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What is my living room missing?
Lekia Hall
February 12, 2013 in Design Dilemma
For the most part, I love my informal living room. But I can't help feeling something is missing that keeps the room from looking pulled together. Any advice?

BTW, these pics are about two weeks old. I've since removed the backing on my TV stand, so the TV sits farther back.
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Erotica Interiors Inc.
You might want to anchor the carpet under the sofa - that will pull some of the elements together, add art above the sofa to balance the weight of the tv screen and bridge the gap to the height of the fireplace. Moving the floor lamp from the window area to other side of tv console will help fill the void in that corner and bring the eye around the room.
February 12, 2013 at 5:20pm     
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Interiors International, Inc.
Please remove the doll house. The rug put on an angle over the top of a solid color larger one would really add more interest.
February 12, 2013 at 5:27pm     
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Jayme H.
Good start, but I am not sure the floral chair is working. The rug and sofa do not tie in together as of now. I would do a different mantle arrangement and put a different mirror up that has some variation from the browns in the room, for added interest. Is the rug dark brown and white? ...I think a large piece of art over the sofa would also help...maybe to tie your colors together also. Maybe a coffee table would work better than the ottoman...
February 12, 2013 at 5:30pm     
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pruner
Apart from one seat and tiffany lamps, there's tones of brown with black and white. Rehang the mirror so the top is in line with the curtain rods either side, change the drapes for colour, move out (or hide) the excess toys and ornaments, bring in brighter colour and extra texture through cushions - put plain and striped on the single seat and a mixture of patterns and plains on the others in colours that tie into the lamps.
February 12, 2013 at 5:31pm     
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Keitha
The fireplace looks cluttered. Keep mantle decor simple!
February 12, 2013 at 5:33pm     
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Jayme H.
Two pics..one adding in peacock blue, one working with your colors, adding in some texture/color in the pillows...these were for color ideas..I know your furniture style is different.
February 12, 2013 at 5:40pm     
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
I agree that this room lacks color but also everything is striaght lines, squared off - I would remove the mirror and add a large round or oval mirror (hung horizontally) in a metal (no more wood please) maybe a soft nickel and it should be big enough that it hangs higher than the curtain rod - go large.
February 12, 2013 at 5:47pm     
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Lekia Hall
Thanks for the quick feedback. To address some stuff:

Rug size-I've struggled with this one. Couldn't decide if I wanted a bigger rug underneath to anchor the space or keep more of the wood floor exposed (which I do love). I'm thinking I will bite the bullet and get a rug underneath. I'm thinking sisal. Thoughts? I like the idea of laying down the zebra rug on top at an angle! BTW, the zebra rug is black/white.

Dollhouse-That stays or else there will be war! This where my 4 y/o DD spends most of her time and we don't have much company (and when we do, I move it to the basement).

Lamp-I used to have it behind the neutral chair but had lamps on the same side of the room with nothing by the door. I thought maybe having the lamps on opposing ends would be a better light source. No? Perhaps the solution is to get another lamp...perhaps a reading lamp?

Floral chair-I also have concerns about whether or not it works in this room. I love it and thought it added color, but in reality the colors are a bit muted, so not exactly the "pop" I expected. Plus, it's shorter than the other furniture so looks a bit "odd man out". I'm open to moving this to my bedroom, but what should I put in that corner?

Mantel: I actually love a cluttered look, but now see that I missed the "colorful" mark.

I agree that there's too much brown in the room, which is a suprise because I purposely tried to get away from brown to create a brighter room. It seems like I played it too safe.

My goal is a very colorful room with a mix of mismatched patterns, textures and colors. Should I change the mirror to something wider/bigger and perhaps framed in a brighter color (red, cobalt blue, etc)? Considering I want more color should the rug under the zebra print be sisal or should I go more bold?

Thanks for the help so far. I need bright colors...just not sure what exactly.
February 12, 2013 at 5:54pm     
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LB Interiors
Don't know if I've repeated as I was composing the comment and there you all were.

I like the good start you have.Looks like a comfortable space. Place a few larger statement pieces on the mantle, varying heights, Too many small objects create a cluttered feeling. Leave some bare space. I think you could use some color here.

If you are keeping the floral chair? Place pillows on the sofa with some colors of the floral pattern. Maybe another pattern in a stripe or geometric fabric.

Maybe roman shades on the french doors. Easy up and easy down.
Or grommet sheers in a coral or cranberry? (warm color from the printed chair). Maybe there's a nice green in that chair that you could repeat for the drapes?
Grommet drapery is so easy to push to the sides to clear the door glass.

Three large artworks, lined up horizontally over the sofa, with some colors of choice (pillows or a throw).

I think your two round end tables are too high for that function with the sofas or chairs. They might work well in an empty corner with a plant or vase. Maybe place an end table next to the left arm of the sofa (arm height)? Place the lamp on that. Bring your rug in closer to the sofa and place the ottoman 20" - 22" away from the sofa seat.

I think you were on the right track with two small round end tables, but they need to be armchair height. One on the left of floral chair and one on the right side of the beige chair.

If you need more seating for kids or extra company, May want to consider two round floor poufs or large floor pillows. Would be nice in a bright color of the pillows.

