I've been faithfully following your blog, and I've read every single post you have written.
I am a desperate woman, in dire need of your blunt help with my family room.
This is our main room for TV watching and entertaining, and I kind of hate it. It does not feel cozy or balanced to me.
We ripped up the carpet and put down the hardwoods to match the existing that was everywhere else in house. I removed the 8 x 11 rug I had in there (this one), as I wanted something a bit bigger and not so brown. I like traditional Persian and oushak rugs; however I don't want a red-dominant one. My very patient husband has driven me all over NY, NJ and CT the last few months to go rug shopping. I've not found any Persians I'm overly keen on, so I was considering a seagrass rug and then punching up the pattern by replacing the linen drapes with something graphic (something like this? , or maybe this? ). I know you like a minimum of 3 in a room.
I thought you might tell me to put the TV on the fireplace. We tried that, and it was too high and hurting our eyes.
I plan on removing existing vertical blinds left by previous homeowner and installing Roman shades, probably in a woven. If you want me to keep the flax linen drapes, I will have them hemmed and weighted, and also get a longer rod to increase the stack off to the side of the windows.
The only thing I really like in this room are the Greek key pillows I had made.
I was planning on having the armchairs reupholstered in something very graphic. I am at a loss on what to do with the huge wall behind couch. I have a 6.5ft long mirror I was considering, but that still doesn't take up the length of the wall.
My house is a traditional New England colonial, and the rest of my house is done in greys, taupes and blues. Those, along with light green, are the colors I gravitate towards. I'm including some photos of our living room (the blue room, or where our furniture goes to die) in case you want to tell me to use any of this furniture in the family room. The living room is currently a TV/train table room for the kids until we finish the basement. It will be dealt with at a later time.
I am excellent at following directions, and I hope that you can help me. I promise to take pictures and show you what I've done.
Cheers, and thank you ever so much,
Your wood floors are beautiful! Good move!
I want to address three things with you that will make all the difference in the room:
1. Your TV
2. Your big blank wall
3. The Cozy Factor (or lack of it)
Let's start with your television. Yes, it's true that the first thing I would say is, put it above the fireplace or move it to a different room. So- now that it is staying in this room, and not above the fireplace, I do have another plan for you. What is really wrong with having it like it is, is your rhythm. It is very poor rhythm the way it is. To improve that, I added two large shelves, and set it on an angle on one of them. The height of the shelves (from Dovetail), gives a different type of rhythm and balance to the wall. Is it as perfect as no TV at all? No- but it is a good solution that doesn't sacrifice your furniture arrangement and balance that I am trying to achieve in the space. Number 2- that big wall. You have two ways of dealing with the large empty wall. First, you could have a large collection of wall decor. One large mirror will not do the trick. It would still be out of scale with the massive size of the wall. Or, secondly, you could add furniture to the wall. When you do this, you change the scale for the wall decor. Instead of having a relationship with the wall it is on, the wall decor now has a relationship with the furniture that it is over. The piece below is 94 inches in length. That is great. With that said, your furniture should have a scale relationship with the wall. I did this by using a very long buffet table, and then also adding two sconces on either side.
Do you see how I took you from having to cover 240 inches of wall down to about 70 inches? You're welcome.
Now for the cozy factor. Your room is not cozy because:
First of all, your furniture is too small. Get larger, taller furniture. I selected a couple of pieces for you from Bernhardt. Nothing is cozier than a wing back. It's like you're being hugged as you sit there.
I also selected for you a sofa that is a larger scale than your current one, and with a softer fabric, and a higher back and arm. The larger size with be a better scale for the room, taking away the awkward "I'm too small" look that you have.
I also added two large ottomans for the center. They push right together to look like one. An oversized ottoman, or oversized coffee table, could serve the same purpose. However, you would pay quite a bit more generally for an oversized piece. Using two is sometimes a cost saver.
This is the Ulster ottoman from Bernhardt.
Secondly, the scale of the patterns in the room make a difference as well. Larger patterns in darker colors brings a large room in. I just went off your pillows and selected a rug and fabric for you. This rug is from Uttermost:
Of course, sometimes a rug is like a piece of art, and you might want to stumble upon the one that is perfect for you. Either way, you could get a jute or sisal rug, (9 x 12) and then later layer a patterned rug on top of it in an 8 x 10. When you are purchasing a very expensive rug, this can save you thousands of dollars. It also increases your textural variety, and can buy you time if you want to take your time on the second rug.
I would not use your soft fabric on the drapes. The bolder option you had selected is alright. I also found one from Lee Jofa for you.
Again, the bolder print will make your large room come in closer.
Texture is the third aspect that will make a room cozier. Ramp up your texture in your rugs, woven wood Roman shades layered with a textured drapery fabric, soft upholstery fabrics and plants. Wallpaper would also be a terrific addition.
A few more additions:
A bench for under your window. This gives the room a good rhythm, as well as additional seating. It can be pulled around to the front of the fireplace for a boxed seating arrangement with a larger gathering.
A blue lamp. Repeat the blue a couple more times to make it really work great in the room.
I added the blue lamp on a sofa table behind one of your sofas. Remember that good lighting also makes a room feel cozy.
(table from Dovetail)
You will need a few more lamps in that large room. I added some buffet lamps on the console, and a floor lamp.
(lamps are from Uttermost)
Here you go- see it all put together: