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Love our modern furniture, but too stark! Needs warmth!
kessieblue
November 6, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We just bought a condo. We haven't moved in yet (so no room pictures), but we picked out some great modern living room furniture. Right now, though, it seems like it will look very stark with all the straight lines, square corners, and neutral colors. (See the couch and tables in pictures. The couch color is a bit different in person - it's a warm grey-beige mix). I think we've decided on oranges and yellows to bring some warm color into the room (see the Rothko picture, which will likely hang over the couch). How else can I soften the look, or at least make it a little more interesting? Maybe lamps of a completely different style? A very high-pile rug? (FYI... We have beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows with a built in shade, so we aren't planning to use any curtains.) Any suggestions are welcome; we haven't bought any accessories, yet, just the furniture.
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greenthumb2
Paint colors. If you prefer geometric shapes and clean lines, color blocks (two walls in two different colors) make a dramatic statement. If you do not want to paint, cover 4 x 8 foam core sheets with fabric of choice and mount on wall. Also will help with acoustics if you are in a concrete walled condo. PS. Windows are framed in wood, metal?
November 6, 2012 at 11:52AM     
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Aggie Purvinska
I think if you are going to display a Rothko, it's hard to imagine it on anything else than a white wall.. I don't quite see a shag rug with it either, and I think you should run with a sophisticated, slightly minimalist and modern here. I like greenthumb2s panelling idea, or wood panelling (rift white oak) if it is in the budget.
November 6, 2012 at 12:14PM     
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lil_meesh
I am not sure the coffee table and the sofa really go together. I do however think that a low black laquer coffee table would.
November 6, 2012 at 12:18PM     
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kessieblue
Thanks! The windows, I think, are framed with metal, but it's white, or otherwise blends into the walls. I'm definitely picking bold colors, but I don't know about painting entire walls in bold colors... that might be a little too intense for me. What do you guys think about a rug and lamps? For the rug, if not shag, I was thinking something with a rounded design to counter-act the straight lines in the furniture. For the lamps... oil-rubbed bronze? Maybe industrial-looking? Drum shades in neutral colors?
November 6, 2012 at 12:34PM   
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dcer
I would also rethink the coffee table choice. Bring in fun, patterned throw pillows, and make sure that the accessories you choose have some age to them so that the room does not look sterile. Flea markets are a fun way to find pieces with character and age that are still modern. Also, you can put fresh flowers or plants in the room to add an organic element. Good luck!
November 6, 2012 at 12:36PM   
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kessieblue
In the store, we put the coffee table and the couch right next to each other, and we liked the combo. The wood color of the coffee table is just about the same as the exposed legs and rail on the couch.
November 6, 2012 at 12:37PM   
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marycifuentes
may sound simple..but fresh flowers and pictures of loved ones may work well to give warmth. also, some coffee table books you enjoy....i love the painting...more bright colors can be added...
November 6, 2012 at 12:58PM     
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nevadan
Everything depends on lighting - daylight and artificial light. Get your few pieces of furniture into your home and see how it all looks in setting. Then worry about rugs, color accents, etc. You may want to use several brightly colored chairs. On the other hand, you may want monochromatic neutral. WEait and see.
November 6, 2012 at 1:25PM   
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olldcan
Love your choices so far. A large round high pile shag in a cream colour with cream drum pendants might work. Just a thought.
November 6, 2012 at 1:32PM   
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Sara Parker
Persian rugs and modern art are wonderful contrasts in such an environment
November 6, 2012 at 1:43PM     
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November 6, 2012 at 1:52PM     
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Natasha Webb
Greenery....plants always add warmth. For a modern look, use a sculptural plant like a bird of paradise or a palm. That's what I would do.
November 6, 2012 at 1:55PM     
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PRO
ATGStores.com
Hi, Kessieblue! Looking great so far! When we saw the Rothko, we thought coordinating table lamps might be just the thing (http://www.atgstores.com/table-lamps_95.html?linkLoc=topnav)! We've suggested a few and would also note that floor lamps may also be a great touch. We hope this helps, and good luck!
November 6, 2012 at 2:28PM   
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PRO
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I, too, like your sofa and coffee table together. The sleek black lacquered one would be beautiful and sophisticated, while the one you selected will be more user friendly. Lacquer finishes can be hard to maintain and can chip. With all that orange and yellow in the Rothko, I, too, would select an off white shag rug, a white throw and pillows in orange, white and yellow. I might add a purple pillow just for fun.
November 6, 2012 at 2:43PM     
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judianna20
What ever your sofa color is, paint the walls a much deeper shade so that great Rothko has center stage.
November 6, 2012 at 2:51PM     
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PRO
whitespace design
Try the store "West Elm". They do a great job of mixing elements to make modern warm and livable.
November 6, 2012 at 3:11PM   
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Natalie
Plum walls with the Rothko... Benjamin Moore Summer Plum... Lamps- whimsical and neutral. Fun colorful rug (orange/orange blend) so eye goes from art to rug-rug to art. Simple toss pillows... Good Luck!
http://colorchats.benjaminmoore.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/02_Purple_Benjamin-Moore_summer-plum-1024x817.jpg
[houzz=Possini Spiral Sea Mosaic Tile Table Lamp][houzz=Gems Red/Orange Rug][houzz=India Orange Rug]http://www.allmodern.com/nuLOOM-Remade-Distressed-Overdyed-Obstinate-Orange-Rug-NLO3122.html
November 6, 2012 at 3:27PM   
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anniebmw7
With the soft furniture colors, i would probably paint one side of the wall at least like your saying orange/yellow. Some accessories to think about, are nice floor lamps, or table lamps that are either white/gray/orange (with the colors you have going on). Not exactly sure if you should collide the two colors of yellow and orange. Try to put yellows near more of brown and orange near black and white, which would make more contrast on your accessories (flowers, lamps, pictures etc.) Since you have purchased a gray couch and brown coffee table i would recommend you stick with neutral colors in the furniture area and have orange/yellow in the accessories category (you never know if you will change your mind some day about the color...happens to me a lot). I don't know about you, but for some reason i love the warmer yellows and orange colors. Some examples attached. Hope this helps.
GOOD LUCK!
[houzz=Laguna Cottage]
[houzz=Decor by Jennifer Inc]
[houzz=Willowgrove Living Room]
[houzz=contemporary living room]
[houzz=Library]
[houzz=How to bring colour with art and accessories]
[houzz=Private residence]
[houzz=Malibu Architectural]
[houzz=Great Room Re-Styled]
November 6, 2012 at 3:39PM     
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anniebmw7
[houzz=
]
November 6, 2012 at 3:41PM     
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November 6, 2012 at 3:47PM     
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victorianbungalowranch
I like the overdyed orange rug if you are feeling bold, or you could go for something like it in a pillow. I think a shag or foulaki (shaggy wool rugs--can get little ones pretty cheap at IKEA and stitch together) could look great too.

