lamujerdegary

Great Room Lacks Some Style

lamujerdegary
January 29, 2015
last modified: January 29, 2015
I'd so appreciate some ideas to fit my Mediterranean/Transitional Style in this Mediterranean-Spanish style great room located in Mexico. In the near future we need to replace the warn area rug, sofa, chairs, dining set and add some accent tables, lamps and art work. I'm not sure what to put in that empty corners by the windows? The custom desk has to stay and I set the bench and ottoman up as props. Ceiling, cement crown molding, cement entertainment center, tv, also has to stay. Help below the crown molding. Paint, furniture, rugs, accent tables, window coverings, wall and any decor ideas are welcome!

Comments (100)

  • lamujerdegary
    Until pieces can be replaced or added, I think it looks a lot better.
  • groveraxle
    And replace the uplights between the crown and the ceiling with something that gives a more even glow instead of those harsh spots. LED rope light, perhaps.
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  • lamujerdegary
    Eww! This was in the sliding glass wall track, the reason i don't have drapes for them to hide in...ok valences are gone!
  • decoenthusiaste
    rondezines - they look too skinny and rigid to be valances, which we in the US usually expect to be soft and of fabric, so I suspect they are actually just covers for the vertical blind contraption. That means they're probably neither valance nor cornice. As you can see in some of the photos used in these articles, a similar looking piece to the one in our dilemma is illustrative of both cornice and valance.
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/cornice-boards-strike-a-strong-top-note-stsetivw-vs~3454823
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/window-valances-for-every-style-stsetivw-vs~164958
  • decoenthusiaste
    Measure the cabinet portions of your desk to see how they might work under those windows flanking the FP now. Glad to see the valances/cornices gone. New treatments will make a big difference.
  • lamujerdegary
    All better?
  • decoenthusiaste
    Yes, much improvement. Now to find a way to soften the windows so they aren't so linear next to the arches at the FP. Wonder if hubs has any ideas about framing them out with matching arches, and you could nestle the two bases from the desk inside them.
  • ideaplace222
    Looks tons better and with more light in photos, we can see better. Ewww on the scorpion! I love your chandelier. Keep up good work.
    lamujerdegary thanked ideaplace222
  • lamujerdegary
    Is the height of each piece a problem?
  • msmliss
    Fantastic improvement!! The length of the Parisian frame already gives your eye the balance in scale that an even taller (and a bit longer) frame (with a bolder, brighter, more colorful Mediterranean themes--including seaside flora & fauna), will do to pull the room together in the "comfy" feeling you desire! And the personal photos on the desk is great, allowing object d'art in the niche! Well Done! Brava! I LOVE the armless chair beside your desk!! And I even love both armless chairs at the desk! You can consult with an interior designer who works with a furniture maker to see about new legs on your armless chairs to raise them comfortably to work at your desk. I don't imagine they'd need raising by much. I see the cabinet that used to be beside the desk is now on the window wall, Now how about moving your 2-piece modern ottoman chair around with it's back on an angle toward that cabinet, so that you could sit in the window reading, and still swivel to be part of the living room conversation? A small table beside that chair for a beverage & book and you've created a nice spot to read & relax.
    lamujerdegary thanked msmliss
  • PRO
    Rushing Design
    I really think you need to just paint over whatever the ceiling material is. it looks like brick. but the color is all wrong.
    i do not think you necessarily need an interior designer, but maybe just empty stuff out and take a good look at it. you have to live there not someone else - so your taste should rule. But if you look the ceining dominates and it needs to just look clean and nice. by all means if you love curtains valances and all that - kep it, but its just collecting dust. Go for the most spase clean look you can then add from there. The only interior designer you need is yourself and your own sense. You knew things were not right or you wouldn't have put this on here. So change things up - simple is always a good place to start. The room has great possiblities but its not hard to make it work. Just think about it, how you use it, and what is keeping you from enjoying it.
