Design crew

Posted on Sat, 5 Mar 2011 by midcenturyjo

Got a problem? Need some help? Just standing there shaking your head? Don’t know what to do? You’re not alone. Send us a link to photos of your design quandary and let the Desire to Inspire design crew help you …. that’s you lot… the readers…. get to it! You are coming up with some stellar ideas each week so it’s time to do it all over again. Besides I have a Saturday to enjoy.

“I could really use some help with finishing off my living room. The major elements (couch, love seat, ottoman, and cowhide rug) would remain intact, but I need some help filling in the accessories, especially what to do about curtains. We are hoping to add 2 low chairs, as the living room is a great room, with the kitchen and entry stairs behind where the photo was taken. I would love any ideas that people have to share. I am thinking of taking out the existing lamp and putting in a larger floor lamp in the corner (like this one).” – Jennifer

Andrea says:

It may be the photo angle, but it looks like the ottomon is the wrong proportions…it needs to be wider, and yes, definately un-glue from the wall a bit. Move the love seat over, add some plants – all that. That might help fix the ottoman proportions anyway.

It depends a little bit on the style you want. At the moment it is quite 'matchy-matchy', which is not a bad thing if that is your style. It feels like you need to throw in something that picks up on the cow-hide character (i.e retro), like a really good art-deco chrome finished with glass round side table for the couch (would work with the lamp you like) . I agree with some flowy curtains, white cheesecloth that catch in the wind would make it a bit 'softer. Not sure about the blinds… Honey coloured timber would look very 'smart/swish'…but quite conventional. It really depends on your style.

I also think with the 'great room' scale, and the large walls, you could go with a MUCH bigger painting, at least half as big again. You could put your existing painting on the other side. That relates to what someone else said about bringing in some more height. It all looks a bit dwarfed by the vertical scale of the room. I wonder if you could add some interesting sculptural piece along the top ledge??? (be a dust collector though?)

Also, some honey coloured timber would be nice in the room – add some different textures/ finishes. Something with a rougher/bigger weave. Maybe floor cushions? I really think the biggest thing with all the leather is to add some different texture, and maybe vary your cushion palette a bit – some navy, some pattern?

Lastly – Art and sculpture….some big beautifully framed black/white photos might look good.

Andrea says:

p.s Me again, I just wanted to say the couches are lovely, as is the cowhide (GREAT), and I actually really like the wall colour (I have the same ­čÖé ). I was going to suggest you go to the "Chester Jones" post here on desire to inspire. There are a couple of images there which I thought could work well….Picture 7 which has the chaise longue and the cushions and the sculptural pieces and the gold picture in the background. All of those (except maybe the side table) (and possibly the chaise) I could imagine would work well in your room. Definately the style of cushion and the sculptural pieces, and even the art. (not so sure about the lamp for your room either.) Sorry for the ramble….This is actually fun. Good practice for my own place!

Alex says:

i would swap the placement of the love seat to the opposite side of the room creating a more L shape focal point around the fireplace.

then place a thin table behind it with 2 small matching lamps.
Also, move the white rectangular ottoman in front of the window and add a round coffee table or even a cluster of 3 small round tables in front of the sofas. there is a lot of straight line and some roundness would break that up.

It looks like the tv is on top of the fireplace – can it be moved to the right (closer to the windows)?
As far as window treatments – i would do a combo of sheers with some rich silk drapery over that in brighter color. I think wood blinds would be too much brown & wood.

Have you considered layering rugs? something in a Navajo print or slightly Persian with the cowhide off centered on top? it could bring a nice eclectic look using tradition prints.

HMC says:

Are you in love with the paint? I would paint the wall with the door and the wall where the couch sits "5007-6A La Fonda Tortuga" by Valspar, available at Lowes, and the color nearest to the ceiling " 4004-18 Urban Sunrise" by Valspar. The TV wall , " 4009-2 Lincoln Cottage Black" by Valspar.

Angle that rug more and get rid of the white table. Find some old scarves at a fleamarket and make slip covers for your pillows. coordinating fabrics in a solid color for the back side of your cover. That would really change the room. Blues and Greens are so calming.

Wood blinds to match the wood flooring. Live plant, in a colorful pot was a nice suggestion in the other comments. You may want to add some pottery or art in the inset. nothing cluttered though.

Jana says:

I have played a little with the photo of the room and here is the new look – please see the picture here . I have added some pillows, a side table and lamp, curtains and two armchairs. All the stuff is from Crate&Barrel and Ikea. Wooden blinds, as posted above, would look also good with the curtains I think. I would also replace the glass vase (with branches) with some white or cream pottery. I would replace the picture above the sofa with some bigger scale b&w photography to create a sense of balance with the TV and fireplace on the opposite side of the room.

Tina says:

I too would remove the ottoman. I'd use a glass coffee table like this one here http://www.cb2.com/accent-tables/furniture/smart-glass-top-coffee-table/f3439?fromLocation=search. I would pull the large couch to the right more just so it hits the corner of the wall. I'd move the love seat closer to the patio door and away from the window a bit. I'd get a round side table (in wood) to the left of the longer couch as to break up all the rectangular pieces. I'd remove the current lamp and replace it with a table top lamp. I'd add colored pillows to get them to pop against the brown leather. On the wall to the right of the fireplace I'd add long floating shelves (four vertcal ones). This will give the room some more space to add art and give height to the room. I'd also add in a chair (in colored or patterend fabric) and set it diagonally from the right corner of the room (where the wall meets the glass windonw) looking into the seating area. This will create a more intimate seating area and add some color and texture to the room. I'd also add sheers to the window. I'd also remove the blinds from the door window and spray paint it with "frosted glass" paint. You can purchase at any hardware store.

Jennifer says:

Thanks for the input everyone!

The TV is stuck over the fireplace, because all of the media wiring is bright in there, so to move it would be a huge headache in re-wiring. I will keep my eyes open for some kind of plant to put in place of the branches, and maybe move them elsewhere.

Jana – I like the picture you put together. I really like the chair that you photoshopped in by the door. I have the dog bed there at the moment, but I might have to move it back, and put some kind of chair there. I like the way you have the curtains pictured, and will definitely try to do something like that for our window coverings.

The reason for all the leather, is our 140 pound Newfoundland dog. All of our surfaces are wipeable, since he drools a lot, and it inevitably ends up on the furniture (LOL). I had cloth upholstered couches when we first got him and it was a disaster! I might consider removing the ottoman, and bringing in a more modern table, like the table suggested by Tina.

Samantha says:

I love the leather and cow hide! I think a couple lamps, side tables, spacing the couches apart, a plant and maybe painting the back wall with the painting a lighter colour will open up the space. As for the blinds, a tried and true favourite are the wooden blinds paired with sheers.. I've mocked up a little example for you that might help? Click here to see my alterations… Good luck!

Mr Rui says:

pic.7 slideshow at http://studiogaia.com/ Kenneth Cole flagship store is inspiring:
2 color seating is better than 1 color on each,
floor and window textils match with basic color,
on going with ocres, (light, mid and dark ocres, sorry for being reductive)
see the jackets side by side? they don't go together, they don't have to, one has to pick.
see the ottoman? we seat and drop our stuff there, it's not lounge item.

Martha says:

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God Bless and more power!

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