what colour to add to my living room?
Lola Lapolice
March 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi, I am trying to redecorate my living room and maybe add some colour. The room looks really boring to me. I had this dull, neutral look for the longest time. I recently added the red flowers and throws but it seems like there is still something missing. i also added a brown carpet under the dining set.
Help me give more life, and a really modern look to this space. I don't even know whether red was the right colour to pick. Help me out.
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Yes, you definately need color and pattern. Red isn't working either, I agree with you. I'd start with adding a pretty color curtains with a pattern in both the LR and DR. Then, add toss pillows for the sofa and chair (no more than two pillows that match!). An aqua throw on the chair. Curtains, pillows, throw...Then, we can add some proper art and lighting later... :) If you don't like the aqua almost any other color will work in your space. Here's thoughts...
Mimosa Panels - Aquamarine
Diva Ikat Curtain
3 Likes   March 21, 2013 at 11:00PM
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Soring Interiors
That's what your eyes go to; is the red. You have to much of the same hues of color. Are the couches new? I would get a large modern print for the window covering . It could be in the creams,browns and beige's You could do an accent wall In the brown tones. You could also do a dark brown with very light blue walls, very soft but really works well together. It depends on what you lean towards the warm hues or the cooler hues. The browns and the right blue grounds each other. Your art work on the wall could be larger. Don't be afraid to play with different types and textures of art or colors. Home Depot has the small sample containers of paint so go for it
1 Like   March 21, 2013 at 11:08PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi Marcy - yes, it is boring because everything is beige!
Now, you can get interest in a tone on tone palette IF your afraid of commiting to a colour. But you can also spice things up very nicely by injecting some much needed colour in your already started red.

Just make sure your red has a lot of warm brown undertones to it - so it'll make the already lots of brown tones feel like they belong -

If you want more life, fun and whimsey - add a patterned drapery panel with red, white and even brown/beige in it

If you want more sexy drama then go bold, silky dark red drapery panels

Whatever colour you commit to in an accent colour - be sure to add toss cushions on the sofa, a big bowl of red apples on your dining room table, gorgeous bouquet of red roses in the powder room etc., etc., By injecting that hit of red colour in other rooms in your home creates harmony and flow from room to room - good luck - and find that inspiration point in a toss cushion or piece of art that has all the colours in it that you want in your home.
4 Likes   March 21, 2013 at 11:21PM
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It's a Beautiful World!
Red can be beautiful to decorate with. Choose the colors you enjoy looking at and wearing. These are the colors you can live with.

You will certainly need more art on your walls, so for inspiration, please check out our "Red and Orange artwork" ideabook.

And there are even more choices here: http://ben-and-raisa-gertsberg.artistwebsites.com/galleries.html
0 Likes   March 21, 2013 at 11:33PM
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Lola Lapolice
I didn't realize curtains were the problem. The second curtains that Darzy has suggested are pretty. I couldn't have thought of that. Where can I buy something like that? But the aqua colour doesn't match with the rug in the dining area. Not sure how would that be. Yeahh, The arts on my walls are small... So should i go for abstract looks instead?
The living room set isn't new. I've had it for a while. My living room is really boring , that's why I need help with making look nicer.
I used to have a chair then I took it out (like on the picture), Should I put it back or is it too busy?
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Gabberts Design Studio
We agree with Darzy that draperies and pillows would be a great place to add pattern and color! You could try out throw pillows first to see what colors you like before investing in window treatments.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 8:20AM
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The most dramatic,easy,economical Di would be to paint the walls. The easy wAy to choose color is spend some time looking at pictures of rooms or homes an note the pix that appeal almost always u will be drawn by similar colors. A subtle option would be to use varying shades on ceiling and each wall if u can't go all the way and do several colors
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 8:21AM
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I also think the second curtains that Darzy suggested would be great. Then pillows with similar colors. I am slowly changing previous art for more abstract art at my house and I really like the change. Some much larger art would be nice and many walls can be left blank. I can't see it very well, but I think the dining room art should be used as a vertical pair (somewhere in the house) rather than separated by furniture.
1 Like   March 22, 2013 at 8:26AM
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Hi! Well the good thing is that you have some nice neutrals to work with, that will basically match any other color you wanted to add to the room! :) I have these Suzani print curtains from World Market in my neutral L Room, and you wouldn't believe what a difference they make. They just make the room happy. And we get lots of compliments on them becaus they're so pretty. Even better in person. They have a bunch of nice colors in them, even a dash of turquoise, so you can easily find accent colors to match. I would say some pretty table lamps would be nice, and maybe a colorful piece of artwork on your wall, and maybe a nice colorful accent piece for your coffee table, as well as some throw pillows for your couch. :-) Its going to look great! With or without new curtains, you can make your room more colorful :) All the pictures below are from World Market :)
4 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 8:30AM
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the first thing I noticed about your room is that the sofas are very far apart and very far from the coffee table. So I'd pull them towards the coffee table to create a more intimate seating area. The sofas really don't need to be against the walls.

