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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help decorating the living room please!?

simone90February 2, 2013
I desperately need help decorating our living room! It has to function as our main living area aswell as a place for it's for my little one. We live in a rental so can't really hang anything on the walls/or paint. I may be able to hang light items on 3m hooks possibly.. I am open to all suggestions, as LOng as they're cheap! Would also love to know how to create a focal point? the tv area is so ugly but I need all the things on it! Thank you, I'd love your help please
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Add a light colored transitional area rug. Coffee table too. Consider replacing the traditional media cabinet with something more transitional in style to go with your floors and sectional.
Fabric covered panels for the walls are light and cheap art.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:40PM
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Jayme H.
If u put a console table behind your sofa..u could just sit a picture/art on it..vs hanging it...if it's large enough..I agree an area rug and coffee would help. I would hide in the tv cabinet whatever possible. I might move sofa closer to tv area...put a console table as before mentioned on wall behind sofa...
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:45PM
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Jayme H.
I am not a fan of decals...but if u could find some with designs vs. words...at least they won't damage the walls.
    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:48PM
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Can you pull the couches closer to the TV and make a walkway along the back of them. Find an inexpensive rug somewhere that is at least 4 x 6 and place some of it under the sofa. Find a circular coffee table or a square one. Check out craigslist, i am sure you will find suitable furnishings there. The lamp at the back is wrong. Perhaps find another corner for it. Check out Marshalls for pillows and remove the ones you have. Get larger ones. Two would do it. Also, at Marshalls or Ross you will find very lightweight pictures - go with what you like - just not one large one for that wall. Three? or a bunch of different ones, family pics perhaps? Mirrors work well too. You are fortunate to have the large space. Good luck to you.
5 Likes    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Katina Jones
The highchair could work as a fantastic and convenient color pallet. The colors it has shows how well and easily colors such teal and corral can be incorporated in the space with the gray tile and cream walls. Large throw pillows in those colors will add life to the space. Your own taste can determine the pattern eg. Ikat or chevron. I would definitely paint the small tv cabinet. Corral would look great against that floor. If you can move the sofa away from the wall that would be terrific and help to define the actual living room area space. If you can move the sofa towards the wall with the tv (I'm assuming the tv is there due to cable, wire hook ups etc...) and lined up more in from of it, you may have more than enough space behind the sofa for a sofa table with lamp on one backside and on the other side, enough room to place a small desk behind it. The small desk can work as a sofa table as well... Just pop a chair behind it. Ikea has a cute and inexpensive lucite chair as well as little desks on saw horses. Anyway, this will clear away from of the stuff on your cabinet that you using for a tv stand. With a little one in the room a nice large comfy rug is a must. I usually go with jute rugs, but with a little one crawling and learning to walk a nice plushy shag type rug does wonders. You can find some at Home Depot and Loews, corral or teal would look nice. Definitely need a coffee table with storage. Look to Craigslist and thrifty vintage stores to find a piece that fits your style and can easily be transformed with paint and perhaps lucite hardware as an example ... The same for side tables. Home Goods is another place to look for inexpensive pieces. I bought a side chair there the other day for twenty dollars to go in a small sitting area. A for a focal wall with which you cannot hang anything of significant weight or paint, an option is to by some extremely thrifty canvasses ... Sometime Big Lots carries them and find a variety of wall paper that you like. Have the colors pop and work off the others and create a gallery wall. Sometimes stores throw away their old sample books.. Never hurts to ask. Since there's a little one in the house, it's much less nerve wracking with lighter stuff hanging on the walls anyway. My toddler likes to bang on the mirror and it scares me to death. Ikea also have some great storage shelves that are perfect to place baskets for living room toys and books. Target has some great larger covered storage bins in a straw type wicker ... very large, impressive and lots of toy storage. If you are allowed, hanging bamboo blind right at the ceiling over the windows will add richness, warmth and texture to the room and it inexpensive. Good Luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:07PM
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Katina Jones
Forgive my typos. I'm writing from my iPad ... Eekes.
    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:12PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
You will find great original art on Etsy.com for what you call "cheap". #m hooks are strong enough to hang any painting so do not concern yourself with that.
    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:18PM
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I to have rented and know your pain, drapes help and you need a pop of color the the teal idea. Starch in a can and fabric makes renters wall paper. Won't hurt the walls at all. A rug is a must a sofa table could give you a place for flowers and toy storage mine is from ikea $25;look at the return area of ikea great deals. 3m hooks are great and can hold a lot more than you think (10 lbs) . A coffee table and little one maybe not the best look at storage ottomans target has some nice one. Hope this hells you a little.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 11:20PM
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Blinds Direct Canada
For such large window I would recommend going with a Ripplefold Drapery . It traverses really well and also costs a lot less then other drapery because it uses a lot less fabric because of how its made.
Its a great choice for the space looks great and modern its also something you can take with you when you move.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:30AM
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Wow I wish I could put every room in my house on here! You's have great suggestions! I like the idea of a console table behind the lounge, I've thought of this previously just waiting to come across something I like that's cheap that I could possibly fix up.
