( I will interrupt in orange.)
I came across your blog and was very impressed! I have an apartment I want to put some creative touches in order to accomplish my goals:
1-Make the place look larger and possibly taller. You do this by keeping your wall colors light, and adding more of a vertical emphasis.
2-Improve the overall design/look. One way to do this is by increasing your variety of wall decor. I see a lot of walls with one picture on each wall. Check out this post where I addressed this in more detail.
3-Eventually add some better wall art.
A friend suggested the following:
1. Take one wall, the one with the TV, and make that all wallpaper, essentially the focus wall with a single color but a texture design of some sort. This wall is what you see first when you walk in. It is so good to get advice from friends. Especially when their own home is clearly well put together- it is a great idea. In your case- I am glad that you are asking for a second opinion. Do not break up the space by having a different wall surface on one wall. This will do the opposite when trying to make the room feel taller. What I would do with that wall is this: Eliminate the trunk- make it go away. It is giving the space a cluttered feel. Get a smaller table (if you have to), and pull it out from the wall. I see one at a pub height, with barstools that tuck in to save space. Replace your drapes on the slider, and add matching panels flanking this window. These strong vertical lines in the window treatments will help make your room feel like it has a higher ceiling. I would mount the drapes from the ceiling- maximizing the possible height. Use a clean simple black metal rod. Make sure the drapes go all the way to the floor, but do not puddle on the floor. Have them hit perfectly.
2. Add a chair rail on all 3 of the other walls, about 42inches in height and take the darker color on the bottom. No no no- a chair rail will emphasize the horizontal and make the room feel shorter! Plus- there is no reason to have a chair rail in a room small enough where you have to have the furniture against the wall like you do. It would be awkward. In addition I am not a huge chair rail fan to begin with- as shown in this post. Also- you have a modern contemporary feel to the room- and a chair rail is traditional and formal. Was I too blunt on that one? Don't have your friend read this- it might hurt his or her feelings.
3. Then above the couch add a molding frame long rectangle with accent color inside (darker inside) and leave about 10 inches of wall space on the outside of the lighter color. No- no no no...
4. Then on the other 2 walls add a molding frame as well to be able to hang art and such.
Attached are some photos... no- no.
hope these help.
Let me give you a few more ideas- You have a contemporary/modern feel going here- I love it- it says, "I'm a super cool dude." OK- maybe it doesn't say that exactly- but I say- keep with it- make it work even more- add more contemporary elements- not the traditional ones your friend suggested. Check out the artwork below from Mike Klung. A fabulous piece like this, hung horizontally above the sofa would be awesome. (you need a larger one- about 60 x 36 or so) It would fill a horizontal space with a horizontal item that has good scale and balance, but the nature of the piece itself would still add a vertical emphasis.
To give your room more style- consider grasscloth all around. This will add texture, warmth and interest. When selecting the paper- find one like the piece below with a subtle vertical line.
Here is a little unsolicited advice. This is where you are getting what I try not to ever give to my friends- but since we don't know each other... Your sectional is wrong. It covers up half of the slider... Christmas is coming- be good to yourself- go get a new sectional- facing the other direction- where the L comes out into the room on the left side, not covering up the window on the right side. I like the sectional below- from West Elm- it has a nice low back- which will make your walls appear taller again. I would go for the color as well- and the two trunk looking pieces for a coffee table. It would be fun.
I can't see much of your rug- but from what I see- it doesn't work like I'd like it to. It is the only strong pattern in the room. You can't have just one. Your patterns need to be in balance with each other. I see the place with a super subtle pattern like the one in the "sweater rug" from West Elm below. I like the name of it- "sweater rug." Isn't that inviting...
While I have you spending all of your money- add can lights also. The darkness of the ceiling adds to the lowering of it. Your track lights are good- but more lighting is needed. Have you read my rules on lighting? You need a minimum of five sources. Check out this post. In your case, I would add to what I told Kim- to put in can lights- in general- your room is too dark.