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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need suggestions about living room layout!!!!

marcjohnsonDecember 28, 2012
Moved into a new house and remodeled. The black leather furniture doesn't seem to go well with the new space and vibe of the house. I'd like some suggestions about layout and color, and even window covering and small furniture. The Room and Board credenza stays! And the mantle will be replaced by reclaimed barn beam. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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Manon Floreat
This is a beautiful room and I think the sleek black leather furniture looks great against the milky white walls. What do you have - a sofa and chair? And does the TV have to stay in this room?
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:39PM
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I like the couch and chair that you see in the photo. We just had the interior painted, so the furniture is still in disarray. My girlfriend says that white couches are the only way to go. White walls, white couches, white bedding, white everything. I personally like wood and color. What should I do?
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:45PM
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All 4 Show, LLC
I think the dark furnishings help to "ground" the space!! Although the shape/style of the furniture isn't the most appropriate, I do like the dark against the light walls and flooring...
If you go with lighter furniture choose a dark area rug to "ground" the space and tie it altogether...
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:15PM
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All 4 Show, LLC
Living Spaces · More Info
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Hi---lovely room... Keep it monochromatic and airy-think tone on tone. Curvy, tufted, or rolled arm sofa and chair(s), glass coffee table, and rug. BIG art. Current wall color is very nice-add matching window treatments for windows flanking FP. Hope this is helpful... Good Luck!
Brad Ford ID · More Info
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:24PM
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marcjohnson..... Get a new girlfriend? lol

Does she like your shoes lined up in the livingroom too? Just kidding.

I think an area rug is the best idea. You can add white to the room in the rug or even white and black.

what are you using for a coffee table? what else do you need in this room? art? mirror? plants?
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Manon Floreat
Well, since the space is shared, there will have to be some compromises made so that you both feel comfortable. I suggest that the two of you look at some of the rooms here on Houzz and think about what palettes appeal to you both.

Here are a couple examples to get you started. None have the same configuration of your room, but I think the color choices are informative. Good luck to you!

Modern livingroom · More Info

West Hills Victorian · More Info
    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 10:31PM
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The room is gorgeous! And your furniture looks like it's good quality and has great lines. In Manon's three pics above what jumps out is the presence of a third colour. Maybe keep the Mrs happy and let her choose the third colour (to use in the rug, cushions etc). It sounds like she likes clean, fresh spaces, so choosing something like turquoise will probably work with that while still allowing you to keep the furniture and inject a bit of colour. You could keep that theme throughout the house too.
:) Elise
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 12:26AM
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Hi, like your room, too, sure you want to change the mantle? It fits with the style of the "tudor" window panes. You'll have to tell more about the style you want, your choice of couches seem contempory, but the style of the room is traditonal, figure out what you like first...on Houzz
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 1:06AM
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How about doing a yin-yang kind of thing? One black sofa and one white sofa of the same style facing each other, on either side of the fireplace. A yin-yang print over the fireplace: [houzz=
Artistic Yin Yang vinyl wall decal · More Info
-] A great coffee table: [houzz=
Bestsellers · More Info
] with a beautiful floral display: [houzz=
60015 Yin Yang Calla Arrangement, Set/3 by Uttermost · More Info
] Add some color with throw pillows and an area rug: [houzz=
Pillows · More Info
] [houzz=
Mystic Collection Turquoise Rug · More Info
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 1:51AM
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Now you got me looking at that rug. wow that is pretty. I too have a dark brown couch and kinda with it was white. Bit I like the idea of a colorful rug to brighten the space.
olldbobbi... if you do such a bright rug do you really need to use that color throughout the house to make it flow?
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 2:06AM
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designideas4me, this is just my opinion and there will be plenty who will disagree with me, but, to me using the same color throughout a home is b-o-r-i-n-g. When you move from room to room, what is there to catch your eye? What's different and interesting? When we moved into this house last year, EVERY wall was painted the same shade of beige. It was a great palette to start with but (greatfully) the colors have evolved.