Is that a bookcase in the lower left of photo? I think it is too high to work with the sofa. Maybe there's another place for it? It's just moving some things around a bit. A few additiions that could liven the room.
February 12, 2013 at 6:00pm     
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tennisanyone
The tiffany lamp to the right of the sofa, is it sitting on a bookshelf? Only because it looks like the sofa is pulled away from the wall. I might try that table behind the sofa and put the lamp on the table behind it. I'm not sure l00% because I would need to see a picture. I think what you don't like is the zebra rug which seems contemporary, the tiffany lamps and the floral chair do not seem to go together. I wold replace the zebra rug or slipcover the floral chair.
February 12, 2013 at 6:00pm     
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Jayme H.
Sisal would work...I agree with more color and pattern!! Peacock blue goes great with brown..I am going to look for more pics...
February 12, 2013 at 6:01pm     
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Nissy Allen
The window treatments are not correct for the style of the room. Maybe remove and put flat roman shades using some colors on the doors.
February 12, 2013 at 6:03pm     
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
Don't go overboard with color - use it in accessories or throw pillows. Since your starting point is the brown leather sofa and the black and white zebra rug - go with a neutral sisal so that the room stays grounded. I would change out the floor lamp and go with some contemporary perhaps a large white glass globe or a metal floor lamp from Artemide. The mirror, yes oversized round in a nickel or high gloss black with metal studs - use drapery panels with a bold stripe, decide on what color you want to favor - if its going to be red then find a dramatic oversized print but keep the prominent color red and no one than two other colors, one being an ivory. Goe dramaticon this wall to drawthe eye into the room, and then bring the color into throw pillows or a eautiful throw on the sofa - Yes, and the chair should be replaced, with a more rounded shape and I don't mind not having arms, or very low arms - it keeps the corner open - Good luck
February 12, 2013 at 6:06pm   
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Lydia (Kazza Design)
Simple solution for your rug.....move it closer to your couch and put the armchair on the side instead of at an angle.This will create a defined space. Have the flower chair reupholstered in a bright colour (try fushia!) and install some more substantial curtains in white cotton to anchor the room. Add a funky mirror above the fireplace to connect the funkiness of the carpet. I would remove the Tiffany lighting.
February 12, 2013 at 6:10pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
What your living room is missing is cohesion. You have an abundance of styles and need to trim their number somewhat. As we all do, you have gathered your furnishings over time, and as your tastes have changed you've added new things that don't necessarily go with the older items.

Here's what you definitely need to delete:
1. The ottoman coffee table needs to go bye-bye. You seem headed in a more contemporary direction and your coffee table needs to reflect that.
2. Lose the floral chair! It's a definite no no in the contemporary world where you want either solid color fabrics or occasionally a modern print.
3. The Tiffany lamp is from early 20th C. May I remind you that we are now in the 21st C. So sell it unless it's an original Tiffany which is extremely doubtful. If it is, then take it to auction.
4. Your rug is too small. Let's find you a bigger one that brings in more colors, or else a bigger zebra rug.
5. The very traditional style of your fireplace surround. Take a look at houzz fireplaces and plan on a renewal effort.

Here's what you need to acquire:
1. Modern coffee table, see below.
2. A couple of cool chairs, see below.
3. Eventually you'll want to update your sofa to a more modern look. But we'll work around it for now.
4. A new rug, below
5. An exciting wall color. Take a color from your rug for inspiration.
6. Trade out your draperies for grass shades or roman shades.
7. Add pillows to the sofa in colors from your rug, below
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Boom - Modern Coffee Table Modern Chair, Gray
Spike, Hand-Tufted Wool Rug Ikat Decorative Pillow Cover by Pillow Flight
February 12, 2013 at 6:13pm     
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bumbles12
I don't think the rug goes? Something softer would work.
February 12, 2013 at 6:30pm   
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Lekia Hall
OK..something else that has to stay for me...the rug!! LOL I love it.

But..maybe not. I must admit that it doesn't have the same impact sinced I painted my fireplace (it used to be dark wood).
February 12, 2013 at 6:33pm   
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Lekia Hall
re: ottoman vs coffee table. We're a family of 6 and we do a lot of lounging, so I really need a soft surface for this room. I'm open to other colors/designs that work though! I'm not really going modern...My tastes lean more eclectic/contemporary...I think. LOL
February 12, 2013 at 6:35pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
The rug is too small for the living room. It can go in a guest room or kid's room or who knows where. Sell it, trade it, use it. Maybe I suggested things that were more contemporary than you wanted. If so, I can give it another go with more transitional items for you, if you'd like.
February 12, 2013 at 6:36pm     
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LB Interiors
Here's an idea of the pouffs I mentioned earlier. Wow your children might like these. I'll look for some cushier ones too.
Moroccan Leather Poufs Pouf 26 in Round Ottoman Small Beanbag in Pink Polka Dot
Denim - sturdy for the little ones. Large Beanbag in Red Micro Suede

Target has poufs bean bags for $25. - $40. for kids
February 12, 2013 at 6:40pm   
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Lekia Hall
Carolyn,

I like many of your suggestions! I think the main thing I should note is that I'm not a fan of baby blue. Prefer bolder brighter colors. Honestly, I'm not sure what my style is..I just love all things bright and comfy(so not sure how I ended up with this room!). Here are a few pics I found that I really like:
February 12, 2013 at 6:50pm     
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Lekia Hall
I love those leather Moroccan poofs! They are so colorful and comfy looking. Should I look for something like these in place of the ottoman? If so, what colors would work best (if I keep the zebra rug and lay a sisal underneath)?

