Need Help W/ L Shaped Living & Dining Room
October 14, 2012 in Design Dilemma
Hello Everyone,

Need Decorating HELP!!!!

I have an L-shaped LR/DR combination but not sure how to arrange these areas with a nice modern look.

As you can see the LR area is pretty dark, we are thinking of installing Dark or cherry-like color Hardwood, we're kind of aiming towards an expresso floor but were thinking that the area is already very dark and might need to get new furniture to compliment the area (like beige colors) we want to achieve the Sofa and 2 chairs look but not sure what's the best way to rearrange so that area can look updated and chic. Pls. HELP!

ALso, the corner is very plain, not sure how to make it POP Out! THe Dining area has underutilized space (i think) but not sure how to make it stand out better. We were thinking about getting a long dining table to try to fill the space, but not sure...

What are your thoughts on the Darker Hardwood vs. Wood Looking Ceramic?

Can you provide some ideas for the arrangements?

Thank You!
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A few 'easy-to-do' fixes & suggestions: I suggest you create 2 functional spaces....with use of 2 interesting area rugs. Experiment with one of the separating the 2 seats now located together at the end of the room...And make conversational seating arrangement for the living area by repositioning on of the seats to the left of the long couch.
Thus it will be a 'U' shaped living room. Try to switch the red curtains with the dark ones, as the
couch against the dark curtain blends in and makes a 'dull' palette. Some exciting (with stripes, chevron or geometric contrasting colors) pillows on the
couch will give room some personality. I know you will get other great ideas.... Green plants add
life, instead of the reddish tall foliage.
0 Likes   October 15, 2012 at 4:46PM
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would definetly put hard wood in a dark color on floors, or 2option if you like contemporary is a 24x24 shiny porceline tile with no grout lines, that looks like polished travertine, but much lower priced (about $2 per sq ft.) lose the curtains, they darken the room, put nice white plantations shutters, or solar shades, paint the walls a nice light neutral, Bears fossil Grey is a nice neutral that goes with everything. The wall the Tv is on, you need to hide wires behind wall, easy to do, or do built in cabinets/shelving around it. Place your long couch where it is, lose the smaller couch and switch out with two chairs with a long rectangle coffee table in center, get large area rug to cover seating area. Dining room you need a larger table centered in the room, also need a nice large light fixture over dining table. With every being neutral pick out several colors you like and add some colorful pillows on couch, nothing too matchy matchy. I would also put a really big mirror on wall in dining room between two windows to make look larger. PUt your tall lamp in the corner or get an arched lamp to put in corner to hang over couch area. good luck would love to see what you end up doing.
1 Like   October 15, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Hardwood with area rugs are always nice. Can you reverse the layout and place the table and chairs where the sofas are? Have you considered a sectional that is appropriate in size and style for the room? If you are not sure check out Pottery Barn for ideas. They always do a great job with ideas for small rooms. Trust me, I am not a sectional person, but broke down and bought one for my family room. It is classy, not too big and neutral. I bought it so it could accommodate the family.

0 Likes   October 15, 2012 at 7:30PM
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I would change your lighting. Lots of low lights and remove the one that shines on the roof as it adds a very somber and heavy feeling to the room. Side table lights and the light 'tubes' like the ones you find at Ikea that are made of paper would add some warmth and brighten the corners and create pools of light that are welcoming and highlight your furniture.
i like your dark furniture but maybe a light, neutral wll color like Farrow&Balls 'White Tie" would be great in here and then replace the curtains with something in the same light tone or use shades and light curtains at the side to change the look. Some large photos that are abstract or of similar objects (see and look for things or places that are of interest to you. You can download a large version for under $20 and have it printed on canvas at your local photo store. I like museum mounts but there are lots of options.
0 Likes   October 15, 2012 at 9:16PM
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getting rid of those curtains will make a big difference. get lighter colored shades and if you like having curtains/drapes, get light colored sheers that frame the window.
0 Likes   October 15, 2012 at 9:35PM
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Manon Floreat
Your furnishings are quite contemporary so, you're just a few steps away from the look you're aiming for. The color balance is a little off. Toning down the wall color to a neutral off white with hints of grey in it will do loads to improve the look.

Yes to the hardwood floors! A darker hickory finish is doable, but you'll have to be very mindful of balancing it with with other design elements such as an appropriately scaled area rug, a lighter wall color and lighting.

Take a look at the below photo and notice how the dark floors and furniture are counter balanced by a large scale area rug and a light wall color. In this situation, the dark floor reads as an accent - not a feature.

Brookdale Den

I suggest you configure your sectional as shown in the above photo by pulling the loveseat away from the wall and joining it with the sofa. To visually expand your living area, choose window treatments that are a similar color to the walls, not contrasting - a helpful tip for narrow living rooms. You could consider inset shades for a clean, contemporary look.

You can keep your rusty red as an accent through your artwork, throws and pillows.

For the dining area, I'd consider a simple parsons table that seats 6-8, a buffet for between the windows topped with a large sunburst mirror nestled between two contemporary sconces. A modern chandelier with a bit of dazzle will round it out.

