Desperately need help with living room!!!!

jank526October 18, 2012
I desperately need help with my small living room. We have brown carpet and brown furniture. We have custom tan and brown blinds on our large picture window and side wall window. The walls are white, the trim and crown moulding is dark, and the ceiling is dark wood tongue and groove. The room is soooo bland, but I dont know how to add color without being tacky, i'm one of those ppl afraid of color!! I want to add sheer curtains to the windows so we don't hide the custom blinds, but also warm up the room a little. Which color would be best?? I'm soo designed challenged. How can I bring color to this room?? Anyone help please!!! Thanks!
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pictures please!
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:26AM
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Pictures would be great...but just for starters I would say oranges & those with brown! OR pale light blues & khaki tans
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:33AM
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If you're tentative about adding color to your room, start with a statement piece of art and add textures to make your room visually interesting. This inspiration room has solid brown upholstered pieces and a beige rug, but the faux fur pillows, chunky throws, pierced garden bench and stunning art make it anything but bland. Yellow, red and orange are all great colors to mix with brown.
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:34AM
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here are photos!!! as you can see, I have children so toys are always around making it look even smaller. I do have 2 large 16x20 pictures that are hanging on the one wall that I took down for obvious reasons, but really need some design ideas to warm this room up!
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 8:44AM
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another nice combo for color is kind of a lime green and turquoise/teal with have many options! :)
NJ Residential · More Info
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:00AM
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I would start by replacing the area rug with a patterned rug with a touch of color in it: [houzz=
Magnolia Gardens · More Info

Be careful not to go too light or dirt will show, and be careful not to go to plush or you will find yourself stepping barefoot on Legos, not pretty.

Pick one of the colors in the rug and add panels to the sides of your windows: [houzz=
Chalet Interiors · More Info

Other than that, I think you're good!
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:12AM
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I think one thing I would do is paint the molding in the corner behind the tv the same color as the wall. I would also get panel curtains instead of the sheers for your windows. In a color of your choice,, or either a geometric pattern using your browns and tans. Find a big good looking trunk or something to store the toys in, when not in use.
Looks like a couple of pieces of artwork would be nice. Maybe 2 stacked vertically on top of each other to the left of the window where the loveseat is and one large piece behind the couch, or a big mirror. Add a couple of throw pillows, a coffee table and cool rug with browns, beiges, and the accent color you pick, in it combined.
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:13AM
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Do you have a favorite color? in general? Like, do you seem to gravitate towards certain colors when shopping for clothes etc? That may be a way to find your accent color for your living room.
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:18AM
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With the wood ceiling you could go more Craftsman--paint the walls a nice green or some other mellow color, add some drapes to soften the window and raise the blinds a bit to allow in some light.

Since you don't have much in the way of decoration, you could stencil along the top of the wall or put in a period type border with a high chair rail. Not a cutsey one, but something with some color and depth to it, perhaps even a stylized scenic. Perhaps a low bookcase with cubbies or a bench under the window can corral some of the toys. Buy or make some pillow covers to add some color and pattern, and can be washed as needed or changed with the season.

You could reprint the photos in Sepia or B&W to mix in.

Take a look at and and
the catalogues at for inspiration.

Stark white and dark wood can look disjointed--going for less contrast can pull a room together and a nice warm color palete. The magazine tends to go high end, and the wallpaper is very eleborate, but you can go simplier get a similar effect just with paint. Some high wainscotting could look nice too

Another option If you are feeling timid, just go with some bright colors-at minimum some pillows and perhaps some bright kids art framed nicely (There are some frames that open so you can change out easily) and perhaps some colorful mats on your photos, and maybe a cozy throw. Perhaps pick a fabric you love with some color in it and go from there,. All would be rather inexpensive and easily changed.

If you feel you must keep the blinds down for privacy, you might consider adding some window film on the lower portion. I have done this in a few houses and it can look nice. Sometimes I even cut it into stripes or blocks or make pictures with it. We used to move frequently, so I could never put anything up permanently, and we had huge windows in a few places that made it hard to hange cafe curtains.. I also thumbtack borders so I'm not too committed, and you can even stick fabric to the wall with liquid starch (cut along a stripe or something) for a pop of color without damaging the walls or making it hard to change your mind..

Here's a few examples of how nice wood and color can look together. They are more elaborate and old fashioned than you probably want, but I think a more modern example could be georgous. If you search on Houzz for wood ceiling = (keyword) you can find pictures with a lot of ideas of how to work with it. I bet a lot of people will say paint it, but I think it is beautiful.
    Bookmark   October 18, 2012 at 9:57AM
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