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Posts Tagged ‘living room decorating ideas’

From the Design Files of Heather B – Paint Color Choice for Oak Furniture

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Design Question

Hello Heather, I have quite a dilemma in choosing appropriate colors for a house we recently bought and are moving into, so I need some help!!

My furniture is mostly oak wood. The kitchen has oak cabinets, white Corian countertops, the white and gray floor, and white appliances. It is a pretty good size room but is in the center of the house and doesn’t have a window. It is currently painted a dark green and looks very dark. This room adjoins the family room which does have some but not a lot of light and vaulted ceilings. That room is currently painted a very pale bright yellow.

The dining room and living room are also open to the kitchen and living room. They also have the white and gray tile floors. In those rooms, there is small white dentil crown molding and an oak top on a half wall at the entry. These rooms are painted in gray and tan combination where my son started to paint gray over the existing tan and quit. At least the top of the 1/2 wall is oak and will go with my furniture. The tan is just too much brown with my oak furniture, but I am questioning the tone of the gray.

I need to know what color or tone and color I can paint all these rooms that will be a light neutral backdrop. I have been pulling out my hair trying to figure this out. I don’t want any red or bright primary colors. More understated, simple elegance is my style. I was thinking something like a gray, putty, taupe or stone color. My biggest problem is trying to get the right tone since the oak is so orange. I do like light shades of blue, green, yellow, neutrals and soft muted tones. I am just STUMPED. I don’t want to do this twice! ANY help would be most graciously accepted!

Design Answer

You’re right; the oak is definitely orange rather than tan or golden. But it is beautiful; the cabinetry in the kitchen is simply stunning. However, I do think that because the oak/orange is a warm color and is such a commanding element in the room, it should be balanced by neutrals like gray and cool colors like blue and green.

Color Choices

I also agree that the gray currently in the space doesn’t work with the ceiling – it is my feeling that it doesn’t provide enough of a contrast, making them both blend into one another. Based on the colors you said that you preferred, except for yellow because it is a “warm” color, I picked some shades and hues that I thought would work in all four rooms – the living room, dining room, kitchen and family room. The palettes are loosely divided into gray, green and blue.

Once you’ve narrowed down the color or colors you think you would like to use, don’t forget to test it out by seeing how it looks in the room, either by applying paint samples or using the online tools many paint companies offer through their websites.

Hopefully you won’t have to paint it twice! Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for writing in. Come back next Monday when we’ll answer another reader’s design question.

From the Design Files of Heather B – Moving from the Southwest to Minnesota

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Design Question

I’m from the sunny southwest and I love light and white and comfy inviting places. We’ve moved to *Minnesota!*.  The winters are long, cold, and mostly dark all the time. I miss the light and friends being able to pop over any time of day to drink some sweet sun tea (it’s a major ordeal to leave your house in the winter here).

We just bought our first house and it has good windows/natural light. The big entertainment center will go, the divider wall and entryway tile will go, and all the trim and windows are being installed white. There is gray/tan tile in the dining room and kitchen, and our floor plan is very open – you can see the dining room and kitchen from living room. We need to put down new flooring in the living area – which is where I need help, that and paint colors.

I want a wood floor in the living room and hallway. I can’t decide if I should go with a Scandinavian look with white walls and light wood floors, or do light walls and a dark wood floor. I like the look of both, and I have found lots of photos that seem to “decorate with light” and show white on white, but none with dark couches and dark floors that don’t look cave-like, or light floors with dark couches. I’m having a hard time deciding what would look best and not make my home look dark.

Design Answer

Congratulations on your new home. What a great space! I think you made the right choice to replace all the trim and the dark-framed windows with white. You should definitely make the most of them, especially as you mentioned, come winter time, you’ll be glad for whatever natural light you get in the space.

It is my understanding that you are keeping the tile that is currently in the kitchen and dining room. Because it includes lighter hues, my instinct tells me that light wood floors with white walls would work better with the tile than a dark wood floor. I think this would also be a better choice for the hallway, since from your photograph it appears dark and very closed in – the lighter color choice will help to “open” up the hallway and make it brighter. I know you said that you would be getting rid of the entertainment center, but in terms of color, it does work well with the furniture in the room. In terms of the lighter floor color, if or when you add wood furniture to the space, I wouldn’t go any darker than your dining table or the entertainment center.

