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How do I make our great room more inviting?

Roxi Boo
9 years ago
last modified: 9 years ago
Love my kitchen remodel and great room area, but need to make it more inviting and comfortable. We use the TV, but I wish it could be incorporated in a cabinet or something. The brick on fireplace is authentic rare white brick so if possible would love to keep it. I am not super attached to the sectional. Help!!

Comments (31)

  • Faireden
    9 years ago
    You have a beautiful start! The kitchen is gorgeous, great job! A built-in on each side of the fireplace would look great! I would go dark (wood) like the tv itself and other elements throughout the room. The only change you might consider to the fire place itself would be to add a mantel. Tie the mantel in to the shelves on either side. Consider introducing another color - there seems to be some orange and gold in the wood and on the throw, you could play up these colors and then introduce a reddish purple or an aqua blue depending on what you like. This would give you a tertiary color scheme, which is slightly more complex, consequently more interesting.

    I would start by moving the sectional to face the fireplace, the back appears to be low enough to still see the tv and the fireplace from the kitchen. All the legs of the sectional do not have to sit on the carpet. Just the front legs would be fine. I think the whole arrangement could be expanded, you have the space.

    I would suggest you hang some window treatments to soften the room a bit, keep it light and sheer. The next step I would think about is a larger rug with something interesting about it, color, sculpture, material. And get some of the wall color and saturation of wall color down into the furniture area. At that point I would reevaluate what if anything you might want to do with the sectional. If you decide to keep the sectional I think you need a more substantial coffee table. A rustic slab would be nice.

    As you have seen, making a change leads to more changes. You are well on your way!
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  • PRO
    karen paul interiors
    9 years ago
    You are not tied to your sectional, so I would change that out for something that picks up the color of the brick. That tone needs to be brought over to the other side of the room. If you are able to do that, then it's a matter of fine-tuning everything else. As for what to do with the TV, I would first address the sectional. I'm thinking if you do built-ins on either side of the fireplace, perhaps you would want to do something compatible with color of the fireplace to visually extend the wall on either side. You can "dress" the fireplace once everything else in place.
  • kara9
    9 years ago
    Move bookcase currently beside fireplace (it looks too small and busy) to behind the sofa (like a sofa table) and add lamps or tall clear vases filled with color(maybe green apples) on top of bookcase. Add mantle to fireplace (contemporary single piece in dark wood). It will add Interest to Fp. Add large contemporary art on Fp. Keep each side of Fp clear to keep lines clean in kerping w contemporary design. Perhaps a large green plant to rt of p. Add color to sofa w contempory print pillows in apple green and other color you like. Also add throw in your accent color. Buy a cheap sisal area rug and paint with latex wall paint with colors, like green apple etc. I just painted a sisal rug I was going to trash and it looks like new. I used the colors I have repeated throughout my first floor-blues and green. It now has stripes on it. I like your kitchen.
  • Roxi Boo
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    but where to put the tv?
  • lefty47
    9 years ago
    HI -- This is a nice room , love the fireplace too ,and I wouldn't do anything to it . The only thing I can see is that most your furniture is dark. Love the white lounge chair . Maybe that's the way you should go . If you are in the market for a new sofa - go into the lighter or more colorful tones. How about a white or cream leather sofa or a red one . I think the picture michigammemom showed is good example of the way to go.
  • PRO
    karen paul interiors
    9 years ago
    Don't worry about the TV. You most likely have it in the best possible position for viewing. It's just a matter of configuring for the spaces on either side of the fireplace. Your first item on the agenda is to change out your sectional.
  • Roxi Boo
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    done! :)
  • benjijk
    9 years ago
    A suggestion and not sure if it is possible at all, would be to install the TV, or a better larger one ;-) above the fireplace on the white brick. Would be ideal with the sectional facing the fireplace. The white brick would also make a great backdrop for the TV. Although, you would have to figure out how to mount the TV on to the white brick.
  • Manon Floreat
    9 years ago
    I think your room is quite inviting already -nice comfortable furnishings, throws and a four legged fluff. That fireplace is amazing. So glad to hear, you're going to leave it as is. Only thing that detracts from the room fully inviting people in is that the back of the sofa faces the entry. It also hinders the sight line to the view beyond those great windows. If you're thinking about replacing the sofa, consider a fabric for a softer, cozier feel.