I'm guessing I'll need 2 or 3 of these or is that overkill?
February 12, 2013 at 6:52pm   
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Lydia (Kazza Design)
Get a cheap coffee table (possibly on craiglist) and reupholster it as an ottoman. You get to choose the paint and fabric colour....it would be a one of a kind!
February 12, 2013 at 6:53pm   
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dominimudarres
How about the television being mounted on the wall. A cream throw over on the floral chair or leather sofa and a lovely green leafed plant on the right hand ledge as seen in the photo. Don't get rid of the doll'shouse. It's obviously a family room. I would even place it aay from the wall, partially in front of the window. Good luck!
February 12, 2013 at 6:58pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Okay, I'll try again, this time giving your room a more eclectic, transitional slant. Let's start with lightening up the room with a big white cocktail ottoman. I know it looks like a problem with a family of 6, but it's leather and very cleanable, and it probably comes in other colors.

You need more seating for those kids of yours. We'll try a couple of swivel chairs in a light ultrasuede fabric that's very practical. We'll place one on each side of the fireplace, or each side of the sofa. If they are by the FP, then the TV may have to get angled into the opposite corner.

You're rug is still too small, but you love it, so we'll angle it in the room, which sometimes can disguise a too small rug. We need some color in the room, so we'll add colorful pillows and a pair of large prints over the sofa or on the opposite wall if you move the TV to the corner.

Pick a color from the art or pillows and paint the wall opposite the sofa a nice strong color.


Martha Stewart Ottoman, Eaton Tufted Leather Cocktail Ottoman Carter Glider-Swivel Chair & Ottoman
February 12, 2013 at 7:01pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I just read your post about liking bright colors and certainly the items above can be done in bright colors. It's just up to you to select what colors you want, and if you need help mixing them, we're here to talk to.
February 12, 2013 at 7:04pm     
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pruner
I like your inspirational photos - they show a lot of colour (yellows, reds, pinks and blues), texture (inlays, lattice, patterns, cutouts, pottery, complementary rugs etc) and light (flooring, natural light, lamps, silver and gold trims), mostly with 'global' furniture and furnishings, but one with a deco trolley. You can see where you want to go with your own style, now go get it!
February 12, 2013 at 7:07pm   
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Jayme H.
I had 2 good pics and they r too small...the one room is very traditional, but to show blue and brown together..You like eclectic...first pic on left looks like maybe your style. Trying to post pics with brown sofa, as that's what color yours is? Or is it reddish?
February 12, 2013 at 7:13pm   
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Lekia Hall
Just trying to get feedback on a sisal rug to lay underneath what I have down now. I see square sisal rugs, but I'm wondering if I should break up all the "square-ness" with a different border style. Thoughts?
February 12, 2013 at 7:25pm   
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Lekia Hall
Another rug option: too square for the room?
February 12, 2013 at 7:28pm     
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lionnessone
1-get rid of the rug too small, choose a graphic style or sisal
2-replace your footstool/ottoman for a more modern coffee table in leather
3-keep the ottoman and floral chair but reupholster them in the same graphic design have fun with it
4-remove drapes completely add frosted glass for privacy or
5-you might consider Hunter Douglas roller shades or wooden shutters in white
6-I like your lamps, move the other one to the same side of the room place it behind the chair
7-clear your mantel, remove the mirror, get yourself four botanical prints in wood frames, three hard cover books or an antique cigar/jewelry box, and two nice small urns. Lean or hang the prints on the back wall of the mantel, place an urn on each end, in the middle place the cigar/jewelry box and stand or lean the books against one urn.
8-re-arrange your furniture, add a medium size plant.

[houzz=Diane Bishop Interiors Portfolio][houzz=Buckhead Residence][houzz=Living Room - After][houzz=Valley Drive][houzz=The Sophia][houzz=Living Room][houzz=A Living Room for Music, Reading, and Entertaining][houzz=Guida Residence]
February 12, 2013 at 7:31pm   
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LB Interiors
I love a gal who likes color. Sisal is fine, if you add your brights on other elements in the room. I think a round coffee table is best with all those children. No bumps from the corners. Something that has some softness and partially upholostered. A fully upholstered ottoman will make the room feel too heavy with adding the poufs too. Now try some color on other things.

