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Want to spruce up my living room!!
suzyhomemaker
January 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We have had the same furniture in this living room for over 25 years. Is there any other furniture placement that would make this room more conducive to conversation? Would love to paint it a different color and although I don't want to change out the tables, I would like to replace the sofa and two chairs or have them upholstered in different colors. ( I like earth tones). Unfortunately, the curio will not fit in the dining room so moving it is not an option. Thank you for any ideas.
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PRO
Finishing Touches
There is too much of the color beige.
The color on the walls is fine, I would suggest a sage green sofa and some pattern on the chairs.
January 17, 2013 at 3:54pm     
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tennisanyone
After 25 years, it is time for a change. What is your style? Looks traditional?
January 17, 2013 at 4:23pm     
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PRO
Julie Thome Draperies, Inc.
I would rotate your seating area by 90 degrees. Right now the traffic flow is in between the "conversation". Move all the chairs 90 deg and have the traffic flow around the seating at the sides, so that some of the seating can take advantage of the view out the door/window, right now your both facing dead wall. Agree on too much beige, have either the sofa or the 2 chairs re-upholstered in something that pops, and add some pillows with pop as well. Maybe more touches of blue/white?
January 17, 2013 at 4:30pm     
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appytrails
It appears that the chairs are too far away from the couch for relaxed conversation. Since you asked for other possible furniture placement options,I hope some of the professionals jump in on this.
January 17, 2013 at 4:32pm   
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pcmom1
Since this is a redo of a living room after 25 years, I would like you to ask yourself some questions. So often "living rooms" aren't used all that much if there is a family room. So, first question to ask is: Do you want this kept as a formal sitting room? Or, could space be used for a better purpose? No right or wrong answer here, just needs to be thought of.

Next question is traffic flow. I see a door to the patio that looks like it may be difficult to get to. Is it?

Why don't you answer those for us first, before we give advice.
January 17, 2013 at 4:40pm     
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suzyhomemaker
The living room is only used at Thanksgiving and Christmas so it would be considered a sitting room. Everyone seems to head for the family room (which isn't a bad thing) but I would love to see this as a conversation area where guests could retreat to after dinner. The door to the patio is not difficult to get to and it opens to a "decorative" side patio. There is a large patio that we often use on the back of the house. I like the idea of patterned chairs and a different sofa. Also will try moving the chairs 90 deg. The chairs are light gold with green texture, the walls are Burlington Tan ( which is actually a gold color) and the sofa is white so it isn't all beige but I know what you mean... I need pop! Keep your thoughts coming. Thanks! The room is traditional but the rest of the house is more transitional.
January 17, 2013 at 5:22pm   
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judianna20



The curio, which you indicate, needs to stay…make that your focal point, across from your sofa. Take the faux plant off and fill the piece with striking and simple pieces. Update your coffee table, paint your walls a grey, BM gull wing, and purchase some throw pillows.
January 17, 2013 at 5:40pm     
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PRO
Modern Age Designs, LLC
Since your are open to replacing the furniture I would use chairs that are not so bulky to start with and conversation cannot happen if the furniture is all pushed back to the wall. I would have the sofa face the dining room and hover it in the middle of the room which will be completely conducive to conversation. Then the chairs would be on either side of the sofa and the end tables on either side of the sofa. The curio can stay where it is. The tables and the curio can probably be spruced by a darker stain like on the chair.
From the attached pictures the red sofa is to match the chairs in the dining room. The zebra print chairs would go well with that sofa.

Another arrangement can be that the Curio can come on the right side where the chair is at present. and then you can just bring in the seating to the middle of the room and the end table that is opposite the sofa can go on the side where the curio is at present. You will have traffic around the seating rather than the having it being interrupted as it is.

I would add some bold abstract art to bring in a punch of color or if you like the traditional style paintings I would choose something much brighter - maybe bring in a tapaestry hung on a decorative rod, which would bring in some texture and it can go over the entrance to the dining room.

Definitely change the lamps out. and probably have some wall sconces installed. For the main source of lighting I would have a beautiful chandelier be installed.

I would update the accessories as well.

