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living room needs help

V Smith
2 months ago

We just got our living room painted after wallpaper removal, and now I need some help with furniture arrangement and decorating. There's a lot I don't like about the room but am stuck with so I'd like to try to downplay some of those elements (like the dark wood trim, which is staying, and the carpet) and turn it into a room I actually somewhat like, if possible. I wanted a washable paint for the walls and the contractor said people mostly use eggshell but semi-gloss is more washable, and said he thought the paint we have in one hallway was semi-gloss, so I said to go with that, but I didn't know it would be so...shiny...turns out the hallway paint is NOT semi-gloss...and now I don't like the paint either.


I would like to add more color and interest to the room while working with some of what we already have. It seems really boring now. I am going more for practical than fancy as we have 6 kids ages 1-14. Part of the living room needs to be a play space for the younger kids as we don't have a playroom. I do NOT want throw pillows for the couches...I would be picking them up and retrieving them from other parts of the house constantly. I need drapes, and maybe some more artwork, and ??. I can put decor items on the piano but not on the coffee/end tables (kids will break or run off with). We're eventually going to replace the coffee/end tables show in the before pictures with a farmhouse-style coffee table, and maybe no end tables at all.


I'm attaching pictures of the room as it looks now, and some before pictures showing the furniture arrangements we had pre-painting. The one wall still needs painting.










Comments (68)

  • V Smith

    I don’t think the carpet’s getting r placed anytime soon.


    Would tan couches look better than the burgundy ones?

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    A hardwood floor is a far better investment than couches . Then a nice big area rug. Forget any !!!!! more blue in that room, until the edge to edge carpet is gone.

    i see you posted a floor plan ! On phone , so later for that

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  • V Smith

    Right now I need to work with the carpet I have. I can find couch sets used on Facebook marketplace for about the same price we could likely sell this set for (ie what we paid for it when we bought it used a year ago), so it wouldn‘t be much of a cost, and a lot less hassle than replacing flooring.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    It "wouldn't be much"and it accomplishes NOTHING. Other than to get you an ugly tan set of couches to put on a carpet that could be gone and replaced in TWO days.

    When you have limited resources ... don't waste them!


  • deegw

    There is no decor rule that says furniture has to pushed up right against the wall. You can pull the piano and the sofa into the room a bit to unblock the vents.

  • 2pups4me

    I would not buy couches. Use what you have and make some small, but impactful changes (furniture arrangement and bold art.)

  • deegw

    Pillows! Pillows would make such a big difference in the space. Kids love pillows. They can make forts, sit on them, stack them up, use them as mountains for their cars and stuffed animals.

    Here is a really crude mock up with a large sofa painting, lamps and a couple of pillows. It doesn't take much to add personality to a room.



    V Smith thanked deegw
  • homechef59

    I suggest that you start in another room. You have six kids. The kids have taken over the entire existence in this house. You can't have nice things during this stage of your life. The youngest ones are just too young and will break or destroy anything you acquire at this point. You are a couple of years away from being able to have nice things.

    I suggest you concentrate on your bedroom. You deserve one nice space that is clean, organized, serene and pampers you at the end of a long day doing for everyone else. Buy a good mattress, a really good set of sheets, great pillows and a nice comforter/bedspread. At the end of the day, look forward to sinking into bed. You will rise the next day refreshed to do for others all over again. You can't look after others if you aren't looking after yourself.

    Don't bother buying anything nice for the living room until everyone is out of diapers and understands the concept of the word no. Right now it's Romper Room in the living room.

    Don't put the piano over an HVAC vent. It will ruin the instrument by exposing the sound board to temperature and humidity changes. Put it in the dining room or in a room where it can sit against a wall where there is no exterior door or HVAC vent.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    I gave up when I read "a play kitchen has to go in the room." : ) Bye!

    Dedicate ONE room to play. Have hubby go rent an office off site, or throw your hands up. Do your bedroom, and get the baby out of the closet.

    Some things in life are what happens...and some are choice. "Nuff said.

  • everdebz

    Soften with burgundy/ blue fabric -- to pad and add color/ pattern?

