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Living room help!
meg12953
April 29, 2012 in Design Dilemma
My husband just bought a charming older Tudor in Tennessee (1927) which we love. We haven't even moved in yet, but I'm already thinking about how to set up the living room. The first problem is, I'm hoping to fit more seating space (yet comfortable) ideal for entertaining and TV watching. The furniture shown is not staying, and is very large. We're making a large move from New York state, so we're starting from scratch with furniture. Obviously that will be expensive, so a pretty slow process.

Right now I'm thinking about taking the custom mirror down from over the fire place and putting the TV there, so that the focus of the room isn't in two different places.

What kind of seating is traditional enough for the space but light and livable enough to keep it comfy and casual?

My other big problem... I don't care for the stained wood trim. It seems too dark. The rest of the rooms in the house have painted white trim, and I prefer it so much more. Is it a sin to paint over traditional woodwork in a home like this?? The blue room is the room opposite the living room and obviously has painted white trim. Can I just continue that into the living room?

Thanks!! Hoping for advice regarding the trim, furniture style, and arrangement of furniture!
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Jamieson
Beautiful home! Wondering if you have children, as that would help matters in providing some decor guidance.
May 1, 2012 at 7:35PM     
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Jamieson
Yes it would be an absolute sin in this case to paint the woodwork! I'm sure others will say different, but this is really a very special home. Try lightening the room by removing those venetian blinds (sorry I have a thing about venetian blinds). and doing a tailored roman shade in a lightweight, light coloured fabric, set inside your window. Get rid of the ceiling fan and get something more modern and lightweight, if you don't need the fan get rid of it altogether. I'd say something like this style would very much suit your space Oak Park Semi-Flushmount. As for the TV over that gorgeous mantel...hmmm I guess, although I'm really not lovin' it. For furniture go clean lines, minimal frou-frou, here is a comfortable example Palm Beach Sofa Jan Showers, I'd do two armless chairs perhaps with a hint of a pattern Brighton Chair. As you will probably losing the mirror I'd suggest a glass coffee table to add a little shine and sparkle Gold Gordon Oval Cocktail Table For extra seating a small fabric covered bench, or ottoman should do the trick. Keep your colour palette light and somewhat monochromatic throughout. Go for texture rather than colour to create visual interest. Decor by Jennifer Inc
Hope this gives you some food for thought, enjoy your new beautiful home!
May 1, 2012 at 9:36PM     
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Hi meg12953. Jamieson has given you some great suggestions, I particularly like the light he found for you. That is the right style for your tudor. Definitely take down the mirror and the fan. I know this is not your furniture in the picture, but notice that this rug is too small for this space. Try to start with a rug, a bigger one than what is shown here, and create a palette from the rug. Please do not paint the wood trim, it is appropriate as is with the architectural style. In this case, it's a drag the other trim was painted white. I would just leave them, but consider unifying the wall colors more. I don't really care for the blue for a tudor, although it's a nice shade of blue for another house. What are the dimensions of the LR?
May 1, 2012 at 9:55PM     
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sstewart
We have a smaller living room and we had the TV next to the Fireplace. It took up space and looked cluttered. We debated over and over about putting it over the Fireplace, as I do not like that look, but we put stone on our fireplace and built the TV into the wall, not just hanging off of the stone, and we love it. It has uncluttered our room quite a bit and we have one clean focal area. You could put 2 chairs and a table maybe where your tv is now. Anyway, you have a lovely home. It is simply charming. Make sure not to just hang tv over fireplace. It needs to be flush with wall. Looks finished that way!
May 2, 2012 at 2:46AM   
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meg12953
Wow! Thank you all so much! This was my first post and you are all so helpful! I hadn't even considered that the blinds were a problem, but I do think they make the space very dark! I love all of your suggestions. If the trim is dark, any thoughts in the wall color to further lighten the space? Am I suppose to take colors out of the fireplace? The dining room matches the living room with the sage green and wood trim. The blue is the odd man out. The kitchen is pale yellow, the halls are the sage green, and there is one bedroom in a chocolate brown. I love the new grey trend but it seems to look so much better with the light white trim. I would be fine with one fabulous, lightening color through the whole house if I knew what went with everything.

@Jamieson, you obviously have an eye for great furniture and spaces. Wow. All of those product selections would have taken me months. My only concern is that this is a smaller home (although very special, and we love it!), and there is no separate family living space, just the one living room. It's wonderful to have that contemporary traditional feel in this home, but my husband and I want to have a really comfortable space to relax in when it comes time for movies. (We don't have children by the way, I'm a resident physician so kiddos are somewhat down the road for me). He's down with the no frou-frou couch, but he may need a little more comfort. Still, It's a great place to start! Thank you. If the TV is not above the fireplace, would you put it against the wall where it is now in that big armoir/console (which will not be there)?

@Charmean, thanks for the suggestion on the rug! I never notice this stuff, just that it seems not quite right. I guess I should be looking for a pallette that is light but also warm to match the trim? I wish I had a deeper shot of the living room to give you. They just took the pictures down from the realtor's website. The dimensions are 19 x 13. Opposite the couch is a radiator. The arm of the sofa closest to us is almost flush with the entry way into the dining room, which has French doors, probably 4' across, then there is probably another 4' towards the blue room in length. So, there is an additional 8' x13' I would guess beyond what you are seeing in the picture. The current owner has a traditional black leather chair, almost tulip shaped, in the corner beyond the dining room entrance, across from the entry way. Not terribly useful space, but of the furniture came out at us a little beyond the dining room entrance, there would still be plenty of room to walk around it.

@sstewart, thanks for mentioning the TV fireplace problem! Could you post a picture of the finished product?? Thanks!!

Thank you all!
May 2, 2012 at 4:12AM     
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melibd
You can search TV/Fireplaces on this site and find many with built in above the fireplace or just go to my ideas book. I have one ugly fireplace and when it hits the top of the list, we will be redoing it.
May 2, 2012 at 4:16AM   
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michigammemom
A classic Persian rug would be gorgeous in your living room. Select something with a lighter field color to enlarge your room. http://www.potterybarn.com/products/daphne-rug/?pkey=cstriped-patterned-rugs Paint your walls a warm neutral like BM's Shaker Beige and use your rug colors to inspire furniture and accessory choices. Consider a small scale leather sofa...just not the hugely overstuffed variety, and a low console for your television rather than a large armoire. Your home is a story-book dream!
May 2, 2012 at 4:38AM     
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katesink
That horrible mirror needs to come down NOW. I know people hate the TV over the fireplace, (I do too) but once you do it you will be amazed how much less cluttered your room is. I would try to make that fabulous fireplace the focal point and keep the furnishings on the smaller side with a more tailored look. If privacy is not an issue then show off those leaded windows they are special. Good luck.
May 2, 2012 at 5:08AM   
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dsma
To do this inexpensive , first I would paint the molding white to go with the rest of the house and give the walls a fresh coat of paint. The mirror above the fireplace is too big. I like the mirror look get something smaller at home goods. I would not put the tv above the fire place. Next decorate with accents, new pillows on the couch would give a nice statement and some plants. Sometimes accents is all you need to spruce up a room. As for a rug, you can just have it hardwood or wait until something really tickles you . I feel sometimes just wait it out and it will come to you when you see what you are looking for.
May 2, 2012 at 5:19AM     
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sstewart
Here is the picture of TV embedded over fireplace. You have to plan ahead as to size of TV and sound bar and make hole to fit as well as have cords coming out the side. We have to build a component cabinet to fit space by TV to hold DVR, CD player, etc. (we still need to paint walls and finish furniture.) It's a process.
Looks like you got some great ideas. Have fun!
May 2, 2012 at 5:51AM   
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Stephanie Rountree
I understand why other have commented about not painting the trim, but it's your house and if YOU don't like it and since the rest of the trim throughout the house is white, go ahead and paint it white. It can always be undone later down the road. I think you will be happy that you did it.
May 2, 2012 at 6:13AM     
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meg12953
@michegammemom, Thanks for the suggestion! I actually found some persian rugs online with a color scheme that I like better. I'm not a red person, so I found some in creams, blues, and browns that are lovely. Some don't have prices listed... I think we both know what that means, haha. You've inspired me! I suppose we really do need a tailored sofa. I sure hope we find one that my husband finds comfy enough. He's got long legs so he likes deeper couches which tend to be plushy. But he would love leather. Any specific ideas about the low console?

