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Redoing my living room - need advice on colors and more

Anna A
5 days ago
last modified: 5 days ago

Hi all - I am redoing our living room completely (floor plan attached). pale yellow walls, get a lot of sun all day (south facing) thanks to a large window. Have a fireplace in the short wall (90 deg to window) and TV in corner between window and fireplace. Considered putting TV on fireplace but the height is not enough for a 50 inch TV. The usable area of living room is about 171 inches long and 154 wide. Landing on Townsend sectional (with track arms, attached photo - but wih corner piece instead of wedge - 126X94 dimensions) from Rowe Furniture; or Ashford from Boston Interiors (also by Rowe and similar dimensions). Need help picking fabrics/colors for couch. Also, rug and anything else you would like to help with :) Have 2 kids and a huge dog so that is a factor in picking colors. Looking to do some kind of performance fabric (Crypton/wearever etc) though for budget will stay in single digits for fabric code (and hence, pricing). Living room is used for entertaining guests and for hanging out as family so want it to be cozy, comfy and welcoming at the same time. I have couple of wall decor pieces, with red, orange, yellow colors to them (attached photos), that I would like to retain; as well as brass family heirlooms. What color couch should I go for? When I am looking at fabrics in store, I am leaning towards super light beige but that may not work long-term for keeping it clean. I would call my style more modern/contemporary (though not industrial); I also don't do floral patterns. Love colors. so definitely want to use some colorful accents though leaning towards neutral couch. So what color couch would you recommend? (If you know the fabric identification no, even better). Please feel free to send suggestions for additional pieces you might add to the room.. like end table, rug, entryway table, some small ottomans/bench (near the window), a display case (thinking of an open one) for near the staircase to display our various finds from our travels...TIA for any and all help...

A








Comments (50)

  • groveraxle

    Anna, could we have pictures of the actual room, please?


    A neutral couch will always work. You'll want a warm neutral like the one posted above if the walls are yellow and staying that way. I understand Crypton is pretty indestructible.

    Anna A thanked groveraxle
  • Anna A

    Hi groveraxle - thank you!!! Attaching more photos of the room and some other pieces. In the view looking at the staircase, the wooden shelving that is visible usually stays behind the love seat but we were trying a 3D sectional view by pushing the love seat against the wall and this shelving/console has to go

    First and foremost question:

    1) what color couch to get - if it is neutral - beige/grey/griege - I am no good with these color options. Then....

    2) what color wood to select for end tables/coffee table

    3) we also need to find a nice TV stand. TV has to stay in that corner. not enough space above the fireplace for a 50 inch TV.


    Few additional points/questions:

    1) The coffee tables - we would like to retain though are willing to stain/swap.

    2) As mentioned above, the console table (behind love seat) has to go and might be replaced with a narrower/smaller one and placed near the entrance to the room instead (under the large brass medallion on the wall)

    3) The tapestry is on the wall in front of staircase so nice view as you are coming down the steps. 4) Any suggestions for a display case near the staircase to replace the corner stand we have right now.

    5) need a rug too...









  • groveraxle

    Anna, you have a nice big room and some wonderful art pieces that can be a great starting point for this space. The wall hanging and the mask in particular are striking and inject the kind of personality that every room could use.


    I will work on this space today, but will have to ask you to be patient because I have a lot appointments so it may take all day to finish. In the meantime, would you be amenable to moving the TV to the big wall to the right of the fireplace? You'd probably have to do something with the windows--black out shades or curtains--to make it work, but the room would be more balanced if the TV could go on that wall.

  • groveraxle

    P.S. There will be a better way to display your collected items that will have more impact. Your art above the fireplace is way too small, for example, and the masks spaced out down the staircase wall are just kind of lost. I will help you group them for more visual interest.


    Here's an example of how collected items can be used to great effect:


  • Anna A

    Hi groveraxle - thanks again! We love these pieces too and that's why I would like to retain them.


