Need some suggestions on this space
August 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I just bought the house and the family room is dark & narrow. I'm looking for ideas to add color to the room. I was thinking a to tone to brighten up.
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Are these your furnishings? Just wondering if we need to work with these since often we find out they belong to previous owner!

With a long narrow room it lets to break the space up. Try to avoid having the sofa pushed up against the long wall.

To help with the darkness in the room I would paint the fireplace white. Also I would take the wainscotting down as it just breaks up the wall and makes the room seem shorter. If you don't want to take it down, then paint the room, including the wood, in a warm white with some sheen to the finish (satin).

Take the window treatment down and replace with something that doesn't block any of the window. Can be drapery, only hung wider. Is it possible to add canned lights to the ceiling? And look into Solatubes. I added two of these to my own dark living room and made a huge difference!
August 5, 2013 at 2:42pm     
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Updating the lighting will certainly brighten the room. Two lamps are not enough to light this space. Add some potlights and you will notice a vast difference. Also painting the brick and the wainscoting will help tremendously.
August 5, 2013 at 3:08pm   
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LOVE the suggestions for painting and getting the sofa off the wall. Float it right about at the edge of the deck door. Put the chair up by the fireplace and move the desk to the other side of the deck door, behind where the couch will go.
Add pillows and a throw to the couch. Not only will they add color, but it will soften the look of the leather and be comfy, too!!!
The picture opposite the deck door is waaaay toooo high....look how close it is to the ceiling. It needs to come down to eye level to be appreciated. Check the other art in the room, too.
Can't tell if you have other furniture in the room to play with?
August 5, 2013 at 3:30pm     
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take down the curtains for sure, remove the wainscot would be big improvement, next paint the walls soft light color change the flooring material. Once that is done furniture revamping needs to be done by creating comfort able seating arrangement, the current pic does show it doesn't work, however loose the desk and create small seating areas in groups. The furniture may be too big for the narrow space and limits your options. Go natural for decorations especially near the fireplace that i would not paint but clean up really well and place another pic over mantle and place tv elsewhere.
August 5, 2013 at 3:58pm   
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Paint the wainscotting white. Do another colour above. Ask at a paint store what white would look nice with the paint colour you use on the upper walls. I agree that the window treatment does not add polish to your room. Not sure what you should do with the windows. Paint all the trim white. Look over Houzz to get some ideas of painted wainscotting. If you search for fireplaces, you will see many family rooms with it painted. Have fun!
August 5, 2013 at 4:14pm     
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If its on your budget, you could get more windows or skylights installed. You could also re-upholster your sofa and chair a cream or beige. Maybe some ceiling lights would brighten it up too
August 5, 2013 at 4:17pm   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Paint wainscot white, top Revere Pewter gray by Benjamin More. Leave ceiling white. Paint all trim and doors white use a satin finish. Get rid of vertical on all windows. Add panels in a yellow and white trellis pattern. Add yellow accents n pillows to sofa.
August 5, 2013 at 4:20pm   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Add tall yellow base lamps with white drum style shades. A glass round coffee table 24"
A big mirror over sofa.
August 5, 2013 at 4:21pm   
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Nancy Travisinteriors
I like pcmom idea of whitewashing the firepl white. You have a lot of very dark furn. Can you change it up more?
August 5, 2013 at 4:23pm   
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Poster, could you give us photos taken from the fireplace so we can see other side of room? Also, the tv is so big for your fireplace. Wondering if it could go elsewhere...left of the sliding door?
August 5, 2013 at 5:09pm   
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Pcmom1, the room furnishing are not mine!!!! This is what the previous owner had. I like the idea of painting the wanes coating . I was thinking of painting the fireplace wall one color and contrasting it with another.
Here is a sample
August 5, 2013 at 5:57pm   
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I will be adding hardwood floors and the window blinds will be one (they are ugly). Here is another pic I like.
August 5, 2013 at 6:08pm     
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Oops ...... Gone
August 5, 2013 at 6:09pm   
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remove the wains coating. resurface the fireplace with field stone and install windows flanking the firplace. the windows should be wide and long.
August 5, 2013 at 6:28pm   
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place two comy chairs on eithr side of the firplace. the couch along the wall facing the glass door. and one chair facing the fireplace
August 5, 2013 at 6:31pm   
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This is on the other side of the room (it's all open).
August 6, 2013 at 6:46pm   
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Finished my room
October 21, 2013 at 8:47am   
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The other side
October 21, 2013 at 8:48am   
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Getting there! Hope you don't mind a little more input.

I like the color you painted the fireplace wall. I would love to see you paint the other two walls in the room that color and then the ceiling in a lighter shade of the same.

Try the rug centered with the fireplace which means you will pull it away from the wall. Only a part of your sofa needs to sit on it. Part of it will also be under the recliner which will pull the area together.

Adding a more substantial mantle to the fireplace would look better. You could have a piece made that would just sit on the existing one.
Tallwood Ct - Atherton
Living Room
October 21, 2013 at 9:00am   
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Love the idea of moving the rug! Missed that, thank you. Will look into the other ideas too
October 21, 2013 at 9:32am   
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I had a family room identical to yours, including the wainscoting, vertical blinds and tired fireplace. I ended up moving!.......which isn't what I'm suggesting. I do recall the challenges though. Some good comments here include hardwood, an area rug (lisaorp had a nice one). One suggestion that you would not regret is spending the money on re-facing the fireplace. It is your focal point. I would also change the couch to a more sleek design (modern contemporary) with slim arms and low back. The fireplace is first and foremost......and will add value to your place. Every prospective buyer that reviewed my home prior to selling talked about the old and tired fireplace. Good luck.........nothing ventured, nothing gained!
October 21, 2013 at 9:43am   
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An easy fix with a big bang would be new curtain panels. Something more substantial with some color. Get a heavier rod and hang them almost to the ceiling and wider than the window.

You can order 96 inch from a lot of places: Country Curtains, World Market, Pier One, etc.
October 21, 2013 at 9:56am     
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Kathleen McDougall
Lower the picture, open bookshelves flanking the fireplace, taller lamps, move the rug towards the door, remove the items to the left of the fireplace and add a narrow armless chair.
October 21, 2013 at 10:05am   
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Hanging your curtains high, especially if there is a vertical stripe in them, will make your ceiling seem higher.

October 21, 2013 at 10:07am   
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