@katesink. 'Nuff said. Do you think in order to put the TV above the fireplace it has to have a more impressive mantel? I don't think there's anything over the stone!

@dsma - Inexpensive would be a big help. Now I'm completely unsure of what to do with the trim. I'd love to make it work as is, but man... there's like too different things going on with some rooms having white and some stained wood. It's too big a project for me to take on stripping the rest of it, and I can find NO examples of small homes with wood trim anymore. It's all white, everywhere.

@sstewart. Gorgeous fireplace! I love the color of the stones! I'll keep you posted with what I decide to do with mine.

I really appreciate all of the help everyone. Now I see why this site is so awesome - it's so inspiring!
May 2, 2012 at 6:15AM   
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larissaoc
I too have a Tudor cottage. Please, please do not paint the trim in the livingroom. If you paint the trim and some day regret it, it would be a lot of work removing the paint. Plus, think of resale. Mission style furniture has clean lines and would be in keeping with the age of the house. Also, in small rooms less is more. I agree with the suggestion of a light color on the walls and would suggest a nice oreintal rug on the floor. Enjoy your Tudor!
May 2, 2012 at 6:30AM     
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michigammemom
This media console effectively hides components, blends nicely with your existing woodwork and is formal enough to reside in the same room as your one of a kind fireplace. http://www.ethanallen.com/product?productId=5192688&categoryId=8022 Other posters have suggested mounting your TV above the fireplace, but the height of your mantel would make viewing awkward and uncomfortable.
May 2, 2012 at 6:37AM   
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Anna Baskin Lattimore Design
Hi Meg, I think I am located in your new city. Let me know if you need any help with local resources! You can contact me through email at ahidc@bellsouth.net.
May 2, 2012 at 6:45AM   
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Decor Innovation Designs
Jamieson has already given you such wonderful ideas, so I will focus on the fireplace dilemma you are having, If your decide to go with the TV over the fireplace I would consider doing something were you could hide the TV when not in use or frame it out so it looks like a peace of art, When doing this just keep in mind the style of your home.

As you can see in the first image the room is very close to yours I think if your used the furniture ideas that Jamieson suggest and enclosed the TV like you see in the first image you will have plenty of room for extra seating and it will be a beautiful space when finished. If you do decide to do an enclosed Tv just try and keep the design close to the fireplace design, nothing that will compet with the fireplace.

Hope this helps you out and good luck with your move.
May 2, 2012 at 6:47AM     
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janishill
I agree. Painting that gorgeous trim would be an absolute sin.

Keeping the color pallet of the furniture neutral will allow you to bring in other pops of fun color. For instance on the walls, in throw pillows, and other accessories.

I agree with Jamieson on the ceiling fixture and on getting rid of those horrid blinds. A full length drape, one on each side, hung from ceiling height, left hanging loose, but pulled to the outside edge of each window frame would visually widen the space. These would go well with roman shades and add another layer of texture. (interest)

Remove the mirror and put your television above the fireplace, but hide it. Yes, hide it in plain site: http://www.dynamicaudioonline.com/services/hidden-tvs.html

Try two sofas facing each other. Something similar to this classic beauty: http://www.horchow.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=cprod74090002&ecid=HCCIRangeFeed&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=H5B2D

I love the coffee table Jamieson picked. It would work perfectly with these sofas. A couple of small occasional tables that can be moved about would complete the main seating area.

An arm chair at the end of the sofas and opposite the fireplace will complete the seating arrangement with out taking up a lot of visual space: http://www.horchow.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=cprod71080140&parentId=cat12640731&masterId=cat5720731&index=0&cmCat=cat000000cat000001cat1290731cat5720731cat12640731

Create a small reading area; book shelf, cofy chair, small table with lamp - in the area that is outside the photogragh.


A soft fresh green on the walls (see image) would be perfect. A large sisal rug with a smaller rug on top will add warmth in the winter. In the summer remove the smaller rug to visually open up the space. Similar to this: http://designplusyou.blogspot.com/2011/04/layering-rugs.html

All the best in your endeavors! I would love to see pictures of the finished room.
May 2, 2012 at 6:56AM     
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meg12953
@janishill, This may be a stupid question... but where the heck are the cable boxes hiding in this hidden TV situation? Perhaps there's no cable? I have never had dish before... If your TVs are framed out and hidden, I have no idea where you put the hardware. But, I love the idea that I could have both a TV and a mirror over my fireplace! Thanks for the link! The Nicole sofas are amazing... and probably out of my price range. I wanted two sofas facing each other as well. I'm glad you think that could work.

As far as the soft green... I love it. I think a deeper color would help eliminate some of the contrast with the wood, which I'm not sure I am in love with. However, these are the rugs I've been admiring for the space: http://www.kaouds.com/ (featured rug) and
. I'm not sure the soft green would go with these rugs. Any other ideas?

@Anna Baskin, Hi!! Thank you so much for your offer to help with resources! I will certainly be looking you up when I get into town!
May 2, 2012 at 7:27AM   
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feeny
Just have to add one more voice to the chorus of "don't paint the trim". I lived for many years in a tiny c. 1920 house with beautiful wood trim and white walls to make it pop out and adored it. Then I moved to a larger c. 1929 colonial that had just a little of the original wood trim, but most of it had been painted white by previous owners. Though the white trim is pretty too, I still curse the loss of the original wood (and I've been here almost 20 years).
May 2, 2012 at 8:02AM     
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Thanks feeny. I think that's a helpful perspective. Similarly, I go into so many houses where this has been done. I think the main issue is that stain grade trim is not meant to be painted. It doesn't look good when it is. Paint grade is meant to be painted and a crisp white trim does look good in this instance. Perhaps Meg you can put it in your 5-year plan to bring the painted white trim back to stain grade. I don't think it 's a deal breaker to have two different color trims for awhile. It may not even bother you once you have moved in and get down to daily living. Good luck with your move.
May 2, 2012 at 8:18AM     
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Decor Innovation Designs
Hi, meg12953. i think the cable wire questing was supposed to be directed to me. As for the wires they are all feed through the wall and then pulled out behind the TV. I would suggest hiring a professional electrician for this job, so it is done properly and up to code.
May 2, 2012 at 8:18AM     
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mrs1916
Find a way to hide the tv if you mount it above the fireplace. I think a 21st century tv over the Tudor fireplace would be an odd focal point + fireplace is so lovely; it should be the focal point on its own. Such a charming place. Have to admit that I would paint the trim for continuity with rest of house, and to brighten it. That said, removing the blinds would help brighten a ton too.
May 2, 2012 at 9:53AM   
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houssaon
The picture you posted only shows one view, so I wonder about traffic pattern and what the other walls look like.

I would not like to see the TV over the fireplace in this room for several reasons. One is that the fireplace is beautiful and it is a special opportunity to hang a beautiful piece of art over it. Framed by the two windows this will be a lovely focal point once you remove the mirror. I would not paint the wood.

Would it work to put a sofa on the wall where the TV armoire is now and the TV on the opposit wall? I'd like to see both more centered on those walls. Then you could add a chair on the left by the fireplace facing into the center of the room.

