow grease route when it comes to getting the ring around the tub off, and we've followed flylady's advice and used shampoo in the toilet, but sometimes the bathroom needs something with more gusto. We've been intrigued ever since Gregory blogged about Method's Le Scrub and Li'l Bowl Blu. Le Scrub gets its abrasive character from finely milled marble Lil' Bowl Blu is a non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner. They both have a eucalyptus mint scent, so you know the bathroom will smell like a spa by the time you're done. So when the tang and vinegar aren't doing the trick, you know you have another alternative.

Living room

There's nothing like crisp, white bed linens with splashes of bright color here and there to infuse a bright bit of contrast. We've used two coral pink floor pillows and an inexpensive flannel throw to brighten up our whites. Makes you want to get up in the morning with a fresh start on your day.

Living room

We clipped this image from an old issue of Budget Living years ago. There are so many innovative uses of vintage pieces going on this space: bookshelves in the kitchen, a chalkboard to-do list, and a functional application of a cake plate fetish. In Meg and Ross' kitchen, they used a file cabinet painted to match their decor. It's a smart way to create some extra storage space for very little money. In this kitchen, the owner used a vintage task light over the stove and used various jars and containers to hold color-coordinated kitchen supplies. Katie and Toby's Edgewater Apartment has amazing vintage tile in the kitchen. Stainless steel accessories keep things looking clean and simple against the colorful tile. This photo from June Schwarz's Sausolito Home on AT:SF shows how vintage utilitarian objects can be displayed as works of art.

Living room rich in fabrics

Jenny describes the 'Before' of her compact kitchen best: it was safe. So she decided to add color - but in a practical way. She'd keep the black floor tiles that hide dirt, but add a cheery pop of color in an unexpected place, and throw in some efficient storage ideas for good measure. We started out with basic colors for our apartment when we got married. Last year, I decided to do something more dramatic about the color because our kitchen doesn't have any windows and the whole look is starting to get too clinical for me. For an added boost, I also had the inner walls of the cabinets painted yellow so there is a wonderful colour pop when you open the cabinets. To keep the space clean and clear, I replaced the old dish rack with a couple of hanging dish racks from Ikea. A few command strips were used to hang the kitchen utensils and the kitchen towel - it's fast and easy and I can easily remove and change the layout. Lastly, we added a sliding door at the entrance to screen the kitchen from the little one when some serious cooking is happening. He likes going to the kitchen for a quick snack and to chat with us. Working in such a cheerful environment makes chores and cooking so much more pleasant.

Living room and library