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Color/Design Ideas to build character
January 18, 2013
This color (SW Blonde) runs through the entire first floor minus the master suite. I was considering painting the fire place wall a rich mocha to break up the monotony a bit. The problem is the fireplace wall runs right into the eat in kitchen bay slider. Do I paint all the way across into the kitchen? Also, I am very interested in any ideas about how I can build more character through design and how people feel about an accent wall in this room. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
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If you did an accent wall on the fireplace wall, I don't think I would do it in a mocha to break up the monotony since all your furniture is a dark neutral. Perhaps an accent wall color in the blue color of your throw on the sofa along with an area rug that also had color that included that same blue. I don't think you would have to take it into the dining room.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Thanks! I have thought of that but I was concerned that a blue wall would hide my accent pieces on the mantle. I have considered an aqua color on that wall...
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
I do not recommend making this an accent wall. I think mocha would be much too heavy and the wrong tone to create a pleasant space. If I were you I'd change the curtains to something much more interesting and buy a coloured throw and new cushions to go with the curtains.

Mount new curtains higher, on a black rod. Transitional Living Room

The curtains should be something in a strong design and/or colour. Den Portfiloi Family Room
18 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I think aqua would work as well. Like the accent pieces - perhaps they could work elsewhere in the room or dining room if you decided on a color for the accent wall that they didn't work as well with. Like the burnished color of your other vases, coral is another color that might work with an aqua or blue as an accent color. Also like Cynthia's answer above, which didn't see while I was typing this, for other ways to accent that wall and add interest.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:03AM
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I don't think I would paint an accent wall at all.......I really like the look of your space! The color pallette is soothing and pretty. This could be as simple as putting a larger painting above the fireplace that contains more color with some of your aqua accent in it Good luck!
7 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:04AM
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How about replacing your curtains with an accent color (your pretty blue) and in a pattern for some interest.They are so similar in color to your walls. Then add a rug for some additional color and texture. P.S. I love the Blonde. We have it in our front entry and hall.
7 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Jen Schaeper
I think accent walls are sort of outdated now. I agree that you should mount those curtain Ross higher, get an accent area rug.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Sandra Alger, CID, Fresh Ideas by Sandy
Love the color, No to an accent color. I agree that the rod should be higher,
and maybe more substantial.. Add Drapes with some Texture/Print to pick up the blue -
Place the chair in front of the window to another spot, and place something in front of each, to balance the room. Maybe a table in front of each window,
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Cynthia Taylor-Luce
Accent walls aren't outdated--it's just that they have been over-used and used for no special reason. They can be very effective in certain circumstances, however. In this case, the wall already has emphasis, with the fireplace and windows, and painting it a different colour is problematic in that the wall extends into the dining room which is partially separated. Far better to add interest either with art over the fireplace or with some terrific drapes.

I understand why one might recommend an area rug here to add colour and pattern and warmth, but creating that extra line around the room (the perimeter of the rug) might make it feel smaller in this room. I like the calmness of the neutral carpet, the hardwood and the matching carpet in the dining room.

For this room, I'd rather see the furniture dressed up with more pillows and a throw. A side table and a table lamp would be nice too (at the end of the sectional near the window). I would also prefer the chair tp be upholstered in a fabric rather than leather, but I don't suppose this is an option?
6 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Dar Eckert
How about some graphic wall paper on the wall behind the sofa or perhaps grass cloth? Here are some ideas.
utopia projects
Stenciled Wall
Modern Eclectic Residence
    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 2:37PM
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White Lotus Interiors
I agree with Cynthia Taylor-Luce. The problem isn't really the wall. There's a lot of empty space here.

