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Need help finishing my Living/Dining Room
bmevans2004
February 18, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm updating the 80's outdated home I just moved into and need help giving this area the final touches! I really love this room but feels it just needs a few things to finish it. I'm not sure what window treatment it needs, so for now, I've left the shears up.
Also, I know the light green carpet is outdated, but its still in good condition and not in the budget right now or a high priority since the entire house needs updated!
I would appreciate any suggestions to give this room the final touch!

Thanks!
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nramsey1
Area rugs in both rooms.
February 18, 2013 at 5:20PM     
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DIAspoton
paint all of the trim white

the room divider needs to change. this may sound odd but it could be cool : replace the divider with a willow or grape vine set. DIY or find someone making grapevine oudoor furniture and hire them to do it.

or find 2 metal vintage gates or a pretty vintage iron daybed. use the 2 sides to replace your current room divider. if you don't like the color, spray paint them yourself or have them professionally powder coated. these would definitely add character to the room.
February 18, 2013 at 5:23PM     
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decoenthusiaste
I would remove the railing that divides the two spaces. When you are ready for flooring I would lower the raised dining area so the two spaces can flow together. Center your dining furniture and buffet with the drum fixture.. It is fine to leave the table angled, but directly under the light fixture. Your pillows and art are working, but the lamps are too small and your sofas too large for the space. I would plan on replacing the loveseat with your chair that is in the dining space and another one with a print fabric. Add a round table between them. Can't really see the style of your windows, but woven or fabric romans under patterned panels hung floor to ceiling would do much to update the space.
February 18, 2013 at 5:28PM     
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cjohnston
Could you post a few more pictures showing all 4 corners of the room?
February 18, 2013 at 5:36PM   
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bmevans2004
With the attached picture and the other 3 above, you should have all 4 sides of the room
February 18, 2013 at 5:40PM   
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bmevans2004
@nramsey - I agree with area rugs but wasn't sure if I needed them in both rooms? Solid or patterned? Placement in the dining room?
February 18, 2013 at 5:41PM   
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bmevans2004
@DIA - that is something different! At first I wanted them gone, but the more I look at them, I liked how it divided the room into 2 separate areas. I like the idea of the metal gates... That sounds unique!
February 18, 2013 at 5:43PM   
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bmevans2004
@ deco - I did have the table and buffet centered under the light but you couldn't see the buffet because the table was in the way. I know it looked odd not under the light but didn't like the look with it centered. I will see of I kept any pics of it. I know the furniture is big but its just a few months old and then we downsized houses so I couldn't use all the furniture that was in my old living room.
February 18, 2013 at 5:48PM   
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claudiann
I would paint the dividers, the table, and the dining chairs black. New hanging light fixture that hangs lower. Gray curtains to hang on the sides of the shears.
February 18, 2013 at 5:50PM   
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bmevans2004
@deco - this is a pic with the table and buffet centered under the lamp before I striped the wallpaper and painted the room. You can't see the buffet like that and I really liked it because it was an old dresser that I painted and updated the hardware. Any thoughts?
February 18, 2013 at 5:52PM     
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bmevans2004
@ claudiann - I never thought out painted the dividers either, but I like the idea of them black!
The light was lowered but I thought it looked odd since the table wasn't centered, so if I pulled it up it wasn't as noticeable. I was thinking some kind of long lighting may look better than the chandelier look but I can't find what I'm thinking.
February 18, 2013 at 5:54PM   
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decoenthusiaste
If you paint the railing and table/chairs all black I don't think they will show against the dark red background you now have. I like them centered under the light but you can still set them at an angle. Since your chandy needs to be lowered maybe you can add length and swag the chain so that it hangs 36" or less above the table at whichever side you like it.
February 18, 2013 at 6:59PM     
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bmevans2004
@deco- I'm so bad at decorating, but Houzz will get me into shape. So you want me to center the buffet in the middle of the wall, center the table (but still keep it at the angle it is), but I'm not sure how to swag the light so it will be centered over the table?

