Hi guys! I need your expert advice in pulling my living room together. I have the foundational pieces (I think) - the space just needs oomph. This space is an open plan condo. I like an eclectic/boho look with a touch of glam.
Any advice would be appreciated!
Now, for the pics!
This is a view of living room from the front door. (my art is on the floor here b/c yesterday, my upstairs neighbor was doing something that sent everything I had on the walls crashing to the floor!!! The crash happened about 30 min. before a bunch of people were scheduled to arrive for a little party I was having. Sigh.)
Another view of Living room
Yet another Living room view
View of wall across from window in living room
View of dining/kitchen/den from living room
Dining room shelves
Another dining room view
Pretty place! Congrats! Sorry about the little accident right before your guests arrived.
I love your pieces and your have done an excellent job. I would say what is lacking is some color in the LR and DR. Have you painted the walls? I can't tell what color they are. Maybe a painting, or a pillow or throw in another accent color in the LR and some vibrant centerpiece for the DR table.This message has been edited. Last edited by: JulieE,
JulieE: thanks for the input.
The walls were originally cream - I painted them Benjamin Moore's Annapolis Gray. It's an awesome shade of greige.
I do plan to have the two vintage cane chairs reupholstered in this ikat fabric. I already have a pillow in this fabric and plan to add a few more.
I love the pieces you have collected for your home! The Ikat fabric is wonderful for those chairs (I got a pair like that last year!for my Grand daughter).
About the foyer table with mirror over it, I would center the mirror over the table and display those wonderful art canvases around it or in another area.
The shelving and seat in the Den area is nice and a great place to read! and I do like the pillow fabric! The added color in the drapery is fresh.
My favorite is the dining room shelving and the blue print what a FRESH display!
I am sure others will chime in and give their opinion of your place. GREAT start!
That is too bad about your neighbor, we lived in an apartment building while looking for our house, the guy upstairs would lift weights (this was in the room above our guest room where I had my computer and desk) and he would 'drop' the weights just before they went back to the floor! IT would shake the whole place! I hope they can 'adjust' their behavior so you can keep you artwork and have peace and quiet!
*****We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are! ***** (Anaias Nin)***** http://pinterest.com/mary_ruth/
I'd like to see stronger colors on the wall; at the very least an accent wall (or two) that could serve as a bold backdrop for your awesome artwork.
I think re-arranging some of the art to create a gallery wall would be great. You have wonderful accessories, but a bit of editing would go a long way to create more cohesive displays.
Also consider adding pattern to your window treatments. Perhaps ikat-patterned drapes?
You've great taste and a good head start. Best of luck.
Love your pieces and choices. That said, I know most or many of us have storage issues so please don't misinterpret my comments. In general, I would recommend reducing many of your items. I realize you're not staging for sale but it was distracting - to me, anyway.
If it were my home/rooms, I would try to stow many or most of the kitchen items (e.g. the mixer), utilize less open shelving (if possible) by replacing it with closed storage or a built-in, rearrange accessories on the shelves and remove up to half of them, eliminate/move the prints behind the TV - and so on. The gallery wall's a good idea, BTW, to centralize and highlight those items. Some inexpensive cord cozies might be helpful for the TV area, too.
Same thing WRT the furniture and other items. In general, I would attempt to focus on larger scale items to make my space feel larger. You could eliminate a few smaller furniture pieces and pillows, adding a larger scale item or two. Instead of the prints behind the TV, you might select a wallpaper or do an accent wall (paint) of some sort.
You selected terrific neutrals. My next choice would be a punch of color as an accent. I notice a few miscellaneous blue items. You might go with a bolder blue for some larger scale pillows or other items.
Didn't get a great sense of flow between the two spaces. Nice job with the drapes but you might use that blue (or other bold accent color) in all the spaces. You might consider changing/repainting the lighter blue shelving to a bolder blue.
Good start with the drapery - besides size, I would also try to emphasize height. For example, I would also center the mirror but probably remove the smaller prints. If you really need something besides the mirror, you could select 2 taller, narrow items to place around the mirror, although the outlets might make that tough. Or, you might try placing a taller accessory or flowers on the table to reflect in the mirror for maximum effect.
