An interior design blog with furniture reviews, interior decorating tips, DIY projects, and home furniture guides.

Posts Tagged ‘design files’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Yellow Color Choice for Contemporary Room

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Design Question

I have a very large great room facing north with lots of windows. I want to paint my room a warm yellow using Benjamin Moore paints. I have sampled many and I was just wondering if you have a particular yellow you often recommend. I don’t want it to be too flashy – I have used ecru the past made by c2 but it doesn’t seem to have enough warmth…..any recommendations? I looked at “man on the moon” by Ben Moore and it’s a bit light…..I have white trim, contemporary style furniture……”morning sunshine” by Ben Moore is too florescent…..any ideas?

Design Answer

No one has asked me for recommendation me for yellow color recommendations before – blue, green, neutrals and earth tones, but never yellow. Man on the moon looks too beige to me – I would want something more yellow.

You mentioned “morning sunshine” as being too neon.  I actually liked this one, but it does tend to be cooler than what you’re after. I was wondering if you meant “good morning sunshine” because then I would have to agree – I did find this one too bright.

However, in some of my previous blogs, I have chosen shades of yellow that I am   personally fond of. “Winter sunshine” has the warm tones you are looking for, possessing a little more depth than “man on the moon.” “Light yellow” is warm and lighter, yet still is soft. I like the earth tone appearance of “You are my sunshine.” For something with more traditional primary tones but is soft and brighter, another color I’ve used is “yellow lilies.”

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been useful. Please let me know which one you picked.

Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B – When You don’t have a Guest Room

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Design Question

What can I do to make my townhouse extra comfy for my 12 year old niece coming over in the summer? She is from England and it’s just me, my dad, and my cat. I have never met her and neither has my dad. She is coming alone I think. I don’t know how long she is coming for.

It’s a 2 bedroom so she is going to have to sleep in the living room. I was going to buy a sectional couch and put the sections together to form a bed. (I don’t have a couch so I was going to buy one anyways).

What little touches can I do to my house to make it extra comfy for her? Thanks

Design Answer

There are ways to make a guest comfortable when you don’t have a guest room. A sectional is a good choice, as long as you select one that includes a pop-up trundle unit or a sleeper sofa (also called a sofa bed). A sectional with a trundle will convert the available sleeping area from twin size to full size. More room equals more comfort.

Since you intend on purchasing a couch anyway, there are other dual-purposes sofa/bed options worth considering. A futon is designed to be used as a sofa by day and a bed at night. Sofa beds have a pull-out bed that is part of the sofa; it can be unfolded from inside the couch and then retracted when not being used as a bed. A convertible sofa is like a futon in that it can be used as both a couch and a bed, but you don’t have to purchase a separate mattress for it as you would for a futon sofa.

If either you or your dad is in the habit of watching late night television, put a small TV in one or both of your rooms. This will give your niece the freedom to turn in when she wants.

Especially since you don’t know how long she’ll be staying, when visiting someplace you’ve never been before, there’s nothing worse than having to live out of a suitcase. If possible, rearrange the closet closest to the living room as “her” space. Make room for her clothes; add a small dresser or chest of drawers in the closet so that she can conveniently store her things. If there’s room, include a hamper for her laundry.

Are there two bathrooms in your townhouse? If possible to share one with your dad, give her the other one. If not, clear out a drawer and/or part of a cabinet that she can use to store her shampoo and other beauty products.

In the event that you also need to buy end tables, select ones with a combination of drawers and at least one shelf. End tables that can function as nightstands will make the living room feel more like a guest room. It will also allow your guest to keep the things she uses the most close to hand. If there are bookshelves in the living room, place baskets or storage trays in a section of the bookcase or shelving unit to give your niece a handy place to tidy away articles of clothing, souvenirs and her camera or other electronic devices.

I’m sure you’ve already done so, but check to see that your niece is not allergic to your cat. If she is, plan on vacuuming the living room on a daily basis and keeping the cat off of the sofa.

Since she will be sleeping in a “communal” area, anything that you can think of that will create the illusion of her own room, will make her feel all that more welcome and comfortable.

Have a great visit with your niece!

Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Dream “Nerd Room”

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Design Question

What are some things I can do to rearrange/decorate a room for an author-in-progress? Although I still have a lot to learn and still need to improve my writing, I’d like to become an author at some point in time. I write fantasy, mostly. If not fantasy, then romance; or both. I’d like my own space for when I write. My room–my house–is paneling (gah!) so that makes things difficult and uncomfortable. The walls are also hollow, which doesn’t give me the kind of silence I’d prefer.

I love creative rooms. Or, what I would call, “nerd rooms”. (“nerd rooms” consisting of color, mini libraries of books, DVDs, and CDs; movie/band posters on the walls…yet creative, homey things like bean bags, fuzzy carpets, and the like.) Only problem with my dream “nerd room” is money. I’m not quite old enough for a job, and I can’t ask anyone for money.

So, basically what I’m asking is if anyone has some tips on making my room close to a “nerd room” (or at least, more comfortable) till I can actually get some money.

Design Answer

Speaking as a fellow author, I know exactly what you mean – environment is very important to writers and it should be as inspirational as it is comfortable.

The first thing to do is separate writing from sleeping. Even if the room is not spacious, you can create distinct areas by rearranging the furniture so that your desk is not next to the bed, for example. It might not seem like much, but rearranging the furniture can give a “tired” room a little pick-me-up.

Make your writing area as appealing to you as possible. If you haven’t already done so, clear away any clutter. The desk needs to make room for any current projects you have on the go at the moments. The desk chair or office chair you sit in at your desk is almost as important as the desk itself. It should be comfortable. If it isn’t, find a decorative pillow or old pillow that you can recover to use as a seat cushion or backrest. Repurpose a scarf or some other item in your closet or linen closet that is no longer needed.

Go shopping in your house (or raid the garage) for items that no one else is using. You may not find a bean bag chair, but you might find a bed sheet that could be easily transformed into body pillow case and some old pillows or blankets that will do as “stuffing.” Maybe there is shelving in the garage or basement that is not being used to full capacity. See if it can be useful to you in your room. In my very first apartment, a section of utility shelving (still in the box) that didn’t fit in my father’s workshop served as bookshelves for several years until I could afford “real” ones.

If painting is an option, there are ways you can do it on the cheap. If you know someone who has recently done some painting, find out if they’d be willing to give whatever they haven’t used to you in trade – you could do yard work, errands, baby-sit, etc. in return for leftover paint cans.

Visit local garage sales and flea markets toward the end of the day – sometimes they will give or sell for next to nothing things like book shelves, chairs and other items they don’t want pack up to people who are willing to haul the stuff away.

Put pictures on the walls that are meaningful to you. Pick a theme like family members, great American writers or friends or famous people whom you admire and that inspire you. Put them in frames you already have. Or use white cardboard from recycled boxes to make simple mat frames; you could also paint the cardboard a color that matches something else in the room, like the curtains or your bedding.

Dollar stores can be your friend. You can sometimes find really good inexpensive items like picture frames, crafts supplies like glitter pens, and baskets that can be used to organize closets or shelves. You may even find inexpensive wallpaper borders that will give you’re a splash of color or that unique “designer” look.

Make a list of things you would like to purchase for your room and write them down in order of priority. You mentioned a bean bag chair, a fuzzy rug and mini libraries. There’s always occasions when we are given birthday money, gift certificates, etc. Use it for something that will make your “nerd room” a bit more inviting to you.

Good luck with your “nerd room!”

Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Mini Kitchen Reno

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Design Question

Hi! We are wanting to do a mini kitchen reno. We are replacing the countertop and backsplash only. Cupboards are a golden oak and will be staying as is. Our appliances are stainless steel. The kitchen is average size with a lot of counter space. The house is an open concept so the kitchen is open to the eating area and the living room. The countertop next to the dining area is wide 39″ and has bar stools on one side. These three rooms are facing south with a window in the kitchen, patio doors in the dining area and large windows in the living room so there is plenty of natural light.

The floor throughout is hardwood. All trim is hardwood.  Decorating colours are earthy.  We have found a tile that we really like and now are trying to decide on a countertop colour. The tile has three colours running through it (light beige, mid beige and dark brown) in thin inconsistent lines so that it has the look of a piece of fabric. The dark brown stripes have a sheen to them. I believe the countertop will need to be quite plain to not make the end product too busy. We currently have a light tan countertop and I was thinking that I would like something dark for a change, but of course want to go with what will look best.

