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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Adding Life to my Living room on a tight budget!

emilykowFebruary 20, 2013
Hi I am a Masters student living in a rented condo- my living room is depressing- rug is beige, walls are beige, couches are cream. Because I am renting I can't paint the walls or do much modifications and being a student, I have a tight budget too. I am desperately seeking advice and inspiration regarding ways to add colour to this area- I've looked at pillows and artwork and just am not inspired by anything. Could someone with some design/decor advice please help! Looking at the picture you can see I have 2 cream couches and a beige papasan chair. Thanks in advance for any help!!! (ignore the cat toys ;-)
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I know he feeling; I've been there before. You can really do a lot with that space, and with a modest budget too. Some options to look at: -

1. Figure out a color palette that goes with beige/cream and you're half-way there. Maroon for warmth. Or turquoise for nautical touch? Perhaps 'eggplant' if you prefer? But whatever you do, stick to one color to partner the beige. Shades of this color is fine though. Work this new color into your space by adding fabric throws and patterned cushions in the same complimentary color.

2. Source for black and white posters - they are cheaply available and add life to those blank walls. Complement these by adding black and white accessories in the room: book, chest set, etc.

3. Scour the flea markets for an ottoman of equivalent visual weight as your sofas to double as coffee table and anchor the space. A dark area rug in interesting geometric patterns work too.

4. Pull that 2.5 seater off the wall, place a narrow console behind it to display artifacts, toys(?) and a matching pair of table lamps.

It's not easy nor recommended to find everything at once. Good stuff do come to those who patiently wait (or rather keep a lookout). Do this in stages and your pocket won't even feel the pinch. My home remains a work-in-progress even after a year... But I prefer to see a space as living, breathing and growing. :)
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:04AM
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Maison Pompeii Antiques and Interiors
I like the suggestions above. I would add that the room needs some tables on either side of the couch and maybe a book case filled with books and a few items to add color. A pair of lamps will also balance the room and eat up visual space. Above the sofa try a vintage mirror from a thrift shop that is painted a high gloss color or black till you find the right peice of art that speaks to you that you can afford. The mirror is very versitle and will work in lots of other spaces later. Maybe a trunk to hide some the of the cat items( very cute by the way). the "formula" is 60,30,10 in regards to color. 60% is beige, 30% a secondary color and then 10 % accent color. Remeber this is a guide line not not etched in stone but just a starting point. Good luck!
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 2:32AM
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I would suggest splashing a colorful rug in the middle of the room. This should get highlighted with monotonous beige surrounding
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:33AM
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I like Citapore's suggestion of a colorful rug, and add matching throw pillows. If you can sew, recovering the back pillows would be very easy.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 3:58AM
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All 4 Show, LLC
Katerina Tana Design · More Info
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:18AM
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All 4 Show, LLC
Adding colorful throws and pillows add a lot of interest to a space. Also what about a tall indoor plant in a corner to add life to the room. Are the panels yours? If so, adding a decorative contrasting ribbon around the edges of each set of panels will help them stand out more in the room. Good luck....
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:22AM
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All 4 Show, LLC
Green Ficus Tree · More Info
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:35AM
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Maison Pompeii Antiques and Interiors
Rug is great idea if cat will leave it alone
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:20AM
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Shari P Kantor Creative Universe SPKCreative LLC
Hi Emily,

I like the rugs that Citapore posted.

For art, go to a nearby museum (or do a Google images search) for different types of art: landscape, portraits, light art, photographs, metal or wood sculptures, etc. Focus on what speaks to you, then focus on your budget. Always get original art because it is unique and will likely appreciate in value.

If you like vividly cheerful abstract art, then perhaps something like
Call Me · More Info
, which glows in the dark, or
How Ya Like Me Now?! · More Info

For photography, maybe "Butterfly Effect" http://www.spkcreative.com/large-multi-view/gallery/1895954-4-89251/Photography.html#.USToVKXZrA4.



Shari P Kantor Abstract Art: http://www.spkcreative.com/
SPKCreative Fabric and Wallpaper Line: http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/spkcreative
SPKCreative Stationery Line: http://www.zazzle.com/spkcreative*
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:16AM
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