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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Suggestions to correct

Nancy AndersonFebruary 4, 2013
The photo is from my 3 bedroom bungalo built in 1973-74 which we bought in 1992. It has a galley kitchen with one end large enough to accomodate a dinette set. Also one long wall running down the centre of the house. At one time, paint and wainscotting was used to define the difference between kitchen and living room. I would like to update but unsure how to correct? If additional photos are needed, please advise
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We will definitely want to see more pics; just reply to this same thread and attach to your reply. Thanks for starting with this one though.

Preliminary comments:
I would pick one paint color for both rooms, and remove the wainscoting. The wall does the delineating between the spaces. Otherwise, on the big wall with the photo on it, it should just flow. New, appropriately-sized and appropriately-hung (i.e., lower) artwork and window coverings will lend a hand to creating a more updated look. Does that chair have to be there? It looks like it blocks the flow.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:34AM
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Nancy Anderson
I have some updated pictures (the original was while we were putting down new floor so things were out of place but I appreciate the feedback:) I had been thinking that perhaps going with a neutral color on outside walls and an accent color front and back of the middle wall. I am SO OPEN to any thoughts and suggestions. Thank you
    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:14AM
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Nancy Anderson
AMN: If there are other angles that you would like to see; I can certainly accommodate. I would like to get painting soon as then the baseboards, etc. can be applied....any thoughts on color, etc.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:42AM
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Lady Von
Hi Nancy! Thanks for the extra pictures. I have some questions for you. Are you just redoing the living room or the living room and eat-in kitchen? Is your budget tight or is it Publishers Clearing House type money? Are the furnishings and accessories staying? Knowing this will help us Houzzers to better direct our advice. With that being said, I will assume that money is tight, you want to update both rooms, and everything (or almost everything) is staying.

1) Patch any damange to your ceiling and walls (I think I saw ceiling damage in the eating area).

2) Paint the entire area a nice soft neutral color (that doesn't mean off-white, unless you like off-white). Taupe, buttercream, camel, light gold, pale green (think light olive not baby tones) are all great colors that can go with your current furniture.

3) Beef up your crown molding! Its too whimpy. If you can't to install real crown molding there is an DIY method that gives the look of crown for a fraction of the cost. (See picture below). When done right it looks amazing.

4) Coordinate your fixtures. The light fixture in the eating area is silver toned, the light fixture in the living room looks brass, and the kitchen hardware looks silver. I would keep it consistent. If you can't splurge on new fixtures use a can of spray paint to unify everything. Get the spray paint that has both paint and primer combined with a spray trigger (Rustoleum is great).

5) (Assuming the cabinets are staying) Install a new backsplash. I think a tin backsplash will add charm to the space and soften it up, especially with such plain cabinetry. (See picture below). Home Depot offers the DIY "tin" panels that go up with glue or double-sided tape. Really easy to install and looks great.

6) If you choose to do a light color on the walls, paint the wood paneling a crisp white.

7) Replace your window treatments with woven shades.

8) Replace the wall clock with a beautiful piece of artwork.

9) Add a second (matching shelf) to display your collection. If you can't find a match, lumber and L-brackets will do. Collections should look like "collections". Right now, your shelf looks lonely.

10) I would paint your dining set. I know some people don't like paint wood but I think it will really freshen up that set. I would do either everything white with colorful pillows in each chair, or do the table white and the chairs in a fun color.

11) LOWER that ceiling fixture! The light should sit 36 inches above the table. Honestly, I would replace it. It doesn't seem like it fits your style.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:01AM
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I agree with ladyvon anabove - that color is just fighting with your furniture. I always find light blue hard to mix with wood and leather. Go with a warmer buttercream, camel, etc. The two light fixtures in the living room are fighting, too - one is kind of 70's and one is kind of 1890's - they both need to be updated.

Otherwise it just needs "ooomph". Punch up the color and get more substantial artwork - fewer and bigger pieces that add to the accent color you've chosen.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:20AM
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Lady Von
Part 2


12) Declutter. There is a lot of furniture in that small room. Remove anything that is not absolutely necessary or that you don't feel to be beautiful.

13) I would rearrange some of your furniture. (A) Move the work station to the small wall where the antique table is (next to the tv). A desk should not be the first thing you see when you walk into your living room. (B) Move the side table (which on the left of the loveseat) to the right side where the desk used to be. (C) Relocate the BEAUTIFUL antique table to where the side table is currently. Its a show stopper piece and should not be hidden in a corner. (D) I can't tell what is opposite the sofa so I can't comment there.

14) Install new drapes to the ceiling (a.k.a. just below the new "crown molding"). Remove the sheers and install woven shades. Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart are great places to find nice window treatments. And remember their websites offer so much more that what you will ever find in their stores.

15) Rearrange your pictures. Remember, collections--even of family photos--should look like collections. (See picture below). Variety in photo size will help to add visual interest to your display. The wall behind your loveseat is your focal wall. This is where your photos should really be displayed.

16) Add accessories that bring in color and pattern (area rug, art, pillows, candles, vases, etc). Your current sofa pillows can be easily slipcovered. Art, pillar candles and vases are easy finds.

17) Hide what needs to stay but doesn't need to be seen. Decorative storage boxes are a nice way to store your cd's on a shelf and get them off of the floor. Also, it looks like your coffee table can hold some storage boxes on its shelf. This is a great place to hide remotes, books/magazines, games/cards, etc.

18) Bring life to your built-in! Beef up the shelf that the TV is sitting on (it looks like it needs more support). Also, add trim pieces that are at least 1x4" to the shelves (so that the shelves that frame the TV area don't look so whimpy). Once the trim pieces are installed, stain or paint all the wood pieces to match. I would then add a skirt on a tension rod underneath the bottom shelf so the dog bed can be hidden when not being used. I would also add some contrast to the back of the built-in. Paint, wall paper, or even the same tin treatment from the kitchen (to tie the areas together) will work.

19) If you keep the ceiling fan, paint it. If not, replace it with a beautiful ceiling fixture. (See picture below).

Okay...that's all for now. Sorry for the delay. This is a potty training household so this Mama gets called away frequently.
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 5:14AM
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Nancy Anderson
Thank you all for your feedback - very much appreciated. Some items mentioned are already in my over-all plan. Would love to de-clutter but would have to build on; as 1125 sq ft. + 4 and a dog and cat just doesn't cut it :) but I will work on it with some of the tips mentioned? I have one question on painting though - should the wall the runs down the center of the house be a different color than the outer walls? I've attach a picture to see what I mean. I'll warn you there is stucco on the hall walls which at some point will be replaced but for now... Once again thank you for the feedback - the extra pictures are fantastic
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:09PM
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Lady Von
I would paint it the same color. Its a very small space and a contrasting color will make that more obvious. I suggest using color artwork if you want to highlight the wall. Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:22PM
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Agree - you're trying to streamline, and more than one color will work against that.

I notice that you have alot of small but pretty pieces of art - one idea is to take a smallish wall and make a gallery with all the small photos and pictures, which makes them look good and frees the big walls for one more substantial piece.
    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:24AM
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Nancy Anderson
Thought I would send a couple "in progress shots" - I have certainly valued you input
1 Like    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 6:50AM
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