    Red And Green, Floral Leaves Tapestry Upholstery Fabric By The Yard · More Info


    https://www.houzz.com/products/red-and-green-floral-leaves-tapestry-upholstery-fabric-by-the-yard-prvw-vr~24460704

  • everdebz

    Canvas art from California -

    Adam Burton 'Half Dome' Canvas Art, 47"x30" · More Info

    https://www.houzz.com/products/adam-burton-half-dome-canvas-art-47x30-prvw-vr~91388289

  • everdebz

    I'm not being flippant or facetious even, but this might feel like his Noah art - and this art's light and dark could blend with your room's light/dark elements. Same with striking beauty of Half Dome - an outdoor wonder.

    Adam Burton 'Passenger Free' Canvas Art, 47"x30" · More Info


    https://www.houzz.com/products/adam-burton-passenger-free-canvas-art-47x30-prvw-vr~91388524

  • everdebz

    Low items in front of window? -- or those with hinged lid [storage inside].

    Small ottomans -- 14 in. W x 13.75 in. H.

    Large ottoman -- 35 in. L x 18.9 in. W x 16.5 in. H


    5-Pc Rectangular Storage Ottoman Set in Fawn Brown · More Info


    https://www.houzz.com/products/5-pc-rectangular-storage-ottoman-set-in-fawn-brown-prvw-vr~79197564

  • happyleg

    Wayfair.com has the coffee table.

  • A S

    Working with what you have I think rearranging the furniture in the space will help a lot. If it were me and this needed to serve as playroom, living room and family room, I would try and make a couple of spaces.

    I’d get an ottoman instead of a coffee table that opened and could store board games. I’d get a fun pattern to liven up the room.

    I would hit up ikea for expedit style shelving that lets you put toys in bins to hide the chaos a bit. This is our playroom currently.

    I would get a table and chairs for art and other fun crafts and then I’d have a unit for storing art supplies nearby.

    I would be totally fine with the play kitchen in the space and even the slide if that was the designated play area of the room. It’s amazing what you can do by creating areas within the big area.

  • wickedwhite

    Some great ideas so far! I’d rearrange the furniture. If the playset with the slide doesn’t have to stay in this room, why not float the furniture and form a seating arrangement facing the window. That would allow for traffic behind the sofa between the hall and kitchen. Try the sofa facing the window with the love seat perpendicular to it (where you have the sofa now) and the chair opposite it. Maybe angle the chair slightly in the corner. Then get some oversized cool art (great big canvas has 50% off right now.) and head to Ikea for pillows and lamps.

  • wickedwhite

    What happened to your coffee and side table?

  • V Smith

    This where my living room is at now. I got throw pillows, which really need darker colored covers because the cream shows dirt way too much. I put the couches at the front of the room and the play set behind them but could reverse the two. I'm having trouble choosing curtains. I bought these blue floral curtains but am not sure if they will look good right next to the burgundy couches. Maybe the gray version would be better?

    Also wondering if a farmhouse coffee table (see picture) will look ok in this room?

  • A S

    Change the throw cushions. Cream is not your friend with kids.

    Put the couches more between the window and move the kid stuff to another end of the room. I think the furniture should float in the room a bit more and not be oddly angled.

    The curtains are fine but don’t add a ton.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    V smith

    I think you have to accept what you can't change. The whiteness and light stuff, including the table, will never compete or make sense with the massive amount of huge brown furniture or dark trim. I believe the rug is blue, making it yet more difficult. Look for deeper blues and greens.......add art. You will have to try ANY fabrics in home to avoid clashes with the carpet.

    Sorry, the play set belongs.......outdoors.: ) a basement, not there.














  • V Smith

    @Jan Moyer...I got light curtains and throw pillow covers because people on this thread suggested adding light colors to brighten up the room! I even had an interior designer come in for a consult and she liked the blue floral curtains and said the farmhouse coffee table would look fine. It's hard to figure out which way to go with so many different (and sometimes opposite) opinions.

  • 2pups4me

    Light doesn’t necessarily mean white. You’ve received many suggestions and the reasons behind the choices. The decision is ultimately YOURS - go with what works for how your family lives.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    Look at my post again. You're trying to "wear a tutu with construction boots. "

    A healthy dose of COLOR....would hep


  • happyleg

    Blues, greens, yellow, red are good with brown or coral, pink just do it. Add art & rug.

  • PRO
    Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC

    I like these curtains from J C Penney, they incorporate the carpet and couch color. They're also available in 95" length, which you need. Better to get a little too long and pay for hemming than go too short. The right length curtains make a huge difference.

