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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

First-Time Homeowner seeking advice on how to decorate living room area.

rdsaylesJanuary 4, 2013
First and foremost, all ideas are welcome here! I'm a single-mom who is a recent first-time homeowner and now I have to figure out how to turn my house into a home to welcome friends and family. I really love transitional style (classic with contemporary twist) and prefer functionality for the kiddo. I'm also trying to be as cost-effective as possible. The plan is to make the most use out of what I have and add to the look with (window treatments, paintings/pictures, chairs, coffee table etc). I've posted three photos of the space 1. living room from right corner of breakfast area 2. living room from left corner of breakfast area 3 living room facing out to kitchen. The fourth photo is one that incorporates the transitional style with the tones I like minus the piano and fireplace. :)

I plan to tackle this project within the next few months. Where to begin..
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Wow. I think your inspirational photo is fantastic. Just try to duplicate the coffee table, chairs and curtains and wall color (budget friendly) and you'll have a fabulous space!
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 1:09AM
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I love ikea. If you have one close I bet you can add lots to what you have now with a few hundred and make it go far. I too am a single mother and its funny I had a couch exactly that same color for many years and it was very versatile and easy to decorate with. You can get a rug for under the table and everything you mentioned for maybe 500-1000 depending on the items you get there. I actually found great new furniture at the salvation army stores and big lots and garage sales. You would be amazed.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 1:37AM
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First off, Congratulations!
Next, I would think about creating some kind of entry 'space.' I am assuming that the door on the far left is the entrance from outside. Ikea has a piece called Expedit, that is finished on both sides. It has inserts to create storage spaces within the piece, or baskets that slide into the cubbies. hat look is too slick, find something such as a bookcase with a finished back. That is the key. It will be seen from both front and back. You can put a small game table by the window, or perhaps a desk or writing table. You can even put a console there with a stool or two underneath that can provide additional seating for the living room.
Can you reverse the sofa and the TV cabinet? Then you can perhaps move thew sofa far enough away from the wall to create a passageway from the entry into the space, and not have the circulation cut through the room. Since you own, you can have your cable company come in to move the outlet. I think they do that for free. Verizon did for me, so I would hope that other providers can do that as well. It will create a more intimate space. A large area rug would tie the room together, and if you choose something with some color, it will give you something to play off for the wall color. A large round ottoman can be used for a coffee table, if you put a tray on it. See if you can find one at a consignment shop, and have it reupholstered with a more traditional fabric and some fringe detail. That will help in keeping the transitional feel. The ottoman will provide additional seating if you need it.
A large chair and a half would also help to define the space if placed between the living and dining areas, with a side table next to it.
In the dining area, the table looks a bit small for those chairs. Can you sell the one you have and find one that is rectangular instead of square? It will fill the space out more, You could get a bakers rack for the wall by the hallway, something with a slim profile. That would give you more storage for the dining room.
These are just some ideas. Please post when you are done decorating! I' love to see what you come up with.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:03AM
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Congratulations! There's nothing like owning your own house, even with a mortgage payment!

Now to fix it! Count on it taking a lot longer than you planned. But that's a good thing; it will keep you from making wrong choices.

Are you going with the current wall colors? Is it beige or gray?

1. Color scheme. Decide. Look at a lot of photos, magazines, houzz. You already have the wall color, the sofa (brown). Need another "tone" of the same colors and an accent color. Go with what you love. All colors work; it's just what you like. Note: brown and yellow or brown and orange are "harsh." Brown and green is dull. Brown looks great with blues, aqua/turquoise, red (believe it or not!), apricot, gold/buff. But if you love brown and yellow, go with it!

2. Area rug. It will make a huge difference in pulling the living room together. It has to be big enough for all seating to have the front legs on it. A small rug in front of the sofa won't work. THe TV doesn't have to. THe rug can blend with the neutrals or you can use it to set your color scheme. So this has to be one of the first decisions.

3. draperies. As soon as you can afford them, ditch the blinds. Since you have only 1 window lighting all that area, I would not limit it. A roman shade or sheers (white or cream, never a color) which can be battiste (fine cotton fabric) or similar. Depends on privacy issues. Definitely full-length draperies. Your choice in color, depending on your colors, but neutral will look classier and accommodate future color changes.

4. Furniture. 2 small-scale chairs. I would not purchase a bulky recliner or side-chair. Too limiting. These could be colors and pattern. Slipper chairs have less bulk and would flank the sofa nicely. Coffee table - don't match to end tables. Matchy-matchy tables and lamps is boring. A floor lamp is always useful.

5. Art. You have some interesting pieces leaning against hte wall, although I can't tell what's beside the front door. Is that art or a vaccum cleaner? Can't tell. Go with what you love. It can set your color scheme. It doesn't have to be paintings. B/W or sepia photos,
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:48AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Make good use of thrift store and consignment shop finds. These can be reporposed or just be great priced pieces.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:25AM
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@inkwitch The walls are in the color Kilim Beige by Kwal. I was thinking of painting the longest wall that leads from the main entrance to the living room a darker color (similar to the paint color in the inspiration photo).

For now I'd like to keep the blinds and just add attractive drapes. Although you can't see it in the photos there is another window facing the breakfast area on the left (when facing the kitchen)which adds extra lighting to this space.

Great idea to look for two small scale chairs i.e. slipper chairs. @andrelicata had a great suggestion to move the cable outlet to the opposite side of the room to create a passageway to the back door. In that space I could add art and a bench for extra seating if needed. For the breakfast area I believe a bakers rack would not give me room to hang the mirror I have sitting there. I was thinking of a buffet table or cabinet there for storage.

I found a great website that sells rugs at about 65-70% off at RugsUSA.com thanks to http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com OR as @designideas4me mentioned Ikea may be a good start as well.

You all have really helped me a great deal with your ideas. I at least now have a starting point that is not only budget-friendly but fits my personal style. @Darzy I believe what you mentioned is true, if I start with the chairs, coffee table and window treatments I'll be well over halfway there. The additional touches i.e. wall color, art, sofa pillows, area rug etc will then pull it all together to achieve the look I'm aiming for. Beautiful! :)
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 10:45AM
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By the way does anyone know of a paint color that is comparable to the walls in the inspiration photo? (attached)
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 10:50AM
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@andrealicata AT&T quoted $200 to install an additional phone jack in the living room so that is out for now. There is an outlet already installed on the opposite side of the living room but it is off-center, closer to the breakfast area. I could use a phone jack extension but once again the outlet would be about a foot or so away from my TV console.
    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:18AM
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