A living room. This room needs serious help.

Linda Bruce
August 14, 2019
last modified: August 14, 2019

This is an awkward room with many openings. The house is Victorian in design.

Comments (27)

  • hu1967910

    Gorgeous room! How many people do you need to accommodate for seating? It might help to remove a few of the chairs. Less furniture would really let the features of the room shine.

  • erinsean

    Also if you painted the walls all one color (cream like the top) the room would be lighter and brighter.

  • PRO
    Sina Sadeddin Architectural Design

    Start with painting the walls on color. A cream would work well. Remove the valances, the flowers around the fireplace, and the mirror above it. Also remove any furniture you don't need in the space. There seems to be an awful lot of furniture for the room.

  • njmomma


  • Yayagal

    Yes, the salmon color is holding the room back. A nice warm cream color would look super and create a feeling of more space.

  • Linda Bruce

    Desperately trying to figure out what kind of furniture to buy for this living room. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • tqtqtbw

    Is any of the furniture staying? How many people do you need to seat in this room at one time. Please describe the "who" and "how" of this room -- Is this a family with young children, adults looking for an entertainment space, a quiet reading room, etc?

    Linda Bruce thanked tqtqtbw
  • tangerinedoor

    Lovely room...

    I wouldn't describe that room as Victorian. It's a bit later, in the category of "backlash against Victorian". (Victorian = frou frou and ornate; post-Victorian/craftsman/Edwardian etc. = the straight lines, exposed beams, those pillars, etc.) 1900-1910? Waaaaay more fabulous than Victorian, IMO!

    I'm saying this, because it might speak to what you want to do with the room. A salmon color might actually be authentic for the period and might work well with that wood, but there's always lighter salmon colors....

    If you wanted to do a little research, you might look up "authentic" colors for craftsman-style...

    If you're wondering about furniture, "Victorian" will clash: it's too ornate. My recommendation is to bury yourself in picture books that show stuff from 1900-1920-ish. It would be solid, with stuff like the grain of the wood highlighted.

    The loveseats look too dainty for that setting and don't suit the architecture. The couch and chairs, IMO, because they're heavier, work better in that room.

    Post-Victorian style did interesting things with natural elements (I mentioned the deliberately-exposed wood grain above). Instead of floral chintzes (or what have you), you might look at floral styles from the early 20th century.

    I believe Tiffany lamps were in vogue right about then? One of those could make that room...

    Yes, take the flowers off the top of the mirror over the fireplace. They ruin the line of window-mirror-window

  • threers

    Please add lighting to the room ...additional fixtures, brighter whiter bulbs. And yes paint oust the pink/rose it is darkening the room. Reconsider every chair except sofa to see what you really need.

  • partim

    No sofa, just 4 chairs around a coffee table.

    But until you answer the questions that have been asked, about who will be sitting in this room, and what they're going to be doing there, we have no idea what you want or need.

  • housegal200

    Some inspiration photos for color palette that works with wood and furniture style. But, yes, do answer the questions so commentors can offer constructive advice. Notice how spacious this similar room is with much less furniture than you have. You can always borrow dining chairs if you have a lot of company and need more seating. This is a very warm, golden palette with just the bit of red in the rug.

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  • grapefruit1_ar

    I agree with everything that has been said. Any chance that you can run the wood flooring into the living room? The end tables need to be taller and you hold taller lamps.

  • tangerinedoor

    Don’t lighten or change color on the dark wood: you will substantially lower the value of the property.

    Is that carpet? I would change that as a first project. Not a dark wood, but check out craftsman-style interiors online Before you decide.

  • decoenthusiaste

    You've done a great job of presenting your room and floorplan for us. I know you'll get some great suggestions.

  • Oliviag/ bring back Sophie

    Chances are, that same original wood flooring is under the wall to wall carpet. When was this built? 1920ish? More craftsman than Victorian.
    I'd start with rearranging some of the furniture you already have, to see how it feels, before you buy new.
    I'd probably place the sofa facing the fireplace, place a chair on each side of the fireplace. A chair or two with a lamp table in front of the window would lighten the room.
    you have plenty to work with, and play with, before you start shopping for what feels "right."

