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Is this a Monochromatic Mess? My goal is Transitional decor

3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Hi Everyone,

First, I am pretty new to this so thank you for your advice (please be nice as I am insecure at what this looks like and don’t know how to fix it without buying all new furniture which is expensive.) Our goal is just to update the room without spending a lot of money buying all new furniture.

Problem: Has my living room has turned from outdated to a monochromatic mess? My 1979 home has 2 living rooms; this one (considered the “formal living room”) and then there is a TV living room. We barely use this “formal” living room because we always entertain in the TV room as it is near the kitchen, but this “formal” living room is right by the front door so it can’t look like a mess. While working on another project, this website suggested I change the living room from Traditional to Transitional to make it less formal, which I liked! I don't want a casual living room plus I have to work with a formal cherry wood mantle that we paid a lot of money to have built many years ago.

We took down the 28 year old valances, which I now see removed all of the color in the room. Custom curtains cost over $4,500 so we put our custom sheers on matte black hardware.

This living room is sunken. The new tile wood floor was not put it in this living room for a couple reasons, but one is because we felt it clashed with the very red cherry mantle (see photo below.) We don't want to paint the mantle so I am trying to work with it.

I removed all of the nick-knacks as suggested, Now I have no idea what more to add/replace and discovered that my old nick-knacks also added color to the room.

I know my Queen Anne table needs to be changed out which we can do as it won’t cost a lot of money. But if I change it to brass/glass as suggested, then again I have no color. So do I buy a table with darker wood that has metal legs to make it modern but still have color?

The burgundy chair is a family heirloom so I won’t get rid of it, but it can be re-upholstered (not sure what color to do.) Oh - the reason it is placed away from the couches is because there is only 1 entrance into this sunken room plus an odd alcove next to the fireplace (see photo.) When I move the chair up, it blocks the entrance and leaves an empty spot in the alcove.

I can’t put in canned lights due to the ceiling so I have to rely on lamps. I don't like track lighting.

Can you please help me succesfully add color to the room?I want guests to feel comfortable going into the room (I was told they will be afraid to enter because it is so cream out of fear they will spill on it.) It will never be a room we use a lot just because of the way the house was built, but I do want people to feel comfortable using it.

What kind of coffee table?

What color wall paint (if that will help?)

Re-upholster the burgundy chair or leave it? What color? A neutral like in the grey family or an actual color?

Pillows - how do they add color without looking like dots?

Nick-knack ideas?

This is BEFORE - outdated


This is what the tile looks like next to the fireplace and why we did not put it in this room.

This is the burgundy chair and alcove issue.

Thank you!

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