I hope that helps
January 17, 2013 at 5:52pm   
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Shina Wysocki
Well - I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you have to keep something, keep the chairs. The tables and the couch are past their prime. You could maybe reupholster the couch it seems of great quality. Everything needs to be closer for together so people can talk. I like the pillow with the large botanical print. If you brought more life, plants, modern florals into the room it could be more inviting.
January 17, 2013 at 6:13pm   
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DeHaven
While I was busy writing I see others posted just what I was thinking, but will stick in my two cents worth anyway.
25 Years sounds like a long time but if flies by, doesn't it? You obviously take very good care of your home but I think a little spice is called for. But let's move furniture first. Have you tried moving it all to one side... the right of this photo? Before you say "no way", start pushing that sofa. With it facing the patio door and the chairs opposite with their backs to that door, it leaves the part of the room once occupied by the sofa as a natural walkway. Before, people had to walk thru the middle of the room and not even in a straight line. If there was a conversation taking place it would have been interrupted, if only for a moment. And when people are so far apart that can mean a lot.

The coffee table you have now may be too big for such an arrangement to be comfortable, but give it a try. I love the little stool or seat you have with the pillow by the back door. That might look interesting as a table if you can find a large brass tray to cover the top of it. You could use a variety of mood, age and style to your pieces so maybe an antique dark wooden bench would be a nice addition instead of the traditional coffee table. People never want to see just the back of a sofa, so put a sofa table behind it for welcome and interest. This should also be of a darker wood. That will help bring some contrast into your room and it will be another area for you to express your interests and personality. It is also a perfect spot for a tall green plant… colour.

Once you have moved the furniture, live with it a little bit to see how it feels and to decide what might be needed, if anything, to occupy the now bare wall on the left. Personally, I think it would make a wonderful spot for a small gallery of your art… almost floor to ceiling. Stunning!

Now colour. Since I am an “anything but beige” kind of girl, none of the ideas in my head seem worth mentioning yet. Since I don’t see any black, can I assume you don’t like it? Every room needs something black and it really works with the beiges. Would corals work in that room? Draw some colours from your art work. It seems to be something you are passionate about.

What ever you decide, lighten up and have fun. If the room is a little less stiff you won't be able to keep the family out of it.
January 17, 2013 at 6:18pm     
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PRO
GARY FINLEY, ASID
if will likely cost more to upholster your items than buying new. A sectional would be nice to replace the sofa and the two large lounge chairs could be smaller and maybe add an ottoman
January 17, 2013 at 6:18pm   
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PRO
Pamela Tripas
One comment if you do decide to reupholster..I notice all of the furniture is "skirted". For a more updated look, I would consider getting rid of the skirted look and exposing the legs. I would have the legs on the upholstered pieces with a modern look.
January 17, 2013 at 6:27pm     
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pcmom1
No one ever used our living room either...that is until I purchased an antique desk and placed the lap top on it. Now the room is in constant use. So, perhaps you could do something similar. Bring in the people by bringing in some life: plants, computer, puzzle, games, music: any thing that appeals to you.

With smaller chairs and a tighter furniture grouping, there would be room to add some things.
January 17, 2013 at 6:30pm     
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suzyhomemaker
Sorry, but I failed to mention that the photo was taken from the front door entry way. Yes, my front door is actually on the "side" of the house so if I change the arrangement to have the sofa facing the dining room, people will only see the back of the sofa when they enter. I have a sofa table in the entry way that is the same Drexel Heritage Burl Ash as the other tables. I'm not opposed to tossing all the upholstered furniture but would prefer to use the tables ( I do like them after all these years and they are excellent quality and condition). I agree that everything needs to be closer and will try moving things around to get a feel for the change. I do have some black in the rest of the house ( bar stools, kitchen nook table) but do prefer earth tones.
January 17, 2013 at 6:37pm   
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Pamela Tripas
I have a "sitting room"/"Parlor"/"Front Room". I would ask you personally, if you have your own space in your home? If not, make this your own.
January 17, 2013 at 6:44pm   
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suzyhomemaker
And thank you all for helping me decide to get rid of the chairs and replace them with something smaller preferably with legs. It's a step in the right direction...
January 17, 2013 at 6:44pm   
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DeHaven
I think your furniture is probably better quality than a lot you would find today. I would reupholster... without skirts as previously suggested... and have the seat cushions replaced with overstuffed down. The trick will be finding a fun and interesting fabric.

I love the idea from PCMom1 to put a desk in the room... a tall one against the old sofa wall would be super. Perfect PC!
January 17, 2013 at 6:54pm   
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