What to do with this living room

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Answered
I love the stained glass and the details of the fireplace and bookcases. I need to know what colors to use and if it is all to busy. Suggestions?
q what to do with this living room
  26 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Mar 31, 2018
    personally I would paint the fireplace the same color as the wall
  • Elizabeth Ronis Elizabeth Ronis on Mar 31, 2018
    It is very busy If possible, paint them the same color as the walls so they will blend it, white, lt. grey, ivory. If the cabinets can be moved, use them elsewhere and them you can emphasise the fireplace and the windows. Too symmetrical to be interesting. are white paint them the same color . I
  • Edie Pfeifer Edie Pfeifer on Mar 31, 2018
    Removing the glass doors would cut down on the "busy" look. Alternately, you could replace them with solid doors. Paint the shelves, mantel, and window trim, several shades lighter than the tile color. A large, simply framed mirror in the center. Be careful not to clutter the shelves with too many accessories.
  • Sharon Sharon on Mar 31, 2018
    You could paint the fireplace chocolate brown to get rid of the busyness. Then you could possible put a thin stripe of the same chocolate paint around both frames on the windows or on the book cases, which would tie the colors all together. The colors of the fireplace make it busy!
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Mar 31, 2018
    I agree with taking the doors off the built in shelves, perhaps even have less shelves so that you could put in a few taller things. The mirror suggestion would work out very nicely. As far as being too busy, if you lightened up the red brick to be closer to the neutral of the rest of the fireplace, it would cut down the blatant contrast that is a little too much contrast for everything else that is on that wall, it also may make the stained glass windows stand out more and be more of a feature for the wall.
  • Marie Rother Marie Rother on Mar 31, 2018
    The fireplace is the elephant in the room
    no pun intended
    you might want to cover the facade with tile o blend with the beautiful windows
    • Fran Fran on Apr 02, 2018
      I agree. It’s the fireplace that’s too busy. Resurface or paint it so the beautiful stained glass windows are the show stopper.
  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 31, 2018
    Colour them all the same neutral colour as walls, or paint the bookcases the darkest colour on the fireplace, or change the fire surround as it is rather busy what with the windows and ofcourse the things going into the cabinet, but if it is the thing you love most, you might need to put blinds or lace curtains over windows.............Put a big mirror on chimney breast.
    • Fran Fran on Apr 02, 2018
      O no!!!!! Don’t cover the windows. That are the best part of the wall
  • As always I am the oddball. I absolutely LOVE this and would be jumping for joy! However, I would re tile the fireplace surround, either go neutral or choose something to make it stand out. Add lighting inside the cabinets. Yes it looks "busy" but right now it is naked and not staged or decorated. By keeping the glass doors, it keeps it "light and airy" whereas if you go with solid doors, it will be heavy and clunky. Once the room has furnishings and the cabinets filled with colorful items, it will take on a completely different look. You gotta trust me on this one. Or . . . Get help staging one side and see the difference for yourself. I would have bought the house based on this feature alone.
    • See 1 previous
    • You and me both! I cringe when people rip this stuff out. A flipper purchased an old craftsman style and ripped every single bit of charm and character out in order to "modernize" it. Sat on the market for over 5, yes 5 years. Another flipper/restoration specialist (that I know), made a low ball offer, and got it. She spent more than a year putting it all back together. Sold in one week over asking price.
  • Beth Beth on Mar 31, 2018
    (1) Remove the doors from the bookcases, period. (2) If you REALLY love the brick color and it goes with your decorating scheme, well, okay -- then paint the back wall of the bookcases the same color as the darker shade of bricks to make one seamless flow of dark color across the bottom of that wall and fill the shelves sparingly. If you're not married to the brick color, then PRIME and paint the bricks the trim color. (3) As to using a mirror above the mantel, a mirror is only as good as what it reflects, so make sure if you choose to use one, it reflects something beautiful (such as a nice view) and not a ceiling fan or just nothing (in which case it appears as just a plain frame!). Personally, I suggest 3 empty but interesting frames of various sizes sitting on the mantel, sort of layered. (4) Place a nice palm 2/3 the height of the fireplace in the corner near the doorway and a chunky textured basket of colorful pillows and a throw on the hearth on the window side.
  • Kiturah Humphrey Kiturah Humphrey on Mar 31, 2018
    Like Naomi, I love it. Not too busy just full of character. With the lovely glass everywhere I vote you paint it your most favorite color.
  • Stefanie Stefanie on Apr 02, 2018
    Start with the colors of the stained glass. Simplify the fireplace by priming and painting a solid rusty orange brick color like the color of the glass, or the original darker brick. Paint the walls a light shade of gray/green to pull the color from the window. Trim and bookcases should stay creamy white. Could put gathered ivory sheer fabric on the back, behind the glass doors, to softens the look. Would love to see your after pictures. 😊Stef@refresh.com
    • Fran Fran on Apr 02, 2018
      I agre. Make the windows the basis if decorating the wall.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Apr 02, 2018
    Your room is STUNNING! The style today is very white and sedate...which is beautiful...but which may be considered "out of style" before your paint dries.

    With that said, be careful about painting over something like that very unique fireplace! It looks like you are in an older house that has a lot of old character that should be "embraced" rather than "destroyed!"

    Those closed bookcases are a blessing...it keeps the dust off of everything!!!

    Keep the room just as it is and add color with a large bright rug and coordinating color sofas and/or sofa and chairs grouped to face the fireplace with a new flat screen above. A unique coffee table, some side tables, a few throw pillows and you are ready to relax.