    Don't get too caught up in the chunky pillars, and go too heavu on the replacement furniture. too big and clunky will make the room seem crowdedm

  • allison0704

    I agree with removing FP window and flowers. Beautiful piece of framed art to add color. I would move the piece and plant (right of FP) to LR side of short wall at entrance. Or put on a plant stand instead, at the new location. Remove both loveseats. Sofa and two chairs, coffee table, end tables with lamps. I can't see what the piece is behind the loveseat the man is sitting on, but maybe it can go on the wall the other loveseat is in front of. Also, do you really need the china cabinet? It is a big, heavy piece and visually crowds the room.

    I also agree with painting the walls one color, but leaving the wood railing stained. I would also replace the mirror by stairs with art (again, more color and interest - the mirror isn't reflecting anything of significance). Looks like a good powder room or bathroom mirror though.

    It is a nice space with interesting details, but it is currently so crowded they cannot be appreciated.

  • decoenthusiaste 

    Here's some beautiful furniture that would fit in well. This bench would replace the china cabinet perfectly with some great art above it.

    The fireplace looks (on my monitor) to have some teal/turquoise tones in the brick. A lighter shade of that color might look pretty on the lower walls instead of the salmon.

    Linda Bruce thanked decoenthusiaste
  • Linda Bruce

    Everyone’s suggestions are so great! Thank You. Incidentally, this house was a Sears Kit house 1920-30. It was remodeled though. Two people live here with large family gatherings. So the more seating the better.

    we have rearranged the. Old furniture just to get an idea of what would look good and I will take a picture to further any comments ya’all might have.

  • decoenthusiaste

    Google for images of sear's kits and snip the one it is for us to see the original look.

    Linda Bruce thanked decoenthusiaste
  • Linda Bruce

    I hope you can see some of the quick fixes we implemented from your suggestions. We can’t replace the carpet yet because there is no wood under it and that is very costly, but tomorrow we will search and find a colorful print to go above the fireplace.then we have to choose furniture. I know there is WAY TOO MUCH furniture in the room. The job in process!

    . All of your suggestions have been WONDERFUL, Thank you ALL so very very much.

  • Linda Bruce

    Regarding the SEARS KIT HOUSE this house has been remodeled and a second floor was added. Unrecognizable from the catalog. Thank you .

  • st5330

    too much seating

  • Oliviag/ bring back Sophie

    Already looks better. love the old radio, but couldcyou find another pretty spot for it, so a chair on each side of the great fireplace would have the same depth?
    You have a very beautiful home. So glad so muchnof the original detail wasn't destroyed in remuddles
    best of luck!

  • Linda Bruce

    Yes but she has a big family and Airbnb guests. She wants to maximize seating however she can. Any suggestions?

  • housegal200

    Big improvement because now we can see the wonderful lines of the windows and woodwork. If you want to keep going, here are a few ideas:

    --Order a large armful of white birch logs for the fireplace so that the firebox isn't so dark.

    --Get some crisp, craftsman style pillows tfor the uphostered furniture--just do a Google search for them. The pillows you have are kind of tired and floppy.

    --That salmon has to go. It really dates the room. Paint everything the same white color as you have, though keep the wood trim the same. That said, there are mission/craftsman style leather and wood pieces that would add color to your room if you're slowing replacing the furniture.

    --Remove the scroll-y sofa table. If you need a table, get a long, slim Craftsman style. This isn't exactly right, but it gives you and idea about how straight lines echo the style you have. Avoid curly, scrolly anything for an authentic yet modern look.

  • partim

    If you want the sofa plus 4 chairs, I'd arrange them in a U shape with the 2 matching chairs side by side, facing away from the window, and the 2 beige chairs facing the window. Round table in the middle.

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