No matter what your home looks like, there’s always that one room or space where you feel the most comfortable and peaceful. For many, it’s the living room. Who doesn’t love to sit on a comfortable sofa, kick up their feet and watch television or read a book? But bedrooms, bathrooms and even offices can also be areas where the mind is most at ease. Here are some noteworthy influencers, artists and entrepreneurs whose stories will not only inspire you, but so will the beautiful rooms they’ve designed in their homes. From modern to contemporary and traditional styles—renovated or just re-decorated, these spaces go above and beyond simply Instagramable.
Moyosore Michael Martins
Artist Moyosore Michael Martins loves the living room of the Harlem apartment he shares with his wife, Joanna Martins, founder of Culture Spun and their son, Zee. The room gives him a place to showcase his work. The painting on the back wall above the black snakeskin leather chair is one of four artworks in a series that focuses on the celebration of sacred African ritualism. “It was my first canvas I ever painted in New York, four years ago,” Martins explained.
On the sidewall, above the orange sofa, is Masquerade (Egun), which he says, “pays homage to the carnival spirit of ancient and current African tribes.”
The two other paintings express contrasting concepts. The middle work, Mama Ibeji, is about Martins says, “the spiritual consciousness of maternity and fertility.” Next to it hangs Watchman which depicts the strong male figures of the ancient African warrior.
Martins spent quite some time searching for the perfect sofa to coordinate with the walls. He ended up choosing an interesting piece, which had to be shipped over from Europe. “It was designed for Tesla car seats and it became the perfect centerpiece for the living room.”
However, what Martins loves most about the living room is that it’s a place where he can be with his family. “A common theme throughout our home is African artifacts combined with my wife’s interest for crystals and Buddha all around an orange and gold aesthetic.”
Influencer, podcaster, business coach, and founder of Chakra Girl Co, Amber-Lee Lyons is a woman of many talents, including decorating. Her favorite room is her bedroom, which has a high glam meets high vibes look. “What I love about the room are the Parisian-inspired striped walls, tufted bed frame and my antique velvet chair. The chair was my grandmother’s and it’s one of my favorite possessions.”
The nightstands, which she uses to hold tarot cards and crystals were purchased from West Elm. “I always keep amethysts and selenite on by my bed to cleanse and purify the vibes of the room,” Lyons says.
She also hired a feng shui expert to edit the space for optimal energy flow. This included the addition of plants to clean the air.
For NY Times bestselling author, journalist, podcaster, speaker and publisher Anna David, it’s only appropriate that her favorite space in her Hollywood bungalow is a reading corner. “I’m a big believer in doing certain things in certain places…no TV or computers in the bedroom, lie on the couch for watching TV and the chair for reading,” she explains. “I realized a few years ago that I pretty much had to choose between being a TV watcher and being a reader and reading won (with some exceptions). This means I’m borderline culturally illiterate and have never seen Game of Thrones, Mad Men or Breaking Bad. But that chair has gotten a lot of use.”
It’s also nearly impossible not to notice the lightbulb lamp that less-than-vaguely resembles the logo of her company, Light Hustle Publishing. “My friend, who happens to be my company’s creative strategist, said to me very casually one day, ‘Well, obviously you need to get a lamp that’s in the shape of a light bulb.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry? Those exist?’ And she just responded by sending me a link to this one with the text that if I didn’t get it immediately she would.’ The vibe of my publishing company—and life—is all about sharing your darkest experiences to find your light (light in both the spiritual sense and the light-hearted sense).”
David also brings the lamp to her live shows, although she admits it appears to be brighter than it is. However, she says, “Metaphorically, it provides a lot!”
For others trying to design their own reading corners (hopefully to dive into David’s latest book How to Get Successful by F*cking Up Your Life: Essays on Addiction and Recovery), she suggests sectioning off your living space away from the bedroom. “And do whatever you can to make it peaceful: light candles or incense or even put the fireplace channel on (I’ve done it: embarrassing but true). Turn off your phone. And wear blue blocking glasses; I do that even if I’m not reading on my iPad because if you read in the evenings, you want to get your eyes off computer mode and into sleep mode.”
Megan Holiday’s home might not look familiar, but her voice is. She can be heard hosting on KROQ in Los Angeles, ALT 105.3 in San Francisco and getting deep on The 7 Words Podcast.
Holiday recently purchased her first home in the San Fernando Valley. “When I first saw it online, I was drawn to the curb appeal, the Cape Cod style, and how charming it was. You could tell it had a lot of personality, even through the photos. When I first walked up the steps and through the front door the home was bright and open, and I really liked how comfortable it felt. It was the perfect fit.”
Holiday says her living room makes her feel “calm and happy,” which is something anyone who lives in the chaos of Los Angeles can appreciate. “I don’t have a TV in this room, and I spend most of my time there. It’s the perfect room to read a book, listen to my vinyl, or have a conversation with a friend.”
