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bigsami

Please HELP! Decorating the Living Room...

bigsami
8 years ago
last modified: 8 years ago
Hello everyone,

I am hoping to get some advice on spicing up my living room. The room dimensions are 3.36 m x 6.36 m.
There a couple of things I am not sure what to do with:

1. The walls are very bare – especially behind the TV, and behind the sofa. I am unsure on what to do with the walls – do I paint, or do I wallpaper them? I am slightly limited on where I can hang art work/photos I can put up due to the walls being just plaster boards, so am a little reluctant on drilling holes through them…
The room is quite dark at the moment, and I wouldn’t mind brightening it up somehow.

2. The space behind the small sofa is basically dead space. There is probably about 1.5 m of just floor between the shelves and the sofa, and I am not sure how to utilise it. Cannot move the small sofa back, as it will be too far from the TV area, and I don’t think it would look right.

i am quite flexible wrt colours, and new pieces of furniture.... I would like to replace the TV stand, as I don’t like it - was bought by my partner without my consent! :) The coffee table and the ceiling lamp can go too. The shelving units at the back of the room are OK, but can also be replaced. Do like the arrangement of the TV/big sofa as it is, as the sofa fits perfectly in the space where it is, and the TV area is quite cosy…

Thank you in advance for any suggestions,
Sami

Comments (20)

  • PRO
    Dytecture
    8 years ago
    The size of room could benefit with 2 seating arrangements.
    bigsami thanked Dytecture
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  • PRO
    Iron Rose Home
    8 years ago
    I like the idea of putting the desk behind the small sofa and arrange there a little working area. Also the black sofas and the black coffee table make the room darker, I would replace them (in ideal world) for something in cream, or just use some natural colour throws for now.

    Replace the coffee table with something different, maybe a printed footstool, which can also work as a table? Also, I would take the current vertical blinds from the window (my pet hate) and replace them with bright cream linen draped cusrtains, with some colour curtain ties.

    If you don't want to hang any art, have you thought of using some wall decals? you can find some really stylish ones online - hope it helps :)

    Maggie
    bigsami thanked Iron Rose Home
  • bigsami
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thank you very much, everyone! Great ideas!

    I did actually want to swap the big sofa and the TV but all the cabling/wiring is on that wall :( Love the idea of having two chairs instead of the love seat, so will see if the love seat fits by the window, or I might be able to move it to one of the other rooms.

    Absolutely agree about the dark furniture, the coffee table will definitely have to go. I was thinking about replacing it either with a footstool (of a brighter colour/printed, as suggested by Maggie), or something wooden....

    We do actually have a small desk that I could try in the living room... I suppose if the look works, I can always buy something a little more fancy.

    I agree about the blinds (a bit tacky!), but they have to stay because our house is very close to the street, so they provide privacy... What do you think about blinds+curtains? Is that too much?

    Thanks again :)
  • marwaulhaq
    8 years ago
    It is quite a small room - I would have suggested that you make the most of the space by extending that shelf upwards so that attention is drawn up the room - shelves that cut off before the wall ends make the room look a lot shorter than it is.

    I would move that lamp to the opposite corner of where it is right now, switch to fabric curtains with chiffon curtains behind it, it softens the space and makes it seem warmer.

    There are loads of ways to dress up a wall. For example - what if you go for paint? One simple colour not enough, no problem, you can stencil that wall, or have it striped, or give it the ombre effect. You can give it a new texture just by applying the paint with a sponge, a plastic bag, newspaper - anything really (and hardware stores usually have great texture applicators for paint)

    My favourite way to introduce light is an ancient method, but it's bad ass as all hell! Go Egyptian. If you use mirrors to reflect the light into your room, you could light it all up for almost no cost. It only takes time and patience. I like to work on angling each mirror during the day when I am in the space most of all, that'll let me know exactly where the mirror should be placed (and you have to give it some tilting and rotational room as well). You don't absolutely have to go through all that effort, mirrors you put will naturally catch any light, so if you put one behind that big floor lamp, it'll also work.

    Have you thought about moving the seating just under the window? That'll create a sun spot that you can basque in. AND, in regards to the television, I am certain that any electrician that you hire could help you find other options, even if they are just extending the wires and lining them to the skirting of the floor. There are loads of ways to disguise them.

