Living Room needs some (a lot of) help!
March 3, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I need help with everything design oriented. I've been in my house for close to 5 years and have no idea what style I have or what style to use. I need to figure out a new layout for the room and a new overall design (paint color, accessories, window treatments, etc). Please be as brutal (but helpful) as you wish!
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Honestly, you are on fine track...unless you want a change. The floor plan would be enhanced per the images below. As far as new paint, accessories and window treatments what's your preference? You have a wonderful old home and your style seems very traditional. Your sofas are neutral and you can go with any colors you choose.

Some suggestions:

1. Unless you need the ceiling fan for airflow that should be removed.
2. The sconces would be better flanking a doorway and artwork hung in their place.
3. The small shelf and the clock over the arch look out of place.
4. The grey portion of the fireplace should be a deeper richer color playing off whatever you decide to paint the room.

I have also included some color options. Lighter single colors will make the room feel larger.
March 3, 2014 at 9:45pm        Thanked by Courtney
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Manon Floreat
I think lucidos has some fine ideas! That arrangement looks perfect and all you'd have to do is get an armchair and ottoman. I highly recommend rearranging and see if what lucidos proposed works.

I might add that a glass coffee table would give the appearance of more space. Additionally, a rug that spans the length of the room with a quiet nature will also visually expand the space. A remnant might be an economical option.

I'm curious if the area where you have your sofa was intended to be the dining area when the house was built?
March 3, 2014 at 10:30pm        Thanked by Courtney
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Lucidos, thank you very much for saying my room isn't terrible. I feel like it is!

I plan on building a "built in" next to the fireplace, but I haven't quite found the right design yet. I've also thought about tearing down the small interior wall by the front door because it just takes up space and feels awkward. I don't think we would be able to have your layout with the wall still there. I've had friends tell me that the "red" is too dark for the size of the room and I went with the tan to lighten it up, but I'm not a huge fan of the tan anymore. I went with the red because of the throw pillows, which came with the sofa and love seat when I bought them. Didn't know what else to do.

My taste does tend to be more on the "traditional" side, but I like parts from all categories; rustic, modern, etc. Realistically, as long as it looks good, I don't care what style it came from :-) . I'm 25 years old, and this is my first house, so I want it to be nice. I went straight from parents house to my own house, so I haven't quite figured out how to decorate.

For window treatments, I'm leaning towards getting rid of the white faux wood blinds and having just drapes, or drapes and roman shades? I've never been good at visualizing patterns, colors, etc, which is why my house is not even close to being completely decorated... even after 5 years.

As for your suggestions, thank you for helping!
(1) I replaced the ceiling fans a few years after we moved in, so I had planned on keeping them. Since our house is old (built in the 1930's), the furnace and a/c aren't awesome, so its especially nice having the ceiling fans in spring when the windows are open.
(2) Any suggestions for artwork? The sconces have candles on them, so I'm sure I can find another place for them in my house.
(3) I agree. I just did not know where else to put them. At this point, the shelf is a "catch all" for knick knacks that I don't know what to do with or if I'm even going to keep them.
(4) I went with the gray color because I had the left over paint, plus it was a neutral color as well. Again, didn't know what else to do. The fireplace was actually just made over a few months ago. See the progress pictures below.

I was thinking of putting up board and batten style trim all the way around. I don't want to repaint if I don't have to, but maybe changing both the red and tan wouldn't be a bad idea. I want to keep the walls neutral and add pop of color in my accessories, drapes/blinds, throw pillows, etc, and I'm not sure if I could do that with the bold red I currently have.
March 3, 2014 at 10:46pm   
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Manon, we don't know about the original floorplan of the house. The previous owners actually did several add ons, so we aren't really sure. I don't know if there used to be a wall separating the current living room into separate rooms, and the short interior wall is a remnant of that. Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is there are A LOT of updates needed in this house! FYI, we don't want to have to replace furniture if we don't have to... Unfortunately, money is an issue. The cheaper the updates can be done, the better.
March 3, 2014 at 10:51pm   
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I want the space to be a comfortable and inviting seating area. I don't have much company over (mainly because I'm embarrassed by my house), but when I do, I want it to be a room I can be proud of. Warm and cozy.
March 3, 2014 at 10:55pm   
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Your home is wonderful and I would be happy to come over :) My home was built in 1895 and I have a love of great old homes. I can tell you that the fireplace was probably where the entire "parlor" was and the other portion the dining room.

