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vera123_gw

Need advice to makeover my living room

14 years ago

You helped me with my kitchen back in the Spring, and now I need your wonderful advice for my living room makeover.

The room is about 26 by 14, and the picture window faces west. We recently got a new sofa, chair and a half, plus a leather chair so those have to stay. We have a large wall unit to hold the TV and stereo equipment and that has to stay too since there's no other place to put it.

Here is my list of concerns:

I want to paint the room as well as the crown molding. Paint colors for the room? I'm thinking a neutral beige/taupe/sesame with a white crown molding. Should I paint the picture window wall a darker color since the sofa is a camel color?

What kind of drapes should I get? The ones that are there now are on a traverse rod. They were expensive and are about 4 years old. I think they might still look ok with a darker wall? I hate those tassels on the valances and am tired of those scarves my friend put up a few years ago. The window faces west, is quite large, and I do need to be able to shut them.

I think I need darker tables. It seems like everything is just too light and needs something darker than the light oak ones I currently have.

The fireplace wall is paneled in Ash and DH will not let me remove it. What do I do with it? Someone on here suggested a few years ago to get those rustic grates that are above the mantle and I did do that. Someone has also suggested I add a lighter back panel to the built in shelves but I don't know if I should do that. We would love to make-over the fireplace stone too, but have no clue what direction to go. What about the fireplace screen? We have 2 cats and the one is such a pain he would get into it without a screen. I currently have a very small rug in front of the fireplace because of a spark that burned a small hole years ago. Does a rug work with carpet?

I have a built in cabinet near the front door with a planter on top. I currently have silk greenery in there, but am thinking it could use an update to something else. I never knew what to do with that corner. I do think the chair and half should be angled. We just had the carpets cleaned, and the carpet cleaners positioned it & until the carpet finishes drying I can't move it since it's up on protectors.

I am definitely moving the computer desk near the foyer out of the room. I really need suggestions for what to put there. I thinking narrow table of some sort with a lamp on it. A friend suggested a little bar area but I don't know if that would work.

We don't use our front door very much but would like to possibly take out the carpet in the doorway and put another surface down and make it a foyer area. Any thoughts?

Sorry this is so long but I'm feeling overwhelmed with all these things to figure out.

I have a link in Photobucket for pics. I don't know how to put a pic directly in my post.

As always, I'm grateful for the help and suggestions!

Here is a link that might be useful: Living Room

Comments (14)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I would pull a color out of the stone fireplace for the walls, and paint the screen frame with high-heat paint, probably black to coordinate with the mirror and grates.

    You could cover the half wall planter and use it as a ledge, place a large accessory or two on it, and use it as a drop off for mail or keys--things you may not want to forget on the way out the door.

    You could paint the backs of the shelves an accent color, but I would cut thin plywood to fit and paint that rather than the paneling itself.

    I would consider painting the closet door out in the wallcolor, it is not an important door, and stained, its a bit distracting.

    I would use the same drapery, but simplify the valance or change it, I agree that the tassels and scarves don't seem to have much to do with the look you are going for.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I really like the idea of making the half wall a ledge and never thought of that! Good suggestion on using a color from the fireplace stone for room paint. Should I paint the picture window wall a darker color? When someone suggested adding a panel to the back of the built in shelves I think they suggested using heavy cardstock to see how I liked it. Any suggestions for what color to paint that? What about my tables? Do you think I need to change them? I suppose I could just cut off those tassels on the valance & remove the scarves to see how I like that look. Thanks so much for the suggestions & keep them coming!

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  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Palimpest has given you a lot of great ideas. One thing that struck me is the entertainment unit seems to take over the room. I know you said it has to stay there, but have you thought about replacing it with a smaller TV stand? IMO would really open up your space. You may be able to pick one up on CL and sell your old one on CL.
    You may also consider painting out the closet door at the front, to give that space a cleaner look. Nice room!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think you should choose what to focus on first, because there is so much to do. You've chosen most of your furniture, and the ash paneling has to stay, so I'd do this: remove the furniture you that you say you want to remove and don't think about replacing it for now -- you might be better off doing a little rearranging. And then choose a wall color that will go with both your furniture and the orangey paneling, and that might not be taupe.