    I see that you like farmhouse style, even though your current furniture and house isn't really that. I've given you end tables and a coffee table that is more farmhouse, but it echoes your wood trim, which makes it much more cohesive than the table you pictured above. Bring light/white in with accessories, like I did with the lamp.

    And yes, you can have end tables, lamps and accessories with children. I'm a large family person, and my youngest child has five, ages 2-9. The only concession is we keep the coffee table clear for babies/toddlers under two. After that they learn to respect mommy's and daddy's possessions. But I've given you a basket for remotes and misc, which is always handy.

    I have sources for everything pictured, if you are interested. Everything is very inexpensive/affordable.



    V Smith thanked Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC
  • PRO
    Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC

    Here's another option where you have a stronger color in your drapes (available from Wayfair), which helps balance out the dark furniture. Again, they're available in a 95" length, and they're not sheer. You have too many strong elements in this room (heavy dark furniture, dark wood trim) to go with sheer drapery.


    There's no burgundy in the drapes, but taupes/browns, which would most likely work. You could add a throw cushion in a lighter burgundy, and pick up a little of the color in botanical artwork.


    V Smith thanked Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC
  • B T

    What do you think about some trimwork around the ceiling / wall edge?

  • salonva

    I have to agree with Jan and Open House- they both have selected some very good and reasonable options. Again, you don't have to get exactly what they are showing, but it does provide a good inspiration. I do think some doses of the stronger colors makes it work better than ignoring them. The curtains each suggested definitely work with the blue carpet and make it look purposeful (And attractive).

  • PRO
    Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC

    Here's how I would do your floor plan. The couch is centered on the large front window, with an end table and lamp on either side. The love seat and chair are then placed on either side. You might have room to put a small narrow end table next to the chair. You can put a basket at the side of the love seat to hold throws or corral toys (the only toy storage I'd keep in a main living area). The piano is on the wall where the door to the kitchen is, I think you previously had it there.


    This placement allows the couch to be on your focal point (the large window), and also allows an easy traffic pattern into the kitchen entry. Art can be hung on the wall behind the love seat. I would put the toy kitchen in that large area off the kitchen that you have.


    Best of luck! :)



  • V Smith

    where is the blue and taupe pillow in the first picture from? It's the top pillow in the first picture. @Open House Home

  • PRO
    Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC

    It was from Joss & Main, but appears to have sold out already. They are having a President's Day sale, and it was under $20. However, I've sourced you a somewhat similar pillow cover:


    Candelaria Throw Pillow Cover


    It's the back left in the upper pillow display; the blue velvet pillows and cream/taupe patterned one are from Amazon.


    Bottom left: Back pillows from Amazon, front Ikat lumbar from Joss & Main.


    Bottom right: All pillows from Amazon.


    This just gives you an idea of how you can combine pillows. You don't need perfect color matches, and sometimes it's pretty to have a solid in a different tonal shade (like the bottom right combo). It also has a subtle background print, which gives it interest.



  • V Smith

    How about these curtains? It won't let me add a picture.

  • happyleg

    They're nice.

  • PRO
    Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC

    I actually considered those. They're fine, as long as you get the longer length.

  • V Smith

    Would a "fall colors" picture like this look ok in this room? Thinking maybe I could put this over the piano and one of the brighter (ie more bright blue sky showing) Noah's Ark pictures over the couch. The frame is similar in type and color to the Noah's Ark frames.

  • katinparadise

    following

  • Jenn Hoffman

    Beautiful windows! Get rid of the carpet and repaint the walls. If you need help on what to replace with, Sherwin-Williams has an interior designer that you can book-you pay approximately $90 and get a $50 gift voucher in return. We’ve used ours several times!

  • happyleg

    That art will work, if u like it. Get a big one.

  • happyleg

    No hard tables with kids? Do u keep the piano?

  • V Smith

    We just need to get a new coffee table. Yes, the piano's back in its original spot.

  • happyleg

    Pic? update. Drapes or solar shades.

  • V Smith

    I'm ready to give up on this room. I ordered 2 different curtains mentioned in this thread, and one felt like a cheap plastic shower curtain, and the other had a really open weave (think burlap) that wasn't obvious in the pictures. Two other curtains that I found locally look nice but both had reviews saying they shrunk a lot, and unevenly, when washed, and I can't have living room curtains I can't wash.

