ferji425October 21, 2011
I am officially tired of the current state of my living room. I have been dealing with the horrible linoleum floor since I got the house (7yrs ago) and am finally putting in laminate. That is all I know for sure about re-decorating the room. I want the room to look as big as possible and my collection of exercise equipment is not helping. I just have no idea where to put it! The TV wall is 11'9" and the window wall is 19'5". I am gravitating towards the blue/gray tones for the paint but am not sure if it will make the room look smaller. As for the furniture I am open to replacing it. I always thought you needed a sofa and loveseat but have recently learned a sofa and maybe two chairs can be enough. What do you guys sugges for paint color and furniture arrangement to make the room look as big as possible? I have seen lots of people use mirrors to make a room look bigger, would that work? Thanks in advance for your help...I am in desperate need! =)
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bepsf
Well, I certainly understand wanting to get rid of the current flooring and changing the wall color - but decluttering and storage would be my first priorities here.

I'd start shopping Craigslist and antique shops for a nice long wooden vintage credenza or a set of wall units to contain all that media clutter, your TV and framed pictures, etc - and get rid of all those stands and racks on the far end of the room.

Place this credenza/wall unit on the wall opposite the window - and the long sofa under the window facing it with the loveseat centered on the back wall. You want to keep the entrance to the space open so that it's welcoming, and you're not wedging yourself between sofa and table to enter the space.

As far as the treadmill: Put it in the garage or get rid of it entirely - it doesn't belong in a living room. If you sell it, you can take walks around the neighborhood every evening with the dog and kids to get you the same amount of exercise, plus you'll have a better living space and some money in your pocket that you can put towards new carpet.
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 2:34PM
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Dytecture
Hi ferji425, it's great that you can start off with a clean canvas. I would suggest keeping it simple and placing the TV wall in the back with Blue-ish accent wall will help make the room feel more contemporary.

And the Elliptical Machine really does belong elsewhere, especially if this is your main living room.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 3:06PM
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ferji425
@ bepsf - I like your suggestion about getting rid of the clutter by housing all my media/frames/books in one piece of furniture. I think if I put the TV on the wall opposite the window it might be too close to the sofa.

@ dytecture - I love the design layout you made for me! I saw you did something similar for another poster and was secretly hoping you would respond to my question as well! I would love if my budget allows for a flat screen TV in the near future as my old school boxy one takes up more room. I hadn't thought of using two different paint colors. I was looking online and found some colors I liked. I am including pictures of them so please let me know what you think.

Thanks again to the both of you for all your help!
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 5:13PM
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ferji425
I forgot to ask...what should I do about the ceiling? Currently the color is a shade similar to the second picture posted above. Is there a "rule" as to what color a ceiling should be? Thanks!
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 5:22PM
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Dytecture
You're welcome ferji425 !

It would be helpful for Houzz users to comment on your paint color if you have some idea about the style / color of your furniture first. But I like where you are going with this.

As for ceiling colors, it's usually a good idea to use a very light tint of the wall color to keep the continuity of the room flowing.
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 5:33PM
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ferji425
All I know for now is that I would like something more streamlined than the sofa I have at the moment. Maybe more straight lines...not as curvy as what I have right now if that makes sense. As for colors I like the light cream/browns but am concerned they will get dirty easily (no leather). I will post some pics if I find anything I like!

So glad I found Houzz!! =)
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 5:56PM
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scaplan
I have to chime in and suggest that you paint your ceilings a flat white. I made the horrible mistake of tinting mine once and I will never do it again. It made them look dirty and I didn't even realize it until I painted them white again. My ceilings seemed 3 feet taller in white than they did in the tinted color.

I don't think you need to buy a bunch of new furniture. I would move each piece of furniture to its opposite wall-- the couch beneath the window and the loveseat on the far wall. If you paint the back wall in the darkest blue on your samples, it will make it recede. If you are getting wood floors, I'd paint the end tables black to ground them. The lamps you have will still work.

Longer curtains, hung higher will draw your eye upwards and make the room feel bigger still. Clean up the media, of course. Be on the lookout for some art for the walls and hang the lowest pieces beginning at eye level. Go up as high as you like, but keep them in a defined grid.
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 6:50PM
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ferji425
Scaplan, thank you for your great ideas! Would you suggest I paint the coffee table as well? The legs of the tables have some damage from when I had a puppy. Do you know if there is a way to fix it or at least make it better? I never thought of using longer curtains. Should I keep them a neutral color like the ones I have currently? Sorry for my question overload! =)

Thanks!
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 8:00PM
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Dytecture
Hi again Ferji425, this color scheme inspired by your Behr paint choice works well with your existing sofas, painted coffee tables and lamp shades.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:19PM
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bkramsey
Having the long couch on the long wall makes everything look long and skinny. I would remove that couch and end tables and replace it with a big comfortable chair. What would make the back wall look closer and solve the storage problem would be to install a set of cabinets and shelves across the back wall. (See IKEA.com) Just my initial thoughts. You do have a challenge there. Some other things you could do are paint that wall a more prominent color, wall paper it, cover it with framed pictures & art, etc., but that wouldn't help with the storage clutter issue. If you want to keep the small and/or large couch, you could jazz the room up with a red carpet or touches of red here and there. That would really warm up the room.
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:48PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi ferji425, Marie Here. Please don't use laminate flooring - go to a new product called CorkArt if your budget is tight. Laminate just doesn't add value to your home. I also prefer the Canadian paint SICO to Behr, can coat darker colours with two coats, high durable finish for ease of cleaning, over six different finishes to choose from. You can purchase at any Rona store in Canada. If in the US, then use General Paint. Definitely paint the far back wall the accent colour, but bring that accent colour into the room - with toss cushions, candles, drapery etc. Don't just paint it on the wall and expect it to make sense. Good Luck!
    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 11:44PM
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scaplan
Yes, coffee table painted black also. You can sand the chew marks down the best you can and fill any dents with some wood putty. For the curtains, you could stick with a neutral and add a ribbon border in your blue wall color around each panel. If you aren't good at sewing, you can just get iron-on tape to attach it. Then I'd add some throw pillows that pick up on the color, as well. They don't need to be solid blue. You could take some left over ribbon and make a ribbon flower or maybe 2 offset stripes or something. Whatever you feel like. If you just embellish neutral items, then one day when you get sick of blue, all you have to switch out is one wall and some ribbon trim. If you aren't a toss pillow person, you could put the trim on your lamp shades. Just don't go crazy. You only need a couple of blue things.
    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 7:44AM
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ferji425
@ dytecture - Thank you for giving me a visual on how the colors I am considering will work with my current sofa and tables (if painted black).

