My living room is lacking, what can I add to it?
Charlin McBrodahl
May 9, 2014 in Design Dilemma
I am terrible when it comes to interior design and seeing what looks good together. I just bought my first house, lived here for a week now and I want to make it perfect! I know I definitely need a rug, but what type of rug? Colors? Should I get more window treatments or leave as is? Maybe a new coffee table (there's a glass plate going on top of those ottomans that I haven't attached yet)? Shelves on the back wall? Art on top of the loveseat? I would LOVE links to products that you think would look good!
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Rina
Starting with a rug, I think this beauty from ebay would be great in your room. Wool, 9x12, it probably isn't a bargain but oh my it's nice.

Yes, art above the sofa. Your display/media unit is too big, it overwhelms the space. Can it be dismantled in any way so that you can use just part of it?
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/teal-brown-rugs

Pse scratch doglet's ears for me. S/he looks very unsure of this room, and needs to be reassured that all will be well.
10 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:00AM
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flair lighting
curtains.. also is the left side of entertainment center a separate piece? loose that if it is. add an area rug. and you need some art up behind the sofa. i would get a smaller console for the tv, and put it on the short wall. you need an arm chair or two.maybe even pull the couch off the wall, try the two couches facing each other.. i would flip the tv then
1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:01AM
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Cocoweb
if you add some art, your room would look great with with a picture light. I would maybe opt for a bright painting over the couch, possibly with light oranges and yellows, and then go for a picture light like this. It would go great with the suggested rug above!
1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Custom Decors by Angela
Draperies would add much needed softness and really help make the bay window area seem special. Like in these photos, I would use the draperies to tie the windows together (rather than dressing each one separately).
Traditional Bedroom
Living room
DPC Pacific Heights Residence
Lo-Hi Residence
5 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:29AM
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barbiesecret
Angela you are so right!!!!!
0 Likes   May 9, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Seaside Construction - Custom Home Builder
Love all the advice, but might I add that any accents you add to the room you keep them light. The luxurious size of the furniture you have, as well as that dark rich color can make the room seem dark.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Rebecca Mitchell Interiors & Boutique
Great choice of wall colour. But together with the blinds, you've created a "beachy" look that is not working with the dark leather furniture. I think you need to decide which direction you want to go and either 1) replace the blinds or 2) replace the ottomans with a new coffee table that ties in with the blinds. Then get the right rug for either look you choose. More importantly perhaps is the layout of your living space. It's not right. Try reconfiguring the sofas and pull them more into the centre of the room. Good luck from Montreal!
4 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Great advice! Angela, I love the drapery idea, we will definitely do that. Rina, I'm not so sure of the rug, I think it seems too busy, isn't it? I was thinking something light and solid. Also thinking new coffee table, but not sure if we can afford it now. The wall color was already there when we bought the house. I want to re-paint, but my bf likes it, so we figured we would give it a few years before re-painting. I agree on light accents too. And I really want to get away from the beach feel! It's an old Victorian and I don't think it really fits.
0 Likes   May 9, 2014 at 12:09PM
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Rebecca Mitchell Interiors & Boutique
Then get rid of those blinds and bring in heavier draperies and a vintage inspired area rug. Then you will be playing up the Victorian bones of the house.
2 Likes   May 9, 2014 at 12:21PM
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Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
The curtains suggested by Angela, especially the ones from the Lo-Hi Residence would soften the wall color considerably and really complement the bay. I think the room needs some pattern so I would start with an area rug and new accent pillows. And it seems to me that the sofas with the ottomans is just too much leather. I think you need something lighter in feel.Here are a couple of suggestions.I like the one with more color best, but if are looking for something more neutral the second one has pattern, but reads more as a solid. Spindle Coffee Table://www.houzz.com/photos/11931148/Eva-Persian-Style-Rug---Eva Persian-Style Rug
Kilim Rug in Neutral from Thos. Baker
2 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 12:46PM
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0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 12:55PM
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decoenthusiaste
The furnishings are too heavy and dark - were they the bf's before? They look to be destined for a man cave so you can lighten up this area in a suitable way.
4 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Yes, they are all his! Not my choice. He actually had the couch in a house he rented along with 3 other guys. Now we're kinda stuck with it until we can afford nicer... Since we don't have a big budget right now I would much rather focus on drapery and rugs. Lights accents as well, maybe an oil painting?
0 Likes   May 9, 2014 at 6:19PM
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bryght.com
Congratulations on buying your first house, such an exciting time, making a house a home. I think a new coffee table is a great idea, given that your other pieces are quite dark I would brighten up the space with a lighter finished table. Personally I would pick white because it would tie back into the trims and door and white is classic and stylish. I really like the Myron coffee table from Bryght and I think it would really freshen up your living room, Just a thought, hope this helps.
http://www.bryght.com/product/920/myron-white-square-coffee-table
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 6:28PM
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patriciarhall
Would you consider painting the entertainment center? And, removing all of the items off the top of it will lighten it visually.
2 Likes   May 9, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Rina
Hi Elin. I don't think a patterned rug like that or the first one Madden posted would be too busy; in fact as the room is at the moment I think it would be ideal. You have those big blocks of wall colour and black, so an overall pattern (with a bit of the wall colour in it) would lighten that up a lot; in mood, I mean, whether it makes the room lighter would depend on the rug, of course. But -- big but -- your choice must make you happy, and a plain rug could certainly work, or a plain one with a border. You might want to decide first what to do with the entertainment centre (that term always makes think of a great big complex with cinemas, "media centre" makes me think of a building that houses TV and radio stations -- hence my struggling with what to call them). Also, if you find yourself liking patterned curtains, then plain might well be the best way to go with the rug. A lot of thinking to do! :-)
3 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 9, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Madden, Slick & Bontempo, Inc
I ran across these articles a couple of days ago while researching a project. They have some beautiful pictures and great ideas for working with dark furniture. Painting the TV cabinet is a good idea and doesn't cost much either. http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2011/05/sofa-remorse-living-with-a-dark-sofa/ http://houserevivals.blogspot.com/2014/01/17-pretty-ways-to-decorate-with-brown.html
1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 4:44AM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Thank you Madden, those articles are great!
1 Like   May 10, 2014 at 6:49AM
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leemiller
Before you invest in rugs and accents trying to make everything work I would definitely paint. Do you need both couches in there? Seems like those windows are a nice feature. Ps I've been living with my husband's leather couch for a few years in our living room.
1 Like   May 10, 2014 at 7:00AM
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tmesser608
I love the wall color, but the room seems a little dark. If that's your preference keep with the dark. But if you want to lighten the room, yellow really has a way of brightening a room and making your living space pop! And it look especially lovely against the color walls you have.

