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Need help with paint color ideas
February 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We bought a new couch last year and it matches our wall color a little to well. I am wanting to lighten the color. The room does not get much light. And this color was fine when my furniture was darker. I am working on a picture ledge to hang behind the couch. Does anyone have any color suggestions? Also while I am asking...does anyone have ideas on how to decorate my coffee tables? I am at a loss as to what to do. They are two separate tables. Thank you for you help :)
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I would separate the tables a bit for starters. You bought two for a reason, so treat them as two. Looks like the shelf parts are becoming catch-alls! Try to limit their use to coffee books like you have on the right. On top you might try a low floral arrangement on one of them and a low grouping of 3-5 candles on the other. Take one of your sofa pillows when you go to select paint. It seems to have a lot of pink/red undertones, so you'll want to be careful when choosing the right shade. Do the poster board paint trials so you can see how the light works with each color throughout the day.
2 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Thank you. I was thinking of separating them. They were sold as a set, so I never knew if they should be together or apart.
1 Like   February 5, 2013 at 11:16AM
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do you have a favourite color,as decoenthusiaste says,you do need to be carefull about the shade,but this creamy color can have lots of colors,greens,bleus,reds,browns(too dark maybe) or you could use wallpaper to bring in colors. then i would put an open shelvingunit against the wall in the dark wood like your tables,or put a consoletable behind it and nice lamps and some colorfull pieces you like,and repeat some of the colors in your soft furnishings,hope the pict. gives you an idea of what i mean...
4 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 11:48AM
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I would work with some throw pillows, which you need and choose a color for the walls from those. For instance, these pillows with a grey wall.

8 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I would separate the two tables and place a decorative box on one of them to hold your remotes. Just keep it simple, whatever you put on the tables. Mother of Pearl Boxes South of Market living room
6 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Thank you everyone! I have separated the tables and I am looking for simple things to put on them. Do you have any ideas for the "dust collecting" ledge? This is what I have up there now. The red canvas is the same fabric as the window valance.
0 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I would paint the wall above the ledge the same color as the wall below. As for what to put on the ledge, it's not required that you put anything there. But if you feel compelled to do so, I would place a grouping of three items of different sizes, and slightly off center, so perhaps the 2 vases that are far right and the red jug second from the left. You could group those together as long as you use those colors in the room. Otherwise, I'd leave it bare.
9 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 3:08PM
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seen that before!!not sure i understand why that is left open,but here are some suggestions!!someone suggested on another posting of this problem to just drywall it and i agree with it,it is an akward space to clean and not very usefull as it is high-up!!
2 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 3:13PM
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for a lighter paint color, try BM Brandy Cream or BM Muslin.
0 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 8:52PM
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I'd add red! Rug and pillows.
5 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 10:15PM
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break that monochronic look
3 Likes   February 5, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Gkemp I have been tossing around the brandy cream. I am going to go get a sample today. Thanks!
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 5:08AM
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I am looking at that color for my hallway!
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 5:43AM
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Chloe and Olive LLC
Add decorative pillows and a colorful rug to your space. From there, you can pull a particular color from either the pillows or the rug to brighten your monochromatic space by painting an accent wall. Great suggestion on separating the coffee tables.
2 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 6:12AM
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What's Inside Design Ltd.
Good morning,
Have fun with it! Play a little and add some more of your personality to the space......it has LOTS of potential!!!
Caroline :)
4 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 7:00AM
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Your photo grouping is too high above your sectional, it just seems to be floating. No matter what the ceiling height, a grouping of small-medium sized items should not exceed the height of the door (to the right). Since you have a red valance, bring out a touch of that color with pillows.Try SW Latte for the wall color & paint the alcove at the peak the same. It's a great color- not too gold or too pink, like coffee with a lot of cream in it...delicious!
2 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 8:06AM
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Marcy Claire
I would paint the walls a mocha/medium brown shade....and that higher triangular ledge area I would totally paint a chocolate brown and place a few big statement pieces up there in solid white! That would be such a dramatic contrast! Separate the tables, install your picture ledge and get some fun, earth toned throw pillows (maybe in browns/blues/burnt orange) there are so many beautiful pillows out there at like Ross or TJ Maxx Homegoods!
3 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Barbara Wahler Interior Design Inc.
A common misconception is that the way to lighten and brighten a naturally dark room is to keep everything in it light in colour but I would disagree with that. I would suggest that you need to add some colour and contrast to the space. You've gotten of to a good start by bringing in the blue at the back of your ledge and the red canvas fabric on your valances but now you need to tie it all together and balance out the dark wood of your tables.