Should we be trying to match the two or look for contrast between the counters and backsplash? With the backsplash having texture and sheen should we pick a matte finish for the counter? My husband is concerned that the room will look too dark if we go with the darker countertops.

Thank you for taking the time to consider our questions.

Design Answer

Because it is the second main focal point (the first being the kitchen cabinets) that one notices upon entering a kitchen, many professionals suggest that the countertop material should be selected first. Particularly if, as you mentioned, it has an open concept design, you will want to select the right countertops for the space; ones that add rather than detract from the overall look. However, by the sound of the richly textured backsplash tiles, I can understand why you chose the backsplash material as your starting point.

You will definitely want to pick a kitchen countertop color that appears in the backsplash tile. Matching the countertop color to the backsplash will give your kitchen a seamless, cohesive appearance, while picking a color that complements or is in contrast to the backsplash, provides visual interest by adding a little “drama.” Whether you match the two or choose a countertop in a contrasting or complementary shade, is entirely a personal preference and there is no real right or wrong choice, other than selecting a countertop color that clashes (stands out in a jarring way) with your backsplash. It all depends on the end look you would like to achieve.

Since the backsplash tile has pattern and texture, you will definitely want to take that into consideration when choosing your kitchen counter. But you don’t have to necessarily limit yourself to matte finishes or solid colors. Just make sure that it is in harmony with the backsplash: the pattern, color and texture of the countertop should not look too busy or too shiny when paired with the backsplash. A darker color countertop such as chocolate, espresso or even black will provide the perfect foil (make the tiles stand out) for the backsplash.

Thanks for writing in! Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Staircase Dilemma

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Design Question

I have been building a new house, classic design and don’t know what kind of stairs to put in. Everybody does oak, but I’m not sure. I would love to put in something more traditional, perhaps with mahogany and painted wood. But scared it will not to be to everyone’s taste. Thanks for this useful posting (Designer Bathroom).

Design Answer

You don’t specify whether you are building the house for yourself or for the purpose of selling it. If you will be living in the house, my initial response is to go with what you prefer. However, if you are building the house to sell rather than to live in it, then it makes sense to make style choices that will have a broad appeal, particularly regarding the stairs, since they tend to be the focal point of the entryway or hallway and are the first thing people notice when entering a home.

Common construction materials for wood staircases are red oak, white oak, beech, poplar, cherry, hickory, walnut and mahogany. There are other things to consider as well. The components of a staircase and how they all work together will either enhance your home’s interior or make the stairwell stick out rather than stand out. If you do prefer mahogany with painted wood accents, choose a balustrade (the row of balusters or vertical posts that form the more decorate part of the staircase) that is simple in design rather than something like turned spindles, which might make the staircase appear “heavier” or darker.

But keep in mind that you can’t please everyone. For example, I personally don’t like oak and would not purchase a home that had oak cabinets in the kitchen or a lighter wood staircase. That’s because I prefer darker woods like mahogany and walnut. Traditional style or design is typically associated with darker woods and finishes such as mahogany, while contemporary and modern styles are more often linked to light to medium light to medium colored woods. Because it does essentially come down to personal taste, the way to decide what kind of wood to choose for your staircase is to determine what is ultimately in the best interest of the house – its overall style and design or the look you want to achieve.

Thanks for writing in. Keep sending me your design questions, and especially if you’re asking for advice regarding wall color, tips on rearranging a specific room etc., remember to include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – Hiring an Interior Design Specialist

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Design Question

What is the rate one should expect to pay an interior design specialist?  What is the best way to negotiate that rate?  Should references be made available or how else can one determine if she is dealing with a reputable firm? Thank you.

Design Answer

This is a good question – if you don’t want to tackle a decorating project for whatever reason (lack of time, experience or product knowledge) hiring an interior designer is a great alternative.

How much an interior designer will cost you can vary depending on a combination of factors including the designer’s experience, your location (what someone will be charged in Seattle will be different what a client in Miami will have to pay) and what you are having done and the size and complexity of the project. If you live outside of the city limits, some interior designers and the contractors they hire might charge you for traveling expenses. Interior design firms typically offer a range of services, from consultancy to full service packages from the planning stage to the final placement of candlesticks on the mantel and the cushions on the sofa. Also keep in mind that some designers bill by the hour; others charge a fixed fee based on a specific room (a different fee for a bedroom than for having the kitchen redone); and some designers who charge a fixed fee will also bill you a percentage of the cost of the products that were purchased for your interior design project.

