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What color(s) go best with BROWN?
nlmackay
February 19, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I have an open concept living/dining area. Everything in there is neutral....greige walls, greige panel curtains and a brown dining table with brown leather sofa and chairs. I know the sky is the limit with adding color, but what color would go BEST? I need new area rugs that will need to coordinate. I love the trellis designs. Any suggestions? Please help my boring room!

I should add that I'm not a huge fan of earth tones.

(sorry, not the best pics!)
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Dytecture
Pops of red would be one option.


2 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 2:01PM
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carole
or these??
2 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 2:09PM
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nlmackay
I like the blue! Would you do neutral rugs in both rooms and then pops of blue? I'm afraid neutral rugs would get destroyed by my sons. But then again I'm afraid 2 blue rugs may be a bit much! I really wanted to put a zebra rug over a sisal rug in the living area, but people on houzz advised against it.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 2:11PM
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carole
you dont need to have 2 the same,as long as a color repeats,there is no limit!! you could also bring in some color with curtains,i can see you have blinds so it could just be for dressing the room
1 Like   February 19, 2013 at 2:38PM
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decoenthusiaste
3 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 2:50PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
Go to stores like Pottery Barn, Calico Corners, and you could evengo to department stores as well.Take a piece of the Brown fabric with you. Look at scarves, look at everything, the display colors, and just see what excites you when you put the brown color with it. Or, rather, what makes the Brown look exciting. Because what excites me and what excites somebody else is not as important as what excites you.
4 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
I love Brown, and you can go, as I said, in any direction, almost color wise. If you layer in light colors like I did here, You can lighten the entire space and the brown will have a grounding affect.





Traditional Spaces design by Other Metro Architect Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
4 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 3:14PM
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nlmackay
That room is gorgeous! My room(s) are so dark and blah. I really am hoping to lighten them up and add some style :)
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 3:26PM
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Egoist Design
the space is really nice and functional. I would paint the walls, add curtains and change area rugs (as you mentioned). Choose bright colors for the walls but not too dark and not too intense to leave room for some pattern in widow covering fabric and matching accent pillows. Should you go with busy pattern for the window treatment and accents, I would tone down the area rugs. Stay away from busy patterns for the rugs, yet make them pop by choosing some bright colors as you woud for the walls - similar shades. A few side table lamps, or a floor lamp with an interesting shade would play up the room as well. Invest into a new chandelier. Place the two chairs (by the sideboard on the picture) back to where they belong - the table :) and get two accent chairs in their place. This would balance the space in terms of proportion, add interest and make it cozier.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 3:46PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
I have another room that I did with a little deeper color and dark brown sofa. I will find and send.
1 Like   February 19, 2013 at 4:00PM
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sandra1942
I think a soft yellow on the walls would add warmth to the brown furniture. A centerpiece with lots of color, ideally fresh flowers, but not always an option. After painting you'll probably see what else you want to change. Paint is easy. If you don't like one color, try another. I always get enough to cover a large portion of a wall before I decide. Changing rugs and window treatments is not where you want to start.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 4:35PM
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nlmackay
To be honest, I like my wall color and don't really want to change it. It's the perfect shade of greige (grayish beige), although it may not be showing well in those 2 bad pics. My house is a complete open floor plan, so if I were to paint the living/dining area, I'd also have to paint my kitchen, entryway, hall and stairway going upstairs. There's no point where I could stop. I chose a neutral since all the rooms run into one another. My family room and bathroom (obviously) are separate spaces, and I have color in those rooms. An olive green in the bath and a blue/gray in the family room.
1 Like   February 19, 2013 at 4:56PM
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sandra1942
The wall with the windows could be a different color. Something warmer, blue perhaps. Bayou do need to take the extra chairs away. Put them in a closet, don't use them in other rooms
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Lkristine
Your paint color is perfect IMO--Here are some ideas. The floral area rug under the dining table, the trellis in the living room. Decorative pillows on the sofa that incorporate both together, and curtain panels in a greenish color on all window, both dining room and living room to unify. http://www.boldrugs.com/The-Rug-Market-Resort-Dandelion-Blue-25260-Green-and-Blue-and-White-rugs.html http://www.rugstudio.com/nuloom-trellis-moroccan-shag-turquoise-area-rug.aspx http://www.etsy.com/listing/79240492/decorative-pillow-cover-throw-pillow?ref=sr_gallery_41&ga_search_query=turquoise++floral+pillows&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all http://www.etsy.com/listing/104920833/white-pillow-geometric-textured-18x18?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=white+pillow&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all Not enough room to attach an example of your dining room with greenish color...will add on additional post!
1 Like   February 19, 2013 at 5:34PM
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Lkristine
Greenish curtain panel example.....
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 5:37PM
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cheryl2424
I just bought a house with a beautiful greige paint colour in the kitchen, I call it mushroom. The cabinets are white and counter gray. I also have some dark wood antiques. I ended up adding a burnt orange and olive green plaid curtain on the windows, then reupholstered the chairs burnt orange. I added a bird mobile with oranges, reds and greens. Then some artwork. Everyone loves it. Pier 1 and bouclair have nice accessories.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 5:40PM
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judianna20
Thank you, Mary. That "like" means a lot.
1 Like   February 19, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
You are welcome :o)
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 6:32PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
OMG Judy, I thought that was in response to what I wrote and I see it didn't appear. So, I will write it again.

