A grouping of Asian objects, antique furniture, and hip odds and ends makes this sitting room a laid-back destination.
Just the Right Mix
An Asian bust made of unglazed ceramic and prints of frescoes from Pompeii establishes an exotic ambience the minute you walk through the front door. The owners' keys are hung on a larger key with hooks for easy finding.

Following decorating advice can be like reading several road maps at the same time. One source may tell you to stick to a certain style, while another influence might pull you in the opposite direction. And like most people who own a hodgepodge of things, you may feel as if you're entering uncharted territory. That's why when homeowners Keith Arnold and Marc Ferguson pulled together their living room, they didn't follow any set rules.

Fitting It All In
When they moved into their 1920s Atlanta cottage, they faced the common challenge of merging two households into one. Keith and Marc knew that a good blending of items was the key. Placing the main pieces of furniture in the room first, such as their sofa, side chairs, and coffee table, they filled in from there. "Because the fireplace is the focal point, we arranged the furniture around it," Keith explains.

Make Way for Changing Tastes
Keith admits that some of the items in their living room resulted from past interests that have since waned. "There was a period when Asian pieces just jumped out at me. I started collecting them, but somewhere along the way, I stopped," he says. "Now I have them mixed in with everything else."

So don't worry if you're not taking the straight and narrow path to decorating. Just like these homeowners discovered, it's the comfort factor that counts.

"Just the Right Mix" is from the February 2008 issue of Southern Living.