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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help with family room..

hnksJanuary 20, 2013
We moved into our first home 3 months ago. Family room is open to the kitchen. I need more seating/furniture, more light and decorating. Don't know where to start and how to put all pieces. The only pieces that I would like to keep is the couch and the coffee table.. Thought about getting these chairs: http://t.costco.com/.product.11748255.html
what do you guys think? I have also been looking for an art piece or mirror on top of the mantle but still nothing yet.
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Hi you can put a lamp so will be more illuminated also I send you some ideas that could help I hope this help you
    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:29PM
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The biggest problem I see with your room, other than poor lighting, is blandness. The chairs you like just add more oatmeal color. You need a pop of accent color and some great lighting. Love the dark brown, but it still lacks richness. You've got to dive in to pattern and color. Aqua, blue, pink, orange, yellow, lime - think of a chocolate covered cream candy. All those shades will work with your room Window treatments, accent chairs, lamps and accessories will do the trick. Just be bold and don't hang back behind the oatmeal. Here are some inspiring rooms...

Traditional Chocolate & Cream Kitchen · More Info

family room · More Info

Transitional Formal Living Room · More Info

Zuniga Interiors · More Info

Lakeview Residence Bedroom · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Thank you so much for your comments and the pictures. I agree that it is too blend. I am afraid of colors, I guess. so I was thinking about how to arrange the furniture, should I keep the couch as is or should I out it parallel to the fireplace?
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:30AM
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Two major issues. 1. Size & height of back wall and wall over fire place. 2. Color of all family room walls way to dark and they match the floor. Hate to say this but from these small photos the room looks cave like using brown floors & dark brown walls.
These colors are soaking up every available bit of natural light.

I am not a licensed professional but am an art director who works on photo shoots and rug designer in a previous life.

When working with friend I have them pick out the hard items first such as furniture & rugs. Paint value only (light, medium or dark) not actual color.

Dark floor would pop with a light large area rug or two. They will add color & define two or more living spaces. Good quality Machine made wool rugs often look like real hand made at 1/4 the price. I advocate high quality nuteral furniture. Bring in bright color with accessories & art. You can change these over the years in expensively. We're as good quality furniture feels good & is worth the investment.

Now paint. This looks like an expensive job as you have to bring in professionals with scaffolding to tackle those walls. I would go brighter. Pick up maple & bamboo floor swatches from Home Depot. Look at the warm golden color in these natural materials to get an idea not a hard yellow paint but soft warm glow.

That large back wall will take years of art collecting to fill. Consider the following.
1. Look up 'salon style' art hanging. This is filling a wall with multiple pieces like a puzzle. Do not go small on pieces. 8 x 10 family photos will get eaten up on that size wall. Buying antique frames installing mirrors. Great second hand frames with mirrors will make it pop. (mirrors will brighten the wall if you choose to hold off on the paint)
- or -
2. Find a big lovely textile. Antique rug or quilt. This will cut noise and fill void. Note if you choose art or textiles they will fade as your windows are so large.

Long answer to a short question.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 7:03AM
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Thank you dhugger!
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 3:21PM
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You definitely need more color. Try some bright color pillows for the sofa. Add a nice tray with some decorative accent for the center table. A nice painting above the fireplace will give that room a great feel. Add some pictures also giving it the warmth of home. You can try getting some pouf or ottoman some color to complete the look.
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 3:35PM
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With the carpet installation, you may not have room to parallel the sofa and squeeze in the coffee table in front of the FP. Can you see continuing the flooring and the adding a big bright rug in place of the oatmeal carpet? Maybe the size of this one...
Contemporary Living Room · More Info
    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 3:57PM
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Thank you so much for the honest opinions. I will be looking for art pieces to go on that wall and on top of the mantle. My need now is furniture, I need more seating for guests to hang out and have a conversation. I would like to keep the sofa and buy 2 club chairs. But how should I arrange these? I was thinking either opposite to the sofa (on the other side of the fireplace with a side table in between) or may be one on each side of the fireplace?
I was reading articles about how to buy furniture in these 20 feet-ceiling rooms and all the suggestions focused on high back chairs. How about these ?http://www.hayneedle.com/sale/emeralderikaaccentchairnatural.cfm
I could then add some pillows for colors.
    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 7:37PM
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I just bought the chairs (link in the above post) I hope they work. I have a gathering at my house in about 10 days and I need to have more seating. I would like to add colorful pillows. Suggestions? Still looking for some art and lighting. Getting stressed about people coming over for the first time to see my new house.. :-(
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 5:19AM
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Grace Archives
Gallery walls are a classic, yet modern look. Mingle vintage art and old architectural details, with family photos for a one of a kind display. www.GraceArchives.etsy.com
    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 6:04AM
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So the chairs finally arrived (see link above). They are much smaller than I thought. they are not great but I think they fit the space well. I do not think I can return these and am looking for ideas to make them look better. I ordered a round side table.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Here are photos
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 7:29PM
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The new chairs look great. I don't think they are too small, but rather they give the room a feeling of spaciousness.