I'm not saying go hog wild with color, I'm just saying the accent color in room A can certainly be different in room B. When I move about my home I want to see something slightly different, something that gives that particular room its personality.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 2:19AM
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Maison Pompeii Antiques and Interiors
I certainly dont think that a house has to be all one color nor should it look like a showroom for Sherman Williams. There are discreet ways to make a house flow without there being a boring feeling. I once used a very colorful but elegant choiserie wall paper in the foyer and then used the colors from the wallpaper for the other rooms in the house. Same with a pretty rug in the foyer. I have always wanted to do a black room but have never been able to it in house where it made sense. So while I love color it does have to make sense. Another way to unify is to use the same color wood trim throughout the house. Also for me the color of a room is the foundation for the room and the focal points are what you put in the room like great art work, objet d'art, fabrics or an interesting fabulously designed case piece or chair.

In answer to your question:
1. Turn chair with shoes in front of it 90* to face seating area. Back large sofa up to the wall so that the credenza is seen.
2. Get an area rug to define the space. It should have the colors you would like to use in the room. In this case black , white and an accent color can be pulled out from it. I often pull out the color that is least seen in the rug rather than the most common color seen in the rug.
3. Add a tallish chair covered in a patterned fabric or one with great architectureal appeal in the corner between credenza and firplace.
4. Modernist style square coffee table
5. Floor lamp on other side of credenza.
6. Beautiful painting over sofa or group of paintings hung gallery style.
7. Large mirror over fireplace, maybe something retro.
8. Keep mantle, paint bricks black (cheapest), Paint mantle high gloss black, or leave white and add black granite to cover ugly brick(most expensive). I dont think a barn beam will go well here.
9. Add crown molding to room
10. Raise drapery rod to as high as possible and hem drapes to just break on the floor. Stationary panels only and then maybe roman shades beneath it if you need privacy. But I love the window itself so dont cover it too much.

I hope this helps
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 3:20AM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. We've tried to arrange the furniture (and if you look closely, you can see the square walnut coffee table under the books) multiple times in different configurations. The style of the house is traditional, with all of its endless mouldings and cheap decorative accents. I want something streamlined, like a cross between country farmhouse and a japanese space. What we've done with the remodel to open the space up has done wonders. I'll have to post photos of before and after. But, you mentioned keeping that hollow wooden box that is impersonating a mantle because of the windows... The windows have to go at some point. I'm not a fan of the traditional style, and if you can picture different windows, then the reclaimed beam can work. Love the suggestions regarding rug and color. I think we honestly need to rethink the furniture. It worked in my loft with high ceilings and concrete floors, but it doesn't work here. The colors however, do. I'll post some more pics shortly.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 10:09AM
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the essentials inside
Hi marcjohnson. Happy New Year everyone!

I found some Houzz pics that might give us some ideas:

Pearl District Loft Crane Building Penthouse · More Info

Living Room · More Info

jamesthomas, LLC · More Info

GreenSpur · More Info

Modern Loft Project · More Info

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 2:26PM
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well you sound like me is some ways. here is what I did so far but of course I have a lot more work to do. My fireplace mantel is in the garage( til I sell it) and I had all the tile removed and took down the ceiling fan. I painted it black for now just to get a visual of what I might put there in the future. Oh here is a pic of when we bought the house and here is it now. I too have a heavy square dark leather couch and still dont know what else to do with the room. But at least you have light colored floors. Do you like your floors? what kind of wood are they? I too have been contemplating putting in a concrete floor. How did you like that in your loft you had previously? My house is also traditional and I struggle with ways to make it contemporary. But you have to live in an environment that feels right to you regardless of the structure of the house. At least thats how I feel about it.
    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 3:37PM
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designideas4me The new version of your place looks way better. Holy Sony Trinitron in the corner... But yeah, the black on your wall makes so much sense, moreso than just the black fireplace. Regarding my floors, they're oak, and yes, I like them. I discussed different wood species with my contractor, and hard wood is way better. A lot of my friends have walnut floors (yes, walnut! $$$$) but traffic is really hard on walnut, however beautiful it is. The oak is simple and wear-resistant, so it stays until I'm in a position to comfortably change them. Not sure what I'd even go with. Nowadays, anything you do to your house ends up being in the multiple thousands of dollars, and new floors are $10K+.
In my old loft, I had concrete floors like I mentioned and yes, it was awesome. The industrial look of the place worked with concrete floors, and all you need is a shop-vac and a Swiffer to maintain them. They're great. Some houses have concrete subfloors, and I've seen people just rip out carpeting and padding or even old wood and have their concrete floors polished and sealed. Wood looks amazing with those floors as well, and any color pretty much goes with it.
Bottom line, from experience, you can slowly change little things here and there to get away from the Traditional style. Clean lines, and a natural palette can change the vibe of any house. Something as simple as a different style of shutters/windows/doors with a change in moulding around the house almost erases any trace of overly fancy Traditional style. My home had a door between every single room. I knocked out the wall between the dining room and living room, opened up the doorways to the entrances of the rest and it feels so open now. It's a tiny 1200 sq ft home, but now it feels and looks amazingly open. I didn't DO much, I simply UNDID what the previous owners had all done. I just took out a bunch of stuff and simplified the house and I love it now. I just have to build the built-in bookcases and closets (all reclaimed fir) and switch out the existing doors with newer, simpler doors from the Millennium Collection. Encore door #544 or *6544. I got a catalog and chose that style, then stayed in a hotel a week later and the rooms all had that exact interior door, which was uncanny. So I know it works with a room. Anyway, here are some photos of what the space looks like without all the clutter.
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Cool house. These are just some thoughts from us. Put the t.v. over the fireplace. Put an area rug with brown and black accents about 4 x7 under the coffee table. Put an end table w. a vase & reeds between chair and sofa.Left of octogan window put a rectangular dark framed mirror. Add a rounded fireplace screen in black. Put 2-way blinds on the windows flanking the fireplace. Drape a decorative shower curtain on the other window (in dining area) and use tiebacks. Put a 2 l/2 ft. vase with reeds in front of the window r. of FP, and frame both fireplace windows all the way around w. a 3"molding. In front of the l. fireplace window put a small wrought iron table 10 inches deep, black to tie it all in. Big rectangular 9 x 7 rug with brown and black accents under dining table. Put a rectangular picture that hangs vertically or candle sconces or both on the dining room wall by kitchen door. Place a wall shelf 3-4 inch protruding plate shelf on wall in dining opposite small windows with a small plant for color. Put a rope macrame hanging on vertical wall next to
thermostat. Put a couple of 10 inch vases on the credenza (beautiful piece!) Put rough textured white wallpaper on the sides of your FP. Your black looks terrific.
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 9:17PM
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Nice to hear back from you. Maybe we can help each other with ideas. I was about to put in a concrete overlay ( since my existing floor which you see in the picture is concrete) but my son kinda talked me out of it. He felt that wood is a better choice given the style of the house, which really you can only tell from outside. I am still undecided which to go with. I cant do it properly without the overlay due to the tack strip holes and some leveling compound I found in the kitchen. Anyway here is a pic of what I did in the living room with my tv.. I really think a thin l.e.d. TV (2-4 inches max) on a flush mount makes the room very contemporary.. I think a large rug would look good for you and a glass dining table. I have a wood table since it was a good deal at the time but I will be buying a glass table for the kitchen area soon. Where are you located? what year is your house? Now that I look again at your place I see your dilemma. I guess its not bad the way it is but the tv does block the window a bit and the heat of the sun isnt good for it. I assume it has to be in that room? There have got to be 10 people this past week or so with the same dilemma you have concerning the fireplace and the tv. For me it was never an option. I like my tv very low. I like to be able to lay down on the couch or bed and watch.
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 11:16PM
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would go with a more dramatic drapery fabric with either a bold colour or a strong texture I feel like the panels are getting "lost" in the rest of the room.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 11:59PM
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