I do have a coffee table but its in storage as its a rectangle shape wooden one that I've painted white and was worried it wouldn't go with the brown lounge and dark wood tv cabinet? What do you think of painting the tv cabinet white? I rly like the look of the shabby chic provincial look :-/
I've never thought of coral and teal for colours, but that's a great choice! Definitely will have to try to work those in :) thanks! The lamp is just there as it is the only other power point in the room, and I prefer a lamp light to the big ceiling light, but maybe if I had a console table I could use a desk size lamp instead. Great idea the fabric covered canvases!
I do want to put up some curtain panels even if they don't close shut, just to add some warmth into the room, we do have block out shutters on the windows already, might not be able to see them in the photos as they're cream..
Also the other side of the tv cabinet is where some toys are located but I couldn't work out how to add more than 2 photos in.. Do you think a small 4 cube bookshelf would match here with some fabric bins? (Added photos of idea)
Thank you so much for all of your great ideas! :)
1 Like    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Jayme H.
If you buy a storage unit/bin ...I would keep in mind what your other furniture will be...black or painted white, etc and stick with a theme so it looks more unified.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Mabey putting a nice rug and table
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Thanks Jayme, I would like to paint the tv cabinet a white as well, and have a white side tale and coffee table, but not sure if white is too stark for the brown lounge and gray tiles? :-/
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:53PM
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I would go to a consignment center and get a large cabinet with shelves that can hold TV , and everything else. Or, check craigslist, they do sell for cheap nowadays. Forget painting that cabinet, white, too stark. cosy up the room by bringing in the furniture, adding a rug, and table - bring it out of storage. -- you are on a budget, get it warm, things don't always have to match ! I think try and bring in the couches toward the TV, then post another pic.
    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:49PM
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hey aussie, so funny saw the pics and just knew it was a aussie house. houses just look so different from american. plus this house looked like mine. im from qld too :) maybe a floor rug, coffee table....
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:47AM
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Ok well I've got plans to swap and change furniture around my house to see what it looks like, just need to wait for hubby to help! One question though, console table behind the sofa, does it need to be the same height and length as the lounge?
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:00PM
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Katina Jones
A white coffee table can work well with your sofa as long as you warm it up with the right throw pillows. Be sure to add some fun pops of color and patterns. A rug will do wonders to define and cozy up the space. I would, however, consider having fun with the tv center and go brave with the color. There are so many easy, fantastic paints out there. You already have a cream colored wall and gray floors. This frees you up to have fun with an older piece of furniture. You can even order lucite hardware to give it a modern edge to the shabby chic feel. Teal is hot, red corral is becoming the new black and yellow and orange are making bold statements. There are tons of tutorials via google and YouTube for for "how to" on just about everything - especially painting furniture, painting shabby chic, traditional, issuing wallpaper for furniture with varnish .... Everything. Rule of thumb for sofa tables is that they should be same height to slightly lower but never taller because a person can bump his head against it when leaning back. Most desks come at about the right height, making it ideal for a multi function ... Just as some use a desk as a night stands. It is hip, interesting and adds a bit of character. When I get to use a desk as a console/ sofa table and it's a smaller space, I usually park a lucite chair behind it so the area doesn't look overcrowded. If it's a larger space, then the chair is a good opportunity for character. Plus the chair comes in handy when there's extra company. Length of the console does not matter. I have one larger sofa where I purchased two identical consoles that had larger drawers. I placed them side by side to create one large console. I used the drawers for my toddler's toys, baby needs such as diapers, wipes etc etc ... Everything I'd need for convenience and toy storage. Atop the console, table lamps always make a nice statement and add cozy light to the room. Depending on size of lamp and table,you can place one on each end with anything In between ... A nice sculpture, books ... Anything. For storage, I also use a set of three trunks to keep my toddler's toys in ... It is a faux alligator, teal (color pop) with a black top. Found them at Home Goods. Color Pop. -- The storage shelves are going to look tiny on that wall. If you have to wait to find the right console table (or desk - there are some narrow, cute ones out there. Ikea has a glass top that site on two saw horses for about $40 US in total) you could use store units, stacked the right height as a console table with the lamps placed atop. This was you've checked two boxes and have a temporary solution until you find some furniture pieces that you like. Once you've moved the furniture, it will be easier to see what could work on the wall that is perpendicular to the entertainment wall. Hope this helped. Good luck from Miami, FL!
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:09PM
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maybe add pretty throw pillows on the couch and a large but light 3 piece abstract painting on the wall... plus a nice rug on the floor to add warmth :)
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Wow thanks for the great ideas Katina! I was going to swap out my tv cabinet and use an ikea expedition book shelf on its side, that way I can combine the tv cabinet and you storage into one. I might try and DIY something similar to the images attached of a slim console and upholstered ottoman/table using a pallet.. Will post pics once I've re arranged a little to see how you think it's going!
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:47PM
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First off, if you can paint your tv stand black, all the electronics would blend in and it wouldn't look so messy...Second, when I rented I used nails all through my apt. When I moved out I spackled over them, since it was white it blended in and I got my deposit back no problem. 3d hooks work well for picture frames too, so go ahead and hang those family pics, do a photo composite and break it up with a large letter or ampersand and maybe some plaques or mirrors. I have a composite going around my living room, at eye level and it is about 24" high, it makes my room feel larger.

