Colorful + Travel-Inspired Living Room is Perfectly Curated

See how one homeowner pulls from her extensive travels to design and decorate this small living room.

Travel-Inspired Family Room

To create a comfy, cozy spot to read or watch TV, Esther's family room was outfitted with shades of teal and red to coordinate with a Turkish rug she brought back from a recent trip. The walnut end table, hand-carved masks and rug were all existing pieces, while the sofa, drapery and coffee tables were new additions.

Niche Wall

To integrate book storage into the family room, Esther had a 4' by 7' nook added to the wall behind the sofa. For richness, she opted to have the built-in stained in a medium brown tone rather than painting it white to match the trim.

Rustic Coffee Table

When choosing a coffee table for the family room, it was important to find something that was warm and rich in texture, could handle a lot of wear and tear, and wasn't too precious. The rustic wood and welded-steel construction of the table make it super durable, sturdy and able to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Turkish Rug

One of Esther’s most treasured possessions is a 5' x 8' hand-woven Turkish rug. To incorporate the rug into the house in a big way, the entire family room was designed around the rug, pulling the teal tone from it for use on the walls, and using its deep shade of red on custom drapery and with throw pillows.

1970s-Era Swivel

A modern 1970s swivel chair upholstered in a brown geometric linen gives the corner of the room purpose as a cozy spot for guests. When you’re trying to create an eclectic look, one modern touch can really take an otherwise traditional space and make it more unique.

Tribal Pattern

Many of the one-of-a-kind pieces in Esther’s house were handmade by artisans in small villages and tribes in remote countries in Africa and the West Indies. To add to that overall look, custom drapery panels were made from a tribal-striped fabric.

Tribal Style

Any time you’ve got a collection of something and want to use it to make an impact, it’s best to group the items together instead of scattering them throughout the home. By hanging Esther’s hand-carved masks on each side of the family room’s window, they create a natural focal point.

Modern Ceiling Fan

A modern ceiling fan made of bronze and darkly stained wood was chosen to keep the family room cool in the summer. In addition to its practical purposes, the brown coloring of the fan also helps tie together many of the brown tones seen in the room’s furnishings.

Family Crest Tiles

Years ago Esther’s grandfather gathered tiles featuring crests from different cities he’d lived in throughout the world. To put them on display, the tiles were added to plywood, then framed out with 1" x 2” trim painted black. This is a great way to add a sense of history artistically without major expense.

Hand-Carved Masks

Homeowners interested in curating art to be balanced with a wide variety of styles may find hand-carved masks an excellent element in adding shape, depth, color and texture. Just one mask hung among a grouping of paintings and photographs can break up the linearity of squares and rectangles, creating a feeling that’s more well rounded.

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