How to brighten lifeless living room
Esperanza Martinez
November 15, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi! Our living room is lovely, with plenty of natural light, wooden floors and massive windows overlooking the trees. However, it lacks the wow! factor. It looks dull at best…
Now looking at the photos I realised that the tree covering the back window is too dense. I will have it trimmed next week. I am also thinking about adding a couple of indoor plants (on the green dots in the floor plan). But, what else could I do to brighten the space up? What should I add? Large cushions? A splash of colour on the large white wall? Window treatments? Your great ideas would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
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sunnydrew
I think your room is fabulous with lots more potential. Have you tied putting the console table either on the wall next to the attached lamp? Why is the one chair in the alcove by itself, can you work into the room? the framed picture hanging next to big window is hung too high. It should be hung at eye level (to the center), but slightly lower since it is a room where people sit down. the console table would look nice under that too. can you post more pictures of what looks like the fireplace wall? what is reflecting light there? I think with a little color on one or more walls and some colorful pillows , it would add that wow you are looking for. use that Japanese print on the ottoman for inspiration of color. Add some solids in red and blue. I think the couch has a dis-connect because the 2 "sides" are far apart. You could pull it closer together but not all one sectional. Group the entire coffee table together. Add some glass and metal to have more "elements" in the room. Do you have other table and lamps to work with? Do you have any outlets in the floor to work with? That is a good start. I think it is a great room.
1 Like   November 15, 2013 at 7:14AM
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Maria Smith
I too, think it is a beautiful room. An area rug with more contrast (in red/blues like mentioned above) would anchor the sectional/gathering area, provide warmth, and break up the brown to brown w/ floor and sectional. It would also enhance the lovely floor. Plants would be great too, a large ficus in an coordinating pot would bring some of the green from outside in, as would a smaller potted plant on a end table. I think paint would be good as well, the walls are vast and super white. I am not a fan of window treatments if they are not needed, love your windows.
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 7:26AM
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chookchook2
Would take cue from the Asian print on ottoman. What about a water feature.
1 Like   November 15, 2013 at 7:32AM
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PRO
Aggie dba Aggie Designs
I wouldn't hesitate to put color on walls, but I think an accent wall would be too much contrast. I love the serenity of the space.. I agree with the other poster, to move the console away from the window to the other wall, under the painting with a lamp.

[houzz=Wilton Desk Lamp]

You should leave that window un ubstructed, with maybe a daybed bench for reading in front. Or a bubble chair or two suspended from ceiling

[houzz=Hanging Bubble Chair]

For the wall color, I would do a classic. Prescott Green from BM

[houzz=Prescott Green HC-140 by Benjamin Moore]

and a lighter half formula of the same for the ceiling.

I would put a second rug over the other rug, something irregular shaped even and with color and brightness...but an animal hide would look good, too..

[houzz=Cowhide Brown and White Rug]

I would use your existing coffee table as side tables, and instead get a different glass coffee table for the center, that will be airier and have some sculptural properties..

[houzz=Terria Modern Glass Coffee Table]

Comfy Chenille or Alpaca Throws in light greens, and pillows...

[houzz=White Sage Assiro Herringbone Throw]


[houzz=Koko Ecco Rectangular Rust and Sage Throw Pillow]

