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Please help decorate my living room!
rtrulove
December 20, 2012 in Design Dilemma
So DH pulled up the nasty carpet and installed Black River hickory. The pic I attached is from the manufacturers site, but it really is a tad darker than what is shown. I also included old pics of our living room just for reference. You can see our TV is mounted above the mantle and to the right of the couch is a 5 window bay. Next to that is the slider that goes out to our deck.

Oh and FYI, the walls, mantle, built ins, door frames, crown molding and floor board are all BM cedar key and the wall behind the openings of the built ins is BM french press.

For now we have a very neutral rug that's beige and ivory. It's such a POS and hasn't held up at all but it serves the purpose for now. Also as you can see we have a chocolate brown couch. It has 2 cushions and an attached chaise. I'm not opposed to replacing it but it's only 2 yrs old and wasn't cheap, so I don't know if DH will allow me to :/ I also have a wall of photo frames in matte black on 1 back part of the room with an espresso brown sofa table against that part of the wall.

Ok so I don't know what colors to bring in the room and even what to hang on the other wall (the one next to the slider that's bare right now). I would LOVE to add in some yellow, grey and blue/grey stuff but don't know if it would work with all the brown in here. Suggestions???
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PRO
Chicago ReDesign
I really like the wood floors - beautiful color! The color combinations you are talking about (yellow, blue, and blue/gray) sound very french to me - I actually just put together an idea book with some images for doing french decor on a budget - it might help.
. I think you could keep the couch and paint colors that you currently have and then add accents to bring in the elements you want. One suggestion would be to do a lighter colored wall paper or stencil in the back on the bookshelves (like a blue toile perhaps) and then add canary yellow and blue knicknacks and frames on the shelves. Adding a glass coffee table with a metallic frame and then two fabric chairs (with a french inspired pattern) facing the couch would help incorporate the theme together. As for the back wall behind the couch, it depends on how you use this space. It unfortunately is a bit of a hallway as it is the direct access to the sliding doors, but you could put a console desk with a pretty chair and some nice framed pictures, or even a secretary there. I wouldn't do anything too wide or bulky that it interferes with circulation to the door. Hope this helps!
December 20, 2012 at 1:06PM   
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jjandhk
chocolate, cream, licorice--sounds delicious to me!
I think Chicago's redesign and colours are perfect!
I would bring in some colour with light blue walls; add 1-2 chairs in blue and/or yellow; add lots of yellow and blue pillows, throws, and accessories.
Looks like fun!
December 20, 2012 at 1:18PM     
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PRO
All About Interiors LLC
Hi
I would add a long console table behind the couch and add some tall candles or vase on the ends and maybe some pictures in the middle, grouping in odd numbers. What about wallpapering the inside of the built ins to make them stand out. This is where you can incorporate your grey/ blue as well as in some throw pillows and throw rugs on this hardwood to soften up the space. You can bring in some yellow in some accessories that pair nicely with the blue/grey or have that color in them. A nice coffee table to ground the couch would be nice, glass would be pretty but if you have young children, I may not recommend. You can do a very light version of the blue/grey on the walls for paint. I hopes this helps, good luck.
December 20, 2012 at 1:20PM     
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rtrulove
OMGosh...I am loving the suggestions!!! Ok, so based on what you all said, which rug do you guys think would look best? Once I pick a rug, I am going to match the blue color and paint the inside of the built ins...great idea everyone! Also what about doing an accent wall in the same blue color on the back wall? Do you think I can keep the black frames I currently have up?
December 20, 2012 at 2:16PM   
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judianna20
I like the first choice. Just a little bit different color way than the other.
December 20, 2012 at 2:20PM     
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Chicago ReDesign
I like the first rug as well. I'm not sure how well the black frames would work out. I would suggest using something like a Valspar spray paint in a gray or blue gray, or even a metallic so they are all uniform but fit in with your color scheme.
December 20, 2012 at 2:27PM     
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rtrulove
Chicago ReDesign...I thought about that option as well. The only issue is that it's this set from Target and the non picture frame pieces are glass. Can those be painted as well but still show the flower design and saying?
December 20, 2012 at 2:41PM   
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Chicago ReDesign
The actual words are glass and flower design are clear glass? And are the photos in the frames black and white or color pictures?
December 20, 2012 at 2:54PM   
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rtrulove
They're both clear glass with a black paint on the back (or inside area). The flower design and words are the actual color of the glass before whatever was painted on it. I hope I'm explaining this correctly! The photos are color. 4 are from last year's holiday pics so there's greenery and red plants in the background...we're all wearing red and black. And 2 of the other pics are from Spring last yr and taken in a park (so again greenery in the background) but we're all wearing white and a sort of light turquoise color (if that makes sense!) Sorry if that was too much info ;-)
December 20, 2012 at 3:08PM   
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Kevin Retired Decorator
Just a note , Black is always a great color to bring into most rooms. It defines the other colors in the room. I would say your taste are leaning to Modern & Traditional. The room itself is Traditional but that doesn't mean you can't go modern with the furnishings. Browns & blues work great together like the earth & sky. adding pops of yellow would be a great accent color. Trust yourself & fall in love with everything you bring in the room. Look to your own closet for colors you wear, I feel it's one of the best ways to bring the real you into a room. Take time, don't rush or force yourself to complete a room. Always try to bring in life into a room with large plants faux or real. Buy larger scale accessories rather than small. Group things in 3's and 5's. Lighting is the key to a beautiful room. Think of contrast when using your colors. I like the lighter rug, it would contrast nicely with the floors and sofa just be sure the rug is big enough to touch or just go under the edge of all the seating pieces. I would add two chairs to make a nice conversation area. Have fun !!!! Kevin
December 20, 2012 at 3:14PM   
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PRO
Chicago ReDesign
Nope... perfect! Thanks. My thoughts are to either try and cover the words and design with something like petroleum jelly or masking fluid (which honestly might be pretty difficult to do) or paint the backs of the glass pieces with one of your accent colors (so it shows through the black). I think the latter would look good, especially if the pictures are black and white. Would it be possible to reprint the pictures in black and white or sepia toned? Not a big deal if you can't - I still think they would look nice but I would probably go more towards a metallic spray paint then. Does all that make sense?
December 20, 2012 at 3:14PM   
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rtrulove
Chicago...Thank you so much for all your responses!!! I have the rights to the pics so I could reprint them either B&W or Sepia :-) So are you saying to leave the background of the glass pieces black and just have the flower and wordings be the blue paint color?

