Friday, July 23, 2010

Home Dilemma: Random and!

Erin received such fabulous feedback and great ideas last week that it inspired me to ask for your help myself. I have been dying to make some changes to continue updating my living room and thought I could ask for your help.

Okay, so in order to write the post I truly had to overcome my fear that you might see how terribly random and beige my living room is and just stop reading what I am up to all together. I promise, I have much better rooms in this house! So with that out of the way, we'll move onto my dilemma.

Here is my beige living room.

It is a random mixture of accessories and color.

And again, the walls and furniture are just so... beige. I mean, sometimes I think I have a hard time determining where the beige couch ends and the super beige wall begins.

Here are my questions.

1. What color should I paint this room?
2. Where can I buy inexpensive yet awesome drapes?
3. What is your #1 favorite design element out there today that is CLEARLY NOT
a part of my living room?

PLEASE!! Take a minute to enlighten me with your best ideas. I need your help! Thanks in advance for inspiring my upcoming design choices for this space, can't wait to see what ideas are out there


Maxabella July 23, 2010 at 6:18 AM  

I would go for a duck egg blue - then you can still keep those delicious cushions you've collected. They would tie in well.

Curtains aren't my thing, but I suspect that beige would actually look fab with DEB. So, maybe keepers for a while?

I've got no idea really, but I love your blog and wanted to try to be helpful.

Unknown July 23, 2010 at 6:29 AM  

I say leave tan (gasp, I know) It's just the lack of pattern & texture you need to really take it to the next level - leaving walls neutral really gives you flexibility in the future! Try Ikea - great patterns available very inexpensive! I say you are missing a large mirror (try homegoods) and plants (they make a room come alive!) I think you only need minor things and you'll be amazed! best of luck!

hugs! Kim @
party inspiration

Pati @ A Crafty Escape July 23, 2010 at 6:51 AM  

I am no authorite on the subject but a few things come to mind.

Do you love your couch? If so, have you considered a slipcover? It's an easy/fast/cheap way to change the look of a room.

Secondly, have you considered making your own curtains? You could simply add a panel to some basic ones you buy anywhere or go a bit fancy. Let me know if you are up for the challenge and I'll search my file for a couple of ideas I have bookmarked for when I get the guts to do this myself!

Good luck. The first step is admitting you have a problem :)

Sandy July 23, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

Hey!!! We're in the middle of our addition too. I just had a meeting with our interior designer (long story...but I won a contest) for color consult before painting. She helped me pick some FABULOUS colors! They're muted and a perfect base to our lovely pallate. My two favorites are (both Benjamin Moore colors) gerogian green and kentucky haze. The kentucky haze looks a little gray in the samples, but shows up quite blue on the wall. LOVE THEM!!!

Also, I'm with Pati. Have you thought about making your own drapery? I'm looking all over for a custom cordless roman shade for my boys' bedroom, and found only 2. Cheapest one is $425 (gasp!). So, I ordered hardware, will look for decor fabric and do it myself. Or, if you're afraid to tackle the whole job yourself, purchase some plain ones and stuck some awesome ribbon trim on- waalaa, fancy fabulous curtains!

Emily July 23, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

I think you should paint it a nice robin's egg blue :) That would make it nice and fresh in there. You have a great room already! But you're right it needs a little personality. That's my suggestion, hope you figure something out that works for you!!

Heather July 23, 2010 at 7:58 AM  

we painted nearly all of the rooms in our new house "perfect taupe" by behr. it's the same color as "plymouth rock" from benjamin moore. LOVE IT. we have bright white trim and dark wood floors (and will have dark wood in furniture, too). it's what I would call greige...but the gray really comes through, and most people say they love our gray walls. we're doing a lot of turquoise and green (which i see in your room), and it looks awesome with it. it's a great backdrop for whatever colors you decide to go with.

Terri July 23, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

1) what about a creamy color (not beige), maybe a little lighter or a little darker than the sofa (sofa looks more creamy to me in the far away pic but I may be wrong). Try something like Glidden Wishes or Water Chesnut, but its hard to tell exactly since i'm not there. Skip on over to for some great tips (where I pulled the paint colors because your sofa looks similar in color to one of theirs).

2) inexpensive awesome drapes can be found at target, bed bath and beyond, or ikea!

3) Well I would definatly give a pop of color with a rug, pillows that have some awesome textures and patterns (which you have really already done). You've got some great pieces in the room, maybe just move some things around a bit and re-accessorize!

m @ random musings July 23, 2010 at 8:41 AM  

One really great way to add depth to the room would be to swap out the hardware for your curtains (ikea sells some inexpensive options) so that you can have 2 layers of curtains. Even if you stick with neutral colors, different textures (say a billowy sheer layer under your existing curtains) would totally add some drama.