    When you need to know a color to use, there is a common thought with paint...if you need to pick a color to go with another color, look across on the color wheel. That looks like "rust" in the fireplace, so you would want to go to the "bluegreen" pallet. Keep in mind that "bluegreen" does not have to be dull and can be enhanced with some stronger, lighter of that color in pillows and throws and perhaps some colors in your rug!


    There are so many large rugs available today that will certainly give you years of service for a minimum price...so you don't have to spend thousands on an expensive heirloom!!!

    Here is a link to show you some rugs at a reasonable price. Scan down and find the "The Curated Nomad Elsie Abstract Coastal Rug" which is a pleasant abstract with both rust and blue in it! You do not need a pad under this rug on a wooden floor if you buy on large enough for your furniture to anchor it.


    Be sure and post photos of your finished project!!


  • 2dogal 2dogal on Apr 02, 2018
    That looks like original Craftsman style. Glad you are keeping it original as it is getting rare to find (and valuable). Please, do not paint the fireplace. I'd use that wall as my focal point, keep everything simple, and use touches of the brick color in pillows or maybe a vase around the room.
  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Apr 02, 2018
    Love the craftsman styling, personally I would not change anything except that fireplace tile...its just to much. Google craftsman style fireplaces for tile suggestions.

    My number one suggestion would be to take it back down to the original wood and stain it...it would definitely pop.
  • Angus021461 Angus021461 on Apr 02, 2018
    You could take out the cabinets and replace with built in seats. Keep them windows. Paint or refinish the fireplace surround.

  • Jcraw Jcraw on Apr 02, 2018
    I love the fireplace. I’d start by painting the wall above the same deep red. It will make your ceilings seem taller and tie in the stained glass. The mantle-top a cross between the deep tan and your floors.
    Honestly, I’d then stand back and let my brain process it, the way you do when looking at art or building a great outfit for an occasion.
    Id think about the broader pieces of woodwork that deep tan on the fireplace; window and door trim, and wider trim on bookcases. I’d think about painting the mullions til last. In the meantime, I’d keep my eyes out for deep red books, or fabric/paper to cover them. A few deep red jardiniers or bowls, whatever, for inside those cabinets. A pair of the same red side-panel curtains to the floor, no tie back. These could be linen, slub “silk, or burlap. But they’d have texture. Extend your curtain rods beyond the windows so you don’t need tie backs but still have the drama and it will pull your eyes around the room and maintain the balance. Lower your sheers to the bottom half of the window (to the floor). You can raise the screen in your window To the top so you can get your airflow through the top of your windows. Less comfortable for thieves too.
    Take it slowly. You have a real gem here. Dare to not be all beige and white, because you’ll never get it back.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 02, 2018
    I lwould put solid glass doors on the cabinets (to avoid dusting). I'd try painting other trims, etc. rather than paint the fireplace.
  • Diane Diane on Apr 02, 2018
    You have a beautiful Craftsman style going on. You could research colors used in homes like yours. Love the ideas for painting the upper wall that deep red! Please don’t change the doors, they are charming and not that hard to keep clean!
  • Missy Burch Missy Burch on Apr 02, 2018
    You could do so much much with this room- the ideas are endless. If you don't like the brick color- paint over it. Then start with painting the walls & cabinets. You could also do something on the glass cabinets, to change them up. You could ad led lights inside. There are so many possibilities here.
  • Laura Laura on Apr 02, 2018
    The doors on the bookcases are lovely. I would definitely paint the fireplace; a monochromatic color would allow the beauty of the stained glass windows to shine! Are you a fan of Fixer Upper on HGTV? You might check the second photo as the layout is similar to yours. Good luck!


  • Kposies Kposies on Apr 05, 2018
    THE DARK PATTERNED FIREPLACE SURROUND IS WHAT IS MAKING IT TOO BUSY, AND THE CURTAINS. DEPENDING ON YOUR FURNISHINGS, PAINT THE FP SURROUND TO COORDINATE BETTER WITH THE BOOKCASES (ALSO THE DARK SECTIONS ON BOTTOM OF BOOKCASES). USE SIMPLY HUNG DRAPERIES IN HEAVIER FABRIC (NOT SHEER TIEBACKS). PAINT INSIDE OF BOOKSHELVES SAME COLOR AS OUTSIDE.
  • Emily Emily on Apr 05, 2018
    I totally agree with Naomie. DO NOT remove those bookcases! They are what makes this room interesting and I might add VALUABLE. I can not make out the design on the fireplace surround. In fact is that a real fireplace. Maybe a change there but please do not change the windows or the bookcases. They are original.
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Apr 05, 2018
    Leave the fireplace as is. Whatever your decorating scheme is, this will work. Painted fireplaces really bring down the property's value. Painting a fireplace is trendy thing that will pass. The beauty of brick will endure.
  • Barb Barb on Apr 07, 2018
    Stunning and perfect for an traditional Asian livingroom. Add oriential rug in red tones,gold black tones to complement the fireplace. Add wall madallion over the fire place or a flat screen tv and accents inside the bookcases. Colorful reader digest books from the thrfit stores , under the paper cover are jewel tones. Add pillows in red,blacks and golds. Hobby lobb, homegoods and marshals have a lot of items to pull that look off. Here‘s A few picture ideas.
    best of luck and I wish you lived near me I surely would help
  • Sha32471224 Sha32471224 on Apr 07, 2018
    Light gray walls & Bright white wood Retile fireplace with gray pattern
  • Joline Cosman Joline Cosman on Apr 09, 2018
    Do you like the fireplace ?? You are asking for opinions. Min is, paint te fireplace ! You could cover it with tile, too. Can't really see those windows. Are you bold or not so much ? Lol I would darken the walls to maybe a med grey. Take the doors off and aint, or paper the walls inside for surprise. Good luck, and report back !!!
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