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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Would you mix either of these armchairs with this room?

Janelle HJanuary 17, 2013
I can get either pair for really cheap and I kind of love them, so pick your favorite, orange or white. I can also change the fabric- maybe not bright orange :)

The fireplace is getting painted white this weekend. The black hole is because the previous owners boarded it up...I'll probably put a mirror in there. The furniture already in the room can be relocated to another part of the house/ rearranged as necessary. Really I'm open to most suggestions.

It's our first house and we are pretty broke so be nice...
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I like both sets of chairs, but I would go with the smaller ones, whichever set that is. It looks like your room may be somewhat narrow, but can't tell by photo. And if you are going to use both chairs in that room, I would try moving couch facing the firplace and the 2 chairs angled on each side of the fireplace. I would replace the fan with a pretty chandelier and look for a small round coffee table.
And not sure if you know this, maybe you are doing this yourself, but reupholstering is VERY expensive! So if you think you will have to hold off on that for a while, I would go with the beige chairs and put a slipcover on the sofa!
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 9:53AM
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I think the orange chairs would be fun but I am not sure if you would have room. Is all the furniture in the room staying? I could definitely see a color scheme with your aqua, white and a bit of orange. You could bring in some fun accessories to tie it together.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Janelle H
Yes the room is long and narrow- 22x11. And I will be DIYing any upholstery. And NO all the current furniture does not need to stay.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Janelle H
Also, the fan has to stay because we are in phoenix and will die without it (although I guess I could get a white one or something) but there is a (kind of pretty) chandelier just out of frame a bit further out above the dining area...
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Even though they are really cheap, do you need them? How about getting one of your existing chairs recovered in a pattern instead? Of the two choices, though, I like the white ones, but I like the ones you have better.

I like the two existing chairs and the sofa, but not the ottoman, which I think it would look better at the foot of a bed. Have you thought of opening up the fireplace? Even if you don't use it for fires, you could get a new screen and put candles in it. I think a mirror will look strange. This is a decorative fireplace screen:
Pacific Heights Transformations · More Info
Maybe you can make one from colored glass:
Craftsman Home · More Info
modern metal fire place cover · More Info
Or paint a folding screen:
Interiors · More Info
and . You could decoupage one.

Have you tried facing the sofa toward the fireplace and flanking the fireplace with the chairs?
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Assuming you buy the orange chairs but the blue chairs are not part of the scheme... I would put a couple of pillows on the couch to tie it together, a picture on the wall, candles and you might want to put on throw on top of your ottoman to break up the white. I think a small rug in front of the settee would be nice too.

Large Sydney Square Pillow · More Info

Adoration II · More Info

Iman Turquoise and Orange Ikat Decorative Pillow Cover By PopOColor · More Info

Jonathan Adler Nixon Turquiose Throw Blanket · More Info

Simpatico Hobnail Candle, Marine · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:12AM
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Janelle H
Thank you those are great suggestions. Yes eventually we plan to open up the fireplace but it's not do-able right now. A screen is a good idea in the mean time- I will start looking for one. "Need" is a strong word for it, but I'd like to have some extra seating for when people come over. Is it a bad idea to put the settee facing away from the fireplace, with the two armchairs on one side and the wingback (and maybe another wingback? And recover them? ) on the other side? And get a more streamlined ottoman/coffee table?
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Janelle H
I LOVE that ikat pillow!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:26AM
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I would say it is not wrong to do as you suggest. It is often nice to put the sofa across from the fireplace but your room is so narrow I am not sure if that would look that great. How long is your sofa? Is it 72" if so, the would give you only 30" on either side of the sofa-- I think that would feel a little tight. If you are going to keep all those chairs in there you might want to consider a lucite or glass coffee table for the space to help lighten it up the physical bulk.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:10AM
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Lucite coffee table...

Here is a link on lucite coffee tables click on it
Ideabook: A Clear Choice: Lucite Coffee Tables · See Ideabook
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Or you could try a lucite chair for some extra seating...

Ideabook: Take a Seat: Clear Choices for Lucite Chairs · See Ideabook
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:17AM
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I like the orange chairs best. Nice lines and not "granny". I think the color is great for the FP brick also.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:19AM
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Nancy Hehmann
Since you said you are short on cash. I would not buy the chairs. I like your couch and ottoman/coffee table. To make your chairs work, just repaint the room antique white and get some cushions in a blue print . Look on Etsy.com and input cushions in search engine. I like the cobalt blue chair color. Perhaps you could get the other one reupholstered in a print and use leftover fabric for cushions.. If you need new window treatments, check out JCPenney.com - they usu. wont break the budget. You could get an area rug in cobalt blue and cream
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Since it is a non functional fireplace for now, your idea of putting the settee in front of the fireplace is a good idea. Put a folding screen on the hearth behind the sofa to hide it! Then flank the sofa with the existing chairs and add the new set facing the settee for a great conversational area.

Bangkok Folding Screen Room Divider · More Info
Serenity Walnut Shoji Screen Room Divider · More Info
- or these whimsical print screens:
Room Divider Gallery Ideas · More Info

Good luck!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Janelle H
houssaon, which chairs would work best with that plan? Are the orange ones too much of a modern shape?
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:49AM
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Janelle...the orange chairs are definitely modern looking while you couch more traditional. I was going under the assumption that you wanted to do an Eclectic mix with a little modern thrown in like what you might see in Elle Decor magazine. If you are trying to be consistent with the style of furniture then I would just use the chairs you have.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Go for the Orange. They look old enough to be interesting, while the white ones just look tired and kind of tacky. The combo of Turquoise, orange and white is a classic and lots of fun to live with. The Ikat that Bonnie posted is a perfect example of using the colours in an interesting way...ie. not SouthWest. I love all the choices she made for you! From what I can see, your smaller dark blue chair looks like a lovely fine piece of furniture and should not be hidden away. Even though it may not seem to "go", it could end up being the accent piece. You may want to anchor the room with an oriental type rug, something with texture and weight. But don't go dinky. Because the room is small you should be able to find one at a good price to fill the space nicely. It will actually make the room look bigger.

Personally I like the idea of facing the sofa to the fire, but then you must make the back of the sofa something lovely to see when entering the room. A nice high and narrow sofa table with some pretty display on top: lamp, flowers, a piece of art... and maybe some pillows underneath for extra seating. All of this can make that room a cozy little jewel.

Hope you make lots of wonderful memories in your new first home. It sounds like you are off to a great start!
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:07PM
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Janelle H
I certainly don't mind a mix if it will look nice. I'm still figuring out my "style" and the house is new with mostly free furniture from relatives so eclectic is probably better. I'm just worried it will look weird since my house isn't quite Elle Decor material!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Janelle H
Thank you so much DeHaven, that really helps me so much!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Another vote here for the orange chairs. Those are great!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:40PM
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I like the orange chairs, look like mohair, very deco. I would look for another piece rather than the white settee, will seem lightweight with the chairs. Or, if you have the funds, recover the setee in moe complimentary color and heavier weight.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 3:24PM
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You can probably do eclectic pretty well if you choose just two colors and stick to,them, which means the walls too. Otherwise you get a very choppy look. If you are asking about chairs that you will recover, the orange ones are much nicer, less cheap-looking. You could paint the walls a color that somewhere is between the orange chars and the brick, terra-cotta maybe,
and then use only one other color in accessories and furniture.

