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Need help creating an eclectic living room in my 1940s house
mchs1234
January 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I need a ton of help! I want to create an eclectic style living room. I have light oak floors, white brick fire place, french doors on one end and an arch way into the room on the other side. The couch must stay and is pretty much stuck in that position due to its size. The room has ivory silk drapes. I picked up the navy coqo floral drapes from anthro and was just testing them out in the living room, but initially purchased for my bedroom. Are they too bold for the space? I would love some suggestions for side chairs, end tables, media console, paint color, rug, lamps, room arrangement etc. Pretty much everything! I was looking at some chairs from Room and Board but am unsure if my traditional sofa can be paired with modern chairs? I seem to like many different styles but am unsure of how to blend them all together-mid century, modern, traditional, vintage. I should also add that the television stays and I don't want the tv over the mantle. Thanks!
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Jayme H.
The drapes and rug seem to not go together, are u keeping the rug? I like them both..nothing wrong with either...Do u want to go with blues and whites and mix in other colors?
January 23, 2013 at 11:48am     
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PRO
Jacqueline
Eclectic means you're having a little fun with design! I encourage you to buy items you like and find interesting- you'll make it work. Also the room is very neutral I'd encourage you to paint or wallpaper the walls or introduce some bolder accents. I don't think your couch is too traditional! Wisteria has some really fun benches you could include along the window. Perhaps a fun piece will inspire you when shopping for the rest of the space! Good luck!
January 23, 2013 at 12:05pm     
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mmilos
The couch is a classic. Pick any modern classic chair you like in a color that'll coordinate with the brown leather and it'll work.
January 23, 2013 at 12:07pm     
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PRO
Dytecture
Just have fun.


January 23, 2013 at 12:08pm     
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putter2
Remove existing bookshelves and build in bookshelves with doors on lower, and continue a shelf across top of window, surrounding window right up against moulding. Window seat under window. Plantation shutters or roman shades at all windows? Rug and curtains don't gel....maybe use curtains for roman shade fabric, and get a sisal or lighter, bigger solid rug. Couch makes strong contrast.....
January 23, 2013 at 12:15pm   
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Darzy
I like your new curtains and I'd get another set for the bookcase wall. I'd paint the back of the bookcase wall the navy blue. Modern chairs with wood legs would complement your sofa/coffee table. I think you need a new area rug to fit more into the eclectic style. Collected looking pieces will work well with ecclectic style mixing styles. A piece of modern art above an antique table, etc.
January 23, 2013 at 12:28pm     
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mchs1234
The rest of my curtains haven't arrived and I am still thinking about it because I would have to get a new rug. The book cases don't have to stay but I have no wear else to put them right now. Changing the back is a good idea! Does anyone have specific suggestions for a tv console or end tables?
January 23, 2013 at 12:45pm   
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Sarah Bernardy Design
I agree with Darzy. So, if you like the curtains then work them into the color scheme. Get a rug that is more modern, either without pattern but allot of texture like a sisal or with a big bold pattern in the navy and possibly another accent color, like a flower pot red/orange or yellow. I love the sofa, so add some fun and colorful pillows there. Either paint the backs of the bookshelves the navy of the curtains or if you really want color paint the entire bookshelves this color in a high glossed navy lacquer, accenting the bookselves with colors that will pop off the navy (flower pot red/orange or yellow). A pair of slipper chairs or smaller scaled upholstered arm chairs would be a great compliment to the sofa in any of these fun colors. Find a larger TV console that fits the size of the wall and your TV better. Find a larger piece of art for behind the sofa to anchor the space, keeping the smaller pictures and accents on the bookshelves.
January 23, 2013 at 12:46pm     
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putter2
Put the TV in your new bookshelves!
January 23, 2013 at 12:48pm   
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judianna20
I like your curtains and I like your rug, but not together. Which do you want/need to keep? Are the bookcases free standing or built in?
/



