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just moved in and need direction

Lara Finney
last month

Just moved into this house. Put in flooring and love the sectional, although I am willing to part with it if I have to. I have a massive Frida painting on canvas that I want to work from in deciding what to do with this open space.
I was considering painting the walls a cream white. I can’t find an area rug or what to do with the built-in cabinets (which part are being removed and our tv will be put on the wall.
I have no idea what I’m doing but I love bright and bold colors.
Thanks in advance

Comments (100)

  • ravensmom13
    last month

    Congratulations on your new home...I LOVE IT !! That wall of windows is to die for !! The following is just MY OPINION ONLY....LOL...not everyone ( maybe not even YOU ! ) will agree with it, but here goes....


    #1 ) "just moved in"....whew !! With twins, you've got a lot accomplished so far...kudo's to you !! Now LIVE WITH IT for a bit to get "the feel" of the space correctly....it's definitely a MODERN style, so STICK with that feeling overall...


    #2.) Frida has got to "go"...ANYWHERE but in this room !!! LOL...your fireplace is a "statement" and gorgeous, and compass above mantel allows the stone to "show through" so it "highlights" stone at same time as "filling in space" correctly and in proportion...DO NOT put Frida there or you'll cover up the stone....also, "she" is way too small for above your built-ins and would look "lost".....find another room to let her live in...LOL....OR......if you center her above the built-ins, then add small decorative scroll-type art work to either side of her to balance it all....AND....KEEP the gold on the fireplace as it will compliment the gold in her picture !!!


    #3. ) Previous owners had the RIGHT idea with sofa placement...just chose the WRONG pieces !! Reason the room looked "closed off" was because they had TOO MANY mis-matched chairs and small tables and "cutesies"......dark blue sofa had a HIGH back, sofa table was NOT "modern", etc. etc......I would definitely bring that GREY SECTIONAL upstairs.....it appears to have the "modern" look with a LOW back, so wouldn't "close off" the room visually when turned around....the goal is to take advantage of the view out the windows, arrange the furniture so it "appears" to be a separate space, while still keeping the "open, airy" feeling, which the low back gray sectional would do !! I would shop for a long, low, MODERN STYLE sofa table for the back so it isn't just the "back of the sofa" that you see when entering, something similar to these two ideas....they would be "welcoming" as one walked in the door, and you could put small items in gold color to match gold in Frida's picture....



    #4.) In keeping with the GRAY stone of the fireplace, AND the GRAY sectional, I would THEN think of using a pale gray for the walls, and a darker gray to paint the built-ins....this would tie everything together seamlessly....if you really want "color" in that room, I would choose some colorful toss pillows for the sectional...they are cheap, different colors can be changed to fit your moods or the seasons, without breaking the budget...LOL.green ones and gold ones to match Frida's picture and make the sectional appear "warmer"......or when you remove the "sink and mirrors" from the built-in, put shelves in that space and use colorful vases on them...


    #5.) The rug.....STOP looking at "Oriental design" carpets....your home is MODERN....NOT traditional in style....an area rug is usually an EXPENSIVE purchase....you have twins????? LOL...nope...look for something with perhaps a gray background and a cream colored pattern in it ( pic #1 ), or different shades of gray ( pic #2 ).... or if you REALLY want Frida somewhere in that room, then center her above the built-ins and put something small on either side of her ( to balance out that she's "tall" and not wide ) and then go for Pic. # 3, which would highlight the yellow in Frida's picture....


    WHATEVER you end up doing, STAY TRUE to the "bones" of your home's design...modern / contemporary....and you won't go wrong !! Good luck with it all...would LOVE to see "after" pics when you are done !!




