help picking accent chairs, wall decor, and sofa table
jspacegirl
June 26, 2013 in Design Dilemma
So I'm moving into the boyfriend's house, and his living room is one large beige boring rectangle with low ceilings. Pictured below is our couch (Collins sectional from Restoration Hardware), and then the 8x10 area rug that I ordered to add some color to the vast expanse of ugly carpet.

His tastes run very boring and traditional, so naturally, he hates the rug. I'm trying to figure out what style/color of accent chairs, as well as wall decor, and a sofa table (we may turn the sectional another way) that will look stylish and work with the rug and couch, but not be too funky that the boyfriend will be repulsed. Trying to save a relationship, people! ;-) Thanks in advance!

P.S. Wall-color recs are welcomed, too. The walls are wood paneling, which he did a faux white-wash type finish on, and he is pretty dead set on keeping that for now, but someday I may be able to convince him to change that as well.
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Emily Hurley
I, for one, love the rug. Maybe bring out that more oliveish green for the accent chairs? Looks like the ottoman will puck up the brown tones really well.
2 Likes   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 2:50PM
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jspacegirl
Thanks for the suggestion! Olive green never occurred to me...
0 Likes   June 26, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
All the artwork is hung far too high and should be grouped together on one wall or the other. Lay out an arrangement of the pictures on the floor so that you know which one will go where. I suggest you put two of them just 5" above the back of the sofa, and leave 2" between each piece, then place the other two above those, again leaving 2" of space between them. If there is a fifth one that's hiding elsewhere, then you could arrange them three across with two above.

For your accent chairs, you can use any of the colors in the rug, such as the blue chair below from Target or the brown wooden Crate & Barrel chair with a cushion of your choice. I realize that you may not be able to wean boyfriend away from his ottoman, but a coffee table would be nice and I happen to like the one below from West Elm.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Contemporary Living Room
Swoop Upholstered Slipper Accent Chair, Velvet Smoke
Ankara Chair with Fabric Cushion
Origami Coffee Table | West Elm
3 Likes   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 3:04PM
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elklaker
I, too, love the rug. Add some colorful toss pillows (blue and green) to the couch. The black and white pics are cool but need to be grouped together on one wall and hung lower. Be patient with the boyfriend. They usually see that we women have the vision and taste and acquiesce (ok, at least mine did and we have been happily married for over 20 years). Good luck!
1 Like   June 26, 2013 at 3:04PM
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judianna20
Bag the rug for now (married 45 years and still going strong). Pick your battles and this rug isn't worth it.

It doesn't look bad at all. Sofa is great and so is the leather ottoman.

I'm not lovin' how he hung the pix.

Do you know etsy.com? There are some great afforadable handmade throw pillows to be had. Find a few that you like, run off the pictures and have sweetie pie pick.

Is the sofa his choice? How about going back to RH and finding chairs there?

2 Likes   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Great advice from judyg! I like her idea of preselecting some pillows and then letting him choose. Guys generally don't like to shop like we gals do, so this would make it really easy for him. You could try the same thing with rugs first and then show him pillows to go with his favorite rug.
3 Likes   June 26, 2013 at 3:09PM
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judianna20
A little tip…you are moving into his house and you are not married. Guys get spooked if they think things are moving too fast. Just take it slow. :>)

Start with this pillow (in red, of course).

3 Likes   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 3:12PM
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jspacegirl
Thanks for the advice so far. Judy, I found the sofa on craigslist for a *steal.* It is is a MAJOR upgrade from the 80s style sectional he had before. I realize this room (or the whole house, for that matter), is going to be far from a decorator's showcase, but I just need it to not make me vomit for the time being while I finish up grad school ;-)

Everything about our relationship is wonderful...except for the clashes we have over home decor. He has no sense of style whatsover, yet has strong opinions on what I choose. It's nearly impossible for us to agree on anything related to interior design. Which is very frustrating, because I'm basically moving into a bachelor pad, and with both of us being 32, I'd like to have a sophisticated, adult space.
1 Like   June 26, 2013 at 3:16PM
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greatsight
Love the rug,it will really ground the room! Lots of bright pillows would look good, two or three different solid colors.
1 Like   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Perhaps when you're able to afford an interior designer he would listen better to her than to you, but maybe not!
Will he give any credence to what we professionals are saying here? He must have listened to you about the sectional, which was a real find!
3 Likes   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 3:29PM
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judianna20
How about Carolyn's blue chairs and these affordable pillows with the rug?