Best of luck and congratulations of your first house!!!!
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 7:12AM
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partim
The wall color does nothing to complement the beautiful wood floor or the leather seating. Is the seating black or dark brown? I don't want to read anything into your relationship, but with my DH "I like the color" would mean "I don't want the work of re-painting" LOL. On a budget, repainting offers a lot of bang for your buck. I'd go with a beige that has an orange undertone. Maybe others here can suggest specific colors.

I'd recommend you find a rug that looks good with the floor and seating colors, then decide on curtains. Last of all, choose a paint color that looks good with all of these. There are so many paint colors that decorators decide on it last. I'd go this route rather than spending money on rugs or curtains to look good with the blue paint, because they may not look as good when you eventually repaint.

I agree with a lot of what others have said here. Too much furniture in that space. If you send us pictures of the other side of the room, maybe we can offer some suggestions for rearrangement. Stand in the window corners and shoot to the opposite corners, and a view from the door as you come into the room, into the 2 far corners.

If the TV stand comes apart, the side and/or top pieces can be used in other rooms.
1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 7:39AM
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rosiegabby



Window treatment. Stationary panels on either side of center window in ivory with black metal hardware. Pottery barn ans restoration hardware have some nice stuff.
1 Like   May 10, 2014 at 7:49AM
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rosiegabby
I have skimmed thru the comments not reading in detail but I like the color. It works IMO with the shades and floor.

I agree that there is too much furniture and if possible try to "remake" the tv stand, making it smaller.

