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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Non-creative, non-artistic homeowner needs vision for living room

lizrxFebruary 19, 2013
Needing inspiration to make this space more inviting. Working with travertine floors, a Maxwell sofa and chair from Restoration Hardware, a beautiful fireplace situated at an angle, walls in cappucino from RH, wood ceiling and beams, and a huge window that lets in much light with some ocean view. Trying to figure out colors and styles (rug, pillows, tables, etc) to warm up the space while keeping it somewhat neutral and maintaining the by the beach feel. Any input would be much appreciated!
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Dark leather doesn't usually connote a beachy feel...so this may be a bit tricky. I suggest you start an ideabook with all the looks you love. Then analyze your photos to see what exactly you want to see in your space. I'll start you out with a photo showing a leather sofa with a sisal area rug and some beachy-looking poufs.
East-meets-west in San Francisco's Russian Hill · More Info
5 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:01PM
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Think about the colors of beachglass--the soft greens and blues. I would use those as an inspiration for colors much like the photo that groveraxle posted. I think the rug does not seem beachy either. Seems cabin like. What's under the carpet? How about sisal or the print rug, again from groveraxle!
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:15PM
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This area rug and these colors would look good in your room:
Alamo Square Living Room · More Info

More beachiness (though I'd do away with the life preservers on the wall):
The Sandberg Home · More Info

Glass coffee table keeps things light:
Austin Modern Farmhouse · More Info

And to really warm up the space, be sure to add a dog like the one in the last photo!
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:15PM
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I agree with groveraxle that the leather upholstered pieces, stone fireplace, and dark wood beams do not suggest a coastal feel. Bring in some beach elements with something like this coral print rug from Home Decorators and consider whitewashing the ceiling and beams for a fresh, nautical look.
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 2:28PM
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This room has colors that should work with the brown yet feel beachy.
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3 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:07PM
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I agree with everyone else that a sisal rug is the way to go if you want a beachy feeling. I'd suggest you find one with a bit of colour, perhaps in the blue family (turquoise, aqua) as these suggest beachy and will bring some life to the room. To my eye there is too much gray in the room and seeing as the floor and fireplace can't be changed I'd paint the walls in a warmer colour. Lastly, a nice large piece of art mounted on the fireplace would look great. Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:15PM
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Not seeing beachy at all with your furniture. I like mm's suggestion of the coral rug. You need a piece of wicker or driftwood. And lots of pillows on the sofa and chair to soften the look.
Driftwood Coffee Table · More Info

Sea-Life Embroidered Outdoor Pillows · More Info

Loloi Grant Beige Area Rug · More Info

"Shoreline" Unframed Canvas Art by Caroline Gold · More Info

Japanese Glass Fishing Floats Original Nets By GlassFloatJunkie · More Info

Boule Table Lamp · More Info
3 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:21PM
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All wonderful ideas thank you, everyone! I like the turquoise and blues that seem to be a common theme among all your suggestions. Love the coral rug - does anyone know where I can find it? judyg - your ideas have given me some hope that I might be able to compromise with a very opinionated husband who loves his masculine leather sofas. :)
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:25PM
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Check homedecorators.com for rugs.
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:27PM
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lizrx, been married 44 years….my philosophy (and rule), "honey, you got yours, now your honey gets hers".
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:31PM
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Design Find
My vote is for the "Sandburg Home" photo that groveraxle posted. It's the beachiest look with dark leather sofas. My house also has wood ceilings and travertine floors (recently relocated and am renting while I look for something to buy) and I'd say get a big, cozy rug. Sisal/jute is not very comfy on the feet, and travertine is so cold! Even though it's a warm weather climate here, I'm often in fuzzy socks due to these floors!
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Teal goes very well with brown. So you may consider a nice teal shaggy rug. Alternatively you may also consider a beige/brown leather rug
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:48AM
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Lizrx, Here is the link to the coral print Montepelier rug from Home Decorators. There are several color choices. http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Montpelier_Area_Rug/460/
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:34AM
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Maeve McNamara
Hi there, I have dark leather couches my self. More traditional in shape and less shiny leather. They are now lovely and lived in as they are eight years old. A company called Linum make beautiful deck chair stripe cushions in squares and rectangles. With and with out tassels. A very beach feel! The colour ways are fab.
I have seen a beautiful tall lamp, tripod shape made with oars. A real statement. Sisal rugs with interesting colour boarder would add texture. I kea have some nice ones, also inexpensive.
Some nice art work on the walls. Good luck.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 1:42PM
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lizrx, here are two rugs (and their links) that might transition nicely from your brown leather to a teal:


1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:03PM
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I agree with groveraxle's ideas especially first pic.
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:00PM
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kathleen MK
PILLOWS!! and Throws. I've been stuck with brown leather sofas in oak paneled living room. I rotate pillows( or their covers) and throws to add color seasonally. Sagey greens most of the time but all out aqua in the summer time. golds and orange in the fall. Wine and cream in winter. let the brown make your accent colors pop.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Bickhaus Homes
The color on walls is way to light for the dark furniture, it becomes a constant visual clash. A terra cotta would be gorgeous, and warm the room right up. Tie it all together with dark woods and some " beachy" accessories and great lighting. Cozy and comfy!
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 4:35PM
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wow what a blessing! You got some great ideas and I too have a leather couch and need help! Thank you everyone for the great posts!
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:02PM
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504199ab - ditto! These are all wonderful ideas and have motivated me to actually start shopping for pillows and working on the room (after 6 months of it being in this lifeless state). Bickhaus homes - the colors of the walls are washed out in the pics, they are actually a warm brownish taupe which was part of the dilemma - a lot of brown, esp in less light. groveraxle, love the ideas - i'm going to experiment with the teal (helps that the husband loves the color) and see where it takes me. The Sandberg Home will be my inspiration... Here are better pics of the space I'm working with before we moved in. These are from the real estate listing with previous owner's furnishings - unfortunately their "before" looks better than my "after" despite the dated furniture. Thanks, everyone!! This was my first experience on houzz and I am so excited!!
    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:10AM
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Design Find
Look at those views! Fantastic! Congrats and have fun!
    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:15AM
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Christopher Brack
Ps was in The States a few years ago and had my first trip to restoration hardware. Adored everything about it. Nothing like that here in Ireland. Would love to see your after pics.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:19PM
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JUL313 Gallery
Here are some pieces of art that would compliment. I have recently completed some that would look great. All are original acrylic paintings on heavy gallery wrapped canvas. Please contact me at julie@jul313.com for further info or check out my website at www.jul313.com.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Add texture and natural colors from sandy beach and ocean blues and driftwood Got to soften that dark leather.
Look at tropical pictures for inspiration The freshness and peaceful feeling is what u want.
Add a favorite picture with a saying Stay away from more dark and cold looks.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 3:44PM
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Amazing view! Please do update photos.
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 4:53PM
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This coffee table and end table is expensive, but maybe you could find something similar or maybe you know somebody that could build something similar. I know I could never afford them. But, none the less, they would look awesome in here. http://www.thejoinery.com/furniture/living-room/occasional-tables/modern-coffee-table http://www.thejoinery.com/furniture/living-room/occasional-tables/modern-end-table An area rug that adds an aqua color to the room would be amazing and could be the foundation for adding your pillows and other simple accessories around the room. http://www.arearugsinternational.com/shop-by-pattern/coral/turquoise-blue-rug-with-coral-print.html Here are a couple of decorative pillows with nice colors for where you live, but don't overdo the theme of beach...... also brings a little color to the sofa and brightens it up a bit. http://www.overstock.com/Main-Street-Revolution/Jiti-Pillows-Rings-Marine-Decorative-Pillow/6417954/product.html http://www.etsy.com/listing/124454226/metallic-gold-chevron-pillow-cover?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=gold+chevron+pillow&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_spelling_corrected=gold+chevron+pilow&ga_search_type=all
    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Abstract Metal Design

I suggest getting some blue, greens and teals to achieve the beachy feel. I specialize in custom colors for my abstract metal art. Good luck.

Wall Weave - Modern Abstract Metal Wall Sculpture, Black · More Info

Vortex - Modern Abstract Metal Art Decor Sculpture, Teal · More Info
    Bookmark   on Wednesday at 7:24PM
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