Retro renovation.com has some funky interesting stuff on it and right now they are giving away a fabulous glass Blenko lamp that would look great with the Rothko. Blenko glass and other mid-century type art glass or knockoffs could also look terrific in your room. WorldMarket.com (has some great sidechairs too), Pier i, HomeGoods and One Kings Lane can be a source for some accents, plus keep an eye out for the authentic yard sale or Ebay find.

Depending on where you live, you could score a bargain. Where I live (rural upper Midwest) midcentury hasn't gotten much traction yet and can be picked up for cheap.
November 6, 2012 at 4:30PM   
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ibelyna
textile designers spend a ridiculous amount of time toiling over colors and textures that work together. pick your pallet from a single textile that you like or that contains a color of the furniture you have already purchased.
Google "textile designers" and scan over the image results.
November 6, 2012 at 8:21PM   
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kazt
Add some bold colored pillows,bright colored area rug and a nice warm colored lamp.
November 7, 2012 at 3:54AM   
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vickibond
I agree, find some beautiful, bold pillows, pick up a color in the pillows you like and find an accessory in that color for an item on the coffee table. Simple, inexpensive and easy to change out.
November 7, 2012 at 5:10AM   
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vickibond
I agree, find some beautiful, bold pillows, pick up a color in the pillows you like and find an accessory in that color for an item on the coffee table. Simple, inexpensive and easy to change out.
November 7, 2012 at 5:10AM   
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vickibond
I agree, find some beautiful, bold pillows, pick up a color in the pillows you like and find an accessory in that color for an item on the coffee table. Simple, inexpensive and easy to change out.
November 7, 2012 at 5:10AM   
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PRO
Adrian Ramsay Design House
i would also follow the sofa color but very dark so the art stand at center stage, i would add quite a few scatter cushions to the sofa as well as a soft textured throw folded and hung over the back i would bring in tones o the dark wall as well as the art in these pieces,
adding some clean simple styled drum shades in dark fabric that are internally lined with the same shade of orange as in your art to add drama.
a tall terrarium on the coffee table would bring in some green and soften the overall look.
also id go the textured rug in round i think, not having seen the room it could change to rectangle just a little longer than the sofa, with a pattern of abstract circles on it and some dark color to connect the feature wall to the floor.
hope it helps, post some photos when you have done what ever you choose
cheers adrian