The best way to negotiate a rate that is acceptable to you is to shop around and compare the designers’ credentials, the prices they’re charging and what services and goods they will be billing you for. Many interior designers offer a free estimate, giving you an outline of what you want done, the estimated number of hours the project will take and the proposed cost. Be clear about what you what you’re hiring the designer for and what you are expecting that person to do. Set a budget for your decorating project and let the designer know. Once you have decided on an interior designer, you will be asked to sign a contract, typically based on any estimate that was previously discussed. Before signing, make sure that you understand the firm’s fee structure and how and what you will be charged for.

When looking for a reputable firm, the best place to start is with recommendations from friends, family or even a co-worker whose opinion you trust. To ensure that the company you are interested in hiring is a good one, check with non-profit agencies in your area like the Better Business Bureau. People hiring someone, especially if that someone is to come into their home, should ask for references. Ask to see the interior designer’s portfolio and then contact the clients to get references from the company or individual who hired the designer. Do your homework. Do lots of research. Ask questions and ask for confirmation about any claims the interior designer makes such as how long they’ve been in business, their credentials, etc. Nowadays, many interior designers have websites. This can be a great resource for you: not only will you be able to see pictures of completed projects, but you will be able to get a sense of what this particular interior designer can offer and if this company would be the right one for you.

Thanks for writing in. And keep sending me your design questions.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Small Apartment, Small Budget

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Design Question

I have recently moved to [this city]. I love my new apartment, but it is small. I know what I love and want. I’m in love with boho & vintage. I’d much rather use what I have or go to second hand stores and find random objects. Right now I’m on the prowl for an old school type writer that works, to leave notes & messages by the entranceway, instead of scribbling on paper or dry erase board!

I just don’t know how to go about it in a not so COSTLY manner. Any advice or suggestions?

Design Answer

I really like your idea for a “message board.” These things are exactly the little touches that make our living spaces unique to us.

Actually, you are well on your way to transforming your living space. You know the style you want (bohemian and/or vintage) and you’re aware of the major limitations or obstacles (available space and money). That’s half the battle.

Bohemian Palette

One of the fastest and cheapest ways to redecorate is to paint. Before you do, though, check your lease agreement or with the apartment building manager to see if can – many places will let you as long as you agree to repaint the apartment in the default color when you leave. Bohemian style will allow you to choose colors (from Behr) that are vibrant. Think red – anything from this color family including orange, brown and purple will give your walls a rich Bohemian patina. These four color suggestions will work well in any room of your apartment, especially the bedroom and even the kitchen.

In terms of furnishings, bohemian or vintage style gives you plenty of creative license, because you don’t have to be too rigid – you can mix furniture pieces together that are essentially different styles. Make a list for each room of the furniture pieces you would like to keep. Maximize the space in each room by choosing furnishings that are multipurpose such as an ottoman that can be used as a footrest, coffee table and additional seating or a platform bed that includes under-bed storage drawers.

Make a second list of specific items you would like to add. Beside each one, write how much you would like to spend. This will help you stay on budget when you go shopping. It will also help clarify what is important to you and what isn’t. This is particularly useful when decorating a small apartment because space is at a premium.

When selecting furniture for a small apartment, think storage. Wherever you can increase your storage options, such as adding a trunk-style coffee table or an end table that has all drawers, it will make your living space more functional. In a small apartment or in small-sized rooms, leaving things out in the open or even clutter in general, is the quickest way to make the room look and feel even smaller.

Take measurements. You don’t want to bring a sofa or a bookcase home that won’t fit. Make sure that you choose in-scale furniture and save those oversized pieces for when you have more room to spare.

Especially when decorating in the bohemian style, which by its very nature can be “busy,” you will want to pay close attention to how you arrange the furniture. Let each piece “breathe.” Make sure that there’s enough room to walk around without bumping into things. The same goes for accessories – select a few choice items and limit the number of pictures in frames. You want your home to be warm and inviting but not cramped or crowded.

Thanks for writing in. Stay tuned next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – Bedroom Upgrade

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Design Question


I am a 21 year old guy remodeling my room, and I need help! I would like to upgrade my room into a contemporary style bedroom. Problem is I have little sense of fashion being a male (stereotyping!) The thing is, I have furniture already and my budget doesn’t allow for me to scrap all my current furniture and buy these amazing sets I have seen on the internet.