And for anyone who suggested adding chairs to the room...how would that work since the couch has an attached chaise lounge? I feel like adding chairs would look odd although I would love to have extra seating in here!
December 20, 2012 at 3:20PM     
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Kevin Retired Decorator
PS you might want to have all the photos reprinted in Black & White for a large photo wall. Even just a good quality xerox copy of them would be easy on the budget. Kevin
December 20, 2012 at 3:21PM     
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Kevin Retired Decorator
I would flank the fireplace on both sides with chairs, a nice armless chair would work great. K
December 20, 2012 at 3:29PM     
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Chicago ReDesign
So glad to help! Yep - leave the glass pieces black and have the blue show through at the wording and design. So tape off the whole thing when you paint your frames. And in terms of adding chairs - one thought is to add just one chair and a half, like this example at West Elm. Add it facing the couch, slightly angled, on the opposite side of the chaise. I can add a floor plan example if you need it.
December 20, 2012 at 3:31PM   
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jjandhk
hi again rtrulove, i definitely agree with first photo of the rugs; and the black and white pictures would look great, I think; as per Chicago's original inspiration photo. Re. the chairs: could you put 2 small chairs to the right of the couch--in what looks like a bay window? And then a larger one to the left of the fireplace:
December 20, 2012 at 6:00PM   
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rtrulove
RE: the chairs in the bay....the chaise part of the couch is on the bay side. I'm not sure how that would look. I was just brainstorming and thinking what about putting the current couch in the bay area (the chaise part would be facing the opposite wall of the bay) and getting either 2 chairs or even another sofa to put in the place of current couch? Is that making any sense? We also have the option to add onto our current couch...maybe make into more of a U shape? or just add one more seating area to make it a longer L?
December 21, 2012 at 8:22PM   
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Kevin Retired Decorator
I would highly suggest not getting two sofas. I still say a Chair next to the fire place at least opposite to the sofa and from the chaise part. A round table & 2 small dining type chairs or parson chairs would look nice in the bay area. Kevin
December 21, 2012 at 8:43PM     
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jjandhk
i really like the couch where it is now, facing the fireplace wall. Could you move it back 3' or so--which would give you more room in the bay area for 2 small armchairs--in that beautiful shade of gray-blue?
Here's a few images for some ideas....
December 21, 2012 at 9:59PM     
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rtrulove
Sorry to bring this thread alive again! Ok I've been searching online and need more help on what would look good! Ok I posted earlier in this thread 2 rugs I found on Overstock. Here are a few chairs I found that I liked too.