If I center the buffet, will the corners in that wall seem empty and need something? Also, I would like an area rug in that room. Should it be directly under the table, at an angle? Should it be a solid color or some pattern? I really like the red wall and want it noticed when people walk into the room! Thanks!
February 18, 2013 at 8:20PM   
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bumbles12
The railing needs to be removed. Maybe a nice runner for the carpet. Roman blinds?
February 18, 2013 at 8:38PM     
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violinist3713
With the railing removed it would really open up the space!
February 18, 2013 at 8:48PM     
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Darzy
I actually like the railing there. It gives the room interest and something to hold on to (for older folks) while they step down. I would just paint the inside spindles white and leave the rail natural on the top and sides. (this would speak to your dining table and armoir as well). I agree to paint the trim white as well. Instead of an area rug, how about an upholstered narrow bench in a fun pretty fabric to act as a coffee table?
February 18, 2013 at 9:11PM     
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bevballew
New lamps, remove the railing, new pillows, get rid of the greenery on the armoire. Lamps need to be a bit taller and more bulky. New chairs around table. Remove paper and paint walls a pretty taupe.
February 18, 2013 at 9:14PM     
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bmevans2004
@bev - I just striped the wallpaper and painted the room taupe with one wall pepper red, maybe you looked at the old picture. The bad thing is, I just bought the pillows, lamp and dining room table for this room when we moved here a Month ago! Any other suggestions or what to replace greenery on armoire with?
February 19, 2013 at 3:47AM   
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Darzy
Something like this for a coffee table?....If you DIY you can paint and upholster a picnic bench too!

February 19, 2013 at 10:47AM   
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Darzy
I think what may help is to bring another color down from your art above the sofa. How about a golden/lemon yellow? Pillows and accessories. I think that would punch it up a bit. Also, for above the armoir, instead of the plants, a collection of baskets? I also agree an updated chandelier would give the dining area some oomph as well.
DwellStudio for Target Peony Decorative Pillow
Mt. Shadows
Mamo Vase
February 19, 2013 at 11:02AM   
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dblapins
I would remove the carpet and add hardwood floors- and remove the rail...it makes the rooms feel really small
February 19, 2013 at 11:05AM   
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bmevans2004
Thanks for all the suggestions! Right now I want to focus on the red wall because I feel that wall needs some charm!

From the suggestions given, I'm going to center the buffet on the wall and take the picture, lamp and greenery off it. Then center the table under the chandelier, but still keep it at an angle and lower the chandelier to 36" above the table (I think, may need to look at comment again). I don't have an area rug right now, but I will place it under the table. I will leave the red chair where it is in the dining room.

Now.... What do I do with the red wall and the black buffet?!? My thoughts, and this is why I need help, are to put a large picture on the wall or is having 2 large pictures close together to much ( the other is on the left wall in the living room). What should I put on the buffet? Will I need something for the corners on that wall or will the buffet be enough? I can take away with the lamp since I have the overhead lighting.

