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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Decorating Woes - Living Room

jawormaJanuary 1, 2013
Happy 2013!
I’m not sure who reads this, but I could use help accessorizing my living room. Looking for more wow factor... For starters, I would like to keep most of my items, but add on.

I “Desperately” need something over the sofa… and it’s a very large wall. Currently have HD Silhouettes on order for the windows and re-doing pictures on the mantel. However, I don’t think I have a color scheme, hence why I’m struggling with artwork and the other small details.

The walls are BM Kangaroo, with white ceilings and trim.
All comments appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Cheers, MJ
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I did mention the wall over the sofa is large, it's a lofted area.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:53AM
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Start with a new, less linear, much larger, rug and window treatments (stationary panels over fabric romans.) Since you have art ordered already and have some hung which appears to be mostly black & white, I would be adding color and pattern. The FP is your focal point. If I were arranging the room, I'd put the sofa, tables and lamps in front of the window, the TV above the mantel, the chair and TV credenza on the long wall with the chair angled to face the FP. Hang your new art pieces on that same big wall - maybe stacked vertically above the credenza for some height. Right now the low pieces are drawing a line around the room so something besides the FP needs to draw a vertical line. If you decide to do some purchasing in the future, I would replace the coffee table and chair with something more in the style of your sofa and tables, with a softer line. Or, if you're looking for a more masculine vibe, then replace the tables and sofa with something more like the chair and coffee.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:58AM
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You have a lovely, calming space. The color scheme is neutral. You can pull a little more of the blue from the rug by painting the inside of your tray blue, using a blue flower pot and adding a blue throw to the left side of the sofa...but I like the soft neutrals just as they are.

The one thing I don't like is having the chair turned so it blocks the fireplace. I wonder if it could be placed at an angle, facing toward the sofa, on the corner of the rug?

To find inexpensive art work look here: http://www.allposters.com/

Hang drapery panels high and wide on each end of the windows. They need not be functional. See illustration. They will absorb sound and make the room look finished.

Add a few books (predominately blue) inside the media center and that's it.

Hope to see updates!
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Arlen Dau
When in doubt, try a large, framed antique mirror from a reclaim building materials store. Stain the frame, if needed, to work with your furniture wood color, or leave it real. When you have other ideas, there is always a place for a mirror in some other place in the home.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:04AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Buy a large original painting. Spend your money on that first. Good art that you love is the most important thing in your home besides a place to sit. Add pieces after that. The inexpensive things you add will look better because of the painting.
8 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:22AM
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Toni Sabatino
Interiors International, I couldn't agree more!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:32AM
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Fantastic Space! Agree with janishill about all she mentioned, except I would add mushroom/mink/soft gray hues instead of blue.
Something cool, large, and graphic for behind the sofa. Have fun. Good Luck!
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Nancy Hehmann
You can find original art on Etsy.com It is a website with a collection of artisans from the US and all over the world. Just input what you would like in the search engine, such as photography Paris, Venice, Hawaii, Horse. High def photography is very uplifting. Almost as good as being there. Most of the shop owners can customize what you like by contacting them. I have a shop, nancyhehmann on Etsy.

If you want to invest more money go to Park West Galleries website, they have limited edition prints and originals from many artists and sometimes the value increases over time. Or if you take a cruise, there are art gallery reps on all cruises any more and you can purchase art at art shows. The art shows are fun.

You can also put the term "wall sculptures in the search engine on HOUZZ or etsy for a different look.

