I was at Karen's house today. She wanted to decorate her family room and didn't know where to begin. I am not a big fan of the little niche above the fireplace. (and hate the accent paint color) I find most of those awkward and busy. I suggested that she find a piece of artwork that would completely cover it, making it look as if it is not even there. Her "hole" was 46 x 38. With that said, that is a good place to start. Whenever you have a lot of restrictions on an item, in this case, a very specific size, that is a good place to start. If you had to add that, a minimum size, PLUS, it has to match things..., then it would get much harder to find something without paying to customize it in some way.
And so, I started with the artwork over the fireplace. I found this piece, 48 w x 40 H. Now we also have a color pallet to start working with.
When it came to her furniture placement, I thought, I recently saw a family room almost exactly like this one. So- let's re-use the furniture advice from Hanna's family room.
First select a sectional. Here is one from Macy's.
Then we need to find a couple of chairs as well.
In Hanna's Family Room I suggested a coffee table with two pouffs. This same arrangement can be done in a lot of different combinations. For Karen's family room, I am adding an ottoman instead of the coffee table, and two rattan footstools in place of the pouffs. There is no right or wrong. The idea is to have a variety of textures. Avoid the matching set. Karen has a matching end table and coffee table. Keep the end table, and use it with these items.
I loved the vibrant colors in this ottoman from Anthropologie. Whereas the sectional and chairs were pretty conservative, this piece adds a big splash of fun and personality. Something to make the room look unique. Something memorable.
The Hana ottoman from Palaceck is full of textural variety.
Karen needs to replace her carpet. One of my favorite sources, (the brand I have used in each of my personal three homes and loved) is Masland. I really am a Masland commercial. They should be paying me. For Karen I selected Pariament, color River Thames. Here is where I would find the paint color. She definitely needs to paint. For anyone considering painting a small portion of their room red, like this entertainment area, look at this and don't do it! I think it looks horrible. (Karen didn't do it by the way- it was the previous owner. ;-) I would suggest something light and neutral. The room is going to look great with our great selections. It doesn't need some bright paint color. Consider something like Urban Putty by Sherwin Williams, 7532. (You need sample quarts, I can't really select paint without the carpet and fabrics in my hot little hands.) Removing that accent wall, and having it all one color, will make the most wonderful difference! What a great example of a disaster of an accent wall.
Add nice white moldings in Swiss Coffee.
Now look over at her table/eating area. Her furniture is good. The drapes are too short, and they break the cardinal rule by not hitting the floor. I call them highwaters.
(not the cool- gay guy highwaters- the geeky kind)
Get some new drapery panels that are the 108" length, and hang them to land exactly on the floor, not half an inch above, but also not puddled. (drapes below from Pottery Barn)
Now look at her light fixture. It is hung too high, it is too small, it is a bad color, and it is the wrong shape. Other than that it is great. ;-)
In an area like that, go with a rectangular shape, mimicking the shape of the table and the room, and hang it lower, about 36" over the table. I found the fixture below from Shades of Light.
Then you just need to add a coordinating table runner, and a rectangular shaped centerpiece would be great. You could find a long bowl for fruit, or a rectangular shaped green centerpiece of some kind. Maybe take up growing wheat grass.
Can you see how that repetition of shape looks so much nicer, and makes the room feel good? OK- now picture the rectangular table with the round light, now the rectangle. Can you see the difference in your mind?
Re-read the advice to Hanna on lighting the room, and don't forget a live plant in a corner. Add throw pillows to bring in more personality and color.
P.S. Check out my Facebook page today- I have some terrific pictures of the Hand Chair by Pedro Freidberg.