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Need help making this room more contemporary
January 22, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi. My wife and I are about to close on a house in New Jersey. In almost all rooms, the house has exactly the type of contemporary yet slightly rustic feel that we like. However, the living room is a bit too rustic for our tastes. we dont lovethe lodge feel. All of the furniture will be leaving with the seller, so the room is pretty much a blank canvas.

Any thoughts on how to make this room a bit cleaner / modern feeling?? We are open to changes in furniture, paint, pretty much anything.

Let me know if it would be helpful to provide any other info.

Thank you!
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Congratulations on your new home. I like the way this inspiration room successfully marries rustic with clean contemporary.
January 22, 2013 at 10:41AM     
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Here are some pictures of contemporary homes with large fireplaces. Maybe they can give you some ideas. It may just be the picture, but the mantle seems massive. Maybe it could be lowered and made a little bit smaller and then add some large fantastic artwork over the fireplace. Also, can the stones that jut out be removed??

Congratulations and Enjoy your new home!

[houzz=Lake House]

[houzz=Woodinville Retreat]

[houzz=Great Room]
January 22, 2013 at 10:49AM     
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I think the paint colors and the old owner's furniture might be keeping it from leaning towards more contemporary. Here's a photo with some of the same post and beam elements. I think if you combine that with furnishings like shown in the photos above, it will be great.
January 22, 2013 at 10:56AM     
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I would consider painting the walls a cooler tone such as grey or blue-grey, which is more contemporary and see where that takes you. The color of the existing room is very warm and "lodge like" just that change may be enough. Also, without their furninture and the accessories that are lodge like just a color change may get you to where you want to be. It also does not cost too much to just try it on 2 walls. I would start with the fireplace wall so you can see if you like it and how it relates to the fireplace. Additionally, painting the ceiling white may help as well, but I am not sure how that tranistions to other spaces, so you would have to consider that.
January 22, 2013 at 10:59AM     
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thank you all so far. very helpful!
January 22, 2013 at 11:34AM   
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I agree with the others. I nice shade of gray like SW Mindful Gray would be beautiful in that room. I think your biggest style-setter will be the furniture and area rug. Choosing a modern couch with sleek lines and not an overstuffed style would be the ticket. Also, your choice in an area rug will need to set the tone for the room also. Floor lamps in a modern style would add nice task lighting. I don't see a chandelier in the room, but if you had one perhaps a new, large, ontemporary tiered drum shade chandlier would be really nice.
January 22, 2013 at 11:41AM     
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Looks like a beautiful house by the way-congrats on your new home.
January 22, 2013 at 11:42AM     
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By Design EK
I agree with changing the paint color, i like the suggestion of a soft grey but you could also go with a white. I think if you change the mantle to a more contemporary clean box shape and maybe paint it that would also help. This and changing the furniture and a contemporary rug should at least give you a good start if not do the trick entirely. The house has great bones to work with! Good Luck!
January 22, 2013 at 11:42AM     
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Its my guess that all the cross wall beams and posts attached to the walls are just for effect. I would remove all of it so that the walls have a cleaner look and not so busy. Next I would sand down the mantel to a very square edged rough piece of wood and finish it in a dark stain. Then change out the wall sconces to a stainless contemporary fixture. Your furniture will do the rest and as far as wall color you can do anything you want..
January 22, 2013 at 11:49AM     
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Scott Design, Inc.
The window trim is a distraction. Consider removing the casing from all the windows and applying a vinyl bull nose corner bead to create a smooth, rounded look to the drywall/window corners. Then paint the walls including the bullnose right up to the window jamb. Now you have an uninterupted field of wall color other than the large beams and columns that are visually appealing and provide stature and balance to such a large space. Ask a drywall installer to come in and tell you how it can be done for your particular window situation.
January 22, 2013 at 6:06PM     
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I agree with Scott and Marie. The windows take the wood trim a bit overboard, and the wall trim looks removable. I would remove all except the pieces that visually appear to hold up the overhead beams. Those two changes plus the right color on the walls will make a big difference.
January 22, 2013 at 6:21PM     
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Scott Design, Inc.
The overhead beams are held up by the columns at either end as if it was a header over a wide opening. The window trim below is not necessary. You can see this across the way on the opposite wall over the door, etc. I agree with decoenthusiaste's comment about the right wall color. Start working on your furnishings and the color should fall into place.
January 22, 2013 at 7:05PM     
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Do you like the look of the fireplace stonework?
It feels a little european, medieval castle like.
If you like more contemporary-rustic here a few photos.
You could do a stone veneer on top, like Eldorado stone.
January 22, 2013 at 9:21PM     
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First, I would agree with the previous comments that mention the exit of the current furniture making a big difference. Once, the space is empty you'll be able to make a better judgement about was elements are overly "lodge" for you.

While I can't tell how this room interacts with other spaces, you may want to consider refinishing the floor with a lighter wash or limed effect. Since you are looking for the whole house to reflect your contemporary rustic style, you may want to consider carrying a lighter floor through out.

January 22, 2013 at 9:41PM     
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