The chair is hangin' out all by itself with no one to play with as the room is a long proportion. Pull the sofa away from the wall, adding a console table behind it for display, lower the artwork (it's too high!) Adding a fabric chair would bring the opportunity for pattern and a more dramatic commitment to some accent colors. As mentioned, the higher more dramatic draperies would be great. I would consider painting the mantle around the fireplace the mocha instead of the wall, making it feel more like it belongs. Something just a bit darker than the tile.
9 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Karen Irene
I agree--wouldn't try to paint that part of the wall a different color as it will only highlight the awkward transition into the slider. rod higher and hang a more substantial fabric window treatment like a lined raw silk, and instead of pulling it to the side with a tieback, just let it drape and puddle to the floor. think an area rug could work wonders here too. beautiful palette!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 6:17PM
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I agree--the colors you have now are beautiful and comfortable! And changing your curtains, as Cynthia suggests, would look very elegant. The first thing I noticed also was that lonely chair to the right of the fireplace! I think I would center your lovely coffee table in front of the FP, angle the chair, and pull your sectional away from the wall. This will give you a comfortable cozy sitting area.
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:44PM
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I like how White Lotus said the chair needs someone to play with. Yes -- to moving the table and sofa away from the wall and have the coffee table linked visually to the fireplace. Beautiful space. Please show us the after picture by simply moving the furniture and lowering the painting.
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 7:44AM
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Thank you so much for all the feedback. I have decided against painting the wall. I will however try and find some more colorful drapes. I like the suggestions to move the furniture around. I am sick today but when I am better I will post pictures of our tv setup which kind of forced us to position the furniture the way it is. Thank you so much for all your awesome suggestions and I will definitely try some of them! I'll post pictures when completed.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Ann Alderson
The last few posts gave you excellent advice on furniture placement. By moving the sofas over you could add a console table under the art (which I agree is hung too high) and tall lamps for ambient lighting. Swagged curtains look dated to me and these wash the room out. I'd like to see an area rug the sofas would fit all four (eight) feet on, and to make the fireplace the star, I'd paint the mantel aqua! I'd stay away from mocha. :) Good luck, you're off to a great start!
1 Like    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Holly Mayeux
Agree with other posters... Different curtains, throw pillows and even rugs would be much better and do the trick to add interest.
    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 5:00PM
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I would change the direction of the drapes to the firepace, creating a more focal interest
and add color above the mantel with pictures and accessories in similar hues get rid of the mirror, and of course add some natural (artificial) greens
    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 5:19PM
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I think it is absolutely amazing just like it is. A dark wall would cheapen it. That color is so calm and beautiful and the dark furniture sets it off. If anything, put a bit more color on the mantle, a couple throw pillows and a little color on the kitchen table.....even white work work.....or the blue you are presently using. it's lovely.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:37AM
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Judith Taylor Designs
As usual, Cynthia called - exactly like I would. Her key points are perfect for your space. Add interest through textiles - drapes, pillows, a cozy throw will all help to add colour, pattern and interest. I would also suggest gathering the furniture into a better grouping. RIght now there are two pieces of to the right that seem to feel left out of the conversation. Centre the grouping around the fireplace. Lovely home! New drapes will be your best investment in this room.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:53AM
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I agree with the above; the colors are nice, relaxing, and soothing! Nice space! Add colorful curtains, maybe something with a splash of red or orange, and add a few accent pieces.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Joy Anderson
I have a similar color throughout my house, also. It works really well with Southwest style. It enhances all the warm colors: terracotta, reds and oranges, and even deep crimson, look wonderful against it. We have a couple of accent walls in sage green for variety, and they blend with it beautifully.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:25AM
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I like the idea of painting the mantle and surround (not the wall). Maybe a faux copper (would look gorgeous with blues) and the bulkier draperies, as previously suggested, but perhaps just more of what you have ... as they flow so nicely into your dining area.
You have a painting over your sectional ... so, perhaps a lighter mirror over the fireplace.
You have a mass of dark furnishings, so a mid toned upholstered piece in there would cozy things up.
The blues are bright, the "blond" is warm and calming, and the dark pieces, solid anchors ... so you need some transitional bits so the contrast is more gradual, less stark.