Bottom line, fall in love with something and I would avoid mass produced art like what you find at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Have fun and Happy New Year.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 10:57AM
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Alexei Rebrov Art
Great space and beautiful wall. I can suggest investing in modern prints or art wall designs. Here are some examples with prints on aluminum from my similar projects:

It looks like space will benefit from soft impressionistic style art. I attached couple images
The prices start from $110 for 18x12" print. It looks like you may need 62x30" split like this: http://alexeirebrov.com/products/pink-blue-wall-design
Let me know if you have any questions about aluminum or if you think you need other sizes.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:12AM
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I’m leaning towards a piece of art vs. mirror over the sofa. What’s not shown in the pictures is… I have a large mirror on the same wall in the DR over a buffet. I rather avoid 2 mirrors on the same wall. Getting back to the art… either original, limited edition or something unique is preferred. It helps to get ideas from others because a large piece can be costly and I would be disappointed if it didn't work well. Thanks for suggesting some sites to browse.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Big. Bright. Bold.
Decorator Showcase Houses · More Info
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:25AM
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As we discuss ideas for over the sofa… assuming a print or canvas, should the item be frame? I’ve been cutting and pasting items from the web into a photo using Powerpoint. Yes, I’m your typical guy… Need visual! I like Natalie’s comment for cool and graphic. I’ll try a few! Many of the items I’ve been evaluating didn’t look right with the linear rug. I may need to make some corrections.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:31AM
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Try this site for original art: http://www.saatchionline.com/buy-art/originals-for-sale

You can filter by every category imaginable. Most of the art is affordable; some you can get as giclee prints.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 11:39AM
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No one has commented on my wall color, but after seeing at my pics online, I now question my color choice (BM Kangaroo).

On a completely different topic, I’m new to this site. I’m not sure if I’m entering my comments in the correct spot. I see places called discussions, feed, activity. What’s the difference?
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:24PM
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On my monitor the walls seem to have a grayish cast, but when I look at the BM site the color appears tanish.

This color may have more life to it: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-color/smokyash without overwhelming the room

Just click on each link to discover all the fun you can have on Houzz! :-)
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Kangaroo should be called camouflage… It changes color throughout the day based on lighting conditions.

Smoke Ash is beautiful, but I ‘m so afraid it may be too dark in the other rooms. In my mind, I feel the LR, DR and Loft need to be the same color as the wall flow into one another. I already have the foyer and hallways Powell Buff. Choices I made prior to seeing the entire ensemble. I’ll grab a sample next time I’m out.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:22PM
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Alexei Rebrov Art
About framing the art.
If you decide to go with large print on aluminum there is no need for framing. It will look modern.
As alternative you can consider frames in same brown color as wood of the coffee table or modern style metal or molded frames. Depending on final art the result can great. The only issue with frames that for modern art they can cost more then the art itself :(
I have clients on both sides of the spectrum. Some prefer invest more in bigger sizes art and some prefer tailor the art work into interior design with mates and frames. It's an issue of budget and strategy of investment.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:27PM
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BM has a color called Cameleon that might work as well.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Yes, I’ve looking at the aluminum option… I realize that wouldn’t need a frame. In the links you provided, I assume the piece is made as one sheet and cut into multiple pieces if desired?
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:37PM
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What if you gather up all those black and whites and put them over the sofa. There is a strawberry red color that goes perfectly with the kangaroo. (Look up kangaroo on the BM wedbsite). Paint an accent wall behind the sofa and use that color in fabrics.
Parsons Rectangular Coffee Table with Travertine Top | Crate&Barrel · More Info

Like your chair with the greek key back. Like your end tables and your lamps. DO NOT like the coffee table with the rest of your pieces. Too Pottery Barn.
Shoshana · More Info

