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How can we update this family room?
Olivera
February 17, 2013 in Design Dilemma
What colour paint and rug? Should we change set up? My mom would like to keep couches.
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lyndahart246
My first instinct would be to paint the walls with a mid tone color or at least one accent wall if color is scary.The room would look good with greige/gray walls and perhaps an accent of turquoise or chartreuse I would get rid of the swag style curtain and make all curtains the same;perhaps grommet style panels on both sides of the door and window. hang them as high as possible to give more height to the room. The bookcase is very heavy looking and overpowers the couch. Is it possible to move it to another room? Maybe a den or office? Remove the matching pillows on couch and replace with pillows in the same color family as the new paint. I would replace the coffee table with a couple of poufes or ottomans that can be used with a tray for drinks or seating. Try different configurations with the couch, love seat and matching chair.
February 17, 2013 at 11:47am     
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susan609
Square off your furniture arrangement by bringing the furniture closer to the fireplace and TV. If you keep the TV, place the love seat across from the fireplace. Since it's a family room, I would suggest replacing the current TV with a flat screen model and mount it above the fireplace. Then you can put the love seat across from the sofa and chairs across from the fireplace, perhaps two updated chairs in place of the matching chair and the flowered one. Since your sofas appear to be grey and white, you can choose an updated rug that has a bit of grey or at least a white or off white that matches the white of the sofa. Then just look for another color or two that you really like, and that will give you accent colors for the room that you can replicate in pillows or chairs. Pull the rug closer to the fireplace, centered in your new sofa arrangement.

Replace your bookcase and tables with more contemporary models. Instead of a corner bookcase, I would put one to the left of the fireplace.

Change out your artwork with something more contemporary in plainer frames. You will want to hang them lower, closer to the furniture and you may consider larger pictures.
February 17, 2013 at 11:53am     
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decoenthusiaste
Modern living
Lots of nice colors will work with your mom's gray sofas. Purple, yellow, red, green come to mind since her sofas are traditional.. I would paint a gray and then accent with color. Meanwhile, to try out some configurations, I would rearrange the couches in an "L" in front of the FP on the present rug, for starters. Consider mounting a new flat screen tv above the FP. Would she like to redo the FP? The bookcase could be used opposite the FP to counterbalance the visual weight of it but it needs re-styling - 1/3 books,1/3 open space and 1/3 decor items. Matching drapery panels at all windows hung floor to ceiling would be nice and a chance for color again.

Amoroso Design
Decor by Jennifer Inc
Heather Garrett Design
February 17, 2013 at 11:54am     
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mdamron61
A crown mold would be nice. A light slate color on the walls. A different and larger picture above the couch.
February 17, 2013 at 11:57am     
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mdamron61
Also solid color pillows. A different floor rug.
February 17, 2013 at 11:58am     
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Olivera
She is thinking to rearrange the furniture but the room is 19.5' by 13.5'. If she moves the couches closer to the fireplace what will go behind them? There will be a lot space. The colour if the couches are actually not grey, they are greenish and beige. Will grey still be a good colour on the walls? She also has difficulty picking out a rug colour due to this couch colour combo. She is also worried that a tv may be too high over the FP. Thanks!
February 17, 2013 at 12:03pm   
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Olivera
Hopefully you can see the colour a little bit better here. Thanks for all of your suggestions!
February 17, 2013 at 12:06pm   
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judianna20
February 17, 2013 at 12:08pm     
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lyndahart246
If you move the sofa closer to the fireplace, you could put a sofa table behind with a lamp or two and the bookcase centered on the back wall if it needs to stay in the room. You could also make a small reading area near the bookcase with a standing reading lamp. Ideally a TV should be at or slightly above eye level but I have one above my fireplace about the same height and it works.
February 17, 2013 at 12:14pm     
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wmpj
I would try a monochromatic color scheme. Paint the walls a shade or two darker than the sofa color. Make sure the color works with the fireplace too. The dark furniture will look good with this color scheme. Are you keeping the flooring or replacing it? Dark or medium tone wood floor would look good.
February 17, 2013 at 1:20pm     
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susan609
Yes, to keep Mom in her comfort zone, keep a monochromatic color scheme as wmpj suggested. Move the current rug to center with the new furniture arrangement. You can add and experiment with color with pillows, easily removable and returnable, so you can figure out what colors you like with the sofas. When you move the sofas in, the sofa table it a great idea and/or you can use the wall where the sofa was for a bookcase or other storage furniture instead of putting it next to the fireplace. Just try moving the sofa, love seat, chairs & coffee table. For the time being put the sofa & love seat at right angles, so you can watch the TV in the corner. I think you'll see how much more updated and cozy it will look. You can always move it back. Perhaps if she likes this, she will go a bit further.
February 17, 2013 at 1:37pm     
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Genevieve
February 17, 2013 at 1:51pm     
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odessalight
My first instinct is to paint walls a nice grey blue color to go well with your moms couch. Take a cushion to the paint store and see which one she is drawn to. If you are going monochromatic then blues are fun. Looks like you have a very traditional setting. Add some decorative pillows, very nice ones from etsy and just concentrate on the feeling of the room that you are going for. It's easy if you know that you want to keep the couch color. Accent same color in the book case with covering some of the books with speciality papers and add a few decorative pieces that reflect the color you choose. Pillows add so much and not so much clutter. You really get a bang for your buck!;)
Have fun and enjoy spending time with your Mom ;)
February 17, 2013 at 2:02pm     
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pcmom1
First off, clear out as much as possible out of the room: small furniture pieces out, art off walls, stuff off mantel. This will free up your mind to new ideas. Then slide furniture around.

