powered by
Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help! I am not sure how to add color to my dark living room!

veronicajulyFebruary 9, 2013
I “inherited” my living room set from my boyfriend when we moved in together. He refuses to sell it so I am stuck with it! I am just getting started and I end up returning everything (toss pillows and rugs) because it just does not free right. I am looking to add some warmth by incorporating rust, tan, and merlot accents. Is that the best idea for this dark furniture set? Any ideas???!!! The last picture is artwork hanging in the nearby kitchen that I would like to use for inspiration. Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!! P.S. The cute doggie will stay :-)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Maybe take the colors out of the picture and put them in a huge rug to go under the ottoman and carry the reds and creams and yellows to scatter cushions as well :)
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
The picture works best for the kitchen, but the colors could brighten your room. Try yellow curtain panels hung floor to ceiling and some pillows to match. If you can paint, try BM Lemon Sorbet and replace the ceiling fan with a great drum pendant.
Yellow Decorator Pillow Covers By ElemenOPillows · More Info
Lemon Yellow Outdoor Pillows · More Info
Heather Garrett Design · More Info

paint A Lifestyles Project · More Info
    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Welcome Home designs
MJ Lanphier · More Info

I would suggest that your first purchase be a fun,contemporary area rug.
Once that is decided then you can chose your accent colours and art.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Nancy McFalls
My boyfriend (now husband) had This End Up furniture, so be glad. Yours doesn't look bad from the silhouette I can make out in the photos. But the big, empty wall and windows are screaming for something on them. That could be your opportunity to add bright colors. If your need for bright = light, then sheers on the windows will give you some privacy while letting in more light. Larger lamps, maybe on either side of the table in front of the window, can also help... try Home Goods for a revolving selection if you want something colorful, or you can grab some of those white glowing orbs from Ikea.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
You could start with a bright and bold area rug: [houzz=
Pyros Zig Zag 5' x 8' Area Rug · More Info
-] And add some coordinating throw pillows: [houzz=
Orange Leopard Print Throw Pillow · More Info
-] [houzz=
Monogrammed Coral Chevron Print Throw Pillow by Tootledoo Designs · More Info
I'd also like to see an interesting floor lamp in the corner between the two sofas: [houzz=
Sabine Floor Lamp · More Info
Stella Floor Lamp, Turquoise · More Info
Lantern Arc Floor Lamp CB2 · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fantastic! I will try to incorporate more of the yellow from the picture and first purchases will be a bright rug and interesting lamp. @ Nancy McFalls Yes, the walls are very bare. I like your idea about using light sheers. This room does not get a lot of natural light. I have both ottomans in this room right now because I could not decide which one looked best! Thanks again and wish me luck. I will post before and after pictures.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I've added some inspirational photos for you (from houzz, look under browse living and/or family rooms and type in 'brown sofa' in the search box). I do like the sofa's and the beige, large ottoman. A large rug, light coloured would make a lot of difference.

Kirkland Tanditional · More Info

living room 1 · More Info

Family Room · More Info
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jennifer Hogan
Make sure the wall color you chose has great depth. I attached a photo with yellow walls and great natural light to show you that even with good light yellow can go grey (Look above the couch). If you don't have good natural lighting you need to choose paint colors that are very saturated colors for the colors not to go dead on the walls.
Sophisticated Family Room · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 6:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Blinds Direct Canada
a decorative rod and 24'' drapery panels will frame you window and give you a more finished look.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Ceddy Ced
Love the furniture. A nice cream color upscale rug would be nice. Complement it with some nice curtains.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I like the furniture. I can see why you want to add some color. Here are some ideas that have some colors that you initially posted you were interested in. Also some framed art or a large round mirror above the sofa, and some window sheers like suggested above would look awesome! I would do 3 pillows on the sofa, 2 of the colorful and one of the off white/ aqua modern floral. http://www.wayfair.com/Safavieh-Rainbow-Cascade-Decorative-Pillows-Set-of-2-PIL402A-SET2-FV16833.html http://www.wayfair.com/Inhabit-Propeller-Throw-Pillow-in-Aqua-PROAQ-INH1206.html http://www.arearuguniverse.com/area-rugs/loloi-wynnwn-03ivml-wynn-ivorymulti-area-rug_g930803.html?isku=7443699&linkloc=cataLogProductItemsImage
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 9:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Cancork Floor Inc.
You are trying to lighten a dark space that has dark furniture and dark floors. Your tastes run to 'subdued' hues. Rust = dark version of orange; Merlot = dark version of red/brown/purples; tan = dark version of white. Your natural tastes are making the situation worse.