    I'd try angling a sofa so that its back is to the kitchen. To its left a long bench would provide casual seating and provide a little separation from the entry, but still keep the sight line clear.

    The TV is a bit of a challenge because the windows but right up to the wall. How do you feel about creating a series of niches between the studs for the TV so it's flush with the wall?

    Kind of like this:

    Eliyahu Berlin · More Info
  • PRO
    Dytecture
    9 years ago
    Hi Roxi, I believe adding more textured and patterned accessories would give more warmth and character to the room which seems quite brown and dark at the moment.

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  • katesink
    9 years ago
    I would love to see a lighter rug and perhaps a chunky mantle that picks up the color of your gorgeous cabinets and carries it over. Then some simple drapery panels that frame the windows. Maybe with a color that is similar to the color of your backsplash.
  • madeliene
    9 years ago
    I would also add at least 2 large potted plants, they bring warmth and life to a room. I agree about the back of the sectional being TO the other room, with perhaps a console table behind it. Nice room. Mare
  • mjzurita
    9 years ago
    Love your kitchen! I agree with others. Add a floating mantle. Do 2 identical consoles on either side of fplce.a rug with more dimension.a silky shag,or sculpted. A slab cocktail table square. Also simple window panels to the side of sliders. Maybe a sofa table behind the sectional with a vase display.
  • rkelts
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago
    Hi- the room is already nice and warm but I agree that a colorful rug would add lots of warmth. I would consider a Kilim rug such as ( http://www.potterybarn.com/products/senna-outdoor-kilim-rug/?pkey=cstriped-patterned-rugs) as I think you can go brighter than you think and add some neutral, warm pillows such as ( http://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/decorative-pillows/caney-teak-20%22-pillow/f14746 and a color http://www.crateandbarrel.com/decorating-and-accessories/decorative-pillows/hayward-18%22-pillows/f46305). I'd love to see a cowhide pillow on the chair ( http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/product/detail.do?productGroup=19516&catalog=filter&menuCatalog=room&menuCategory=189&menuSubcategory=186) if going with this theme. I like the idea of a large plant in a basket or just adding some baskets as you are looking for the feminine element to balance cool colors and brick fireplace. I would like to see the large plant near the fireplace replacing one of your bookshelves which I would put behind the sofa for a lamp or flowers. Just playing around with accessories will be fun.
    Enjoy!
  • schnauzero_1
    9 years ago
    The contrast in the dark sectional and dark rug against the white of the mantel & white lounge is what bothers me. I agree a more colorful area rug (and lighter) will be a great start and will help that area from appearing to be a black hole. If you can't or don't want to put the tv on the brick, certainly a wonderful colorful modern painting would help add weight to that side of the room. Plants, yes. In large beautiful pots. The bookcases need to more closely hug that brick. And the jury is still out on the lounge.
  • PRO
    D John Design
    9 years ago
    I think you have a great start.
    Fireplace: While your fireplace is lovely, it feels unfinished and the small section of green above it, makes it feel short. Would be best if it went all the way to the ceiling. If you cannot get more of that brick,then paint the section above it the same color as the brick to give the illusion.
    Bookcases: You need bigger bookcases in the space. They make the room feel short as well. They should incorporate the tv and can be whatever color you would like them. You need a pair of and they need to be closer to the brick and you still need to leave about 8-12" from the right so they dont block the light. If possible, they should stretch to the ceiling. Having things go all the way up to the ceiling makes the room feel taller and bigger.
    Lighting: I see a couple of cans, but think the space would look fabulous with a cool light fixture centered on fireplace. If not possible, think about a nice tall arching lamp.
    Furniture: Sectionals are comfortable and if yours is comfortable keep it. If not, get rid of it. Best to get furniture in solids and add pattern and accents with pillows and throws and with accessories. Would think that greens would be a great accent color for you.
    Accessories and Art: A painting above the fireplace that has lots of color would make it more inviting. I think a lighter rug or one with slight pattern would give the space a lot more energy. The brown rug, sofa and floors are just too much of one color and void the room of energy. Great rugs that are hardworking are indoor/outdoor ones. I especially love Dash and Albert's rugs and think that this one would look great.
    http://www.dashandalbert.com/product/view/diamond-sprout-white-indoor-outdoor-rug--RDB100
  • gigi57
    9 years ago
    Beautiful kitchen. I think I would paint the fireplace brick a warmer color. It is too stark.
  • Jamieson
    9 years ago
    You've received some great suggestions, I'd go for substantial built ins on either side of your fire place with a pull out swivel base to house your TV, as well as to conceal it when not in use.
    Living Room · More Info
    woodlawn residence · More Info
    I'd consider replacing your glass coffee table with something more rustic, larger scale, with a bit of character such as this
    Metal and Wood Coffee Table · More Info
    I'd try to pepper your family room with rustic/modern accents (attachments are from etsy) the color of your back splash, reads as aqua or light green on my monitor. It's a beautiful room, and you did a terrific job on the kitchen! Have fun, and good luck!
  • ikwewe
    9 years ago
    Wow! We have the same color and style and similar placement of seating, and I am not super excited about mine, either. I am going through these ideas with a great deal of interest!
  • ikwewe
    9 years ago
    My fireplace is fieldstone, and was plain like yours. I wanted to add a mantel but didn't want holes in my rocks. Finally solved the problem, it is built like an H, supports go floor to ceiling on the sides, with the mantel attached to the supports, not the fireplace. Ours is walnut, but you could make yours anything you want. We also added up and down lights into our mantel. LOVE the look.
  • harkrider05
    9 years ago
    I second most everyone's comments. Your kitchen is beautiful. I think if you add color with a new rug in the living room (or if that is too expensive try a few bright colored pillows and maybe a couple of table lamps that tie in). You could also have the sectional face the fireplace and add a chunky mantel -then have your tv on top. I never thought i would do this but i did and i love it. This would allow for floor to ceiling book shelves on either side of the fireplace.

