How to can I make my house more cohesive?

Kaitlin Bode
9 days ago

So I have a very open concept downstairs. As in my entire downstairs is just one huge rectangle with no dividers. I'm having some trouble decorating it.

I just painted my cabinets this super bright teal/turquoise. It's definitely out there, but I really like it. It brightens my kitchen a ton which I need because my walls are a like a darker beige, which I hate but the whole house is that color so I am not changing it. Now I'm having trouble creating a cohesive theme with the color though. Any tips? I'm adding pictures of my entire downstairs in the comments.

I'd say that my preferred style is messy and colorful. I like bright things, cozy spaces, and I like kind of busy things. I'm also a fan of farmhouse decor over modern, but I don't like tropical.

Comments (33)

  • ilikefriday

    I suggest the following:

    Paint the other side of the island that some blue. I love that color!

    Replace the console that holds the tv with a wider one that fills the entire space.

    Replace the vertical blinds with curtains.

    Add a couple of pieces of art that have just a touch of that blue color

    Paint the molding on the bottom of the kitchen island blue.

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  • One Devoted Dame

    I like Friday's suggestions a lot. :-D

    Using the same bright color, you could also paint an end table (or both), and the ladder-style bookcase. A turquoise pouf/ottoman could be added (I'd go round, personally, lol), as well as a pillow or two.

  • Angel 18432

    Wow - I love your boldness. Yes, bring some of the teal into the living area.

    Put the front feet of the love seat and sofa just on the edge of rug.

  • housegal200

    Okay, let's look at the plusses--lots of spaces, plenty of light, decent flow, great,wall color, yes, that works well with the turquoise and your wonderful rug. Yup, the cabinets are out there, but they does go with flooring, wall color, and you like the color.

    The not so great--the idea that this can be farmhouse style. Let that go entirely. None of your selections are farmhouse. The layout isn't cozy, but that is totally fixable. Messiness, which you kind of like, sorry, but messiness is the opposite of cozy and comfy. What you want to shoot for is having some harmony to the space, that everything connects in a flowing, lovely way in style and feeling. So let's go:

    --Move the sofa that's in front of the window now so that it faces the window. You have a wonderful outdoor view. Enjoy it from that sofa. Make sure that sofa is fairly close to your floating sofa for a friendly, cozy feeling. Bring the floating sofa about a foot closer to the TV.

    --To add to the friendly feeling get a real coffee table, up on legs for airness, maybe a nesting one to start a conversational group. People need a place to put down drinks, a book, laptop--function adds to coziness. Here's one that echoes the rug.

    Hammary Modern Basics Round Nesting Cocktail Table 190-911 · More Info

    --Think about getting a chair, also up on legs, to place in the corner near the window for reading, looking at laptop, both cozy activities with a reading lamp behind it to also light up that corner. Put one of your side table next to that chair. An orange or turquoise version of this would be great. Check West Elm.

    Beso Accent Chair - Beige · More Info

    If there's any budget then ceiling to floor curtains will add texture to the room. Get them the same color was the wall paint or a pattern something like this, making sure the tan harmonizes with the rug. Honestly, curtains will change the whole room.

    Rod Pocket Curtain Panels Pair Juju Chalk White Geometric Cotton, White, 108", U · More Info

    --Either have no sofa pillows--hard to keep on leather sofas or get some that have turquoise in them.

    Jolly - Blue, Coral, Salmon · More Info

    --Move your ladder shelves to the wall near the window where the sofa was after you move. Fill it with books. This will add to your cozy reading corner feeling when you put a chair there. It also opens up a nice long walkway across the space.

    --Turn TV wall into an art wall.

    In summary, change your layout so that it's more connected for coziness and function. Use small splashes of orange and turquoise in the living area to link with your cabinets. Get curtains. If you want a more lounge-y feeling, get a wonderful throw for the back of the floating sofa.

  • kristaj

    I remembered this blog and think that you might find lots of inspiration there as it is all devoted to shades of turquoise and teal. It shows lots of examples of how to pull this colour throughout a home to keep it looking cohesive and well balanced.


    One thought I did have would be possibly replacing a couple of the solid front upper doors with glass fronts. It would add a nice element and break up the stretch of uppers. Maybe the ones flanking both sides of your kitchen window.

    Whether you stick with the current rug or change to a new one, a patterned rug is a great choice for your space because it gives you a ready made colour scheme to pull throughout your space and create layers instead of trying to work with just one bold colour.
    Good luck and post pics as you make changes.

    Kaitlin Bode thanked kristaj
  • hollybar

    I would finish the island. You could simply paint it, you could 'ship lath" it (maybe horizontally) and then paint or stain. Colour could be the same blue or something else. Me, I'd go either natural wood or citron. See work of folks like Alison Kandler for how to pull colour thru the whole space. And note the balance she achieves throughout her bright,happy spaces by NOT just using neutrals + one bright, but rather balances a few brights, sprinkling them throughout the house. Keeps everything from going too static and matchy-matchy.