  • aniluap2
    last month

    Lara Finney, you’re on the right track. Follow your instincts and use colors and furniture that feels good to you. Brass is back in vogue but NOT SHINY BRASS, so painting the fireplace insert black will make it look less dated. To update my built-in cabinets I had them painted a soft grey (since this is the predominant color in my home) and I ordered shaker style doors to give it a more contemporary look. There are sites online where you can order custom sized wood doors in various sizes. Definitely, remove the mantel I don’t think you need anything to replace it since the fireplace is in an awkward location and you don’t want to accentuate it. However, the stone behind it may have drilled holes you will need to address. Somehow the built-ins look disproportionate in height for that massive wall. Maybe you can open up some niches between the studs above the cabinet to display some interesting pottery pieces, sculptures or interesting artifacts. That will draw the eye upward so that the cabinets no longer seems to cut the wall in half.

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  • Pam K
    last month

    Your room is amazing! With a few cosmetic tweaks it would fulfill its potential.


    I‘d move in this direction:



    FIREPLACE: I think the stone can be worked with. I don’t really see it as problematic. I’d spray paint the gold surround with Matte black spray paint meant for metal and high heat projects. Gold works with your space on other hardware, but on fireplace surrounds it just seems dated to me. As suggested above, remove the mantle and have a handyman cut/shape the corbels that are cemented into the stone such that they can serve as hidden brackets for a chunky wood “floating” mantle. The color/stain of this wood is of the utmost importance in tying together the different wood finishes in your room that could easily conflict.


    BUILT IN: Remove the entire top part of the built in and just leave the lower cabinets. Your inclination to paint them the same color as the walls would work. It would look fabulous to put a gray counter on top and/or wrap a gray counter around top and sides (waterfall style) to tie in with the fireplace gray and to make the style of the built in a bit more contemporary and in alignment with the rest of the room. I’d add floating shelves next to the tv that match the fireplace mantle to tie that whole area together.


    FRIDA: I don’t have perspective on what her size is compared to the other elements of the room, so she may work above the fireplace mantle depending on proportion, or somewhere else. Totally depends on size. If you love her, colors from the room should be pulled from there. I’d focus on her citrine type colors for pops of fresh color.


    WALL COLOR: A warm white is perfect. Just have to be careful bc I don’t think a true cream would work, it has to read warm white with enough of an “earthy” base undertone to tie in with your wood and stone elements, it shouldn’t read light yellow.

  • ital mover
    last month

    Definitely use that kahlo print for your inspiratio. You’ve already got a good start with the sectional and floors, so add the greens, including bold big live plants, the yellow and the plum. (Maybe a plum rug?). Get some fur and fuzz in there!


    when I have time I’ll post some photos of chairs and lighting as examples that maybe you will like

  • willozwisp
    last month

    Please keep Frida away from the fireplace. And especially if it is ever used. Canvas and acrylic/oil paint and heat and ashes do not mix and will ruin it.

    Love the outside view. Let it enter the house.

  • Herath
    last month
    last modified: last month

    When you do get around to picking a rug, check out Ruggable.com. Their rugs are in two layers - the pad and the cover that stick together. You can wash the cover!! And they have so many designs. Very family friendly but also have choices along modern and traditional designs.








  • ital mover
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Hi again,

    i’m going to post some rugs here that you might or you know from being in your room they are all wrong. They also might not be available in your size. but here goes anyway.


    Forum Area Rug, 8'x11' · More Info



    Chandra Amy Butler Amy13212 Rug, Cream/Grey/Brown/Blue, 5'0"x7'5" · More Info



    Chandra Parson Gray Par31108 Rug, Charcoal/Green, 5'0"x7'5" · More Info


  • ital mover
    last month


    Angelina Oriental Green and Plum Rug, 7'10"x10'10", 7'10"x10'10" · More Info


  • ital mover
    last month


    Studio In Bloom by Patina Vie Rug, Spice, 8'x10' · More Info


    Cuba Leather Hide 8'x10' Rectangle Area Rug · More Info

    Probably not the right hue of purple...


