Stuck with ugly couches!
nestingchic
October 6, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am stuck with these olive green couches that were a hand me down. I have no idea how to best arrange furniture or bring life and color to this drab and dreary family room! Help!
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giaksch
Fun mismatched throw pillows with some common theme and a bright patterned area rug
5 Likes   October 6, 2013 at 6:15PM
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Kathleen E. Hill
If possible change the wall color, everything looks sage. Bring in an accent color in the curtains, throw pillows, maybe patterned lampshades. This space needs color and pattern. A coffee table would be great if affordable.
5 Likes   October 6, 2013 at 6:25PM
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apple_pie_order
It's a family room that looks comfortable. Buy a couple of washable but luxurious throw blankets and however many pillows you need to lean heads back on. A coffee table that is sturdy would be good, too.

Sometimes attached pillowback sofas have zippers. If so, stuff some additional polyester battting in to make them look new and overstuffed again.
2 Likes   October 6, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Vered Rosen Design
I like the idea of adding some stuffing. they will look better. Also, try to distract the eye from the couches by adding something prettier to look at: a nice rug, coffee table, colorful window treatments, pillows etc. changing the wall color might help too. I do like how you placed two matching lamps and the plate display on the wall. keep at it
1 Like   October 6, 2013 at 6:46PM
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Margo
You say you inherited these sofas and are now stuck with them. May I ask why? To me to go through all the trouble, stuffing, fluffing, pillowing, throw covering, painting, rugging, windowing, adding .... you will have spent more money than buying something say off Craigslist that has been gently used. If it is for some sentimental value that you are keeping them then I would get some slipcovers;)
13 Likes   October 6, 2013 at 6:52PM
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nestingchic
You guys are awesome! Any idea for a color palette that will go with sage? Keep the ideas coming!
   October 7, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Lydia (Kazza Design)
The first thing I suggest is replacing the ceiling fixture. As for a complimentary colour to go with sage.....this Fiery Opal by BM. It's subtle but very rich also.
5 Likes   October 7, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Lydia (Kazza Design)
As for the layout.....it's hard to offer other options without seeing the whole room.
   October 7, 2013 at 1:07PM
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kattie89
You could even paint your lamps in the Fiery Opal color, so that they pop. Even better, paint one lamp, and find another lamp so they aren't so matchy matchy.
A coffee table and throw pillows would help a lot. DO NOT get sage through pillows, and don't make them matchy matchy either.
   October 7, 2013 at 1:17PM
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kiley_
I think the lamps are really adding to the dated feel of the room. I would definitely replace the lamp shades, and paint the bases if you can for a cheap update.
A drum style lamp shade [same circumference on the top and bottom] will help update the space.
   October 7, 2013 at 1:52PM
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nestingchic
Love love the advice! A friend suggested I paint the bottom of the lamps and oil-rubbed bronze. What do you think? Or would it be better to go with a color? My trim is already brown so wasn't sure if that would be too much,
1 Like   October 7, 2013 at 2:05PM
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kiley_
Seeing as you are trying to update the room, I would prefer to see a solid colour. The shape and style of the lamp base is already very traditional, so an oil-rubbed bronze will make it look more traditional. By painting it an updated colour, it will modernize the base but in more of a modern-vintage way. I think that will pair nicely with the vintage plate display you have over your sofa.
   October 7, 2013 at 3:01PM
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Margo
I am sure painting the bases on the bottom of your lamps will make a world of difference how the sofa's look ????? Focus:)
3 Likes   October 7, 2013 at 5:18PM
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nestingchic
I am sold on the idea of painting the lamp base. What color would accommodate a modern-vintage look? I do like that style!
1 Like   October 7, 2013 at 6:21PM
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kiley_
@nestingchic I'm glad you like the idea! I think the colour would depend on the scheme you want for the room. I like the idea of a turquoise or pale blue, but you could do yellow or coral if you want them to pop!

@Margo Sorry for any confusion. When I mentioned painting the base of the lamp, I was referring to the whole ceramic portion (as opposed to the lamp shade, obviously) -- not just the base of the bottom of the lamp.
Seeing as Nestingchic's original question was how to bring life to her family room, I simply thought the lamps could use an update. So if they work just fine, then a coat of paint and a new shade could be an inexpensive and easy solution.
   October 7, 2013 at 8:58PM
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2dogssashatess
You can get great sofas cheap on craigs list or ebay or at Auction rooms etc. A colourful rug would give the room a lift.
   October 7, 2013 at 9:20PM
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2dogssashatess
I bought a lounge suite that retailed for about $5000 for only about $900 at an auction room.
   October 7, 2013 at 9:21PM
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2reeds
Maybe bring some color to the top of the windows with fabric. I like terra cotta with sage for an accent color.
1 Like   October 7, 2013 at 9:33PM
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Margo
Kiley- LOL- that is exactly what I thought you meant, just the bottom of the lamp (the base) and I couldn't imagine changing that would help the room in any way. If you would have said paint the lamp I would have got it, as I would not paint a shade LOL.
   October 8, 2013 at 4:48AM
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libradesigneye
Here's something that will add that sense of vintage chic - you need a print pillow or ottoman fabric that has the green, and (given drapery and plates) - off-white and some color. You need a print that says fresh, but hints at throwback. Black and green work very well together - this print adds some red (every room should have some), yellow and sprinkles in a bit of aqua. This way to deal with several shades of green is to treat the green as a neutral backdrop.

