old glutton


Design Help!

Ryan (my husband) and I are in the process of redesigning this family room. I would love feedback/ideas anybody has on potential wall colors, drapes, art, lighting, and accessories.

On our ideal weekends, Ryan and I spend time in this room watching a movie by the fire with wine and some fantastic home cooked gourmet food. I want this room to feel warm, cozy, and modern (but organic/natural rather than industrial).

We are keeping the couch/chair/side table/coffee table as it was given to us by our very generous uncles. The lamp is temporary and goes with another setup. The TV trays are functional only and will be put away when we are not using them.

This is the view from the kitchen.

I removed the floral wallpaper and am painting over the bottom marbled looking wallpaper. Yes, those walls are sponge painted. Every room is.

There is 10 feet in between the back of the couch and the kitchen. We use this space for yoga and it is also a walkway from the living room which has the front door to the house.

It would be nice to incorporate a reading nook to the left of the hutch with a low level lounger chair. I love the zoe chair, but am looking for something smaller/cheaper.

We ordered the Loop Media Center and Loop File Cabinet/Hutch from Crate and Barrel (partly paid for with gift cards that I have been holding on to for four years). We also ordered a black LCD TV and have all black speakers and media consoles/units. We plan to put the left surround speaker on top of the Loop File Hutch behind the sofa seat and the right one in the built-in room divider.

This room/tv setup was our Christmas present this year, but we are just getting around to it. The rest of the design has to be economical since we have exceeded our budget on the tv/furniture.

I would love feedback on the paint colors, wall art (placement, size, and specific pieces or frame colors), accessories, window coverings, and lamp(s). I am also looking for black fireplace tools and firewood holder; something sleek.

Update 03.14.09: A huge thank you to Kim for featuring my design dilemma on one of my favorite blogs, Desire to Inspire. Her readers have already provided useful suggestions. This will be very helpful for me. Join the discussion here.



At 5:30 PM, Blogger Julie said...


Good thing you removed the wallpaper. Now let’s number the walls so the communication will be easier. Let’s call the wall with the window-A, wall with the glass doors-B, and wall across from glass doors-C. I know that when we have a fireplace we want it to be the center of the room. But in this case because your furniture are oversized for the space and because of the awkward location of the fireplace, the best layout I can come up with is positioning the media center on wall C (next to the fireplace, across from the doors) very close to the fireplace, so you can still have that warm cozy feeling that grouping furniture around the fireplace gives, the sofa across from the media center (facing back the glass doors) living enough space behind it for people to pass by comfortably. The chair across from wall-A and the side table between the chair and the couch but again, leaving space between the couch and the side table so you can walk through it and sit. Both, the couch and the chair will be diagonal to the fireplace. Get a center carpet to group the furniture on it (check BEATA at Ikea). This will give the room more definition and more coziness. You could go to Target for economical table lamps (check their ceramic ones).

I would keep the entire wall (including the chair rail) one color. Painting the trim a different color will add more architecture to this room, making the unusual layout even more noticeable. I would go with a gray more on the blue side, two or three tones darker than the floor. (gray is the new beige but just with more color and personality in it) Definitely get curtains, better if hanged from the ceiling. Take a look at Ikea’s ALVINE TAPET FOR $60. If possible, have the curtains open and place them to the sides of the window, covering the walls so it would give the illusion of a bigger window and it would make that back wall look bigger as well. Place the two crossed leg tables (dinner tables) on wall-A, below the windowsill and put some greens or flowers on them. With this you will bring nature and freshness into the room. Get some kind of art to place above the fireplace. Etsy is the only place I can think of to get good art for great price. If you can’t find one whole big piece because these ones are usually expensive, think of grouping a few small/medium ones. Lastly I would place the Loop File Hutch against wall C behind the chair and try to hide the speakers as much as possible. If you find these suggestions of any help and would like to go forward with them feel free to contact me for more detailed suggestions. I’ll be happy to help. Good luck.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Old Glutton said...

Thank you so much, Julie. So helpful. And thank you for commenting in both places. And thank you for introducing me to your site.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Whimsy said...

Hi Jen,

I saw the comment about your room on the Desire to Inspire blog. If you like a slightly organic feel I really like Stephen Falcke. I think his designs are slightly ethnic and natural whilst still being contemporary. I'm posting some of his interiors on my blog (http://vanillawhimsy.blogspot.com) tonight but I think he has a website as well.

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may have more freedom if you do not buy the entertainment center but rather a flat screen that can be mounted on the wall.


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