Also I realized I failed to mention/show before this part of the wall that's already decorated, so I attached one now. If I went with either of the more bluish chairs I'd get rid of the red storage ottomans that are under the console table and get something different. But if I go with the dot chairs I may keep them or get the matching storage ottomans. Btw, the console table looks black in the pic but it's espresso
December 26, 2012 at 12:41PM     
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rtrulove
Sorry...I can't stop looking at chairs :) ok should I go a different route, keep the red accents I already have and go with this chair? I'm planning on 2 chairs in the bay and maybe adding a small table between them. I'm not sure what rug I would get though....
December 26, 2012 at 1:23PM     
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Kevin Retired Decorator
It's a lot easier to find a rug 1st if your wanting a print design rug as you liked before . Then get the chair. In general you would want one large print then smaller prints & patterns , even adding plaids and stripes too. If you use the large print red chair find a rug with a bit of red & brown like your sofa and other colors that would work with the room & your likes. You might want to look at Wayfair.com for chairs etc. They have great prices and stand behind with great customer service. !/2 my apartment was furnished from this company. Have fun. Kevin
December 26, 2012 at 2:41PM     
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Kevin Retired Decorator
A comment on your sofa table grouping. Great picture arrangement and good mix of trad & Modern. The lamps way to small and are fighting with the sofa table. Maybe buffet lamps 3 feet tall & use a more chunky modern lamp style. add something low on the table, then add, like greenery & a stack of books with a accent piece. Accessories rule always go bigger than small & use odd #s in groupings of 3's & 5's Think vignette... If your really wanting a showroom -professional look. From a retired decorator & furniture buyer. Kevin
December 26, 2012 at 3:11PM     
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PRO
Chicago ReDesign
If you are finding yourself drawn to the bolder red and white patterned chairs over and over again then I would say to go that route. If you do I would check out FLOR tiles for the rug because there are so many options. I feel you should do a patterned neutral in a linen shade... for example this is a style called Checkered Past in Vanilla/Hazelnut. I would also keep the picture frames as they are (instead of painting as previously mentioned) but would still reprint the pictures in a sepia tone. Also, I agree with kevin that the lamps you have on the side table.
December 26, 2012 at 5:28PM     
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PRO
Chicago ReDesign
December 26, 2012 at 5:31PM   
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rtrulove
Thanks again Chicago and Kevin!
December 27, 2012 at 6:20AM   
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rtrulove
Oh Chicago....I meant to also ask woman to woman, do you think 2 of those red chairs would be too much in the room? DH is leaning towards the dot ones because he thinks they're more subtle but still nice colors.
December 27, 2012 at 6:32AM   
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Chicago ReDesign
Not at all. I think the red chairs would look lovely. But honestly both are nice and I don't think you would be disappointed with either. One idea with the dot chairs is to also bring in some of those blue-grays you were originally considering, as those colors are also in the chair. So it really comes down to your vision of the room - are you set on a bold red/cream/espresso color scheme or would you want to go with a subtler version of that with the dot chairs and incorporate some blue/grays, or olive greens, or other colors from the chair? You really can't go wrong with either color palette. Sorry if this is more confusing than helpful... let me know if you have any other questions. :) Taryn
December 27, 2012 at 9:11AM     
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Blues and browns look great together. Find some nice print fabrics for windows, chairs and throw pillows. A new rug with those colors will tie it all together. I'm with the DH keep your sofa.
December 27, 2012 at 9:16AM   
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jjandhk
love the red chair you posted--2 of those would look smashing! Red and brown look great together.....and then use red pillows and accents. It sure would be a different room than you were first thinking about! love it!
December 27, 2012 at 9:24AM     
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decoenthusiaste
Silver for bling and a rich green for accessories would really look great. Since the French Press seems to be very much the color of your sofa, consider SW's Basil Green for the cabinet backs. Then pick up the green again in pillows. A pair of these chairs with this stool might look nice at the bay, along with patterned drapery panels.
Curves Button Chair
Modern Silver Lattice Garden Stool
Mimosa Panels
December 27, 2012 at 9:50AM   
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rtrulove
I hope you guys don't want to slap me! I'm bringing this thread back again. Ok so I need a little bit more help. I ended up purchasing the red floral chairs and although they're not the best quality they look great! I also ended up switching the small brown lamps that were on the console table for red ones (I uploaded a pic).

So my first question is do all the reds have to totally match? Can they be slightly off? The pillows and ottomans I already had are the exact same bright red. I thought the chairs and lamps were the same color but when they came in I realized they match each other and are a bit more of a darker red.

