Need help decorating the front room
The front room of our house is approximately 13' x 20' and is rarely used. Right now it is painted yellow with white trim but I hate the color. The furniture in it is junk so all of it is going to the dump. I'll have a clean slate to work with and I'm at a loss of what to do. Here are some of my ideas and questions...any suggestions are WELCOME and appreciated!
I’m aiming for a coastal cottage look for this room to tie in with other areas of the house.
Wall A – I’d like to put built-in bookshelves here. Right now we have two end tables, a coffee table, an entertainment center hutch, a bookshelf, and another side table with various knick-knacks and pictures. I’d like to get rid of it all and put all the accessories on this wall of shelves.
Questions: Should I do the entire wall, or center the shelving so that it only takes up a majority of it (perhaps put plants in the corners of the room)? I’d like to have closed storage at the bottom and shelves at the top. Does it look better to have the shelving all the way to the ceiling, or should we stop short and perhaps put lights on top of the unit? The backs of the shelving will be beadboard. We decided against a fireplace or an area for a TV in the shelving because we rarely use the room and it’s a waste of space/money.
Wall B – At a loss as to what to do with this wall. It’s a huge span of nothingness. Should I get one gigantic picture to put above the couch, or do a photo gallery (ala Michaels Hang Your Own Gallery or something similar with nautical/coastal pictures)? My fear is that doing a gallery with different sized frames would make it look too congested, especially with the shelving.
Wall C – Right now all that is hanging on this wall is a 16x20 picture of DH and I on our wedding day. I wanted to paint horizontal stripes on this wall and decorate it with wood cutouts of our initials and pictures of our family. I’m posting a picture of it under the room plan. I’m not sure if this will be the best place for it – but we like that our wedding picture is the first thing we see when we enter the house.
Wall D: Another option for the photo gallery of the hubs and I. We have an entryway bench with baskets underneath for storage that will stay here. The doorway isn’t as big as shown in the plan but there is a closet right behind the door so I’ve figured that into the space.
Windows: There are two windows in the room but there isn’t a lot of natural light coming in because we have a covered front porch. Right now we have sheers hanging up that filters the light that does come in. I’d like to hang curtain panels so that they frame the sides of the windows, and was thinking about getting plantation shutters for the bottom portion of the windows. That way we still have privacy but the top portion of the window is unblocked. Would this look weird? I’d love to leave them completely open (no sheers or shutters) but I’m too skeeved out about people looking into the house when they walk down the porch to our door.
And paint. The shelves, ceiling and trim will be white. Other than that I’m pretty open with color. I’d like a coastal color (some samples below) and was thinking about painting the bead board in a very light color to give some contrast to the items that will be on the shelving. The color used behind the shelves will be the color I use on the striped wall. I need something neutral for the main walls.
I'm sorry this is so long..so many ideas and not a clue on how to tie it all together!
Could you do a quick floorplan? It is a little hard to follow you. Having one will help you arrange furniture (it is so much easier to try a sofa in different locations with mouse clicks than for real!), buy flooring/rugs etc. Let us know what colors you have that will not change---flooring and woodwork for examples? Please show flow into other rooms and talk a bit about their color schemes too.
What time of day are you most likely to be using the room. Since you said you seldom use it, what purpose will it serve? If you liked it better would you use it more?
I use Sweet Home 3D for floorplans. It is free, open source, multi-platform software with a low learning curve. A scaled sketch will work too.
Sorry about that, I had a floor plan in my original post but I have no idea what happened to it. :)
All the trim in the room (baseboards, chair rail, crown, window/door casing) is currently white. The floors are oak parquet and will be changed at a later date - we are looking into 5" hardwood planks that are hand rubbed. There isn't a specific time of day that the room will be used. I'm mostly updating it since it is the first room we enter when we walk in the front door and right now it's a hot mess. It's a blank slate since there isn't any furniture in the room now that we are keeping.
Just a couple of stark contrasting approaches as discussion points to get us started. I don't know your taste in furnishings and how formal or casual you are. I am still not clear how you plan to use this front room if for anything but show.
Anyhow, I played with the free color visualizer from Benjamin Moore and came up with two color combinations for your reaction in general terms. You have lots of light in that room (and you could augment it at night with some nice firefly type track lighting) so you could go with fairly rich hues.