Why limit the blue paint to the area behind the ledge? I would encourage you to be bold and bring it right down and onto your walls. I would look for a patterned area rug that ties the red, blue and cream together, add some additional red and blue accent pillows.

I agree that you photo arrangement is to small for the space. Could you relocate them and replace them with a larger piece of art that picks up on the colour scheme?
6 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 9:54AM
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i thought some fabric in colour/design of choice and an inset of glass/perspex- on the table tops would be a good idea and have cushions that compliment.
baskets underneath would be ideal.
the triangular 'alcove' would be a good place for a bookshelf (ikea?); the ladder for it could just lie against the wall -unless you have small children of course.
as for the picture library on the wall-why not just paint a rectangular contrast colour around them to emphasize them once youve spread them out a little..
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 10:53AM
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Thank you everyone. Yes I know the pictures on the wall need help. It worked with our old furniture, and I did not want to move it until I have the walls painted.

The blue in the alcove is also on the wall to the foyer leading to the room. I will add another picture to show.

Thank you so much for all your suggestions! And Caroline thank you for the visual!! I needed some visual help!
2 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 1:29PM
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i would search out an area rug and the light mocha walls sound very nice, even a wall of wainscotting behind the couch in white on the bottom and baskets under the tables would be very nice. a colored throw, to match rug and pillows in your reds and teals would work then. paint the lamp also. you' have got good bones, just let go & try something new, and the teal upper wall is not so great. good luck hon
0 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Ann Alderson
I'm with Barbara Wahler on this one. Bring that blue down onto the wall and remove everything from the niche. You don't want to draw eyes to it, and it will disappear once the entire wall is the same color. On the rest of the walls, I'd use the lightest shade of the same blue on the fan deck card. Keep us posted!
2 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 2:59PM
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Wendy Peterson
Drozybabe - I would paint the wall behind your couch, some color brown. My sister has ledges all over her house and didn't know what to do with hers either. She did keep them the same color as the walls though but I think you could go with a different color but something not far from the wall color. She has a rustic interior and so one day when I was over there and having a glass of wine, we decided to try and decorate that area. She put up a couple of those small evergreen trees ( they are about 3-4' high).
And then she had this black bear she put up there also. Like I said, her house is rustic. And everything was off center and it looked good. A plant up there would look good (it doesn't have to be real and then you don't have to water it.). They also now have remote control candles! I don't think the vases look bad but group them all together on one side and leave the other side bare. I think you might like that better. Hope this helps.
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 4:31PM
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A nice light blue or light blue grey color would make the sofa stand out a little more while still keeping the room light and bright. for the coffee table add a small plant and 2-3 candles on top. You could add pillows with some of these colors- rust or red , brown , blue and beige in stripes, solid color or another pattern. Add a nice color throw in one of the colors mentioned to the sofa also.
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 5:25PM
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I like the ledge but agree that it needs some help with groupings and etc. and some great ideas have been given. Myself I like something green in places like that. Really what I wanted to tell you is that if you clean the ledge well then cover it with either waxpaper or saran wrap and that way when it is time to clean it again you just wrap that old covering up and put new down. Sure much easier than scrubbing every so often.
2 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 6:49PM
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if that's your sofa make a statement wall behind it go chocolate brown
2 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 7:06PM
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Linda Anthony
pics are too high and too many and too small, even as a group. I prefer family pics in a hallway or in a bedroom - you should have statement pic and carpet, and pull color from them for the walls. Pull coffee tables apart and decorate in three's - I would put that large book under the one table, on top and put something on top of it to had height (like that red-vase from your ledge) - then add one other coordinating thing on the other table. Coordinate some colorful pillows too with new statement pic and carpet.

Pull the couch out away from the wall, about six inches. It's appears jammed right against the wall (this is the new way of doing it and it allows your couch some breathing room AND will stand out more.) Same with end table, which actually looks too short - couch end tables should be at the same height as arm of sofa or chair so people can sit a drink down comfortably.