    About putting the TV on the big wall - we "tried" that by moving the couch to under the window and pushing the love seat near the wall at right angle to the couch (so very close to the entrance to the house; creating a sectional there and you see the back of the love seat when you enter the house). We moved the TV cabinet to the big wall and centralized it on that rectangle created by the couch+love seat combo (which ends up being the same length as what we are targeting now).


    Here is what we felt: (a) the space felt smaller; specially for my son (who uses the space as football field at times - within reason ;)) and our giant dog (who travels in the room with the sunlight); it might be better if we put the TV on the wall but see other points. (b) we lost the openness/view out of the window and the continuity of open area into the dining room looks a lot better. the view from dining room looks very closed up too. (c) we have heating vents under the window which we can't block off. Moving the couch forward to allow vents to breathe results in being too close to TV on the large wall. Short story: I am open to it but found it to be a less desirable option for us. Happy to reconsider it.


    About your latest comment about grouping/painting above fireplace: agreed that the piece on fireplace is too small - so happy to move it somewhere else (though I like the feeling it evokes). Or add to it somehow to make it a bigger focal point. May be move the masks on the wall next to it. I usually have photos on top of fireplace which are flipped down for posting here. Another though of grouping some things: is on the wall near the staircase. So thinking of a free-standing etagere there since most of our pieces (many still i boxes) are table pieces, not wall pieces.


    We are planning to add overhead lighting (recessed) - ceiling ht is 94 inches.


    Thanks again for all your help!

    Anna

  • groveraxle

    OK, Anna, I will work with the TV in the corner (especially since it's there to accommodate a kid and a dog, my two favorite kinds of people) and see what I can come up with. I'll tell you up front I'm not a fan of etageres; I try to find ways to display collections that are not vertically disruptive.


    Can you give me a shot of just the shelves in the corner so I can see what kind of collectibles we're talking about? You seem to have a lot of small stuff, so I'll be asking you to locate your largest items; we'll use them for focal points.


    And now I'm off to an appointment with my own dogs...so I will tackle this later.

  • Anna A

    Thanks again groveraxle. Most of the collectible stuff is small (though I likely have some things in boxes that I could pull out). I also have masks in other areas of the house (I LOVE masks though prefer not to have HUGE ones). An alternative to etagere is: https://www.target.com/p/zig-zag-corner-shelf-gray/-/A-18781070 or floating shelves of some sort. Basically that wall (near staircase) will need something too... (again has heating unit under there). Of course - open to ideas.


    Attaching photos of some collectibles here. Some are getting old but have good memories....


    About the timeline you mentioned: I have a pre-order going on for the couch, end table, coffee table, rug, entryway table at a furniture store (to secure 15% discount) and have <3 weeks to finalize actual pieces and colors of items - everything in the order can be changed or canceled.


    The end table: would need to accommodate a small subwoofer and remotes.

    If we change coffee table: I would be looking for one with storage.







  • Anna A

    Also, painting of room/this floor of the house is on the agenda but likely for next year (unless lighting work makes us paint the room anyway). Also open to accent wall.

  • groveraxle

    I like to start by emptying the room. This is my first pass at the fireplace wall. I'd like to see matching cabinets with closed storage on each side of the fireplace, both set flat against the wall, with the TV mounted in the corner on an articulating arm so it can be adjusted.


    I've started grouping a few things on the right side, the beginnings of a display. You'll need something larger over the mantel, but this is a start.

    I've kept your little stool because it seems to go with the rest of your collectibles. It's too small for an end table, but we'll find a use for it.

  • Anna A
    perfect. I have two of these little stools btw.
  • groveraxle

    Before I go any further, have you measured to make sure that sectional will fit in your room?


  • Anna A
    short answer is yes it would fit. the long wall measures 171.5 inches between the fireplace end and doorway and room is 154 wide
  • groveraxle

    Now you know that sectional you've selected is more contemporary than any of the tables you have with the exception of the cubes I left in your room. What did you have in mind for tables to go with it?