In any event picture the wall color with the photos on it in the sample photo as your hall wall beyond the space. I think the colors would transition to your coastal cottage soft blue hues (I am guessing) elsewhere? The darker colors may be too formal for you but you mentioned lots of molding which sort of adds formality?
I think these colors would go nicely with parquet or your future flooring. You might look into large plank bamboo as the good stuff comes in just about any color you could want.
As for the one long wall? Many of my clients were art galleries so I could certainly find you a dramatic piece for a 20' wall but plan on spending $$$$ on something that is special enough for that much space. I think you might be better off with an arrangement of smaller pieces. Or a tryptych or something?
A nice wallpaper might be nice for this room too? Again, something tasteful. But I encroach on territory better served by an interior designer.
I only do color and have had many as clients. I do not get into buying furnishings, fabrics and all that but they do and can provide you with access to things you cannot get off the floor at retail places. Most work mainly on commission they get on things they buy for you and they can get them cheaper. Think about working with one? I think you would enjoy the experience too. I have always benefited from those who have worked for me or for clients. Some retail places may have a few on hand or a list. Ask around. The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has a list of members in your area I am sure.
Oh well. Let me know if I am anywhere near on the same page with what you have in mind in terms of color. I am happy to spend some time sharing possibilities in that regard. The visualizer is fun to play with by the way and one color exploration tool I use a lot. I have also posted how to grab pixels from any color scheme you like and translate to paint colors if you search other posts of mine. I should post the routine to a permanent section here.
This is the couch I plan to get for this room, it will be placed on the long wall (Wall B) with a stripped rug and two wicker chairs in front of the windows. Pretty casual.
Here is a link to my pinterest board where I've been posting ideas for this room, it might give you an idea of the feel that I'm going for. For the long wall, I'd love to do a picture gallery but would it look to 'busy' since the adjacent wall (Wall A) will be ceiling to floor shelves? The shelves will hold various knick-knacks and photos of family, and I wasn't sure how a grouping of prints would look on the long wall. http://pinterest.com/kimmersvb/living-room/
I love the Cinnamon Slate color but I'm not sure if it would work with the coastal blues/greens that I like. Hm.
And you are right that this room will be just for show. Our future plans include a kitchen remodel where Wall B would be coming down, which will create an open floor plan in the living room/kitchen area. But that is many years away - if we ever get to it.
Your printerest file was really helpful and I will play some more with color flow later today as the morning demands attention elsewhere.
Meanwhile I will post my procedure for converting a color screen pixel to four of the nearest paint chips (and some ink and fabric dyes) of major manufacturers. This may be helpful to you as you explore paint color.
1. Make sure your monitor is set to the industry standard for talking about color which is 6500K. You will find an automatic display profile setting for this in the settings menu.
2. Load a pixel grabber. There are lots of free options. I use the one in Color Impact, a color exploration tool I use a lot but it cost $40-50 for a license (think it has a free trial period though). I also really like the pixel grabber part of PicPick which is a freeware program. Just be careful loading it as it tries to get you to load a bunch of bloatware you really do not want and that has nothing to do with its functionality or purpose.
3. Load an image you want to use to grab pixel color.
4. Load the pixel grabber and roll your cursor around the image until you hit a pixel with the color you want to capture. Click to capture the pixel color code. You will have options but what you want is the RGB code or the HTML code. I am just in the habit of working with RGB but up to you.
5. Go to www.easyrgb.com---a free web service. Use the onboard, one-time monitor calibrator to tweak your monitor. This only takes a minute and if you set it already to 6500K you should be close.
6. In easyrgb.com select "from RGB to commercial tint" (tab on top of page). Enter the color code you captured. Pick a major paint company color collection (Benjamin Moore Color Preview Collection, for example). Hit start.
7. The system will display the four closest matches to your color code with their color names and chip numbers.
You can use this information to plug the colors into a virtual painting program like that for Benjamin Moore that I used. Sherwin Williams has one also. With such programs you can either pick a pre-masked room similiar to yours to paint or you can upload actual photos of your room, spend a bit of time masking different paint areas with easy to use tools, and paint your own room.
You can also use the paint codes the easyrgb.com at the paint store as a starting point to gather actual paint chips, sample bottles, or to have a sample quart mixed before you commit to gallons of paint. People like me and some paint stores can order you free giant swatches you can staple to the wall to try out as well.
