Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Help my living room!

Decorating Dilemmas

Thanks for stopping by! I've decided to participate in Amanda at Serenity Now's Decorating Dilemma Party. I wanted to jump in on her last one, but didn't have time to post!

You see... my living room is awful. Just take a look!

This wall is probably the best one. I like the bookshelves with the TV in the middle and I also do like the colors of our walls.

This picture from Pier One that I hung above the TV is my inspiration for the room. I love that shabby chic look. I'm just not sure where to begin!

Here is the other angle of the living room. We have very little furniture. But, I do like the couch and chair that we have. The "coffee table" we have is really an end table, and we are not using anything for an end table. I like the idea of an old trunk for a coffee table... but not sure how it would look. I'd like to get rid of this end table and find something different altogether. Thoughts? We also desperately need a rug. What color? I've thought about boxcut valances for the big window, too. What do you think?

Here is the left side of our couch/fireplace. Big, empty open space. Jason's 75 gallon fish tank that's in our garage will go here. What should I put on the wall above it? I think that is my biggest challenge.. finding wall decorations and accessories.

Our couch is pushed up against our fireplace. I hate the gray marble color of it! (who really needs a fireplace in Texas, anyway? Come on!) I'm not a big fan of the mirror either, and not too sure how to redecorate my mantle.

Here is the right side of the fireplace/couch. We have a small house and NOWHERE else to put the dog crate's... They are stuck in our living room. I'd like to get some new lighting and figure out what to put on that wall. Maybe some shelves? Also, see the green pillows? Should I get something in a different color? Brighter, maybe?

I've had these two pictures for awhile. Should I try to paint the frames and use them in this room or forget about it?

This table is between our big window and front door (you can see it in the first picture). I'm not a big fan of it. I've thought about sanding and painting it and replacing the handles. Just not sure. What do you think of the style?

And finally, this BIG, OLD breakfront is in our foyer. It's an antique that was my Great Aunt's. There is no way I'm parting with it. I think that is probably the best place for it... We did have it where the dog crates were for awhile... but then the crates were by the front door. Not the best looking entrance. I also like the green accent wall in our foyer.

So, thoughts? Please help me save my living room! I just need some guidance to help me take that first big step. Thank you, thank you!


  1. I love your wall color and I think that you've got some great pieces to work with. What I'd do first is to try repositioning your sofa. Could you possibly put it at an angle so that you could still watch tv but so that it is not blocking the fireplace? You could angle the sofa on one side of the fireplace and the chair on the other side.

    If you could find a coffee table to use, what you are using now would make a great side table for your sofa.

    I love your great-aunts breakfront. I would suggest that you put that in a very prominant place in your home where is would get lots of attention.

    I like your table as is, but painting it and giving it new hardware is certainly an option. That piece could work in so many places in your home!

    Have fun trying out new decorating schemes in your living room!

  2. That HOME sign is great - I can see why you like it so much! And its a great inspiration for your room.

    One thing that I think a lot of people struggle with in decorating large expanses of wall, is that they use stuff that's too small for the space. There's lots of ideas out there for making large pieces of art - get a big cheap frame and fill it with a bold fabric print or make a big chalkboard frame, or even look for an old window.

    About your fireplace - I know you don't like the gray marble (I wouldn't be a big fan either), but I think it looks awkward to have your couch in front of it. I'm not sure I have ideas for the layout, unless you turn the sofa so its at more of a right angle to the entertainment center wall.

    There are options for your fireplace (assuming you own your home and can do whatever you want to it). Check this out for ideas:

    And I would definitely paint that side table - maybe a creamy white and distress it?

  3. Hi! Stopping by from the decorating dilemma party. I love the wall color. I think you should decide on a definite style-modern/traditional/transitional? That will give you more direction. Then choose a definite color palette (I would include that gorgeous wall color). In the mean time, put the two prints above the entry table, and keep the frames as is.
    There's my two cents!
    -Mama E

  4. Hi, Emily...you might have enough Dilemmas here for a few parties worth. ;)

    My first thought is that even if you live in Texas, you should show off your fireplace! If you're not going to use the actual fireplace, it could be a great display area. You could even try painting the tile (?)...another DD participant did that recently, and it turned out so nicely! Once you move the couch, it will open up the area to make a nice little spot to entertain. :)

    I'd try some accessories in black on your mantel and declutter a bit...but I bet you don't always have cards up there.

    A coffee table would be an easy fix, just keep a patient eye out at Goodwill or Salvation Army. Clean it well before you bring it in the house, and give it a fresh coat of paint. :)

    Thanks so much for linking up to my party. Hope you have a lot of fun "mingling." :)

  5. Hi Emily,
    I'm visiting your blog from the link party @ Amada @ serinity now. The first thing I'd like to say is, you have a great room! I love the color and the flooring. A few suggestions I have....
    You said you like the shabby chic look. Have you thought about painting the table by your door white. Then move it over infront of the the dog area, placing the coach in front of it.(add a lamp and some accents on the table) Move the green chair on the other side of the fireplac @ an angle so you will be able to see the fish tank yet.(This will make a conversation area) Now on to the fireplace...if you own your home , how about painting the grey area a different color. Now on to the mirror...place a large empty frame in front of it or off to one side. Then add candle sticks and accents. Or place a large wreath over the mirror hung with a ribbon adding accents on the mantel. Adding an area rug would look great as well. Have fun and use what you love!

