I just found your website and I love it! We bought our first home about a
year and a half ago and I was hoping you could help me. My house has looked
bare for over a year now - I'm overwhelmed. I love a light, soft and
comfortable up to date/fresh style home. I have 2 small girls so have to be
practical. I have no idea how to accessorize or what to put on my walls! We
have an open living room/dining room in our small ranch and I just don't
know how to make this feel like home...if you could look at the pictures
attached you'll see what I mean~ any suggestions would be a huge help!
Hi Christine T. Thanks for writing in. I'd like to see you focus on three principles.
3. Focal Point
First - Pattern. I do see that you have used two patterns- which is nice- but when you look at the room overall- the larger items are all solid. You don't have enough pattern, and what you have is too weak.
A word about pattern. If you have a very modern home- avoiding patterns in fabrics is the way to go. Most of us- do not have modern architecture. Pattern is sometimes intimidating, people worry of tiring of it, and are not sure how to combine it. But- even though there are plenty of excuses - the result of being pattern shy- is seen in Christine T.'s photos. The home lacks personality.
I would bring in a stronger pattern on the window treatments. This gives you another opportunity. You have a low ceiling- what is it- 8'? You can make it look higher with drapes that go all the way to the ceiling. I think what people tend to do is say- oh, the 96 inch drape is too high, so I'll have to go with the 84 inch. When the better solution would be to go with the 96 inch drape and simply have it hemmed. Did the whole process cost more?- yes. But it was money well spent. You just increased the height of the ceiling! Really it is a bargin. Your drapes are also not full enough. One panel is not enough on such a wide window. Make it a totall of four panels- or two double wides if you have them custom made. (If I were you- while I was over there working on my windows I would up your texture by replacing your white wood blinds with woven Roman shades. ) Add a set of panels to the dining room as well. The drapes you select will serve as your unifier, your inspiration, your color pallet.
#2 Contrast. Look at your furniture and your rug. Beige beige beige, mixed with some dark taupe. If I weren't drinking a Diet Coke, I would seriously be asleep righ now. Wake up your room with contrast. Contrast in tone, contrast in hue. You need some contrast. I would start with your rug. This gives you more opportunity to increase pattern while we are at it. Just becasue you have young children, doesn't mean your rug needs to be the color of dirt. As a mother of four- with the oldest age 9, I feel qualified to make that statement. A rug like the one below will make it look like the sofa was a terrific deliberate decision, not a "that doesn't look like it will show anything" decision.
Your dark sofas need some stronger contrast as well. I would increast the number of pillows. Keep them light, brightening up your dark sofa. This also gives you a third strong pattern in the room.
33. Your focal point. I like your TV above your fireplace. A single focal point it nice to work with. But now, we need to make that wall look much "cooler." I would start by putting your components next to the chair as a side table rather than having them against the wall. It is bad rhythm to have them next to the fireplace. Now, you have two, fairly symetrical sides to the fireplace. I would use a set of two paintings here. Why paintings instead of other wall decor? I want to introduce more color into the walls.
I found this painting on Overstock.com. I would get two paintings, similar in style and color, same artist, similar sizes. For the novice, it is much easier to go symmetrical than to try and balance asymmetrical.
What to do on your other walls? Things other than art. Start an antique plate collection. Go antiquing and look for random cool stuff. Add some wall shelves. Add two sconces on either side of your french doors. (Allowing room to stack off your drapes. Your art above your sideboard is a good scale and size. Your set of six small frames is too small for the wall you have it on. Your furniture arrangement, by the way, is very good. Well done. :) You also have great wood floors and a nice fireplace. I also think your paint color is just fine. I would consider adding crown molding before doing your drapes. Do all of that and write me back and we can address your lighting.
Drapes and pillows from Pottery Barn, rug from homedecorators.com, art from overstock.com