February 12, 2013 at 7:32pm     
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JWinteriors
If the balance of the room is off, it won't even matter how expensive the furniture is...it just will never look "right". The rug is too small, diagonal it and it will appear larger. Your couch sits away from the wall...put a sofa table behind it, add a lamp and wall art. The ottoman needs to be placed center of fireplace and center with couch. Floral fights with zebra makes one think "grandma goes on a safari", replace or recover. White woodwork and a brown crown moulding, paint crown to match fireplace. Big fireplace, tiny accessories..few larger pieces.
February 12, 2013 at 7:43pm     
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
use the sisal to cover most of the room - it should go under the sofa and the main chairs - at least the front legs and 3/4 back under the seating and place the zebra rug on an angle (which was suggested earlier. There are two roads you can take with the coffee table - a large round coffee tables - look for the stamped metal from India or Morocco; or alternately, use the french industrial carts that have been put on wheels. I've seen them in the Wisteria catalogue. The Indian metal will add a little sparkle and the french cart offers funky eclecticism and if the kids beat them up, they don't cost much and can be replaced when you tire or find one you truly love.
February 12, 2013 at 7:45pm   
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Sara Bederman Interior Design
I would consider adding throw pillows and find a mirror or piece of art for over the fireplace that is a bit larger in scale. In addition, pull the furniture a bit closer together to make the seating area tighter and more intimate. This will also anchor the area rug nicely.
February 12, 2013 at 7:47pm     
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LB Interiors
I like someone's comment about adding a sofa table behind your sofa. The sofa is in the correct position for working with the rug of your current size. However, If you find a rug that is larger, Your sofa can move against the wall and your room will appear larger and have more space for the large family gathering in front of the TV. I would try to use as much 'living' space in this room as possible.
February 12, 2013 at 7:54pm     
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Niina Di Lorenzo Designs
I agree with a larger rug, your fireplace has no presence; try a larger mirror or piece of artwork above it. You could paint out your fireplace to a darker hue however; keep in mind your colour scheme and have it compliment your furniture.You could benefit from drawing your eye upwards instead of everything being on the same plane, so start with your drapery and rod moving up 4-6 inches above the door trim perhaps get new drapes with a pattern to add excitement. Add some throw pillows on your couch with some pattern. Change your furniture placement to compliment your fireplace, try more of a conversational arrangement and get a sofa that is less dominant to that room if possible. If the sofa is to stay then put a large piece of artwork above the sofa. Does the TV have to stay in this room? It's very dominating. Get lamps that are more ''beefy" to give them presence. Lastly, add a bit of colour to your room.
February 12, 2013 at 7:57pm   
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lbhouzz1
You could try to make the mantle display more of a feature with a single painting or mirror, less little pieces. The room also needs a a pillow on the couch and a plant. The floral chair should be a lighter color, or changed with the other one. the shape hides the window.
February 12, 2013 at 8:00pm   
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Keitha
I like your zebra rug! Although its a little on the small size it's the one thing that's giving your room a little ZIP right now!!
February 12, 2013 at 8:01pm     
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Terri Symington, ASID
One huge thing that jumped out at me... and not in a good way is the dark crown moulding. It would look better painted the same color as your door trim or keep it the same color as the walls and ceiling. (I would also paint out the cap on the pony wall)

What ever window treatment you decide to go... mount it right below the crown moulding. a combination of drapes and woven woods would add a lot of texture as in the example below.

Many of the other problems have already been addressed by others.
February 12, 2013 at 8:27pm     
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LB Interiors
I like the the zebra rug also, and can work with a few changes added if you have the finances to change out to a larger size.
February 12, 2013 at 8:29pm     
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snobird
In simplest terms: balance and scale.

There are a myriad of styles among the various pieces, but that is true for most people's homes. Buying new things is fun and could punch up the room very well, but if you don't have the budget, I think you could still make some pretty appealing changes.

1. Move the couch back and pull the chairs a smidge forward so that fireplace re-establishes itself as the visual "center" of the room.

2. Wall Space. Its needs to be used. There is no eye candy above eye level of a seated person. Some ideas? Hang the TV. Hang the mirror so that the top of it is level with the doors and accent it on either side with sconces (or hanging bud vases or something with similar visual weight.) Because of the beautiful white fireplace, I would paint the frame of the paining white. If you have budget for something more - a colorful vertical painting that could be hung above the fireplace and fill up that space, would be lovely. A photo collection above a couch is always wonderful. But if you put art above the fireplace, then you could put mirrors above the couch. Just put S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G on the walls that is appropriate scale for the space.

3. Move the floor lamp behind the other chair.

4. Fewer little tables & shelves. A coffee table.
February 12, 2013 at 8:53pm   
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Jayme H.
Pics of layering rugs
February 13, 2013 at 6:12am     
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PRO
What's Inside Design Ltd.
Good morning Lekia,
I've read all the comments, and come up with a visual for you.
I kept in mind your desire to add colour and a sisal rug. I also incorporated Pat's wonderful idea of an oval mirror.
You've got a great room! With a few accessories, you can really bring it to life!
I hope this helps!
Caroline :)
February 13, 2013 at 7:02am     
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Lekia Hall
Thanks so much for all the great feedback. It's amazing how much brown I see in this room now! It didn't really jump out at me in person, but now it's all I can see.

I'm thinking the wall color might be an issue as well, but will make the other changes just in case the new addition of color changes the tone of the walls.

Jayme, I like both pictures you posted, but I still feel like I want lots of bold colors vs calm neutrals. I also wonder if my rug will look weird because it's rectangular vs uniquely shaped like the rugs you posted. I do like how the second picture with the lighter rug brightens the space. This is harder than I thought it would be!

So this is my plan of action this weekend:

-Paint the crown molding white.
-Declutter the fireplace mantel.
-Remove the floral chair.
-Put lamp in other corner with neutral chair.
-Take out the cafe tables.
-I took the suggestion to paint the mirror white. I also turned it vertically and it has better presence. Not sure I'm liking the starkness that's there now, but I'll post after I make the above changes to get thoughts.

I would love a last minute vote on an area rug. Should I buy a bigger zebra rug, buy a large sisal rug to lay underneath or go in a total different color direction for the rug (to contrast to the fireplace) ? Open to other suggestions as well.
February 13, 2013 at 7:22am     
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Jayme H.
Absolutely add more brights! Maybe find a colorful, interesting fabric for drapery that would incorporate the brights...and mix in pillows and accessories to go with! Looking forward to seeing your progress!
February 13, 2013 at 7:27am     
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celestepet12
My first response was artwork - there is none!
February 13, 2013 at 7:37am   
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nikkimer555
What do you think about these chairs with some bold pillows as shown?
February 13, 2013 at 7:39am   
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Lekia Hall
nikkimer555,

Those chairs are nice, but the style is more traditional than I favor. Was thinking I will need something like the ones below.