Your choices may not feel right because they are ADDING to the darkness instead of alleviating it. Your flooring is "killing" any light that is going to enter/added to the room. You need to lighten up the floor. Either new flooring OR big, light coloured rug. And I mean ROOM SIZED! Perhaps starting with a WHITE rug! Nothing in it...just white! Once it is in the space and you see the LIGHTNESS, now you can begin adding your colours.

Again, move UP the brightness scale. Not rust, but orange/red; not Merlot but cherry; not tan but Saffron! These are all "brighter" than your natural palette.

If you are in the store and think "a little too bright" BRING IT HOME! Believe me, the "brightness" in the store will darken several shades when up against large, brown/dark furniture!

But first...BIG WHITE RUG! Start there and ADD once the flooring has been lightened.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I agree with everything Cancork says except the white rug. Every little spot would drive me nuts. But good take on the colors!....Bobbi
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Wynter Interiors Inc
What about wallpaper? I'd begin there as its a great way to add texture, pattern and color without too much saturation which can happen with solid pops of color.
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
You could go for a big light coloured piece of carpet. Possibly much cheaper than a huge white rug :-)
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
@ Cancork Floor Inc. Great points - Yes, my taste in colors are on the darker side. I will try a MUCH lighter rug and yellow/gold accents. Because of my dog I think I will stay away from solid white, but I can see how starting from the floor up might be the best approach! @ Wynter Interiors Inc I have not thought about wallpaper in the living room. I've seen some really pretty images of seagrass wallpaper that I would like to use in the dining room. Each of the images eveyone has posted are great!
    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Vibrant Abstract painting studio
Hello, My name is Sanjay Punekar,
I would like to invite you to discover my work : you can take a look at my website where all my latest artworks are currently being presented.


PS : Your opinion matters ! Your comments will be greatly appreciated.
price on request...and in your budget
Thank you for your attention
Sanjay Punekar
1 Like    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 9:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Here's more art in yellow, brown, hint of purple from Etsy (Asta Artwork). It's too small for over your couch, but most Etsy artists will do a custom piece. A large, wide painting in those colors over the couch with the yellow cushions and yellow floor to ceiling drapes would brighten up the room. Your rug could be in a yellows and browns. (The ones here are from Overstock--just put your colors into their Search engine or a Google search engine then click on Images. Ditto for paintings.) You could get your purple in your room with accessories, lampshades, etc.
    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 6:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
I'm generally not a fan of brown, but that sofa set looks nice. It's in a bare and relentlessly neutral space. I think if you add a colorful rug, some drapes, something on the wall, a tray with decor of some sort (vase with flowers, teapot and cups, books, shells, whatever suits you) on the coffee table/ottoman, and maybe swap out the pillows, you'll like the sofa set and your living room.
    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 1:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Monarch Sofas
accent pillows, window treatments, art work, IT'S A BLANK CANVAS lucky girl :) GO CRAZY !! but if you're ever sick of the "inheritance", check out our profile for custom sofas in ANY color
Project: MEDIA ROOM SECTIONALS · See Project

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 2:42AM
Sign Up to comment
Related Discussions
Not sure how to treat my two bow windows in my living room.
I want some privacy and some color to my neutral living...
Living Room Dilemma...Do I, Don't I add Drink Bar?
Hi Everyone, I figure you can answer a few quick questions....
Avenue 5 Real Estate
Help! Not sure how to have dining room look like it belongs.
I love my table but I don't know how to mix the woods. We...
Need help with dark and traditional living room
I need design help! My living room feels too traditional...
More Discussions
White Kitchen Cabinets Just Now Completed By Lily Ann Cabinets
Hello Friends, i would like to share with you recently...
Lily Ann Cabinets
Blah living/dining room! Solutions?!
This dining room living combination needs a new look! The...
Need Help Picking Paint Color
What is the best white paint for a Scandanavian farmhouse...
Hickory flooring questions
We like hickory flooring, and want to achieve a look...
Need help with wooden blinds
I have dark brown (chocolate) window trim and all the...
Sponsored Products
Martha Stewart Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Martha Stewart Living Rugs
Home Depot
5 Lights Birds & Tree Theme Chandelier for Kids' Room
Kyer Hairhide Rug 5' x 8'
$1,299.00 | Horchow
Classico One Light LED Pendant In Dark Rust And Espresso Glass
$134.00 | Bellacor
Conjoined Bubble Planter
| Dot & Bo
AF Lighting Sanjay Table Lamp - 8473-TL
$258.00 | Hayneedle
Modern Shell Chair
New Oriental Area Rug Hand Knotted Wool Baluch Geometric-Floral Art Runner P222
BH Sun Inc
The content on this page is provided by Houzz and is subject to the Houzz terms of use, copyright and privacy policy.
Copyright claims: contact the Houzz designated agent.