Not a great pix, but how about a kilim rug with curtains? Two barrel chairs in the beige of the kilim and a much darker beige, BM Grant beige on the walls?
January 23, 2013 at 12:48pm     
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Sarah Bernardy Design
If you are going to stay with the rug then I would darken the walls to compliment the what appears to be grays in the rug. Then pull that rusty color in the rug onto the curtains and other accents.
January 23, 2013 at 12:49pm     
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sueplatt
Move the sofa from the wall and add a sofa table. Like the drapes and book shelves but with additional furniture it may work; sisal may be better though (be concerned abt scratching a wood floor). A few bright colored pillows too.
January 23, 2013 at 12:57pm     
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mchs1234
Book cases are not built in. I can use the rug and curtains in other places if need be. I would love built in book cases along that window-we had someone come out but they are at the bottom of our list.
January 23, 2013 at 1:07pm   
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mchs1234
Forgetting about the curtains in the pictures, what color side chairs would you get to go with the leather couch-it is a brown leather with orange/red undertones.....or is anything okay. The leather has been extremely durable. Would something like navy show stains more easily vs lighter fabric? If I replace the rug I think I would get another wool rug as my children play on it.
January 23, 2013 at 1:23pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
I love the rug and its Arts and Crafts feeling--is it Pottery Barn? I think more color would be nice in the space, drawing from that rug and maybe some other textiles. The curtains are nice but a bit bold and contrasty for the rest of the stuff. I think a different color on the walls could really pull it all together, and just about any kind of chair would work.
January 23, 2013 at 1:31pm   
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putter2
The couch is great, and it's pretty 'Ralphy' traditional. Solid chenille/corduroy chairs would be good in navy to match curtain fabric, but you could probably use something leggy, as someone else suggested....and more contemporary. The room looks large enough to have almost two groupings.....two chairs with one ottoman to share in front of the fireplace....is the room big enough to then put the couch in the middle of the room facing the bookshelves, with a library table behind it with two big lamps? Now I'm sounding 'Ralph'! If the TV went into the bookshelves, though, you could see it from all seating......
January 23, 2013 at 1:36pm   
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Barbara Griffith Designs
The room has too many small busy items. I would keep the rug, because it looks like a William Morris design from the Art Deco period..they are never out of style. I agree with Sarah Bernardy Design to darken the walls, maybe a greige color. I would move the ready made bookcase to the outside corners of the wall, extend the curtain rod, raise it to the ceiling and purchase natural linen type panels in 95" length. Do the same drapes on all windows. Remove everything from the book shelves remove one shelf if possible and space the remaining to allow taller objects. Place only a few items..larger in scale (large plate on stand, large framed photo, large bowl, etc., and add some books, place a green plant on the top of each unit for more height. Paint the back of the shelf units an accent color you choose, maybe in the terra cotta color family (from the rug). I would build a simple wooden fireplace surround & mantel to cover most of the brick front, just leave a small amt of brick showing around the firebox. An upholstered sloop chair to the left of the fireplace angled into the room in a bold but smallish print using brighter shades of colors in the rug. If possible a matching chair in the area (not shown) of the right side of the french doors, angled and pulled into the room. Glass & old iron contemporary end tables with large lamps and maybe 2 small glass tables in lieu of a coffee table. Something large and round over the fireplace, framed mirror or large clock. Maybe a black more contemporary unit for the TV and place a green tree to the right of it. Wall over sofa, a pair of large pictures..fill the space. Whew!
January 23, 2013 at 1:39pm     
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putter2
Just a thought.....sisal might be rough in little knees, and rough for you if they spill. But you definitely need a bigger rug. You have to think about how you use the room......always kids in there, or would you like it to make a statement in the house?
January 23, 2013 at 1:44pm   
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mchs1234
Ha Ha putter2 the couch is Ralph Lauren. I have tried moving the couch to face the book shelves but it is just too big. It really blocks the flow in front of the french doors. I have always had the tv to the right of the fire place as I couldn't find another spot for it. Definitely no to sisal. It is our main room in the house. Always kids in there. Yes, there will not always be babies on the floor and kids playing games on the floor but for now that is the case. Is there such a thing as a kid friendly statement room!? Could you suggest some end tables.
January 23, 2013 at 2:06pm   
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mmilos
victorianbungalowranch, the rug looks like it's the Brandon rug from Pottery Barn.
January 23, 2013 at 2:23pm   
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putter2
This is a riot....I just joined Houzz an hour ago! You could so wrought iron glass top tables? I'd use fat lamps to balance the couch. I do love the couch! But I'd also do a grouping in front of the fireplace.. I think your vision will change once you get a lighter rug.....just get something nubby that's kid-protected. What about a solid 'block-type' coffee table that's almost the length of the couch? Two end tables similar to your existing coffee table might be nice. I mentioned to someone else to look at Pier 1 for big jars that can be made into lamps. Oh dear, I'm spending your money......sorry!
January 23, 2013 at 2:25pm     
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mmilos
putter, it's so easy to spend other people's money on this site! :-)
January 23, 2013 at 2:39pm     
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Darzy
BTW...the wonderful thing about eccletic is the best furniture is found at yard sales and cragislist. Your coffee table is small for the sofa. How about pushing your coffee table to the window, between the bookcases. Then, put a lamp at one end of the table, and use the table as a side table? Two chairs flanking the new "end table" there. Rustic modern large coffee table and round side tables at each end of the sofa (painted an accent color, blue of the rug?) For the tv stand, how about a craigslist dresser or buffet also painted the color of your "new" end tables and install funky knobs on it?

January 23, 2013 at 2:39pm     
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putter2
Still think doing that whole end wall in bookshelves would look wonderful, and make a cozy, sophisticated room, with cupboards on the bottom for kids' stuff, and books, etc. in shelves......plus TV.
Might be worth the $$, and change the whole look. They would look nice with the couch. A striped rug might be fun?
January 23, 2013 at 3:04pm   
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PRO
Design with Vision
I don't want to overwhelm you with too many suggestions. I think if you take it a step at a time, each move will help you move onto the next. The drapes do not work. You might want textured or bamboo shades instead. The collection of photos would be better replaced with a larger painting (wait until you find one you love). You need interesting end tables and the white bookcases need paint if they are to get along with the others. That's enough to deal with for now. Remember that eclectic does not mean "whatever." It takes intuition and trial and error to make it work.
January 23, 2013 at 3:23pm     
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Darzy
Agree with saradoesit...eclectic is fun and looks terrific - when it's done right. Finding the right pieces to put together in different styles is not an easy task. Picking curtains you love (that will go with the rug you love) is the best start. Here is brown leather/eclectic.