@ bkramsey - Thanks for the ideas on storage and warming up the room.

@ cmariehebson - Thanks for the suggestions on how to bring the accent color into accessories such as cushions.

@ scaplan - Thanks for the instructions on how to repair the chew marks on the furniture. As I was doing some research online yesterday I learned about the wood putty! This is all so new to me so everyone's help is much appreciated =)

Today I went to Home Depot and picked up tons of paint chips in the blue/gray tones for the accent wall and cream/tan tones for the other two walls.

I will be making some calls this week to schedule estimates for the laminate. I know many people install on their own but personally I don't feel comfortable doing it myself. I have yet to decide whether I want the laminate throughout the entire first floor (dining room/kitchen). I am leaning toward yes but am concerned because I am planning on doing some remodeling/repairs in the kitchen. Shouldn't the dining room and kitchen flooring be installed at the time the kitchen remodeling takes place?

Thanks again to everyone that has been sharing such great advice!
    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Andrew Lai
hi ferji425, i know it's a bit late, but i came up with the sort of modern art deco design that you might be interested. Try to keep your wall light so it'll make the room look bigger. And also if you can't find other room for your exercise equipments, you can place them in the corner where i've placed a sofa and a small table. And lastly try not to leave everything out, have one big modern storage unit that can fit your stuff in there. Good luck!
http://www.homestyler.com/designprofile/d56e865c-e4d8-472b-8eee-da9fea762bca
    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 3:54AM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi ferji425,
Like I said before, laminate is not a good answer especially in your kitchen where there would be water spills as it can bow and warp over time if you are not watching this constantly. Thus, laminate is usually installed in basement applications over a dry core. Look at the new vinyls and/or the corkart which is vinyl with cork layer as previously described. I can't express my concern enough that laminate simply isn't a favorable way to update your home. Good luck.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 1:31PM
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ferji425
@ andrewlaisa - Not late at all! Everyone's input is really helping me look at all the pieces to see what will work best. I had been seeing lots of stenciled walls and after looking at your design I am thinking of doing that to the blue/gray accent wall. I am including a picture to get some feedback =)

@ cmariehebson - I took a look at some cork flooring online and am really not a fan. I looked at some vinyl flooring options online and it is definitely something to consider. I understand your thoughts on why laminate is not a good option in the kitchen but am unsure why it is such a bad option for my living room.

I have to remember to relax and take it easy because this can all be very nerve racking and overwhelming! LOL Today I tried moving the sofa to the opposite wall and it just seems to make the room look smaller. I am set on painting the tables black but I am starting to think the sofa and loveseat are too big for the room.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 6:00PM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
Hi ferji425, I don't think your understanding me. The "cork" flooring I'm proposing isn't the standard cork you are accustomed to. It is a new vinyl product that has the durability of vinyl, comfort of cork, with the look of hardwood. Perfect for your tight budget, and longevity issues. Wicanders sell one and so does CorkArt. Laminate just feels cheap under foot and simply does not add value to a home, so I won't recommend it. Good Luck.
    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:28PM
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ladycage
Marie, do you like tile better than laminate?
    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 6:14AM
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scaplan
cmarie, Does Corkart cost the same as laminate flooring or are you just saying that its a cheap alternative to hardwood flooring?

In my opinion, ferji, if YOU like laminate flooring and it fits your budget then get it. It is true that it doesn't add any value to your home, but if you want your home to be your home and don't care about building equity on your living room floor- then do it. It's still better than carpet or linoleum. When we go out shopping for a sweater, we don't buy it based on how much we are going to get for it at resale or how much the next person is going to like it. We buy it because we like it and it's what we want to wear.
    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 7:03AM
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Marie Hebson's interiorsBYDESIGN Inc.
To answer your question - YES - corkart is the same price as laminate, and in some cases less expensive.

Scaplan, I can't believe you are comparing someone's home to a sweater.
Clothing is disposable - your home is not. The more you continue to maintain and add value, that reflects on the bottom line for resale value.
I prefer to specify quality products for quality people to enhance their lives.

YES Ladycage - I do prefer tile to laminate and/or vinyl for that matter. Tile will cost you double of any vinyl because of the labour involved to install.
    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 9:54AM
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olldroo
If you decide to replace your lounge, make sure you get zip off cushion covers and they can then be easily washed. I find light colours show some stains where dark colours show others so don't stress over choosing a light colour. A fabric with shadings of one colour gives the effect of a plain colour but helps hide stains between cleans too.

Definitely go for full length drapes, they look far more elegant but I would put 2 single chairs in front of the window to allow the drapes to be seen, a long lounge will spoil the effect of them and block a lot of the window too.

I don't know why there is such a aversion to carpet, if you buy a good quality wool carpet and vacuum it regularly with a quality vacuum cleaner as you would sweep a floor regularly, it will give you years of wear.
    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 6:04AM
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