An area rug would add some color or interest and texture. Some colorful pillows would also help, buy them at Hobby Lobby on sale. Get some decent tables for drinks near the sofa and maybe a few large lamps on top for reading. Good luck.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:52PM
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Two purchases... A rug and coffee table would cozy up the area. I suggest a large indoor /outdoor. They are very inexpensive and easy to clean
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Katina Jones
The ikea shelving unit will be a much better size for that wall. I have one and it is awesome because you can move it anywhere for almost anything. Good choice. I use the straw looking baskets in it. Love the pattern on the ottoman.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Definitely add a rug with some pattern and texture to break up the conglomerate of dark colours both with the tiled floor and chocolate modular lounge. The rug you choose will then dictate what scatter cushions to select for your lounge.
You may want to consider asking your landlord if a art hanging track can be installed this way you could hang a lovely print or artwork behind sofa. With an art track it is usually powder coated white and installed just below cornice and looks like part of the cornice. You are then given by the installer acrylic hanging wires that slot into this track making it versatile to hang either a series of smaller prints or one large one and you can change as often as you like without any damage to the walls.
Your artwork can also be the basis for selecting a rug and scatters.
You will be amazed how by adding the rug, scatters and artwork will give instant warmth and personality to your room. You may also want to add a coffee table too. If it is a particularly beautifully patterned rug that is a real feature think of a glass coffee table so the rug can be seen. This may also keep heaviness out of the room that is happening with dark floor dark lounge.
All the best! Camille Interior Designer Australia
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:23PM
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Thanks Camille I've never heard of the hanging track, definately something ill check out. I noticed you are located in Australia too, is there any place you can recommend getting cheap rugs, aswell as either cushions or fabric to make cushions from? Thanks for your input! :) it all adds up and helps me make a decision
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Stephanie Allen
I get fabulous looking and great underfoot rugs (cheap). A rug is a must for the baby. A round or oval coffee table (think function first). Is there any paint in the garage that is from the original home paint? Drapery panels will make the room feel complete and the small holes from hardware can be covered with a little paintable caulking and paint (never know it was there).
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 2:23AM
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Hi Stephanie thank you for your suggestions. I was thinking the upholstered ottoman cos if I have a coffee table I won't really be able to out anything in it (perfect height for wandering hands!) no there's no paint left from the owners unfortunately, and I'm not rly daring enough anyway cos we have rental house inspections all the time and pretty sure they will notice things in the walls. There is already curtain rod hooks on the windows, so hanging curtains shouldn't be a problem :)
1 Like    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Stephanie Allen
Glad I could help a bit. If you want to find some really cool ottomans or other furnishings you can visit this website and there is negotiable pricing here www.bohofurnituregallery.com They ship nationwide to. curtians will help greatly! Just retro fit :)
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:09AM
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Fringes Rugs
Hello Simone,

I couldn't help but comment after seeing your dilema.

Now for a focal point in the room you could try a Modern or Designer style rug - these will look to attract visitors with unique styles and more fashion driven designs. Vibrant colours are a good way to attract impressive onlookers, but you have to also consider the existing colour schemes of the room.

A Shaggy rug would be great if you're after warmth and like you said a comforting touch to your room. A brown or cream Shaggy rug would look nice against the established interiors you already have. Furthermore, you and your family would really enjoy the tender touch a thick Shaggy rug can give you.

Perhaps a Natural rug selection would also complement this room. Some Natural earthy tones and unique textures could help add character yet simplicity to your room.

Check out our website for examples of our ranges and to see if you can match up a rug for your room.
Don't hesitate to ask any questions. www.fringesrugs.com

Many thanks and good luck selecting!


(Copywriter Fringes Rugs.)
    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:27AM
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Definitely a rug! I would also add a functional coffee table (always good to have extra storage), maybe a lamp tables and interesting lamp at the end of the couch . Are there curtains? They always add warmth and interest. I would also replace the TV cabinet with something more in proportion to the wall it's against with storage for the amps and DVD players etc. Finally some scatter cushions that bring in some more colour and complement the rug. Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 7, 2015 at 4:40PM
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