Oops see you are painting fireplace white. Still, I say use only two colors if you want to unify the space. Paint the walls white too, keep the white sofa, and add the orange chairs. Remove other furniture. Just a thought.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Wallmark Custom Homes
The orange ones are great especially if you use them as your accent colors.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Another vote for the orange chairs - cleaner line and more interesting look. Orange can be a surprisingly inviting and happy color that goes well with many colors.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Are you overwhelmed yet with ideas for your little jewel box?
I understand developing your style. Athough I kinda have mine down (down to about 3 or 5), I still find new things to love all the time. I wrote something here earlier today for another post and I would like to share a bit of it with you.

Most towns have a section with lots of antique or "junk" stores. I love the "junk". Why not take a couple of Saturdays and go for a stroll thru a bunch of these places and see what catches your eye. It could be an old frame or window, an antique box or beat up statue, an old piece of metal... almost anything with some personality. Find something quirky that speaks to you and bring it home. Your house will immediately feel different. It will feel like you. And when your friends come over they will see and feel you in the space.

Janelle, auctions are also a fun way to find the unusual and unexpected for the home... at really good prices. Just go to these places with an open mind Don't play it "safe", be brave and adventurous. Also go to Home Depot and spend some time in the paint department. Go thru all the chips and pick out any and all that appeal to ... they don't have to make sense, they just have to make you feel good. Do you use Pinterest? I have recently started pinning there and there is a whole world of ideas for any taste... endless!

I talk too much... have fun!!!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Alisa Mabee
I am going to be another vote for the orange chairs. I like the color too. Somewhere on here is a pretty bedroom using aqua and orange and white together, and it really is sweet!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Terri Maines_Theisen
I don't know how long the room is but I would play around with the furniture. Get rid of the ottoman/bench. I like the small blue chair but not the color. I wouldn't put more than 1 chair in the room but I would purchase 2 ottoman's normal size for additional seating. Accessories & a little imagination will go along way. Good luck.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Trina Ambrose
Definitely remove ottoman and two blue chairs. Yes to painting fireplace white, i have done it and it can give you an instant update - I would set the fireplace with neatly cut birch branches whilst not in use. It would be nice to change your wall colour to a taupe grey, quite neutral but warm. Replace curtains with something a little less fussy like woven bamboo roman blinds (quite inexpensive). Purchase orange chairs, they are fantastic, place them opposite your settee on a sisal rug (again inexpensive), pulling them all slightly away from the wall. If there is enough room, place a narrow timber coffee table down the centre, displaying books and some organic pieces i would also place an occasional table between the orange chairs, set with table lamp and some interesting natural elements - its amazing what you can find lying around outside or packed away in boxes or even at yard sales. Pick up the orange with your accent cushions on the white settee and with some artwork on the wall above. I think this will give you a lovely warm and interesting sitting area on a very low budget.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Janelle H
Thank you to everyone for your help. I got a lot of help and ideas and I can't wait to see how it turns out!
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:49AM
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If you are really broke save your money - period. If you are short on cash but have a little extra for "gravy" use the money you would spend on chairs for slipcovers for some/all the furniture (Hint: curtains from ikea are a super cheap way to get TONS of yardage in basic fabrics/colors. I slipcovered 4 parsons dining chairs in linen for around $30 and have fabric left over for other projects.) If you are set on buying chairs (know that feeling) then the orange ones for sure. They have style and spunk. The other scream cheap furniture store special (to me, and I'm not there in person). You seem to have a fun sense of style - go with it! I would unblock the front of the fireplace, paint the interior white as well (if you NEVER plan to use it to burn ANYTHING again) and use a fireplace candle holder. It will give lots of charm for very little money. It looks like the hearth is raised, if this is the case and it can be used as extra seating, just make sure to use a screen (pick a pretty one up post season on clearance) if you have flames of any sort in the firebox while people/pets are near the hearth. HAVE fun with your new home but ALWAYS keep enough cash aside to deal with an emergency that isn't decorating related!
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 4:49PM
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I like the orange. I would change paint color, sew new curtains, sell everything else on craigslist and stalk the site for a new sofa and (glass) coffee table and save for wood floors.
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:04PM
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Janelle H
Ugh my husband says he hates the orange chairs. What about these? If I re-cover them maybe?
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:13PM
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I am laughing so hard right now... hysterical! Tell your poor husband, although he is terribly outnumbered, we understand that you are the one who has to live with him.