I see a great flat screen tv over fireplace. Canned lights recessed into the ceiling. Sofas brought off walls and pulled forward and placed into an L shape, with larger one facing tv. Stain floor darker. Put furniture on to the rug. Take pillows off sofa and add some new solid color ones. New table lamps.

Take everything out of bookcase. Pack away most of the books and add a few items and photos to them. (check out Houzz site). Add a large real plant to the corner of the room.

Out with the old, and in with the new!
February 17, 2013 at 2:17pm     
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pcmom1
Just read all the posts. Couple other suggestions. First, notice how deco's pictures with the crown molding adds so much to the room.

And, if your mom is worried that tv over fireplace may be too high: try putting current painting over fireplace and treat that area as a reading area. A couple of nice chairs on each side of the fireplace. Then put the bookcase where the loveseat is.

The wall where the picture was hanging can handle a nice size unit of shelves with a spot for a large tv. The sofas will form an L on the rug facing that wall rather than the fireplace. Basically, the room will have two different zones.

As I said, clear out and slide things around and see how it works.
February 17, 2013 at 2:32pm     
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Olivera
My mom has decided to put a tv over the fireplace, stain the floor, and paint the wall a colour slightly darker than the couches. She will also put crown molding.

Questions: does crown molding go above the windows?
February 20, 2013 at 7:39am   
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Olivera
Also we tried a new furniture arrangement and are trying different pillow colours:
February 20, 2013 at 7:44am   
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Olivera
Can she put family pictures on the wall where the bookshelf is?

How can she freshen up the stone around her wood burning fireplace?

Thanks!
February 20, 2013 at 7:49am   
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pcmom1
Loving what I am seeing! Great to see the changes as they take place! Keep as an option that you can have different throw pillows for different seasons (summer/winter). I do this with art, because I have more art than wall space.

For the family pictures, I would take them to Aaron Brothers and have them re-framed in slightly larger frames with mats. Then I would hang them, one over the other, to the french door side of the bookcase.

The painting that was originally on the wall may fit on the other side of the bookcase. Or might be too crowded! Have someone hold it up and see. That painting can go also where the family photos currently are.

And freshening up a room doesn't mean you can't keep some of your old loves!
February 20, 2013 at 8:11am     
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Olivera
@pc mom: thanks! What colour pillows do you think she should choose? Can she have 2 or 3 different colours? Should she change the coffee table?
February 20, 2013 at 8:15am     
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wmpj
Olivera, the crown molding does go above the windows. It goes on the wall but touching the ceiling.
February 20, 2013 at 10:21am     
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Olivera
@wmpg: so I guess specifically her question was does the crown molding go on top of that bulk that is overtop of the windows?
February 20, 2013 at 12:33pm     
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wmpj
Can the bulk above the windows be removed? I've never seen a bulk like that before. Can you take some pictures of the wall next to the bulk? I want to see how the upper portions of the walls look in the entire room. I don't think the crown molding will look right with the bulk there because you don't want to put crown everywhere else except the bulk and I don't want to put it on the bulk itself.
February 20, 2013 at 12:52pm     
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pcmom1
I want the real designers out there to answer your questions on pillows and colors. My expertise goes as far and trying and retrying until I get what I like!

That said, I like the yellow with your sofa. Maybe slightly more muted tone.

As far as the coffee table, the size looks pretty good. Try adding a rattan basket to the top to hold some books or magazines. Then maybe a large shallow glass bowl with some yellow in it.