  • PRO
    Rushing Design
    maybe start just painting the ceiling a light color like the walls - you will be amazed when that pattern is gone. What is it made of?
  • msmliss
    LOVE the valances gone! : ) BTW, valances are simple fabric covers where cornices traditionally were far more opulent, and incorporating carved wood, or plaster.
  • PRO
    Rushing Design
    is that a ceiling fan and a chandelier? - i would throw them both as far away as possible. The wall over the desk with the prints hanging - keeep the one over the desk and ditch the two on either side. a blank wall can be a nice thing. Dont feel like you have to cover every inch with a kick nack mirror or print.
  • msmliss
    Wow! I've got to say that ronzdezine's criticisms insult you and all of us, and even Houzz, who created this forum with exactly what we're doing here in mind! Bad form.
  • ideaplace222
    Ditto on the scroll iron mirror and other picture on the side of that great desk. Find a smaller wall for them. I know how it feels to be attached to an item, I have many like that and it poses problems for designing.
    lamujerdegary thanked ideaplace222
  • msmliss
    It was not me who suggested your chandelier dropped over your future dining table, however, I think it would look better a bit lower.
  • ideaplace222
    The proof that some people don't need a professional designer is how this home owner has made vast improvements without one already.
    lamujerdegary thanked ideaplace222
  • msmliss
    I love the Mediterranean painting in the light wooden frame beside your desk that used to stand above the cabinet you relocated. How about putting it above it where it now stands? And yes! Great idea! I love that you're into painting furniture with color, and it is a tradition in the Spanish cultures too! Once you find (or commission) a large, colorful painting for above your desk, pull one of the bright dominant colors, that you love, from it and paint that little cabinet. I love your wrought iron mirrored "window" piece! How about moving it to the opposite side of the desk, where the light wood frame is. You could then "finish" the corner beside the desk and window, beside the fireplace, with a large potted living plant, or a big beautiful floor lamp (beside the armless chair). As your fireplace niche is now abutting the windows, the tapestry curtains I'd suggested earlier, on wrought iron rods, would each draw open on one side only, the side with the wall space. Make sense?
    lamujerdegary thanked msmliss
  • lamujerdegary
    This chair and ottoman need to go so igly!!! I'd like a nice leather reclining chair, no ottoman, NO lazy boy style!
  • lamujerdegary
    Rushing Design, I answered your question regarding the boveda ceiling in earlier posts, even posts of the construction, scroll back up to the top. You may be interested since it is something new to you.
  • canderson72
    This great room offers so many possibilities - congratulations! I live in the southwest US, and have found that color can really liven and warm a room. I would paint the back (and perhaps sides) of the niches surrounding the fireplace. If you want to keep the valances, what about tying that color into the niches, or a turquoise color would also bring out that Mexican flair. Look at some beautiful Mexican tiles, and pick out your favorite color combinations - try those on the back and sides of the niches. A smaller 6x9-ish colourful Zapotec rug in front of the fireplace would also help ground that area. Have fun with it!
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  • lamujerdegary
    Thank you all for your many posts and even paying any attention to what i'm doing. I appreciate everyone that took the time to answer, even if some of them were a pit painful to read, but that's how it goes in a public forum, I understand that. I try to address more than one poster in each comment so if I mentioned something that someone else deserved the credit for and only used one username, my apologize.

