Thursday, June 27, 2013

Working on Designing the Living Room

THIS is MY big project for the summer.......

My living room

We use to have actual living room furniture in this room.....a sofa, a chair, a coffee table.
But we've never really used this room as a living room much.
It was storage space first for our items we moved here from our old house and then as storage for my eBay escapades.
This and the ajoining dining room were gated off from the rest of the house a few years into living here, when we added dogs to the family.  These 2 rooms had WHITE carpeting(who in their right mind puts white carpeting in high traffic common areas of a 4 bedroom house!?!?)and 2 of the dogs developed the habit of wanting to use them for their.....ahem.....toileting needs.
Yah.....that didn't go over very well with moi.....!

Now it is time(WELL PAST TIME really)to turn this room into something more useful than for storage and with seating. 8-)

I need to have some work done before decorating came begin.
1-The new A/C system needs to go in.
2-What is in the room needs to go find homes elsewhere.
3-The walls and ceiling need some repair work done.
4-The crown molding needs to be finished.
5-The walls need painting.
6-The room needs new flooring.

We have begun the list.
#1 will be started on July 8th and should be finished up by July 10th at the latest.
Now I need to contact the handyman/contractor persons we have used in the past to take care of #2-6.
If they can't fit me into their schedule in a timely manner then I may go to a licensed handyman repair service that has a franchise here locally.  They can handle #2-5.
And then I'll have whichever store that we buy the flooring material from send their installers to take care of #6.

Then I can buy furniture, any accessory pieces I need and throw the room together.


Right? lol

Here is a pictorial(think Pinterest tho I don't do that)of what I have to put in the room so far and what I am considering.

The flooring will be bamboo, a light natural bamboo so you know.....

First the area rug I have already.....

 It's 3 tones of green(lime, olive, grasshopper), 2 tones of brown, beige and ecru.

For one of the walls I have this print......

It's a light yellow ochre tone with black in a thin black slat frame.

And I am doing an arrangement of shadow boxes with Japanese plates in them on the largest wall.
Here are some of the plates.

I have 9 different plate designs that I can change up.....

 The back of the plates.....I have no CLUE what this

And I have shadow boxes like this......

Mine aren't painted yet and they have backs.  I was going to paint them black but now I think I'll go with dark brown so they are not such a stark contrast to the walls and the plates....and brown ties in better with the rug, though the print I am hanging is yellow ochre and black.

Here is the kind of arrangement I am planning on.....

I was  thinking 4 or 6 shadow boxes, depending on what works best for the space.  With 9 plates I can change them around when I feel like it.

The walls are going to be some light shade of off white/ecru/etc.  Close to white but warmer....not orange.

Some of the furniture I am considering.....

 a smallish chaise sofa in a beige woven material....

 An accent chair in a circle pattern similar to the area rug in browns/tan/lt. blue/off white.
I am torn on the chair.  I don't want to be "matchy matchy" with patterns and colors....the chair is similar to the rug but the colors aren't quite jiving each with the other.  I don't know....this chair might be too busy with everything put together in the room.  I suppose I could put the room together without this chair(or another one I if I find something better)and then once it's all in the room, see if this will fit in style wise.

 A smallish reg. sofa in a med. brown woven material that comes with pillows that match the chair above.

My ideal sofa is a tan/light brown/darker than off-white option with a sectional/chaise feel.  Preferably in leather.
I like the styling of the sectional/chaise end look but most of the ones they make are just too HUGE for this room.  I don't want the couch to take up the whole space.  I don't need a sofa bed so that doesn't limit my selection of options.  I am thinking leather because I want to keep this sofa for a very long time and we just have a tendency to stain all our upholstered seating here.  Go figure. And no, I am not talking about the dogs getting up on it. lol
I would spend the extra money on leather if I could find one, the right color and small enough.  If I could find the sectional  style small enough I'd be in heaven. 8-))

If we have to go with a woven fabric instead of leather, I am leaning more toward the darker sofa, as it will show wear less.

This is a square ottoman/padded coffee table that opens up for storage and one side raises up flat for use so you can serve beverages and have it be a taller height when used for that purpose.

The ottoman/coffee table is dark brown.
My preference for this item is a round one but until recently I haven't found a round model I liked.  Boscov's has one advertised now for a good price similar to this one(only round)with storage but the storage is 4 separate comparments(each one small)plus it doesn't have the raised side/serving option.