    Contemporary Nepal Hand Made Oriental Indian Area Rug, Purples, 9'9"x8'1" · More Info


  • ital mover
    last month


    Luli Sanchez by Jaipur Tear Drops Handmade Geometric Gray/ Beige Area Rug 8'X11' · More Info


  • ital mover
    last month


    Sedona Rug, Black, 8'x11' · More Info


  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    last month

    Having done an idea book I see I’m drawn to deep oranges, in area rugs. I’m wondering if Frida is throwing me off. There are so many beautiful and rich colors, but no oranges.
    These are the rugs I’ve seen and liked. The first is from a suggestion from ital mover

  • Theresa Janssen
    last month

    if you look at Fridas face, it works with orange tones.

  • ital mover
    last month

    So here are some chairs and pillows it might be fun to have. I’m definitely not saying they all bel together and maybe none of them work. Your call


    Linon Junnell Arm Chair · More Info


    Wayne Swivel Lounge Chair, Black Metal/Chartreuse Velvet · More Info



    Flower Dining Upholstered Fabric Side Chair, Clear · More Info


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  • ital mover
    last month


    Mid Century Modern Accent Chair, Black Sleek Metal Base With Faux Leather Seat, · More Info




  • ital mover
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Lighting


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  • jencullen
    last month

    Wow, those windows. I personally like the idea of using Frida and your view out those windows as color inspiration. I think painting the walls a white color like her blouse and switching out the rose area rugs ( can you use them in other rooms?) with something like the rug below would make a big impact. It would also compliment the natural colors from the view outside. The gold/yellow tones in the rug also compliments your yellow toned furniture. Some of the throw pillow above my comments work well too. I don’t think you have to go crazy changing everything. Maybe just maybe switch out the recliner with a splash of one or more of these colors - gold would be nice.

  • loobab
    last month
    last modified: last month

    ital- those are some cool light fixtures- that Aloha is sexy and references the branches around Frida, but unlike those that lock her in, the light fixture is open and free. Love it!

  • ital mover
    last month

    Finally just some fun stuff that either wor for you or makes you shriek.



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    Maybe instead of your compass

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  • ital mover
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I think if that was my fireplace i would paint the mantel and the firebox a dark color and, if the mantle was strong enough to take weigh, I would put planter boxes on it and grow vines up the fireplace.


    Rectangular Metal Cabbage Planters, Set of 3 · More Info


    I might leave the compass where it is and let the vines grow over it.

    Obviously you don’t want to overload your room with too many statement objects and disract from FK herself, but here is some other unusual stuff for the files


    Abarne Graphic Floor Pillow, Snowcone · More Info



    Abarne Graphic Floor Pillow, Plum · More Info



    Fairytale Mirror · More Info


    cant really see your dining area but i love this plum fixture. It comes in other sizes, shapes and sconces


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  • ital mover
    last month

    I’ll let you decide

    Nourison Fantasy Gray Area Rug, Rectangular 8'x10'6" · More Info


  • Jenny Bushaw
    last month

    (Caveat: I haven't read all the other comments so someone might have already suggested this.) Love the cream white idea for the walls. If you love color, why not paint the built-ins a vibrant green to play off the Frida painting? I think a simple, more modern mantel would look great. I don't think you should get rid of the sectional, but maybe add a couple contemporary chairs with clean lines and no rounded arms to even out the heaviness of it. A simple rug with a geometric pattern in white and black or white and gray would also keep the focus on the painting and the built-ins.

  • everdebz
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Detail I think of: Add long flat wood piece horizontally above the unit to create an even plane with mantel. Could same height be a better look for mantel? "Neat and trim."

  • Lauren Pichach
    last month

    I would make the wall with the cabinets and storage into a feature wall where you put the tv and I will give you lots of storage and for the fire place just finish it up and put some beauty full pieces on the mantle

  • Jayne M
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Lots of good ideas. Pick a theme mood.. If you love Frida, run with it. Big plants, maybe a new tropical print rug, pull colors from painting.. Maybe cream walls. I would keep built ins cream.