I like the clean lines of this sofa, which comes in several sizes: http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/product/detail.do?productGroup=2695&catalog=filter&menuCatalog=room&menuCategory=201&menuSubcategory=198 The group also has a recliner that doesn't look like one. I like them in graphite or lichen colored covering.

I would also get Mission or Craftsman style wood furniture. I like a TV console like this one that does not take up as much space as the current one: http://www.horizon-custom-homes.com/catalog/item/1584762/6962935.htm

I would look to do the walls a light color and include the ceiling. Either paint it the same color or a shade lighter.
May 2, 2012 at 10:33AM     
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vikpamela
Great house! Have you considered using that blue room with the desk in it as a cozy den. You could put the TV in there instead of having it be the focal point of your front formal room. I guess I'm kind of old fashioned but I like the living room to be a space where people engage in conversation. We had a small English with a ground floor room like your blue room and it worked great as a den. We eventually added french doors and opened it up to the backyard which really created a nice flow to the house. Good luck, it's really cute!
May 2, 2012 at 12:14PM     
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GizV
My uncle told me he never had a couch face the fireplace because it took the focus off of the fireplace. Seeing your room as it is, I'm in agreement. Leave the tv where it is but on or in a much smaller unit, or maybe built-ins. Couch in front of tv as it is and two chairs flanking tv (not against the wall but rather forward and part of the conversation pit). I have swivel rockers in a traditional design with slipcovers. This means you could sit in the living room facing the fireplace or the couch. An ottoman in place of the traditional coffee table would provide additional seating when you have company.

Until you're ready to invest in quality pieces, Ikea can be a budget friendly, but temporary, choice. Consignment stores often have good quality pieces at reasonable prices. Believe it or not, LazyBoy has some good looking pieces in a smaller footprint with a large selection of fabric choices. I have a full size sleeper bed in dark leather (air mattress!) and a small swivel rocker recliner in a similar dark leather. Both would be considered "transitional", a cross between contemporary and traditional, and would feel at home in your space.

While I prefer color on walls, in this situation I'd use a creme lighter then the fireplace for the walls. It will brighten the room and the trim will look striking.
May 2, 2012 at 8:01PM   
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janishill
Hi Meg12953! I love, love, love the rug you picked out, but it won't work in your room. The undertones of the rug are cool, while the undertones in the room (wood trim) are warm. You will need a rug that has the same warm undertones. This rug would work because of the gold in the motif: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/gabrielle-rug-blue/?pkey=crugs-blue-green
It still has the spa blue and the soft cream color with the addition of green and gold.

As for the sofa...find something else that has similar lines. Can't afford Horchow? Try Crate and Barrel!: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/furniture/sofas/barrington-sofa/s243453

While the C&B sofa is not as 'rich' looking as the Horchow one, it has some great detail work. It is a nice piece and would function well in your room.

As for those pesky TV cables...I don't have the answers. This is a job for a professional and will be worth the money spent as it has such great impact on the overall look and feel of the room. It will be money well spent. You can google it and do a little 'shopping' before deciding who gets to do the work.

A good rule of thumb is to get 3 bids in writing. If they are all similar - offering the same thing for approximately the same price then go with the middle guy. If they are all over teh place, get 3 more while being very specific in the details of what you want. Again, if the prices are pretty close go with the middle guy. If the prices vary more than say 50 dollars find out why. The low ball guy is going to do a shabby job since he didn't charge you enough. The high dollar guy is frisking you and the middle guy is being honest!

Hope it all goes well. I am looking forward to seeing pictures in the near future!
May 2, 2012 at 8:16PM     
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Usha Digiacomo
Candice Olson has great ideas on how to hide the TV over the fireplace.
Go here: http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/9-fireplace-design-ideas-from-candice-olson/pictures/index.html

Classic Centerpiece

Sophisticated moldings are combined with a marble-tiled surround for a traditional fireplace. To allow the space to be a conversational area as well as a space to watch television, Candice hides a television behind a piece of remote-controlled artwork so it's out of sight when not in use.

You can also hide it behind a hinged artwork. Just hide it, please.
Your house is beautiful. I am sure you are relly thrilled with the move.

BTW, I agree it is a sin to paint the trim, but at the bottom line, it is your house, do what you like. I am in the same dilemma with the wood floor in the apartment I am remodelling. People love it, and it is fashionable to keep it, but I hated them when they were new 38 years ago, and hate them now. They are going away...
May 2, 2012 at 9:31PM   
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meg12953
Hi guys!

You are all so wonderful. I wish that I could finish the room next week and show you all, but I will have to be patient.

I have been so inspired, however, and I do have some internet selections to show you. @janishill, I looked at that carpet as well and pinned it on my inspiration board - I see your point and I would love it in my space. Hooray!! I hope it's not too blue for the green in my walls. I wanted two couches facing each other as well.. I hope they will fit. As far as the couch, oh how I love C&B couches... I originally wanted the Verano sofa because of the sloping arms, but it seems perhaps too deep for my space. Also, my husband weighed in on all of your wise choices, but because this would be our living room and not just a formal sitting room, he doesn't like the skinny wooden arms on a lot of these formal couches (even though I think they're beautiful). Check out this one I found at Pier 1 though.. rolled arms with a tailored look. It seems kind of retro to me but maybe I just don't have a good eye for this style of home yet... let me know what you think. http://www.pier1.com/Catalog/FurnitureLiving/tabid/981/CategoryId/964/ProductId/36571/ProductName/Carmen-Sofa--Ecru/language/en-US/Default.aspx

Also, many of you have mentioned craftsman or mission style consoles. @michegammemom, that ethan allen console is beautiful. I have also had my eye on the Faulkner media console and library cabinet at C&B... I would love to put all my medical books in one of these cabinets... but maybe the console would look good in our living room if the tv does not go over the fireplace... is it too dark for the wood trim in this room? I think with light on it it doesn't have reddish tones according to reviews - it's not completely black. http://www.crateandbarrel.com/furniture/media-stands-consoles/faulkner-62%22-media-console/s534326#reviews

I think I definitely want a cream colored furniture palette to keep things light and small looking, plus with the current wall color the way it is I don't think it would get too washed out. What do you think if I painted the wall with the fireplace a light cream color coming from some of the shades in the stone as a further accent... would that look ok?

Thanks again!!
May 3, 2012 at 7:00AM   
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meg12953
I also really like this couch... maybe one long couch on the far wall and one shorter couch under the windows?
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/kaylan-fabric-living-room-furniture-sets-pieces?ID=669873&CategoryID=35419#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D432%26ruleId%3D53%26slotId%3D
I think this might be another good option: http://www.potterybarn.com/shop/furniture-upholstery/sofas/landon-sofas/
May 3, 2012 at 7:16AM   
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PRO
Decor Innovation Designs
The pottery barn couch is beautiful, Just keep in mind your room is small and with 2 sofas the room will feel even smaller. I strongly suggest that you look into 1 sofa and 2 or 3 chairs with class tables to make it feel more spacious. The last thing you want to do is make the room feel claustrophobic.
May 3, 2012 at 7:46AM     
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
I like that couch you found Meg. It's a good style for your home. Not too bulky, with a transitional profile. Nice!
May 3, 2012 at 7:55AM     
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Decor Innovation Designs
Meg i found an image that might help you if you decided not to hand the TV over the fireplace, this will also give you some ideas on how to place the furniture. You only see on chair in this image but you could easily add 2 or 3 for extra seating. I also added a couple room ideas for furniture placement.
May 3, 2012 at 8:25AM     
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janishill
I almost gave you the link for the PB Landon sofa! Just keep in mind how it will be used. Will your husband take a nap on it? Can he stretch his legs out? How often will you have guests? Would 4 swivel chairs work better?