    And you have nothing in any ideabooks. It would help if you could browse the living rooms on Houzz and save any you really love. Otherwise, I'm kind of working in the dark here. The only things I have to go on are your sectional and a collection of what looks like Indonesian art.

  • Anna A

    Here is an updated living room map... with dimensions


  • Anna A

    About your other question... which tables are you speaking of? End tables? We like contemporary furniture and mix it with Indian art/decor (pretty close with your Indonesian guess). Stylewise: If I could get any of the coffee tables on this link without breaking the bank that would be great (also would probably better with slightly rounded corners though may be can give up on that) http://www.javedainteriors.com/3806/interior/elegant-cool-modern-coffee-tables-25-best-ideas-about-modern-coffee-tables-on-pinterest-marble/

    http://www.javedainteriors.com/3803/interior/creative-of-cool-modern-coffee-tables-coffee-table-modern-coffee-tables-cheap-free-sample-design-ideas/

  • groveraxle

    Thanks for starting an ideabook. It gives me a much better idea of your tastes. You seem to like simple lines, a much more modern or contemporary look than you have now, and you seem a bit torn between the calmness of a monochromatic look and the vibrancy of color.


    You say you have "a pre-order going on for the couch, end table, coffee table, rug, entryway table." Is there any way I can get a look at the tables and the rug? If the store has them online, post the links here.


    I looked at that corner shelf from Target you posted above and would advise against it. You need to get away from little stuff and start thinking in terms of bigger pieces and fewer of them.


    I'm going to do a rendering of our stair wall and see if I can't make it a bit more cohesive than it currently is. This might be the perfect place to display a lot of your collectibles in one spot. Back later.

  • Anna A

    Thanks - yes - I am really torn.. I do lean towards vibrant colors more though though can see value in a little bit of calmness. The pre-order just as placeholders (i.e. nearest item we could scan cos store was closing). I doubt I will be getting the rug from them - could not find something I thought I might like unless I go with a very simple monochromatic rug.

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Hi Anna. I will give this some thought. I think,as groveraxle pointed out, i would figure out furniture placement first. Can you post your room measurements. I too think some careful “editing” and unique display concepts are going to make this space really interesting. More tomorrow.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Opps I missed your drawing. Sorry. I wonder about the TV?
  • groveraxle

    Welcome, Flo. We've discussed the TV. It really does have to stay in the corner. Trust me on this one.

  • Anna A
    thanks Flo and Groveraxle. reason I thought tv can't go on fireplace is that height of tv leaves only a foot of space on the wall (so half ft above and half ft below the tv). if we install it there we want a rack that pulls is down for easier viewing and all that may not work given the height of space.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    What are the sectional measurements?
  • Anna A
    this one is 126x97. what do you think?
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Groveraxle how about the opposite corner. It is a but bigger and might git better. I realize the sectional might be a done deal but we need measurements. I am hoping it could sit in front of windows even with heaters. Just pulled away from them about 12” with metal sofa table(s). Some light blocking shades would deal with light issues. I want to at least play with some ideas. I too think using unique display methods on the long wall would be stunning and organize the “collection(s)” so there is a unified but distinct look. More tomorrow.
  • Anna A
    I am considering 3 seat, corner and 2 seat combo with size of 126x97 to give everyone a place sit including the dog (who gets to pick first)
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Auto correct keeps mis-spelling words. Pls ignore. I think you can discern what I mean.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Well I couldn’t wait til morning so here is first layout option. The sectional is longer than you posted on one side and enough seating on other side for a couple or doggie! I also added long console for big TV and chair for additional guest or reading nook. I added cabinet to left of fireplace and used plexiglass wall mounted collection boxes for your treasures. Used your two small tables for coffee tables. An arc lamp can provide additional ambient lighting.
  • Anna A
    @flo.. I am speechless. crazy day today at work...
  • groveraxle

    Please, Flo, no to the plexiglass boxes. It looks like it belongs in the workshop holding assorted screws and fasteners.