    I think the only thing you really need is a pop of color-if you don't like the ideas above-try painting the wall your fireplace is on. The white of your fireplace would look great against a real color (dark brown, red, whatever compliments the other wall color)-I couldn't really tell the color.

    Good luck!
  • PRO
    Fidalgo Audio Video
    9 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago
    Beautiful room, the only thing I think I would change is the TV and its location. If you want people to hang out then give them something that captures their attention and holds it. A large TV above the fireplace and an surround sound system with in-wall and in-ceiling speakers gives you just that. All of the electronics could be remotely located so you wouldnt have to focus on those either. I believe my idea would maintain the beauty of the room while adding something that will capture your mind, and ears. I could see some floor to ceiling bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace too, large bookshelves/cabinets will help distract you from focusing on the sheer size of the fireplace.
  • PRO
    TCX Development LLC.
    9 years ago
    Put the tv over the fireplace. Paint the walls a warmer color. Lay the furniture out in a more open way
  • PRO
    karen paul interiors
    9 years ago
    If you pull the sectional around so it is backed up to the kitchen with l.s. facing along the window (as Manon suggested), you can do a built-in on the left side of your fireplace for the TV. On the right side of the fireplace where your TV is now, I think I would simply attempt to equate the height of a built-in on the left with a tree. It's next to the window so it will have good light. All you need to worry about it height, heft and balance. As for your fireplace, I think that is a perfect piece for a very long piece of art that has light(s) trained on it. As for your sectional, I am still in the camp of lighter is better. The opportunity for color and/or pattern comes with an area rug, your art, pillows and accessories. Also, a consideration is not having your backs to the front door. It's good feng shui for everyone on the sectional to have the ability to see the front door. It makes people feel less vulnerable. Additionally, the way you have the sectional positioned at present places all the visual weight toward the kitchen. It's a little thing but it makes a big difference.
  • littlemissk
    9 years ago
    Hey Roxi-Boo,

    What a lovely fire place and a great kitchen. A ton of great ideas here!

    Here are a few more to throw on the barbie. With a sectional you can certainly try things out by simply pulling it apart and moving the pieces around the room to see what might be optimum to keep the paths of travel open and which would allow the best flow between your spaces from front to back given how it is you live.

