Need help figuring out colors/design for Victorian living room
Teresa Hendrickson
July 27, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I'm about to rent this Victorian house (1864), which has a living room in need of some loving attention. The photos are how it looks now, with the previous tenant's stuff in it, so imagine that all gone. The landlord loves the corner cabinets, but I do not, so I'm not sure if I can move them or paint them. The room gets a fair amount of light from the windows, but feels really dark because of the red walls and wood burning stove.
I'm attaching a pic of the rest of the room, the dining area I suppose, which has been painted a green color. The floor is wood, but was painted a pale grey.
I'd love the whole thing to look cohesive, clean, light and welcoming. I love contemporary style, but don't want to ignore the original nature of the property either. Also, my budget is not huge and it IS a rental, but I do plan on being here for a while so am prepared to put some time and energy into it.
Are there paint colors/sheens that would brighten the rooms without looking stark, and do you have any other wonderful ideas about how to make this room really lovely to be in? I'm open to all suggestions - thank you!!!
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Teresa Hendrickson
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the ceilings are unfortunately not high and original. They were replaced at some point by white ceiling tile at less than a foot above the trim level...
0 Likes   July 27, 2013 at 9:42AM
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libradesigneye
Teresa - what color are your major upholstered pieces? What colors are in your largest / favorite piece of art?
0 Likes   July 27, 2013 at 9:45AM
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libradesigneye
It has lovely architecture, and accept the corner cases, they can be used as bookcases behind glass and storage so they will be really uuseful. The most flexible solution is to prime out the red and paint the walls a pale warm neutral - bm collingwood comes immediately to mind - it will contrast with the trim line, work well with the wood corner cabinets and immediately increase the perceived space / light by 5 times. It is sophisticated, yet warm without dictating a khakitone. It wouldn't be great with yellow/gold but great neutral for rest. I would paint both rooms the same and use art and pillows to tell your color story. Modern furnishings are terrific against period architecture, particularly with this kind of museum wall treatment I'm recommending for you.
2 Likes   Thanked by Teresa Hendrickson    July 27, 2013 at 9:54AM
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A Crew of Two
Paint will definitely brighten the room. If the owner will not let you paint the cabinets- you could put fabric on inserts and put them at the back of the cabinets to add light to them. Eclectic Kitchen Woodbury Kitchen/Main Level Remodel
1 Like   Thanked by Teresa Hendrickson    July 27, 2013 at 9:55AM
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Teresa Hendrickson
Libradesigneye...my sofas are an oatmeal linen, but they're fairly small and I'm not sure they'll go well in the room anyway. My favorite/largest art pieces have very muted whites/greens/greys/blues with splashes of brighter warmer colors. I think I gravitate towards a pale background with bright accents, so your paint suggestion sounds fantastic - thank you. And I was wondering about getting a few more modern furniture pieces, so thanks for that recommendation. Kelly...I had thought about putting fabric inside the cabinets (there is some awful stuff in there right now!) - glad to hear it's a feasible option!
1 Like   July 27, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Teresa Hendrickson
Also (Libradesigneye) would you keep the trim white? Paint it a brighter white?
0 Likes   July 27, 2013 at 10:08AM
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libradesigneye
In a house with historic bones, the old whites / off whites are more period appropriate. Painting trim is also a huge chore, so if you don't have to paint the trim, I wouldn't tackle that job. Kelly's got a great idea - I've seen this done with fabric and with wallpaper wrapped around a simple piece of cardboard cut to fit the back of the piece with the shelves removed. A modern graphic print with a tan background that works with the wall color would help tie them in - like this http://beautifulfabric.com/asccustompages/products.asp?fav=0&fpage=1&page=1&categoryID=37&productID=8919&pStart=200&recNum=238 strong clean lines w some dark to tie back to the woodwork.
1 Like   July 27, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Teresa Hendrickson
Awesome - thank you!
0 Likes   July 27, 2013 at 5:29PM
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