  • groveraxle

    Box shelves, maybe.


    Anna A thanked groveraxle
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    There are some display boxes that look good just showing there are multiple ways to display items in "collected" ways. I just am beginning the thinking about how to display items and how "many" to display at the same time. I prefer small displays that get changed out perhaps twice a year or so, rather than everything everywhere.

  • Anna A
    Flo, would have a floor plan suggestion if we had to keep the tv in that corner? I know it is not the best design idea but works better for my one kid and giant dog to have that open area.. just wondering
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Sure. I can change layout. But busy right now. Bbl
  • Anna A
    Groveraxle, thanks.. those box shelves we have always liked... just couldn't remember what they are called...
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan

    OK, here is Option 2 layout.

    I made the sectional according to your measurements of 126 on long side and 97 on the other leg. It is slightly different, but basically does the trick. I put the TV in that corner, but I probably don't have the angle just right, but you know how it works, since it is already there. You basically are simply recreating your existing room. I put a bench along the stairway wall, so there is a place to sit down when coming in the front door and it could have cubbies for stowing shoes if you like. I put a basket (perhaps you have one hand made?) next to the bench for color. I put a corner curio in that small corner for collectables, rather than putting something hanging on that wall since it is a "passageway". I put a long table behind the sofa with a pair of lamps, a curio to the right of the fireplace and another curio/cabinet to the left wall as you enter through the door. These are just "placeholders" to show what can fit in the basic configuration. You could do a arc type lamp in the far right corner for interest and ambient light but might not need it if you do a pair of lamps on a sofa table arrangement behind the sofa. You can put two narrow sofa tables behind the sofa economically if budget is tight.

    Winston Sofa Table, Natural · More Info


    Anna A thanked Flo Mangan
  • kulrn

    Couple of wall display ideas.




  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    We can design a collage of favorite items in a grouping on the wall behind the long side of sofa. Items like your mask would be fine if you use sofa table(s) because that would push wall out to accommodate depth of any item hung on that wall.
  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    Here is rough mock up of some of your pieces that could be on a sofa table behind your sofa/sectional and on the wall above it.
  • Nora
    Kulrn, I really like the first wall unit you posted.
  • Anna A

    Flo, the floor plan looks good! I was actually thinking of putting large painting/painting arrangement on the large wall behind the couch. something potentially like this which can be customized to any color and picture combo

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/237618659/indian-dance-set-of-5-prints-indian-art?ref=shop_home_active_6

    of course, open to other types of pieces as well...

    the bench/basket near the stairs is a great idea. I do feel that with the right kind of bench, (which will be low and won't go to the area where full wall starts), I have enough space on that wall for putting a display like Groveraxle and Kulrn suggested (again the display does not need to be deep). in that case, perhaps a low key plant in the corner?

    what do you think about leaving the brass plate by the entrance?

    also, what kind of curios did you have in mind for entrance and corner by the fireplace (to help me visualize)? Wondering about the height of the one near the fireplace to see if we should try to do grouping of some pieces there on the wall like Groveraxle's pic above. Also by the entrance, if we leave the brass plate, what kind of curio would work there...


    thanks again!

  • Anna A

    @kulrn - those wall display shelves (specially the first one) look amazing!

  • groveraxle

    IMO, this art grouping is static and not very interesting:

    Also a bit too white...

  • groveraxle

    I am also looking for a better way to display your collectibles. Since so many are so small, I'd like the shelves to disappear.

  • Anna A
    Thanks Groveraxle!
  • Jas Webber

    @Flo, I really liked the first drawing you did (even tho the owner preferred the 2nd)!

  • PRO
    Flo Mangan
    I was trying to use pieces you already have. Be mindful of any shelving unit that it doesn’t stick out too far. You can select and curio type cabinets you wish. I was just making spots where they could go.

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