Traditional Armchairs design by Other Metro Windsor Smith Home Collection
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:26AM
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Haven't read the other posts, but I prefer accent walls to be unbroken by doors and windows. A FP wall will work if it is unbroken by other openings, because it usually is the focal point for a room. I like your mocha or a chocolate for accent but would do it on a wall that receives the natural light from your windows - the large wall where your sofa is. Art should be 5-8" above the sofa back, even if you have 20' ceilings. Only the 7-8' of space where you and your furniture live is worthy of decor unless you have a huge stunning piece of art to fill it up. The mirror over the FP is reflecting the stairs. Is that the most beautiful or interesting reflection available for the mirror? I believe it should be replaced with art, so there is something beautiful to see over the FP. It would have to be a wow of a staircase to be worthy of becoming part of the focal feature wall, which is what happens with a mirror there.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:32AM
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Well the only thing I have been able to try yet is arranging the furniture. I moved everything to center around the FP like suggested. I like the coziness it brings to the room but my husband thinks it shrinks the space and isn't a fan. I've added a few pictures to the mantle. Unfortunately, due to budget I am stuck with my current furniture set. We got this set because we have small children and it was easy to clean. I am wishing now I had painted my table blue (my husband made it for me) because now I can truly see how dark our whole ensemble is. I plan on moving the picture down and trying to find an alternative to the drapes I have.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:57AM
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Your table your husband made is great as is :-). Just add some color with a tray/books/objects there. With little kids about, your furniture choices makes perfect sense. Looking at the aerial view, an area rug with some pattern/contrast would make sense. And with little kids, they also don't show stains (which a light wall to wall would/could/does in my personal experience ...).
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Hi Heather, Sorry you've been sick and hope you're better now! I agree with other comments re: pulling furniture out from walls and adding table/light next to chair--create nice reading spot by window. Some comments mentioned artwork (adding, lowering)--if this were my room, I'd move the artwork that is over the sofa to over the mantel. The strong horizontal line of the mirror seems at odds with strong vertical lines of fireplace box and flanking windows. Also, the mirror is reflecting structural elements. If the mirror were over the sofa, it would reflect light from windows into the room and perhaps capture some outdoor views. I would also hang the mirror on the vertical [between sconces] and then flank the mirror with additional wall decor/art. Mirror on vertical--I think, would better harmonize with room elements and draw eye up. Personally, I would not raise curtains [they are close to ceiling as is] or even change them--except to remove tiebacks. I'd push them over on rod so that about 2/3 of roman shade is seen. Let curtains serve as backdrop--again, emphasizing vertical. To keep curtains from "drifting" on rod, you can wrap a rubber band around the rod right at the edge of the curtain. Use throw pillows, accessories to add texture, color. Gold accessories and mixing metals is on trend right now--I think gold would look great with Blonde walls. I would place a large tray in a metallic or a contrasting color on the table to break up the brown. Lastly, could you move the fire screen? The gap is distracting. Either way, I'd place a rectangle bench/ ottoman in front of fireplace to draw attention away from raised firebox. Good luck!
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:11AM
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I agree that you need to remove the tiebacks on the drapes and let them hang straight. I also think an area rug would has a lot.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:29AM
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I was posting and missed your post...like what you've done! Could you add a table+lamp at angle of sectional? Lamp light would make space more appealing, I think. I still might push chair bit back toward window--so to add table+lamp. By fireplace gap, I meant difference in height between screen and firebox. With young kids, i understand need for screen but I'd remove screen during warm months. And, bench might still be nice.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Karen Irene
Somebody mentioned copper, and what about taking copper (or silver/tin) backsplash tiles and going over the existing fireplace surround tiles? Love the new layout!!!
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:56AM
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My suggestions which mirror many of the above are ... group furniture around the fireplace, add an area rug to anchor the furniture, move chair a little closer to the fireplace and add a lamp a/o table with lamp, remove pull-backs from curtains, add a sofa table behind the couch and add some lamps etc., add some decor to your coffee table. NO accent wall ... your color contrasts are great as is.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:58AM
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You have a very high contrast room with few mid tones. I suggest you add some more of the blue. It can go in the area rug that has aready been suggested. This should cover the space that the furniture placement has defined. Don't make it too small. You want to see it all around the great coffee table. Put a blue glass lamp on the suggested sofa table and use iron on tape to accent the leading edge of the curtains with blue ribbon. If you add a tray to the table why not go with polished aluminum? Its indestructable and not too precious for kids. It piscks up the stainless fridge and works well with the ironon the table.You could also add a painted box to hlde the remote within reach. You could use an irridescent glass tile to replace the beige on the fireplace surround to make it more of a focal point. The good thing about neutral is that you can add just about anything and make it work and when you get tired of the accent you can pick another color. You have the right idea about distributing the accent color around the room. You need to add more of it since there is so much beige and brown. The accent color is supposed to draw your eye around the space.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:42PM
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What bothers me the most is the white mantel. Too much contrast between the dark accents, the furniture and the mantel. You can paint the mantel to a more earthy tone, copperish would be good, but first find your accent rug with the nice earthy tones and then choose the color of the mantel and the drapes. It's harder to find the right rug, so I would shop for that first. That will inspire the color scheeme of the room. I also love the color of the wall and would not change it. I disagree about including blue in the scheme unless it's earthy and subdued. I don't like the light blue pillows. I do like the earthy vases. Let the future rug that you absolutely love do the guiding... Then you can also add accent pillows. You might end up with copper and orange tones as accents...
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 12:47PM
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I love your fireplace just the way it is. I would remove the mirror and see how it looks with some "air" around your beautiful mantelscape. I would focus art on the side walls behind the couch and around the TV. Adding the tray and decorative box for remote on the table would help bring it together.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 5:09PM
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I would go with graphic drapery panels in your accent turquoise. They will pop the entire room. You need two panels for each window
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 5:18PM
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I would leave the walls alone and add a large area rug in the colors of the vases and throw on the sofa. I agree that different wall hangings might change how you feel about the room - the painting above the sofa is nice, but is a little "heavy" for the turquoise accent.... Over all, however, I like the walls, drapes and fireplace - just need a bit more color through the addition of an area rug and wall hangings.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:04PM
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Rather than replacing the drapes, you could simply add a broad band of accent fabric to the leading edge of each panel, (with or with out a lush-looking trim) perhaps incorporating the blue accent color that you already love. Some large plants in textural containers or baskets would also add some life to the room.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:18PM
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I would paint the accent wall "Glass House" by Kelly Moore. The color is a soft blueish/greyish turquoise - gorgeous! The window treatments & vases will not be an issue.
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:30PM
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Just my two cents, but I agree with the curtain idea as well. But I think what would really draw your eye is if you take your molding from your fireplace and continue it up the wall to create a more highlighted fireplace. Then add molding around your windows with the drapes hung higher. Then when there are funds available you can resurface the fireplace in a stone down the road. But, I'm with your husband. I think your previous furniture placement was fine. Floating the furniture is making it appear cramped. If I were to put money anywhere, I would skip the rug idea and add architectural elements like the molding.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:38PM
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You just need some more layers and punches of color with a Ikat rug on the floor or even something textural , bring accent color into your current drapes (sew an accent color tape along the pulled back curtain edge or around all edges) and I would consider painting the wall that separates the living and dining as the accent wall.