My husband was just looking over my shoulder and I said what do think of this color palette? This is like asking Mikey as he seldom is wowed by anything. I really like it he said, (He has a masters in art) I really like the brown in the orange tone, and I added the and the gray in the brown shade and brown in the gray wall and the wonderful chandelier that is a lighter harmonic of it all. I am going to bookmark this palette for my own personal use. If you do not mind, Actually, Judy, it was much better written than this, but Nimackay, I would strongly suggest you make this one a definite contender.
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 6:40PM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
There isn't a best color to use with brown. Just as the earth is brown soil and god has used every color with it. All colors do go as you stated . Look in your closets and note the favorite colors you like to wear. Almost everyone has a favorite color. Emerald green is the color of the year for 2013 . Aqua & Turquoise are the new trendy colors ,as are Orange & Corals ,Lime greens & Lemons yellows. Always safe Light Blues & Reds are more proven traditional colors that are timeless. Your walls are neutral. You have some beautiful things already. All you really need are a rug ,some toss pillows ,window coverings and some added accessories in your accent colors. Find a colorful rug with a few colors in it 1st for the living room you love and then a second rug that works with it in the dining room with just one of the colors and a neutral mixed then pull out 1-2 of the colors for accenting the entire space. If it were my home I would go Aqua , citrus green and a bit of gold. It would be very current and lux. . I like to change out my accent colors every five years. Retired Decorator, Kevin
2 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Matt Patterson Custom Homes
SW Avenue Tan
0 Likes   February 19, 2013 at 10:16PM
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nlmackay
Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design - the kids are finally napping (yay!) so I've had a few free minutes to look at everyone's responses. I saw that you said I should make one a definite contender, but I'm not sure which you are referring to?
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:03AM
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nlmackay
I like the idea of Aqua , citrus green and a bit of gold. If I were to get throw pillows with those colors in possible a houndstooth, greek key and/or chevron, what would I do for a rug? I have such a hard time mixing patterns/colors!

I also am liking the idea of coral and spa blue....what do you guys think of that? If I'm getting pillows with those colors, again what do i do for rugs?!? I'm afraid if I go light/neutral, my kids and dog will destroy it. However, I'm afraid if I chose a color, I'll be limited if I ever want to switch things up. Am I indecisive much!!!!

I love the pattern of the coral rug above. I also love these types of patterns:
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/scroll-tile-rug-gray/?pkey=crugs-by-style&cm_src=rugs-by-style||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-
http://www.potterybarn.com/products/hayden-zig-zag-rug-porcelain-blue/?cm_src=AutoRel

Just not sure how to mix 2 side by side rug patterns and throw pillows....

I wish I could do more in terms of accessories on the tables, but my 1 year old would immediately get at them. For now, I think I need to focus on rugs, pillows and art (I'm checking etsy for options and rugsusa.com). In a year or so I can build on that by adding accessories.

I am also planning on getting several orchids to put in a large pot on my dining table. I saw Yolanda on the Real Housewives of BH do this in her home and it was stunning. I need to find a cool pot :) I also need to "style" my buffet. I can use accessories there because the kids can't reach!

Would a chandelier like this work in my space, or no because it blocks the mirror? There's a direct view of my dining space from my kitchen. http://www.restorationhardware.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?type=finalSale&productId=prod1319051
And do I get silver to match the mirror, or bronze to match my curtain rods?

