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Where do I start? Living room decorating.
ninahamza
January 20, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I changed the curtains and now need advice on where to place furniture and how to start and finish the room. I am planning on buying a new coffee table, have bought artwork for over the fire place. Any recommendations?
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Manon Floreat
Can you post photos of additional angles of the room? It'll help us see what arrangements might work best.

You look to be off to a very good start!
January 20, 2013 at 9:32am   
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ninahamza
here are some other angles... thanks for any help
January 20, 2013 at 4:54pm   
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tennisanyone
Remove the area rug to start. Nice drapes. Are you keeping the two couches?Take the tan couch and face it towards the fireplace, then take the two chairs and try them one on each side of the fireplace to start.
January 20, 2013 at 5:03pm     
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pcmom1
I would replace the rectangular mirror with a round or oval one with a silver frame (pick up the gray tone from the drapes). And, definitely hang it. Having it lean is making the reflection of the ceiling!

Bring the tan sofa (one with the arms) over and face the fireplace.

The area rug might work in front of the fireplace (bring up close and center it), or it may be too small. In that case, try it in the entry way in front of the door (put rug grips under!).

The coffee table seems too dark for the room. Something lighter: glass and metal combo, or lighter wood I would like better.
January 20, 2013 at 5:21pm   
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elklaker
I love your furniture and its clean lines. Not sure about the need for the curtains on the windows flanking the fireplace. It seems that they cover a great feature do the room and are unnecessary. As was mentioned before, either remove the rug or replace it with something larger.
I would also consider painting your mantle either a dark brown or black to give some contrast to the walls and tile surround.
Just a few thoughts. Very pretty room.
January 20, 2013 at 5:22pm   
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justkayla
You need color. Replace all pillows with two set of pillows all in the same color but two different patterns. Get an area rug with the color you chose on the pillows in the rug...take the white seating out push the beige sofa facing the fireplace and closer and put the brown chairs facing the sofa framing the fire place.
January 20, 2013 at 5:25pm   
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Dar Eckert
You could either try both sofas facing each other on either side of the fireplace. The two chairs could then be in f ront of the fireplace. Another idea is the white sofa angled between the two doorways and the screen behind. Large rug on the same angle put the chairs and other sofa on opposite the sides of the rug.
January 20, 2013 at 5:39pm   
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PRO
Stanton Designs-online design services
What does the artwork look like? I would move all furniture closer to the fireplace and this room needs a much larger area rug.
January 20, 2013 at 6:03pm   
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ivanaknow
I would remove the area rug, and take down the drapes in the fireplace room. you could use them back to back in the smaller openings of the pillars.(so that the dining area as well as the fireplace room area have front facing drapes. I would place the chairs one on each side of the fireplace and place the sofa with the brown trim facing the fireplace. Is there an alternate place for the larger sofa and coffee table? They seem a bit clumsy for the style of the chairs and smaller sofa. I would keep the mirror, but hang it on the wall; then add some color with decorative items on the mantel. If the fireplace is non-working, an arrangement of candles adds a nice glow to the room.
January 20, 2013 at 6:13pm   
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Tammy Sprinkle
I like your curtains. They look like their from World Market or Pier I. The room feels a bit cold with all of the beige. I would suggest a warmer color on the walls. Something a little darker. Also, the area rug has to go. It is traditional and your new curtains and the furnishings are a bit more modern. I'd go with something darker to ground the space. I'd place it in the center of the living room and then place the armed sofa and chairs closer to the center on either side of it facing one another. You could place a small table between the chairs,and put the coffee table in the center. I'd put the room divider behind the two chairs to add a bit of privacy and division between the dining and living room.

You mentioned adding artwork above the fireplace. I might pick a color or two from that for the new area rug. Now toss some colorful pillows on the sofa and two small ones on the chairs and then add a tall plant in the back where that niche is you are hiding behind the screen. I'd put that other sofa in another room or in place of the two chairs and then put the two chairs on that smaller wall where the lighter sofa is now and place a small table between them.

