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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Art suggestions? Need to liven up my room!

nlmackayJanuary 3, 2013
Hi - I really need to add some art to liven up my dining room/living room area. I'm thinking a large oversized print to the right of my buffet mirror. I'm at a loss as to what though! Any suggestions? My husband and I are in our early 30's. I want an elegant space, that's also young. My husband insisted on these brown leather sofas to create a cigar smoking (which I dont allow!)/scotch drinking room. 5 years later it's just a blah living room. I'm also looking to change the curtains, rug and chandelier.
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Start with new rugs. Something you like with color and pattern. They can be an inspiration point for new curtains, art and wall color.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Thanks, do you have any suggestions as to what might look nice? I'm at a loss! I bought all of this expensive furniture, which I now find dull. I'm so afraid to make a purchase and hate it in a year! I have analysis paralysis! :)

One idea I did have, was to use sisal rugs in both rooms. But that might be awfully dull. Would putting a zebra rug on top of the sisal in the living room work? Although that still isn't adding color!
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 7:57AM
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Sisal is classic and it would provide a neutral base with your classic furniture to change out accessories/colors if you get tired of it. You could go with sisal rugs and then get a patterned/colored drapery panels and throw pillows. You want a mix of patterns and textures. This would be through the rugs, pillows, drapes and perhaps a grasscloth wallpaper.

I think antique brass and golds are making a comeback and look richer and warmer with dark woods and brown leather. Incorporate that in a chandelier, some table lamps and art work frames.

You need a larger rug for under your dining table. Or remove and store one of the leaves to make it a bit smaller.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Thanks! My husband needs to remove 2 leaves from our table tonight after work. It is still extended from hosting xmas. I like your idea of adding brass. I recently bought the silver mirror that is above the buffet. I got it at Restoration Hardware and it was very expensive. Do you think it would work to add in the gold tones and still keep that mirror? I have trouble with knowing how to mix metals!
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Welcome. I have similar style you do and mix metals all the time. Just need repetition and balance. I like the mirror and would definitely keep that.

Find some mercury glass hurricane lamps or vases with a bit of antique brass trim on them or a subtle gold finish and you're tying the two metals together.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:40AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Instead of a print look at original art. Etsy.com is a great resource.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Thanks again, I appreciate you giving me these suggestions and will definitely look for those accents. Now one more question, any thoughts on what I could do for a chandelier? My curtain rods are wrought iron black (if that makes a difference). That room also opens up to my kitchen, where I have stainless steel appliances and nikel pendants.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:44AM
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I suggest incorporating a rich reddish orange/terra cotta as an accent. These two rugs would pair well together.

I love the mirror in your dining room, and I think it will work even if you use different metal tones in your chandelier. I like this idea.
Sausalito Five-Light Chandelier · More Info

Art idea...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:54AM
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^ Good point. I would go with a black finish iron chandelier to tie in the drapery rods. Black finish is neutral. IMO, your current chandelier is too contemporary looking.

Something like this would look nice:
Alexander 10-Light 38" Wide Wrought Iron Chandelier · More Info

I think it comes in smaller versions.

Also like this for a cleaner look:
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Here are 2 ideabooks for inspiration.

Ideabook: Freshen Up Your Dining Room to Savor Meals More · See Ideabook

Ideabook: Designer's Touch: 10 Divine Dining Rooms · See Ideabook
1 Like    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:08AM
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Thank you, I just looked at both ideabooks. I seem to LOVE every style shown that probably wouldnt work with what I currently have. So frustrating! Why couldn't I have known about houzz before I bought all of this furniture!!!! Grrrrrr! My style has definitely evolved to be more glamorous rather than rustic!
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:14AM
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^ I get your frustration. But all is not lost since your furniture is classic. Add glamour through an elegant chandelier, rugs, curtains, etc. A pair of upholstered host chairs at the end of your dining table would help amp up the glamour.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Thanks mmilos! Great idea regarding the host chairs! It would also break up all of the boring brown. I'm definitely going to start looking for those. I'm going to need something tall, because my Pottery Barn chairs are the Wynn Ladderback and they are 43".
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:21AM
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Tall wingback chairs would look cool. Just wonder how they sit at the dining table... :-) Don't get anything too deep.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Sue Ann Stevens
Warm-toned rugs (I'm thinking bold print with reds/golds or greens) would make a world of difference since you have so many neutrals. I wouldn't get identical rugs for both areas, it would be too matchy-matchy. One could have curves and the other bolder stripes. Your mirror can go with about anything.

A black wrought iron chandelier is a good idea coupled with warm toned shades on it. For couch pillows and artwork, go again for reds/golds for a warmer look and the same for drapes.

Whatever colors you choose will help dictate some accessories for your coffee table and buffet. I would go for "round" or curves to soften all the right angles. Curvy vases, pitchers or platters would be nice on the buffet. Perhaps a large round dish with colorful orbs or fruit on the coffee table.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Sue Ann Stevens
What is across from the couch? I see what looks like plates on a stand in the far corner. Would that work on the buffet? What about angling your furniture and rug in the seating area a little and pulling them away from the walls? It may be worth experimenting with arrangement.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:41AM
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Hi - it's not plates on a stand, it's a driftwood art sculpture. The room is fairly narrow, so unfortunately the furniture doesnt work any other way (I've tried!). Here's a pic of the wine cabinet on the other wall....more blah!
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:16AM
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Here are a few pics of my other living space. It needs curtains (any suggestions are welcome - but keep in mind I have 2 boys under the age of 3). I'm much happier with the "look" of this space. The pics arent coming out great, but it's gray, taupe, ivory, black and robbin's egg blue. I'm thinking of adding white built-ins on the tv wall (depending on how expensive that project is!) and getting rid of the ugly ikea shelves that hide the toys. I'll try to get pics of the kitchen posted too. My house is a total open floor plan.
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Here's the kitchen...
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:30AM
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That's a beautiful sunburst mirror. Nice looking yellow lab too. :-)

I would do tall drapery panels up high on your two windows flanking your fireplace. Hang the rods about level with the top of the sunburst mirror if possible. I'd do roman shades on the window behind the sectional.

Love your kitchen too. Very classic!
    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 10:31AM
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