I’m happy with the color of the room, which is a very light shade of tan, and a dark yellow around the window. My current furniture is a dark tan (as opposed to the walls which are very light tan). I need lots of direction; if you can please help?

Design Answer


Your room has “good bones.” In other words, I don’t think you really need to do a lot to it to accomplish what you want. There are several things you can do that are relatively simple and hopefully won’t cost you much. The room’s design just needs pulling together. This can be easily achieved by introducing some accent color or colors into the room with new bedding and an area rug and by creating a focal point. Right now, the eye wanders around the space because no one element in your bedroom stands out.

The first thing I would suggest is to remove the border and paint the exposed wall the same color as the rest of the bedroom. If the border can be painted, that might also be an option. With its map theme, the wallpaper border has an old world vibe about it; if you would like a border, replace it with something that has a more contemporary pattern. Make sure that the colors match the bedding and the area rug.

The second thing I suggest that you do is create a focal point. You can transform your bed into a focal point by choosing bedding (just a couple of samples to give you an idea of what to look for) like the Daniadown Arctic Waves Duvet Cover or the Southern Textiles Elite Contemporary Blocks Bedding Set with a contemporary geometric design. You don’t want to add bold color – just enough to spice up the bedroom’s current monochromatic color scheme. Treat the bed like a sofa and the wall like the sofa’s backrest by adding a body pillow, square and rectangle accent cushions. This will make the bed a conversation piece – and a cozy place to sit and relax.

There’s no rule about having more than one focal point in the room. Replace the chair now sitting in front of the keyboard and put a music-themed poster or framed oversized picture on that wall. Select a short piano bench or low wood stool with a padded seat to match the color of the bedroom furnishings.

To pull the contemporary elements in the room all together, thirdly I would suggest adding an area rug. I know that there is already carpet on the floor, but as mentioned above, it’s an inexpensive way to bring more color into the room while giving definition to the bedroom’s overall design. When choosing an area rug like the Liz Claiborne by Nourison Landscape Stripes LC10 Area Rug Collection in Light Blue or the Couristan Mystique Area Rug Collection – Aura/Blue Mercury select one with a color scheme and/or a pattern that works well with the bedding you have picked and won’t clash or appear too busy.

For those final finishing touches, put pictures on the wall above the bed. It will enhance the “living room” feel, especially if you dress the bed to resemble a sofa. Add a contemporary style mirror like the Linon Recycled Magazine Rectangular Mirror to the desk wall directly behind the bed.

I hope these suggestions will help get you started on your bedroom upgrade. Thanks for writing in.

Keep sending me those interior design question emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – Living Room Wall Color Question

Monday, February 8th, 2010

Design Question

I have light oak wood floors in my new home, light golden oak trim, and currently the walls are beige. My couch, loveseat and recliner are mahogany brown leather. The house is a somewhat contemporary feeling home on the inside, but looks like a cedar cabin from the outside. We sit on 1-acre of wooded land near a river. We love the river and also love the ocean, so we thought we might want to give the room a beach theme using some of our river and ocean cruise photos.

However, I am really stuck as to what color to paint the walls as the living room is very small with only 7 ft. ceilings, but it does have four good sized windows facing east, south and west. We’d like to carry colors/theme from living room throughout the home. Any advice you can offer would be fabulous. Thank you!

Design Answer

I remember when I was choosing a paint color for my apartment living room and hallway, I just couldn’t decide – I knew I wanted yellow, lemon rather than gold toned, but other than that I was at a loss. I admit, I was obsessing about it, and finally, a friend, trying to be helpful, said that if I really hated it I could just repaint over it. But that was the whole point – I don’t want to have to do that; I wanted to get it right the first time (and not have to do it again for at least a decade!) especially since it I knew that it is the wall color that sets the mood of the room.

blue water green H20

Like me when I was choosing a color for my living room, you have a starting color place in mind – water, translation blues or greens (colors from Benjamin Moore). Once you have a color family in mind, you can begin narrowing down your choices by focusing on the colors that are already in the room, such as the rug, window treatments and fabrics including accent pillows and the sofa, in this case dark brown leather. Also include any new elements you might be adding to the living room like wallpaper, paneling or an upholstered accent chair.

