Warm, Soulful Living Room Designed With Luke Caldwell

Warm, Soulful Living Room Designed With Luke Caldwell

This guide is part of our Overstock Brand Ambassador series, home design tips provided by industry experts.


With Luke Caldwell
Brand Ambassador

Star of HGTV’s “Boise Boys” and “Outgrown” Luke is a husband and father of eight with a passion for all things real estate, design, and family. As an entrepreneur and investor, Luke founded the esteemed design and build firm Timber and Love in 2015, as well Timber and Love Realty, in beautiful Boise, Idaho. His talents have allowed him to serve others through custom new home builds, restoration projects, and full remodels. As a designer, Luke is known for his ability to merge beautiful form with practical function, while creating spaces filled with warmth and comfort for everyday living. Luke just released his first design book “Americana Soul.”


How It Came Together

Oversized Coffee Table

oversized coffee table

I love a living room. That’s where the warmth is found. So even if you have a central focal point on a wall, whether it be a fireplace or a TV, there should still be a connection point. For me, that’s what this space all about. People should be looking at each other.

To create a living room that feels conversational, I bring in an oversized coffee table. The shape doesn’t matter, as long as it allows everybody to reach in with the tips of their fingers. I’m all about a low profile – the lower, the better. It’s a comfortable, casual feel, like you could sit on the floor. Sitting should feel invitational.

Conversational Seating

mid-century modern living room seating

I don’t think you need to make a huge statement with the couch as long as it fills the space well. I’m simplistic. Comfort for me is about having some sort of cloth material; all-leather feels a little harsh and cold, so I don’t like leather with a shine or shimmer. I’m more into camel colors and prefer muted leather. It feels soft and warm. Multiple chairs should flank your focal point so the seating arrangement never feels linear.

Cozy Textiles

cozy throw pillows on brown leather couch

Bring in some comfort with throw pillows and blankets so it doesn’t feel like a stiff, picture-perfect space. Leave traces of a comfortable life. I like a textured rug, depending on the flooring, like a fake skin.

Soulful Accessories

decorative gallery wall and rectangular coffee table

I don’t like when something feels 100% like you bought what you saw at the store. It feels sterile. So even when you have a beautiful new bookcase, add a few vintage books or clock radio. These also add conversational points of interest.

It’s also why I prefer textured art, like a canvas. I don’t love wrapped; I like something with a frame to it. I always veer a bit more abstract. I prefer it with styling because it doesn’t steal your attention as much as a random horse or mountain.

Balanced Color Palette

moody living room with leather furniture and rectangular coffee table

I’m a neutral person. I do real deep, muted colors. If it’s too light and doesn’t have soul to it, I don’t love it as much. I want it to have balance behind it, so it doesn’t feel thin. I like light and bright to contrast moody and vibey. Brass accents and wood mixed in can help it look elegant and timeless. This space shows that a living room can still feel homey and casual even if it’s darker.

Home Design Tips From HGTV's Luke Caldwell

What is the first thing you’d like someone to say/feel when they enter your home (or a room you designed)?

To me the biggest compliment is when people feel comfortable, loved, and accepted in our home. I never want design to feel stuffy or pretentious. I love to create an atmosphere of warmth where everyone feels like they can just be themselves, kick up their feet, and relax.

How do people typically describe your style?

I would say most people typically think of my style as strongly influenced by the clean lines of a mid-century modern aesthetic combined with the warmth and soul of vintage heirlooms with a splash of unexpected creativity! I feel simple is always the best. Great design should have a natural elegance and appeal that isn’t trying too hard. I love a space that feels comfortable but unique and timeless at the same time.

What is your go-to material?

I love adding texture and warmth through a variety of materials. I would say my favorites are definitely using a variety of unique wood options. Love working with metal, and I am a huge fan of plaster for added texture and depth.

What is a favorite item in your home and why?

I have a vintage leather couch and chairs that just feel like a cloud when you sit in them because of the worn leather. I love the low-profile look mixed with the timeless feel of mid-century architecture.

Any new trends that you love or hate?

I absolutely love that natural elements are having a huge comeback into current design. Natural materials add so much warmth and character immediately to any space.

Favorite era of design?

Tough! Love the Art Deco / Spanish-style era and definitely a fan of mid-century modern. I have a lot of vintage pieces. I probably own 15 mid-century modern couches. I like things that are more timeless than trendy. I’m not a fan of retro at all, but I do like mixing eras. I’ll bring in a mid-century piece mixed with traditional ones.

Is there a public space you have been to or stayed at that you have loved? (hotel, museum, tv/movie set?)

I would say Lviv, Ukraine. My wife and I recently took multiple trips there and the amount of history and beautiful architecture was breathtaking. I loved the cobblestone streets, and the overall feel is absolutely inspiring.

Do you have any color preferences?

My favorite color is green also never can go wrong with black and white in my opinion. Yellow and red together are not for me. I’m a less-is-more kind of guy.

If your perfect space were someone famous, who would it be?

Louis Armstrong is the first person that comes to mind because he’s got soul. He’s always dressed tidy and had style but was also very fun and whimsical. And I like that — because it’s fun to be elegant and have a traditional, classy, dressed-up look that doesn’t feel stuffy or unapproachable. Louis was kind but looked professional and put together.