Requesting Decor Input

Ahhhhh, holidays. Time to snuggle up with a book, knitting, board games, to rest, to reconnect and to celebrate. Yeah, well that would be any other house than ours. At our house we’ve decided to paint the living/dining room area. Except in our house you don’t get to just paint the room, oh noooooooooo…the baseboards are coming off, rewiring, addition of fans, and somewhere along the way we have to find new curtains and a new rug. Isn’t that what everyone does at this time of year? Doesn’t sound very restful does it? I didn’t think so either, but still it needs to be done. When else would it be done?

We do need some help though. No, no, don’t worry I don’t mean actual painting help, although if you’re so inclined…I mean decorating help. I put a note into the women at Dream Within Reach and hope they’ll have some suggestions, but maybe you will too. Don’t be shy.

So this is the before:
What's different with this room?

The rug we currently have was a fabulous hand-me-down from my MIL. It has to be thirty years old, and I think we’ve finally done it in. The curtains are those cheap ones on copper piping that you put up when you’re just out college, but we’re long out of college. The sofa in the back is staying, but perhaps new pillow covers can jazz it up, the near sofa is out of here, but the coffee table stays. Also entering the picture will be a few tall dark wood bookcases that need to exit the front guest bedroom. We need to add some curtains, a rug, and a chair. Now, I fear our style, if you can call it that, borders on stuffy/eclectic and we need to spice it up a little, while keeping it comfortable and including the pieces we currently have.
We’re painting the room the room with a Yolo Colorhouse paint, Aspire 001, which looks much more yellow on the paint chip, I hope it is on the wall too. Oh Lord, the paint went on and it is yellow as in scrambled egg yellow when made with that fake egg stuff. Not rich, not warm, just ugh. Looking for a new colour!  Suggestions please.White ceiling and trim. The room isn’t particularly light and needs some help in the lighting arena too. So there you go:
rug (wool tufted rather than hooked)
chair (I’m thinking new to us rather than new)
added paint color

This is about where we’re at right now…

That dining room table and chairs are out of there as soon as I can find a leafed rectangular. They were also hand me downs just post college or post-bacc or grad school.
Many thanks.



Filed under Remodeling

10 responses to “Requesting Decor Input

  1. I am obsessed with paint and cannot rely on paint chips–I have literally a dozen sample jars of various blue/green paints. It is so hard to tell until it is on the wall!!!
    Crap. Lighter copper? I don’t know!!!
    I like those Yolo paints. I am thinking one of the dream ones for our bedroom. Hmm.

  2. Rebecca

    Were you ever over at my house on 8th Street during the era of the waaaaaaay too yellow paint in the back bathroom? I thought that painting the walls an insistently cheerful color would guarantee that I also started the day cheerfully – WRONG. It was more like fingernails on a blackboard. Not a great way to start the day.

    All of which is to say, go soft. Think along the lines of candlelight rather than mid-day sun. A little warmth goes a long way, especially in AZ.

    Good luck!

  3. Will put together some ideas for you – so fun! I will be in touch!


  4. Some suggestions:

    Would you ever consider putting the remaining sofa along the wall with the window (where the vacuum is plugged in)? Then you could put a “new” chair in the opposite corner with some sort of side table nearby (I think where the sofa once was)? I would also suggest side tables on either side of the sofa for some fun & funky lamps – thrift stores would be great places to look for some fun lamps. I see “mod” style – 50s/60s with big drum shades would look very cool here.

    Also – would you ever consider painting the coffee table? This color will depend on the final wall color, but it would give a really great “punch” to the room. I would think a deep/muddy red could look really cool. And then you could bring in some other colors with pillows.

    Paint possibility?
    Sherwin Williams Goldenrod color SW 6677

    So, once you find a paint color that you like – in tone – you can always have the paint store add a little “white” to make the color lighter, but you will still keep the same “tone” of the color. I hope this helps. Paint is tough, but I always suggest going with a “muddier” color than you think. People tend to go too “light” and/or “pastel.” You want it to be warm.

    Pottery Barn
    PB Basic Armchair

    I know this can seem basic – but that will be good. The lines of the arms here will go well with your sofa. You want the “punch” to come from your accessories. That way you can change the “look” of your room with minimal costs in the future. I would suggest Grade A “Twill” fabric – which will go well with your existing sofa. You will certainly need a punch with pillows. The slipcover is a great option too – so easy to remove, very durable, and washes great in your own machine.

    West Elm Jute Boucle Rug – Flax (this color will hide Golden Dog hair well too)

    We LOVE ours. Super durable, natural materials. Fairly cheap & holds up really well (even with dogs & snowy boots in Telluride)

    West Elm Medallion Window Panel – Any color depending on paint

    Would provide a nice, airy feeling while also giving some depth than just “plain” ones. Linen texture ideal for SW.

  5. Oooo Rebecca, I think I remember that. Ouch.

    So a funny story Julie, after getting a bunch more samples and picking something call Natural Wool or something, I tried the Yolo paint right next to the new choice. The difference? Negliable. Certainly not worth ditching the 3 gallons of paint already bought. What did make a difference was the lighting. The fan in the dining room cast a slight pink glow which didn’t help. The fan is now history, so we’ll see. The room is now yellow. It is a little hard on the eyes right now, but there is nothing else in the room, but it is more candlelight than midday sun. Tomorrow the ceiling and then we can get furniture in. Not sure where we’re eating dinner tomorrow.