    Leave it alone or lighten up fireplace with some kind of whitewash - could be grayish or creamish. Black instead of gold for edges. Green is coming back for accents.


    Or if you want a more zen serene approach; lots of warm whites, modern/mid century meets boho. Charcoal, gray, black accessories and modern boho or geometric rug. Keep big areas as light as possible. Rattan or boho tables, acccent chairs, etc Sectional can stay with either approach. Rug and recliner could eventually be changed out.

  • Jeanne J
    last month

    An orange-toned rug will look nice in your room. Go with what you are drawn to. To me the rugs with lots of green are saying «  I am trying to match my rug and painting. ». Too contrived. Can you get a larger size rug so that the recliner sits on it as well? I hope you are able to move the sectional. My very first thought at seeing your room was that it was a shame not to have seating facing the view. Lovely home. Have fun with it!

  • housegal200
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The palettes you picked to coordinate with your Frida are terrific. I still think turning the piece into a long console along the TV is a great way to balance the height. You have light wood beams, dining room furniture, staircase and other places with the light wood. What looks "wrong" right now and throws off the light wood is the sofa. At some point look for lighter upholstered sofas and/or chairs, but a great rug in the art work and colors your drawn to will balance out the sofa.

    Turning the TV wall into an art wall would be incredible. You could start to look for smaller art works that speak to you. Obviously your Frida does. You know what colors you like. Even if you tire of Frida in the future, you will have built a smaller collection of pieces you like. You can find some wonderful art and prints on Etsy as well as handmade ethnic hangings, pottery, etc. that are not mass produced items. Good luck!

  • housegal200
    last month

    Your selections are beautiful--perfect actually--with or without Frida. You have great visual instincts. That fireplace in your third photo looks great without mantel and doo dads.

  • K Ber
    last month

    I love my Frida paining I call the three Fridas

  • K Ber
    last month

    I am really into lighting and color

  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    last month

    Jeanna J I moved the couch!!! In no way does it work. The problem is the staircase. To have the couch facing the windows, the couch has to be pushed so forward (towards the wall with windows) to allow for people to be able to walk into the dining room, kitchen, stairwell leading down..that it ends up halfway to the wall! It sits in the very middle of the room.
    The OG owners had a regular couch and it was pushed forward as well, also the end was pushed close to the built-in cabinets, so that it was only for sitting in front of the fire and looking at the view.
    This room is for us all to congregate and watch a movie together. It’s unfortunate, it physically won’t work.

  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    last month

    K Ber help me pick a paint color!!! It had to be SW. the painter chose cashmere and to me it is YELLOW!!! I can’t even consider that.
    I was looking for a really nice white. Thoughts???

  • calidesign
    last month

    Try SW Shoji White. It has some warmth but doesn't look too yellow or too gray. I think Cashmere is the type of SW paint, not the color. Ask the painter again.

  • Jeanne J
    last month

    Noted that you can't change the position of the couch. I recently posted about my living room on Houzz and everyone kept suggesting I change the position of our couch. In theory it should have looked good but in the actual room it just made the space feel quite confined. So I get it! You are making some great selections and your already very attractive room can only get better.

  • RedRyder
    last month

    Don’t apologize for needing the room to orient towards the entertainment center. Most living rooms do!

  • ital mover
    26 days ago

    I was just browsing and saw this rug, and I thought it might work somewhere in your space


    Weave & Wander Binada Tangerine 8' x 8' Round Rug · More Info


  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    That is really amazing! Where did you find this?

  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    Also..anyone have thoughts on putting a wood backing, stained to matchy match my flooring, behind the mounted RV instead of paint? I’d also use the darker color in the floors to have the stairs stained as well as the railings.
    Maybe I could even use the flooring panels behind the tv (or would that look bad?).
    And I think I’m going with Alabaster paint on the walls.
    I had the speakers removed so we can get the painting started.