I totally agree with Terri. You need a rug. Maybe something cream with accent colors you can tie in to coordinating pillow shams? The cream would add contrast to the floor as well.

Megan July 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

im thinking a little bit darker color on the walls. nothing dramatic- but a latte color, so your couch pops a bit against it. and then lit the others said- another layer of curtains. a sheer. and with the darker color on your walls- the curtains will stand out more too.

then more of the green or blue in places- more pillows or a side table painted that lovely blue. a couple more picture frames- but colored ones. not just black.

check out The Nester. She has a fab living room!

Carol July 23, 2010 at 10:42 AM  

Disclaimer: my house is VERY vanilla and beige, because I am a chicken, so I would leave the walls, swap the round table and the blue one and get an interesting mirror for where the round table currently is(where I would put the blue one). A plant or two, and some interesting curtains, and I think it will be just the change you are looking for.

A tip on curtains: You can get really nice quality sheets on clearance at Marshall's, Overstock, etc... and turn them into curtains. If you want them to be semi-sheer, you can hang them as-is or add some pleating at the top, but if you want them to be darker, you can put a backing on them. Good luck! Please show us the "after" photos!

Maria Babin July 23, 2010 at 11:24 AM  

you've got some great pieces, you just need a fil conducteur, a common thread to tie all the eclectic randomness together: a common theme or color for example. how about a nice funky large floral print wallpaper on a couple of walls to offset the couch and those pretty plates? a plush rug will add some depth and showcase your great wood floors. miss mustard seed just did a great tutorial for making your own drapes and it looks very easy and the finished product is gorgeous! on a sidenote, i'm drooling over those pears on your tray!!! did you do a tutorial on those?

Hannah ~ Carys Home July 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM  

You have some fantastic pieces: that's a good start! I'd recommend four simple changes. One, you need 'light'. 'Perfect taupe', as mentioned before, is a great color and would lighten the room. A large mirror would reflect light from the windows and maybe next painting project skip the black and opt for a silver leaf. Two, you need a focal point. Try rearranging everything in a symmetrical pattern 'by the book' first and then alter it from there if you wish. Three, a rug would help balance and ground the space. Consider a texture that makes a statement, like jute or flokati, but keep it within your living habits so that it's sure to hold up and you don't get sick of cleaning it. Four, add dimension to your curtains with the double rod mentioned before. Consider extending the rods past the molding to show off the craftsmanship. Sheers (with pattern maybe?) with a simple yet dramatic top layer would look great (I've had great luck at Target and then added my own embellishments). In regards to accessories, try the symmetry idea. It may help pull it all together. I can't see anything not fashionable in the room, and if you like it all that's what matters anyway! Best of luck, and post after pics please!

Meghan July 23, 2010 at 1:59 PM  

I say, go with apple green on the walls or deep red.
I once had a living room that was beige furniture w/ deep red walls & I loved it!

Meghan July 23, 2010 at 1:59 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Savanna and Billy July 23, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

Hey. I love how their seems to be a lot of light in this room. I dont know what your budget is but have you considered high waynes coating with a picture ledge. I would do it in a white and then do some color on top. maybe the blue color that everyone is suggesting. then go bold on the curtains (easily updated when you want a change). Do Bold color pillows.I would do bigger pillows then what you have right now. This will keep it airy feeling with giving you punches of color. and gives visual interest on the walls.

Ashley July 23, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

I think you should paint a slightly darker brown or taupe color but I would do a blue accent wall and then scatter the blue pieces you have around. I did an accent wall in my living room and I love it! Good luck! I can't wait to see what you decide!

liniecat July 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

Well against all other advice I think, but I reckon your only lacking a warm colour scheme here.
The floor colour is amazing and the rich dark furniture also strong, so all can seem pale by their side?
My gut feeling is a warming sienna shade for the walls,maybe even an uneven finsih effect? Bits rubbed back here and there, aged almost? The italian colours of Florence, sienna and that fabulous shade of not quite terracotta that is on the 'Duoma' church (bang in the ce ntre of Florence) dome ( though it may not be spelt like that!). Then bring in some of the faded blues of italian stuccos. Maybe add one or two richer soft furnishings, love that rose cushion -fabulous....maybe even an old gold here and there.
Perhaps paint the small blue cupboard dark and edge it with rub oon gold?
Your room is pale, but it is relaxing, maybe now its simply time to lift your spirits and add abit of colour!
Good luck!

Lisa July 23, 2010 at 4:24 PM  

It looks like you have a long wall (horizontal) with the plates...maybe a vertical tone-on-tone stripe would elongate the wall and make it a focal wall. I would definitely make your own drapes..that way you get exactly what you want and it is cheaper and very easy. I would also add a mirrored piece of furniture, it doesn't have to be big. Or some tall mercury candlestick holders/lamps.