I think you have to much matchy furniture. Maybe an upholstered piece instead of the love seat, definitely a coordinating rug and art.
1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 7:56AM
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rosiegabby
Your dog works with the ivory curtains I suggested.
3 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 7:57AM
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Susan White
Colors are great and I love the windows. I also like the rug. Can you rearrange the rug? Angle? Maybe angle the furniture and open up the window space. I'm for not spending much money. The colors are pretty, the furniture is nice, and I think you can use what you already have. Drapes would soften the look, but overall, you can work with this! If you could use part of the entertainment center, you might could move it to the opposite wall, show the back of the sofa from this end and angle the chair in front of the window. Just ideas. I like the room.
0 Likes   May 10, 2014 at 8:17AM
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rosiegabby
That red orange plant color would make a gorgeous accent color, at least it does on my ipad.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 9:20AM
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1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    May 10, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Thank you for all the lovely suggestions I received! I added a light rug, some light curtains and a throw to go over the couch to make it a little brighter. Any more suggestions? I still need to put stuff on the walls, too!
5 Likes   June 9, 2014 at 5:56PM
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decoenthusiaste
The pano pix are distorting but it does look better. The coffee table appears to be useless for putting anything on since it is too far from the sofas. 18" away is the max. If the longer sofa was on the longer side of the rug and the shorter sofa on the shorter side, with all of them centered on the TV center, it might feel better. Of course, the long sofa would have to float a bit so it doesn't seem to be partly on the wall and partly in the entry. This would draw everything closer together for a more intimate arrangement, and would feel more cohesive.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 9, 2014 at 6:28PM
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partim
Nice rug!

The entertainment unit needs some attention. It looks like some electronic item is suspended on it above the TV, so I'm guessing that you don't want to or can't reduce the size of it by moving the side pieces elsewhere. Still, you can lighten up that side of the room by styling the shelves. Use lighter colored items, and larger items. The general rule of thumb is one third books, one third decorative items, one third empty space.

Something to try might be to lighten the back of the shelves. If you don't want to make a permanent change, you can place a piece of poster board, cut to the size of the opening, at the back of each shelf. Sometimes this is fabric covered. Try a piece and see how you like it. The first picture has this done.
Our Navy Living Room
Kelly Nelson Designs
Built Ins
Modern Family Room
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 9, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Rina
Oh, you must be so pleased. Everything you've chosen works, and you've transformed it from a room with furniture in it to a welcoming place to live in. Well done!

I see you're getting more good advice, but so far, so terrific.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 9, 2014 at 11:30PM
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ParrotUncle
i think the color is the problem. Too dark, the sofa and the TV bench. The wall painting is good, I like it. But black sofa, black bench is a little repression. Maybe you need some colorful cushion.
0 Likes   June 9, 2014 at 11:37PM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Any suggestions to the walls? Here's another non-fisheye picture from a different angle.
2 Likes   June 10, 2014 at 8:10PM
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A Blind View, LLC
I would loose those blinds add 3 1/2 plantation shutters white with an invisable tilt so there would be no bar in the middle, it looks like you have 36 inch windows so you could do (1) panel on each. It would really open the room. (2) side panels in a cool color with matching pillows in wall and panel colors for the couch. 3rd nice artwork behind loveseat and pull together with rug. The entertainment center way over powers the room. go smaller
1 Like   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 10, 2014 at 8:37PM
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A Blind View, LLC
your welcome charlin
0 Likes   June 10, 2014 at 8:45PM
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12designstar
Need some greenery on the credenza and floor. Use a pothos and a dracaena for the floor.
0 Likes   June 10, 2014 at 8:53PM
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Rina
Oh, that room looks cosy. Love those legs! :-) All you need on the walls is one picture, hung in the position shown below, I think. Choose something you love that feels right for you and for what you want the room to be. If it were my choice I might go for this Van Gogh Irises. I really love it and as a bonus, the colours are spot on. But the colours don't need to be spot on, it just needs to "belong".
4 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 11, 2014 at 1:55AM
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pikachu7
I have similar dark leather sectional and teal blue walls, can feel very dark and heavy, so I used lighter colors in the decor
7 Likes   June 11, 2014 at 4:04AM
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sacapuntaslapioz
Your room is much too dark. There is no contrast between the heavy dark walls, the heavy dark leather sofas and the heavy dark enormous entertainment center. You need balance to be able to see things. it is a play of light and dark, heavy and light that creates a pleasing environment where your eyes travel from a place to another.

Before you do anything else you need to address the wall colors, which will be far less expensive and time consuming than getting new furniture, which by the ways seems very confortable.

