Friday, August 13, 2010

Help! With My Family Room

I am about to open a can of worms, but I need some suggestions.
Please lend me some advice about my family room.

Keep in mind -  Any changes I make must cost less than $100.

This room was a dark bowling alley when we bought the house.  You will have to 'picture it' because I lost the photos, long ago - dark wood paneling and dark wooden bookshelves, along with the heart pine floors.  It was a very dark room.

We painted the walls yellow and the bookcases white. 

I recently grew tired of the roman blinds I sewed 9 years ago because they were
and faded
and dated....

Please ignore the laundry.  Where is that maid I ordered?  Oh, that's right, she is busy blogging.

Anyway - I replaced the tired roman shades with new matchstick blinds....

By the way, don't we have a lovely television?

The yellow in this room is truly not as bright as it looks in these photos.

My plan was to hang panels on each side of the french doors and the windows, but I've just about decided against it.  I think I like them without any fabric.  There is so much going on in this small room, anyway - I worry that fabric might make it even busier.

If I do decide to use fabric, it will be simple off-white drop-cloth panels on a bamboo rod, like this....


Now that I sketched that out, I think the plain panels may help tone down both the yellow and the chaos, a bit. 

And, now that I've looked at my den through a camera lens, I am thinking I will put the den on the "to be painted list."  Maybe go with a neutral shade of pale yellow or cream ???.  And could I possibly make a slipcover for that red sofa?  After all, I slipcovered the chair over by the window here.  I also need to take down the paintings over the windows. 

My wheels are turning.

What do you think?
Honestly, what would you do? (on a budget)
And please don't say - "I would never have yellow walls with red accents."

Also - would you paint the back of the shelves?  What color?

Thanks for the free advice!

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JOYfilled Family said...

love the room and colors. it has a french country feel to it, my fav.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Trish, I would never say no yellow and red together. I would paint the walls a pretty bisque color with glossy white trim. I would paint the back of the bookcases whatever other color you want in the room. You could do the red. I did mine in a dark brown and love it. I have red sofas, too. The one in the great room is slipcovered just for spring and summer and then the brick red will be back for fall and winter to warm up the room. I think the panels would look fine.

Olive Cooper said...

Trish, I like your yellow walls. To me yellow is a neutral and makes the objects in the room look better. Behr has some nice soft butter yellows. I like your red sofa but you could slip cover it. How about wall paper inside the bookcases? hugs♥olive

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

I like the idea of the yellow walls with soft white curtains. But if you paint the walls a lighter color, the curtains would disappear, so that makes me still like the yellow walls better. I agree about slipcovering the sofa - I think it's just too much color condensed in one space. And I love the idea of either painting or covering the back walls of the shelves a different color - in fact, that might balance the red of the sofa across the room.

I'm no decorator, but that's my 10 cents worth!

Sjn said...

I have reds (red sofa) in my keeping room too and have it paired with navy chairs. I want to paint my walls a bit more neutral beige than the "Plantation Beige" that they are (a soft golden yellow). I agree after 8,9 years I just want a change!
For your den... I'm thinking use a neutral beige paint, a shade lighter than your rug, no undertones. For a change, take down your current artwork and store the books. Use some other nic-naks on the shelves, maybe find some framed photos from around the house, some red glass vases(can I say HomeGoods) or transferware plates. I can't tell what your knobs look like on the bookshelves, but that's a quick inexpensive thing to change up.
Have fun with it! You'll have to show us what you do!

Anonymous said...

Oh you poor thing -- you are about to get so many different opinions, so take the ones you like and know that everyone has great taste and your taste is the one that is most important here.

1. I love the idea of doing side panels on each side of the window, but not the doors. Enough going on by the doors with the shelves. I think that white would be beautiful for the side panels, as long as there is a bit of print. Since you're on a budget, perhaps you could stamp some white fabric with a contrasting color.

2. Since your shelves are white, I would make sure that the background of my window treatment was white, as well -- otherwise it will make one or the other look dirty and dingy.

3. Declutter your shelves big time. The thing I notice is a lot of stuff. You must get rid of everything except that which makes a statement and makes the room look BETTER.

4. I would also remove the coffee table -- not necessary and too small, as well.

5. Don't hang decorations on doorknobs.

6. Remove the picture that is on the wall where your new window treatments are going to be.

7. Remove the picture above the french doors.

8. Remove the small chair underneath the vertical picture next to the window. That is also too small in scale and will only work when grouped with like items, and you don't have the room to do that.