Would either get in a bold color (yellow, fushia, lime green, etc) or get in bright white and lay a fabric or add colorful pictures (like attachment).
February 13, 2013 at 7:57am   
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Natural Stone Veneers International, Inc.
You may wish to consider a tight-fit dimensional ledgestone for the entire fireplace wall. Here's a product we call "Bronze Drystack Ledgestone". Here's a link: http://www.nsvi.com/slideshow.iml?Stone=96
February 13, 2013 at 8:02am   
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LB Interiors
I agree with Jayme, begin with an element with color. May want to start with a rug with bold color. It will be your jumping off point and guide you to fill in the blanks for the rest of the design plan. Definately the foundation to make it all come together. Great place to start. Can't wait to see your choice.
February 13, 2013 at 11:02am     
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Lekia Hall
I think I've proven by my living room that I'm clueless on the rug thing. LOL.

If I'm aiming for bright and bold, do I go neutral on the rug and use color in other items (chairs, pillows, ottoman, etc) or go colorful on the floor and muted on all other things? Trying to find the right balance here, because I don't want everything to be colorful.
February 13, 2013 at 11:06am   
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LB Interiors
Rug is the start - color or neutral. Always have both, neutral and color. Not too much of a good thing. Neutral elements - near or on color. Color elements - near or on neutral. Sprinkle both around the room.

One step at a time. Sofa is neutral - use color on it (pillows). Walls are neutral - add color to window treatment and artwork. I don't think I would paint the walls as I like the softness and light color as a backdrop for all the other versatile options that you can introduce color in lots of other ways. I suggest buy the rug you love first.

p.s. If you choose a rug that is a solid neutral, I may be concerned about 6 children and harder to hide the soil. A patterned and or colorful patterned one seems to suit your needs.
February 13, 2013 at 11:37am     
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pruner
Hi again - You've had lots of helpful ideas and it looks like you are weighing up all options while taking into account how you and your family will live in the space. It's great to read how you are progressing with your changes and well done on your 'plan of attack' - go for it!
If you can't decide between a patterned and a plain, ask a local supplier for a trial in your room first, and definitely go bigger. Like all your modern chair styles and the lime colour (not too sure about gray and brown though). Swivel chairs are versatile for changing the sitter's outlook also. Found my Ikea tub chair looks great but is not so great for comfort more than one hour or so.. so try them out first!
Re painting the mirror - perhaps try a softer/natural white if you have painted it in a brilliant white.
Want to see and hear more on how it ends.
February 13, 2013 at 5:37pm   
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Lekia Hall
I'm back everyone and I've made a few changes. I like the room even less now! The brown seems to be completely taking over. I also kind of regret painting the molding...makes the tan/white/black thing even more noticeable now:
February 19, 2013 at 6:58pm   
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Lekia Hall
Sorry..here's the room:
February 19, 2013 at 7:00pm   
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pruner
Can we see? The colour combo may just need another colour shot to make it zing.
February 19, 2013 at 7:01pm   
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Lekia Hall
A few brighter pics:
February 19, 2013 at 7:09pm   
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pruner
You are getting there! Can see you've reduced the mantle decoration, layered an extra rug, swapped the chairs and lighting, plus painted the mirror and cornicing white (which helps to visually raise the wall height) - are the ceiling and TV wall different shades also or is this just the photo? You could balance the palette and textures with cushions, a slipcover for the armless chair and drapes (hung at cornicing height) in another colour range from the previous suggestions and photo inspirations.
February 19, 2013 at 7:26pm   
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maryjanemyers
Love the sofa and room color. Paint the room all the same color to highlight your crown molding. Love your sofa, excellent taste. Love the plain overstuffed chair next to the french door.
Sell the zebra rug, floral chair, ottoman, TV stand immediately, proportion is everything.
Quick fix, either buy a throw and drape over the ottoman with a over-sized wooden tray on top or just buy a very large chunky wooden coffee table with legs like your sofa.
Replace zebra rug with an inexpensive 10x12 black/cream/red or paprika oriental rug - you can buy under $400. Your TV is too big for your stand.
Buy a larger TV console that adds sophistication, maybe flank with free standing or built in shelving unit with drawers to keep your children's toys and books in.
Remove the drapes off the french door casing. Either hang the drapes from 2" below the ceiling molding or get rid of them all together..by the way if you hang drapes higher, you must buy longer drapes.
Last but not least, the fireplace surround is not substantial, enhance by hiring a handy man to cap the mantel with a larger shelf to display whatever stuff you want!
MJM Interior designs
February 19, 2013 at 7:36pm   
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Terri Symington, ASID
Your room is still lacking a punch of color...and pattern... you can have fun with mixing patterns with accent pillows.
February 19, 2013 at 7:44pm     
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Terri Symington, ASID
The different wall colors really show up in your brighter photos, which was hard to see before. MaryJane is correct in that they should all be the same.

