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Two Different Ways To Style Your Living Room

By Rachel Wallace

Styling a new home? Let’s simplify the process.

Do you want a timber coffee table or a metal one? Should it be rectangular or round? Or do you want a style that is timeless and warm, or more modern and distinct?

To break it down, we’ve chosen two popular design styles and enlisted the help of Kmart’s furniture buyer, Nicholas Holmes, to show you how to achieve these looks.

A timeless living room

The key to landing timeless style is keeping your fundamentals – like your couch, coffee table and TV unit – fairly neutral in design. From here, you can experiment with decor and sprinkle your personality on top.

Neutral colours

When styling a timeless space, keep your colour palette neutral – especially when it comes to big ticket items like your carpet or couch.

The trick is to keep it warm and inviting.

Avoid overpowering colours and items. Aim for balance. Picture: James Whiting

“The timeless room consists of a calm palette of neutral tones,” Nicholas says. “The base is formed with wood tones, cream and white, layered with a delicious palette of olive, caramel and butter.”

Light timber

Timber is timeless, but colour trends do change. If you’re aiming for something that won’t date too quickly, Nicholas recommends going with a lighter shade of timber.

“Light timbers are so versatile and work in so many spaces,” he says. “The timeless look should be effortless at its core, which allows you to layer with colours you love.”


Light timber works with a range of other furnishings and decor. Picture: James Whiting

Simple lines

When thinking about the shape of your furniture, keep it classic with simple lines and no ornate embellishments.

“Kmart’s timeless range features capsule shapes, arches and curves. The relaxed form of this range is grounded with timber parquetry patterns and relaxed grids,” Nicholas says.

Think natural

When it comes to other fabrics and flourishes, continue to think natural.

Rattan and natural, raw materials make nice accent pieces with this look. Picture: James Whiting

While timber is the first step, other materials could include rattan and woven textures. Avoid harsh, bright or overpowering tones, textures or materials to maintain warmth and balance in your living room.

While a tiny pop of metallic may be permissible, this look is “based around natural materials and a tonal colour palette,” Nicholas notes.

An urban living room

An “urban” living room blends contemporary, industrial looks in a way that is still warm and inviting. It describes a look that is bold in look and feel, with darker colours and more defined shapes.

Darker hues

This look is allowed to be a little more dramatic, with darker hues and higher contrasting colours.

Allow yourself to experiment with pops of colour against a moodier backdrop.


Feel free to experiment with more dramatic colour palettes in this look. Picture: James Whiting

“With a strong black and white base, the urban look is layered with pops of colour, such as pink and brick dust to add a playful touch,” Nicholas says.

What makes this look different to other monochrome styles is that it combines earthy tones with black and white. These help soften the look so it remains calm and inviting.

Metals and dark timber

A contemporary look has a more industrial vibe and incorporates materials like metal and dark timber.


Dark timbers and metal work well in an urban space. Picture: James Whiting

Kmart’s Archer Coffee and Side tables exemplify this thanks to their geometric shape and simplicity.

“The Archer tables are the ultimate urban piece, with their bold shape and sleek black timber veneer,” Nicholas notes. “They feature a statement leg with a curved form, which make a statement in any space.”

Get experimental

Nicholas adds that “big, bold shapes” are essential for an urban look.

Consider Kmart’s Amber Irregular Vase: the interesting shape and coloured glass makes it a fun addition to any space, appearing more like a contemporary art piece than a classic vase.

Soften the look

Don’t mistake an urban look for being cold and sharp. As you’re styling a living room, comfort should remain at the heart of your design.

If you find the look a little too harsh, you can soften it by pairing different materials together. Mix metal and timber, or experiment with plush soft furnishings like a shaggy rug or faux fur throw to incorporate softness into the space.

Similarly, while you want to keep lines simple, comfort should come first. Kmart’s Harrison two- and three-seat sofa range shows how you can have a simple, clean design that doesn’t skimp on comfort.


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