Sorry for all the questions and the long post!
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:13AM
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nlmackay
Here's a pic of the curtain panels I just got at Restoration Hardware. They are down because I need to have them shortened. As you can see, totally neutral! Also, here's a pic of my chair so you can see the pattern. I'm not crazy about it, but it was over $1K and my husband may kill me if I try to change it! I bought it before I was familiar with all of the new fun patterns like chevron and trellis!
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 10:19AM
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sandra1942
Pottery barn has a lot of pre made draperies. The duponi silk are beautiful. May be less expensive than restoration hardware.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:24AM
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nlmackay
I had green duponi silk from PB before I bought these linen ones. I like that the ones i have now are very airy. The green were so heavy and dark. I tried getting the duponi silk in a neutral color, but they clashed with my wall :( What color were you thinking I change to? I just got these drapes last month, so I need to return asap if I decide not to keep them. Another thing I was thinking of doing is adding a grosgrain ribbon to the edge or bottom to customize the panels. But if done wrong, it may look very cheap!
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:33AM
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sandra1942
PB has several types of fabric. Look at their website. I think draperies are on sale now.
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
I would start with the living room rug 1st it's going to be the largest amount of pattern. I would look for a oriental in the colors your going to use. ie Aqua, green & gold I would find a rug that is more green dominate with the aqua and gold in it. The rug will most likely have other colors in it to and that's OK. Then I would go with a flame stitch for pillows. (flame stitch is really a chevron but even a newer look back in style, along with a over scaled damask or trellis pattern in a small print. I think that will work with the chair fabric. In the dining room you could go with a very large over scale trellis print in more of a neutral like the chair colors. I would go with more color for the drapes if you can return the ones you bought in a small stripe in Aqua and brown. or a solid color. When working with pattens like flame stitch & or chevrons , stripes and the trellis patterns and damask will all work together. As will the greek key and houndstooth as long as there is one major piece like the rug that has all the colors your going to use. Colors need to be repeated though out the rooms. When mixing patterns just watch the scale of each pattern large to small. It does take time. But that is what gives that collected over time look I think your looking for. As for the light fixture the one you have works but the one you posted from pottery barn is a bit basic and bland. If you could find the same shape shade with crystals hanging down with in the shade would add a bit more Bling to the room. Since this is your formal area in your home I think it needs more posh accessories. Large beautiful books ,rod iron and silk plants are child friendly pieces to use for table top decor. When you have toddlers around. Kevin
0 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 3:00PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
NImakay

The palette I was talking about was the one by JudyG. I think if you went that direction, you could use the rectangular light fixture you mentioned you like. You could use the items represented in her palette, or you can use them as a color palette inspiration. If you used it as a color palette, and you wanted to layer in some dusty aqua green and deeper muted greens with this, you will see this color combination throughout Pottery Barn spring catalogue,

I would then start by finding a Persian style rug, like PB Eva Persian, or whatever style you like, and then use that as your palette. The reason I say this style rug is because it will set your palette and it is forgiving, when you consider where it is going to be used and if you have little children etc. Then pull your colors from that just like it is your road map.

I personally like the window treatments you purchased from Restorations, but you can probably tell that I would given the picture I sent you of one of my designs. I like a less is more, I think it sometimes makes a stronger, and yet can be softer, statement. However, in regards to the window treatments you could band the bottom with an solid accent fabric, or a small geometric if that is your desire.. Just two to three inches. I have seen this done and looks very classic when simply done.
1 Like   February 20, 2013 at 11:26PM
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Charmean Neithart Interiors, LLC.
i love brown and orange together. You can never go wrong with orange.
Ownby Design
Darien Family Room
3 Likes   February 20, 2013 at 11:49PM
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nlmackay
I bought a couple throw pillows today to play around with color. Thoughts?
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:04PM
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nlmackay
Up close... Also, none of these prints really go w/ my accent chair. Maybe I should try stripes?
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:06PM
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carole
like them all!!!!!!!!!!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:12PM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
Like the coral greek key pillow. the rest are pretty boring, to much white. LOL Don't be afraid of color.
The patterns work well together that's the hard part. Your doing great with mixing patterns. I would suggest only three patterns at the most for pillows. Kevin
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:20PM
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nlmackay
I'm definitely not keeping all of these, just bought a few to see which would work. I'll pick maybe 2-3 out of these, and then by the same 2-3 to put on the other side of the sofa.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:22PM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
I would go with 3 pillows at most for the sofas. The greek key works with the chair because it's not competing with the print. As the other prints do too but the colors are to close to the chair colors and that why they don't work. Opposites attract so to speak , I hope that helps you. Kevin
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 2:33PM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
Accent colors don't have to be present in the existing colors. That's why they call them accents. Once you start to repeat the colors 3-5 times in a room it will start making sense. Kevin
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
The blue pillow is pretty but I don't think it works with the chair . I would get a rug 1st or you are going to make it harder to find & match 2 colors. It's easier to pull the colors from the largest pattern in the room which will probably be the rug when working with more than just one accent color. Lets hope you get some other comments soon besides just me. LOL Kevin
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 3:22PM
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carole
are there any cushions with the same print as your accentchair but in a different colormix??
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:28PM
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Kevin Retired Decorator
Have you priced on getting the chair recovered ? It seems to be holding you back on what like now. Or could you use the chair some where else and buy a new chair keeping a low budget of $300. In a formal living room a need for high quality for wear & tear is less of a issue. I always say buy the better quality for the family room. I prefer to change my upholstery furniture more often. Check out Wayfair.com and Home Decorators Collection.com for some ideas. I have furnished my home with a lot from both of these companies. Kevin
1 Like   February 21, 2013 at 3:37PM
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carole
if it is that new,could you sell it on close to the price you paid for it??like kev says,it seems to be holding you back!!!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 3:55PM
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nlmackay
I could reupholster it or just use it in another room. I don't want it to hold me back. I do love the chair's shape, just not the pattern.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:03PM
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gilwiles
Orange and pops of blue. No white. You've got some great ideas going above. Good luck and have fun!
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 4:07PM
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sandra1942
Let's have a look at the accent chair. Also, your art will help you.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:27PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
NL - I don't wish to confuse, but I am glad you put all of the pillows there. It did show, in my mind, that the grays of the pillows have a very calming affect on the browns of your sofa. I know it was not your intention to use all of the pillows shown, but to brainstorm with them.