I have this Dale Tiffany lamp which is Craftsman inspired to put into the room.....

He's the grandson or great grandson of the Tiffany and he makes lamps.  It's a tiffany style shade on an organic shaped brown textured ceramic base.

I also have a pair of Asian enameled Ginger Jar type lamps-which might not jive with my room's color scheme though so I am still up in the air on the lamps.  (They have some pink and seafoam and turquoise colors on the bases.)

I also have an Asian styled sofa table(tallish that goes behind your sofa)which I may or may not use as a behind the sofa table(depends on the arrangement of the furniture which isn't settled yet).  I may put this sofa table in the dining room as a side table if it doesn't work in the living room space.

As for the curtains, I have a bolt of fabric I have been carting around for 10 years now to make drapes for the room.......

It's a lime green mediumweight polyblend with a monochromatic all-over circle pattern.  This photo makes the color appear more washed out than it is.
It goes with the area rug well(same tone family)but I am scared that large swaths of this on the windows will sort of "overpower" the color scheme because it is so bright....not that I don't like it this bright. lol

So I took a swatch and tea stained the first photo the bolt of fabric color is closer to the actual color in person, in the second photo the swatch is closer to the actual color of the tea stained sample in person.....

The tea staining takes the 'sheen' off the material's color and tones it down a notch.  I'm not sure if it tones it down too much and makes it too boring.....the walls and sofa colors will be boring enough.

The curtains will be floor length tabbed curtains, like this.....

I had wanted to make grommet curtains like this.....

Though I can get large grommets, I can't find a way to affix them to the curtains as the fabric I have is sort of bulky.  I have been looking for grommet curtains in an acceptable color and fabric for YEARS now that will go with my rug and vision with no success.

Now, feeling that my lime green curtains might be too too much visually for the room I also picked up some other curtain options at BB&B last month......

 Green/brown/tan striped curtains panels with a slight sheen. One of the green tones in this drape matches the tea stained tone of my fabric swatch I dyed.
 I don't need or want the room darkening feature of these and I fear the stripes, though in my color scheme, would fight with the circular shapes in the rug.

A tan grommet drape in a dark off white.   It's plain and boring and will basically blend in with the wall color....but do I want that?  It is the ONLY grommet drape I've found that doesn't look like a cheap piece of garbage.

A tan silky(not sheer though)with a substantial sheen to the fabric drape.  It also has leaf/blossom patterns(line drawings)embroidered in a dark brown thread into the fabric in an all-over pattern.  You can make it out barely in the photo.
I am not sure if I like this embroidered stuff or not.  This drape is a bit darker in color than the previous boring drape above so it will stand out a bit from the wall color and the sheen and embroidery gives it a "pop"....and it's not too busy visually to fight with the rug and other patterns I might put in the room.

Another option would be to use one of these manufactured drapes and insert a length of my lime green fabric into one of the drapes.  Like a border piece at the top or bottom of the curtain like this.....

I was thinking I could cut off the bottom of the drapes and add a panel of lime green at the bottom as that would be easier than adding it in the middle or at the top like in the photo.  Though the panel near the top is pretty smart looking.....
Of course, if I do this, I would use either of the solid color off-white drapes to doctor up, NOT the striped drape.   The striped drape would be hideous with this treatment! lol

So that's where things stand at the moment in my decorating adventure.
I am going for clean, fresh, modern, uncluttered with an Asian feel.
At least that's what I am hoping



  1. I love the material... When my sister made my curtains, She just made the large panels and I bought clips to attach them ( Martha Stewart at home depot). I like them, because I just need to unclip the panels when I want to wash them, without having to messing around with the rods...

  2. Clean, fresh, modern, uncluttered with an Asian feel is NOT my style at all. So, I am out.

    Why did you choose bamboo?

  3. Without actually seeing all these things in-person, it's difficult to really have a good idea of how these things work together, but I will say this...I prefer that darker brown sofa, and I think your curtain fabric might work nicely with the rug. I also like the offwhite curtain with accent strip across them, but I think if you go that route, the accent color should be up higher, not at the bottom edge. It would leave all that cream to blend in with the white walls, defeating the goal of some color interest.

  4. I love chaise sofas. I didn't even know they existed until I went to my friends' condo in Chicago. All that remodeling sounds like a piece of cake. So you'll have the reveal ready for mid July?

    You'll have a busier July than most of us!


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.