    Perhaps I really wanted Mediterranean style but like too many different things to stay that confined. I have to say that the Paris painting is in it's new permanent home and I would like to address the wall color or does it contrast nicely? I rather like it.

    The Mexican art, to the left of the desk, yes, can be moved over the repurposed water dispenser, can you believe that's what that piece is? When we first moved to Mexico, we needed a water dispenser, counter and a couple of drawers for the bathroom and that was it. We removed the dispenser and added shelves, it's been an accent/storage piece ever since. Any suggestions of keeping it natural or paint color if it should stay? I am more than happy to replace it with a real Mediterranean style accent table but if we are to build built ins on the chimney wall, it may not be necessary. Definitely can move the art to that place.

    I'm not much into bold Mexican colors but would like to contrast the entertainment center. Would painting a lighter trim color shaping the arches be nice so they don't disappear into the wall?

    I can just imagine how odd it may be to all of you not to see window trim, our windows aren't double pained either. I think I may keep the window treatments as they are because they're very functional for us. I rather like the red valences being gone. I knew they were a mistake the day they were installed and I wanted them down last time we painted but family bulked at the idea and they were put back up. Down they are to stay. Yes, a bit of the sliding track is exposed now that there is no material to cover it. At least it was installed inside.
  • msmliss
    LOL! Lamujerdegary! Heehee to read how much you dislike that chair & ottoman! I like that you want to replace them someday, however, I do like that placement better than beside the sofa. I'd "tweak" it a little more by moving the ottoman a bit more toward the glass door, and pulling the chair out away from the wall & cabinet a little more. Should you go with a tapestry drapery drawn only to the right of the fireplace window you'd have a few more inches to move the little cabinet down on that wall toward the glass door. I do love your desire to have the fireplace wall in floor-to-ceiling wooden cabinets, benches, and shelves! I just didn't know when you planned to accomplish it. Is it a sooner-than-later project or a someday project? If it's a priority there's no need for rods & draperies on those windows. I'd go with more substantial drop blinds or chunky wooden shutters. The "feel" of your room has already improved with the small changes you've made!
    lamujerdegary thanked msmliss
  • lamujerdegary
    Someone recommended removing the other art pieces...anyway you can see.
  • msmliss
    Taking a cue from the pops of red in your room, and the warm reds in your ceiling, I thought I'd try to place a bold painting above your desk, in a Spanish frame in the hopes to persuade you to reconsider a larger and more dynamic painting & returning the Parisian one to your bedroom, in keeping with both the romantic boudoir and Mediterranean themes of each.
    lamujerdegary thanked msmliss
  • groveraxle
    The desk wall looks good.

    Pull your chairs out of the corners and up to join the sofa in a conversation group. The corners are for your plants.
    lamujerdegary thanked groveraxle
  • msmliss
    Yes! Hang that painting above your small cabinet! Thumbs up!
    lamujerdegary thanked msmliss
  • lamujerdegary
    Don't ask about the boards and stuff surrounding it but that is our first house plant that I bought 11 years ago. That palm traveled house to house and then we planted it here. Isn't it amazing!! It has grown a lot in 5 years!
  • lamujerdegary
    If the painting stays, is there any other suggestion of what could go on that wall to make it not look so naked? I do really love that painting you made and see how it ties in all of my colors msmliss. Too bad I didn't know what I was looking for before I bought the Paris painting. There isn't a better wall for that painting unless someone moved out of the house. lol So we'll see, maybe this year.
  • msmliss
    Here's my earlier idea of a romantic boudoir floor lamp. At this angle of your photo, it looks that your Parisian painting should more toward the lamp by just a couple of inches, allowing a few more inches of space between the frame and the window.
  • msmliss
    I'm glad you liked it! As for adding to that desk wall, I LIKED your wrought iron window/mirror, I just thought I'd like it at the other end of the desk. Other than that, a pair of matching masculine table lamps would be lovely at each end of your desk, and serve the task lighting purposes as well as ambiance lighting at night, especially if you shose black lamp shades with gold metallic inside.
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  • msmliss
    Antiqued burnished gold outside lampshades would be gorgeous too...
    lamujerdegary thanked msmliss
  • lamujerdegary
    msmliss, the Paris painting won't fit above this bed. And there isn't another wall in the house.
  • msmliss
    I fear this bed is to grande for the size of your room, Lamujerdegary. What is the size of your room? Can we see a 360* of it? It was a wonderful scale in the photo you shared with us earlier, where the other pieces in the suite were shown.
  • lamujerdegary
    Maybe my style is traditional, or maybe my style is just my own style, whatever I like. I was looking over some fireplaces and can see why so many scream the need for rock facade around mine which I can't picture it with the brick arch but I'll keep that in mind. That's what is showing right now. The rock facade we can use in our master bedroom around the "fireplace" panel we'll install in there.

    There's a lot of things that I like going with this place in Detroit. I'm studying it. It doesn't have a boveda ceiling but dark furniture and earth tone walls, the massive chandelier hanging high about the room.
    Finishing Touches Interiors By Design, Inc. · More Info
  • msmliss
    Wow! That's an elegant room! I see one masculine lamp with a black shade, and two (lighted) with warm brown shades. Love the chandelier! Any chance we can get a perspective of your great room with your chandelier and furniture together? Notice how close the fireside chair is to the fireplace? I have only one minor criticism in this room. My mother taught me to always imagine myself walking around & "living" in the room, and see how I'd "use" the room. My spot would be in that corner of the far sofa where the lamp stands on the end table. I love to read and that is the only spot that lights my lap. Especially at night, I prefer a cozy, warm spot rather than flooding the whole room to read a book from ceiling cans.
  • ideaplace222
    You said you love Paris. Had to send you this possibly for your bedroom...
  • msmliss
    I love the large French white canopy bed, too! It's gorgeous! It's regal & romantic! Tape off the floor in your bedroom where it will stand and see how much room you'll have to walk around it. If it's just too massive a "presence" you may find other romantic canopies with about the same footprint but a lighter "feel." Of course! We all have a right to love & want what we love. You shared just the one perspective of your room, and the asymmetrical wall with the small window just seems like a challenge.

