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From the Design Files of Heather B – Help! Small Living Room

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Design Question

Hi Heather, We have a small living room which contains a floor level gas fireplace with a TV nook on top of it. I recently painted a red feature wall and do not like it! I also hate the nook above the fireplace with our TV and all the junk that goes with it on top. I would be willing to move the TV and could do without the small white arm chair in order to accommodate the new TV location.

I like airy, light, white and grey spaces. I am open to doing wall paper and would like to accent the whites and grays with a color of some kind. I would also like to change the light fixture which is in the center of the room and is a simple white dome. In the future I would like to re-tile the fireplace and add some type of mantle as well. I have no idea how to bring style into this space and desperately need some help! Thanks you so much!

Design Answer

Thanks for sending the pictures. They really help me to visualize what’s going on in the room. It’s actually a great space the way the room is now: it has a focal point (TV/niche/fireplace wall), furniture is arranged in a balanced, thoughtful way and the color is warm and does make the living room welcoming and inviting. It’s just my personal preference of course, but I would have put the accent color only on the TV/niche/fireplace wall and painted the niche the neutral color (reverse of what it is now and no red on the window wall).

I can see why you would like to find a new location for the TV; I did wonder how comfortable it is to watch!

I do have some suggestions as to how you can bring some more style into this space:

a)     When choosing a paint color for the room it should match or complement something in the room. You could match the color to the couch, which is a very soothing neutral. It’s a little difficult for me to see exactly what shade of white it is; perhaps an antique white or egg shell, but not pure white. You could also choose a grey hue that will go with the darker shade of gray of the accent pillow on the sofa.

b)     For an accent color, you could take some inspiration from the fireplace which is a mix of warm and neutral colors: dark grey, brown with gray in it, light brown with black in it (not yellow), green.

c)     I would get a TV stand that matches your coffee table and put it where the plants and white arm chair are now.

d)     If you choose the fireplace wall as your accent color wall, I would paint the niche your main wall color (or vice versa). Then you can use the niche for some sort of display, a large print, a wall sculpture, etc.

e)     Definitely add a mantle; it will provide a visual divider between the niche and the fireplace.

f)       I love the clean lines of the furniture – I suggest you choose an overhead light in the same style – perhaps a semi-flush mounted fixture like Minka Lighting Ansmith 3 Light Semi Flush

Thanks for writing in. I hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out.

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