Love your tri-pod floor lamp but not enough room for it there - perhaps move whole sectional to the left so that lamp has enough space on that wall to be appreciated. You could then tuck it closer to your couch; center it in that new little space you created. Your lamp is too short too - taller end table and taller lamp. Table height, plus lamp height, should be approx 48 inches, which may be about the same height of that lovely tri-pod floor lamp. I would paint the ledge wall the same as the rest of the room so it doesn't look -'chopped up' - then leave just THREE items up there - the red canvas where it is, move the two bottles from the right, in close to it, and the red crock on the left, all tucked together in the middle. That would be using things you already have. Remove all the other things up there. If you only get up there to dust occasionally, you could lay wax paper up there to catch the dust. This works great over kitchen cupboards which are open too.

Now, with your new statement pic or gorgeous mirror, centered over the couch, which you moved to the left, and tucked your tripod floor lamp closer to the couch, you re-arrange items on the ledge, step back and you will see a great balance on that wall ALL before you paint!
3 Likes   February 6, 2013 at 9:07PM
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Katina Jones
With all the neutrals a dramatic beautiful wall could transform the space. Blue is definitely a good idea, but go really rich blue ... A deep blue with a touch of teal but still traditional. Paint the entire wall the one color. Then, instead of the small gallery of photos that do indeed float .... Go BIG. Using white picture rails create a statement gallery ... white picture rails and white photo frames, white matting. Choose your favorite photograph or picture have it enlarged or simply put it in a larger frame with matting sized to accommodate the discrepancy. You can do three even shelves or place the oversized portrait in the middle with two shelves loaded with awesome photos on each side. The key is keeping the lines clean and simple. The drama is in the contrast of white on blue with the beauty of your photos. Your photos appear to be mostly black and white which works very well. If most are black and white, I'd have black and white copies made of the remaining photos. White ceiling trim would look very nice to clean the lines between the blue wall and the white vaulted ceiling. Then, definitely add some throw pillows to pull the wall and sofa together. Plus, if you have tile or wood flooring, jute rugs are fabulous to add texture, neutrality and coherency to the space. Good Luck!
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 9:41PM
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Slate blue (grayish blue) walls would look great with the light couch and dark tables.
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 9:53PM
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A dark chocolate brown color would look great and dramatic and that sofa would pop against it. But you said you wanted something lighter since the room does not get much light.....
1 Like   February 6, 2013 at 10:28PM
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What's Inside Design Ltd.
Good morning Drozybabe,

Unfortunately, I think your original "design dilemma" has been lost in all the advice! ;)
"The room does not get much light"

When it comes time to choose your paint colour, if it is not on the back of the chip, ask at the paint store for the LRV of each colour your are picking.
This stands for: Light Reflectancy Value, and every paint has one. It's a number between 0-100.

A dark chocolate brown like Mocha Brown 2107-20 has an LRV of 8%. That means that if your walls are painted in that colour they will absorb 92% of the light in your room. (can you say CAVE!!!)

On the other hand, a lighter colour like Barely Teal 2048-70 has an LRV of 84 and will only absorb 16% of the light in your room.

If your goal is to lighten and brighten your room, I suggest your find out the LRV of the paint that is currently on your walls and then choose a new paint with a higher number.

You can still achieve contrast between your walls and your sofa by choosing any colour other than beige or a paint colour of a lighter value.

Good luck and have fun!!!
Caroline :)
4 Likes   February 7, 2013 at 6:02AM
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This would be a great way to bunch those family pictures.

1 Like   February 7, 2013 at 6:51AM
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White or bright color combination is the alternative. Please visit http://inhomeinterior.com
1 Like   February 7, 2013 at 6:59AM
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I have the same problem as you too much beige. I have decided to use Barely Teal 2048-70 by Benjamin Moore just like Caroline suggested above. I don't want the condo cave beige look and it has that feel now because the living room only gets light from the dining room. This is a condo hence there aren't that many windows and I needed a paint color to reflect the light. Here is what Barely Teal looks like. Once I have it painted I will post my own pictures. Best of luck in your color journey.
0 Likes   May 24, 2013 at 1:23PM
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