This hurts my eyes - want a modern, neutral room - better pics
Alley Cat
December 4, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi, Houzzers - I want to create a neutral living room but I feel stuck. I have an 11 x 14 living room with Behr Silver Screen paint, amber-toned wood floors, the Karlstad sofa in Sivik grey and a honey-colored reclaimed wood mirror. The wall paint reads pale blue (I wanted it grey); the floors, of course, are reddish; the sofa is charcoal with a strong denim overtone in certain lights and the mirror is a lovely honey but obviously it doesn't go well with the floors - I don't think. I can't change the floors for another year and I am trying to avoid repainting (although I will if I have to). My questions: 1. can I make this all gel together with accessories/curtains/rugs? Is any wood floor a neutral? 2. If not, is there a type of white paint that will tone down the red in the floors and the blue in the sofa? 3. Should I just embrace the red and blue for now and go for some other kind of color scheme. The photo here is a vague mood board I created by adding some black and white and silver accessories near some of the room elements to see if I could "neutralize" everything. (Ignore the chocolate brown sofa in far left corner - it's about to be ditched.)
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Deb Reinhart Interior Design Group, Inc.
Right now, the blue undertones of the walls make the floor feel more red, and the red undertones of the floor make the walls feel more blue! White walls would be a great solution for creating a more neutral space. It'll also feel really clean and contemporary, which seems appropriate based on the shape and style of furniture you've selected.

Check out Benjamin Moore's Simply White. It's a nice cleanwhite that doesn't feel too cold.
December 4, 2013 at 12:53pm        Thanked by Alley Cat
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Alley Cat
Thanks! I will check out the BM option (I'll be looking for a Mystic equivalent as I have a baby in the house). What undertone does Simply White have?.
December 4, 2013 at 12:55pm   
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Alley Cat
I meant Mythic paint!
December 4, 2013 at 1:04pm   
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Rebecca Hart
I would love to see you add red to this. OR maaybe a bright yellow accent?
December 4, 2013 at 8:13pm        Thanked by Alley Cat
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Andrea D.
You need warm accents to tie in the warm floor with the cool couch.
December 5, 2013 at 9:47am        Thanked by Alley Cat
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tweeena
Are you set on the mirror? I think that's the only thing really throwing it off with the yellow tone compared to the red in the floor.
December 5, 2013 at 10:02am        Thanked by Alley Cat
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Andrea D.
I agree about the mirror. Maybe bring on art and it will look just fine. No room looks pulled together without art.
December 5, 2013 at 10:30am     
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Alley Cat
Looks like I should lose the mirror! A question for Deb Reinhart or anyone else - can you paint a north-facing room white? The room has fairly good light from two tall windows, but I'm worried that if I paint BM Simply White to neutralize it, that it might look shadowy and dingy? Also, what would be the best paint finish for a north facing room with wood panels?
December 5, 2013 at 10:39am   
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Angelina Vick
That mirror isn't serving the space well.

I'm not personally a fan of white, it's too stark.

Have you looked up living rooms with wood floors? That could help you choose a paint color.
December 5, 2013 at 10:50am        Thanked by Alley Cat
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Alley Cat
I'm really tempted by the white idea after seeing some great rooms on this site, but it's hard to know what the lighting is like.
December 5, 2013 at 10:51am   
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Angelina Vick
I'm looking through the idea books. It looks like many people use white with your color of wood flooring. I see some that are a very light cream color too. Mostly people leaned into a very light color.

I don't think it will be an issue as far as your lighting. But...honestly I'm not sure.