Didn't check your walls/ceilings but something like crown would also draw the eye up and unify the spaces. Crown isn't boho (unless creatively done) but it'd enhance the nice base you're working with.
Great place, good luck! Hope MHO and ramblings help you somehow -This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
What color would you suggest for the accent wall?
I've thought about adding an ikat border to the curtains. Would that work?
Thanks for the input!
I am a maximalist - I like stuff so I am not bothered by a lot of things. They do have to be pretty and/or unique, though. Also, the furniture pieces work for the way I live - lots of friends, drinking wine or watching football. That said, I am not opposed to rearranging or removing a few things.
I hear what you are saying about the mixer. But I bake A LOT. At least 1x a week. The mixer is too too heavy to pick up each time I want to whip up cookies or a pound cake. I keep my baking essentials underneath it, so I'd like to keep that cart.
The shelving is actually turquoise and I'd like to bring that color in more - just don't know how.
And I would LOVE to center that mirror on the wall - but it's hiding a fuse box. If I move the table directly under it, then it makes coming in the front door difficult. I want to build around the mirror, so that the table is centered under whatever arrangement is on the wall. Any suggestions?
And I can't get rid of any art work - I have been collecting it for years. I do need to group/arrange it, I know.
And I do have crown molding, just didn't snap a pic of that.
Oops, now I see the crown in 1 photo - my bad.
It's o.k., Virtually, we all love our stuff, too. I'm sure you understand the theory, i.e. that the eye has nowhere to rest if it encounters too many items or stimulants.
What you might consider trying is rotating a few items either periodically (e.g. quarterly) or seasonally. That way, you highlight the remaining items, giving them more presence during their particular season or period.
BTW, the mixer was only an example. (They're heavy!) For that, commercial covers s/b available or you might make one in your accent color. Didn't think about the cart previously but some velcro around the edge (or elastic, depending on the type of cart) plus fabric down to the floor is another way to both introduce more color and beautify your storage.
If you like the turquoise and are committed to blue, why not go up that paint chip and select a darker or more vivid hue of it for your accent wall? Or, there are no rules - if you want to try a lighter accent and match that turquoise, go for it. It's only paint.
BTW, I would probably also relocate the blue artwork adjacent to the shelving unit into another space to further unify everything. You can always trade it with a contrasting print, if you prefer something in that specific location.
If you tried the mirror centered horizontally above the console, would that hide the fuse box? The small prints could go in a row above it, if you like. Don't know if it's a metal box but sometimes the handles can be removed and doors camouflaged. (A push-in mechanism is then used to open the box.)
If you don't need the mirror in that exact location, you might consider a large horizontal artwork centered above the console, merely resting on a hidden wall cleat to cover not only the fuse box but the outlets, too. To save the glass and reduce the weight, you could use fabric on stretcher bars as artwork instead of your prints/pictures.
WRT the furniture, larger scale items might actually provide more seating instead of less. Naturally I wouldn't run out and buy anything until items wear out or you tire of them. For just 1 example, if your small sofa were a small sectional, you could probably include the same chairs and seat more visitors.
Personally, I would try moving your existing pieces around or mark off possible configurations with blue painter's tape. I can think of at least one configuration that would most likely provide more seating in the TV area and possibly make TV viewing easier, from all rooms/directions. Let me know if you're interested in those details.
Best of luck with your terrific spaces! All JMHO, as usual.This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
I will definitely try rotating out items, I like that idea!
I would love, love to hear your seating configuration ideas. I previously thought a sectional would work, but this sofa is only two years old, was pricey (though i didn't pay full price!) and I do like it. So no sectional for me.
I'm actually scared of the turquoise wall!! Do I do it behind the sofa and on the dining room wall?
Love your condo and how you've decorated your spaces. The only thing that I would change is the curtains, not sure they go with the rest of the room, either in color or style. I also think rotating some pieces is a good idea. A friend once suggested to take everything out and replace a few items and see what you think. Doesn't mean you can't add a few more! Good luck.
Virtually, you've gotten some great ideas.
For an accent wall, I thought of pulling the yellow-gold from your ikat patterned fabric, in one or two shades darker to make a real impact.
Love your colors. It will be wonderful. Couple inspiration pics.
Question: If I go with ikat patterned curtains, should I kill my idea to recover the chairs in ikat? Would that be overkill?
