9 of the best living rooms in the world – as chosen by the interior design experts

These extraordinary living rooms – from the best interior designers in the world – are the inspiration you need for your next renovation

It’s the moment all interior design aficionados have been awaiting: 2021’s By Design: The World’s Best Contemporary Interior Designers, the bible of interior design, has just launched.
Building on Phaidon’s first foray into the interior design category, By Design: The World’s Best Contemporary Interior Designers introduces us to the most groundbreaking interior designers working today.
The book which has been dubbed the Oscars of the design world celebrates the globe’s greatest interior designers – and we’ve been given a preview with an edited extract of the best living rooms in the book, which we are sharing with you, below.

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1. STUDIO ASHBY

world's best living rooms
Studio Ashby: Floral Court, Private Residence, Living Room, London, UK, 2019. Photography: Philip Durrant, courtesy of Studio Ashby

With her Anglo/South African background, Sophie’s work reflects both heritages in a fresh, modern, and welcoming way, whether it’s a design scheme for a penthouse overlooking the Thames, a boutique hotel or restaurant, or a rambling country or seaside retreat.

For this private residence in London’s upscale Floral Court development, Sophie has chosen a boldly captivating color palette, with unique pieces that included a burr-elm coffee table and a dining table with dried flowers, and lashings of contemporary shapes, art, and furniture.

Design philosophy: A sharp eye for combining antiques and modern furniture.

Add throw pillows to whatever room needs an extra dose of comfy. Filled with a fluffy faux down insert, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style. Available in four sizes and all measurements are made without pillow insert.

<< More Throw Pillow Styles >>

2. ROMANEK DESIGN STUDIO

world's best living rooms
Romanek Design Studio: The Bu, Private Residence, Malibu, California, USA, 2019. Photography: Justin Coit, courtesy of Romanek Design Studio

Brigette Romanek opened her Los Angeles-based Romanek Design Studio in 2018 and has since garnered a huge following. Her studio has grown exponentially over two years, and it is easy to see why.

For this family home in Malibu, Brigette created a space that was elegant yet modern. A carefully considered mix of sleek contemporary furniture, bold color, and sublime texture make up this expertly designed small living room.

Design philosophy: A gift for incorporating her clients’ art collections, and a love of greenery.

They’re made from a woven, polyester chenille for a soft and textured look. Plus, choosing from our wide array of designs, you’re sure to find just the rug to match your decor. Rugs are one of the best, attention-grabbing pieces to design a room around. Use the colors within the rug to help choose art prints, furniture fabric, and accent pillows.

<< More Rug Styles >>

3. KIT KEMP

world's best living rooms
Kit Kemp: Hyde Park Gate, Private Residence, Drawing Room, London, UK, 2020. Photography: Simon Brown, Courtesy of Firmdale Hotels

Kit Kemp is a powerhouse in the interior design world. Her day job may be as creative director of Firmdale Hotels, overseeing the look and style of 10 hotels, but her vision extends well beyond the ostentatious bedheads she is famous for.

As an author, public speaker, and blogger, she fills her audience with a belief that they, too, can throw out the rulebook and pair seemingly mismatched patterns (don’t be fooled, however, there is plenty of method to what she does), and that they can bring a bit of color and verve to their lives. It’s this sense of fun and abandonment that has seen so many other brands lining up to work with her, hoping to harness her talents for themselves. As we discovered when working together on our June 2019 Centenary issue, she is a dream collaborator, able to see the whole and the micro, delighting in new ideas.

Design philosophy: Organic materials, hand-crated designs and uplifting colors.

Find somewhere soft to land. Our floor cushions are the super comfy and style-forward option for the boho side of us all. They’re UV coated to protect against fading and water-resistant so you can avoid scrambling to bring them inside whenever there’s a touch of weather. Grab a few to have on hand whenever seating is hard to come by or for a fun option for kids to use out in the yard.

<< More Floor Cushion Styles >>

4. GRISANTI & CUSSEN

world's best living rooms
Grisanti & Cussen: Casa FOA, Temporary Display, Living Room, Santiago, Chile, 2017. Photography: Alfredo Gildemeister, Courtesy of Grisanti & Cussen

Chile-based boutique design firm Grisanti & Cussen was founded in 2007 by architect Hugo Grisanti and designer Kana Cussen. The duo is thorough researchers, gifted with a sense for color, texture, and using sustainable materials.

This contemporary apartment in Sweden – designed for housing company Riksbyggen – marries the formal simplicity of Scandinavian furniture with the lively palettes of Latin America, with the living room walls painted in broad stripes of dusty pink and Spanish blue.

Design philosophy: Fun, color and vivaciousness.

Channeling your inner art collector? Frameless and versatile, canvas prints can be hung on your walls or showcased on a flat surface. There’s just something about the canvas that feels so much artier. Canvas prints available in three sizes.