You have a lot of beige and just solid colour (no pattern) in your room. Changing the curtains, like suggested above, will make a big impact, but I don't think that you have to do that to give the room a more interesting look.
You could just add pillows with a pattern and with different fabric structures ( a mix of linen, cotton, wool, fake fur, silk - not all of them, but just so it's not all cotton) to the sofa. They don't even have to be really colourful.

Also, a nice console table next to the fireplace, with some art (just a piece that you like, whether it is a colourful abstract or a classic landscape... if you love to look at and if it is large enough, it's the right choice) above it and a great lamp on it will add an interesting focal point.

I'll see if I can come back to you with some inspirational photos.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 8:48AM
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very nice Kah416. Those curtains do look happy! BTW..when you choose the curtain, get the 96" lenght and hang just below the ceiling. The floor to ceiling curtains make the room feel taller and add more "design" to the space.

BTW...the room feels more spacious without the chair there, but it doesn't look too too crowded if you really need it. But, if you really want to feel big and spacious, I'd remove the loveseat, then put the chair over there at an angle facing the tv, with a side table/lamp on the left arm side. You can put a floor lamp by the sofa since you'd be using the end table there for the chair.
1 Like   March 22, 2013 at 8:53AM
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3 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 9:28AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Paint walls, a soft grey. Trim in white. Take dn drapes add white panels. Can you move sofa so it's looking at fireplace. Add 2 smaller chairs in a red print. Put end table between them with nice big lamp. In front of window. If you can see back of sofa when you walk in room add sofa table behind. Aff candles and plants add big palm fake or real in corner where window is. Pictures are way too small for wall. Hang on top of each other.
2 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 9:40AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
All art work to small remove to a bed room. Get a much bigger pic to the right of window, that has color. Ck TJM
1 Like   March 22, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
I see plant on floor move by firepl. Get vert tall6 feet palm. Ck Michaels for trees palm. Good to fill space.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 9:43AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Are you putting area rug over carpet?. Take out not good.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 9:45AM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
I don't like pattern in panels. Dated.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Lola Lapolice
Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc , I really love the draperies and also the the pattern on the pillow. Red isn't that bad after all . Carolins, those pillows are the very nice. Those living rooms pictures you've added show luxury. I think I like the idea of adding texture and pattern. That's the easiest for me as painting the walls isn't an easy option.
I have two chairs in a red and brown print; I will put them in the living room and then take a picture to show.
1 Like   March 22, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Oh good! Looking forward to see how those chairs will look in your living room.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Lola Lapolice
Here they are...
I usually put these chair in the den, right at the entrance. I use the den as a reading room. These are not the most comfortable chairs for a reading room.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Lola Lapolice
I have the impression that they make the room look darker. What do 'y'all think?
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I kind of like the chairs but I think the table is a bit much for the smaller scale of them. Do you have a smaller table, maybe round and light colored?
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 3:58PM
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Lola Lapolice
I don't have a smaller table. I wonder if I should just do it without the table.
0 Likes   March 22, 2013 at 4:03PM
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I think they make the room look a bit static. I like the colours in the fabric, but they don't scream 'come and sit down, relax, feel comfortable' to me. They are nice chairs though, but are a bit small in comparison to the sofa.
So... no... back to the den I think ;-)
But... you could take your colour inspiration from them? So gold, sage green, pink(ish) red, all nice combinations with beige.