And YES! to plants!
3 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 7:37AM
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Maria Smith
Agree w/ paint on ceiling as well, 75% would be about right.
1 Like   November 15, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Esperanza Martinez
Thank you for all your ideas! I will try moving furniture around over the weekend + lowering paintings. Then I will post more pics. The fireplace has above a large bronze sheet. I am not a big fan of it, but as the house is rented we can't do anything about it. Additionally, as it works as a radiation wall when the chimney is turned on we can't place anything on top either… I will keep you posted on changes. Thanks again!
0 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 8:17AM
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DeCocco Drapes
Lighting! Uplights (like a small one in a large potted plant in a corner), table lamp (on the previously suggested console table). It's a beautiful room with fabulous windows, but not properly lit. I might also suggest drapery panels flanking the smaller window (look at our Woven Textures pattern for a quiet, organic choice) and a colorful, nubby throw draped on the couch or loveseat.
1 Like   November 15, 2013 at 8:32AM
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
Nice room... needs lots of color, texture, and bold art!
2 Likes   November 15, 2013 at 8:34AM
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PRO
In Style Modern
Are you willing to replace the furniture? Because that is what makes it look dull/dark even with all the natural light coming in. You need more lights too. Possibly a chandelier.
0 Likes   November 18, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Dana Bostwick
I love your furniture and think you can just accessorize with orange pillows or rug! The white walls look great with your scenery outside!
0 Likes   November 18, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Synlawn of Kansas City
Try another lamp and another painting on the wall or some black & white photographs on the table.
0 Likes   November 19, 2013 at 11:24AM
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yvonnecmartin
It's a lovely room that just needs a spark. I think that you need a throw or two in colors from your print, a bookcase (hopefully you read), and floor lamps to add height. Do you need window coverings for when the sun goes down?
0 Likes   November 19, 2013 at 12:40PM
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nancyann0277a
Sofas are beautiful so don't waste $$$ on that. Add colour with pillows and other accessories. Also new coffee table as others have said. Lovely room and view.
0 Likes   November 19, 2013 at 1:05PM
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cherylmks
Oh can I come spend a weekend with you? I love this room. Just let out a long sigh.
1 Like   November 21, 2013 at 11:56PM
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Esperanza Martinez
Dear Houzzers, I have been silent for a while but reading eagerly all your comments. Many thanks for your great ideas. So far, I have moved the furniture around, trimmed the tree by the window, incorporated some green inside and added provisional cushions (to get the "feel"). The picture below doesn't reflect the amount of light coming into the room -the sun is on the opposite side of the house now-, but gives you an idea of how it looks in general. What do you think? We love the change. It makes the room really welcoming.
As per your suggestions I still need to add more lights (love the idea of uplights to take advantage of the dramatic lines in the ceiling but haven't found any I like), more colour (in larger cushions) and perhaps a colourful rug. Your follow-up ideas would be very welcomed.
0 Likes   November 22, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Esperanza Martinez
Here are the images...
1 Like   November 22, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Esperanza Martinez
Sunnydrew asked about the reflecting bit above the fireplace. It's a bronze plate. I am not a big fan of it, but we can't move it or add anything to it (it radiates the heat).
1 Like   November 22, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Maria Smith
Check out these indoor plant up lights, I have mine on a timer, room is looking wonderful! http://www.lampsplus.com/products/set-of-two-indoor-plant-lights__46728.html
1 Like   Thanked by Esperanza Martinez    November 22, 2013 at 12:35PM
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Esperanza Martinez
This photo reflects the light better.
0 Likes   November 22, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Esperanza Martinez
I tried a couple of those under the plant but the amount of light wasn't enough to even cover half the height of the wall… Our ceiling is quite high. I was thinking on placing some more potent lights behind the pot. But the only options I have found are outdoor -garden- lights…
1 Like   November 22, 2013 at 12:41PM
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playaazul
get a bright throw and bright cushions - consider bright orange or lime green and a bright area rug and draw same color into some art work and a vase or something
0 Likes   November 23, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Judiwithani
That window is stunning. It's the focal point. Putting the sofa there takes away from it's beauty. Try a very long, low ( about 6 " lower than window frame ) bench. Would be ideal
to sit on. Also good place to stack books, just stay below the view.
0 Likes   November 23, 2013 at 1:56PM
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escolat
Your living room is wonderful, love the earth tones, love the live plant( although I would have chosen a lady palm since you have Oriental touches)...it literally brings life and luxury to the room!
0 Likes   November 23, 2013 at 2:57PM
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