Note that easyrgb does not have box store brands. But you really were going to use real paint store paint anyhow right?
If you have an accurate color calibrated printer? You can also use the code you grabbed with the pixel grabber to print out a large color swatch on photo paper. Just make a square in a free program like DRAW (in OpenOffice) or paint.net and fill it with the color code. Then, if you like it after looking at it stapled to the wall for a time you can take it to a paint store with a color scanner and they will convert it to a custom paint formula for you.
Thank you for the suggestions on playing with paint. I'll have to take pictures of our space so I can get a better idea of how it will look with different colors. This will be my 4th time painting this room and I'm over it. :) I might go with something neutral for the main wall color and use color behind the bookshelves (Wall A) and on the accent wall (Wall D)...but I'm not completely sold either way.
Light is an issue so bold/dark colors may not be an option. Although there are two windows in the room, there is a covered porch on the other side of them that blocks natural sunlight. I have sheers on the windows now for privacy, but even those make the room seem dark.
So, with your additional input I took two images from your file that really jumped out at me with possibilities depending on how much color you want to introduce. See attached the source images I picked and color saturation and value explorations of the pallettes I abstracted from them.
Personally I though the pallettes labeled blue gray offered a special richness or something and some subtle rich grays against which photographs and things would really stand out. So, I made you a blend and added some color "noise" to show you other hues you might add. The blend is a straight line between the start and end colors on the top of the value and saturation explorations. Of course any in the blend could be intensified to be brighter or stronger if you wanted and kept the practice to small bursts of color.
I also thought natural upholstery colors, whitewashed or lime waxed floors and cabinets, driftwood table bases would look spectacular and you could add just about any temperature of lighting and not shift the color scheme much.
All that said, it is more subtle than what I called beach tints. It could be fun to try the beach tint colors in individual rooms but getting the color to flow through all the spaces might turn a bit loud?
Obviously my prior suggestions did not fit your additional input so scrap them! Use my method to grab any pixels in these charts or the blend (I used the free one part of PicPick for these) and convert to paint codes you can plug into the virtual paint programs via easyrgb. The explorations were all done in Color Impact if you want to try and play with it.
Thank you! Sorry it took so long for me to get back here, my daugther is changing rooms and I've been busy clearing out 4 years of junk and painting. :)
I love the blue/gray color palette, and from what I see on the bottom scheme, those colors will look great with green/teal. Subtle is good...I can bring in bold colors through the accessories that are going on the built ins, pillows, etc. I've realized over the past few days how much I really loathe painting...but love the end result.
We have a framed canvas harbor scene that was painted by my grandfather-in-law that has similar colors to the blue/gray palette - I might try to talk DH into letting me hang it in the front room. It's a pretty large piece so I think it would go great on the long wall. It's hanging in our den right now and I'd completely overlooked it until you posted those colors. :)
In looking at the blend I did for you myself over the last days, I am really liking the possibilities too. As you say, you can intensify any of the hues in the blend or the other examples I gave you. I think working with it will give you nice color flow through the house if you want to carry it that far.
Are you comfortable with my method for converting the color of screen pixels to paint names and numbers via easyrgb.com? I hope I explained it in a manner easy to follow.
We have very similar color schemes throughout our house. The kitchen is still a work in progress, but we painted the cabinets a light tan color and the walls are similar to the middle top color in the second color palette in the beach tints you posted. The den is done in muted colors (sage and beige) and has a nautical theme. The furniture in this room has been replaced since this picture was taken, but above the couch is the canvas I mentioned earlier.
I haven't had a chance to play around with the paint visualizers yet but I'll try to over the weekend. If the weather ever decides it wants to clear up we're going to start prepping the exterior of the house for paint. I only have a two-week break from school and we've scheduled a million projects to do. Too bad I didn't have a two-week vacation from work too, I'd get much more done. :)
You can use the color of white and baby pink. It will surely add to the elegance of your home.
There are many accessories available in a market which can help you to give complete coastal cottage look to your front room. You may use pleated fabric shades on your windows to give them perfect look. You may select various types of shelves like, modern shelves and store shelves for your wall and can also use small size picture frames on wall. If you are more confused with your wall and whole room interior design, you may simply hire a professional interior decorator to get catchy look for your front room.
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