    I love the chair suggestion and think that style would go well, probably not in white with a crazy toddler, two black cats and the retriever, but the style is perfect. My friends M&M have agreed to help with the thrift shop search as they’re impressive in such an arena and I like your suggestion as to the type of lights to look for. Love the curtains. I’m going to see what this paint job looks like once finished and with some furniture in and post it then, before accessories.
    I like the idea of the sofa at the window and have done that in the past, but worry with a toddler that clambers about the proximity to the window. Jute is hessian right? I like it. Actually, perhaps better under a dining room table. Hmmmmm, lots of things to think about. Thank you. I’m interested to hear what people suggest for the pop color with the furniture and the wall color.

  6. More thoughts…

    The jute is sort chunky & would be hard to clean if put under a DR table. It may work, but I would recommend it for the LR first.

    Other options…

    Cost Plus World Market has these natural fiber (I believe jute as well) flooring tile things. I couldn’t find them online, but I know they sell them & have for years. Anyway, you can buy as many as you like (typically 12″ x 12″ if I remember correctly) and sort of “custom size” a rug. Super easy to maintain & easy to replace. You just sort of tie them together – easier to explain with an image. I have used them – they actually look really great as a rug in a room – natural & awesome texture.

    Love this rug…even a couple sort of loosely stacked together.

    Yeah – I know a “white” chair is a stretch, but the “natural” color is a little off-white and hides stains well. Also, the slipcover idea is awesome. We have a PB sofa with a “natural” slipcover. We also have a black dog & lots of man-boys in our house – in stinky bike/skiing gear. We also live in a small condo with a small “stacked” washer & dryer from the 80s. I can throw everything in the washer and the sofa is white & lovely once again. So, don’t be too afraid of anything “white” as long as it is slipcovered. I would NEVER recommend an upholstered white anything for anyone ever. Yuck.

    Wish I were around to help in person. Hope the painting has been going well. Would love to hear/see updates.

    Oh – “pop” of color. I still love the idea of painting your coffee table – a red would be so lovely. I am sending the PB link below ONLY for color ideas – not for the pillow. I think you should find something more custom – and I will see if I cannot find something better to send you. The reason I am sending this is that this pillow has the type of colors I think would look good as “pops” – reds, greens, yellows, oranges. I know there is much much cooler stuff out there – oh Amy Butler has some cool fabrics too.

    From Amy Butler – this could be cool & would add a pop of pink (unexpected). Would also look great with some “mod” style lamps.

    Fun project!

  7. Sonchia,
    Thanks! The jute got nixed by Green, dang it. We had the square tile version when I was growing up.

    I love the Pottery Barn chair and am going to keep my eyes peeled for something similar. In the mean time I have a chair that was hidden away that I think I could make a natural coloured slip cover for. Will link to it. Not as easily comfortable as the one you linked to, but it will do for now as we try to track it down.

    I’ll post a picture of the paint once we have the skirting/base boards back on. There is a tinge more green in the paint than I would like, but I think with some furniture in there it may help.

    The coffee table is actually in great condition and the wood is really nice. I think I might get hung, drawn and quartered if I was to paint it. However, I really like the pops of color you were suggesting and I think I have a small piece of that Amy Butler in my fabric stash that I snagged at SAS Fabrics.

    I’m definitely warming to the idea of a natural colored slip covered chair with funky fabric pillows. Must look on Etsy for inspiration!

    • Oh, had a thought. We have this little unfinished ikea table for our toddler that has sat in the dining room annoying me for a while. I was thinking about putting it in the living room and perhaps painting it a nice deep red as you suggest for the coffee table. Also, after a lot of thought I want to clear the bookshelves of picture frames and while debating the merits of a wall of family pics in a ‘public’ place think I want to go with something like this
      I know the arguments against, but the truth is we live in the living room and I’d rather contain the madness and the bliss to one wall.

      • I think a photo wall makes a lot of sense. More organized & it makes it look more like “art” rather than “clutter.” I mean – I think we are all too modern to have something like this anymore…

        The point of any design project is to make it your own. I love offering up thoughts/ideas, but it is your space that you have to live in day to day. Have fun with it all. Try new things. Really – you can’t go too wrong as long as you are happy with the final outcome.

        Happy decorating!

  8. Thought of another idea this morning while thinking about your comment on our blog about a slipcover for your existing sofa to add a “pop” of color. So, instead of buying a PB arm chair, how about buying one from IKEA (with arms that sort of match your existing sofa & a size that works with the sofa as well – you don’t want to get something too small that looks out of proportion) and then getting a slipcover for the “pop” you are looking for? You can get multiple slipcovers & change them out too. AND, if they get dirty, you can just pop them in the wash. Voila. Lots of fun prints to choose from too. Maybe easier than slipcovering the sofa?

    Happy hunting – keep us updated! I cannot wait to see the final product.

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