Groovy Dining Room
2 Likes   October 15, 2012 at 10:58PM
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You could have one or two or three mirrored walls in the small bit of the L. Look up Houzz to see if you could pull it off or it would be a good idea. Possibly not a good idea, I see from the other photos that the first pic is of a thoroughfare. But mirrors are usually a good idea.

At least you have provided enough photos so Houzzers can get an idea of the whole space which is a good idea. If you have brown and yell at the moment, then red is a popping colour that should go in pretty well. You could get a couple of meters of red fabric cheaply and see if red cusions on the long couch would help. I would not go for the old fashioned couch and two single seaters as your current arrangement fits the space well.

You have the basis of a nice space there with room and matching stuff that fits a colour scheme, so I recon that someone where will be able to come up with some ideas that go "POP!" for you. I would try to use decorations before I went changing big things, or even getting rid of smaller things.
0 Likes   October 15, 2012 at 11:34PM
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the narrow passage way between the tv area and the love seat makes the furniture look awkward. try floating the large sofa to face the wall where the love seat is now, its back to the dining area. move the love seat to where the large sofa is now, and put the tv on the wall where the love seat is now. That makes room for 2 chairs and a table where the tv is now. Another idea with the above is to put the love seat on the wall where the tv is now and have room for 2 chairs and a table in front of the windows (where the large sofa is now). Brighten up the space with lighter window coverings, an area rug and lamps. Love the groovy dining room suggestion.
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Nancy Hehmann
Valspar (paint from lowes) has a website where you can upload a photo and change colors. That might help you visualize before you do it.

Whether you change carpet to hardwoods, I would get an area rug to add color to room. or Capel both have great rugs. More selection online than store at Target.

I think you curtains/drapes need to be all the same in the room. is the easiest way to get sizes and selection if you are not doing custom. If you do not have a privacy issue, open them for more light. You might even consider adding a roman shade depending on privacy and what your windows look like underneath.

I like the idea of your doing antique white color with your dark furniture. It actually will make the furnishings look better and you can add accessories for color. The antique white will make your artwork look better too (cannot see it well enough to tell what it is) If you love it, keep it and pull colors out of it for throw cushions on your couch and for the color of an area rug. is a good place to get colorful throw cushions and other decorator items.

The dark couch looks good with the dark table; so, if you still like it keep it. Do a little at a time till you get it right. Some people do a little post more pics, Houzzers comment and then they do a little more.

Have fun!
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 9:07AM
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You said you wanted to replace the furniture so you could go in any direction you wish. Dark floors would look great as long as the walls are a light creme or light grey to remain neutral. I would replace your drapes with a color that blends with the wall color to help keep an open feeling. Find the drape first before you paint. Choose a floor to ceiling drape in a textured fabric to add interest. JCPenny has ready made. Wait for a sale. Choose neutral sofa (slip covered is great for keeping fresh & they wash great). Now you have a neutral palette so you can start to add color. Find a colorful area rug,then select two chairs with legs to keep room open in a pattern fabric to compliment the rug. Add more pattern in like colors with throw pillows. Don't be afraid to add a pop of a color in accessories or wall pieces. You can use numerous patterns as long as you stay in the same color range. By keeping the major things neutral ( walls, floors, sofa) you are free to change your pops of color down the road when you tire of them.
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 11:36AM
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First of all, I would take everything out of the room, rip up the old carpet and install laminate, hardwood, or an alternative which fits your budget. Then, I would paint the room a silvery/taupey color, and replace the drapery with natural or cloth roman shades to lighten up the room. Put couch where it is in the pic, but add throw pillows in fun patterns and colors plus a coffee table in the center. Also, hide the cords from the TV. Then, I would pull the dining room set further away from the wall, more towards the middle of the room. I agree with either getting a newer, more modern dining set, or painting and reupholstering the one you have. Put area rugs in both the dining and living spaces. In terms of lighting, scatter several table and floor lamps throughout the room. Then, install two pendant fixtures/chandeliers. One over the sofa area, and one over the dining table. GOOD LUCK!
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 11:48AM
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Sissy Sport
I agree with toning down the curtains, right now my eye is drawn to them first. Maybe some large wall art between windows as well and a larger dining room table. Hardwood either the wood or tile looking hardwood would be complimentary along with an area rug.
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Lower the picture and TV; they're mounted too high and makes for a very disconnected look.
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 11:54AM
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Thank You all for your comments!

Your ideas/visions are very helpful. We have started to play around with some of your ideas by moving furniture around. Will stop by HOme Goods for some Drapes & Pillow.
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Taller elevated plants in the corners with uplights underneath the foliage.

Darker wood floors look great when clean, but show all lint, dust etc... A medium wood stain, will allow the wood grain to show through, giving texture to the room and contrasting more with the darker furniture.

Colorful area rugs under the new large dining table and in the living room will make the areas pop. Split the two chairs from the sectional and pull one out to the dining room side. Move the ottoman back to coffee table position.

Find a larger picture or mirror for the dining room area.
0 Likes   October 16, 2012 at 4:49PM
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