Red Hibiscus Pillow · More Info
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:38PM
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Alexei Rebrov Art
yes, design may consist of multiple prints made from one image. Alternative is to go with diptych or triptych, which essentially different images but relates by either color scheme or technique.
Last option is to make one solid print (the limit is 40x80" though)
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 1:43PM
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I love the example you pointed out (B&W photos against red). In fact I saw that picture when I thought about an accent wall. The reason I steered away, the wall is just too large, plus it flows into 3 rooms and one can argue, the FP is the focal point. As for the coffee table. It’s one of the early pieces. I’m sure there’s something better for this space. Good comment! I'll keep my eyes open.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:02PM
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Hello again....Janishill & Natalie, you both mentioned adding blue or a soft grey/blue. Anyway. I also found the soft blue to be quite appealing. I’m adding this for feedback. Not sure on the subject, abstract with a striped rug? perhaps a no no… The piece is a bit smaller than expected, but I remind myself I may need to relocate at some point and this may be more workable on normal size wall in the future. See attached
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:26PM
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jaworma, The art you added really completes the room. I like the neutral, monochromatic color scheme you've selected.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 2:40PM
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I also found this piece interesting. Similar colors, but more depth. Single picture vs a double? I'll sleep on it for now. Comments always welcome!
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Nice space but a little bland for my taste. I would love to see an accent that pulls in the cinnamon/paprika of the FP brick, in the artwork and perhaps a throw on the sofa. More coppery tones as opposed to the bronzy tones in pillows currently. The lamps would have been a good place to add more contrast as well.Perhaps once you choose art, there will be a color in there you can pull out. I would reposition that chair to sit more diagonally on carpet and not block the FP. Best of luck!
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I prefer the two pictures over the couch to the one, both in terms of placement and color/aesthetics.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Now that I'm viewing my space via the photos, I agree, it's a bit bland... I received a lot of great suggestions today and my mind is already in overload. In a good way!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:30PM
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The lamps get a lot of attention when I have company, but I loss the opportunity to bring in color. Just a thought... can anything be done with lamp shade to compliment or add contrast?
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:37PM
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absolutely! Go to a lighting store or shop online for ideas! Good luck jaworma!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Carol Tackett
I am a quilter and use large spaces to display quilts. They have texture and color and any design you want.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 3:56PM
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Jayne Smith
Copper tones , can you fill your lamp bases with copper flowers or twigs ( sorry I don't know the correct terminology) or some grass that will bendand curl within! Move the checkered cushion and add copper tones with a light beige throw, add a window feature - voluptuous curtains collected to one side, instead of the little flower pot stand add a thin long sideboard to add length to the room with a few copper accents !

For above the sofa add a copper sculpture - it will brighten your original paint and warming the room !

I'm no interior designer but a girl can dream lol I'm a newbie too ! Stumbled upon this looking for quadruple bunk beds ! Xx
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 4:08PM
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Very nice starting place . I love natural , perhaps consider natural objects . For art consider reclaimed frames , aka flea market finds and press large leaves between glass . It's simple yet pleasing not to heavy. If your fortunate to live in warm climate you have access to large leaves , or visit florist or fakes from craft store . Pop color with throw pillows . I often go to pier 1 , pick up cool napkins and sew together makes cool quick pillow covers ( use no sew options) , make small unique shapes for interest . If you can fill your lamps up pick something vibrant , beads , Christmas ornaments to add interest . Just remember your favorite color in your closet is a nice accent to your home . It took me years to figure that out ! I but pops of color are a great and easy way to change your room to keep it fresh seasonally or per your mood . From your photo , teal , and yellow would be a nice pop in pillows or coffee table art . Have fun that's what it's all about .
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 4:31PM
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Lesli Richardson
I would add something organic and reclaimed to breakup the straight lines in the room. A tree limb or shelves out of reclaimed worn wood.
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Alexei Rebrov Art
I think one large abstract print may be enough to bring wow to the wall.
More abstract prints are here: http://alexeirebrov.com/collections/impressionism
    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:44PM
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I like the two side by side prints---different matting though. Less cream/yellow. :)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 1, 2013 at 9:50PM
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As Natalie said ~ the twin prints with different mats.

Someoen mentioned adding a tree branch whihc is a great ide.

