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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Help me decorate!

hevsFebruary 14, 2013
Hi - we just moved into this 1800s farmhouse in the Hudson valley and I thought it would be so easy to decorate and arrange when we looked at it but now that we live here I am stumped! This room is the front living room and I can't imagine what a "farmhouse living room" would look like or consist of furniture wise. We need to buy some pieces because we moved here from a small apartment but we are on a moderate budget. Here are some pics the room you see through the doors is a tv/family room so this will be a tv free zone. (FYI: fireplace does not work) thanks so much! Ps we just moved so excuse the clutter....
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Love that fireplace - with grey bang on trend, you must make this a feature. (Here is an example but not in the style you are looking for I suspect) . Plus it goes beautifully with your wood floor. Also I see some artwork in the picture with your child on the sofa (no doubt marvelling at the snow). That seems as if it could be a great starting point for your colours in the room. That floor is so rich, you have some good bones to work with.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:50AM
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Still, great fireplace!
In the 1800s, couches were not as large as ours are now. People had some comfy chairs in front of the fireplace and a chaise longue or daybed near the window. A writing desk and maybe some normal chairs. So back to now: there are a lot of pictures on this site when you search for 1800s. Start with two chairs, a 2seater sofa and a coffeetable. The position depends on the layout of doors and windows (+length&width of course)
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:56AM
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Here are some interpretations of farmhouse style.
Living/dining room at Green Bend Farm · More Info

Farmhouse · More Info

2012 Home Tour · More Info

Michigan farmhouse · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:03AM
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This is a great room. I would move the couch more into the room, keep it centered with the fireplace. Place a narrow writing desk behind it with a chair. This allows you to use your laptop, write out bills, etc while enjoying the view of the whole room.. Then add accent chairs on either side of the sofa, creating a conversation area. Add lighting and side tables. Find an interesting coffee table that says "farmhouse"... Ie. 2 crates with glass on it...an old raised panel door, etc. Keep your accessories minimal so as not to clutter. Hang art and window treatments.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:06AM
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Liza Jane Interiors
I would paint the fireplace white to match the trim. Also, you want to keep the scale of the furniture smaller. Big, overstuffed pieces will not feel right in this room. I agree with JW that you should move the couch out from the bay area and more into the room.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:12AM
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Beautiful fireplace! Shame it doesn't work.
What about building a window seat?

Bench and Mantel · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:18AM
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Judy M
I am usually on the "paint it" bandwagon, but in this case I would NOT paint the fireplace. I am not getting a great close up of the mirror but from a distance I love the detail on the top of it. I don;t like it sitting on the mantel but I would only hang it higher if the reflection it gives is something nice to look at. I would change the sconces. Nice room!

Play around with the layout, borrow furniture from another room just to see play around and see what fits best. Then buy furniture.

Many furniture stores offer a service to do a room layout for you. Measure the room and do a layout on paper, marking locations of doors and windows and bring it with you when you go shopping.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:22AM
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i would go with the grey color of the hearth,not really a fan of grey,but in this case think it will look fab!!
and then any accesoires in color(yellow i chose because of the copper band in the fireplace) will really stand out,nice to have a tv-free zone!!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 7:23AM
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Absolutely love your house! I agree with building a window bench where your couch is. I would get a small apartment size sofa to put near the fireplace. I would not touch the fireplace (normally I tell people to redo old fireplaces, but this one has so much character). I also wouldn't be afraid to put some clean lined furniture in that room (or for that matter the house). You can mix and match with an older home. I like Carole's fabric suggestions too.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Some of natural bamboo woven matting for your ref. I hope it will useful
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:23AM
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Wonderful! The bay and the woodwork look Victorian. You might enjoy this ideabook.
Ideabook: My Houzz: Charming, Beautiful Renovated Victorian · See Ideabook

And I love this homey casual room (not the lamps) :>) with the red rug and just slipcovered furniture.
West Hills Victorian · More Info
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:30AM
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Okay. Sheesh I give up, I'll do it. I'll move in to your house seeing as how awful it is... Man it must be torture to try and make do in that gorgeous space :) I have nothing to offer other than my drool.

I will say that your bay window had better be the place your gigantic Christmas tree goes every year.

Live in her for awhile. Just unpack, declutter and get a feel for her for a few months then approach it with a clearer head.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 9:50AM
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A lovely room and a lovely fireplace. I would keep the fireplace as it is, but would change the mantel decor. Go for some art you love that was a bit larger to fit the space. I would pull the couch out of the bay window and more into the room, and perhaps put a windowseat as mentioned or table behind the couch in the bay window area. I would consider painting the walls a muted color, rather than the neutral you have now. Oh and I agree with Christine above too - in regard to living in the house and getting a feel for it. Wanted to note that just because it's a farmhouse, it doesn't mean that everything has to be period or farmhouse style, but finding what will work in the house that you like. Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:03AM
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