    You could also try mounting the TV on the wall and getting rid of the TV stand (or re purposing it) and adding floating shelves. That is a fun way to create an exciting new focal point. Good luck.
  • romazi
    8 years ago
    Are you guys able to ship things to Africa? Am in Malawi I want to buy somethings for my living room.will be able to send them.
  • PRO
    Rincey Philip Interiors
    8 years ago
    Here are some awesome tips! :D
    1) Yes wallpaper can help if your looking to get some texture/pattern into the room without hanging art.
    You can even paint a cozy colour on the focal wall and do a gallery art show near/around the tv. You can use velcrow strips or double tape and use only very light frames to mount art on the wall.Another idea is to use canvas art and all you need to do is hammer in a couple of nails !
    2) i do love the idea of a desk or reading nook in the small space, Heres a link to a video by emily on how to make that reading nook happen! :D



    Yes , blinds plus curtains do work :) you could do white roller blinds and soft curtains above that. curtains alone also provide a lot of privacy. Get ones with liners. Also put them up a lot higher , just so that the room looks larger.
    Your room does look dark because of dark flooring plus dark furniture plus dark lamp shades.
    Get a huge rug such that it goes under the sofas a bit. Make sure its a light color. Y should it go under the sofa legs ? Coz a dark sofa over dark flooring makes it seem real dark. The rug will cut it out a bit. Your rug could even have small stripes on them in the direction of the narrow side of the room : like in the direction of the largest sofa to the tv wall. This is done so that your room appears larger.
    For lighting you can do 3 types : mood lighting (put a pretty floor lamp in one of the corners) , general lighting and task lighting. Replace the dark shades with a more dramatic one. That way your eyes are drawn up and the room looks larger.
    Yes, mirrors do the trick in reflecting more light. I would also suggest reflective surfaces like a lacquer tv table.
    You could even bring in some life to the space by adding in some indoor plants !
  • Sheryl Horton
    8 years ago
    Cable & electrical connections can be moved. It would be worth the investment to have a much more functionional & beautiful room. If it is impossible to move the cable, hide the wires behind baseboard, crown moulding, or cable cover. Legrand,Wiremold, & Belkin are several companies that make covers for cable wires.
    Install them a little above the baseboard & paint to match.
  • Sauve
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Blinds sometimes are used for light control or privacy or both. You could get the same of both effects from romans shades. and you don't have to remove the mini blinds. Just pull them all the way up. You can hang the roman shades with, ok, it is holes, using velcro and a staple gun. I've done it and works. Just don't use the velcro that has sticky stuff on it. When you get ready to take it down permanently all you need to do is pull the velcro off the wall, gently and the staples will come with it. It is very easy to fill little tiny staple holes with plain old tooth paste.

    I've added strings of mini-lights (christmas tree lights - white) to make rooms less dark. I, again staples, on the interior of book shelves, along the top of high furnitures, like an armoire or bookshelves or kitchen cabinets, etc. I've also placed them under and in back of furniture like your dark sofas. Right now I have some behind my entertainment center which covers an entire wall so it looks more like the image I've attached. Nope, I don't have that entertainment wall but I want it.

    As for your dark furniture and that dark lamp shades... Change the lampshades. I would change the pendant out for something lighter. A more open and lighter looking pendant or chandelier. I would also go looking for a throw for an arm of the sofa. Maybe you will happen upon a couple smallish square ottomans that are colorful or you can have reupholstered in a colorful fabric. You could set them over there under the window so that the eye has a distant point to move to. Maybe you will have enough fabric left over to make a couple toss pillow or a larger floor pillow. I think your room looks dark because it is all dark furniture and little light. I suggest you opt for light, brightly colored prints of your choice for fabrics, and add some interests that display well against the dark woods. *see attached photo.

    You can also use velcro, as I have mentioned, as a hanger for lighter weight objects on your walls. There's no law that says if you love over sized art it can't be leaned against a wall. and you could always patch any holes and repaint if you go and get paint chips to match the paint that is on the walls now.
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    8 years ago
    If you define it as two areas - one for tv and conversation, and one for reading / music that may work for you ? Depends a lot on your family size and if you are more likely to watch tv or prefer conversation, wether it's a good view out of the window etc etc etc ! Adding a quick plan to give an option for you ... Would your budget stretch to moving the bookcases and wall forward and therefore increasing the family room end of the kitchen maybe too ?! ( just throwing ideas around )
  • abbie833
    8 years ago
    Floating shelves are a great way to add texture and visual appeal to your walls. Do one large one with a smaller one above and half way across the big one. Plaster will hold them because it is held together by lath boards, which are strong. Be bold with color! What's your favorite? Paint your walls and never look back! Accent your shelving with a complimentary color according to what you paint your walls. The key is to not doubt yourself. Do what you love and don't worry about what anyone thinks. If you follow your instinct, it will look great! Follow the season you are in to guide you too. If it's fall, think orange. If it is spring, think green. Use outdoor materials to accent, as it warms up any home.
  • sthnman
    8 years ago
    I agree with everyone about moving the TV to the other side so it isn't such a focal point when you walk in, I would also have it mounted onto the wall. That way with the addition of pillows, throws in soft lighter tones, would make the space more inviting and warmer when you walk in. I would also look at painting the walls, if that is an option to something softer and warmer again.