Wayfair has a lovely collection of decorative pillows http://www.wayfair.com/Safavieh-Bianca-18-Decorative-Pillows-Set-of-2-FV20769.html
0 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 3:47AM
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Okay, I've been thinking about your furniture arrangement. What about this:

- create an L-shaped seating area with the sofas, so one is facing the fireplace and TV (you could move either sofa I think, just depending on what feels comfortable for you: a sofa in front of the window or a sofa against the wall. I'd prefer one sofa against (or in front of) the wall and the other one facing the TV, but it depends on what you like)
- the big chair in the corner next to the fireplace, angled towards the sofas
- small table with lamp next to the big chair
- a console table next to the fireplace on the side of the sofa that is perpendicular to the fireplace wall
- artwork above the console table
- a lamp on the console table

For instance (not sure if the wood is the right colour for your furniture though): http://www.wayfair.com/Standard-Furniture-Woodmont-Console-Table-23447-SJ3970.html

Serena Antique Mercury Glass Lamp Bases
Geometric Prints
2 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 4:15AM
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Islam Kamal
You can paint the wall with a dark greyish brown color
it will give a lot of positive energy in the space
it makes contrast between the walls and the curtains...in that case you dont have to change them
You can add a lighting unit,may be a side table lamp or lambadeur in the corner
it will change you feeling to the space and makes it warmer.
You can put the sofa infront of the LCD or bring back the big chair...
Anyways good luck :)
0 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 4:22AM
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@marcy - I know how it feels to wanna add color but you just don't know where to begin. I was the same way as you at first. Starting with a throw pillow or two (just a small dip of the toes in the water) and thinking that would be it. I agree with everyone about he drapes. You will feel that alone will change the feel of your room.