Ok..I need you to do your measurements. Particularly if that large sofa or the love seat would fit on that wall. I would paint the room a subtle color such as a pale warm green
SW 6415 Hearts Of Palm (see image) then have a blast with colors in accents, corals, slate greys, reds, emerald greens.

I suggest...Use the deep caramel color on the walls for the grey portion of the fireplace. I like your red painting it would look great over the fireplace. Keeping a TV over the fireplace is not a good look and if it's a real fireplace not a good thing for the TV.

Art work is a very personal thing. You have to find art that works for you and your hubby. That's never an easy thing. I can only tell you that thrift stores and garage sales and flea markets make for great art finds.

I would leave the wooden blinds and find either material or curtains in a print once you choose a wall color. I can make suggestions but curtains for that room and 3 sets of windows are a pricey thing and you really need to settle on a wall color first. I'm not that much older then you and on my 3rd house. When money was tight I actually used printed sheets for panels :) I still shop thrift shops and garage sales and used online ads because I enjoy the old vintage items.

That little window is actually a very important feature of your original home and I would not remove it. I would, when money permits, get a stained glass for it.
March 4, 2014 at 12:01am   
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Lucidos, the small window was boarded up by the previous owners. They added a room to the other side of that wall and didn't know what to do with the old window. Likewise, I don't know what to do with it either. I don't think stained glass would work since there wouldn't be any light coming through it (its boarded up and the other side of the wall is a room). If you left the window, would you leave the existing trim around it or remove it for something else?

The fireplace is not operational, but it could be. It would take quite a bit of money to do it though, which is why we haven't. I want to mount the TV on the wall, but wasn't a huge fan of having it on the mantle.

Measurement time!
Wall space - 8 ft
Love seat - about 5ft 8 in
End tables - 2 ft wide

Based off the measurements, I think it should fit, but just barely. Now I'll have to find a new spot for the dog kennel ;-) .

I really like the 2nd picture you posted for the curtains, not necessarily the print though. I like having the drapes and then blinds all the way to the ceiling. My current blinds are not a perfect fit for the windows, so the mount and valance actually stick out past the window frame. In person, it looks terrible! I could get rid of my current blinds, and go with something similar to the picture. But money again... Could I take my drapes all the way to the ceiling and still have it cover the window valance? That would be a lot of wall space it would cover, so I'm not sure how that would look.

When I've looked at pictures on houzz and on pinterest, it seems my taste goes more to grays and blues. Green is my favorite color, but I'm not sure how to decorate with it. Here are some pictures that I have found and really like. They feel cozy and warm, without feeling crowded.
March 4, 2014 at 8:42am   
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Nope, I can't fit the sofa and love seat on those 2 walls. they overlap too much and I'm only able to fit 1 end table. Sigh.
March 4, 2014 at 9:23am   
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Ok. Lets start at the little window. Is it still operational? If so you can toss LED lights in there and mount a stained glass. You can even get a stained glass window decal from Wallyworld or any home improvement store. battery led lights cost next to nothing and the decals are inexpensive ...maybe a total of $ 25.00 to make that window look like a million. And yes keep the trim on it.

As far as the room color, it's your house. The grey that's in vogue and the seafoam green will be replaced very soon. The spring colors are following a new batch of bolder tones with a twist see here. It's your home and if you want to paint it pink with orange polkadots and accent it in red do it. Don't ever become a slave to the trends.

Yes that would be a perfect way to place curtains in your home. I would start by getting the shades since yours don't fit right. As a note custom wood blinds are not cheap see if you can make them fit better. Otherwise get a natural woven shade.