    Coffee table and TV cabinet need to change to something that reveals less of what its there to contain, I like a ottoman instead of coffee tables as they can still hold trays and your feet and can come off the shelf in a variety of colours and shapes, or you can get them custom to your needs. Keep the lamps and hanging light, just change the shades. As much as I like black and whites together, you could easily add some lilacs, or lemon and lime which would compliment the floor colours.

    The back wall storage unit is a great for storing items, I would cut everything back by half and add some funky ornaments with colour. With your 1.5m, I would add a comfortable high back chair even with a foot rest, seems like a great space, so you may as well use it as an additional area for chilling out at.
  • bigsami
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thank you everyone for your great ideas!

    Actually, the room is not as dark as you think - the window is east facing, and we do get a good deal of sunshine through it... I think the pictures don't do the room justice. I do agree, dark furniture does make it seem very dull though.

    OK, here is what I am thinking at the moment...

    Unfortunately, the sofa does not fit quite right againt the opposite wall, neither does the love seat by the window (I've measured everything up and the sofas are of the wrong sizes). I'd like to replace the love seat with a couple of chairs (as the love seat is quite chunky, and does dominate the room as you walk in), but I can't justify spending the money on that just yet :(

    I am planning to buy a bigger rug (thank you for the suggestion, ren2513), I do love the white/cream as we have now, but will go for something with a bit more colour through it, and definitely replace the coffee table with a bright ottoman (thinking something along these lines at the moment http://www.marksandspencer.com/oval-button-footstool/p/p22344378001 colour Measham,Ochre)... And I'd like to move the existing rug behind the love seat. I'd also like to either match the wall paper or a few pictures on the wall to the ottoman (colour-wise) for some continuation.

    The ceiling lamp shade will be replaced with something a bit more original (this was fitted in a rush when we moved in, with no thought behind it!)

    All the speakers will go, as I don't think they look right in the room, and will be replaced with more descrete ones :) We are keen to replace the TV stand with Skovby TV unit and a display cabinet (in white oak), so a similar idea to what was suggested by Sauve :) thank you!

    Haven't decided on the 'behind the love seat' arrangement just yet.

    Thanks again for the suggestions everyone :)
  • Sauve
    8 years ago
    What you are planning to get for your tv is very similar to what we have currently, bigsami. We love everything except how low the tv sits, so we will be replacing that part of the unit as we work towards what we want.
  • bigsami
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Sauve - that looks great! Looks lovely with the dark background too :)
  • mazisoler
    8 years ago
    is it possible to remove the wall between the living and WC area? than you'd have "space" where you could afford to be more creative.

    black sofa and dark wood floors makes the room darker; try changing the colour of the floors, either to natural wood colour and or have it stained or painted in a lighter shade.

    last but not least consider buying a slightly smaller, less bulky looking sofa and arm chairs instead.

    good luck :-)
  • calidesign
    8 years ago
    Hang a very large framed mirror behind your sofa, to reflect the perpendicular light coming through your window.
  • Andrew Veail
    8 years ago
    Have you considered a clear Perspex coffee table? That could help improve the visual space in the room, and coupled with a brighter or more interesting rug and light shades, that could make a nice difference to how the room feels.
  • Sauve
    8 years ago
    Thanks bigsami!
  • suezbell
    6 years ago

    Although you already have a lot of shelving along another wall, you could opt to use wide shelving boards to create two tall bookcases of equal size, putting the speakers in the bottom shelf, measuring with the intent to position them each side of the tv stand, with additional shelves between the two tall shelves above the tv and its stand. Make these bookcases the same height as the indent for the windows. Use sanded plywood finishing plywood or plywood paneling to create a back. Affix the bookcases to the wall so they don't tip over. What you choose put on the other shelves of these bookcases will decorate your room.

    If you opt to build shelving around the tv, rather than do away with the shelving you already have, you could add backs and doors, perhaps solid doors for the bottom shelves and glass doors for the upper shelves, making them cabinets.

    A long narrow room usually ends up being used for two purposes. If there is only one place at which you can place your tv, then your options are more limited.

    You could move the sofa nearest the shelves you already have forward a bit and create a home office or even an exercise space back there.

    If you're not going to open up the wall between the dining area and living room with a half/wall/bar, you might consider seeing if you could run a cable to that wall and redesign those shelves to include a space for the tv within the shelving,

    If you own rather than rent, and unless they are weight bearing walls or plumbing runs within them to prevent it, you might consider opening up the entry and living and dining/kitchen areas to create one large Great Room.

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