These two images both portray a contemporary living room. However one is more successful than the other. Find out which space works the best and why.
In image #1, the brown space feels cold, despite having a fireplace. The dark brown paint can be considered warm, but in this application it is not inviting. Between the leather sofa sitting on the shiny hard surface floor and a glass accent table, the space feels cold. A warm wood floor or carpet could solve this. In image #2, the gray space feels warmer. Gray is usually considered a cooler color. The reason image #1 feels less inviting than image #2 is because there is a harsh contrast, between the dark brown and the clean white. It is true that contrast is needed in any space. However this can be taken overboard. The gray living room in image #2 works because the subtle gray is accented with a warm and sunny yellow.
In image #2 the tree and fruit add a natural element to the area and bring in warmth and life. Image #1 has a palm, but the palm is not full enough to stand out against the dark brown. A plant with fuller leaves would work better in image #1.
The rug in image #1 is not wide enough for the space. The rug in image #2 is wider, yet not quite wide as it should be. If the rug in image #2 was as wide as the sofa, the space would look more balanced. If the rug was as wide as the fireplace in image #1, the space would gain more warmth and balance.
Proportions are important in any room. The proportions are a little off in image #1. The one lamp is tiny and almost invisible. Such a large wall needs artwork. Because the lack of anything on the dark wall, the area feels heavy on the bottom and unbalanced.
An important point to remember: when decorating a space, make sure that you incorporate a variety of textiles and elements to make the room a success. Keep in mind where the eye is drawn to and make sure the space is balanced and the furnishings are proportionate.