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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Bland and Uninspired Living Room

christinajohannsenJanuary 10, 2013
So, I'm stuck both with apartment living and without an interior design bone in my body...

What I know I like: dark wood
What I don't really like: super modern. I like my space to to look like it's able to be comfortably lived in. But I like things tidy.
What I'm missing: uniqueness and decoration

So here are my problem(s):
a. I have no idea what to do with my walls
b. I need some kind of a coffee table
c. I don't know how to make a clear differentiation between my dining "area" (I prefer just having two barstools at the counter in lieu of a dining room table) and my living room
d. What about rugs on carpet?

I realize this is absolutely open-ended, but I've been (and still am to an extent) on a budget and am really just terrible with figuring this out, and any advice you folks could give would be fantastic!!

Thank you!
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...another view.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Looks like small space so what about a large mirror on the wall to increase the feeling of space?
You need some artwork too to add some color. if you must have a coffee table I would go for a clear one as the room is not big and a solid one will make the room appear smaller.
The couch is very big and low to the ground, a couch that is more elegant in design, on legs, allowign the carpet to show underneath would make the room appear bigger. uf you have to keep the couch you need some pillows, I would go for something bright to add some color.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:28PM
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ps whatever those boxes are on the floor I would stash them somewhere else if possible as its not a good look. LOoks cluttered!
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:29PM
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Cat Rowe
Hi Christina. You have a nice space and some nice pieces. Tight budget = Pottery Barn on Sale. First, whatever is behind the couch should be removed. I dont like the bar shelf. I do like your gate leg table. Is that your dining table? Is that a desk against the wall? Pick up two panels of Pottery Barn patterned drapes for your window. Add some pillows. I would completely fold the gateleg table up and put it where the desk?? Is against the wall. Use that for your Tv. Go to Pier one and get one of their iron leg glass top coffee tables. Add a patterned side chair from pottery barn when you can afford it. Sisal area rugd lay well over carpet. You need to pick up a cute side table from a consignment store. Add a ceramic or metal base lamp with burlap shade ( to go with the ssal rug).
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Can you switch your couch to the other side and raise it with some round squat legs nailed in? The crunch is snuggled in that cut out and that is making the room look small. If it has to stay there so be it. I agree with a large picture or mirror to enlarge the space (either side) over the crunch. The desk can hold the Tv across from the couch but if you have components you need a place for those. Can that pretty table be opened for a dining table? Pier one or Cost Plus should have a coffee table and maybe a coordinating tv cabinet. Maybe lighter wood with glass so everything is not too dark. I am not a fan of rugs on rugs in a small space. Maybe you could do patterned curtain panels with a wood rolling shade over the large window to bring the eye up and coordinate light and dark woods. Keep it simple and put out some books on the coffee table and a pretty throw across the couch. Get a pretty lamp and done.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:08PM
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Oops missed the part about not wanting a dining table. Then how to separate the space? Maybe a couple of armchairs? I still like that table :)
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:13PM
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Oh my goodness! I woke up this morning to a ton of e-mails with your responses!

@2dogssashatess: I love the idea of a big mirror - I think perhaps a rectangular one laid horizontally above the couch would reflect more from the window and could definitely make the space look bigger. Great suggestion! (it is a small apartment...).

@Cat Rowe: I like the idea of drapes and a patterned side chair. I did have one of those but I moved it into my bedroom as part of a reading nook. I'll have to pick up another one for the living room. As far as drapes go - I need to figure that one out, I guess. Also good tip on the side table!

@Renee: how helpful! Thank you! I can't move the couch (I mean I can, but I pay for cable, where the hook-up is on the opposite wall...) but I will be getting a new one. The couch (and the hideous table that is too big for my apartment that's propped up behind it) are loaners until I could find some I liked. Which will definitely sit a bit higher off the ground! I've been looking at getting a TV cabinet, but I just don't want the TV to be at all the focal point of the room. I barely watch it, as it is. I definitely need a lamp - and am thinking about bringing a plant in, to. As for the coffee table, I won't get one in the dark brown/black that I have with everything else, and I'll make sure to get a more delicate looking one. (Also: I LOVE my gate-leg table - but I don't quite know that there's enough room to keep chair around it. I'll take a look.

Thank you all so much for the advice - I'll post some photos when I'm done (though don't hold your breath) to get some feedback!

Thanks again!
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 4:20AM
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Love this sleek coffee table from West Elm. Since your space is on the petite side make sure you create templates of any additional furnishings to see how they will affect traffic flow.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 4:51AM
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