In this post: Have you got a room you’d love to get interior design advice for? This week’s reader design consultation looks at a living room makeover.⇒
We’ve all got that problem room. You know the one. Every time you walk past it, you wish someone would just magically finish it for you. Maybe you’ve decided exactly what you’d like to do but you can’t for any number of reasons. Cost, time, or… it’s being used by your kids as a playroom or your husband as a place to collect every piece of paper that was ever mailed to him.
Or maybe you just really don’t know where to start? Odd shape. Dark lighting. Left over furniture you’re not sure you can justify getting rid of.
That’s where an outside opinion and a trained eye can come in handy. So I’ve decided it would be fun to try to help my readers with their most pressing design dilemmas and some of you have already started submitting photos for a design consultation. This week we’ll look at a living room makeover.
RS sent me her living room photos and explained that when she redid her home, she felt her living room was too dull. She was afraid she went too neutral and was looking for insight on how to add warmth and charm without clutter. She also pointed out that she was not afraid of color. You can see a few of her photos below.
Interestingly, my feeling was that what she perceived as a lack of color was really a lack of lightness. It was looking a bit dark to me so the colors that were present were fighting each other and ‘muddying out’. My suggestion was to add cream to the mix and then to add textures and some sheen to give the room an air of casual sophistication, while solving the problem of it looking dull. You can see my detailed suggestions below, as well as the links to specific products. For the items that I recommend using RS’s existing furniture, I found similar photos for the sake of the design board, but those pieces would actually be the furniture she already owns. Read on for the specifics…
I’m always cautious when suggesting spending other people’s money, so I assumed RS would like to keep in place the most costly pieces. In fact when it comes to furniture, the only piece I would replace is the coffee table and I’ve highlighted one that’s very inexpensive. My thinking is that the table she has now is not large enough and she could use a piece that would better anchor the conversation area. I also like using a gold toned metal to achieve the warmth she was looking to add. The square shape works better with her layout and the clean lines add a nice update. I would pull the sofas closer in so they relate more to each other. (In the mock up the sofas are simply represented by the swatch of fabric.)
The other key change would be to recover the bergere chairs. The chairs she owns are a lovely shape and any creamy white fabric would be a perfect choice. French grain sack pillows tossed on the chairs begin to add some fresh character to the room.
Perhaps the most significant change is one that I think is essential, and yet one that might surprise some people. That would be adding the subtle patterned rug. It’s important to note that just because you have wall to wall carpet, doesn’t mean you can’t layer a flat rug over it to help give more grounding to the conversation area. To me, this ties everything together.
From here, the rest is adding in updated accessories that give the space its personality. On the two sofas I’d add creamy pillows: a beige textured ruffle and a stone velvet sheen. In winter this would be a great place to add Mongolian lamb, but for spring the ones shown here would work quite well.
The coffee table would look nice with a pretty floral and I love the look of patina candlesticks. The petite side table next to the sofa is only a placeholder for RS’s existing table and a chippy white bowl would look great here, filled with snacks for visiting guests. (I’ve included 2 options in the shopping section as the one in the mock up is a bit pricey, but I so love it!)
Next we move to the wood sideboard, which again is a placeholder for RS’s existing piece. Above it I’d move her gilded mirror to the center and have it flanked by these wonderful lamps. A low long bowl with another pop of soft floral color is all that’s needed to finish the look. Finally I’d add a fiddle leaf fig planter on the floor opposite the sideboard to again add more warmth to the space.
Almost as important as what you put in a room is what you remove, and essentially I’d remove all other clutter. And one final note, not seen on the mood board, I’d also love to see cream linen drapery panels at the sides of the tall windows to soften the whole package. No need to make them wide enough to close over the windows, as the existing blinds can handle the privacy. Just a soft flowing drape that puddles on the floor would be a lovely finishing touch to this updated space.
Living Room Makeover Source List – Click on the items below for direct links to the products. (This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.)
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