Add a bold or bright print to your windows... and raise the rods...!
February 19, 2013 at 7:50pm     
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Lekia Hall
Thanks for the feedback. If I'm trying to minimize the brown in the room, should I paint the walls a very light grey or white? Or something else entirely?
February 19, 2013 at 8:38pm   
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Lekia Hall
Another thing...should I paint the fireplace? I wonder if it's too stark for what I'm going for. Should I go charcoal grey on the mantle and surround? Or maybe something with a punch of color like cobalt blue or mustard yellow?
February 19, 2013 at 8:53pm   
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
I like the color of the walls, but use it on all the walls; and I would leave the fireplace alone. However, the lamp on the mantel doesn't work - the shade isn't straight because it doesn't fit on the mantel. If you are going contemporary with the new light in the corner then get rid of the lamp on the mantel an the "tiffany" lamp by the brown armless chair. I would also tilt the zebra rug rather than straight onto the room - it reads like a directional arrow. Angle it so it partially goes under the sofa . The artwork on the mantle should be hung, otherwise if you kept it leaning, then frame it differently in a darker frame - Right now it appears growing out of the mantel.
February 20, 2013 at 5:30am     
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
I also agree that the drapery panels should have a bold pattern rather than the brown solid ones. Look at an Ikat pattern - an Ikat will balance the zebra pattern and carry the eye up from the floor to the back wall - and then use a mix of patterns in throw pillows, and drape a patterned throw on the back of the tan chair. This will bring the whole room together.
February 20, 2013 at 5:35am   
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Vida Flora Design
For an easy fix, push the sofa towards the window and move one of the chairs next to it so they are grouped more closely together for conversation and tv watching. Add a hanging light either between the two or towards the window. Find some pillows that tie the floral chair and leather sofa together, edging them with a print that matches your carpet.

Consider a round coffee table that's larger to create a more inviting space that is less rectinilear.
February 20, 2013 at 6:01am   
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sharpkl
You need jewelry. A sunburst mirror above fireplace to add sparkle. Sisal may help under area rug. I do wish you had opted for larger rug as I love it but it is too small. Remove the ottoman as it is floating and replace it with larger rectangular glass and metal coffee table. Scape the coffee table and make it focal leading to fireplace. You have nice basics and are not afraid to use flair.
February 20, 2013 at 7:30am   
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Jayme H.
Look at these pillows...u need a mix like these..and something interesting over the fireplace would help also.
February 20, 2013 at 7:47am   
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Lekia Hall
If I focus on rugs only at this point:

-Should I go larger zebra (which will cover as much floor space as the sisal is now)
or
-Should I go larger, but in a different color? If so, any ideas/pic suggestions on patterns?

I *really* love my zebra rug and have no problem getting a bigger one if that will help the space...just wondering if it's too much sameness with the fireplace colors.

The more I look at this room, the more I wonder if the tan walls are adding to the "brown" problem in the room. Could a simple paint job tie some things together and get rid of some of the brown and create more of a contrast? Perhaps a medium gray? This room does not get a lot of natural light.

I feel like I'm going backwards here. :-(
February 20, 2013 at 8:23am   
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auntyb
Love your sofa!! You have some wonderful ideas on how to fill in this room with very little financial impact.

I'm not sure about painting your mantel. With the tile being white you may just draw more attention to the smaller scale of the surround. I do love painted mantel surrounds, but just be careful that you don't make it look more skimpy by doing so.

Not usually a fan of fireplace mounted TV's, but this could work well in your room. You could turn the couch toward that wall and flank either side of the fireplace with your chairs. I am assuming there is enough space for your couch to face that direction, if not.... the idea of a larger tv console would help anchor the current wall.

The lamp on the mantel is definitely not working. If you like a lamp up there you need to find one that is much slimmer with a smaller shade. If you can find two to place on either side that would help give you some balance without risking over cluttering. The mirror is also not working. You need to hang rather than lean....also agree that something round would help to soften all the straight lines you currently have going on.

Honestly think that if you follow what most here have suggested you'll have a beautiful room. Fill in with accents like pillows, change out the lamps, angle the zebra rug, paint the walls the same color (like the current color), and change out those curtains.
February 20, 2013 at 8:24am   
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auntyb
I personally don't love gray in rooms that don't get much natural light. I have my living room a similar color to yours and after trying several different colors this one makes the room much more pleasant during the daytime. The problem you're having is that you don't have much in the way of accent colors. This will tone down the brown considerably. You need pattern and some texture to give interest...the brown is just a base to build from. Good thing about the brown is that you can change your accents for the seasons or your changing tastes easily. Honestly wouldn't go to the expense to buy a larger zebra print rug. Just angle the one you have as suggested, and focus on filling in with accessories and fabrics.
February 20, 2013 at 8:30am     
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Terri Symington, ASID
I think adjusting your wall color would make a dramatic change to the space. The color you have is not a bad color... but it doesn't add life to the room. I think if the color was less brown and brighter it would liven up the space. Otherwise, your dominant colors in the room are brown.

I would consider the straw colors... similar to the walls in the photos that I posted above. All three of the walls need to be the same color... because as it is right now the white wall is your accent wall. Of course you need to consider what is going on in the adjacent space... that we have not seen.

I think the white trim color is also too stark and needs to be an off white of the wall color.

As an example of colors and values for a color scheme could be:

Wall - B.M. Golden Straw 2152-50
Ceiling - B.M. Mannequin Cream 2152-60
Trim - B.M. Mayonnaise 2152-70

I understand what you are trying to accomplish with the zebra rug... but it is not working. Either get a real skin for under a different coffee table... or just eliminate the zebra all together.

The coffee table/ottoman does not work in scale or color. Something like the one below is kid friendly and provides lots of surface area.

Change the window treatments and raise the rods.

The comments about the lamp on the mantle are correct. A round mirror with either a symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement of lighting or accessories will look best.