I think these will work perfectly. And they should work with your other blue chair. I like the low back on these and they look like they are in good condition and should not need to be recovered. Turquoise, navy and white are wonderful together. Then you could pick whatever colour is your favorite and splash it around the room to your hearts content. If there are flaws with the chairs that I can't see, you could get two matching throws or patterned quilts to throw over them, making the space more casual. These are much better than those white things. You did good, Girl... you didn't give up!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Janelle H
Yay! Yes it was kind of funnny...I'm like, but all these people on the internet agree with me!!

But he likes the blue chairs and I do too, so I think we will run with that...
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:43PM
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I just had another thought. If you don't like the blue so much or they are faded in spots, why not stencil a design with fabric paint on them... I picture a large Moroccan motif... could be wonderful. You could go for elegant or funky, whichever suits your style. And cheap.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:45PM
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The blue ones are a nice compromise!
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:55PM
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Janelle H
Thats a really clever idea!
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:19PM
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Maison Pompeii Antiques and Interiors
The orange ones hands down! The other pair will look grandmotherish in any fabric.
    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 1:34AM
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Janelle, here is what you do.... get the orange chairs. Tell Hubby you will recover them and then take a long time to get to the project. By then he may have decided that he likes them :) Your husband may just like the blue chairs because he is used to them... My husband often does not like something new that I bring in and then he grows to love it.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Janelle, I like the advice you've been getting from DeHaven. The blue chairs you've most recently shown would be a good swap for the other two you have in the room right now (give the legs a dark stain = more updated). If you're drawn to that ikat pillow, imagine throwing a big 22-24 inch pillow like that on the back of each of the chairs (try etsy for pillows). As tempting as it may be to reupholster stuff, or unless you've got a great discount fabric source, try to save your budget for other rooms/things.

I'm not a fan of queen anne style legs, but appreciate working with what you've got. I would paint the sofa's legs a bold bright color - think orange, citron, acid yellow, or bright teal - or even a glossy dark blue. Use accessories to bring other color and texture to the room. You'll spend less over all and still pull together a fun look that will personalize things that are generally hand-me-downs.

I think I've got the same ceiling fixture in my family room and hate, hate, hate the overhead light. The fan is understandably practical though. I'd swap out the fixture for a plain white one with no light kit. The lower profile will help your ceiling seem a bit taller, and the white will fade back and allow your eye not to be drawn immediately upward. Add table lamps for lighting - even a floor lamp. Just don't accept any halogen torchieres from anyone. :-)

If you're keeping the ottoman, try to remove the bun feet. Either replace them with something taller/thinner or see how it works with no feet. A chevron or bright graphic patterned throw folded or partially draped over it would give it some visual separation from the sofa. Once you've got money saved for something clear, like Bonnie suggests, you can use the throw elsewhere in the room and the ottoman can adopt some taller legs and become a bench at the foot of your bed.

Moving into your first house is fun and overwhelming at the same time. And it can get expensive if you're remodeling and/or repairing anything. Don't try to furnish everything at once. Allow your rooms to evolve because your tastes and budget will, too, over time. Remember paint is one of your best friends - high impact and relatively inexpensive to DIY. Consider the mood you're going for in the room. A toned down color might make the room feel bigger and more restful, plus consider how the rooms throughout the house flow together.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:51PM
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and on your other post about the blue chairs, i suggested you paint the feet dark as your sofa legs.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:57PM
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I think that's too many chairs. I like the idea of having couch facing the f/p. Are you folks handy enough to build 3' high book cases (white) on both sides of your fireplace to give it some structure? Or get a section and one chair in the corner by f/p
    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 7:00AM
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