<< More Canvas Prints Artworks >>

5. YOUNG HUH INTERIOR DESIGN

world's best living rooms
Young Huh Interior Design: Mantoloking Residence, Private Residence, Living Room, Mantoloking, New Jersey, USA, 2016. Photography: John Bessler, Courtesy of Young Huh

New York-based designer Young Huh is the creative behind Young Huh Interior Design. She founded her firm after deciding to turn away from a budding law career.

For a client’s home in Mantoloking, New Jersey, Huh brings together an everlasting palette of crisp whites and apple greens, grounding the room with a Chinese silk rug and topping it off with a dreamy cloud-motif wallpaper on the ceiling. This home is a curated extension of the outside world.

Design philosophy: Elevated and purposeful, but also suited for play.

As experts in the field of sitting down, we thoughtfully crafted our Floor Pillows to be overstuffed, plush, and firm. These cushions never lose their shape, and the high-quality print makes sure the design stays crisp and colorful.

<< More Floor Pillow Styles >>

6. DANIEL ROMUALDEZ

world's best living rooms
Daniel Romualdez: Romualdez Residence, Private Residence, Living Room, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2005. Photography: Fabrice Fouillet, Courtesy of Daniel Romualdez Architects

Daniel Romualdez has a constellation of high-profile clients, including Daphne Guinness, Tory Burch, Cornelia Guest, Aerin Lauder, and Mark Rockefeller. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Daniel started to work on his dream to work on interiors, initially in the offices of Thierry Despont, before opening his own firm in New York City in 1993.

In the living room, neutral, calming tones dominate. Elements of the natural world provide a focal point. Here, a geological specimen placed atop a coffee table made of logs creates an earthy connection.

Design philosophy: Calm, tonal colors with unusual textures and raw materials.

From sideshow to show-stopper, our side tables will be a stunning modern accent to your space. Selecting from our wide array of artist’s designs printed with a satin finish on birch wood, you’ll take any room from zero to a hundred. Available in a square or round table top, and black or gold leg colors.

<< More Side Table Styles >>

7. FAWN GALLI

world's best living rooms
Fawn Galli: Short Hills, Private Residence, Bar/Lounge, Short Hills, New Jersey, USA, 2017. Photography: Richard Powers, Courtesy of Fawn Galli

Known for her experimental style, Fawn Galli’s launched her own interior design and construction management firm in 2005.

Galli’s iconic-led approach came into play for a client’s residence in Short Hills, New Jersey. While eccentric and visually offbeat, the designer has used acid yellow pops and Art Deco elements to create a space that is brimming with beauty and wonder.

Design philosophy: Old-world elegance with modern sophistication.

Our customers tell us ALL the time how soft and warm our Throw Blankets are (the secret: Sherpa fleece). Even better, they get softer the more you wash them. They’re a perfect addition to any living room couch. Featuring a crisp, vivid design on the front with a reverse white side.

<< More Throw Blanket Styles >>

8. TOM SCHEERER

world's best living rooms
Tom Scheerer: East Hampton Beach House, Private Residence, Living Room, East Hampton, New York, USA, 2017. Photography: Francesco Lagnese, Courtesy of Tom Scheerer

Tom Scheerer is a master of the American East Coast, yet his allegiance isn’t to tradition but to comfort and elegance.

For the neutral palette interiors of an East Hampton house he designed in 2017, the enlivening accent is a color instead of decorative objects – a blue hue sings beautifully in this space

Design philosophy: Never intimidating but are always striking and serene.

Our blackout window curtains are a denser alternative to your standard window curtain, blocking out most light and proudly featuring your favorite designs. Whether you live in a busy apartment or a peaceful neighborhood, it’s always nice to have the option to shut out the sun and relax inside by the candlelight. Available in either single or double panel options.

<< More Blackout Curtain Styles >>

9. HUMBERT & POYET

world's best living rooms
Humbert & Poyet: Villa Odaya, Private Residence, Living Room, Cannes, France, 2019. Photography: Francis Amiand, Courtesy of Humbert & Poyet

Any interior designed by Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet is all about luxury, order, and restraint. They revel in their profound knowledge of this history of design, and this is evident in the spaces they create.

Humbert & Poyet often choose to combine classical Modernism with a sharp, contemporary edge. Villa Odaya, for example, in Cannes, references its Côte d’Azur artistic heritage throughout.

Design philosophy: Classical Modernism with a sharp, contemporary edge.

With our Wall Murals, you can cover an entire wall with a rad design – just line up the panels and stick them on. They’re easy to peel off too, leaving no sticky residue behind. With crisp, vibrant colors and images, this stunning wall decor lets you create an amazing permanent or temporary space. Available in two floor-to-ceiling sizes.

<< More Wall Mural Artworks >>

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