You might enjoy using these tools to help you plan everything: http://www.bhg.com/bhg/file.jsp?item=/marketing/registration/arrange_a_room/bhg_splash_AAR_designroom&ordersrc=google1roomplan&s_kwcid=TC|5599|design%20your%20own%20room||S|b|12696980938
May 3, 2012 at 9:28AM     
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GizV
Janishill...just had to let you know you captured my ideal living room, and the one I almost have. I have 4 chairs, an ottoman, and end tables. I don't like coffee tables, too many bruises on my shins ;~D Actually, I love having the open space by not having a coffee table in my small living room (14x16).

The picture with the apricot chairs is a great example of how the fireplace is the focal point even though none of the furniture is facing it.
May 3, 2012 at 11:39AM     
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houssaon
The Pottery Barn sofa is so comfortable and stylish. It is definitely worth the trip to the store to sit in any sofa under consideration.

I like the panels that hide a TV mounted over a fireplace that is very similar to yours. A piece of art could be mounter there too. I don't thin you need to beef up the mantle - it is perfect as is.
May 3, 2012 at 12:12PM     
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janishill
Hi Meg,

I like the sofa a lot. Great choice. Two of them should look fabulous in your new living room.

Here's a suggestion; bring home paint swatches in a variety of colors and shades. Go for sage greens, taupe's, soft golds. Tape the swatches to the wall and look at them for a few days in all kinds of light. The way the room looks on a rainy day will be totally different than the way it looks on a sunny day. Begin taking down the ones you dislike. When you have narrowed your choice down to 3 or 4 colors purchase small sample jars. Paint the area under the front windows. You can divide the space and paint 2 colors on each side. Be sure to leave a nice gap of several inches between the colors. Live with them for a minimum of a week; better if you can wait 2 weeks. By then you will know which one is the perfect color.

There are a couple of other things that bother me about this space. The ceiling is to white. It is a cold white, like snow. Warm whites are better in the south. (I am from Alabama, but transplanted to Massachusetts) You may want to try painting it the same color as the walls just several shades lighter. I always just add a little of the wall color to a gallon of ivory white paint until I get the shade I want. Subtle, but makes such a difference.

The other thing is the inside of the fireplace. Painting it black would draw the eye immediately to it AND it would look cleaner; more finished. Right now it just looks unloved. I can see a huge basket of hydrangeas sitting in it during the summer and a lovely fire during the colder months.

As for the rug...then one we both like isn't exactly a neutral, but it will bring a little life into the space. It has some green in it so it will work if you choose a green paint. It also has both warm and cool tones. Here's a page that will help you with that concept:


Here's a gold that I think would work:http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/goldfield

Here's a green: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/wispygreen

And here' are a couple of taupe/off white/neutrals: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/antiquelace
http://remodelista.com/posts/10-easy-pieces-architects-white-paint-picks

Before you purchase anything like cabinets, buy your sofas. Add the extras after you have lived with minimal pieces for a few weeks. You'll have a better idea of what you actually need. You might like the C&B media console, but a secetary may be more functional for you. Take your time finding pieces and enjoy the process. It will end up feeling more like home and less like a showroom.
May 3, 2012 at 12:17PM     
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meg12953
You folks all continue to knock my socks off. @Janishill, thanks for all of the paint color suggestions! We'll see what happens! I found this picture of a living room with a very similar lay out to mine. Complete with windows flanking the fire place and roman shades! Once again the trim is white people.... I think you are going to make me the last person on the planet with stained trim, but I believe you. I won't paint it.

Anyway, here's the pic: http://www.decorpad.com/photo.htm?photoId=82785. I have to admit that although the coffee table Jamieson found is lovely, it sort of reminds me of my grandmother's house, and I just can't do it. But the coffee table in this picture is more modern and the glass allows more of the fireplace to be seen... However, googling "rectangular glass coffee table" offers no similar finds. Any ideas?

Thanks! Meg
May 4, 2012 at 7:24AM   
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meg12953
Ok I'm not sure that link worked. Here's the photo uploaded.
May 4, 2012 at 7:27AM     
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meg12953
@decor innovation by RGI - I think this photo is very similar to the ones you chose for giving me ideas. It was so much easier to find what I liked based on those. Thank you!!
May 4, 2012 at 7:28AM     
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Anna Baskin Lattimore Design
Hi Meg,

You won't be the only gal with stained trim living in your neighborhood. I promise! I see a lot of houses like yours where part of the trim is stained and part is painted. It's part of the history of the house, and it's a great conversation starter with your new neighbors. They will have a mix of both too.

I agree with Janis about your ceiling...a warmer paint does wonders for stained woodwork.

Good luck!

Anna Lattimore
May 4, 2012 at 7:45AM   
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janishill
That room is lovely, Meg...but I would like to see you introduce the oval shape of the coffee table Jamieson recommended. I say that because I have hit my knee far to many times on the corners of a rectangular coffee table. They are a danger to old and young alike! (smile) There doesn't seem to be much distance between the coffee table and the other furniture. The rule of thumb is 18" (just so you know when you make that decision)

This is not the exact same table as the one pictured, but it is close enough: http://www.ballarddesigns.com/suzanne-kasler-directoire-coffee-table/235901?listIndex=4

Or this one: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/tanner-coffee-table/?pkey=ccoffee-tables (which I prefer because of the extra shelf)

The shape of the metal on the bottom of this one almost mimics the shape at the top of your fireplace ~ which is always good. It would look spectacular: http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Lido_Rectangle_Coffee_Table/810/

OK...I am a little slow today. I just realized why the picture you posted looks so perfect. The rectangular shape is repeated over and over again. We see it in the sofa, in the coffee table, in the mirror and in the windows. The backs of the chairs are even somewhat rectangular in shape. The pillows in the window seats are even rectangular. That is why the room looks so put together. The lamps introduce a slightly different shape to give the eyes a rest.

Do the same thing in your room...but remember your fireplace is not squared like the one in the photo. Try to repeat that shape at least 3 times. The rug, the coffee table (the one I said mimics that shape) and perhaps a dish on the coffee table.

This rug would work beautifully, but it may be to traditional for you: http://www.ballarddesigns.com/cynthia-rug/rugs/all-rugs/195780?listIndex=0
May 4, 2012 at 9:22AM   
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Decor Innovation Designs
@ Meg, I'm pleased I could help you out, and inspire you with images. Good luck, and can't wait to see the before and after pictures. (Smile) If you ever need any advice or have a decor question i would be gladly to help you in any way I can.
May 4, 2012 at 11:36AM   
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Holzman Interiors, Inc.
The fireplace should be the focal point. It is quite beautiful. I would even consider doing a circular feel of comfy chairs as the room is so narrow. And yes, paint away that woodwork...the room will look bigger and brighter

May 4, 2012 at 12:41PM   
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meg12953
Ok guys, I'm a total dork. I obviously have way too much time on my hands, but I photoshopped some of the ideas you all gave me into my new living room, to see how I liked them. Obviously, the photoshopping is terrible!!!!! And of course, the colors on the wall and ceiling are flat and have no bearing on how they will look in real lighting. BUT! I am pleased none the less and thought maybe some of you would get a kick out of it. I can't find a picture of my favorite couches at the right angle to photoshop them in, and I can't figure out how to get rid of the venetian blinds, but I think it's pretty close!

Enjoy!
May 5, 2012 at 7:51AM   
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janishill
Meg...all I can say is WOW!!!Look how much better it already looks...and that is just playing around! Lighter, brighter, friendlier. It is going to be gorgeous when you get through with it. I hope you post pictures.

I had by-pass surgery last Friday...which is why I have had so much time to search for various items and play around with ideas for your room.