Love your ikat, Virtually but personally, I would use it as an accessory, in smaller doses. OTOH, it depends what your budget is and how much you care to spend over time. Your tastes will change, IMHO. If you retain a neutral base with the plain yellow (very elegant, BTW) draperies and neutral furniture, you'll save **$ now and in the future by merely changing out accessories.
OTOH, if you really, really want to change the chairs, you could have slipcovers made for the bottom chair cushions. (Don't know if you sew, yourself.) That way, the slipcovers could simply be pulled off to return to the neutral chairs.
Love the brown sofa and as I said above, I certainly wouldn't run out and buy anything major at this point. Don't know the size of your home but at some point in the future, it might work well in an office.
Definitely understand your feelings about the accent wall but I wouldn't be afraid of it, assuming you only plan to paint. If you don't care for it, it's a minor time and **$ investment to repaint.
Without either a drawing or photo of the entire length of your two longer walls, I'm a little confused WRT the TV zone's sofa v. TV side. Is the sofa on the same long wall as the turquoise shelving unit? Or is the TV on that side? I apologize in advance if I'm not looking at the photos properly.
Another question: the den area is separated with an archway. Any similar arch separating your TV zone? Where's the door WRT your kitchen and the TV zone? A couple more photos might help, if I'm truly missing something.
WRT the paint colors, I believe either a darker, vivid blue or gold/yellow would be terrific. Or try the turquoise, whatever you like -
If you've definitely decided to paint (hope so), then you can select a few samples to try on the wall. (Personally, I would do the wall behind the TV, assuming you retain the same basic configuration.) You'll want at least 2 samples from each color, i.e. 2 shades you're considering. (I'll try to pull up a couple of things, if I get time later, although you really need to do this yourself.) I'd definitely carry any relevant fabrics, other colors and accessories along to the paint store.
If and when you obtain the samples, you'll want to try them on any walls/sections you plan to paint and live with them for at least a couple of days, verifying the colors at various times during the day, in different light exposures.
I'll post back with more of MHO's about the areas to paint and configurations as soon as possible after receiving answers to those questions and/or more photos.
Hope you're getting a little extra time around the holidays. The above's JMHO, like always.
P.S. Had another thought about your ikat. You might consider a valance above both windows. That'd be easy to change out in the future and again, unify the spaces.
I would check the 2 yellows against each other, carefully. They look very close but with similar shades, sometimes it's close but no cigar and they actually clash -This message has been edited. Last edited by: AguaBella,
Thank you for posting the pictures. It certainly helped me visualize what others were suggesting.
Sorry for the delayed reply. I had to have an unexpected procedure and was resting.
a few things:
- I have already purchased the ikat fabric for the chairs; it has always been my goal to reupholster them. the chairs were thrifted and I doubt I will regret investing in vibrant upholstery for them.
- I definitely will not do a yellow/gold accent wall. unless someone can show me a picture of one that isn't hideous.
- I do not think a brown accent wall will work - those usually work best in a room with lighter pieces.
- some of you say I need patterned drapes. I was thinking of the white/yellow/brown suzani pattern for drapes (I have several pillows in that fabric). but will it be too much pattern?
I think I just need a way to pull the turquoise in? The room has a lot of warm tones and needs a cool tone for contrast.
To answer AguaBella's questions:
The sofa and turquoise shelf are not on the same wall. The sofa is in the living room (opposite the TV), the turquoise shelf is in the dining room. It is open concept, but the walls are not connected. In fact, they are separated by a 'hallway' (there are no walls) that leads from the front door to the bedrooms at the back of the unit.
I just snapped a pic really quickly, without 'straightening'; it is attached. The photo was taken from the far left corner of the living room (near the windows). It's a weird angle and a bad photo overall, but I hope it helps you better see what I mean.
There is not an archway separating the TV zone from the dining room. The front door is literally adjacent to the small table and mirror. As a reminder, the table is on the other side of the room from the windows in the living room. (another photo of that is attached. Again, I didn't 'neaten' up so excuse the lint roller on the table. I have a cat. )This message has been edited. Last edited by: Virtuallyworking1,
I just painted so the outlet covers aren't all back on.
And art is stacked there b/c I had an art wall/shelf collapse thanks to my neighbor.