If you do go with the lighter colors for both the floor and the walls, I would also consider bringing more color into space, especially warm colors like soft yellow, pale gold, even orange. You may even want to pick two accent colors, one for one wall in the dining room and another accent color for one of the walls in the living room. Because the dining room directly faces your front door, I would pick the wall with the window on it (in the dining room) for your accent color. By placing pictures on either side of the window, or a group of pictures just on one side or adding a piece of furniture like a corner curio cabinet creates a focal point for your visitors and helps to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Thanks for writing in. Let me know how it turns out. Good luck!

Living Room Decorating Ideas

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Decorating Ideas for your Living Room

Most rooms in your home have a designated purpose—the bedroom is for sleeping and you need a bed; the dining room is for dining and you need a table and chairs and the kitchen is for cooking and you need appliances.  Keeping this in mind what exactly do you need for decorating a living room?  From a design standpoint this room is for “living” purposes such as reading, watching television and entertaining family and friends.  You will need furniture that makes living easy and that would include a sofa, chairs and tables.

Before you can start to purchase furniture it is necessary for you to identify your design style. Do you prefer the clean lines and sleek look of modern or contemporary furniture? Perhaps you have inherited some antiques and want to combine them with comfortable traditional furniture.  If your lifestyle involves informal entertaining and lots of family gatherings, a comfortable country look may be your preference for your living room.

Modern Loveseat SofaIf contemporary is more your style, seek out furniture that is low in profile and sleek in appearance. This is not the room for Tufted Sofaan over-stuffed recliner. 

Leather and suede upholstery are often found in modern interiors. Avoid large fussy patterns.  Avenue Six and Global Furniture both offer a large selection of contemporary style sofas and chairs.

Take a look at the Avenue Six Yield for an extremely modern sofa or theAvenue Six Plaza Tufted Sofa for more comfortable seating.

Buy Sofa

Van Gogh offers truly unique contemporary designs for your living room such as theTerry and Buy Sofa ReviewKai sofaIn a contemporary room your accent tables should be from cool materials such as glass and metal.

Check out the round glass and aluminum coffee table from RTA or the oval glasRound Glass Coffee Tables top coffee table from Oval Glass Top Coffee TableWalker Edison.

Wood Coffee TableAdding wood to a contemporary room can visually warm the room and is a nice break from the “cooler” elements of metal and glass. The Solaris wood coffee table from Klaussner Furniture would be a nice addition to any modern space.

Lamps are functional and unobtrusive and artwork is bright and colorful.Leather Sleeper Sofa

If the bareness of a contemporary space leaves you “cold” you may prefer a more traditional design for your living room decorating. In this room yoursofa will be comfortable with deep seating and rounded edges.  Just about any fabric will work in this design from sleek leather to a homey plaid or floral.

Kathy Ireland Home has a large selection of sofas that would fit perfectly in any traditional room.  The Sedona, Torre and the Houston sofa collections come in many different finishes and upholstery choices.  In a traditionally decorated room your coffee and end tables can be any finish. Wood obviously works well but even an antiqued metal or a solid glass table will complement your upholstered pieces.  Your lamps are not only functional but become part of your accessories.

A rustic or country style living room decorating interior speaks of comfort and relaxation. Your upholstered pieces are large and comfortable with an attached skirt or exposed wooden feet. Leather Sofa with StudsThe Distinction Beaumont Studded Leather Sofais a good example of a sofa for a country home.  The large over-stuffed arms, plump cushions and bun feet make you want to curl up and relax with a good book and a cup of coffee.  Glass and metal accent tables do not work very well in a country style interior.  You will want to choose distressed woods that are mis-matched.  Antiques are perfect additions so if you have them, use themArtwork is homespun and consists of quilts, baskets or antique embroidery and paintings.

Most people do not decorate in just one style. Adding pieces from many different designs will create an eclectic room that is personal and speaks about the people who live in the room.  Just remember that function is first and foremost when decorating a living room regardless of the style you prefer.

Send me a picture of your living room I can help you redesign it!

Nicolette Interior Design Diva

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