I wonder if the hearth of your fireplace is deep enough for sitting. If so, adding cushions would give you a place for more to perch at a gathering.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:06PM
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Tres McKinney Design
Oh Dear! First I have to give you credit for bieng brave with color but in this case I think the dark brown is too much. In the photo image looking from the great room to the kitchen it looks like two different houses joined together. You need to find a way to make a more haromious transition and warm up the great room with these towering ceilings. While I often love dark painted rooms I think that the walls are too tall to make it work successfully in your family room. If you do not want to try a lighter color or white walls, first try the following.
Eliminate the shades on the windows on each side of the fireplace and replace with full length working curtains in that lower window portion and leaving the upper curved windows open. The fabric will draw your eye down and make the seating area more intimate. Hang a beautiful large scaled painting or framed print over the fireplace. Hang a large scaled mirror or grouping of framed prints or paintings on the blank wall behind the sofa. Place a tall long cabinet about 36" high on this wall with a pair of tall 36" high lamps on each end. Pull the sofa in towards the fireplace and center the coffee table in front of the fireplace. The tall wing back chairs are OK . You need some height. Colorful pillows and a patterned rug that incorporates the russet red of the kitchen will help make the two rooms harmonious. The space is very challenging and I think you could really benefit from working with and interior designer to help you pull this room together an avoid making expensive mistakes.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:57PM
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Dont even think about putting cushions on your hearth as suggested above. That is a fire hazard. Not worth the worry! Being safe is like breathing-you never want to stop
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:04PM
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Christine Curry
I like the cushion on the hearth idea, when obviously the fireplace won't be in use. You could also add pops of color in those cushions.

I think the lamp between the two chairs needs to be lifted a little. Maybe a taller table.

But I'm wondering, is this more of a casual family room? I would think so because it's off the kitchen. That being said....I like your furniture a lot, but I think the placement is not as inviting as it could be.

Those windows are gorgeous, so what about re positioning the couch to face them.. and put the two chairs where the couch currently is? You could then put a low console or storage/cubby shelf (horizontally) where the chairs currently are. Something that is low enough to still easily see over, but that you could display your family pictures/houseplants or whatnots with.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:18PM
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OK we have confused HNKs. Quick fix sans expensive scaffolding paint job.

Large Asian or Turkish inspired antique rugs for the walls. Do not have to be expensive originals. May pick some up at an auction house. Make sure the colors tie in with the wood floors and kitchen color.

Another textile consideration is rich Amish quilts. Nothing over country or kitsch.

When decorating paint is the last detail chosen as there are so many options where as the architecture and furniture is set. If time and $ are an issue then consider reprinting the kitchen as it will not require professional scaffolding.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 1:40PM
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Thank you all for the responses. I know that 20 feet ceiling is really challenging to decorate. I actually love the colors in the house and btw I did not choose the colors. We bought the house 3 months ago and moving from a small 2 bedroom house built in 1930 to this place means buying a lot furniture. I am starting with the family room since we spend a lot of time here.
First i need Furniture... Like I said, I needed more seating so I bought these 2 chairs. They are actually going back because one has broken wood under the upholstery and the other one has a bad cushion. :-( but that's ok, I did not like them anyway. So now, I am at square one, should I get similar chairs to these or do you think I should be more colorful? As the furniture arrangement, I will move the couch in front of the fireplace and take a picture but the problem is my coffee table, it's too big for the space.
Second, i am still looking for that perfect piece to hang on top of the mantle. Any suggestions? Links? it needs to be at least 45"x 45" and the bigger the better. Below is a picture of the house before I bought. The previous owner had a beautiful mirror with gold bold frame above the mantle and it looked stunning.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:53PM
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