I agree with I think it was Kevin. You could either start with a rug that you love, that embodies all the color that you would like to see go on in your room as well as the relative proportionality that each color will be used within the room. Or go to a fabric store that sells home fabrics and find something that just feels wonderful to you, in it's color combination. But remember, you must take YOUR brown sofacushion, because browns are
different, and when you put that fabric against it, it looks like a marriage made in heaven, you will know it is your answer.
This design 101.
Then use that rug if that is your color inspiration or that fabric if it is, and go to the paint store and get chips in all of the colors contained within the inspiration piece, that you care to work with, and keep them in a little envelope in your purse. Let them be your guide.

Back to the pillows on the sofas, if you used the Arabesque gray carpet, caveat it is difficult to tell correctness of colors communicating by computer, and then used the some of the gray pillow you showed and layered in some linen and or ivory, and then one pillow of orange her and anotther some where else, That's how orange works best, in my opinion. Orange is like the loud mouth in the room. It is very noticable and so you need to use it judiciously.

And in a room of browns with orange, in my opinion, you definitely need to have a certain amount of white or it just becomes too dark and heavy. I will try and send some examples of brown that shows what I mean.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:42PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
Above is a rug you could use for a basis of color that would look beautiful and light with your brown. You would use the colors within it on your walls ect. This one may. even go with your existing chair if you want to use it someplace.

You could just lightly add the muted orange, or orange accents here and there, all the time or just, certain times of the year for a change. The picture I sent you earlier, you will see aspects of this color in the landscape. Also this rug is not a trending style so much as it classic and therefore more timeless.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
This is one of two which I framed for my client, but I believe there are four by the artist. This picture seems to embody some of the colors you mentioned that you like. Note roll cursor over face of picture to enlarge.
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:56PM
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0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 6:59PM
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Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design
Above is another color palette that you can pull grays out for the wall and terra cotta for accents and soft brown,
0 Likes   February 21, 2013 at 7:05PM
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olldroo
nimackay, when choosing colours for a room, you not only have to look at what colours you like best and enjoying living with but what are going to enhance your room the most. If the natural lightning in your room is dim and the room looks cold then greys and blues will not do anything for it but will dull the room even more. If your room is light and bright and gets a lot of sun then oranges, reds and earthy colours can make the room hot and uncomfortable, where blues will give a soothing cooling look. Judging by the number and size of your windows light is not an issue so it depends on the amount of sunlight your room gets as to whether it may be hot or whether they are just giving your room nice bright light. If the latter is the case then choosing really clean crisp shades of colours, especially greens and yellows will give your room a really fresh look. When you see colours in photos, you have to remember that these are professional photos taken in the best possible light and can look totally different in your room.

If you feel your room is boring then maybe the greige walls are wrong for the room, but I can understand your reason for chosing it and wh
0 Likes   February 22, 2013 at 10:37PM
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nlmackay
Hello everyone - since my last post, my coffee table in the living room was damaged by my sons. I purchased the protection plan and just received notice that they are going to give me $450 to replace the table at Bassett Furniture http://www.bassettfurniture.com/index.asp. Any suggestions as to what style I should get? This may be my opportunity to make sure my furniture isn't so matchy-matchy and add some interest to the room.

Next on my agenda is to go to Pottery Barn and check out the rugs you've recommended Mary Poulos Interior and Exterior Design. Thank you!
0 Likes   March 12, 2013 at 7:41AM
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