My emergency procedure stopped me from getting anything done over the holidays.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Virtuallyworking1,
Another view. I have a huge art collection.
A lot of it is on the floor b/c my neighbor's antics sent my gallery crashing to the wall.
It is eclectic and I would like to keep as much of it as I can. I just need to figure out which wall to, literally, anchor it to, and them come up with a grid system. I am really looking into doing something floor to ceiling.
Sorry to hear about your procedure, Virtually. Hope you had time to recuperate, fully.
Thanks for posting the add'l photos - those are perfect. Obviously knew about the open concept and various zones within it. Also knew your door's location but wasn't sure about your hallway.
WRT your patterns and color, it's about what you like - there are no rules. I love ikat but also prefer to mix patterns. So, for your greatroom, I might combine the ikat with both a stripe (or subtle plaid) and a floral of some type. With a large-scale ikat, my floral might be smaller. My stripe would probably combine all/most of the room's colors or shades.
When you purchased the fabric, did it come on 1 large bolt? If you have 2 pieces of it, you might drape some over both the drapery and chairs and live with it for a couple of days. In general, however, it's usually a good idea to repeat fabrics around the room. If I used a large quantity on my chairs, I'd probably use a smaller quantity in the window area and vice versa. Again, however, that's only MHO.
Had some notes about color and configurations from before. Will try to locate those later and post back - thought we lost you. In the meantime, need to try to catch up on work!
Have a great day -
P.S. About your colors, when I mentioned a vivid blue above, was actually thinking about dark teal to go with your lighter blue. In general, you s/b able to find either a warmer or cooler version of any color.
I just never get this. I mean, I understand it intellectually but not in reality. My eye does not need to "rest" Since my decorating is primarily for me, as it is for Virtually, more power to her for her collections and art!
Just came back to say that "styling" is like any other skill. Practice makes perfect. Just keep doing it (start with table top, stand arranging) till you are happy with what your eye sees.
Virtually you have very nice furnishings and art but it does need to be pulled together in some way. Like things with like.
The table by the front door should be moved somewhere else since it can't be centered over the mirror. (that is a difficult entry btw!)
The art by the t.v. should be rehung. also the art by the turquoise stand is too crowded. I would put it over the stand. You definitely could use patterned draperies. (one of the property brothers shows had very pretty ones)
Your condo is a visual treat, the furnishings and the art, it just needs to be pulled together some.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Hope you are on the mend.
When you feel up to it, try this: take everything off the walls. Clear off all the flat surfaces. Move out as much of the furniture as you can into adjoining rooms. Ask for help, of course.
Make believe you are packing up and moving.
You need a blank canvas to see more clearly. That sounds paradoxical, but it's not. Your eyes have become habituated to seeing your rooms in a certain way for so long that your creative vision is cloudy.
It's clear you understand this, which is why you are on this message board asking for help. A lot of good ideas and suggestions have come your way, but decorating by committee over the internet can only go so far.
A good example of what I am talking about is featured occasionally in House Beautiful:
Then there are one-day makeovers using your own stuff, which you can learn to do yourself: http://redecorate.com/blog/
Perhaps this will spark some more ideas and inspiration.
At first I thought you need a bulkier foyer table to place under the mirror, but having seen the pic of the foyer area, I think the mirror needs to go elsewhere. It is too big for the table.
Hardly ever get here anymore, and when I do and get to see my old friends who have made so much progress!!! Beautiful. Hope you are feeling better. As usual I'll just barge in with a lot of advice so you can pick out the ideas that suit you.
Cover the chairs in your IKAT. That is a great plan that you will adore. Do take the fabric down to your nearest upholstery fabric store though and find two fabrics in smaller prints, or stripes that "go" (inspiration shots above show some good ones) and buy just a couple of yards /make/cover round noodle pillows for each end of that smashing sofa. Let the drapes alone, you have other fish to fry.
Take the wall color and go look at the chip and get a tone that is about two shades down, then paint your coffee table the darker mid-tone greige from the wall. It will break up the brown, help pull all the tones together and take the wood grain style of that piece and make it eclectic to fit your look. Right now it looks to heavy, that will lighten it up.