The dark wood coffee table does seem a tad heavy, something in glass would certainly lighten things up. But glass requires constant dusting!
February 20, 2013 at 1:38pm     
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sondramartina
I have to edit my post.I have same bulk in my living room and I do have crown mouldings there.I will take a pic . later so you can see if you like it or not.Your room already looks better but i think you should get rid of swag style curtain.Where did goblen go? :))
Definitely change curtains.
February 20, 2013 at 1:47pm     
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sondramartina
Here it is. I hope somebody will help with suggestion for pillows .
February 20, 2013 at 7:19pm     
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cani
I'm not loving any of those pillows with the couch. In these latest pictures you can see that the couch is green and not gray as everyone previously thought. Not sure I like those pillow shapes either with that style couch as the arms are not straight. I could picture one really long, narrow pillow placed in the middle of the couch. Not sure what that style pillow is called. Or maybe the ones you have now are too large? I can't put my finger on what is bothering me about them. Maybe it's just that the colors don't match the couch that is throwing it off. I like the picture judyg posted with the printed green couch where they stayed in the same color family as the couch with the cushions.
February 21, 2013 at 12:59am     
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nancy22032
Fireplace mantels are NOT tv stands at least in conventional homes. Maybe in some sleek modern houses its OK, Good design does not use an item in a manner it was not intended. And most mantels are too high. If a person spends several hours with their head cocked back to look at the tv, soon they'll be visiting the chiropractor. Excuse my rant - the old controversy about the best place for a tv goes on.
February 21, 2013 at 2:36am     
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Olivera
@sondramartina: thanks for posting the pic! I guess it can be done!
@cani: I agree with you on the pillows, although my mom is liking the yellow.
@nancy: I think you are right about the tv height. We might try it out to see, but won't resting it on the mantel will not be a permanent solution. If anything we will mount on the wall.
Thanks!
February 21, 2013 at 4:49am     
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pcmom1
Right now the pillows with all the colors remind me of Easter. I know you are just trying out different things! Agree that these aren't working. Bring in some more muted colors (different greens) to try. Do not worry if you bring home a car load. Just keep the receipt to return the rejections!
February 21, 2013 at 8:35am     
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cani
Olivera, out of all the pillows I think the yellow is the best but I agree with pcmom1 that it needs to be a more muted. You could try a more muted yellow or different greens and cream. I would like to see the pillows have a bit of sheen to them. The room is looking nice so far with the arrangement.
February 21, 2013 at 11:22am     
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Olivera
@everyone: my mom started painting, you can see the colour she chose for the walls. Here are more pillows. Personally I like the red. She wants a splash of colour, not too much monochrome.
February 22, 2013 at 6:33am   
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Olivera
Also, she decided not to put a tv over the fireplace, she thinks it's too high. Does the mirror need to be lowered?
February 22, 2013 at 6:36am     
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pcmom1
I think the height is fine for the mirror. I am wondering if the mirror would work best on the wall opposite the windows, as mirrors are only as good as their reflections! And, on that wall the reflection would be of the outdoors. If you keep it where it is, be sure that it is hung so that it doesn't reflect the ceiling!

How about trying that and putting the painting over the FP and standing back and taking some pictures. Wider angle photos would also help with pillow advice.

For pillow colors so far: how about a slightly less orange red, more of an ox blood red? Mixing that with something else could give you your winter look.

For Spring/summer I like the lightest cream one. Also like the subtle background pattern that it has.. I would get four of those: two for sofa, two for loveseat. Then you can add an accent pillow or two to those ,so it isn't so monochromatic.
February 22, 2013 at 8:12am     
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sondramartina
I agree, that kind of red one is too strong. I like beige and green in third pic. Are you going to get new rug or keeping this one?
February 22, 2013 at 8:37am     
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Olivera
Thanks! She wants a new rug. What colour if she goes with beige and green pillows?
February 22, 2013 at 3:47pm   
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sondramartina
Get the rug first and then pillows.
February 22, 2013 at 3:49pm     
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Olivera
@sondramartina: what colour rug do you think she should go with?
February 22, 2013 at 3:52pm   
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sondramartina
See judig's idea above,geometrical rug with some colour from your sofas. Or something like this .
February 22, 2013 at 4:07pm     
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cani
I like the cream and green pillows. I think this last set of pillows like the cream square one seems smaller than the ones you had before and I like that scale against the couch. I'm liking the gold pillow too.
February 22, 2013 at 4:15pm     
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pcmom1
Yes, I also was going to suggest you look back at prior posts: Judyg's shows a great rug (along with pillows, papered back of bookcase and wonderful coffee table alternative.) Go even farther back and see Decoenthusieste's "Amoroso Design".

Also like Sondra's idea for a subtle oriental.

If you are shopping local, carry around a sofa cushion to throw onto the rugs. If you are shopping online at Home Decorators, then order the smallest size to try out. Then use the small sample rug in a powder room or somewhere!
February 22, 2013 at 5:35pm     
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sondramartina
Keep us posted :)
February 22, 2013 at 8:48pm     
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Olivera
Our latest updates:
March 18, 2013 at 7:41am     
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sondramartina
Looks great! Small changes ,big impact. Nice and cohesive .
p.s. Every time I see you photos I want to drink that coffee . :))
March 18, 2013 at 7:50am     
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Olivera
@sondramartina: thank you! You are welcome over for a coffee any time :)
March 18, 2013 at 8:41am     
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pcmom1
Looking so good! And once you add a few well chosen items to your bookcase, and perhaps paper the back to lighten the look, your mirror will have a wonderful piece to reflect!
March 18, 2013 at 11:35am     
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PRO
House of Fine Carpentry
I would suggest to remove the area rug and show off the nice hardwood flooring that is there. Than I would suggest some crown around the room. The fireplace area I would suggest adding built ins on either side of the fireplace or at least add some paneling above the fireplace around the mirror.
March 18, 2013 at 11:45am     
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