Holiday decorated the space with pieces from a variety of sources. The teal mid-century modern style sofa, which she purchased from the seller was custom designed for the space. But, she is also a fan of vintage. “I’ve gotten some fantastic pieces from family and an old flat in San Francisco.” Additionally, Holiday peppered in accessories from Overstock, which she calls “a guilty pleasure!”
One of the most interesting accessories is a very appropriate framed record above the fireplace. “One of my favorite albums from The Allman Brothers Band, it was a housewarming gift from my best friend and Real Estate Agent who sold me the house, Breanna Webb at Century 21 Masters.”
Entrepreneur, actress and influencer, Cara Santana loves her Hollywood Hills living room “It’s the perfect marriage of both mine and [husband Jesse’s Metcalfe’s] aesthetic and taste. It’s edgy and rock n’ roll like him, but it’s also soft and feminine like me.”
The couple loves to use this room to entertain. “It has the perfect ambiance for just that while reflecting exactly who we are,” she explains.
The furniture is a mix of vintage antiques and modern designs. The Cloud sofa is from Restoration Hardware, while the piano is a vintage Steinway from the early 1900s.
Santana admits she doesn’t have musical talent, but loves using instruments as decor. “It creates a nice sophisticated element to the aesthetic.”
For those who like Santana’s contemporary, yet eclectic look, she suggests a neutral “hero” piece to anchor the space. She also adds, “Bringing in the instruments gives the decor a sense of opulence, but also an accessible lively feel that adds vibrancy.”
Founder of Dominique Cosmetics, Christen Dominique has a cozy, feminine living room that reflects the branding of her makeup line. A mix of high and low, the grey pillows and other decor were purchased from Z Gallerie. The sofa is from Living Spaces, while she bought the rug from Target and the lamp from PB Teen. The metal accent chairs are from World Market.
For those trying to create a similar look, she suggests adding candles and books to take the space to the next level. But she also views her living room as constantly evolving. “I also try to incorporate items that are affordable so that I can switch things up as trends come and go. Lighting is one of my favorite things to incorporate, it can transform anything.”
When television personality, influencer and celebrity stylist Ali Levine was purchasing a new home in the middle of her pregnancy, she was looking forward to having a large bathroom because she says the water made her feel not only “safe and at peace,” but somehow more connected to the child growing inside of her.
Levine’s home is a brand new build, so she was given a choice of two different finishes and several upgrades. She picked classic yet contemporary finishes that will hold their value and upgraded both the bathtub and shower.
As a new mother, she appreciates her bathroom even more. “It’s my sanctuary to get time for me to meditate, relax and decompress. My bathroom is my oasis in a sense and my own little escape. I take a bath at least once a week with my favorite bath salts, candles, bath bombs, music, etc.”
The Las Vegas home of influencer and entrepreneur Naty Ashba couldn’t be more effortlessly cool. Inspired by the movie Sin City, she says, the living room is the most fun room in her house.
She decorated sourcing from a mix of high end and more affordable stores. The sofa may be from Restoration Hardware, but the rug is a steal from Ikea.
There’s also a touch of DIY. Her company Ashba Media designed and created the dragonhead that’s sitting on top of the coffee table.
However, the most striking piece in the room is the piano which belongs to Ashba’s husband, D.J. who is the guitarist of Nikki Sixx’s band, Sixx:A.M.
For those trying to create a similar look, she says, “Pick a color palette or scheme and try to stick with it. For this room, I picked two hero colors that were incorporated into every aspect of the design.”
For beauty influencer Lauren Erro, her Normal Heights, San Diego office is part workspace, part glam room. “I needed the space to be multi-purpose,” she says. “I film a lot of content in here as well as meet clients so my goal was to create a bright space that is welcoming and functional.”
Erro decorated the room on a budget. Both desks were purchased at Ikea. The mirrors, lights and makeup holders are from Amazon. Erro picked up the chair from Target and the rug from TJ Maxx.
To design a home office with Erro’s modern meets boho vibe, her suggestion is to “Pull elements from other rooms in your home. I try to have a good balance between the pure white hard furniture and the warmer natural textures of the wooden furniture, plants, chair, and hats. Most of all is just make the space bright with as much natural light as you can create.”
Alix Greenberg, artist and founder of ArtSugar, created a beautiful vanity space from a nook in her downtown apartment. It might be small in size, but its big in style.
The most notable element is the customized wall, which Greenberg created from art she used for her college thesis exhibition. “My thesis was made up of a compilation of solarized portrait panels on wood. I had an art handler come hang them here to create a tiled look, like textured, sculptural wallpaper.”
Friend David Rogal, who is a senior designer at Vicente Wolf, chose the Amelia desk from Ballard Designs for her. The Ghost Chair adds a simple, but modern touch without overwhelming the space.
Just having a place to put on makeup is a dream for Greenberg, “I always wanted a room like this since I was little. I love dressing up, putting on my makeup and jewelry in here —it’s so girly and just for me.”