Rachel July 23, 2010 at 10:33 PM  

Blue would be lovely in there, a soft soothing blue-ish gray. I got my lovely drapes at Ikea for a very affordable price and my fav design element is vinyl! I have a large Bible verse as the focal point in my sitting room... its amazing.

Nancy Sabina July 24, 2010 at 9:03 AM  

Without even painting you could tie it all together a little more by bringing in more of you accent colors - that pretty blue and green that those plate are. But if you're going to paint, I'd go with a soft grey/blue. It would lighten up the room a bit and let you really bring out the blue accents without it being like, "Hello! You just walked into a blue room!"

And you need some vinyl! Maybe above the TV?

Anonymous July 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM  

First of all I think your room is beautiful! I do understand your desire for color though. Menards has a great wall color called Smoky is actually very neutral and would work great with your decor. It's my new favorite has a touch of grey, beige and purple...
Also, you have beautiful amazing floors! I would suggest going and getting some exotic wood (there is an place in IN that has terrific wood that are leftovers at amazing prices) and hang planks of wood on your wall and then put some decor over that. (currently a project I'm working on in my house). By the way...I would totally hire any of you ladies to come and help me decorate! I'm totally serious!

Cuscini July 24, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

You asked about design elements. I think you need a fabulous floor rug to anchor your coffee table and serve as a jumping off point (hee!) for your color scheme. And I agree with the comments that recommended the blue -- especially Robin's Egg blue. So soothing and pretty.

Big wave from a very hot and humid Cape Cod!
Jude at
dolcecapecod dot

Maria July 24, 2010 at 1:52 PM  

1. A pretty shade of light blue.
2. Ikea for sure or maybe make your own?
3. Something personal to your family - a unique way of doing portraits or sentimental art piece.
I actually like it a lot so far!

mom2lgb July 24, 2010 at 9:03 PM  

First off I just wanted to say that I love your mix matched style. Personally I decorate with the things I love regardless of color or style. For your space I would suggest a grey-blue or a bright white. Something soothing and a great backdrop for all of your stuff you already have. I think with either color you will cut the beige and the couch will "pop" and look fresh. Best of luck with whatever you choose.


Tauni July 25, 2010 at 1:31 AM  

Okay. All of the color people will hate me for saying this, but what the heck, I am a bit of a beige girl. I like the color of your walls! In fact, I find the palette you have used to be quite soothing.

If you need a change, may I suggest white molding or board and batten? Adding either to the bottom third of your walls would really make a dramatic change.

Also, it doesn't look like you have a mirror. I think a large framed piece would look great.

Tara @ Tara Being Tara July 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

We had SUCH a hard time finding stylish, inexpensive drapes! Ultimately, we ended up with some from Target. I would recommend IKEA if you live close to one, but their color options are really limited. Here's what I ended up with:

Anonymous July 26, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

I like the color of your wall as well. I think they are the perfect back drop to what is a starts to a nice room.

I think you are just missing a few decor items as well.

a big rug, classic, so it will last with changing taste and times.

Something organic...plants..a tree, flowering something...a pot of rocks.... you get the idea.

Pictures of your kids or your fam.

Also, I don't mean this seems like your decor items don't really connect to each other.

Maybe remove the brown wood chair and add a large mirror that ties in the wood of another piece of furniture in the room, the coffee table, or wall unit.

Finally I would look for items that could make it homey, a rug will do lots, but updated curtains will make a huge addition as well.

Good Luck!!

(I really hope this didn't sound rude, I love your blog!!)

OhioFamOf4 July 26, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

Do you want your window treatments to serve a functional purpose or just be cute? I just found some cute panels at World Market for $15/each.

They aren't going to block out much sunlight or help with cold air in the winter, but they are super cute and chili red which I love against my beige walls. They're also purposely wrinkled, so I like the texture and the fact that they're a bit "messy" looking.

I went in there on a whim thinking there'd be nothing in my price range, and after having been all over town found exactly what I was looking for. Good luck!

Heather July 28, 2010 at 4:03 PM  

I'd leave the walls the way they are. Colors are so trendy, three years from now you'll want to repaint it anyways.

Drapes, have you thought of making them yourself? You don't have to sew them at all. What about bedsheets, shower curtains or just plain fabric yardage? What if you bought some nice and inexpensive copper pipe from the hardware store, cut to fit your windows and hung your "drapes" with the clip style rings? Cheap and easy.

Trend to incorporate into your living room? The wall that has the plates on it? Make it a wall of mirrors, either large or small in awesome frames (painted to match) in various sizes. Since that wall looks to be opposite from the window, it would be a great way to incorporate more light into your room as well as draw your eyes down towards you hall, making the room appear larger.

Related Posts with Thumbnails