Can you take more pictures of the space so we can see a complete view? It helps.
December 5, 2013 at 10:57am      Thanked by Alley Cat
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Alley Cat
Here are views of the north facing windows (it's not nearly as dark as this photo suggests), the TV area (I want to do a floating media cabinet made from IKEA Besta boxes and a wood-grain sheet from Panyl below TV), and the view to the hallway. The dark brown couch is about to be thrown out. Lots of baby equipment temporarily in room!
December 5, 2013 at 11:19am   
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tweeena
They have so many different whites to keep from looking too stark. I think white would look good. Then you can tie in some great art pieces to bring in the warmth from your floor :)
December 5, 2013 at 9:07pm     
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NEMM Design Group, Inc.
Hi, as shown in the pictures I am attaching, I would place an over hanging lamp in the corner (west elm) canvas art (Brooklyn bridge from IKEA) a concrete neutral coffee table (Crate&Barrel) and a high pile neutral rug (IKEA). I think this combination will soften the color of the floor and neutralize the wall color while matching it. Best of luck!
P.S. You could also use a tripod floor lamp in the corner...
December 6, 2013 at 8:19pm     
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Alley Cat
This is awesome, thanks NEMM. I was admiring your comments on someone else's post earlier today. Thanks so much for commenting here. Will check these pieces out!
December 6, 2013 at 8:24pm     
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libratravel
What about getting a warm rug? Something camel or gray colored? We just got an awesome Berber remnant from the rug store for super cheap.... Looks awesome!
December 6, 2013 at 9:01pm     
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Alley Cat
Remnants are a great idea. I'm debating the whole rug thing because I don't want to cut off the far corner where the old couch is, which will hopefully be replaced by an armchair. Camel could work, although I am in love with a tan tufted armchair.
December 6, 2013 at 9:06pm   
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Mary Bert
I like your paint color...and your couch...I just think the mirror is throwing things off...why not just get some throw pillows you like...a simple carpet and some substantially sized art and voila...your room will come alive...good luck...
December 6, 2013 at 9:16pm     
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Upside Development
Take away one of the couches, too cluttered. Take away mirror does not match flooring. Minimalistic approach is the key here:)
December 6, 2013 at 9:32pm     
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NEMM Design Group, Inc.
Thanks! I'm happy to inspire you, here is another combination of accessories that may warm up the room... 1) west elm 2) z gallery 3) c&b 4) west elm
P.S. A good tip is to use 2 stools instead of a regular coffee table, to gain space in a small room...
December 6, 2013 at 9:42pm     
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Alley Cat
Poor mirror! I love it and I was hoping to echo it in some bamboo wood-grain media storage on the opposite wall, but it sounds like it is too hard to work in with the current floors. Will look for large prints or do b&w prints on canvas maybe.
December 6, 2013 at 9:55pm     
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Alley Cat
Thank you everyone - these comments are really helping me plan my weekend. Must get to bed.... goodnight!
December 6, 2013 at 10:01pm     
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Angelina Vick
Feel free to have a look at my work and see what inspires you. http://angelina-vick.artistwebsites.com/
December 6, 2013 at 10:37pm     
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pickyvicky
Since I've put color onto my walls, I could never ever live again with white or cream on my walls. This is why your hardwood floors bother you. If they are in ok shape, leave them. Paint is cheaper, so put color on the walls & go a shade darker than you normally would.

The house my husband & I bought 14 yrs ago came with an old, high quality, light blue/turquoise carpet in the living room - a color they do not make anymore. Back then, I could not find a sofa I loved, nor anything I hated, to coordinate with that color, either. So my mom told me to ignore the carpet and get the sofa I loved. I followed her advice, painted my walls in colors ( golden brown & gooseberry) complimenting my sofa and people don't notice this old, blue carpet. In fact, no one...including my artist friends, can tell me what color carpet I should get. They ALL love the old blue one with my color scheme. Go figure.
December 7, 2013 at 6:08pm     
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In Style Modern
Nice suggestion NEMM Design Group, Inc., if you decide to go with the arch lamp, instylemodern.com has it
December 8, 2013 at 10:42am     
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lepstein
I agree with pickyvicky. White (even warmer white) will be too stark and light in a north facing room, especially with your dark furniture. Choose a colour (even grey, although that isn't my personal favourite) that has a red undertone, and make it at least one shade darker than you would expect to want.

Stain the mirror and lower it if you really like it, or put a beautiful painting or poster (much larger) there. You might even want to do a collage of smaller pix that fill that area. Go lower to the sofa, though...high enough so your little one can't reach, but low enough so that it doesn't seem to float on its own.
December 10, 2013 at 6:59am      Thanked by Alley Cat
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m3459
I think you would be happier with a Mythic Paint like Amber Waves or Tumbleweed. You'll be surprised how gray it reads when combined with your sofa colors.
December 10, 2013 at 8:07am      Thanked by Alley Cat
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lepstein
Consider Mythic Bedford Blue or Secrets of the Sea.
December 10, 2013 at 8:33am      Thanked by Alley Cat
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