Bring in some accent floor pillows, chair pillows and garden seats ( to double as end tables) for large bursts of color with your aqua and black.

Try a sofa table behind the sofa next to the wall and set a couple of bold lamps and accesorize it to add interest and color.

Throw in a bold accent chair in the corner in place of the current chair. Matchy matchy can get boring. Throw a wildly bold table cover on the top of your black table and accesorize it.

Consider switching your sofa artwork with your mirror. The mirror on the wall will reflect the window light (right now it reflects the stair rail); the art work leaned up on the mantle will give the eye something nice to look at (the mirror is not contemplative enough for a fireplace I think) Good luck and some examples of layered living rooms attached here , though not in your colors.

1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:01PM
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Seal Tex Metals
Put some antiqued copper or some hammered stainless in place of the tile around the fire place.A touch of metal makes things much more interesting.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 5:06AM
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Another question I have is whether or not to crown mould that doorway into the eat in kitchen. If you notice the two doorways to the right of the tv have crown moulding but the big doorway to the left does not. Because of the way it flows into the next room we'd only be able to mould the one side and the top. Any suggestions?
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:37AM
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I vote for no crown molding there :-)
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:51AM
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I'm not a designer but I have the same issue with a fireplace and tv on perpendicular walls....I would arrange your furniture to view your tv and leave walking space in front of the windows and fireplace.....ask hubby nicely to paint the table blue :) add throw pillows in deep colors with a bold design and add a picture over fireplace with similar colors...add low cubbies under windows to house games and books for your kids...I love your drapes and wall colors and wouldn't change them...they both look classy and classic....agree that floor plants would dress up your space
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 2:37PM
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