Blank slate living room - I'm lost!
July 7, 2014 in Design Dilemma
My husband and I just moved from a small apartment into our first house. It's pretty spacious, a newer build (8 years old) and at the moment, extremely neutral/generic. I'll admit I wanted an older house with lots of character, but my husband really wanted newer, and we liked the area. One drawback to this house was that I felt it was a little cookie cutter, and I want to make sure we make it our own. I'm working on the living room right now (picture attached), and specifically, the seating. The walls are a neutral beige/tan ("Shaker Beige" by BM). We decided we didn't want to paint right now because it would mean painting the entire first floor (open floor plan and no breaks in between the rooms!). Besides, the color is not so bad, and I think we can make it work… although initially I had wanted a grey or even blue/grey wall color.

We ordered couches when we thought we were still going to paint, and we ended up hating the color when they came in. They turned out to be a light grayish green color and clash with the walls completely. We also decided we would prefer an upholstered bottom to the skirted bottom we had selected. Luckily (or unluckily), the movers totally damaged both of them when they were delivered, so the furniture store told us we could re-order. Now we have the chance to select a color that works with the room. And because of the hassle we had to go through, the store is also severely discounting an accent chair to match - so win win.

The color I'm really drawn to and want to incorporate in the room is a light blue/aqua color (the color of the pillows we bought with the couch and will probably keep). As for couch color, I'm leaning toward a light brown, although I don't love the idea of dark sofas with dark tables (our tables are a dark brown/almost black). We just thought that would go best with the tan walls. I also really like a dark tan/natural/linen color. I'm really hoping for some input on a pattern/color for the accent chair. We would want to get some extra pillows in the same pattern to put on the couches to tie it all together. I am usually drawn toward geometric prints… I would call my style contemporary chic. I would love to incorporate a punch of color, like a bright red/pink in a floral pillow - to break up the tan/blue.

The couches are made by Jonathan Louis, and all of the fabric swatches can be viewed here: The couch color we are leaning toward is called "Lindy Chinchilla." The pillows we have currently are in "Luikin Mineral" and "Gypsy Seaspray." The couch we chose is called the "Linda." We will be ordering it with rolled arms, box cushions and an upholstered bottom with exposed wooden legs.

I'm also open to ideas for arranging this room, color ideas, anything! It's a pretty large room. I seem to do really well helping others with choosing designs/colors for their homes, but when it comes to my own, I'm STUCK!

Thanks so much!!

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Patricia Colwell
I like blues and brown together, I would not buy furniture to go with paint I don't like, this will drive you crazy forever.I don't see red and pink in this scheme. I would also get rid of the carpet and get the hardwood to match resto f the space before going any further. I know it is always a big push to do everything but I like to take my time in a new space and slowly add what i love. And do not fall into the matchy matchy pillow pit. Really I would paint the color I love and then build on it.
July 10, 2014 at 10:12AM     
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I personally like the couches and think they will look great once you accessorize a little more but since you hate the color the Lindy Chinchilla seems like it will work fine, the concern would be later on down the road if you paint your walls grey you will end up where you are now with brown but with grey everything. Does the accent chair have to match down to the fabric or just the style? If you can do the accent chair in a fun print like the graphic cool-R or graphic deco-R prints it would stand out a little.

Just in general...adding curtains will help, ceiling to floor blue ones (I can't tell what is on your mantle but it looks like something blue is there, I would choose a blue color similar to that for the curtains. I would do solid unless the chair has to be solid, then I would use the curtains as an opportunity to introduce a pattern.

I like the lamps but I think a thicker, clear base for the lamps will look better than the tall thin ones. Extending the hardwood would help as well (this may be something down the road) and then for the fire place, I would extend the white moulding up to the ceiling creating a frame around the TV, I would have the TV wires installed behind the wall and then paint the inset of the now "frame" a darker brown color as a background for the TV.
July 10, 2014 at 12:31PM   
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