    We bought a nice chunky second-hand coffee and end table set a couple days ago. Except once I moved them into the living room next to the couch, I realized that they have a very orange-y stain that clashes with the burgundy couches.




  • happyleg

    Is there a JcPenney or Target store u could go to & tell them your measurements of windows. They can help u at JCpenney.

  • PRO
    JAN MOYER

    The only curtain guaranteed to survive washing is a decent sheer. You can't expect lined panels to survive washing.

    You need fabric.........so I will suggest you find a friend who sews. Or you learn to stitch a straight line, which is all that curtains will require, as will pillows.

    You also need these full enough to look good. SHEETS. Yes, sheets. Two KING sheets. Which will mean two sheet sets, and use the bottoms to make a couple pillows, or use them on your bed.. For these? You need 250.00 bucks, and some elbow grease labor, yours, or someone else's. Want them lined? Then you buy flat white king at the local discount joint, and I would pre wash BOTH in cold, before sewing. But a king flat sheet will give you about 110 inches length and width for each panel. A QUEEN will give you same length, a bit less width of course. But the queen below is on sale Company store. Four flats, 40.99 in queen gives you a lot of fabric for under 200.00 bucks. . Even a single sheet is going to be 90 wide and 108 long,..

    Rare is the patterned sheet sold individually. This is.

    Bottom line is, your wish list keeps exceeding your pocket book. Money, time. energy. If you don't have the first, you need much more of the second two. For anything..........and everything.



    https://www.thecompanystore.com/manchester-wrinkle-free-cotton-sateen-sheets-bedding-set/50379-ps-f19.html

    https://www.macys.com/shop/product/destinations-by-stavros-thera-sheet-set-king?ID=8178761&CategoryID=9915&isDlp=true


    Your other choice is to DRY CLEAN



    Above is pottery Barn, and four panels/lined.........179.00 x 4.


    https://www.potterybarn.com/products/ikat-print-drape/?catalogId=84&sku=6134679&cm_ven=PLA&cm_cat=Google&cm_pla=Windows%20%3E%20All%20Curtains&cm_ite=6134679&gclid=Cj0KCQiAv8PyBRDMARIsAFo4wK09jSrB3khZAh7ZdUTOjnn5uxG8ulcrugymY1kLLG10vNz9EU_H4aMaAj6zEALw_wcB



  • misecretary

    What I have gathered from reading the post is that you want to work with what you have. We've all been there

    will you double check the dimensions of the following walls?

    1. Back wall shows over all length as 19'10"

    2. The wall opposite shows a wall of 75" with an opening of 72" = 12' 5"

    3. It doesn't appear that the wooden shelves/cabinet door wall area is 7' 5"

    If it truly is, then I would move the slide over there. The shelves and and storage closet (?) becomes 100 % toy storage.

    Now you can utilize the floor plan suggested by Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC .

    Seriously, use the space in your rooms, Squeezing the furniture into a very small area is NOT the way to go. Furniture stores are staged that way to get the most product on the floor for public viewing; it's not meant to be set up that way in your home. : )

    I like the second pic of the curtains laying across your sofa posted 2 months ago. Did you end up buying them?

    suggestion for the Noah's Ark artwork. Have you thought about putting those in the children's bedrooms? It would be a great time to talk about them as you're putting the kids to bed. Or if you prefer, in the hallway leading to the bedrooms.

    Please don't go without end tables. People need a place to set glass/coffee cup or a book, etc. and it grounds the furniture in place.

    I hope even one of my ideas help you out. Can't wait to see some pics. Remember to have fun with this process.

  • happyleg

    Drapes can be steamed clean. Solar shades are nice.

  • comelyhomely

    Have you tried the furniture arrangement that @Open House Home Staging & Redesign, LLC recently posted a sketch of? What did/didn't you like about it?

  • V Smith

    I did try it. I don't like furniture backed up to the window. I've tried a few different variations at different times and didn't like any. This is my current configuration. Can't decide if it's better for the sofa to be on the long wall or the loveseat. Still unsure about putting that artwork there also...probably will hang it for now and maybe look for something else. The play kitchen is going in a bedroom eventually. Idk why the walls look so yellow in pictures...they're a slightly warm white IRL.


  • happyleg

    I love it! <3

  • salonva

    that does look so much better.



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