The rug I chose is a Morrocan brown/ivory Dhurrie wool rug from Overstock.com.
January 20, 2013 at 6:17pm     
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abbshel
Your drapes are very pretty but they just seem a little too light and airy for your fireplace area. I think a heavier weight fabric, in a solid color, would look nicer. You have enough print going on w your rug and pillows.
I think I would put the sofa where the two brown chairs are in order to define your living space more from your dining. Then, possibly place a sofa table behind the sofa.
January 20, 2013 at 6:21pm   
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jansgirl
The question I have is: are you trying to cover an art niche with that screen?
January 20, 2013 at 6:39pm   
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anitajoyce
I agree with other comments. You have way too many curtains up on the windows and they weigh the rooms down.. Remove the curtains and rods from the windows in the living room. Your windows are lovely , so let the beauty of them show. I wouldn't use any panels on any of the windows in the living room. I would replace the dining room panels with something in a solid color like tan, rust, brown , blue or another color that you like (solid color), so that they coordinate with the other room.
The furniture and wall color are nice. Especially the sofa. I would get a more modern rug for the living room floor. Move the furniture closer to the fireplace. Place the armless sofa so that it faces the other one. place the rug in between the two sofas. place the side chairs where the armless sofa is now and place the screen between or behind the two chairs. Do you have any side tables and a lamnp for them. If so , place one beside each sofa with a nice lamp on top. Move the tan sofa out away from the window a little also. Add some accent pillows from colors from your new rug.
January 20, 2013 at 6:59pm   
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pud07
I'd place the sofa with its back to the dining room . Experiment with angles . The room looks nice:-)
January 20, 2013 at 7:08pm   
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PRO
Signature Decor
Bring furniture into the room & away from walls. Have sofas face each other in front of the fireplace with the two chairs on end facing the fireplace. Find end tables & lamps.
Yes, do get a large, more contemporary style area rug. The room could use some color & pattern. From the photos it looks like the rug should be at least a 7' x 9' . (8X10?) Once you have the rug, the dark finish of the coffee table will be fine.
The mirror is not quite large enough to lean on mantle. You should hang it. Then add some candles & accessories to the mantle. .
After you posted the photos of the dining room, I regretfully agree there are too many drapery panels in the two rooms. I would remove the drapes on either side of the fireplace. You have those beautiful arched windows there.
In the dining room, at the large window, you need to pull the drapes to the two sides. There should not be any rod showing between the panels on the sides. Only show rod in the center . I love that you hung the draperies close to ceiling height.
I cannot envision using the screen in the room. It seems too heavy with everything else. Is there another location for it in your home?
January 20, 2013 at 7:29pm   
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calikym
You need to change the tile on the fireplace to a different color... The whites don't match right... A small investment there will make a big difference. I'm not a decorator but it really sticks out to me in the photo as a mismatch.
January 20, 2013 at 7:39pm   
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ninahamza
Thanks for all the comments so far. I love this.
@jansgirl I really dont know what im doing with any of this including the screen but I know I dont like that art niche. Im just not an art niche sort of person
@calikym I would love to change the fire place tile and its my long term goals
@stantondesigns the artwork is a large textured painting with metallics and white

Thank you everyone!
January 21, 2013 at 3:58am   
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michigammemom
The element that seems off in your room is the area rug. I would suggest a substantially larger rug with at least the front legs of your sofas placed on the rug. Centering the rug on the fireplace as shown in Tammy Sprinkle's 3rd photo will also improve the symmetry of your room. I am not a fan of puddled curtain panels and I believe your window treatments would hang more neatly if they were shortened slightly to just brush the floor.
January 21, 2013 at 4:16am   
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pivoines
If you want to keep the curtains beside the fireplace , I suggest extending the rods so they let the curtains frame the windows,not cover them , it makes them look smaller than they are and as they are really beautiful, is not a good idea. Shorten all the curtains so they barely touch the floor, the puddling in this instance is not needed, as you have so many windows , it confuses and weight the effect. In the dining room do the same with the side windows but for the bay window , I would stretch the curtains to cover all the gaps and use them like sheers. Shorten all of them also.
The rug is too small, but beautiful , use it in your entrance . Remove the niche and drywall the area. I would get a chair and footstool a floor lamp and shelving units and make that corner a reading area like a mini library.

Try your mirror diagonally in the middle of the fireplace and flank it with a large urn or candlestick on both side keeping it symmetrical. Do bring your furniture much closer to the fireplace . If you placed the chairs one on each side of the fireplace and the coffee table in line with them,then the sofa with arms facing the fireplace, I would then put a small desk or sofa table behind it that you could use it as a laptop station , I would add 2 small armchairs in that area and make a second living spot. You will need end tables on each side of the sofa and I would go for smaller round ones . I would use the armless sofa in another area of the house .I hope this helps.I think it can look fabulous.
January 21, 2013 at 5:54am   
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PRO
JMittman Designs
I do think the curtains are not really adding anything to the room as is. If you choose to keep the same ones, I would do as pivoines suggested above in extending the curtain rod past the frames a few inches in the living room and hemming the panels to the floor. That puddled look is not so in vogue now. However, in the dining room I would open the panels and push them to the corners. You don't need them for privacy, so their purpose is purely decorative. These appear to be unpleated panels? Unpleated panels pulled flat look like, well, unpleated panels pulled flat. They need to be pulled back so they fold properly.
If you can return the panels, I would do the same thing, but add a little more color.
January 21, 2013 at 8:45am   
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pcmom1
Looking again at your room, the two brown leather chairs seem very "office" like. Two softer swivel chairs on each side of the fireplace, or placed together where the darker sofa is now would work better, I believe.

And, I see one of my personal pet peeves: the backless bench at the dining table. I just don't think they are comfortable enough for your guests to sit at during a long dinner (unless they are professional yoga instructors!).

I would use the bench elsewhere, even up against your dining room wall (guests at parties will have the wall to rest against.), or behind a sofa, or between two sofas as a table (see Tammy's picture posted above).
January 21, 2013 at 10:54am   
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ninahamza
thank you! thank you! So many things to work on. I especially like the pictures - very helpful. I will definitely lengthen the rods, shorten the curtains, and add color and texture. Also have a lot of furniture rearranging in my future. Hopefully I will have a better picture to add soon.
January 21, 2013 at 3:18pm     
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