If you don't already receive them Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Home Decorators, C&B, Florentina, Bassett, Country Curtains (everything is not country style) and Gump's along with many others will send catalogs. I like to build room boards with them.

Best to you and yours!
May 5, 2012 at 10:26AM   
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GizV
It's amazing how adding a couple of lighter items made all the difference. I'll be adding Photoshop to my list of things to learn. Thank you for sharing!
May 5, 2012 at 12:00PM     
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Mary Pettit
I really do love your fireplace, it is very pretty and adds a feminine touch into a masculine looking room. I love your soft colors you are looking at for your space to bring in more light and keep that cottage feel. Congratulations on finding such a great home.
May 5, 2012 at 12:19PM   
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meg12953
@Janishill, Thank you so much! I will certainly post before and after photos. Best of luck on your recovery!
May 5, 2012 at 12:26PM     
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Jamieson
Wow! Meg, if your photoshop pics. are a template or guide, I'd say you're on the right track! P.S. you are not a dork, lol! Keep us posted, and good luck!
May 14, 2012 at 7:53AM     
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meg12953
Hello all! I wish I had more productive photos to post, but we're in the house now! We have a tiny love seat to sit on, but otherwise, no other furniture, so please excuse the boxes. I wanted to post some pictures of paint samples I have on the wall and see what you all thought. @janishill suggested a soft green, which is in there, as well as a very neutral beige and a soft yellow.

I have been thinking about carrying the color through the whole house. And, I like yellow in a kitchen, I think better than green. Maybe I can do green in the living room and then the beige in the dining room, pantry, and kitchen? Is beige too boring?!

We've ordered the benchwright dining table from pottery barn. We still have no couch, so any suggestions on couch colors would be welcome with any of the paint colors.
June 9, 2012 at 12:23PM   
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Mary Pettit
My eye is drawn to a warm toned color in this space. I have to say again how much I love your fireplace!
June 9, 2012 at 12:39PM   
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GizV
I suggest neutrals for your sofa like a light brown chenille. And I think one of those three cream paint colors will help lighten your space and enhance the beautiful woodwork.
June 9, 2012 at 12:43PM     
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meg12953
I know we still have to get rid of the blinds and the mirror over the fireplace... we're working on it! I didn't think I'd be one for neutrals, but I am favoring the beige... the middle swatch on the fireplace. I think it would make the fireplace pop more than the yellow and I could accent with throw pillows and curtains. I'm still thinking of the Gabrielle rug from PB. I think any of these colors would go with it, but I don't have a swatch yet...

I am afraid that I'm going to end up getting beige walls, beige couches, and be in a complete design problem. Eek! This is harder than I thought!

I've attached the view into the dining room, butler's pantry and kitchen. You can see the pantry is powder blue and the kitchen is a bright yellow. My husband likes the yellow, but I think it could be toned down... all my towels and accessories are green or purple... I think I would be ok leaving the dining room the same green it is now.

Is it a bad idea to pain the whole house the same color? My husband thinks that's weird, but I think it would be ok as long as it's the right color.

Anyways, I have been thinking about these couches... We've decided against the Tory because it's not too comfortable, but I thought I would put it out there for inspiration sake: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/tory-sofa?ID=518934&CategoryID=35419&LinkType=#fn=sp%3D9%26spc%3D370
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/stewart-upholstered-sofa/

Thanks guys!
June 9, 2012 at 12:47PM   
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sacapuntaslapioz
Hi, consider ikea for the Stockholm sofa in leather, it comes in an ivory and it is very comfortable. also consider West Elm http://www.westelm.com for some nice sofa which are clean but comfortable. Alos try stuff i Overstock. the rugs there cannot be beaten for price and quality. with the features you have in thta room and your new colors, some clean modern but not sparce furniture will look very calming.
June 9, 2012 at 1:47PM     
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GizV
Here's what I would do
Paint living room cream
Leave dining room color alone
Paint pantry deeper green then dining room that works with dining room color or a buttery cream.
Paint kitchen rich yellow.

Check all color swatches together. If they look good together, with the woodwork, and your flooring you've got your palette and can buy the paint.

I liked the idea of a sage couch as long as it works with the dining room color. Espresso would work well too. A tweed or skinny stripe could give you extra texture. It's a big piece and I think neutral is best because you can change wall colors and it would still work.

I painted my whole house a neutral green with the exception of a gray-blue in my spare room, creamy yellow in the bathrooms, and a deep brick red in my kitchen. I chose them after I made sure all the colors would work with all the hard surfaces (counter tops, kitchen vinyl floor, kitchen cabinets, bathroom tile, carpet, and window trim). I knew they were right for the house and me because all the colors would work in any room and I liked all of them.

I look forward to learning how you decide to proceed, and hope one of the many professional decorators on this site can give you even better ideas.
June 9, 2012 at 1:57PM     
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mrs1916
I feel the use of all one color can look "builder basic". The shades you have now seem to coordinate nicely. What about the beige in living, green in pantry, and then you can still have the yellow in the kitchen? That said, don't finalize the colors until you at least have the rug and sofa!!! It will be near impossible to find just the right color otherwise!
June 10, 2012 at 3:49AM   
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sacapuntaslapioz
I think 1 color can also look very modern and relaxing. But I would still have 1 wall painted differently, either as a accent, such as the fireplace wall, or the entrance, etc. Tudor are not very big and painted all in one color they look bigger and less chopped out.
June 10, 2012 at 4:20AM   
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meg12953
Hi folks!

Well, my husband and I finally had time to go furniture shopping together and came to an agreement on a sofa and chair! They are bigger than I hoped for our space, but he is a tall guy, so dainty sofas don't fit him very well. I think it's considered a transitional design, and I'm really hoping it will look nice in our living room. The throw pillows come with it, but I'm especially happy with the color and fabric (which is shown).

I'm also thinking now of this rug from C&B (maybe the whole living room, haha!) http://www.crateandbarrel.com/shop-by-idea/living-room/british-accent/f44653

I'm not sure if I could do the same thing in my house without overcrowding. I'm still thinking an oval glass coffee table. Will all of this work together?

What do you think of such a dark colored rug? I'm picturing cream for the wall color at the moment.

Thanks!!
Meg
June 13, 2012 at 7:25PM   
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GizV
British Accent - Aldo Espresso, that's the rug, right? I like it because the reddish color of your floors will be accented by the "snow flake" in the rug. What color is your couch and chair? And will hide stains brilliantly.

Congratulations for deciding on the creme walls. Looking forward to new pictures with new wall color, mirror gone, new sofa and chair. Sounds like you're designing for how you live as well as beauty. Comfy and soothing.
June 13, 2012 at 7:53PM   
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June 13, 2012 at 9:16PM   
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GizV
Love the nail head detail and legs of your sofa and chair. A little old fashion to go with your fireplace but with a very modern look. The smaller rounded arms are good for your room. I think it's all coming together nicely.
June 13, 2012 at 9:41PM   
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yvesun
Charming Old Lady you have!
Keep the wood!! Don't be tempted to paint such beautiful craftsmanship.
Instead paint the walls Linen white 912 (Benjamin Moore)
Unless you have a wood stove in your living room, take down the ceiling fan, and replace it with a circa ceiling lamp, which usually hang from copper chains.
Remove the mirror above the fireplace, it just looks tacky.
I see two chairs flanking the fireplace, keep the tall lamp but move to the corner, a small side table on the wall sides of both chairs will look inviting.
Unless you've spent a winter in a house that has leaded windows (single pane), you may want to reconsider visiting the Venetian blinds, but in a more contemporary look. Sears has some lovely wooden ones that would match the wood trim.
a couch such as Sally would be practical as well as comfortable. Hopefully you can see the attached if not www.slobproof.com
June 13, 2012 at 11:28PM   
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Jamieson
Hi Meg! Looks like you've made some great decisions! My only concern is that the rug that you're in love with might be too dark in comparison with the rest of your room. I'd be interested in what the other Houzzers think, input anyone?
June 14, 2012 at 6:51AM   
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feeny
I like the design of the dark rug you are looking at, but I agree with Jamieson that it might darken the room more than you want. It's all a matter of the effect you are looking for. What about something lighter but still warm, keeping the idea of an arts and crafts inflected floral design:

June 14, 2012 at 7:55AM     
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meg12953
Hello all, what do you think of this rug? I think the swirls could echo the fireplace?
http://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/area-rugs/cyrille-rug/f30666

too modern?
June 17, 2012 at 1:30PM     
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GizV
Teal, blue, rust, and purple on a light background. I like that it lightens up the room. I think the rug has a slightly old fashion feel to it while maintaining a modern edge. It would add interest and you could go for accents picking up the colors. I think it's a viable choice.
June 17, 2012 at 2:54PM   
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Plantcrone (Elle)
Love the rug and can picture it in the room..what advances you have made since the first post. I love this site!
June 17, 2012 at 3:12PM   
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Hi Meg. May I suggest something like this... http://www.rugstudio.com/jaipurrugspoemerodezpm57pumpkin-pumpkinarearug.aspx
I feel like the colors in that rug from crate and barrel are a little flat. I think something like this will bring a little sunshine to the room with all the other neutrals. The pattern is still suitable for your Tudor. A colorful rug can really bring personality to a room. Hope that helps. Charmean Neithart
June 17, 2012 at 5:22PM     
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janishill
Hi Meg...since you asked...I don't like it. I think with your neutrals and the shape of the fireplace this one would work better: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/area-rugs/aldo-natural-rug/f43959
June 17, 2012 at 6:01PM   
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meg12953
Hello all,

Have I told you lately how awesome you are. I think I dropped the ball on that. You guys are all so awesome!!

I have been considering the rug recommendations that you all provided. @feeny and @Charmean, you both suggested warm colors. I have to admit I will never, ever use red. I must have been a bull in a past life, because it's not at all relaxing to me. And, I'm not usually a fan of orange - I'm just usually a blues and greens, earth tone, calming environment kind of gal. And, usually my favorite color combinations are a sunny beige, grass green, and purple.

However, that pumpkin rug has been growing on me!! I think my wood floors are so warm they are almost pumpkin orange anyway. What do you guys think of a cream color on the walls (far right swatch on the wall with the couch) but with an accent wall of a turquoise, like "Mad for Galapagos" in this picture:


And then the pumpkin rug would really pop against that blue-green wall? http://www.rugstudio.com/jaipurrugspoemerodezpm57pumpkin-pumpkinarearug.aspx

I included shots of the dining room table in the view we have to the living room. I think our couch and table are transition/rustic looking. So, I want the space to be fresh and fun, since we're a young couple who likes to entertain, but I need to make sure our brand new furniture works. Is turquoise too funky for a mantel that traditional?

Thanks!! I really appreciate all of your help!
June 21, 2012 at 3:50PM   
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meg12953
Also, sorry that we still don't have a real coffee table, or side tables... or curtains. Those will inevitably be my next questions. :p
June 21, 2012 at 3:58PM   
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Hi Meg. I tried, but I can't wrap my head around that turquoise. If you really like that color, consider a small dose in a textile or art. I love the pumpkin rug with your furniture and a creamy color on the walls. I can't really see those samples, but I just used a color for the first time that I love...Gentle Cream OC-96 by Benjamin Moore. Looks just like it sounds. I used it on a house that had a lot of wood trim like yours, it was so bright and elegant. Isay go for the pumpkin rug and pull out the greens and creams from the rug.
You're doing great! Charmean
June 21, 2012 at 5:22PM     
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yvesun
Hi Meg,

I love the rug with the teal flowers that you displayed. You can do so much with a rug sporting other colours. I would take your favourite colour out of that rug, and put it into lined Roman Blinds. I would use a round glass or marble coffee & side tables so that it's easier to manoeuvre, and tone the hue of the wall colour down a couple of notches from the dark teal blue (one of my personal favourites), so that the room doesn't feel cave like.

You can easily incorporate your favourite blues & greens, by choosing the same colour family. Such as mellower tones like Georgian Green HC-115 & Stratton Blue HC-142 they're chosen from Heritage Collection, or brighter hues such as Surf Blue 2056-30 & Napa Vineyards 427 all four colours are Benjamin Moore USA. It's really a personal choice and depends on what saturation of colours you like. If you absolutely love the dark teal blue, the fireplace would "pop" with that colour around it!
Have fun with the colours and your new home!
June 21, 2012 at 5:34PM   
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GizV
Re: wall color. I like the two lightest ones to the right, farthest from the window. It appears they go best with your upholstery. Then simple white or off white sheers over the windows to soften the blinds, at least until after you have your paint on the walls, and the rug (I still like your first rug choice with the teal and purple and rust). I'm overwhelmed by the idea of a bold accent wall, but go with what you love. In this case, it really is only paint. If you dont like it, a coat of primer and 2 coats of another color is all you'll need.

It looks like you have limited floor space between the chairs and the couch. I'd consider using nesting end tables on one side of the couch, then when you entertain you can pull one out to use for the person sitting center of the couch. I like ymcs' suggestion for round tables in something other then wood. Id look for a metal to work with the nailheads on your couch and chair.

By the by, your couch looks great.
June 21, 2012 at 8:35PM     
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Mary Pettit
What a gorgeous room this will be! I do like the pumpkin rug,The teal one is ok but not as exciting to look at. I'd reserve teal colors for flowers or porcelain for a hint of color, The teal wall idea would diminish that lovely fireplace instead of enhancing, I like the wall color to the farthest right of the couch, Here's an interesting teal piece:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/95645345/green-tan-orange-hand-built-and-carved
June 21, 2012 at 9:54PM     
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
Exactly Mary, love that teapot. Would be great as a centerpiece.
June 21, 2012 at 10:04PM     
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Mint Design
I think your idea of painting all the rooms in one color is a good one for this home. It will open the rooms visually and bring out the beautiful wood trim. BM has some wonderful warm creamy whites. Oatmeal is another color which would look wonderful throughout and especially with your sofa. BM and SW can also match colors of other companies quite well. I would carry the cream color throughout and use bold colors for your draperies, pillows, dining seats, etc. I always incorporate the tv over the fireplace when they are in the same room and have never encountered a problem. You really want only one focal point in a room. I do cover them with a mirror or art that is easily moved to one side so the tv is easily viewed by everyone in the room. I would use a round glass or mirrored coffee table or a round ottoman with a large silver tray. With the ottoman, you have the option of using is as an ottoman, a coffee table, or additional seating if needed. I love you mantel just as it is; it is so in keeping with the style and age of your home. I am attaching some photos: a cream living room with a turquoise ottoman, a cream kitchen with yellow accents, a cream dining room with green draperies, and an oatmeal living room with coral. These are to give you an idea of how you can incorporate bold color in a cream colored home. How they give you some ideas! :)
June 21, 2012 at 11:10PM     
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Mint Design
btw I love that you are posint photos as you progress! I am attaching one of my favorite ways to incorporate color in an neutral home...the ceiling is the largest and most neglected wall in the room...try it; it is only paint and can be cahnged if you do not like it...Paint your kitchen ceiling yellow and keep the same ceam in the walls and cabinets as the rest of the home. Here are some photos to give you an idea....one is actually fauxed wood. Hope these help! Keep up the great work! :)
June 21, 2012 at 11:20PM     
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Anna Baskin Lattimore Design
Hi Meg,

I had to chime in again when you posted a picture of my work! I love Benjamin Moore's Galapagos Turquoise, but I think it is too dark for your walls considering the available light in your house (or at least how it looks in your pictures), and it is such a strong color that the pumpkin rug and your wood trim may dull in comparison.That particular shade of teal really sings with clearer, brighter colors such as hot pink, yellow, red and brighter oranges. I love your idea of incorporating some turquoise, but I suggest a more faded version in accessories or draperies.