  • ital mover
    26 days ago

    You can click on the “more info” link. It is sold on Houzz

  • Theresa Janssen
    26 days ago

    look at the changes already...looking great! I love the idea of panels in the nook where the tv is but I think I would paint them the alabaster instead of stained wood. to me, you would bring attention to that area with the tv if you stain them or use the floor. it would stand out and to me you have enough drama with the fireplace and floor. I would keep it simple. paint would be good or painted panels in the alabaster.

  • Theresa Janssen
    25 days ago

    about the stair railing... may do it in white. if you are leaving the beams as is, I would not bring in another stain color into the picture. too many stains that won't look cohesive, IMO. just go white to match the door and window trim.

  • ital mover
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    Might be waaaayyyy more than you want — and who knows how bright it is in person since the same rug shows up slightly different in 2 photos— but thought I’d show it to you anyway



    Momeni Tangier TAN-9 Area Rug, Gold, 9'6"x13'6" · More Info



    Momeni Tangier Collection Gold Tan-9 Rug 9' 6" x 13' 6" · More Info


  • calidesign
    25 days ago

    I think you can use a darker paint color in the alcove with the tv. It helps the black tv disappear when not in use. I would not put wood there. But since you're painting your walls anyway, I would paint everything in the Alabaster color, and then wait to find a deeper color for the alcove after you have a rug and furniture.

  • Jeanne J
    25 days ago

    Have you thought of painting the bottom wood side of the staircase? It would help the squiggles disappear. Does the stain of the banister work with your floors? If not, paint it white too. Great progress.

  • Jeanne J
    25 days ago

    PS What are you going to do about the sink?!

  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    25 days ago

    Jeanne J, the living room sink is already gone!!!🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 They pulled it all out when they removed the upper portion of the built-in cabinets.
    The banister needs to be replaced but my husband is starting to freak a little about me dropping $$$$$ while we are still trying to close the sale on our last home.
    The squiggles drive me crazy. I was hoping to have them removed but will paint them to hide the funky 70’s vibe.

    Question: can I paint the cabinets Alabaster as well as the squiggly and banister? I feel like I’m muting everything, but am ok with it as long as that is the right thing to do.
    Can I use the same wall paint on the wood too? It’s gonna be a DIY thing.

  • Lara Finney
    Original Author
    25 days ago

    Sorry...should I go with white blinds on the windows?

  • Jeanne J
    25 days ago

    I will let people with more expertise field your question on paint choice. Personally I love white-ish walls and trim. The neutral background gives you freedom to change colors through accessories. More importantly to my mind, given the time and money needed to paint, it is never out of date.


    You'll need a special paint for wood on the squiggles. You can easily have the color matched to your walls. Do you have professional painters doing the walls? I doubt they would charge too much to paint the wood squiggles since they would already have the scaffolding up for the walls. If you need to replace the banister in the future, I would leave well enough alone for the moment.

  • ital mover
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I’m going to stick up for the squiggles, especially if you are not immediately changing your dining area objects. As you proceed the space is inevitably going to be “eclectic” until you are done, and right now the squiggles have friends in Frida and the dining set and lighting.


    SometImes you really need to paint everything all at once because the painters are there and you don’t want to lose them, but for me it is such a nuisance to deal with painting bannisters, etc that if in the long run you intend to do something else with the staircase anyway, just leave it for now and deal with it later. It is actually not a focal point for the room and never will be.

  • calidesign
    24 days ago

    I would wait on painting the stairs until you have your furnishings in. The wood color on the stairs seems fine with your new floors, at least in the photos, and you can always do it later if you decide you don't like it. Or you may decide to stain it darker. I would paint the cabinets in the alcove a darker color - not he same alabaster as the walls. You need to have some contrast in such a large room. A color that coordinates with your fireplace stone could be nice.