6 Décor Lessons From Rooms With Views

A room that looks out onto an impressive view can present a challenge: How can you create a livable interior design without getting in the way of sight lines? The answer lies in paying attention to furniture height and placement, but also the intended “use” of the space. (For instance, living rooms that also function as media rooms need to balance the competing focal points of the view and a screen, while occasional spaces like dining rooms need only to keep lighting and décor from blocking the window.) Whether you’re trying to redesign a space with a wall of windows or a picture window, we’ve rounded up six spaces that offer a quick lesson in decorating a room with a view.

In this design by Barclay Butera, we see a living room with sliding glass doors that is also used as a gathering space to watch television or movies. For privacy at night, two bamboo shades were installed at the top of the doors. (The material also echoes the woven rattan coffee table.) Since the room is mainly used for entertainment, the furniture is placed so that the screen is the focal point. However, the orange side chair can be easily moved to the side to open up the view.

Get the look

The Hasley Slipper Chair from Ralph Lauren Home is covered in a bright orange linen fabric that makes a statement in any space.

A wall of windows can also serve as a focal point in a living room dedicated to quiet conversation, reading, or entertaining. Treat it as you would a fireplace, and position furniture in a grouping around the window, like in this design by Foley & Cox.

Get the look

With its tailored look and versatile beige upholstery, the York Sofa from Duralee is a sophisticated option that’s also low-key enough to keep the focus on the view.

In a dining room that looks out onto the ocean, the main concern is less about privacy (or deciding on a focal point) and more about keeping the view unobstructed. This is especially true in an open floor plan that combines a living and dining area, like in this space by Barclay Butera. One frequently overlooked feature than can obstruct sight lines is overhead lighting. Here, a glass chandelier with an even, horizontal row of bulbs offers illumination without obstruction.

Get the look

Though the lighting element is enclosed in a single horizontal “shade” rather than multiple glass bubble shades, the Artemide Float L Suspension Light can be positioned so it won’t obstruct the view.

Color schemes can also play an important role in the design of a room with a view. In the above oceanfront space by Barclay Butera, the color palette largely sticks to neutrals that won’t distract from the scenery. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re limited to beiges and browns in a similar space. Instead, pull one accent color from the surrounding environment — like the nautical shades of blue used throughout the space.

Get the look

Upholstered in a rich fabric that’s the color of the sea at night, the Slate Barrel Chair by J Bertrum can suit both traditional and modern décor.

Art collectors, take note: Walls of windows won’t necessarily limit your opportunities to display your collection. In fact, the boundaries within the structure of the window can actually serve to “frame” a standing sculpture, like in this contemporary living space by Eric Roseff.

Get the look

Elevate your favorite piece with the Paradiso Pedestal Stand by Giorgio USA.

In this upper-floor flat by Kendall Wilkinson, two walls of windows present a beautiful vista. Yet, it’s a relatively small living space that required a bit more seating. In this case, a sectional sofa was chosen to anchor the furniture grouping. The low-profile silhouette won’t get in the way of sight lines, and also eliminates the need for a second love seat or sofa (and having to figure out the best way to position this extra piece).

Get the look

With its light gray leather upholstery and sleek styling, the Giorgio USA Sectional Sofa is the streamlined alternative to typical overstuffed sectionals.

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