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One of the things I enjoy the most about helping people with their homes is getting the chance to be creative within the limitations already set – the size and layout of their room, the furniture they just bought a few years ago, some of the accessories they already own. For some of us, these kind of limitations can be frustrating and leave us feeling defeated before we even start. I have to admit to feeling that way myself at times. But I am here to tell you, giving a room a little refresh gives me such a high! I think its something that’s been a part of me for as long as I can remember. We didn’t grow up with a lot of extra money, but my mom provided an environment in our home where I could be as creative as I wanted to be. I’m always blown away when I think about how she allowed me to use her sewing machine to sew my own doll clothes when I was just in elementary school. I have great memories of making an elaborate Barbie house out of a cardboard box and cutting “wallpaper” out of magazine pages. And how many times did I organize my friends’ bedrooms instead of playing?? Once we even turned a neighbor girl’s bedroom into a department store, complete with a price tag on every.single.item. Bet her mom loved me for that. My childhood was filled with so much creative play, which I am convinced shaped me into the person I am.
Today I am excited to share a recent design board that I completed for a sweet family in town. They have a beautiful living room with newer leather couches and a large fireplace surrounded by windows overlooking a wooded backyard. Doesn’t get much better than that! The challenges of the room were:
- Darker furniture, woodwork and walls left the room feeling a bit, well, dark. This is a common problem – I’ve noticed the majority of people in this area love their wood! But the beauty of stained wood can get lost when there is no break for the eye. This is where bringing in light colors and textures becomes so important and actually accentuates the beautiful pieces in a home.
- The TV was temporarily placed on a console table with all the wires exposed. The homeowners hadn’t decided on a permanent solution for where to put it, so they used what they had.
- The tall windows flanking the fireplace needed window treatments of some kind.
Here is the design board I came up with for this living room:
See below for sources.
My custom design plan includes an inspiration board, product source list, floorplan illustration and detailed instructions on how to implement the design. I include specific product recommendations for furniture, art, decor, fabric, accessories and drapes as well as paint color recommendations if needed.
A design plan can be utilized by purchasing all the specific items on the source list, or it can be looked at as a shopping guide as you make your own selections.
Living Room Ideas
1. Rug – I wanted to provide an option for you in case you are interested in updating your rug. The one I put on your design board is this:
It would help lighten up your space and make your leather furniture really pop. Another alternative would be to go with a simple cream shag rug. You could definitely go larger than 8×10 – a rug looks best when the front legs of all the furniture are able to rest on the rug.
2. Media Console – The TV area in your living room would benefit from some attention. If you are finding yourself enjoying the ability to entertain or watch tv as a family often in that room, I would consider making the tv a permanent part of it by purchasing a media console and having your cable company install a line in the room. I spec’d this cabinet as an idea for you:
The reason I like the look of this one is because it is simple and light, which helps balance out all the dark wood and leather you have going on in the room. Another idea for this piece would be to find a cabinet with similar lines on craigslist or elsewhere and paint it.
3. Window Treatments – I think what would look the best on your living room windows is one panel on either window (hung to the outer side). This would add some softness and color to that back wall but still allow for plenty of light to come in. I will attach a photo to show you what I mean.
I chose these panels as an idea for you:
Another idea, especially if you are keeping the original rug in the room, would be these panels or something similar:
Use these curtain rods above the windows or something similar (36″-66″ length): Bali Curtain Rod
You will need to hang them high enough for the curtain panels to hit the floor and bend ever so slightly but not puddle. Here is an article that explains what I mean: How to Hang Curtains
4. Accessories – One thing I noticed that was missing from your room was some texture. Soft throw blankets and pillows make a room feel warm and cozy. I would purchase one to two throw blankets like these and drape one over the back of each sofa with pillows in front. I’m attaching a photo for you to see what I mean.
An item or two of these would look nice on either end table as well.
5. Mantel – For your mantel I would love to see you use a mirror to reflect light back into the room. This one from World Market with a window pane look would tie into the metal wall hanging above your office:
I would use two or three of your distressed pieces from the basement stairwell on one side and possibly an artificial topiary on the other side along with a metal letter P (Hobby Lobby has good deals on these).
6. Lamps/Lighting – On your end tables, consider updating your lamps with two of these options from Target or something similar:
This floor lamp would also look nice in your space:
Consider a ceiling fan with wood blades and an oil rubbed bronze finish as well.
7. Large Art Piece – I noticed you have quite a bit of small art pieces that you’ve collected over the years displayed in your home. You might consider taking everything off the walls in your living room and trying a new large piece like a clock or something similar to give the space a fresh look. Hobby Lobby has large clocks like the one on your design board, and they are relatively inexpensive when 50% off or with a coupon.
8. Wall Color – While you are certainly welcome to change it, everything I’ve discussed on your design board will coordinate with your existing wall color.
This homeowner is already hard at work implementing the design, and I cannot wait to see how she enjoys her room refresh.
Have a great weekend friends! Let me know when you’re ready to get started on a custom design plan
for a room in your home!