Please help me with that room for now! Thanks!
February 19, 2013 at 11:13AM   
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bmevans2004
Also, I was going to wrap white paper around the inside divider spindles to see if I liked the look suggested before I paint them.
February 19, 2013 at 11:14AM     
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
Paint all trim white including crown, chair rail and base and casing white. Take down spindles because the step defines the area.
February 19, 2013 at 11:19AM     
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bevballew
Two pictures would look great if they are big enough. On the buffet maybe even the lamps in the family rom and new lamps in the family room. Candlesticks on the buffet on one side or the same on each side. If you put the two pictures above the buffet, centered on the wall, something simple in the center of the table for instance.
February 19, 2013 at 3:52PM   
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Ole Fredrickson & Son
I'd like 1 large picture to tie the colors together. The frame should incorporate another color other than the focal color red. I like 2 to 3 colors. Center the buffet and on one side a lamp and the other candlesticks or a couple of vases, nicknacks.
February 19, 2013 at 4:22PM     
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violinist3713
I would paint the trim white to make the room look more modern.
February 19, 2013 at 4:46PM   
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bevballew
Nothing on the armoire. I am sure it feels something is missing but my designer took everything off my armoire and it bugged me at first but the room now feels very calm.
February 19, 2013 at 5:18PM   
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Sue So
Great idea on painting just the spindles white. How about hanging the art on the buffet? I would also remove greenery from armoire. How about putting it flush against the wall and centering the clock?
February 19, 2013 at 11:41PM   
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Sue So
Yes, try white paper or fabric on the spindles - or use simple photo program to paint them in.
February 19, 2013 at 11:43PM   
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Citapore
Probably use some inexpensive Dhurries for your decor..
February 20, 2013 at 3:40AM   
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gingerclaire
I think a good-sized mirror on that back wall directly above the buffet could be quite striking, especially when you were entertaining as your chandelier,candles and glassware would look great reflected in it.

I agree that the room may look better without the divider, but taking it out would probably ruin the carpet that you need to hang onto for now. What about adding a strip of wood along the vertical part of your step up for a cleaner look at the divide?

I know you have only just painted, but could you overpaint the red wall with a lower sheen paint mix? The reflections from the pendant light are a bit much at the moment.

If you refinished your armoire in a similar style to the buffet I think it would tie into the feel of your room a bit better, and less is definitely more when it comes to putting things on top of it. If you are worried about the black buffet looking 'lost' against the deep red wall, a solution might be add matching floor-level uplighter cans on either side of it to make it stand out more.

I agree on the area rugs, they would help either area.
February 20, 2013 at 3:41PM     
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bmevans2004
I've made some changes to this room and will post updated pics soon.

I centered the black buffet in the middle of the red wall and centered the table under the chandelier (I want to replace the light someday) but left the table still at an angle. I wish you could see the black buffet better but the table blocks it. I removed the tree from the right corner. I bought a large canvas picture that I love, to go over buffet, but waiting for my husband to help hang it. I also bought a candlestick lamp with a burlap shade for the left side of buffet, along with a small red vase. For the right side, I have 3 golden vases/jars. I'm still looking for an area rug to go under the table. I'm looking for a mostly gray rug with a little black in it.

That is it so far but a start!

I have another question...we really do like the updated look of white trim and our entire house has this wood trim in it. If I paint the trim in this room white, do I need to do all the trim in the house? Then what about the wood window and door trim, does it need painted white also? What will that do for the look of the wood bedroom doors, kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity?!?

I'm not sure how to tackle the wood trim painted white thing! Help!!
February 24, 2013 at 7:03PM   
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bmevans2004
I also removed everything off the dining table and was working on a painted wine bottle centerpiece instead.
February 24, 2013 at 7:04PM   
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Darzy
To start, just paint the white trim in the living space, including the door and window trim. If you can't see the hallway doors, etc, it won't be that "bad". But,l I think you'll find after paiting the LR and DR trim the white, you'll WANT to do it everywhere. :)
February 24, 2013 at 7:07PM     
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bmevans2004
Darzy - I agree, I really liked the wood trim, but after researching and looking at pictures the white trim really makes it look up to date! I know you had mentioned the room dividers before, I think you said just paint the inside spindles, do you still think I should start with that?

Then my concern is, the door casing on the left side of the dining room leads to the kitchen. Should I just paint the inside of the casing in the dining area and the kitchen area would have wood trim for now?

Then, the opposite end of the room leads the entry way would have the same door casing and wood trim you could see.