You need a soft wall color to balance the heavy dark furniture. a greyge, a sea-foam green of you like greens, a robin's egg, or an off-white.

then see if the entertainment center still looks too heavy. you might have to paint it. Also you need different sources of light: you have recessed lighting, which is great for diffused overall lighting. You have one floor lamp. You need another floor or table lamp at the other side. Now consider installing a chandelier or some sconces on the walls.

You need to bring light in there so why not go with a composition for your walls of a big mirror surrounded by some smaller art
0 Likes   June 11, 2014 at 5:18AM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Pikachu: That's what I'm trying to do now too! I absolutely love your windows!! The orange pillow are great as well.
1 Like   June 11, 2014 at 7:45AM
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pikachu7
Thank you! Adding a large mirror opposite a window bounces a lot of light around.
1 Like   June 11, 2014 at 8:14AM
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potchiemagoodleberry
I think all you really need is a good sized area rug. a pattern with your wall color in it is good, but you could also go for a neutral with a textured weave or a soft natural fiber rug. get 3 black iron finish curtain rods and 2 pairs of simple straight hanging curtain panels. you could go with a shade of white to keep the look clean and casual, or a horizontal stripe (black on white or tone on tone) would also be pretty here. and hang some wall art, at eye level. don't be hasty with your art selections....remember: no generic looking art....ever! check out art.com for some nice art prints that will work with your wall color and will reflect your personality and taste into the room. if on a budget, simply have a local frame shop trim and dry mount the print on a board....cheaper than custom framing, and you can always add a frame later when it's in the budget.
0 Likes   June 11, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Luxe Water Walls
A wall feature can help tie everything together.
http://www.LuxeWaterWalls.com
0 Likes   June 11, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Charlin McBrodahl
I was being sneaky and took apart the entertainment center while my s.o. was at work today. It looks so much better! I also removed all the speakers that he use maybe once every other month. Now he thinks the living room looks "feminine". I don't really get that the big clunky entertainment center and ugly boxy speakers makes a room masculine, but whatever. I think I'm going to veto this.
8 Likes   June 13, 2014 at 7:58PM
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partim
I like it so much better!

I would move the rug so that the feet of the entertainment centre sit on it.
2 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 13, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Hyde Evans Design
Draperies, definitely!
0 Likes   June 13, 2014 at 8:20PM
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cambridge101
First a pattern rug rearrange the furniture can you have the sofa an love seat flanking the TV , drapery panels on ecad side of windows from celling to floor can touch floor than a glass coffee table some nice down filled throw pillows a least 3 on sofa an love seat 4 better , you can get them discount store like home goods are Tuesday morning .
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 13, 2014 at 9:37PM
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doctornancy
Fabulous make-over!
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 13, 2014 at 9:49PM
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Rina
Hooray for you! I agree with Doctornancy. Please tell your man the room doesn't look either feminine or masculine. It has elements of both, which is as it should be. More masculine elements than feminine, really.
2 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 1:11AM
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partim
Now to the details.

There's something not quite right about the proportion of your pillows - look more like bed pillows. I like big pillows too but these need to be more square. Can you get/make new pillow covers and re-use the insides? I recently got pillows in a cotton velvet fabric and the guys like the softness for lying on the couch and reading. Shaped more like this.


The colors of the pillows and throw could be improved. The red doesn't seem to relate to anything I can see in your picture. Maybe something with brown, cream and blue, since it looks as if the blue walls are staying?

I'd remove the plant and the black stool, or if you really want some greenery there, replace the plant with a really big one. They're too small for the proportion of the other things in the room, and so is the plant under the square light.

How wide is the love seat? You need some art above it that's about 2/3 of the width of it, and hang it so that the bottom is about 6 inches from the love seat.