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    In your TV area, If you are "art averse",consider a wallpaper/mural on just the wall behind the TV. Take a look at Anthropologie for a very edited selection. You won't need much. Get all the front feet of your sofas ON the rug. Add a few pillows,none in solid colours.

    And if you choose to add drapes to the area make sure to hang 'em wide and a bit high.

    You made the bold decision to paint the cabs, Yay YOU! Now,keep allowing your creative juices to flow.

    Kaitlin Bode thanked hollybar
  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    love the color, but those cabs need some hardware. I saw this kitchen and it reminded me of yours

    try a black and white runner in front of the sink.

    look at how nice the hardware looks. below, the knobs are mounted too high on the doors, but overall it looks good

    you may want to consider a globe pendant over the sink

    move your sofa on the rug so that it touches the front of it

  • Sammie J

    I'd bring some orange into the kitchen, and some teal into the living room. Love the cabinet hardware posted by Beth!

    Kaitlin Bode thanked Sammie J
  • Kaitlin Bode

    Ahh thanks for all the suggestions! I'm def thinking about changing the rug. I was going to mention it in my post but decided against it because I wanted to see if anyone else brought it up. It does seem a little too 'soft' compared to the bright cabinets. What do you all think about one of the ones below:

    I do have a yellow bedroom upstairs and I enjoy yellow accents. Also, cabinet pulls are definitely on my list for when I get a decent drill.
    As for moving furniture, I'm now intrigued and might try shifting my couch position and seeing it I like it. I'll update with pics when I do! for my island, the part that looks unpainted is actually like wall material and is pushed back a bit. It would probably look really odd if painted. Its about 2 inches wider on each side than the island.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    that first one is pretty.

    Just be aware that these rugs you posted that are rather cheap, are also very thin and , um, cheap looking. lol. they are made of a polypropylene that are great if you spill anything, but they are very, very thin.

    look into a cotton Dhurrie rug,

    or something with nylon or wool.

    Overdyed rugs are cool

    Kaitlin Bode thanked Beth H. :
  • Kaitlin Bode

    Yea, unfortunately I'm on a cheap budget and can't pass several hundred for a rug. My current one is rather nice but I got it at a thrift store. How bad would it look if I went cheap?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    depends what kind of cheap!

    Amazon has this one for $71 it's a 5x8. and they have larger sizes

    you need something larger for that spot than what you currently have.

    and you never want to have 'floating rug'. it should be anchored by something


    or can you maybe do an over dyed rug for a bit more? sometimes called an Oushak rug. all sizes and colors. I have one in turquoise that is 9x11. too big for me. it was a few hundred, so I know the smaller sizes are less.

    Etsy has tons of them. or look at other places. they're rather heavy and look a little like this. usually 100% wool, which is what you want for a rug if it's to last.

    check here on Overstock too


  • PRO

    Bring your kitchen color to the TV insert in the wall. That is your room's focal point. Consider a larger screen for this location for the future.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    beverly has a good point about accenting that tv niche. I'd prob go a shade darker though.

    another thing you could do to add some color over there is a turquoise media cabinet. You have a lot of brown over on that side. To tie in the color bring in a larger console to fit that space (yours is a bit too small).

    look on craigslist or garage sales for vintage dressers or buffets. then paint it the same color as your kitchen cabinets

    I like this mcm style cabinet. I think this would be perfect.

    more rustic. you can find these vintage dressers for $50.

    a softer burnt orange one would be complimentary to the blue

    sell yours if you have to in order to make a little money to buy the new one.

    I think doing a console like this would make a nice difference along w/a rug.

    obviously this is yellow, but look at how it pops up the color in the room

  • PRO

    Here are some options for rugs for your room. The rug you select might allow you to bring in additional colors to the room in the way of draperies and pillows.

  • Theresa Janssen


  • btydrvn

    I would go over the blue cabs with a clear metallic glaze...bring it into a more subtle but interesting place....or even stencil a little free form pattern with just gold or silver spray paint..it will add add some sheen and soften the color a little..as well as turning the simplicity of your cabinets into an art form..since the rest of your home is not as bold in color i would then move toward the color theme like the palest rug in the colorful rug suggestions...(so you don’t have to paint any of your nice wood furniture in colors) pick a different paler color from that rug for the the tv niche .......maybe find a fabric print or sheers with similar colors to drape over the dining table in a diamond shape and drape the edges of your dining and living room windows ......for your look “ spray can “ paint is one of the best ways to add personality and it wears like iron....for instance ...the tv niche the walls could be taped with masking tape like a diamond lattice or even free form stripes...and then sprayed over ...pull off the tape and you have a mural effect....that flows well with your other walls....using a sheer paint application adds another ..this is the only picture i have to depict the subtle effect of stenciling..in this case i used ferns and leaves from the garden for my stencil

  • btydrvn

    Picture your bright blue cabinets with a sheer spray of gold or silver...

  • btydrvn

    Maybe just one motif in the center of each door?