  6. Hi!
    I think your living room has great potential. :-) if I were you, I would actually move the couch away from the fireplace. And I would paint the grey part of the fireplace white, maybe even add some molding or something and make a focal point of it. You don't have to have a fire in it. I've seen people put a tea light arrangment, maybe some twigs with little lights mixed in would look nice. Or you could get a pretty firescreen.
    I agree that a different coffee table would look good. If you can find an old trunk, that's a good idea. Otherwise, you can get a bigger coffee table with nice lines at a garage sale or thrift store and paint it. I would do white, but that's up to you. You can paint the end table to match and use that, too.
    I would get a patterned rug with some greens in it to tie in with your lovely wall color.
    I kinda like that table with the drawers as is, but if you don't, painting that white would look nice, too. :-)You could even add glass handes to it for a vintage chic look. Which I love. ;-)
    Anyway, hope some of my ideas will be a help to you. Good luck!

  7. Love the wall color! I hate to say it but I agree with everyone on moving the couch. Slightly to the side at an angle to open the room up. I think the frame on the mirror on the mantel blends in with the wall too much, I say paint it! I also think the table by the door would look nice painted black and then distressed. I think it would fit in the room better. Good luck!

  8. For all that it is worth- I actually have my bachelors degree in Interior Merchandising! Here is the piece of advice I know fo sho: The one thing in your room that should be your focal point is your fireplace! If I were you I would sell the TV stand and mount your TV above the fireplace. Then you can move your sofa to the opposite wall. I love your bookshelves. Let us know how it turns out!!!

  9. You really have a solid foundation for a great room here (BTW, it's shaped VERY similarly to my family room); great wall colors, nice floors, good natural lighting, good couches-- you just need the finishing touches!

    First, you do need to move the couch-- it totally blocks any good "Chi" in your room. Who says it has to go against a wall, anyway? You can put it in the middle of the room or on an angle!

    If you don't like a piece of furniture, I'd say donate it to Goodwill or consignment. And if you want a cool way to decorate your mantel, I'd go for "levels"-- right now, everything you have is the same height. Try getting some things that are tall, some that are short, some in the middle. I actually really like having a mirror over the fireplace, because I think it opens up the room and makes it look larger!

    I can't wait to see you participate in one of Amanda's "progress" parties!


  10. Regardless of whether it is used or not, your fireplace should be one of your focal points in the room. I agree that you can paint the tile, or retile it if you have a handy husband. All of the other suggestions are great, but I would also paint those bookcases to match the tv stand, or paint the tv stand to match the bookcases, depending on which color you want to go with, so that it reads as one large furniture statement on that wall. A box valance would be nice, but also add some curtain panels to soften that big window and add color to the room. Don't forget to take pictures of the finished project. Oh, and add some lamps to that console table, and to the little side table to warm things up a bit! Good luck1

  11. Alright. You've received a lot of great advice so far. I feel like you have two main focal points to the room competing with each other. The half-hidden fireplace and the TV wall. I'd switch the couch to the TV wall and the chair to the opposite corner. Then TV up above the mantle, or where the chair is now. You could also build a TV unit that completely hides the fireplace - if you're brave enough to try that. Paint the frames of the prints white and pop them up behind the couch with some simple floating shelves. What about putting the breakfront in the living room and the table or fish tank in the foyer? Remember you want one main focal point. Play around with the layout to find balance before doing anything else.
    As for everything else you have very classical elements so the cute modern home sign actually seems out of place to me. Sorry. If that is what you're going for, you should start pulling those modern elements into the room elsewhere. You'll also need to pull more red into the room here and there. On choosing a rug you have a light color couch so dark will pull the room together. A light color would be over-kill.

  12. I think you should try to mount the tv over the fireplace for sure. That way the couch can move to the opposite wall. I think the couch would look awesome with both of those white book shelves on either side of it maybe even a shelf over the top connecting the two to make it look like a built in around the couch. I'm not a big fan of the style of table either {the one between the big window and the front door}, but it would look awesome painted white and distressed a little. I would paint the hardware black to add a little bit of contrast also.

  13. You've got a great room to work with! So here's my long rambly suggestion...

    TV wall: have you considered painting the tv stand white? It would blend a bit better with those great book shelves you have.

    Couch area: I'd try turning the couch sideways so it looks towards the sliding doors. And then that sweet table you have beside your front door could sit in behind it, after a freshen up with white paint {I say go for it, I like the legs and new hardware makes a huge difference!}. Not sure what the rest of your decor is like, but a graphic print area rug could be fun, maybe pull some of the colours from the HOME art for it, and for some throw pillows for the couch!

    Fireplace: Even if you don't use it, it's there. I don't know if you can/should paint marble but if you hate the grey it's worth looking into! Making a thicker mantle would also hide some of it. The mirror is a good size, so either look for a piece of art you love in that size, or maybe an open frame with a monogram or quote in it? Then adding a few taller pieces to your display will definitely help balance it out.

    Personally I'd ditch the two flower art pieces... they seem quite dark, where you have a lot of light and airy going on in your room!

    Best of luck, can't wait to see what you decide to do!

  14. Ok, I love the green color od the walls. I think all you really need to do is rearrange your furniture a little. What if you arranged the furniture around your fireplace. Can you move your entertainment center over to that same wall as the fireplace? Or if you don;t want to move the entertainment center, maybe put the sofa at an angle by the windows at the far end of the room. If you don't like the color of the fireplace surround, you can paint it. Pam from Bobbity Bibbity Beautiful just painted her surround and it looks amazing. She said it really wasn't that hard.

    I can't wait to see what you do!


  15. A couple of other considerations: Since you like your "Home" sign, find some fabrics and/or an area rug that have red/ blue/gray with some touches of green, too. I know what you mean about fireplaces - we live in FL- gray is such a "hot" color right now, maybe if you get your other elements balanced out, the fireplace will not bother you anymore. Best of luck, you have such good elements to work with :).

  16. I agree about mounting the TV as your little ones gets mobile I think you will be glad.
    then flanking your couch with the bookshelves would work.

    I would look for accessories to tie in the HOME sign colors (esp rug)


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