    To post your pictures in the thread: look at the pictures in your album, pause the cursor over one and you'll see a text table pop up. Click and drag the cursor over the line "HTML code". When the entire line is highlighted, right-click and choose "Copy" from the pop-up menu. Then paste in your message.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You have a good start.

    I would keep the drapes but get rid of the valance and scarves. They make decorative traverse rods that would look nice. I think the lamps next to the sofa are too short and light in color. I think taller lamps with a darker base would look better.

    If you want to keep the computer in the room you could get a smaller and nicer looking desk. But a small and narrow table would work well there, too. I like the idea of putting tile down on the inside of the front door.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Just some thoughts..........

    I would definitely get rid of the behemoth entertainment center and get something smaller. The one you have now actually blocks part of the nice windows. You have a newer TV and don't need a big ET for it.

    I would just paint the end tables and coffee table maybe a matte black. They look sturdy and clean lined. When painted they would have a bit of an Asian influence and look more contemporary. Its cheaper to paint than to buy new ones.

    I would cover the planter and make it a ledge. I would install tiny pendant lights replacing the cam light overhead. This will help define the foyer area. Tiling the foyer area would help define it and be more functional since that area is where dirt and slush from outside land.

    I would paint out the backs of the book shelves. Also remove the doors on the bottom and put in some large baskets to hold your stuff. This would break up the big 'wall-o-wood' look that it has now.

    Use a warm color for the walls so that the wood wall blends in better. Since the paneling goes all the way to the ceiling, use a warmer white on the crown molding. Stark white is too harsh when lined up with the wood.

    Don't change the brick or the mantel. They go with the house. The fireplace looks very nice. Painting the screen to bring down the shininess would be better though.

    If you do not open and close the shutter doors and use them, I would remove them.

    Do you use the ceiling fan on the living room ceiling a lot? If so, you need to keep it of course but otherwise it could go.

    The idea to put a bar in place of the desk.......Do you NEED a bar near the foyer to offer guests a drink when they come in? If so, then it would work for your needs but I think a narrow cabinet or table would be the better choice.

    Consider adding a rug to anchor the furniture.

    Nice heavy drapes would make the room look cozy and balance things out. I would stick to solid color instead of a busy print for such a small room or use a print that is tone on tone.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OMG, so many good suggestions! Yes, the entertainment unit is way too big & really needs to go. Will have to work on DH about that! lol

    Question on paint color....what colors should I avoid with the orangey ash paneling? I realize I need warm colors but am truly lost with figuring colors out. Also, any suggestions for a complimentary color for the back of the shelves on the paneled wall?

    Andee, Good idea about removing the unwanted furniture & thanks for the picture posting instructions. I am getting rid of those scarves on the drapes & I'm sure that will improve the look. If I remove the valance, what do you suggest for the 2 smaller windows for a valance?

    Happyladi I never realized how the lamps look too short. I think since we got the new larger, lighter colored sofa, the lamps now look too short & too light. Good eye! I definately want a narrow table to replace the computer desk. Any rules on mixing wood finishes?

    dilly dally I really like the idea of painting my tables. I asked on this forum a while ago about a paint color that is the dark browny/black & someone said BM Bittersweet Chocolate. Do you think that would be a good color? Love the idea of the baskets for the wood paneled wall. I think that would really modernize the look of that wall.

    Palimpsest, the ledge is really a fabulous idea and as I said, I never would have thought of that.

    I truly appreciate all the suggestions and am looking forward to more input on my questions. Thanks everyone!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Vera..I would take that half planter wall down by the front door. They become a clutter catcher. My son and daughter-in-law had a similar set up in their living room and what a difference taking it down made. Opened the room right up, you could put a foyer type surface down..are their hardwood floors under the carpeting?