The floral chair still does not work in this space.
February 20, 2013 at 8:37am     
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Lekia Hall
Terri,

I absolutely love the colors presented in the pic below. It's neutral without being too brown and/or yellow. And it looks like it would "play well" with my brown leather couch and wood furniture. And the green accent shows me how a burst of color could bring energy to the room. I imagine that even my sisal rug might look good with this wall as a backdrop.

Now I just need to figure out what color this is....
[houzz=
]
February 20, 2013 at 10:04am   
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Terri Symington, ASID
That is an attractive color. It seems to have a green undertone to it similar to B.M.'s "Mellowed Ivory" 2149-50. Love the green accent.
February 20, 2013 at 10:26am     
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Lekia Hall
Thanks, Terri. That does indeed look like a good match. I think I'm going to go in and try out some paint samples.

I feel like the room is going to stall unless I make a wall color change, because I'm going to be in a fight to downplay the brown. And while I love grey, I think it might leave me with a room that's either too cold or too formal looking.

This is much harder than I thought it would be when I first posted my room!
February 20, 2013 at 10:32am   
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Terri Symington, ASID
I agree... as much as I love greys... I don't think it is the right choice for this room.

Keep in mind when you do your samples that the intensity (or lack of it) may fool you.
February 20, 2013 at 10:35am   
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selahv
love the neutrals. cover that floral chair in a lemon yellow. weed out the little doo-dads, and line that rug up with the fire place. definitely add some kind of extra large painting over the sofa and redo the mantle with more mirrors stacked on top of one another in front of the large mirror place a ornate frame without anything inside it. add white candles POW!
February 20, 2013 at 10:44am   
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pruner
Is the ceiling white? It needs to match your cornicing regardless of your wall colour. Agree that your walls should also match each other and a larger (hung) mirror is needed, plus accent colour and texture as previously noted.
February 20, 2013 at 12:07pm   
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Jayme H.
The room does have a lot of brown..I agree a different wall color would be beneficial.
February 20, 2013 at 12:27pm   
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Jayme H.
Sherwin Williams "Nebulous White" paint...I chose this color because I think it would work well with the brights you have said you want to add into the room.
February 20, 2013 at 12:36pm   
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Jayme H.
Here is another room with Nebulous White and bright accessories, also some brown
February 20, 2013 at 1:00pm     
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
Benjamin-Moore camouglage 2143-40 is a fabulous soft sage that works well with almost any color - I've used it with lavendar accents; brick red accents; soft silver blue accents. Although it may read green it changes slightly as the day light changes - believe it or not, it works as a neutral.
February 20, 2013 at 1:06pm     
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Lekia Hall
Thanks for the tips, Jayme/PGA/Terri. Going to get some paint samples and do a test of what works best. I'm going to get this right if it kills me! :-)
February 20, 2013 at 7:01pm     
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Pat Gericke & Associates, LLC
Lekia - Relax - decorating your home shouldn't be torcher - absorb the advice yu receive and take what feels comfortable to you - We would hate to see you kill yourself over paint and decorating solutions!!!! lol, lol,
February 20, 2013 at 7:05pm   
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Calzphotography
try this piece of art work
February 20, 2013 at 7:06pm   
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Lekia Hall
Very true PGA...just going to take it one step at a time. :-)
February 20, 2013 at 7:10pm     
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mandek
Pillows with texture and pattern. I love greenery, vine plant on the fireplace. Greenery makes a room feel healthy.
February 20, 2013 at 7:38pm   
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cyn222
Remove clutter off mantel. Get large mirror. Change out fabric on chair and replace with a throw of some modern print to pop that zebra rug. Throw pillows that coordinate with the room. Maybe different curtains. With the two windows/doors I would go with a roman shade or blind in golden wood tone.
February 20, 2013 at 10:38pm   
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vienna2013
Wow, a million people and a million ideas! you poor thing, I'm a zebra rug and monochromatic browns.. person and I love your room You have done a great job, and you don't need tons of bright colors, that's not what it appears you were going for. Your room is earthy and organic. I do feel you need to paint the walls behind and across from your sofa and you need complimenting art work, maybe something organic and with texture. You could also go for a black framed mirror above the fireplace with two black metal sconces to anchor it! Don't change too much... but your favorite floral chair needs it's own room, it doesn't work in your living room. Good luck!
February 20, 2013 at 10:58pm   
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Blinds Direct Canada
I would remove the sheers and mount Roman shades on the doors . Its more modern and you can add alot of texture and color to the room . It will also give you more light control and privacy when needed.
February 21, 2013 at 6:44am     
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sharpkl
You might want to check out BMW Bleeker Beige.
February 21, 2013 at 9:00am   
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sharpkl
Benjamin Moore Bleeker Beige
February 21, 2013 at 9:01am   
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Terri Symington, ASID
Lekia... I wanted to show you these photos of a project that I worked on because your situation reminded me of it where I was dealing with "a very brown room". These photos are not great as the client took them and some of her "styling" is off. (The white throw is definitely not part of the design) But I wanted you to see how the addition of color and pattern tempered the brown. I layered the windows with woven woods and patterned drapes. The one photo of the living area shows the drapes in a sepia, but the color in that area was added with lots of kilim pillows, and the ottoman shown in the library in front of the red chair actually goes in the living area. The point is...the right amount of color can save a space.

For your space... I still think the wall color needs that extra amount of yellow to keep it from looking too brown or beige.
February 21, 2013 at 9:23am   
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Terri Symington, ASID
the other photos
February 21, 2013 at 9:33am   
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Lekia Hall
Terri,

Thank you so much for taking the time to research and post these pics. It's much appreciated. I think it's so interesting to see how well your natural rug goes with the wall color instead of blending into one like in my room. I think, as we discussed, the paint color is key in tying everything together.

