Chic & Practical Living Room Designed With Tarek El Moussa
This guide is part of our Overstock Brand Ambassador series, home design tips provided by industry experts.
How It Came Together
Mood board designed with Melanie McLaws
For a cool but practical look, focus on flexibility. You don’t have to sacrifice impressive style for a family-friendly space. The west Hollywood modern sexy look is achievable as long as it’s easy to move things around for family time.
Comfy Flexible Seating
I need a couch that’s modular and easy to take apart so I can create a wrestling ring for my kids or sit on the floor by the fire and watch a movie. The sectional in this room is versatile and can move into different configurations. I’m not often on the couch but when I am, I like to relax and do nothing, so I love a big, deep sectional for settling in, especially with a chaise. I’m more of a fabric guy vs. leather, and my wife has to have lots of very soft throw blankets and big pillows, so they’re scattered everywhere. My one guilty pleasure is a leather accent chair. Our mountain house is where she allows me to have the big old-school leather reclining chairs. This seating combination says classy, but still comfy and convenient.
Just like the couch, I need a coffee table that opens up for storage and is easy to move. One that can become a dining table for the family (flip tops are great for this), but is also lightweight enough to carry out of the way so I can play with my kids or my dog. I love storage cubes that act as ottomans, especially if they’re movable on wheels. Maybe even a soft woven pouf for extra seating or to kick your legs up. Or leather — it looks high-end, but it’s easy to clean.
I love end tables at the corners of couch for easy reaching. It’s a classic look and a fun opportunity to bring in mixed metals. For example, I’ll look for medium-stained woods for hints of nature, then the table will either have sturdy metal legs or I’ll top the surface with a silver or gold sculpture. The side tables in this room also double as extra storage with the baskets underneath, perfect for stashing toys. It’s stylish, but sensible.
I love big, bold lighting that really anchors a room from above. Upgraded lighting goes a long way. For example, in my own home, we have a chandelier with Swarovski crystals, and a rectangular pendant above our kitchen island. It’s out of the way of the kids, but when people walk in, they say “wow!” I still want people to be impressed. The iconic lighting of mid-century style is a great place to start for statement pieces.
The chandelier in this room is able to make an impact because we kept the room simple with neutrals like white, gray, and black, with subtle touches of blue (I love any blue!). Even though the rug intertwines those navys and lighter greys, its graphic pattern makes the combination more dynamic, so the room doesn’t feel too solid.
Home Design Tips With Tarek El Moussa
How do people typically describe your style?
My favorite styles are mid-century modern and transitional.
What is a favorite item in your home, and why?
My favorite item is my toilet. It opens when you walk to it, heats the rim, plays music, and does all the work.
New trends that you love or hate?
I love wallpaper. We’ve got it all over the house in all our bathrooms and bedrooms. It’s those small details for me, like a textured accent wall, especially wood slats. I appreciate nice lighting, real stone, concrete floors, and custom cabinets, especially floating cabinets. Really anything that’s impressive. I love all the new trends, but I’m not into very colorful tile.
Is there a public space you have been to or stayed at that you have loved? (hotel, museum, tv/movie set?) If so, what elements did you favor?
I love the idea of in oasis downtown. For example, the Bel Air hotel feels like you’re in the country, but the city is right there! It’s gorgeous and very lush and green.
What do you feel like every home should have?
We rented a house in Cali that had a mini bar area in the bedroom and now in every home we remodel, we build one in the master bedroom. It’s game-changing to have a wet bar with a countertop that keeps your drinks cold at night so you don’t have to walk downstairs to get your water.
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