That is where I feel once I start with the white trim, at what point does it stop?!?
February 24, 2013 at 7:14PM   
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Darzy
I think just painting the spindles white (leave the top and entry sides natural wood) would leave enough wood the "speak" to the wood of your dining table and tv armoir. But, if you see the entry door trim when in the living room, I'd do that white too. So, basically, stand in the room and if you can see it, paint the trim white. (not counting the hallway/doors). The kitchen side trim may be the wood, but the dining room side of the same door trim is white. Eventually, you may want to paint the whole house trim/door white : ) No hurry tho.. take your time and do one room a month!
February 24, 2013 at 7:36PM   
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bmevans2004
Thanks so much Darzy! I will start with your suggestions. I have since, stripped the entry green wallpaper and painted it green with a reprinted black bench in there, so the white trim would look good in there.

Thanks for the suggestions!
February 24, 2013 at 7:40PM   
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bmevans2004
Thanks everyone....I finally got around to making some changes to my dining room and living room. I also bought light gray panels for the windows, but didn't get them put up yet. I'm leaving the shears up and will have 1 gray panel on each side. I still want to paint the trim white and get an updated light above the table, but that will have to wait for now.

Thanks for all the help...I love this room!
March 3, 2013 at 3:59PM     
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bevballew
Gorgeous pic above the buffet with the umbrella lady...and the vases. Looking great!
March 3, 2013 at 6:09PM   
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bmevans2004
Thanks Bev.... I saw that picture the first time and loved it but wasn't sure where I would put it. I went back to the store 2 weeks later and Houzz helpers told me I needed a picture and this was on sale this time... I couldn't pass it up!
March 3, 2013 at 6:57PM     
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bmevans2004
Thanks Mountaincobra - it's a big picture in the room but I really liked it, and it was on sale too! I can't pass up sales, especially when I had coupons too!
March 3, 2013 at 6:58PM   
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bevballew
I love the pic over your sofa too!
March 3, 2013 at 7:17PM   
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Sue So
Wow love what you decided to do here! Love the art esp!
March 3, 2013 at 11:25PM   
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March 3, 2013 at 11:37PM   
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Darzy
Looks really good! Love the new art, lamps and vases. Great job. It's amazing how a few changes makes a big difference. I noticed the gray shag area rug as well in the LR. Nice.
March 4, 2013 at 9:05AM   
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bmevans2004
Thanks Darzy...little changes really can make a room look different. I don't think I could have come up with this look without everyone's help! I really love the room and will post pics once I get the curtains up and trim painted.
March 4, 2013 at 4:46PM   
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Kim D
i love your room, I think if you remove the banister you will get an instant update. I also agree with painting the trim white, in addition to that I would remove the painting, remove pillows and paint the red wall either the same color as the rest of the room or a color that is not so much of a contrast.
March 4, 2013 at 5:22PM   
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bmevans2004
Thanks for your suggestions rivers, but I just bought the pillows, both paintings, furniture and painted the wall red, so my husband wouldn't be to happy if I changed it within 2 months! Lol
March 4, 2013 at 7:48PM   
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Kim D
OMG, maybe its just those things in combination with the carpet that is making the 80s feel. Since I knew you didn't want to deal with the carpet right away I was trying to come up with simple changes...lol any chance of remove the banister and painting trim?
March 5, 2013 at 3:43PM   
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Kim D
Wow I like the grey rug it really grounded the room, good job....also I like the angle of the table.
March 5, 2013 at 3:50PM   
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Beth Bourque
You've turned the room into a hallway. Take it back! Bring your loveseat away from the window and place it a few feet in front of the step to force traffic around it and make it feel more like a room. Maybe put a console behind it with a lamp. Maybe even put the sofa in front of the window. Bring the chair in the corner of the dining area into the living room where it belongs. Maybe next to that big cabinet near the window.
Get rid of the railings. Period. End of that story. Be prepared to warn company about not falling, but it's actually a nice feature that is being ignored. Table centered is a must. I'd also like to see your dining light lowered if that is possible. Paint that dark trim to match the wall.
In general, your furniture is a bit large for the space. Re-think it when you're in a position to replace it. Your lamps need to be bigger, too.
March 6, 2014 at 2:39PM   
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decoenthusiaste
Dead thread from last year, Beth.
March 6, 2014 at 3:18PM   
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