You could add a couple of ottomen under the window to bring in more color and to have for extra seating. I can see them in a soft solid blue/gray...and they would help absorb sound.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 4:35AM
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Brilliant! Adding ottomans is awesome. I’m considering the double abstract print as my baseline. I may need to find something similar if I tweak the mat color. This artwork is off the shelf, so-to-speak. In the spirit of branches… I’ll add this idea… Cherry Blossoms… It has the colors I find most appealing. Thoughts?
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 4:49AM
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They look too heavy. The others have a wider mat which makes a difference and are more rectangular. Smaller prints, larger mats, rectangular shape would be the way to go.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 5:01AM
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Beautiful ideas
Too heavy something more colorful and sleek /stylish.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 5:25AM
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    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 6:54AM
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kathleen MK
You need some big bright artwork so check out local art shows, charity events and studio tours where emerging artists offer quality works.
Or be brave and paint your own abstract/ non-objective piece in you favorite colors.(I'd add some of the fireplace brick color.) Maybe a trio of canvasses with the sides painted so you don't need a frame. Change or cover the pillows to match the bright colors in the artwork.
Or keep the neutral color scheme with something black and white. With a couple cans of flat black spray paint and a bunch of junk you could create your own Louise Nevelson style sculpture.
You have designed a great back drop for almost any kind of artwork as long as it's large.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 8:12AM
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V Richards
Present room layout focuses on window - is there a nice garden view beyond during the day?- What do people look at when it becomes dark ?
Room looks cut in half , small - and it's far from that!

Make fireplace "and beyond" one focus.
Sofa on window wall - tables/lamps flanking it.
Armchair slightly in from doorway - but get another, or an otto-man, for more seating choices..
Wall next to doorway - ceiling to skirting fabric wall hanging with preferred colour accents - could it be the blue, as the stars on the mantle?

A new long coffee table - glass top, shelf unit and storage.

TV and TV unit date the room. Relocate it to another part of the house- perhaps a bedroom?

Where the sofa is now - a very long and tall unit housing not only "larger" screen TV, but everything to do with TV, music, consoles games, entertainment, movies, CDs, DVDs, , etc.etc.
- a true "central media centre"

This unit should be the second visually pleasing focal point of the room.

Won't need to worry about "what prints should I get?" for this wall - the unit is the "art"!

Bottom part unit - solid doors OR drawers to hideaway remotes, CDs, tapes, etc, etc.
Central part of unit - necessities for screen, media and gaming connections, foxtel, speakers etc.
Top part of unit - all glass sliding doors - dust free display for accent coloured treasured objects.
(This coloured display draws eyes upwards - be soothing, even when TV is off!)

Large size of unit diffuses/balances out very high loft wall.

Accent coloured pillows, throws on seats centrally relate to colours on fabric hanging/unit display.

The room beyond the fireplace - dining room?- paint the window wall in the living room accent colour - sense of relationship for the two rooms and to the overall space.

Go "hunting and gathering" ideas with the Houzz photo bank!
Do what everyone else does - see something you love - be a copycat!
    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:23AM
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If you're on a budget (like many of us) you might think about making your own "art" for the large wall behind your sofa. Go to a large fabric store that sells home decor fabrics as well as apparel fabric. Find a fantastic print with an accent color that you love -- perhaps something brown and black with a small pop of red. Make your own frames (2' x 4-5' tall) out of straight 1"x2" furring lumber. First cover with muslin or sheeting by stapling it onto the back of the frames. Then the second layer would be your fantastic print. Three frames hung about a foot apart would accentuate the tall wall and allow you to "sprinkle" your new accent color around the room through a couple of pillows, a tray, a bit of color banding on the drapes, and something to draw the eye to the mantel. I'm moving into my new dream house in one month. It has 12' ceilings throughout, and I will be using some of my own advise to make it fill like home. Good luck.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 1:31PM
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Wallmark Custom Homes
You can always use a picture that you have taken and get it blown up and put on canvas. This can be an inexpensive way of adding your own unique art.
    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Joann Vitali Fine Art Photography
Not sure if you've chosen anything yet, but here's and idea that you may like.
    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Margaret B
I don't think the space in bland, it is unfinished. You simply have the first layer complete and need to add some artwork and accessories
1 Like    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Arts at Denver Gallery
A large horizontal painting would be beautiful. Pick something you love, not just something that "looks good with the furniture"!
    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Pam P.
My favorite place to shop for art is at community and neighborhood fairs. Coming up in the spring... so you might want to wait till then. I am a big fan of supporting your local art community. The prices are good and you can see a variety of art in one place and find what you like to go over that sofa.
    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 3:47PM
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