As for hanging your art, the window wall in the living room is begging to be a gallery wall, while the sofa wall wants two or three that are just black and white tones so they don't compete with the wild ride of the gallery - perhaps only the pair of black and white graphics with the chunky frames that sort of coordinate hung side by side.
Try this to help you figure out the gallery layout - lay it out on the floor as if it were up on the wall, then stand on the chair to take a picture of it. Study that. then play around with it on the floor and take more pictures. Study what you like and take your time. Consider matting some items in white to add visual space. Buy a sample pot of paint in the darker tones of your wall and paint a few of the frames that distract you with that (a shade even darker than the table). [This layering of the same color in different shades will begin to pull everything together and make the choices feel more deliberate] - You are heading in a great direction!!!
As for the posters behind the television, they are not alike enough to hang together. On the right is a matted b/w that wants to anchor that new gallery wall to tie it to what is over the couch. If you take the other two, and split them on either side of the television, it would feel more balanced - the colorful one by the curtains and the dark one to the left. Let the tv be the middle thing.
I think instead of bringing in more turquoise or blue in fabric or paint, you can just keep your eyes peeled for a few gorgeous accessories - a turquoise painted tray that can shift from room to room for tea, etc. The shelf is darling, but I would get the beautiful art with the blue away from it and on the gallery wall. It is smooshed where it is, and the blue in the art does not have the green in it that the turquoise does. Across the room they will relate even better. Add some inexpensive basketry to the mask area and slide the turquiose shelf to the right to open your table area a bit more.(your dining chairs came out so beautiful!)
Waaay down the line, you could add several painted (another sample pot shade from the wall color strip?) greige bins or baskets to the open white shelving in your den so that shelving would have a more closed appearance in contrast to the turquiose. One reason the eye is so busy is that you have open shelving of different styles lined up adjacent, so just putting the stuff from 1/3 of the white shelving into matching bins would help with contrast / make the second shelf area feel more visually closed up. Again, your place is open, and repeating the same wall color in a darker tone in greige against the white is going to feel deliberate, repeat your color story and allow the turquoise throw and shelf and accessories to work rather than feel random.
(I've even painted bankers boxes or a standard cardboard box that fits the space to achieve this high end look for less)
I loved the pair of bright gold ottomans in the inspiration photo and think something along those lines could be great in your den - maybe a marine vinyl could cover hand me down cubes. Repeat the yellow, be something you could pull over to the living room for a crowd but easy wear and tear for feet / food / in the den.
Finally, what I'm not seeing that will make a difference is low level lighting. A couple of floor lamps flanking that sofa would make the room feel more cozy. Home Goods is a good place to find these. Buy some inexpensive IKEA bookcase lights to hang off the front of the white shelves with cords tucked away behind and to the side together where you can reach over and get them on and off easily. You don't have to buy new furniture to put lighting on, but even consider where the ceiling light is now in the dining area, try swagging something like a table light over your table and put it on a rheostat so you can mood light the space.
Great to see your progresss - stick with that inspiration fabric and take care of yourself!!!
I don't think anyone has mentioned this but your front door bothers me....how do you get in? Do you have to open your door all the way back to get in? If your door opened back against the wall, you would have lots of room. I am not sure you can change it but it looks so awkward to me. Also what if you put your dining table in the window area and moved your shelves where the dining room table is. Do you really need two sitting rooms? Maybe eliminate the one nearest the kitchen. You have gotten good advice.
The front door is on an angle - it's odd. I unfortunately can't do anything about it. Thankfully it opens wide.
The 'den' near the kitchen is far too small to be a dining room. It's only 5 ft deep. I have my computer in there (you can't see that in the photos) and I really wouldn't want my work stuff in the more open dining area.
Thanks for this!
Thanks, LDE for the great advice. Love the idea of painting the table. I was thinking turquoise, but a different shade of that greige sounds awesome!!!
Also love all of the ideas for hanging art. Will play with that this weekend.
Confused by your quote selection, lady of shallot. The eye referred to in the theory, IMHO, belongs to the OP and reflects our subconscious. Suggesting like with like and rearranging accessories is merely another way of expressing the same thing.
Had several possibly furniture reconfigurations, ideas to maximize your art display and a revised thought WRT your colors. You've already received plenty of opinions and probably don't need more ramblings from me.
Best of luck with your beautiful home, Virtually!
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