Ok next question...the bay where I have the chairs has 5 big windows. I have the chairs in the corner windows so the 3 windows in the middle still have 9 ft of open space between them. What do you suggest I put there, if anything? I was thinking a small round end table but the chairs would be so far from the table. I can't put the chairs in the middle where the 3 window are because the floor vents are in the corners and the chairs would cover them.

And one more question (sorry!) Are all the rooms typically matchy matchy? Like since I have reds in my living room do I need reds throughout my whole house? All our furniture is espresso finish but in the dining room and entryway I wanted to bring in some teal. I bought some prints for the dining room walls that are taupe, dark brown and teal. And for the entryway nook I found a cute teal cabinet (pics included). I also included a pic of the entryway nook and the dining room which is on the other side of the entry stairs. We just moved into this house in the middle of Sept. You can tell I haven't done much to it yet, but everything takes time, right?! :-)

Thank you all again SO much for the help!!
January 7, 2013 at 9:12AM   
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Chicago ReDesign
So glad you brought the thread back! It's actually fun and exciting to see this project through with you until the end. I hope you keep updating us until the room is complete! As for your questions - The reds do not have to match. In fact, I personally think it looks better if there are a range of hues if you are doing one color as an accent. I do not like when everything is too matchy-matchy (of course that is just my opinion :)). If you are worried about it I would bring in one element, such as throw pillows or a print for the wall, that has several red hues and ties everything together. As for the chairs in the bay, I would still move them to the center with a round accent table between them. There is enough clearance underneath the chairs that they will not interfere with the vents and you can move them off of the wall so they are not sitting on the vent. It's okay if they are "floating" in the center of the bay a bit. Lastly, are the entryway and dining area adjacent to the living room? If so, you could add small red elements to tie spaces together - Teal and red look great together. If the rooms are not adjacent then you do not need to keep the red theme going (unless you wanted too) - make the living room special! As always, hope this helps! Taryn
January 7, 2013 at 1:22PM   
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
So many people have said blues and it is a great color. Think about adding metallics Silver, bronze, copper, gold, steel etc. Mix these with a steel blue and it will be a fun look that is a bit edgy.
January 7, 2013 at 1:31PM     
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rtrulove
Taryn...hi! Thanks so much for yet another wonderful response :) I was thinking the exact same thing...a print with different shades of red for the other back wall. I'm so glad I was on the right track in my head! I'll look for an end table and move the chairs. In answer to your question, the living area is not adjoined to the dining room. The dining room leads into the kitchen and breakfast nook, which leads into the living room. But the breakfast area and living room is separated by a small walkway that has a powder room and butler pantry (across from each other). The entryway is somewhat adjacent to the living room but you can't see it from the room. There is a door to the basement and the entryway nook is behind that. I hope that makes sense!
January 7, 2013 at 1:52PM   
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Chicago ReDesign
Hi! Sorry - just now realized I never responded to this! So, because you can't see one room from the other (entryway and LR), you do not have to add red elements into the entry (like I mentioned above). However, I do think red and teal look good together, and I often encourage my clients to have an element in their home that creates a sense of cohesiveness from room to room. That element could be the wall color that is repeated from room to room, a style theme, or an accent color, etc. If you wanted to use red it doesn't have to be the main element in every single space, but your main public spaces could all feature red accents in varying degrees (so a little or a lot). Just a thought!
January 10, 2013 at 3:24PM   
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Chicago ReDesign
Oh - and I keep forgetting to mention that I absolutely adore that teal cabinet!! So cute!
January 10, 2013 at 3:27PM   
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rtrulove
Thanks Taryn! As I was reading your comment about an element that is in every room I realized I have something red every room downstairs except the dining room and DH's office (which doesn't count since it's behind french doors and I'm not allowed to decorate it...lol!) I saw this red mirror online at Pier 1 that I could get to hang above the teal cabinet. Then bring in some type of red into the dining room maybe with wall hangings and a table runner? If I can find one I like that is! Man I wish I knew how to use the sewing machine I've had for 5 yrs ;( Taryn, you seriously ROCK! I cannot thank you enough!!!!!
January 10, 2013 at 3:43PM   
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Chicago ReDesign
That means so much! Thank you!! I love the mirror - very eye-catching and the red is subtle. Perfect for the entry. To think you started this conversation with yellows, blues, and grays! So glad you followed your heart and that you are getting a space you will love. Can't wait to see the finished product!! And don't worry - I'm sure after DH sees what a fab job you've done with the rest of the house he'll come around with his office ;)
January 10, 2013 at 5:17PM     
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Chicago ReDesign
Hi rtrulove! Just curious how your projects are going. Would love to see some "after" shots if you have the time!
Taryn
February 6, 2013 at 9:04AM   
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