That small wall is an issue how close is it to the main door? Also can you take an image of the outside of the home in that area?
March 4, 2014 at 10:35am   
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The small wall is smack right next to the front door. There is maybe an inch between the end of the trim for the door to the wall. The wall is also 6 inches wide/thick.

I've attached pictures of the front of the house... which also needs work :-/ . The sun was glaring in my eyes so I couldn't see what the pictures turned out like. Also ignore the xmas decorations still up lol; it's been too cold or nasty weather to take them down. I'm attaching a picture of what I would like to do the front porch and awning, but I'll have to get several bids for the work because I don't think it would be a DIY project for me.

As for the tiny window, yes it does still open and close; it's a turn latch type handle and the glass door opens inward (towards you) with the hinges on the right. I'll have to look up pictures and get an idea for the stained glass.
March 6, 2014 at 12:27pm   
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Oops, I forgot the "dream" front porch picture;[houzz=

Also, here is a close up on the tiny window and latch as well.
March 6, 2014 at 12:42pm   
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OH! Fantastic looks like you have about 4" Space in there and it is accessible. Paint out that window inside and out and get the LED light ($4.00 for a pack they last a month each) and some stained glass decal it will look awesome. Also a bit of Brillo will shine up the hinges and latch.

For now paint the aluminum on the screen door...Rustolium has a paint.

As far as your layout. I was hoping that moving the front entry would be a possibility. The only thing I can suggest is widening it to the right for a storybook entrance and moving the interior door closer to the fireplace. This would require a change in the portico roof line and losing one of the double windows but it would give you the space for a better lay out. Then finishing the exterior portico in stone.

Your house is a bungalo but it's lines are storybook tudor. It could be adorable. Also when the weather permits paint the concrete foundation or cover it in a stucco.
March 6, 2014 at 1:22pm   
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Ok, I'm more open to updating the small window with stained glass... But I want to go straight to real stained glass instead of a decal. The search for a custom stained glass is on!

The only way I'm seeing an updated furniture layout is to buy new smaller furniture, which really is not in the budget. Plus our furniture is only 4-5 years old.

I really want to have an extended front porch. Extend it to the end of the house from right of the front door. I will be replacing both the front door and aluminum screen door. The screen door does not sit in the frame properly and its actually bent, and the front door just isn't very inviting and "homey" to me.

Can you think of any other way of placing the furniture? I'm stumped....
March 7, 2014 at 11:43am   
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Other then the plan you have I don't see any other option with your current pieces, unfortunately we can't invent space, much as I have tried :) You may want to consider selling your set in your local buy/sell ads and picking up something there that would work for your space better. I think the best arrangement would be 2 loveseats and 1 or 2 chairs or a sectional. How much did they overlap? I have a sawz-all in the basement I can loan you :)

I'm so glad your considering that window. It is a wonderful feature to that beautiful old home that should be preserved. I think it will make a great statement in the living area. There are always local stained glass shops and you can sit with the artist and design a custom made one. Also check places that are doing stained glass classes sometimes they will use something like your window as a teaching item and just charge you material cost. A window that size can cost anywhere from $100.00 to $300.00. In the end you get to have helped create it.

When you do extend the porch consider relocating that door. It would make for a much better flow to that room.
March 7, 2014 at 1:36pm   
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If you were to move the door, would it make more sense to move it to where the single window is? It would almost allow you to have a bit more of an entry over there plus leave the rest of your living room for well... your living room. If you could take out that little wall too it may really open it up for more layout options as well?
March 8, 2014 at 2:13pm   
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Guesswho, I was thinking that as well. It would make more sense to take out the single window instead of losing my double one. That would make for a very large front porch! Sigh, I don't even want to think about how much all that would cost.... This is where it would be nice to know people in the business ;-) .

I'll be checking out stained glass designs and see if I can find something that could work. It shouldn't cost much to put lights in behind it, and for the stained glass; $200 -$300 maybe?

I'm just sick of the current layout. It would be nice to actually hold a conversation and have a spot for people to gather when they come over.

Well here's to dreaming!
March 8, 2014 at 5:38pm   
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