Help redecorating a dark room
October 23, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can redecorate this room to make it brighter? We don't want to paint over the dark timber picture rails and doors because of their heritage value. All the furniture will go but the carpet will stay as its new. I was thinking paint would help the most but worried white will clash with the dark timber.
Thank you in advance!
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Some options: reface the brick with natural stone, add a beautiful chandelier that is bright and appropriate for your home's style, add or recover sofa and chairs to soft white.

McLean Residence
Spanish Oaks Lot 5
mercedes courland
1 Like   October 23, 2013 at 1:18PM
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The details in your home are beautiful, by the way! I can understand why you want to preserve them.
0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Dar Eckert
How about adding a warm color to the room? Here are some examples. The room doesn't look dark with those great windows. Maybe you just need to warm it up a little. Find a fabric that you like and use that for inspiration for curtains, wall color, accessories.

Mediterranean Dining Room
Welcome to Warmth by B Fein Interiors
Ft. Worth Historical Residence
0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 1:42PM
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I like your light walls with the dark trim. I would consider adding a rug over your wall to wall (I know some people hate this look, but I think a rug can help to brighten the room). Here is a link to an ideabook I have where most rooms show dark trim with light walls and furnishings.

0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 1:47PM
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I'm in strong agreement with the fireplace. If you can't afford to reface it, I'd paint the brick in a cream color. I'd put in a new mantle that has some heft and detail to it. The fireplace is your feature wall so attention to the details are important. I think the decorative objects you have on the top of the fireplace are odd in placement and distracting so you might consider taking those down. And rather than three pieces above the mantle, I'd look at either something tall and bulky on one side (i.e., set of three candlesticks in different heights)or a balanced set of objects on each side. Painting the fireplace will instantly brighten the room. Don't be afraid to use soft golds or taupes (that match your carpeting) paint colors. Having some color shouldn't make the room feel darker, rather cozier.
0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 2:04PM
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Thank you all, your advice is really getting my mind ticking!!
The rooms have been decorated by the current tenants so I will be left with a blank slate when I move in. The photo is a little deceiving, it makes the room look brighter than it really is, particularly as it doesn't get any direct sunlight.
I have a textured white lounge which I'll use in the room and I was thinking a light rug??? but all your advice is helping immensely. Especially the images!!!
Thank you! Any more advice is very welcome :)
0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 4:20PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Paint a blue gray like Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. Add panels to ends of windows in a gray. Furn. Sofa in a dove gray. Chairs in a yellow and gray print. Light wood coffee table square or round can be glass. End tables on end of sofa with big tall. Lamps in silver base, with black shades.
0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 4:32PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Both chairs together and facing fireplace. Add color to firepl. A long buffet next to furepl. , instead of TV stand. Make it with storage. In dark wood. You could white wash firepl. Just to update and not really change. Google for instructions.
0 Likes   October 23, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Nancy Travisinteriors
Wish you would say upfront furn isn't yours. But my suggestion still stand. A white sofa would work too. Just go print on chairs. There is carpet, so no area rug. If just renting. May not be able to change walls, etc.
0 Likes   October 24, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Add mirrors, lamps, greenery, and a new, brighter light fixture. The white walls look dingy - I would go for something light and warm or cool and fresh to make it feel lighter and brighter. I have to recommend: my favorite paint brand is Valspar. I am picturing a light tropical green or a butter yellow color.
1 Like   January 18, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Color Zen
Against the grain here :) I actually think you need "warmer" vs. brighter... The white walls just look cold to me, especially in contrast to the dark trim. Yes that combo can work in the right context- but, I would go with a medium paint color. Could be a neutral or a grayed down color. It will not make the room a lot darker, instead it will bridge the light and dark for better visual flow. Then you can match decor to the new wall color. Good luck!
0 Likes   January 18, 2014 at 12:24PM
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This is a very nice space. I agree with others that painting the fireplace will help a lot. Not sure you will need to change out the mantel once the brick is lighter. If this was my room and I wanted a more modern look, I would paint the walls a bold color from the wood up. I would suggest a bright yellow, olive green, orange or a muted red. It really isn't all that expensive to have an electrician install some recessed lighting, you may want to consider if you still need more light.
0 Likes   January 18, 2014 at 12:37PM
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Kathleen Jamison
Fabulous home. Is brighter really the problem? I am fine with the wall color. Do buy a bigger plusher velvet damask sofa and keep the chairs (match era of house) and re cover cushion (brighter bolder). I see you are conservative and good with the basics but not with accessories. So work on finishing the room with more furniture, art, lamps. The fireplace surround is not the prettiest but is original, so I would leave as is are start over.
0 Likes   January 18, 2014 at 2:08PM
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How about painting lower wall a warm white in flat or eggshell. Paint the same paint (flat or eggshell) of white above the wall molding and then above the same wall molding go back and paint stripes (12 inches wide) with the same color except in semi or high gloss. Continue the same shiny paint up on to the ceiling. This will add subtle texture to your walls, and with the ceiling shiny, the light will bounce around your room. I would add antiqued mirrors in keeping with character of your home. I think your white sofa will look beautiful against the warm white walls. If your carpet isn't to high, how about a nice seagrass area rug bound in a color that you use as an accent color, aqua?, mustard? various colors of green?
0 Likes   January 18, 2014 at 4:08PM
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Sustainable Dwellings
I like the room. I do think you need to make a statement with a nicer light. I would paint the brick on that fireplace... and change it up. Then, select some gorgeous furniture.
0 Likes   January 18, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Oops! Just realized you posted this in October! Sorry, I am sure you have already painted and done what you wanted. New to Houzz, I'm trying to remember to read the dates before I respond, but sometimes I get too excited! :-D
0 Likes   January 18, 2014 at 4:15PM
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the essentials inside
can you add a more updated picture please.

0 Likes   January 19, 2014 at 1:02PM
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