adrian ramsay design house
November 7, 2012 at 5:19AM   
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collettec
With the sofa and the Rothko, I would go with more texture and color. I like the coffee table you have picked out and think a high pile shag would work well with this. Either a cream, gray or taupe. End tables in a wood and lamps in orange or red and perhaps ceramic or glass in the base or shade as noted per above per ATG or similar would work well with that. Would maybe introduce some more gray with the orange and red, with white walls as the backdrop. Would add texture on pillows for the sofa and elsewhere through the room.
November 7, 2012 at 6:30AM   
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nevadan
I think the idea of picking up colors from the Rothko in pillows or rugs is absurd! Wait and see....lie with it...you may change your mind entirely. Don't buy any more furnitrue until you have moved in. You are in for some surprises.
November 7, 2012 at 6:53AM   
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PRO
Transforming Rooms
Great looking sofa! You're right, you'll need to warm it up with textures and colors. Start with the pillow fabrics first, and you might want to consider a contemporary cocktail ottoman, (which is more comfortable than a cocktail table) - you could put a big silver ttray on top, with leather strap handles. I suggest you order the rug last (since rugs can be ordered in a variety of colors).

I photographed an example of our fabrics, to give you some ideas, (click on the photo for a larger view to see the textures). Check out our web site, to see before and after room transformations for ideas:
http://www.Transformingrooms.com http://www.Interiordesigngreensboro.com
November 7, 2012 at 12:15PM   
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PRO
michaeladamalpert
I think if you have a Rothko, well that becomes the focus of the room. I don't know the size but that is information needed to figure out where or if this room should have it or if it needs to be the focus of another room. Though I'm a believer in anything can work its how you put it together that determines how well. What I would not do is paint a room to match a painting. As an artist, I want my work to sit off the wall, so that said, paint in a grey that has a bit of yellow in it or orange to warm the room, perhaps stain the floor in a deep ebony to ground it and then a grey orange rug. You can have a built in made that has a square or rectangle cut out with a light to frame the Rothko and spot it. I also thought there were a few other ways of looking at the furniture if you want to soften it as you suggest. See below. Good luck!!!!
November 7, 2012 at 12:21PM   
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PRO
michaeladamalpert
Here are other pieces I found that might help.

michaeladamalpert.com
michaeladamalpert@gmail.com
November 7, 2012 at 12:24PM   
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Natalie
Just came across this room... Found it inspiring- :) [houzz=Carlyle Penthouse 1][houzz=Carlyle Penthouse 2]
November 7, 2012 at 4:53PM   
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greenthumb2
Hi kessie. find what bold color you can live with that compliments the rothko. Is it a blue, a green, a plumb, a greyed color? how inviting do you want the space to be? super inviting and warm? or lively? important concepts for such an investment. :=) best of luck.
November 8, 2012 at 1:58AM   
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greenthumb2
Hi kessie. find what bold color you can live with that compliments the rothko. Is it a blue, a green, a plumb, a greyed color? how inviting do you want the space to be? super inviting and warm? or lively? important concepts for such an investment. :=) best of luck.
November 8, 2012 at 1:59AM   
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Chaz Schaad
I think it would be nice to leave the walls a light neutral color, something just on the yellow side of white. Add warmth by controlling the light, you may have to end up treating the windows in some way. Avoiding direct overhead light will help also.

Materials I like for this are copper, weathered wood, aged zinc, carnival glass, hand dyed textiles, and unglazed porcelain.
November 8, 2012 at 10:07AM   
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