Take as many fabric and material samples with you as possible when you go paint shopping. If you don’t have any samples, take pictures and bring those along with you. They will at least give you an idea of how the color you are considering will work with the other elements in the living room. You mentioned that the trim was a light, golden oak, but not the windows or doors (if there are any in the room). When painting a living room, white, off-white or a pale shade of the main wall color is typically used to paint the moldings, doors and windows.

Especially since your living room has four windows, you will want to test the color you have chosen to see how it will look during different times of the day, including how it will appear at night with artificial lighting. Also consider the paint finish and how it will look in the room. For example, a matte finish will reflect less light than a high glossy finish.

After selecting a paint color, take it for a test drive. Paint dealers usually will sell sample amounts of a color that you can apply to a wall to see how it will look. Once it dries, put different pieces of furniture against it to see how they will look. A paint color can look different in the can than it does once it is on the wall and has dried.

Thanks for writing in. Stay tuned next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

From the Design Files of Heather B. – New Home Décor Dilemma

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Design Question
My husband and I just purchased our first home and we would like to change the color of the walls to match our floors and furniture. Right now the colors of the walls are white. We like earth colors but we can’t decide what colors to choose.
The first floor has three areas. First the den; we will convert it into an office and are going to close the den with glass doors. The furniture that I have for the office is a black leather chair and a glass and black desk. I would like to keep the vertical blinds.
The second area is the living room, is a big rectangular space and I would like to have suggestions of how to set the furniture. Right now as you can see on the pictures there is a big empty space between the TV and the couches. That’s why I placed a rug in the place so it doesn’t look so empty. I’m also planning to hire an electrician to change the lighting in the living room. I want to install two chandeliers in the living room; one by where the TV is and the other one in the center of the furniture area. So I need suggestions for the lamps too.

And the third and last area is the dining room. Here I only want to change the lamp and color of the walls.

We would like to keep the same furniture but within a few months we are going to buy a new dining room set, which I also would like to get your opinion about what kind of furniture I should buy. Please give me your ideas about the colors and some decoration items. We want to buy plants or pictures to decorate it. Thank you

Design Answer

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! This must me an exciting time for you.


Since the space is open – you enter through the door and are immediately in the living room – you will want to choose a color that is warm and inviting. Earth tones, depending on the color family they are from, can be “cool.” I would definitely choose warm earth tones for this space. The floors are beautiful and deserve to be shown off. I would also take this opportunity to bring color into the room; not too much but just enough to give your living space some punch. Because you intend on enclosing the den/office area, you could choose two colors, one for the office and another for the living room/dining room. However, since the furniture you have selected is neutral (black leather office chair and black desk), you could very easily use one color for all three areas of the first floor. Just to give you some idea of your color choices, these shades are from Benjamin Moore.

The problem with the second area of your living space, the living room, is that currently it has no real focal point. The eye wanders around the room. I can see why you have arranged the furniture the way you have, because the shape of the room doesn’t give you many options. You will have to take measurements to see if this will since it is hard to judge distances from a picture.
If it will fit while still allowing you access to the home office, I would place the sofa in front of the glass doors and toward the center of the living room. Then I would move the loveseat to the wall where the sofa is now. This will make the television a focal point. Having the shorter sofa against the wall will allow you to add an end table or a floor lamp. I would select lamps that match or complement the chandeliers that you plan on adding to the living room. The shades of the lamps should reflect the color palette you have chosen for the walls.
You mentioned that you will be purchasing a new dining set in the next couple of months. Since you didn’t specify, I am assuming that you are not replacing the china cabinet. If this is the case, then I would select a dining set that either matches the china cabinet in style or in color.

Since the china cabinet is predominately traditional, I would suggest either a traditional or transitional dining table and dining chairs. Something like the Tradewins French Classics Dining Table with Two 18″ Leaves, which is transitional, would work with your china cabinet.

Plants are always a great choice when accessorizing a room. House plants typically improve air quality and they also add “life” and color, especially they are flowering plants. Pictures should have some meaning for you personally and be in keeping with the spirit of the room. For example, abstract artwork in this particular living space would not be as effective as a landscape picture or painting.

Thanks for writing in. Stay tuned next Monday when we tackle another interior design question. Keep sending me those emails and don’t forget to include pictures if you can.

To view other entries in the “Design Files Of Heather B.” series, click here.