Add pillows in this and add vintage poster art - a pair over / matched behind your lamps - http://beautifulfabric.com/asccustompages/products.asp?fav=0&fpage=1&page=1&categoryID=50&productID=8752&pStart=0&recNum=72
and large mounted posters like this http://www.art.com/asp/mountshop/default.asp/_/mt--1/pd--13280370/sp--a/posters.htm?PODConfigID=7174949&ui=8033B58F512B433F8C4CD227F8251A46
(trim the 18 x 24 size and get them wood mounted - it will add to your symmetry) http://www.art.com/products/p12371815-sa-i1740148/adolfo-hohenstein-puccini-la-boheme.htm?sorig=cat&sorigid=27522&dimvals=27522&ui=8033b58f512b433f8c4cd227f8251a46&ssk=vintage+art+collections
other choices http://www.art.com/asp/mountshop/default.asp/_/mt--1/pd--10044300/sp--a/posters.htm?PODConfigID=0&ui=8033B58F512B433F8C4CD227F8251A46

In the art, you are looking for shots of red and yellow / ideally with a little black. This will bring the whole room to life and the black print pillows/ ottoman slipcover will bring it all together - still a calm, predominantly neutral room . . . but now with personality. If those vintage posters aren't your faves, don't worry - you can find a pair with color and life that relate to each other.
   October 8, 2013 at 7:39AM
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nestingchic
Lydia - where did you find that pillow you posted a picture of?
   October 8, 2013 at 8:38PM
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Darzy
Just saw this photo and thought of your dilemma. Cover your sofa(s) with cowhide? :)

   October 8, 2013 at 9:02PM
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jhperree
Add fur throws....lots of them.
Separate to opposite sides,
Dark colorful rug.
Heavier side tables
1 Like   October 8, 2013 at 9:16PM
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jhperree
Get rid of the plates.
Something substantial...graphic art.
Extreme color on wall. Favorite shade very dark or very bright in hue.
1 Like   October 8, 2013 at 9:20PM
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Lydia (Kazza Design)
Can you possibly get rid of the smaller couch? This would allow more flexibility for the layout. It just looks wrong.
   October 9, 2013 at 6:16AM
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Erica Garza
Why are you stuck w/ them ? You can sell on CL and get a style you like. Covering them up isn't going to change the fact that when you sit on the couch you'll likely toss the pillows off and still hate em :/
3 Likes   October 9, 2013 at 6:21AM
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nestingchic
Haha well I would love to get rid of them but my sister gave them to me to hold on to for her while she's overseas so if I sold them I'd have to give her the money and then I'd have no furniture. So trying to make the best of them
   October 9, 2013 at 6:55AM
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Erica Garza
well bummer! LOL Is she covering the cost of your pillows to cover her couch? (totally joking!) I love Lydias color suggestions!
   October 9, 2013 at 7:00AM
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Pam P.
How about two coordinated colorful quilts to drape over the back of each sofa. That would give you lots of color and set a theme of comfort in a family room.
   October 9, 2013 at 7:07AM
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libradesigneye
If you head olive like the sofas in your accents (like Lydia's pottery barn pillow with the coral), I think you would be happier to change the wall color. There are so many terrific khaki green undertone colors that would make your sofas look better. Look at sw cargo pants http://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners/color/find-and-explore-colors/paint-colors-by-family/SW7738-cargo-pants/
   October 9, 2013 at 4:36PM
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kuzzwhy
If you are stuck with them because of someone's feelings: stop. Thank them. Explain you can't make them fit/work/whatever. Have a terrible accident with a stain (don't really--but donate them quickly before the person who donated to you visits and explain why after). Someone who really needs and wants those couches will appreciate them. You can have a a tax write off. And start over. Don't spend time, money, & effort to add more items to your home to decorate around something you hate. Your big anchor piece should be something comfortable and neutral that you love or at least like and can change up over the years with pillows, throws and art that you love.

If you are too strapped to replace the couch now, then buy an inexpensive throw and pillows in contrast that you'll like. I suggest aquas, vibrant turquoise, some clean white and grey colors to brighten up that green. Don't go maroon or yellow, which will look dated.

Look for clothes with outfits that incorporate that color and use those matches to chose some colors. Use books and bowls to brighten up the room. The sofas are kind of slouchy shaped. So try to find pillows with more graphic shape and graphic, contemporary pattern to perk things up and look more modern.


It's hard to tell anything about placement without seeing the rest of the room. If it's an option to move the couch away from the window, that would let in more light. Don't know if that would block off another room/door. Even if you could angle the love seat in the corner and rearrange the end tables or just use one of them somewhere else....
   last Wednesday at 7:34PM
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kuzzwhy
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   last Wednesday at 7:35PM
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