Next in line to your kitchen, your living room is arguably one of the most lived-in areas of your home, and where your family and friends gather. With this in mind, decorating your lounging space needs be done efficiently. To make the most of your preferred décor style, three leading interior designers share their secrets in creating a contemporary, yet cosy, living space.

Contemporary classic

Kelly Adami of Copperleaf Studio shares three tips to achieve an inviting classic yet contemporary living space:

Preserve classic architectural details. If you’re fortunate enough to have a home with classical heritage, try to preserve – or even restore if you have to – any existing details such as ceiling mouldings, parquet flooring or the original fireplace for example. These authentic elements are real assets for creating a mix of old and new in your interior that will have timeless appeal.

Avoid trends. Trends come and go so avoid following the “next big thing” and rather select items that you love. Choose pieces with clean lines and simple silhouettes and they will never go out of style.

Start with a neutral shell. Neutral colours are timeless and painting your interior in them will provide the perfect canvas upon which you can showcase your home’s design.

Copperleaf Studio

Mindful minimalist

Known for her minimalist approach to interiors, Debbie Luke of Designed by Debbie recommends these three tips for the “less is more” design approach for living rooms:

Re-think minimalism. Minimalism doesn’t have to mean an empty space. It’s important to curate beautiful and functional pieces.

Find key pieces. Source the essentials to fill your living area, such as a comfortable sofa, a beautiful coffee table and luxurious rug.

A must! A wood-burning fireplace will ensure your living area is warm and cosy, while providing a moody ambience.

Image: Nic Baleta

Shabby-chic it!

Based at the sunny coast of Durban, interior designer Philippa Courtenay of Re-Inspire knows how to work a shabby-chic look. Courtenay suggests these three tips on how to acquire this eclectic style perfectly:

Weather it out. There is something charming in striking a balance between the beloved and historic with the fresh and new. Imperfections are embraced and celebrated! A trademark tip of shabby-chic style is to use weathered, distressed or antique furniture in spaces that they aren’t traditionally meant for. For example a dresser as an entrance feature piece.

Gilded beauty. Ornate frames and framed mirrors can be refinished to display treasured art on the walls. These can be grouped together or can be a large single striking piece as a focal point.

All about the texture. Many shabby-chic pieces are bold and colourful, so the background (walls and floors) for these spaces should remain neutral to balance them out. The key words in this design for me are: simple and uncluttered, textural (wicker, woven), natural (linen) and weathered or worn along with a colour scheme of two or three different colour hues repeated throughout the space.