Also, some bigger art. Your pics feel very small on the walls. Maybe group the small ones you have together and buy a few bigger pieces. Not sure if anyone mentioned a shelving unit or just a few shelves that you could ou some accent pieces in color or find some cool red bound books to stack. Finally, and I am NO expert and have about 20 discussions going on about my own house bc I'm having such a hard time w decorating, have you considered painting the mantle white to match your trim? Interior decorators may gasp at the suggestion but ahhhh just thought of throw it out there. Finally some big plants near the fireplace. Since you can't use the mantle for things (tv), you need something around that area. Good luck!
2 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 4:45AM
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Hi there, I was going to agree to get the red out! But with the addition of the chairs the red in integrated better. You're really smart to have your basics in neutral so it's easy to change accent colors such as the sage green and dark gold in your pair of chairs. One thing that you've done right is use mostly real plants. That adds class. Find substantial size ceramic sage green lamp for the end table and move plant to the floor. Another person suggested that the bright splashes of red are the problem so add some other colors of flowers to the mix. Go with some pillows but make sure the pattern doesn't clash with the chairs. Solids with fringe always work.
0 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 4:56AM
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Lola Lapolice
I am trying not to paint the walls as we've put this house for sale but not getting many calls. We're going to have an open house next weekend, and that's the reason why I want to give the house a really inviting look that will make someone imagine him/herself in here and want to buy.
Well, I won't be able to make it look like a showhome but just a nice looking home.
I will be posting new pictures with pillows and maybe rearranging the arts.
0 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 8:33AM
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It may look nice to face the large sofa in front of the fireplace, opening up the room, then you could see the pretty window better
1 Like   March 23, 2013 at 8:40AM
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Wait, you just redefined the problem. You need staging on minimal budget versus re-decorating. Can you move the big beige chair out (garage, another room)? As others suggested, move the couch in closer to the fireplace and place the two red print chairs facing them. Tables are all fine but you need the right scale lamps, one on the side table beside the couch and one on the side table between the two chairs to finish the look and to add light during the open house. Don't worry about scale of the tables as they are fine. Go to a Home Goods type store and find some large table lamps in a red or ivory ceramic or a metallic, maybe to pick up a color in the red chairs. Bring home, try and return the others, Ditch the two throws. Throws are dated and you rarely see them in staged homes any more. Instead find three pillows, two in a red and one or two in another color from the chair print and place on the sofa. Make sure the red is the same tone from chairs (I.e. blue red versus orange red). Flowers are lovely. Keep and stack one or two books on the table with a pretty box on the top. Voila, a table scape. Remove all the small art work on the walls except the two large pieces in the dining room. The others are too small in scale. Now to the curtains. If you have the time and inclination, I would get inexpensive plain ivory curtains that run floor to ceiling and hang them from the to of the ceiling on longer rods that extend about a foot beyond the sides of each window in the living and dining areas. The ivory will not complete with the beiges and will lighten the room. If your a near an Ikea, they have cotton panels with grommet tops that are $25 for two 60" panels, so two or four sets would do it. if you really want to finish it up, you can get an inexpensive bamboo shade or the width of the window itself and mount between the panels just below the rod. If you need privacy at night, you can drop it down rather than fussing with the panels. Home Depot, Walmart, Target all have versions of these a different price points. If you don't need the privacy, it doesn't even have to reach the bottom of the window. Good luck.
0 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 9:11AM
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Bravehart Building
Given you have invested thus far in curtains, carpets, furniture, etc. the only thing you can change which will make a big impact on a low budget is to paint the walls a different colour. You could buy some colours in tester size and paint a 2' x 2' area on a wall (one colour on one wall). Try Teal, Red, or other colours which are complimentary with beige furniture and drapes. A patterned 'throw' and cushions on the couch (and dining chair covers) are easy fixes also that will add a pop and some required texture.
0 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Design Nexus Interiors/DNI Inc.
So I think that seppysills @marcy has an awesome point where artwork is concerned. Try removing all your small pieces and placing them together in a grouping of 5 or so(3 top 2 bottom), all on one wall. Then go on out and locate some pieces that are approximately 3 times the size of your existing pieces, making sure that the content is very rich in tones, deeper darker neutrals, reds, browns, greens etc.. Move your furniture off the wall a little larger than the width of fireplace wall as your footprint for distance apart.
Since you are giving the staging thing a try, keep the armless chairs close by, you might be able to re-insert into the room, but maybe at an angle and with a palm between them. Palms are fairly inexpensive and they add so much to any room. Just remember to use some shiny containers(warm bronze, pewter et since the room could do with a little bling.....not too much!
As far as throw pillows are concerned, purchase about 12 of them, 3 solids, 3 large damasky patterns, 3 with oversized circles, and 3 that are just different(herbs, botanical, rhinestones, safari)bring them home and try see what works for the space.
Something about the panels behind the sofa is grating on my nerves. Try placing the panels seperately, 4 individual panels with spacing in between each. Then try squishing them as they are currently placed, but closer together. I think they need to be skinnier looking since you already have so much beige in that room. Your eyes have no where to travel.
Just read the post above about moving the sofa, maybe try that, and place armless chairs under window. You might have to move your furniture around, but the accessorizing goes a long way as well.
$ store, get some river rock, some sea shells, or some spheres, throw a lot of one of those in some clear glass vases differing heights. Place these on the bottom shelf of coffee table. Get 3 large books, red bound as was suggested earlier, or just 3 large coffee table books from your local thrift shop; place these on top of the coffee table.
I believe that one of the two red throws need to be gone.
Try bringing in the palms, try moving the furniture closer together, try importing some larger pieces of art, try toss pillows, try table arrangements with vases etc., decide on whether armless chairs work once you've done the rest. All of those suggestions should be fairly inexpensive, and returnable. The palms you need. Post some images and we see how it looks. I didn't understand that the house was for sale until just now, understandably you don't want to overspend. But you just need to up the eye candy for potential buyers. Then you get to take it with you to your next res.
Hope i was helpful
2 Likes   March 23, 2013 at 9:17AM
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sjkingston's got it. Since you are selling, remove the loveseat and put the two chairs facing the couch (schooching more intimate towards the FP). The more open and spacious you can make the home look the better. Fresh flowers on the coffee table. Get lamps for the end tables and keep the lights on. A few patterned toss pillows that compliment the red for the sofa. Push the curtains as far open as possible to let the light in and display the big window. Now, it's just buying two lamps and 3 pillows, and you're staged. Oh...group your art together for a "larger" art piece look. Good luck! Home prices are up a little!
1 Like   March 23, 2013 at 2:10PM
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