I've since taken up the sisal rug, removed the white mirror, removed the floral chair and put the beige armchair back to the right of the TV. I'm keeping the ottoman just for comfort until I figure out what else I'm doing in the room, but I like the covered one in your pic.

It makes me wonder if I should replace or recover what I now have. One the one hand, a wooden round table would probably look best; on the other, I like the comfort of the soft ottoman. But, I do agree that I need to introduced more shapes (other than square/rectangle) in the room. Perhaps if I find the round mirror that will be enough and I can keep the ottoman I now have and just recover it in something bright.

My immediate plan is to repaint the room. I love the color in the room you posted, so that's an idea. But I *really* like the wall color in the room I posted above (with the green throw), so I'm going to get some samples and see how it all looks. Will also get something in a soft yellow to see if that translates better.

I'm also thinking of painting my cornice the same color as my wall so that it "disappears".
February 21, 2013 at 10:00am   
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sharpkl
I actually think the rug is great. Is it possible to move your sofa to face the fireplace. Put a sofa table behind it. Turn the rug to run crosswise to fireplace. Chairs on either side of fireplace. Throw in some colorful pillows and a throw. Pull the colors from them foe accessories on sofa table. Some baskets unpnder sofa table for storage. Just a thought. Moving furniture costs nothing .
February 21, 2013 at 10:19am   
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Lekia Hall
I have the opportunity to buy this chair for little cost. Thoughts? It's white/cream, so I'm thinking a neutral background that I can put some colorful pillows against. (Getting rid of the other chair I have; it's microfiber and the texture is too "heavy" for the room, IMO).

Like the chair; just not sure if any furniture I get should have visible legs.
February 21, 2013 at 10:45am     
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Terri Symington, ASID
I like this chair and ottoman a lot. You can add a throw and pillows for color.
February 21, 2013 at 10:51am   
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Lekia Hall
Thanks for the quick feedback. I like it too and think it will be a big improvement over the neutral chair I have now..it leans brown too much and the texture doesn't provide a good backdrop for adding colorful pillows. Thanks again, Terri!
February 21, 2013 at 10:59am   
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hockey456
Get the chair if you haven't already. Turn your zebra rug on the diagonal. Put a light throw on the sofa. Get some of those fun colored pillows like the ones you pictured early in the post of the 3 rooms you like. Paint the walls white/light. Raise the curtain rods.
Then see how you feel about the room.
Judging from your inspiration rooms, yours lacked light furniture and bright pillows most.
February 21, 2013 at 10:23pm     
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hockey456
Oh... Don't paint the fireplace. Please leave it white!!!
February 21, 2013 at 10:26pm     
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LB Interiors
I like the chair and ottoman. will brighten the room, colorful pillows would look great! Agree, don't paint the fireplace.
February 23, 2013 at 12:02am     
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mandek
I like the accent wall in this picture.
February 23, 2013 at 4:07am     
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thegriers
Hi. I know I'm in the minority here about the zebra rug but it's the first thing that strikes me as wrong. If you want color I'd buy a larger rug in a colorful design (which will hide a lot with kids) and pull colors from it for pillows, throws,curtains or shades and accessories around the room. You could add some art work using some of those colors. The mirror you have over your mantle is just all wrong. You need to go larger and I don't think white is the way to go. I'd pick something interesting or either just a larger mirror then with a few larger sized items such as tall chunky candle holders,etc..to add interest. Or even a large colorful picture. It is your focal point so put something there to draw the eye. I'd look for pictures of mantles and use that as a guide. I use a long narrow upholstered ottoman for a coffee table also in the family room because we lounge there and want to put our feet up so I understand. Maybe a more streamlined and longer one would look better. And if you get the style with legs it won't look too heavy. Definitely put something on the wall over the couch that is size appropriate. Also, unless you put a table behind it maybe with two matching lamps, one at each end with some artwork on the wall between, I'd push it back against the wall and add end tables with lamps. Plants always add a lot. I like the look of the picture posted above where the fireplace wall is painted a different color. Really makes that fireplace pop. I know you want to get rid of the brown but your brown couch is a large part of the room and I really like it so be sure you do keep brown around in the room or it's gonna end up sticking out instead of blending in with the room. Good luck.
February 23, 2013 at 7:02am   
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Chenai Maguwah
I Concur with all the others;
1. Remove clutter from Fireplace
2. Remove Doll House
3. Put up wall Art
4. Get a Larger Rug
5. Add Cushions

Voila!
June 17, 2013 at 11:37am   
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bonthony
You definitely need some art work on your walls. Grouping of smaller, or a few larger.
June 17, 2013 at 11:43am   
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KARA LEATHERS
Hi ! you already have your rug selected? a cowhide patchwork rug might be a choice, maybe a bigger cowhide zebra . let me know if i can help you!
June 17, 2013 at 12:13pm   
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bonthony
Do you a final result- picture? I'd love to see it!
July 20, 2013 at 10:28am     
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LB Interiors
I agree with 'maryjanemyers'. Paint all the walls the same color. The room will feel larger and you will not have any visual separation of cutting the walls. A smoother feeling. If you still prefer an accent wall, it is the fireplace wall in this room.
July 20, 2013 at 3:56pm     
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ssulli3
I'd change the brown molding
July 20, 2013 at 4:48pm     
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