A wall of cabinets makes a fine home for the television.

Casual Chic Decorating

Casual Chic decorating saves the shiny white layout and architecture in this room from coming across as too sterile. Cleverly opening the wall at the base of the window seat also prevents that corner from being shut off from the rest of the room.

This great room is warmed up with upholstery that brings the garden inside all year long. A soft area rug, mounds of puffy pillows, and warm-toned wood furnishings offset the bare glass and shiny floor in the dining section.

In addition to the red-brown bricks of the hearth and the luxurious L-shaped window seat, cozy touches include art, flowers, candles, and family photographs.

The table behind the sofa gives a subtle separation between the sitting area and the rest of the room.

The close proximity of the kitchen to dining and living areas makes the space seem intimate and is ideal when family and friends assemble. A sofa with a curved shape is a gentle barrier between the rest of the room and the sitting area.

The stools slide out of the way, and the kitchen counter becomes the serving station for a turkey dinner or something as simple as crowd-pleasing chips and dips. Thanks to the well-planned architecture, family members can pursue different activities -- like reading, watching the news, and cooking -- and still share time together.

The casual placement of photos, vases, and other decorations give this room a very lived-in look. It makes a stark contrast to Southwestern decorating, which follows a more minimalist approach. To learn more about Southwestern decorating, see the next page.

To learn more about interior design and get tips and information on decorating your home, visit:

  • Interior Decorating: Get tips on how to decorate your home and read about organizing a project and selecting an interior design that fits your lifestyle.
  • Home Decorating Tips: Learn about home decorating styles and get tips on how to plan and complete decorating projects.
  • Decorating a Room: Find out how to decorate a room from floor-to-ceiling.
  • How to Design a Kitchen: Create a kitchen that works for you and get tips on how to choose and place appliances and create a decorating scheme.
  • Kids Rooms: Get tips on decorating your child's room, with information on colors, smart strategies, and money-saving tips.