9. Update your lampshades with drum shades, bringing in a print of some sort and a third color. You've got white as your neutral, yellow walls which are actually less bright, red furniture. How about blue or green? I think I would go with green since you seem to like the outdoors and have a green plant already.

10. I think you will have a room fit for a show room as soon as you take out about 1/3 of what is in your room. That's your problem and that was my problem. You probably won't miss those things are all. Declutter. Perhaps your rule could be that you will only keep the books that are red!

I demand to see an after picture. It will be beautiful.

I also do think that black spray paint could be used on your lamp bases and on your new curtain rod. Black will help ground all your medium tones.

It really is a beautiful room....just too much beauty.


sissie said...

I really like your room. The built ins are wonderful. I like the yellow walls and I think white panels would be lovely.
Maybe covering the sofa white would look good too.

No matter what you do it is still a great room.


Trish @TheOldPostRoad said...

I am enjoying all of the suggestions! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Well here is what I do when a room just isn't looking right to me. I take everything off the walls, remove items off of shelves, tables, etc, rugs, pillows and then I start slowly putting things back in. It's a great way to edit and I also always rearrange as it makes the room seem fresh again.

Quite honestly, with the talent you have, I don't think you need our advice. I do like the yellow walls and I love red and yellow together. To me if you painted them a beige tone it would be boring. The room is happy and cottagey, just try removing stuff and then putting only your favorites back in.

And as far as window treatments, I think you would probably like some panels for fall and winter. I would probably go with a pattern but then that's me. If you don't have a lot of pattern on your furniture, then I like a pattern on the window treatments.

Good luck!


Alana in Canada said...

Hi! I've been lurking for a while,. I hope you don't mind my tossing in a few ideas. You have a lovely room. I really like it.

I think it just needs a little tweaking.

#1 The pictures on the cabinet frames, on the side of the cabinet by the door and the ones over your windows need to come down. I think this will greatly help calm things down in this busy room.

#2 I'm really glad you posted the picture with the red blinds. The red balanced your sofa--that's why the room looks in need of a re-do, now. Curtain panels are a terrific idea for the window (I am undecided about whether they should also go on the French doors. I feel you need something over there to help balance that sofa, but I agree it may be a bit busy.) The fabric for the cutains should have red in it. Bring back the balance. I know you said you were on a budget--but, boy, would some yellow and red toile look nice! (But maybe toile isn't really your thing?)

#3 The white chair needs pillows with red in them. (The "laundry picture shows you have red pillows on it?)

#4 BUT--if you choose to make a slip cover for your sofa (painter's dropcloths can be an inexpensive source of material) then, hey, feel free to introduce any other colour to that yellow. How about that luscious orange in the painting I see in the adjoining room?
Anyway, hope that helps get the creative juices flowing for you. Can't wait to see what happens!

Beth West said...

If you are enjoying your yellow walls then please keep them! One of my other favorite bloggers, Penny at The Comforts of Home also decorates beautifully with these colors.

I had lovely yellow walls in my living room too for years. However, I saw a living room in Country Sampler magazine where the walls were painted a very soft brown that almost had a golden glow to it. I fell in love with that look and have been enjoying my "new" living room tremendously. What I prefer about the brown is that it is more of a true neutral, so I never have to worry if something is going to match the walls.

Have fun with whatever you do and I also want to see an "after" picture when you've got things finished.

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

Ha! Trish You hav to see what I just livingroom makeover. It is filled with color and I was having a devil of a time cuz it joined to the dining room which was yellow and bright pink...and the new rug I bought for the living room was bright aqua with I did tone down the dining room and I balanced out the colors in the living room. So you may get some ideas there... My yellow walls also photograph a bit brighter than they really are. But all in all I wonder if your room doesn't need some floral or toile prints in yellow on top of the red couch? I like the matchstick blinds. Can't remember now what is on your floor...but I do find taking a picture and then looking at a picture of your room is helpful in identifying what the problem usually is!

Isabel said...

HI i love the yellow walls, may be slipcover the red couch although I love red but add lots of accent pillows in reds and yellows, back of the bookshelf walls can be a color like red yellow or even apple green. I love the room very cottage feeling a very cozy room:O)

LiveLikeYou said...

I love the bamboo with white curtain panels. Gives it a nice touch. I would leave everything else as is. Love the yellow. Maybe bring in the white with red banding on pillows in the red sofa. Lovely home!

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