Living room is very dark
scik
May 10, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Would like to lighten up my living room, but don't want to remove wood paneling.


What are some good color schemes I could do, where I could just paint the dark wood paneling and it would look good with my furniture and paintings? Thanks
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decoenthusiaste
If it is real wood paneling I would leave it as is and paint the walls a nice grayed sage green. Improved lighting would be a plus, as would moving the sofa away from the window. If it is just standard paneling and boxed faux beams, clean with TSP, rinse, sand lightly, tack off, prime with KILZ and paint a nice creamy white that has more of the warm undertones of your furniture. Then use the same grayed sage on the walls.
May 10, 2013 at 9:27am   
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decofriend
Hi scik. Would you be willing to paint the paneled portion to match the upper wall? Choosing a lighter value of gold with a higher light reflective value (LRV) will lighted your space. Choose a matte/eggshell finish for your paint selection instead of a flat finish.
May 10, 2013 at 9:33am   
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scik
Thanks for ideas. Yes, fake wood paneling and faux beams. Yes, I would be willing to paint paneling same color as wall. The living room is a lot longer than it is wide so it is hard to arrange furniture. We host a lot and have a lot of movie nights. I do want to build something to put in bay window instead of having couch there. Ideas for arranging furniture?
May 10, 2013 at 9:52am   
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scik
decoenthusiaste what do you mean by tack off? thx
May 10, 2013 at 9:54am   
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PRO
Matt Patterson Custom Homes
Paint the wainscoat a different color that the walls. I use flat on drywall and satin on woodwork. Paint the beams to match wainscoat if you wish.
May 10, 2013 at 10:07am   
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decofriend
A tack cloth is used to remove any dust left by sanding in preparation for painting. You will find them with the painting supplies.
May 10, 2013 at 10:23am   
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decofriend
How many people do you need to seat in this room? I would start by trading the sofa and love seat. Bring in taller tables or even a small chest to replace the little white tables. Will the two chairs fit on either side of a narrow table in front of the bay window? Do you have smaller chairs that would fit? Let's try the love seat where the chairs are currently with a skinny sofa table or desk behind it. Do you have about 4' of walking space left? Before going further lets see if this works.

Check behind that paneling, there should be dry wall. Painting to the floor and removing the beams will add volume and lightness to your room. What color family would you like in this space?
May 10, 2013 at 10:49am   
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decoenthusiaste
Tack off is a painters term that means wipe of the dust with a soft dust attracting cloth after sanding so you don't get the sanding dust and grit in your paint job - it is part of smoothing the surface in preparation for painting.
May 10, 2013 at 10:54am   
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Delfina
If you love what you have got going on now, I would seriously consider putting on some skylights!
May 10, 2013 at 10:58am     
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judianna20
BM Acadia white would be lovely, floor to ceiling.


May 10, 2013 at 11:04am     
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Delfina
paint will help but you are going to still have a problem with room being dark. Trust me on this one. We see this sort of scenario all of the times. Clients go for paint first and yes it does help. I can see from your pics that your space is dark, just my observations....
May 10, 2013 at 11:07am     
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Sigrid
Paint the walls cream, the ceiling beams white and pick a bright accent color -- turquoise or yellow or hot pink.
May 10, 2013 at 11:14am   
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Darzy
How about "linen" on the wall color, then a "swiss coffee" white for the paneling and the beams? I would also paint the kitchen cabinets Swiss Coffee. Here is Linen wall color...


May 10, 2013 at 11:17am     
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Darzy
I would also consider a track lighting system than can be hung on the side of the beams. Like this picture, only white cans. You can get really efficient bulbs now for brighter light using far less energy. Also, the floor lamps that shine light up do not work well for lighting a space (it just shines up basically). Layered lighting really brightens a space. You can get those "old" floor cans shining up (for $10 at Lowes) for dark corners too, or wall sconces, etc. Lighting above, middle and low makes a room.

May 10, 2013 at 11:27am   
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PRO
Frank Webb's Bath and Lighting Center
The floor lamps that shine up are supposed to bounce the light off of a white ceiling and then back into the room, they don't work so well with the wood beams in the way!
May 10, 2013 at 12:09pm   
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PRO
CHISM BROTHERS PAINTING
PAINTING COLORS: I vote for a white or off-white color! It will really make the wood beams stand out. That might be enough to leave the lower wainscot alone. So NO Color on walls or a very slight off white: Dove White, Cottage White (Ben Moore Products), etc.

Sample of a project we did for a bedroom:

May 10, 2013 at 12:14pm     
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decofriend
Hi scik! Just wondering what is happening with your project. Did you try rearranging the furniture? Have you made color decisions?
May 17, 2013 at 6:03am   
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lensa
use light colors to light it up... white, grey,...
May 17, 2013 at 6:06am     
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scik
I updated my living room, I used a mix of everyone's ideas. Thanks for the help.
September 28, 2013 at 12:52pm   
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edithsmom
Can you post a pic?
September 28, 2013 at 5:45pm   
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