Your house is really looking good. Best of luck!
June 23, 2012 at 11:07PM   
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meg12953
We painted! And we took down the mirror! And we found old wiring for sconces! The color is called Woodrow Wilson Blush by Valspar. I guess it wasn't my favorite paint to work with, but we had a lot of coupons for Lowe's. Most of the time it looks right - sometimes it looks pink, sometimes it looks too yellow, but... I think I'm happy with it. It makes the room look so much lighter, and I love how the wood looks. All of a sudden the fireplace looks very yellow, but for the most part I think it's working.

I know, the furniture still doesn't make sense. I think we're going to hang art over the fireplace, so the TV will sit on a console, actually where the couch is now, and hopefully we can get rid of the radiator and replace it with a smaller baseboard unit, so that we can center the couch across from the TV, putting it under the windows. I want an oval glass coffee table. C&B makes a metal one with a second shelf that I love, and I think it would match my nailhead trimmed couch - but it's a little pricey for us at the moment.

Also, I'm still considering the pumpkin rug, but I have been thinking about a turquoise/teal rug as well, since all of a sudden that color caught my interest...

What do you think would look good for sconces? And do you like any of these teal rugs? I just took a snapshot of my Pinterest living room board... I like the persian style teal rug with gold/cream/sage in it, as well as the pumpkin colored rug. `There's a persian style rug with a narrower border as well which I enjoy. The teal and beige rug called "Arabesque" is very nice, too, I think. Also, in the top right corner there's a picture of a mirrored sconce I thought might look nice.

Thanks for your input guys! Can't wait to show you the finished product!
June 25, 2012 at 2:35PM     
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Mint Design
Hooray! The color is lovely and the sconce wiring is a homerun....not just for sconces, but an electrician can pull power from one for your tv so you will not need to see its electrical cord! I suggest swing arm sconces to keep them from being too close to the tv and I would mount the tv on an articulating arm to raise it off the mantel and be able to angle and turn it. Since you now have your neutrals I would go really bold with the accents: turquoise rug and pillows; perhaps contrast them with some coral or the pumpkin? Keep the photos coming; they are great! Here are some photos of swing arm sconces that may give you some ideas. :)
June 25, 2012 at 8:01PM     
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Chroma Design
Great home! New wall color is perfect.
I think Feeny had it right with area rug. It really speaks to the style of the home.
June 25, 2012 at 8:28PM     
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GizV
I found a turquoise wall - wall paper. Lovely texture.

June 25, 2012 at 10:43PM   
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selawela
Great posts! Any updates?
August 29, 2012 at 5:13PM   
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katsesler
I just wanted to say I am in LOVE with your fireplace.
August 29, 2012 at 5:18PM   
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dsma
Love the idea of the scones. I have them in my living room. But you have to remember this is your house if you want to paint the moldings go for it. I think it would make it brighter. I just painted my beams in my living room white and its beautiful. They were stained. I wish I would of done it sooner.
I was also thinking about your tv maybe should go on the other wall opposite the couch.
Try to see where the sun comes in your living room so the tv won't get a glare from the sun before you decide where to put it. I love curtains for a living room. and celluler shades.
Glad you took that mirror away. It was too big for the fireplace.
My philosphy is go with your gut. If you like it make it work. I hope I helped you.
August 29, 2012 at 6:02PM   
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anitajoyce
love, love, love your home. Delinitely take down the mirror. It takes the focus off the beautiful details in the room. Cream color on the walls and add some color accents in orange, blue and brown
August 29, 2012 at 6:07PM   
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meg12953
Hey folks! I was so happy to see your latest comments, because I have just taken some photos of my progress! I ended up getting the pumpkin rug that Charmean recommended, because it went on sale. I do love the rug - the teal is more of a green/grey/blue and the pumpkin is really more like rust. There is also cream, brown, tan, and burgundy so there are a lot of colors to work with.

I went to homegoods and bought some purple throw pillows which I think really give the room some spunk that it was missing. the curtains are too short (84"), from my last home. I put them up to soften the windows and see what I thought of the color. What do you folks think? I'm usually a white sheer kind of person, but with my light wall color - I'm not sure.

I also bought the painting of the woman which I think ties in the rust and blue green from the carpet very nicely. I wish it had a brown frame instead of a black one, but for the price I was happy with it and I think I could get it reframed later. I intend to put it above the fireplace, but for now we don't have the configuration we need to put the fireplace back on a media stand.

Behind the loveseat is a big old radiator, and the couch is too deep to put on that wall against the radiator - it would stick out in front of the fireplace. We have central and forced heat installed, as well as a boiler system for the radiator, so I am considering taking out the radiator in the living room - I just home it doesn't get too chilly. Then we could put the couch on the opposite wall and put the TV where the couch is now - nice and centered and more comfortable to watch. But for now we still have that radiator in place and no media console.

Anyway - I'm also attaching a picture of a very blank wall behind the armchair that I would love some suggestions on. And - also if you don't mind weighing in on the curtain color and oh yes!! I almost forgot - sconces!!
August 31, 2012 at 11:52AM     
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meg12953
More pictures... the carpet, the blank wall, the view into the dining room and a sconce I'm leaning toward... Thanks!
August 31, 2012 at 12:03PM     
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michigammemom
The pumpkin rug is a winner! I also love your upholstered pieces. To my mind, the sconce you have pictured is a little too similar to all of the diamond pane window grids you have.
August 31, 2012 at 12:19PM   
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GizV
You have done the room justice, I think. It is warm and inviting.

Painting of woman is way too small for over the couch. Until you free up your fireplace I'd move it to left of settee and lamp.

On a different note. I would move the loves seat to another room, but the chair in front of the radiator and place a small media stand with swivel for tv where your chair is now. Paint the black frame around picture of lady with a brown craft paint, a dry brush effect might be nice, and hang the picture over the fireplace.

Thank you for showing your progress.
August 31, 2012 at 12:20PM   
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Mary Pettit
Love the color choices and the pumpkin rug is so spectacular with the woodwork and the color scheme. That looks so inviting when you come into the room. Dining room furniture is pretty and I love the painting but it looks a bit lonesome by itself. Maybe relocate or add some more styling to that wall. Lovely home!
I went back and looked at your before pictures and you have brought out so much of the beauty of this lovely home by the things you have done.
August 31, 2012 at 1:30PM   
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Emily Hurley
Thank you so much for the update! Absolutely love what you have done.
August 31, 2012 at 1:57PM   
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janishill
Hi Meg! Thanks for updating. You have done a wonderful job of decorating. You already have a plan in place for improvements and that is a plus as well.

Remove that radiator! The fireplace will provide extra warmth on chilly nights. If the weather is particularly cold you might bring in a space heater if necessary. In your area it shouldn't be needed very often though.

I agree with whomever said to dry brush over the frame with brown craft paint. It should soften the color just enough.

One thing you should try is lowering the picture. Most people hang them about 5 inches to high...so dropping it that much should make a tremendous difference. A couple of scones on either side of it will fill in the space nicely. I love the ones you have picked. They reflect the diamond pattern without being exactly the same.