You're doing great! Almost there!
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Thanks Partim! That's some really good advice. I really like the throw, but not the pillows. I use throws all the time when on the couch, and it's so soft! I would love to paint the walls, but my bf claims he really likes the color and is very set on not changing it. I told him I would give it a few years. The size on the wall art vs the length of the loveseat is very helpful. What kind of art do you think would look good, and colors?
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 9:08AM
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soberg
Huge improvement with the curtain, rug, and downsizing media unit! Yes, your bf is right, the room now does show a woman's (type of) touch in that it is cozy and inviting for conversation and relaxation, as opposed to being a leather-padded electronics/media station. My future thoughts:

1) I really REALLY like the wall color and would not dream of changing it. To me, it makes the room. It's one of the few pretty, easy-to-live-with colors that can stand up to and moderate the intensity of all that black leather. If you go for more of a pale beige or cream it means the furniture will stand out much more.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 9:59AM
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lizym
Room is small, furniture is large and dark. Don't be afraid to bring furniture away from wall and create an area around TV possibly placing a piece in front of TV. Move a piece to another room. Consider building a custom piece or wall unit to house TV and other equipment. Add a small table next to chair or couch and some throw pillows.
1 Like   June 14, 2014 at 10:21AM
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partim
Art is so personal. Given that your s.o. is getting antsy about losing the man cave look, and with the strong colors in the room, I'd stay away from anything too delicate or pastel. You need to find something that you both like.

Greatbigcanvas dot com is a site people have recommended. What size are you looking for? You can select your theme, choose a horizontal format, even colors.
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 11:42AM
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groveraxle
Just read the whole thread (unlike some others who are still recommending rugs and curtains, LOL). Reducing that entertainment center was the key; the room is on its way to FAB-u-lous!. I think the rug needs to come toward the "new" TV console so that it's centered in the room.

I also love the wall color. It provides enough contrast and still holds its own with all the dark furniture. You did a stellar job choosing the rug and drapes. I have no doubt you'll be able to do the same for the art. But just in case, let me Photoshop a couple of pieces in for you. I shall return.
2 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 2:43PM
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groveraxle
Don't say you weren't expecting this: yes, the canary. But I also chose some more diminutive birds, and a landscape, and a Renoir. Trying to cover all the bases.
3 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 3:13PM
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mefor
I'll vote for the canary :) looks right at home there. If not, something like the landscape would be good too.
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 3:20PM
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Kim Nielsen, Blue Coast Design Group
I would go with light grey walls, designer pillows for your sofa, and a rug like the one attached. I would add a new coffee table and wall shelving that is not as dark as your sofas. Please let me know if I can be of any more help in ordering any items for you.
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 3:34PM
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Kim Nielsen, Blue Coast Design Group
Here are the rug options you may want to consider.
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 3:40PM
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Kim Nielsen, Blue Coast Design Group
Here is another way to go... Sisal rug with cowhide placed over it. A large piece of art would also bring it all together and make the space feel larger. Again, let me know if you need any help with this.
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 3:45PM
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pgteach
My vote goes to the landscape.
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 4:04PM
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Charlin McBrodahl
I like the canary, where I can I get a canary? I found one similar! http://fineartamerica.com/featured/yellow-bird-linda-l-martin.html
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 8:26PM
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Charlin McBrodahl
Never mind, I found the canary. By Tim Nyberg?
0 Likes   June 14, 2014 at 8:29PM
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groveraxle
Yes, Charlin. Tim Nyberg at greatbigcanvas.com. Good sleuthing!
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 9:30PM
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lindaduke
The room is looking really nice!
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 9:38PM
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soberg
Continuing my post that somehow got truncated previously.....

2) Throw. This is your cozy soft throw which you love so it has to stay and stay handy, and would you be willing to either put it in a basket, or fold it into a bolster shape when not in use, with only the cream showing to avoid the "RED VS> AQUA" clash?

3) Coffee table/ottoman. A chance to lighten up the "leather factory explosion" look with maybe some transitional rough/urban/refined ethnic texture like weathered metal, wood, rattan, pale stone.

All in all, I've rarely seen a room dealing/coping with that amount of black leather seating look so cozy and inviting. Once again, room color is a keeper.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 10:52PM
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angethomp
I think you have done an awesome job!! The room looks great minus the big entertainment unit. Good for you.
0 Likes   Thanked by Charlin McBrodahl    June 14, 2014 at 11:28PM
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Linda Doyle
Help my kitchen
Should I paint the cabinet or keep them
4tocome
What's your favorite holiday decor item?
Is there a piece of holiday decor that you can't wait...
Emily Hurley
Where do you hang your holiday stockings?
If you hang stockings to be filled with treats and...
Emily Hurley
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