This post is a continuation of this previous post.
So about the living room. Feel free to offer advice about anything, but I think I want to concentrate on window treatments and the mantle next. After reading your blog I can see I probably should have gone for some more exciting blinds, but we barely put these up and they're here to stay. We tried to match the trim since I never want to paint trim again. Basically they're just supposed to blend in.
Right now we have all brown leather furniture--a couch and loveseat that go together (which are really comfy and, since we bought them new, I'd like to keep them), and another sofa (the one against the bay windows) that can move if it needs to. We really do need a lot of seating since we have to seat nine without company. I love the idea of using chairs with different patterns and colors of upholstery but am deathly afraid they wouldn't last long with babies spitting up, kids eating where they're not supposed to, etc. Any hints or tips?
I have a stepped ceiling in the entry, and a double stepped ceiling in the living room. Can I do something fun with paint on those?
I love the picture that you are putting over the fireplace, and thought that I would use the gold from the straw combined with the brown in the leather, as well as in the picture, as a basis for a color pallet. On your window, I would add six drapery panels. Let me start by telling you what not to do.
Look at this drapery add from Bed Bath and Beyond.
Notice the height at which the drapes are hung. Now, I would like you to be appalled. Yeah- shocking that a professional advertisement has drapes hung too short! They should PERFECTLY hit the floor. In your case the drapes will be purely ornamental- and you have limited space- so you will want a corner rod that allows you to have one drape round the corner- the Cosmopolitan hardware from Smith and Noble is one example. I had a hard time finding other examples that were easy to purchase. High end hardware lines are more likely to carry such items- but cost more- and not be as easily accessible over the internet. Has anyone seen any around? I know that my sister Debbie has simple hardware like this in her home- but she's out of the country right now...
So- now for the more decorative part. I suggest some pattern. Your art selection tells me that you are not going for stark modern- so where is the pattern? I will, like you suggested, start with the drapes. Do not use a solid. You will be able to do a solid less expensively- but don't be tempted. Go with a pattern. Your room needs it. I selected one for you from Pottery Barn.
Let me tell you why I chose this one- so if you elect to do a different pattern you can look for the same important elements.
#1 It had white in it. If you were to go with a fabric without white in it, it would add to the disconnect of the room. You can get away with this type of thing more in a large room with lots going on- but you have very little going on- so we need to be more particular. Include white. Make it look like the white blinds are all part of a beautiful master plan- not a decision you made because you wanted to play it safe-. :)
#2 This fabric also brings out the brown from the leather. This fabric can act as a unifier with your elements that you have in the room.
#3 Like I mentioned before- you need some pattern. This bold pattern is a great start.
However- one pattern is never enough. Regular readers of my blog know that I have a minimum requirement of three patterns per room. Let me help you add a couple more. One way you can do this is by adding an area rug. Some may think of area rugs as an item you would only use with hard floors- but I would feel free to add it right on top of the carpet. The rug below is from Rug's Direct.
I did say three patterns- so let's add another. Throw pillows are the obvious selection. Add some pattern to the furniture. Dwell Studio had the perfect collection.
I can't see your room quite well enough to help with furniture arrangement (you can send me a floorplan for more specific help). You did mention that you would like more seating, but were afraid of upholstered furniture with small children. Do I have any fantastic ideas? Well, let me start by saying that I have a combination of upholstery and leather, and we haven't had any disasters yet. At my kitchen table I have upholstered chairs with slip covers. The designer in my wanted upholstery-the softness the pattern- textural variety- there are so many advantages over an all wood set. However- the mom in me is a little frustrated that my five year old slip covers need to be replaced. The nice thing is that they can be washed. But- they don't last forever. You could get a chair like this one from overstock. It is an easy design to slipcover. (classic frames with arms can cost as much to slipcover as to replace.) But I'd start by simply waiting for it to get stained. (That is what I did with my kitchen chairs) It might last longer than you think. Aslo- it is not terribly expensive- so heart attacks won't be necessary when one of your adorable children spills or decides to paint... After it gets too much use- you have slipcovers made- which will lengthen its life. The slipcovered look is a terrific look too. Have one made with a little skirt like this one.
I said in my last post to add the reds golds and blues that you mentioned- but notice that as I gave it more thought- I would focus your pallet more on the golds.
Don't forget to add plants, and your photos look dark- consider the advice I gave to a different Kim.