  • Theresa Janssen

    love your new kitchen color and all the great ideas everyone has. I thought I would mention that you could add color too in the dining chairs and counter stools. possibly black metal or silver metal counter stools and bright colored dining chairs.

    houzz comments · More Info

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  • Kaitlin Bode

    Alright so I changed up my living room: I tried moving the smaller couch to the other side but there wasn't enough space and it looked odd. I did move my chair closer though and the ladder bookshelf, and painted the chair the same blue as my cabinets. Here are some pics:

    Overall super happy with the changes so far! I was going to buy another rug but this one was expensive and I'm just gonna stick with it and make it work. Next on my list is to get some wall art and more plants, once stores open back up. and possibly some curtains when I can figure out how to hang them lol.

  • mabeldingeldine

    I think you've received some great advice. Someone mentioned moving the loveseat to the opposite of the window, I like that idea. I might even pull the rug closer to the tv and make that space tighter to encourage a cozy feel and easy conversation.
    Like the touches of orange and the turquoise chair. I also liked the idea of a tv console with some color -- maybe even just painting the legs, or a stripe, or... but it is looking good! My former home was like this and it was a challenge!

  • mardsz

    For the other side of the island you could use removable wallpaper in a pattern that has your teal color.

    Kaitlin Bode thanked mardsz
  • njmomma

    Not a Pro.

    Some beautiful blue drapes would add a lot to the room.

  • Angel 18432

    Looks so much better with the furniture"on" the rug.

  • dsimber

    Not a pro designer. Often like the feedback I read here on Houzz. Some of this is good; some not at all. Always personal choices, right? Nevertheless, I will share my reactions as I think varied opinions will help you choose what you like.

    1) Since you just painted the cabinets, my guess is that it is in your plans to add hardware. While those with a copper patina are pretty, they would not offer enough contrast. You already have enough blue. 2) The idea of a metallic glaze or stencil makes me cringe. In my mind, it would ruin what currently look professionally done. Leave them alone or use a more natural color of glaze if you think they need to be toned down. 3) The wall color on the back of your island is best. Flows with your other walls. Can’t imagine adding shiplap or wallpaper to that. Why? Not a focal point. Leave the baseboard the same white as what you have throughout the space. 4) Subtle drapery panels, pattern or solid, in wall color sound great. No tablecloth or runner. 5) The one chair you painted is enough, imo. I personally would not add any more turquoise than that. You already have some furniture that is painted white. Dining table legs. Maybe one end table--I cannot tell. That’s enough. Don’t overdo. 6) The suggested coffee tables are perfect. Would complement your end table(s?). Would flow with your dining tabletop. 7) Once you showed the other side of the room, I can see why the layout change did not work, but it sounded good. 8) I like the more subtle colors in your area rug. A lot. Add softness, warmth, and some sophistication. Interesting, yet easy on the eyes. If you want, you could layer your current rug over a larger, sisal or sisal-look rug. 9) I think your accent pillow is a great color, and I happen to like it in solid. It’s perfect with your area rug. Brighter orange than that would be less pleasing, again, imo. I see 30 great pillow choices from kat. I’ve had leather sofas, and keeping pillows on them has never been an issue. I love your sofas, btw. That color is great with your wood tones and creates a nice flow with your end table(s) and dining tabletop. 10) I would not add any yellow. Stick with the colors in your area rug. 11) Get a variety of recommendations from pros here--with explanations--if you choose to paint the tv wall. Matching that with your kitchen cabinet color does not sound like a good idea to me. Too cheesy. I would guess that you need to choose between a color on the wall and a color on the longer console recommended. The photo that follows the “rustic” suggestions looks like the best choice to me. Mediterranean or MCM so not work as well with the styles you have in sofas, tables, and kitchen cabinets. 12) Love the suggestion of chair, ladder filled with books, and a floor lamp.

    I happen to love an art gallery around your tv--what do you think? Do you have photos or prints you would like to hang? That inspiration photo is good.

    When I went to recommended websites, photos would not load, so I can’t reflect on them. There may be answers there; I just can’t view them.

    I’m going to enjoy watching where you go from here. Cozy. Not MCM, not farmhouse, not match-match. You have a nice eclectic mix going on right now.

  • Gcubed


  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    To me, that tv niche is the focal point of the room. It's not be used to it's full potential. I like the idea of either a longer, painted console,
    Or, some thing like this. (the inset portion. if you have enough room to do shelving too, great)

    You could easily get a floating cabinet like shown here. Paint any color. do the wall in a variety of things.

    you could do shiplap (like shown) tongue and groove wood, or flooring or reclaimed wood


    paint then wall mount tv, get a longer console, do shelving above the console:

    picture collage ( like the any of these. but I'd paint the wall a darker color)

    this one is simple trim molding on the wall, painted.

    you could look at Ikea hacks for built in ideas.

  • dsimber

    Or just keep it simple as shown in pics from housegal and Beth. Depends on how you choose to use your budget, and what you like. Most cost-effective would be to find a used console that is as close as possible to the full-length of the opening, then paint it or the wall.

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