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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help for Living room & dining room

daniomaJanuary 6, 2013
I would love any help on my living room and dining room. I am in a decorating rut. My living room feels very bland and dated with a beige rug, couch and walls. I especially have trouble with furniture placement and what to put on the walls. I am drawn to pictures that I would describe as light/airy, classic and modern - neutral but with pops of color......but I obvioulsy have trouble executing that. We're not tied to anything in here except the club chairs. I know this looks very one dimensional and I would love to add texture and interest but I am stuck. I am attaching the dining room pics too since you can see the LR from it and I would love to make some updates in there too and hope to have it flow and look cohesive. ANY advice/suggestions will be much appreciated. Thank you in advance!
(I also realize how bad my accessorizing of the mantle looks in this pic!)
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Julie Thome Draperies, Inc.
It's a nice room and love the wall color. Think you could go a long way adding sone color into one or 2 items, such as a patterned rug, drapes with some color and maybe reupholster your sofa? I know these are perhaps drastic measures in terms of $$$. The cheapest thing to do would be replace all the pillows in a brighter pattern. The pictures over the mantle need to be hung on the other wall near the drapes and get a larger scale painting with some color centered over the mantle on that wall. I would choose things like art and rug first as they set the tone for everything else. Charming room though.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:12AM
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I agree with Julie , that rug has to go it gets lost in the brown floor, the curtains are tying to hide the rads but it doesn't work. White curtains must also be hard with that crumb cruncher in the photo. I know it's expensive but a gas insert would make the room. Almost forgot, what is on the ceiling?
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:48AM
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Susan Scott
I would be tempted to paint the ceiling the same color of the walls (perhaps an ivory or cream) because the ceilings look low. The ceiling is now competing with the mantle and I think it would be nice for the mantle to stand out. I personally do not mind an eclectic mix of things on the mantle, you just need more of what you have and possibly more color. Mirrors over the mantle are also nice to increase the light in your room and add sparkle.

here is a lovely example using mirrors and glass -
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:53AM
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I am by no means a decorator...I use what I like, whether "in style" or not...LOVE the space and think it is a beautiful area to work with in terms of how you want it to look. I do think drapes/curtains in a darker color or a pretty, subtle pattern would look great. Here's my main suggestion- once you get your color scheme down with these other posters great ideas, find a darker color you are using in a rug/drapes/whatever, and paint just the trim (what is now the same as the wall color) directly around your fireplace and the little step up, that color. Just make sure it is at least a couple of shades darker than the walls. Then use a very light version of that color, and just paint the back walls of the built-in shelves with that lighter version. It would add a lot of depth to the room and make your focal point pop.
The mirror behind your sofa might look good over the fireplace. Don't forget that frames can be painted easily if needed.
Wish you lived in my town so I could come see your house!! Good luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:06AM
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I agree it's a nice room. The furniture is a little bulky though, especially the dark solid ottoman. How about something lighter, with legs?
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:11AM
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Thank you all for all your comments! Julie, I love your ideas of the patterned rug/drapes. MJ Neylon....no kidding on the white drapes. They've sort of just been a filler until I knew where I was going with this room.....(3 years later!). And that ceiling mark was DIY project of my husbands that has since been fixed...Thank God! BTW....what is a rad? Susan, love the idea of a mirror over the mantle. I never thought of painting the ceiling....they are low. Thank you again all for the great ideas!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:13AM
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Jendavin - thank you for the idea on the bookshelves! Nancymic, funny you should write that. I actually have been planning on getting rid of the ottoman and am hoping to find something soon. Love the idea of something lighter with legs. I'm feeling inspired after all these comments!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:17AM
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What a great room! It has so much potential. You already have so many great suggestions to try. Her are some of mine.

I think the biggest switch you could make to give you more in that room is the sofa. I feel like the arms are wrong if you love your club chairs and the back needs to be higher. Get something with a pattern that has an accent color you love and can carry through the room on draperies and accessories.

I would also move the sofa off that wall, perhaps an L sofa or put it in a position where you would be facing guests in the club seating rather than staring at the fireplace, if you have enough room. Photos are sometimes deceptive. I would also group the club chairs.

The wall color looks a little bland. After figuring out your accent color, I would go with a little more saturated a shade. You have the space and the white woodwork to be able to go more bold and carry it off. Then find accent art to replace the mirror on your long wall.

Your accent tables seem too small and don't add interest or complement your decor. New tables, tv cabinet, and beautiful lighting that you love would tie everything together. A throw, a serving tray with some accent pieces and a stack of books would look great on the ottoman/coffee table.

For accessories, groups of threes. What you have on the mantle isn't bad. You have good scale and pretty things. You just need a bit more and remove the tiny items. When you choose your accent color, you will find some things you love to bring everything together.

Finally, unless you are really in love with it, I would remove the scalloped trim from the bookshelves and either add doors or a more classic trim with cleaner lines that complement the style of your home better. I LOVE your fireplace screen. That is what drew me to your room's photo to begin with. Maybe play off the curve a bit when you are choosing accessories for the fireplace area. Also, the crisp, white woodwork is gorgeous. I sometimes paint the back wall of the inside of the shelves if they will show, with a dark rich color to accent what will be displayed. For instance, if the sofa you choose has a cream base with some red-orange/navy/steel accents, I may choose navy or a shade or two darker of the steel to paint the inside back wall of the shelves.

Have fun. With a room like this one, you have so many possibilities. What a beautiful home!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:52AM
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michstanifer - what great feedback, thank you!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:49PM
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Cheery Curtains
I agree with michstanifer that your room does have much potential! I will focus on the drapes. The color of the wall is OK and Cheery Curtains has many nice curtains that you may love!

For more deisgns, welcome to my Houzz page!
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Your furniture layout may make a big difference to the feel of the room. It seems almost like a corridor running past the TV and FP.

Would you consider placing the club chairs together opposite the sofa, with the FP at one end and move the TV to the other end - the long wall where the sofa is currently? (sofa to the right of the FP, club chairs to the left)

If you do this you would be able to create a gallery wall around the TV with photos and art to create some pops of colour on the long wall. You could have a mix of black, white and coloured frames.

Your beige seems to have greenish undertones, so perhaps buy a throw rug, cushions and ornaments (and frames!) in a nice dark green - emerald is right on trend for 2013! Add some more white - ceramic ornaments, even the TV console table to tie in with the curtains (which look lovely, I think!)

:) Elise
    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:44PM
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I agree with others that the couch is drab and needs re covering. Failing that we could have some bright pillows and an accent rug. You can add some color by putting a different, more colorful painting over the fireplace. When you are not using the fireplace how about two matching plants either side for a splash of green?Maybe you could pick up the color you add to your living room in the dining room by having colored light shades instead of white ones?
    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 12:17AM
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