January 23, 2013 at 3:30pm     
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Darzy
Here is a great article from HOUZZ on the Finer Points of Eclectic Style (which I love). If you are not "quirky" is may not be for you. :)


January 23, 2013 at 3:42pm   
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Judit
Hi. It seems to me that the rug and the curtains don't match at all. Besides the curtain has too large patterns which can rule the room! The couch is priceless don't get rid of it! Match it with any modern seating plus replace the old rug to something shaggy. Also the wall colour looks too pale to me. Apply modern wall art.
January 23, 2013 at 4:19pm   
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Gavin Blackwell
Hi! I think you have a great base for an eclectic look. I love your artwork and bookcases a lot, they already look great. I feel a splash of colour here and there, especially to liven up the fireplace wall, your sofa and rug. Have you thought about appliqued cushions or a textured rag rug? I'd also be inclined to perhaps add a subtle colour to one of your walls, maybe a very light cream just to juxtapose against the existing colour. Have you thought moving one of the bookcases to where the TV is and putting your tv in it's place. Breaking up the symmetry of the cases might be interesting. Just a thought. I recently (on a very tight budget) created an eclectic look in my living room using old drawers on the wall as shelves and mixing lots of colourful, patterned and plain cushions. Good luck!
January 23, 2013 at 4:35pm   
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mchs1234
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I realize that an eclectic look doesn't mean you can just throw anything together. I definitely wouldn't say my style is quirky. I'm just trying to build a room around my couch and have it lean toward the more modern side of traditional. I want it to function for our family, look polished but a little fun at the same time. I have had problems pulling the trigger on anything because I want a "plan" in place before I start buying things one at a time.
January 23, 2013 at 5:14pm   
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Darzy
Ahhh..want you really want is transitional style. "Polished" look is not eclectic. Sooo..I say keep your pretty rug and put the curtains in the bedroom. Now, we can have fun with your space as "transitional style, and family friendly with a polished look".
January 23, 2013 at 7:41pm     
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karen paul interiors
mchs, What is negotiable? Have you recently painted? Would you rather part with your rug or your draperies? Do you plan to utilize the TV cabinet or is that negotiable. I realize you don't want to MOVE the TV, but would like to know if you are receptive to housing it differently....or is the base a recent purchase? You have a chair in an opening so I am assuming it is there because? You have placed any number of pieces of art?/photographs? over the sofa and in your cabinets. I would recommend you take everything down, and do a house search for any art you may have stored away somewhere. Then Houzzers can look at what you have and assist you with determining those items that are keepers, or items that need to be relocated, or items you have had in storage that can replace current pieces. I mention this because the pieces you have over your sofa may benefit from some rethinking and placement elsewhere. Just a thought. :)
January 23, 2013 at 7:59pm   
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Kimberly
Eclectic means pairing things that aren't related -- so, traditional and modern can work together in an eclectic space! :) Buy things you love. I also love eclectic and need help with pulling it together. I KNOW what I like, but I need help from a designer perspective. I don't like anything to match. Here is what I have going so far, we may can help each other! Let me think on this a little and I will respond again. Here's what I have thus far: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/847373
February 11, 2014 at 12:50pm   
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Kimberly
If you do not want to get rid of the rug/couch:

Pull the rug away from the wall, first of all. This will make a huge difference.
Replace the wooden coffee table with something glass (maybe circular). Overstock.com has great choices!
I love horizontal stripe curtains - Pottery Barn has them in taupe, and they would look good with your rug/couch if you are going for more of a warm, traditional 'eclectic' (which is what it sounds like).
I like the idea of bamboo roman shades on the windows too. You can layer with the drapes!
You need more layers in the room (throws, pillows, more things on the mantel, etc.). Mix metals, mix rustic and shiny materials. Contrast everything! You have a great start!
February 11, 2014 at 1:05pm   
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victorianbungalowranch
Layers are nice, but glass and young children is a no-no!
February 11, 2014 at 1:47pm   
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Ann
I'm thinking keep the rug but return or move the drapes. The two won't work together. For additional furniture (probably 2 chairs), I'd go with a light colored solid, kind of leggy, but comfortable. I'd reduce the stuff on the shelves by half, especially moving the framed pics elsewhere because they are competing with the gallery wall above the sofa - which looks pretty nice.
February 11, 2014 at 2:05pm   
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LoobyGuru
Some great ideas on here! Just to add my penny's worth, I'd like to see larger artwork or a big mirror above your mantel. The piece needs to be wider, in proportion with the fireplace.
February 11, 2014 at 3:19pm   
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