1 Like   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 5:42PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
jspacegirl, if he really hates the rug, all the pretty pillows we can suggest will make no difference. But we'll be happy to help out with suggesting what could go with a different rug. We can even help you find some rugs to show him if you have a clue as to what he might like.

It's tough dealing with people who have no sense of design. They find it VERY difficult to make a decision because they can't see what will look good and what will look bad. They flounder around, frequently just not making any decisions at all. If you can somehow put together a space that you know is wonderful, it may help to have friends over who reaffirm that beauty by praising it highly. He may well accept that praise and become a believer that the space IS beautiful...or at least vastly improved!
2 Likes   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 6:07PM
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jspacegirl
Other rug suggestions would be welcomed!!!! He just showed me examples of 2 rugs he likes...pictured below. Do I need to say anything more?? They couldn't be any more opposite of what I had picked. And what makes it more baffling is that most of the furniture that he does have is very traditional, dark, solid wood (TV console, dining room table & chairs, etc). He doesn't understand that there's a total disconnect between the furniture he likes and the area rugs he likes.
0 Likes   June 26, 2013 at 6:17PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I happen to like both of the rugs he liked (particularly the first), and perhaps he just needs to be gradually educated about different styles. It's possible that he's outgrowing the traditional furniture he has previously liked and is emerging as a fan of contemporary design. These rugs would work with your sectional though they are both more contemporary than the sectional. But they could work. Do you not like them? Or you just don't think they go with other things he has. An eclectic style is possibly where you'll both be happy.
1 Like   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 6:42PM
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jspacegirl
To me, both of those rugs seem 80s modern, which I am not a fan of. At all. I guess you could call my style "transitional." I adore the picture of the Wellesley living room; maybe just a touch cozier and I could see myself living in it. The greens that are in the rug BF chose are not a color I would like to be a main focal point in a room.... And I do like an eclectic style, but I honestly cannot ever see a rug like that working with what we have.
0 Likes   June 26, 2013 at 7:06PM
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Norma Sassone
I like ALL the rugs! But man on man, does that room need something to enliven it ! Lots of green, blue, gold throw cushions in solids and patterns would be a start, and not as threatening to Señor. Yes, the photos are way too high and way too small; You could reframe them in colored wood in the olive color in the rug he likes and add really really large mats around the photos to enlarge the size of each one. The ottoman is lovely, but it sticks out like a sore thumb visually; perhaps you could talk BF into a coffee table?
1 Like   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 7:19PM
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1 Like   Thanked by jspacegirl    June 26, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Aha, at least we're learning more about the taste of each of you. I see nothing wrong with the style or color, but the point it, you see nothing right with the style or color. So compromise may come into play here. Tell him you don't like the color and see if he can find 3 different rugs he likes. Meanwhile, you can find 3 rugs that YOU like. Maybe you can work it out between yourselves, but if not, we designers would be interested in seeing the 6 rugs you two chose, and what you thought about them.
2 Likes   June 26, 2013 at 7:58PM
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Laura Davis
Remember, try to be the sweet girl that he loves and try not to be too hard on him, he will probably come around...slowly...but for sure;-) Girl, I think 32 to 38ish were my favorite years! Still lookin' good, but now smart enough to know what to do with it! Have fun and be sure to post the "after" pics;-).
0 Likes   September 9, 2014 at 7:40AM
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edithsmom
OLD THREAD
0 Likes   September 10, 2014 at 4:21PM
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