Diane Sawyer's living room celebrates one of the year's biggest design trends – using nothing but one material

The broadcaster just sold her Martha's Vineyard home – but it's not too late to take a lesson in textures from this stand-out space

Diane Sawyer's living room
(Image credit: Bob Gothard/ Wallace and Co. Sotheby's International Realty)

Diane Sawyer has sold her Martha's Vineyard estate, Chip Chop, for nearly $24 million – but we couldn't let it go without a love letter to our favorite room. 

The living space, nestled inside the 20-acre beachside compound, celebrates everything we love about quintessential Martha's Vineyard style: exhibiting soft neutral furnishings, curated ornaments, and pared-back windows that frame the Atlantic. However, Diane's abundant use of walnut wood stands out above them all.

We may already know about the practical and aesthetic benefits of wood paneling, but the broadcaster has taken this material to even greater heights. Her dramatic use of wood is the most evident talking point in the living room and upholds a classic, traditional aesthetic. However, despite its quintessential style, using wood in excess has never felt quite so current.

Diane Sawyer's living room

(Image credit: Bob Gothard/ Wallace and Co. Sotheby's International Realty)

It may seem unlikely that there is a connection between Diane Sawyer's living room and a current TikTok trend, but as Rhiannon Johns, an interior designer, and head of the brand Piglet in Bed, suggests, her space accidentally taps into one of the year's most popular interior design trends: Cabinecore. 

'When we think of a cabin, we think of a rustic-looking wooden home in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees – this is where the trend draws its inspiration,' she begins. 

'In order to create the cabincore aesthetic, you need to hone in on inspiration from the great outdoors, particularly when it comes to materials and textures. The most important one is wood, as adding wooden elements to your interior is the perfect way to make a start on creating that cabin feel in your home.'

Diane Sawyer's living room

(Image credit: Bob Gothard/ Wallace and Co. Sotheby's International Realty)

Naturally, it's not so simple to redesign our entire space to feel more cabinlike – but there are some simpler ways to draw inspiration from Diane Sawyer's space. 

'You can start small by doing something as simple as hanging some reclaimed wooden shelving, or you can invest a little more and make a bold move such as adding some paneling to your walls,' Rhiannon says. 

The broadcaster has paired her wood with cream-hued sofas and a chequered-pattern rug, but other rustic materials, such as brushed leather and stone, work beautifully in such a space. 

Rhiannon Johns

Rhiannon is Piglet In Bed's Head of Brand. With a degree in Interior Design, she’s the brands go-to for all things interiors related, be it color matching or the trends of the moment.

Diane Sawyer's living room

(Image credit: Bob Gothard/ Wallace and Co. Sotheby's International Realty)

Despite tapping into recent trends, however, Brad Smith, an interior designer from  Omni Home Ideas, explains that this material has timeless qualities that won't fall out of fashion over time. 

'Wood has a natural warmth and texture that adds a sense of comfort and coziness to a space. It brings an organic element to interiors, which helps create a relaxing and welcoming environment,' he says. 

'Regardless of trends, wooden panels evoke a sense of classic elegance that appeals to a wide range of aesthetics. They add architectural interest and depth to a room, making them a powerful design element.'

Wood aside, we're recreating the look with these pieces below.

Diane Sawyer's home recently sold for  $23.9 million. Mark Jenkins of Wallace and Co. Sotheby’s International Realty held the listing. Tom Wallace, the principal broker of Wallace and Co. Sotheby’s International Realty, represented the buyer. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.