Thanks again for the update.
August 31, 2012 at 2:16PM   
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mroark
I love it! It looks so warm and inviting!
September 1, 2012 at 11:32AM   
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selawela
Fantastic! Thanks for the update!!
September 1, 2012 at 10:42PM   
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meg12953
Just in case anybody might still be interested, haha. 8 months after we bought the house and the living room is sort of shaping up... The pumpkin rug and I have a love hate relationship. I think it works so well with the wood work, and yet it is sooo warm, I have a hard time coordinating things with it. I am digging the metalic accent trend that is popular right now - think it works with my warm arts and crafts style house. Anyway, moved the painting, got a different frame, got a mirror, moved the furniture a bit.... still shopping for a coffee table. I put a brown, faux whicker coffee table from the patio in the living room a month ago and was horrified to see the dark brown and the pumpkin rug looked soooo 1960-70s to me. I am now terrified to use dark wood. I would still like to find a nice glass one. Anyway, coming along.
December 25, 2012 at 11:55PM     
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GizV
I love how you're pulling this room together.

Something similar to this coffee table would be worth considering. Abbington Coffee Table. Glass and pewter.
December 26, 2012 at 12:45AM   
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PRO
LUMINHOME OPTOELECTRONIC CO.,LTD
We are manufacture in China,Looking for distributors,buyers of solar LED garden lights, solar LED landscapes,LED Aquarium Light. LED lights. website:www.oksolarled.com, call me Simon.
December 26, 2012 at 12:57AM   
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PRO
LUMINHOME OPTOELECTRONIC CO.,LTD
We are manufacture in China,Looking for distributors,buyers of solar LED garden lights, solar LED landscapes,LED Aquarium Light. LED lights. website:www.oksolarled.com, call me Simon.
December 26, 2012 at 12:58AM   
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janishill
Hello Meg. Your living room is coming along nicely. Why bother with a coffee table? It looks like your ottoman is functioning in that capacity just fine.

A couple of little tweaks could make a big difference though.

Your mirror and your picture are hung too high. They look unconnected to anything; like they are floating away. Art should only be hung 5 - 9 inches above whatever it is hanging over to look connect to the piece. 5 - 6 inches seems to be the perfect height. If art is on a wall by itself it should be about 54"- 56" on center.

And all the dark colored pillows on the sofa being at the fireplace end makes that end of the room appear heavy; almost as though it is tilting in that direction.

Glad you are still having fun and are enjoying your new home. Thanks for the update!
December 26, 2012 at 4:46AM   
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dsma
Hi Meg, The colors are coming along great. I do I have suggestion though, your picture and mirror are to high. Two much stuff on the fireplace. Sometimes just a little makes a statement. Bring your pic from the fireplace in between sconses. Or place on fireplace. Mirror above the couch looks great but must be lower. Congrats on your decorating.
December 26, 2012 at 4:58AM   
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designideas4me
I didnt read the whole discussion ( which is very long already ) but just wanted to say that not everyone wants to look up to watch t.v. and not everyone has to have the t.v. in the same room as the fireplace. I for one mounted my t.v. very low on the wall and like to be able to have it at eye level when sitting on the couch. I also like to lay down on the couch and watch. So anyway I dont like the advice to put the t.v. over the fireplace. It really depends on the person and what height is good for them.
December 26, 2012 at 5:00AM   
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deb jo
Hi Meg, I learnt a lot with your progress and your place looks amazing already, and I wish for the same cohesive outcome when I move into my own home in feb. Keep us posted on any other advances.

About a center table if you would go for round and glass, you can find and enjoy something like this

December 26, 2012 at 6:19AM     
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PRO
LUMINHOME OPTOELECTRONIC CO.,LTD
of course dear, my email:kinglingelectric@gmail.com, send me email pls
December 26, 2012 at 6:23PM   
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kafehausdiva
Yes remove the mirror, no don't paint the trim. That wall unit is too dark and heavy for the room. Lucky you! Awesome house!
December 26, 2012 at 6:29PM   
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kafehausdiva
Whoops! I am way behind! Ok. The half naked lady above the firemantel is tacky. Put her in the bathroom or bedroom where she belongs, just as she is in the work. Also I know everyone is pushing color coordinating the drapes, the artwork, the rug. Personally I am looking forward to evolving from that soothing, kindergarten styled approach. Your rugs, artwork, and tchotchkies should be a reflection of you and your life's experiences and travels. They should not soothe a la Disney by matching. It's immature and phoney. I know I know it's mandated everwhere! People choose a painting if it matches their sofa! Not if it's actually a decent piece of art that elicits feeling. Sorry if I'm too opinionated, but this house is super and the orange/blue palate is detracting from it. Uh oh, I'm going into hiding from the interior design mob!
December 26, 2012 at 6:47PM   
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meg12953
Whoah! I don't mind if you call it how you see it, but you have to give some suggestions/examples in order to teach people to do better! You have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I often worry things are too coordinated, and decorating is harder than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of time and money! To everyone who has commented, thanks so much for all your advice, I really appreciate all the help!
December 26, 2012 at 6:52PM     
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selawela
Your home is beautiful!! Your style is lovely and you've done a terrific job making it "you"! The comment above...all I can say is "wow."
December 26, 2012 at 7:00PM   
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PRO
LUMINHOME OPTOELECTRONIC CO.,LTD
Hello,Meg,I am not good at design, what I can help you is send you some Solar garden light if you have interesting,I think the lights will help your garden more beautiful.if you like,pls tell me which types you like most in our website www.oksolarled.com. We are manufacture in China. Samples we can send you free.
December 26, 2012 at 7:05PM   
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kafehausdiva
Meg12953 - you are awesome! I felt so guilty and thought, why on earth am I venting so? You can buy things over time. You don't have to do it all at once the way designers do.
December 26, 2012 at 7:06PM   
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GizV
Meg12953. Nicely stated, and very diplomatic. Being in the Houzz community seems to require a good sense of humor and discernment.

This journey has been amazing to follow. So many diverse and creative suggestions. Thank you for the updates.
December 26, 2012 at 7:16PM   
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manic_momma
Oh if only I owned a Tudor. Long sigh........I think it it evolving beautifully. It really does take time and money. I so love the rug, it is perfect. I like it with the blue. The dark wood is fabulous. I only wish I had that quality of trim in my house. For myself I would change the items on the mantel, but then I love the English cottage clutter look. I would like to see a bigger piece of Arts & Crafts pottery (or something that suggests that) probably in a deep green. I would need a little more color, adding a bit of red, blue and green to balance it out for myself using accents like pillows, glassware or dishes.
But then I go in for that Tudor look big time.
December 27, 2012 at 12:37AM   
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designideas4me
Room looks great. Don't put the tv back on the mantel. Its looks much better with a picture not a TV.
December 27, 2012 at 1:25AM   
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feeny
Love, love, love the pumpkin rug, the ethereal blue-gray drapes, the accents of that blue-gray in both the painting and the rug, the creamy walls, and the great new ivory (stone? what do we call that color?) sofa and chair with darker throw pillows. It is all looking absolutely beautiful!

I know you said you are having a bit of a love-hate relationship with that pumpkin color in the rug, but I really think it warms up the room and looks so good with your wood trim. Bravo!
December 27, 2012 at 5:04AM   
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apennameandthata
Didn't read your post but LOVE your house. Besides, others seem to be helping big time. Seems your husband is a keeper.
December 27, 2012 at 6:09AM   
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designideas4me
Funny I was just looking at the style of your house and wondering the definition of a tutor and when I checked my email there was a link to this tutor makeover . So I thought I would send it to you. I hate to say it but that looks like a tv over the fireplace...lol

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/before-and-after/house-tour-traditional-renovation/?sssdmh=dm17.639924&esrc=nwhi122712#page=1
December 27, 2012 at 8:38AM   
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anitajoyce
Love your tutor style home!
February 13, 2013 at 2:52PM   
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