    #1 Two couches (love seat size) perpendicular to the fireplace with your coffee table or a large ottoman in the middle. A sideboard on the other side of the small couch which faces the front door and set up with a large vase of fresh flowers and a lamp to welcome energy and visitors into your home. Run the lamp cord under the rug and place part of it in a cord protector so that the dog doesn't get tangled in it. This set-up would allow conversation to flow between those sitting on the couches, those at the bar and whoever has kitchen duty. Built-ins (you'll need some outlets on the bottom here and there for table lighting) on either side of the fireplace that are the same wood as your kitchen, with lighting and the back wall of it painted in a colour that is complementary to your kitchen blue/greens (red/orange similar to the colours in your throw). Current location of your TV appears optimum due to glare from your back sliding doors and built-in can house the TV with a pull-out swivel as Jamieson suggested above. If you have room you can diagonally float one and perhaps two club (swivel) chairs nearest the bar but be careful not to have too much furniture so that the room stays balanced and open.

    or #2 One couch with its back to the bar, two chairs near the sliding glass door going to the back to allow light to pass through, allow more space to get in and out the slider, and a credenza on the side by the front door with perhaps another chair diagonally placed. Chairs can be light danish modern, swivel club chairs or something similar. Built-in's same as #1.

    or #3 One couch with its back to the bar and two chairs on each side perpendicular to the fireplace with tables in between each of them. Built-ins same as #1.

    or #4 One couch with its back to the front door (table in back of it), two small chairs in front of the fireplace and two lounge-type chairs across from the couch near the sliding glass window. Built-ins same as #1.

    I agree with D John Design's suggested treatment above for that gap above your fireplace. Funny how they stopped short of going all the way up.

    Looking at the tile, granite and pulls you selected for your kitchen you may like a blend of contemporary with traditional? And given your choice of tile versus your wood colour you like a mix of both warm and cool? I'd go with couch(es) in a light, solid neutral fabric, with pops of a complementary colour (contrast with your kitchen) in your chairs and a blend of both the blue/green and red/orange in your accessories.

    I've attached a few images that show some of the configurations and may help give you a few ideas for pattern and colour contrasts.

    Have fun!
  • littlemissk
    9 years ago
    I can't seem to attach more than one image, so I'll try a few more with this note.
  • yvesun
    9 years ago
    You have a lovely home!

    put away the dark throws, pillows, and rug, and replace them with Spring/Summer bright colours! Colour inspirations ~ look at the aqua back-splash and room colours. You can bring back the "fall colours" when Autumn returns.
    Adding something tall like Harry Lauder's walking stick branches in front of the beautiful white fire-place in a large vase would look really nice. As would some rattan baskets to store the throws during the day.
    If you are not attached to the couch, I would suggest a long (like a four seater) couch with the back of it facing the kitchen Isld, in a Heather Grey. Add some of those fabulous new cushions and viola!
    Urban Barn http://www.urbanbarn.com/data/catalog/46-thumb.jpg?1305873647 have some couches that would better fit your space such as Manhattan Custom or Cedric Sofa.
    Two built ins on either side of your fireplace in the same wood as you used in the kitchen would tie the two spaces together.
    I like your arm chair & ottoman a second one would balance the seating arrangement.

    Have fun & good luck!
  • rcates
    9 years ago
    I see two obvious issues right off the bat. 1) The same problem I am having right now in my own greatroom and it's the lack of vertical elements to manage the scale of the room. Taller bookcases, Maybe some pendants that hang down on either side of the fireplace to draw the eye up, and some interest (whether a mantel or a large piece of art) to break up the large expanse of white brick on the fireplace. 2) Lighting. There are lots of overhead lights but very ferw secondary light sources. Perhaps a floor lamp here or there and wall sconces to flank the fireplace? A large table lamp does a lot to add ambiance to a room in my opinion as well. Good luck! I face the same issues and am so picky it is taking me a while to create a complete vision for my space.
  • Katie Dascanio
    9 years ago
    Your kitchen is beautiful! I would get rid of the area rug and replace with something neutral. Keep the sectional. Add 2 fabric chairs. Add tall shelves with cabinets at bottom on each side of fireplace. Add mantel and mirror or picture above mantel with minimal accessories on mantel...maybe a lantern or 2? I like the sectional though, and wouldn't replace that yet. Looks good condition. Good luck!
  • Jessica Docksteader
    5 years ago

    I have a question, realize this thread is old. I really like your kitchen, what granite did you use for the counter tops? Thanks