    Here are two gorgeous (my opinion) canopy frames that are romantic and Mediterranean. The first one has a very similar "crown" to yours. I like how these designs draw the eye all the way up.
  • msmliss
    Ooops! Wrong order! The 2nd one has a similar crown! Sorry.
  • Gqrol. Roll
    wow, lots of great advise. I have an open concept home too, no "formal" dining, don't miss it a bit. The only thing I would emphasis, is starting over with the furniture if you have the budget. They seem out of scale (to small) for this beautiful space. I would choose "thicker" more substantive pieces, start with the dining table, or at least replacing the dining table chairs.
    lamujerdegary thanked Gqrol. Roll
  • msmliss
    Lamujerdegary, I really, really LOVE your chandelier! I've been on a tour of every photo you shared with it in the shot. It's just my opinion, but I would lower it just a bit, so that it has more of a presence "in" the room than as it looks now, being part of the ceiling accessories. But it's a task, and something that can be put off....indefinitely! ; ) ; ) ; )
  • lamujerdegary
    gqroll, without being here, it's really interesting how many have commented about the size of our furniture. The first picture posted I had two conversational chairs around the fireplace, my husband came home and moved them saying he would not live in a crowded house and I was trying to make it crowded. Yesterday, I moved the sofa back as it has seemed to have crawled forward a bit, again the complaint, it'll be crowded and no where to walk through past the kitchen and dining room. Our dining room table is huge, although square, the last pictures posted include the leaf and all 8 chairs. I have a narrow set in mind to replace it with, although the picture was tagged traditional, doesn't matter to me, I like it and that's what I'll be looking for or something similar in size, rectangle to make the walkway less crowded around the table. Especially since I still lack the sofa table. Which is designated for reading lamps. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/36950625/thumbs/dinning

    I would still love to see pictures of how people would fill our space with Mediterranean Transitional furniture and decor. Paint colors. That is the purpose I posted here, not a remodel.

    Regarding the master bedroom, I misspoke when I said I was still looking for ideas for our master bedroom. I worked up a floor plan, measurements and all after posting here, in fact, I think I forgot my password and have another similar master bedroom post and just can't find it....you are more than welcome to post on that particular story but I'm going to stay with the great room here. I've learned a lot about design since October 2014. A shame I paid no attention before.
  • msmliss
    LOVE the dining table!
  • msmliss
    Can you post the Houzz address bar link here for those of us who are interested?
  • lamujerdegary
    Hard for me to keep my hands still and I'm not sure this helps as far as how large the furniture is to the space we have a lot of open space toward the glass wall. Enough for a little sitting area or we bring in the granite table and two iron chairs from the terraza also fit perfectly there. Need something permanent.
  • msmliss
    Once you get your new rectangular dining table, you may have plenty of room to run the length across the width of your great room and move it closer to your bar stools--obviously with a very comfortable walking space, which you still seem to have even with this large square table. Then in the new space, between the dining table and the back of the sofa, you could get a larger scale--longer--upholstered bench. If you find a really large area rug that could be beneath the bench and in front of the sofa that would tie both of the lounging areas together. But you can also get two matching rugs for both areas. I recall Christopher Lowell designing a space just like this once, and it was fabulous! His looked kinda like this, but both ends were the same--back rest--height.
  • lamujerdegary
    This is the style of sofa table. The finish is a bit prettier. I have no idea if it'll go with either dining room table we're entertaining.

    actually, there is a dining set that goes with this style and I forgot to take pictures of either one, may have been along the lines of this..
    ACME Furniture Anondale Dining Collection · More Info


    Old World Mediterranean Sofa Table, Fresco Brown Torched Distressed W/ Turquoise · More Info
  • Janie Burton
    Just a few quick thoughts. I would paint the brick fireplace surround black - also the mantle. A white mantel looks better with a more formal fireplace surround. You could then flank the ends of the dark mantel with beautiful white vases or decorative white ginger jars. Or create an asymmetrical arrangement with 2 or 3 varying height objects on one end and a flat object on the other end such as a decorative box for a pop of color. Post more pictures as the room evolves!

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