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I really don't want to take the half wall down since it's a cabinet underneath with lots of storage. One thing about this house is it has tons of storage with lots of closets. I hear you about areas becoming clutter catchers.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your new furniture is beautiful! And I agree about the WT's. Take down all the extra stuff and live with the drapes only for a little while. Then, you can decide whether you want to replace them or use a more statement rod or what. Once that wallpaper is down and you get paint on your walls, things will start to come together and you can make other decisions accordingly. I am not a fan of an accent wall, but sometimes they do look pretty good. Finding the right entertainment center can be rough. Work with the one you have right now. I agree that taupe may not work that well with the warm tones of your wood, but it's just a matter of finding the right color. Everyone has had to work that one out at some point. I would also change out the table cloth on your table next to the chair. Something textured or chenille or velvet or I don't even know what might help to keep the look more cohesive. Again---after you paint and pare down the windows. One step at a time. Then, step back and think about it.

    Red

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    In your house, the half wall creates a bit of separation between the front door and the living room proper. It also gives a bit of extra 'wall' space for furniture placement. Without it, you will look at the backs and sides of furniture right from the front door.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    One question I was going to ask is, does the entertainment center come apart? It looks like there is a seam between the TV area and the desk area. If you can do it, remove the desk part and keep the TV part. Then shove it over so it is centered between the windows.

    I don't think that the BM Bittersweet is the right choice to paint the tables. You don't need more brown in the room. If you don't like the idea of painting them in a soft matte black then consider doing them in a deep creamy ivory. Maybe rub some darker glaze over them to highlight the recesses.

    *If you remove the shuttered doors from the doorway and the cabinet doors from the bookshelf wall, store them and save them since they are part of the house. If you ever decide to sell the house the new owners may wish to have them. 'Ya never know.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, the entertainment center does come apart so we can remove the unit on the right side with the drop down desk area. DH is actually open to that idea & then we can center the unit between the 2 windows. I'm very excited about that! The scarves are coming down from the picture window this weekend when DH is here to make sure I don't fall thru the picture window! :)

    Good idea Red about changing out that table cloth & will have to search for something. I found some taller, darker lamps at Target the other day & can't believe I didn't get a picture of them when I was there. I've looked online & can't find them....back to the store for me!

    I have a bunch of paint samples lined up on the fireplace screen near the stone & am trying to weed out the orangey, too gold or yellow ones. That is the hard part & am wondering if there are any rules or guidelines I can follow? What about the back of the shelves? Should they be the same color as the walls? I mostly have BM or Valspar samples and really need to narrow them down since I have so many.

    Dilly dally, I agree the matte black paint is probably the best choice for tables. I guess I do have quite a lot of brown in the room. I definately want the doors down from the paneled wall since we never close them. The one cabinet is huge & I guess was initially intended for firewood storage. The other cabinet is pretty narrow with 2 small shelves inside so finding baskets for that cabinet might be a problem.

    I also realized I have narrow sofa table in the basement that could be painted black & replace the computer desk. Would that be too much black? It has a shelf on the bottom & am wondering if it would look alright? I can put some storage baskets on the bottom if that wouldn't be overkill.

    Palimpsest, I wonder what color you recommend for the ledge since that is definately staying.

    So now I have an idea, thanks to all of your input, for the direction to go with this room. Thanks so much!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Okay, here's my two cents worth. I love the new furniture and the fireplace wall. The entertainment center is dated in a not so good way. Though it's a nice piece I'd open up that end of the room by using an old low chest of drawers something like this one that I'm going to convert to an entertainment center as soon as we buy an LCD TV for the Gentlemen's Parlor.
    {{gwi:1564042}}
    As you can see the center part is actually doors with more drawers behind them. I'm going to convert that area to pull out shelves for the Cable and DVD boxes. When they're not in use, I close the door and they're "gone".

    As for your half wall I'd love to convert that to a narrow cabinet with glass doors for showing off pretties.