HELP! Bought an older home and need ideas!

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Please, any suggestions for the photos attached! Paint? What kind of a color? My daughter thinks my pale yellow idea is gross. Paint the paneling? Paint the fireplace? I kind of like the brick, but..... please, ideas! The big BLANK wall is totally stumping us. Hubby hates wallpaper. Thank you, thank you!

q help bought an older home and need ideas
How to "handle" the "wall of nothing." Ideas?
q help bought an older home and need ideas
Paneling in living room and dining room.
q help bought an older home and need ideas
  19 answers
  • Barbara Pfister Barbara Pfister on Mar 11, 2017
    Paint out all the wood in white. Whitewash the brick. Add your favorite color to the walls. Simple, but pretty timeless.

  • 2dogal 2dogal on Mar 11, 2017
    Yes, you do need color! Love the wainscotting. You have a period house, as I do, so please be true to it.
    You can add color in furniture, pillows, paintings, throws, etc. Only you know what you can live with. I love green. Many don't so I would not advise you on wall color. Except to say keep it soft and neutral.
    The first thing I'd do is remove all pictures and regroup them all together. You can add color with a large bright painting.
    Second, all that furniture lined up like little soldiers is off-putting. The desk/chest is beautiful and needs to be showcased by itself. It also needs to be de-cluttered and the bird? grouping needs it's own showcase.
    The lamp table needs an easy chair (maybe one in a pleasing color) at an angle next to it for reading.
    A large rug in multiple colors would be nice.
    A key is to find something in colors you like, like the rug or large painting, then use the colors from that in strategic places around the room. Keep it to three colors, a main one, a secondary one with touches of the third. A spot of red or black also make things pop. Also need a plant or three.
    As far as the brick - and I have a wall of a brick fireplace too. People paint it. I think it just looks painted, and think it's another fad. I've elected to keep mine natural and work with it. A good cleaning really lightened it up. A large bright painting on the mantle helped. I have an antique copper fire extinguisher on the hearth that also brightens the area. The colors I've used are cream, a soft green and touches of blue with brown leather furniture.

  • Carole Carole on Mar 11, 2017
    Thank you! I had picked either the yellow or a light green! I love green, also. I like the idea of grouping the pictures. That one just looks lost. Thank you, I will show this to the other half and we will discuss.

  • John John on Mar 11, 2017
    I remodel and sell old homes. I recommend a hunter green with a tan trim. Get a large pattern wall stencil and adhere to wall with stencil repositionable adhesive spray. dab on paint with dobbers. DO NOT USE BRUSH WITH STENCILS!!!!!!!! I would use a large flower pattern like dahlia. For a textured wall use plaster wall stencils...they are thicker....fill the pattern with sheet rock mud....tree trunk pattern would look great. As for the paneling ....paint it a tan or grey color and use a stone work pattern stencil and fill the opening with darker shades of tan or grey ....finished product will look like a stone flower planter

  • John John on Mar 11, 2017
    forgot to tell you...using a brush with stencils allows the bristles to get under the stencil and you get streaking on your edges instead of sharp crisp edges

  • Carole Carole on Mar 11, 2017
    I like the idea of a stencil pattern! Now, I need to go and look at patterns. Leave fireplace natural brick?


    • See 1 previous
    • I would replace the gold fireplace insert with a new black or bronze... insert...
      It needs some color... change the wall colors and also make an accent color wall. Use Sherwin Williams paint it is the best..
      I provided pic of our old ugly fireplace and after we renovated it... excuse the hubbies feet....lol the accent wall is textured and painted.. Hope this helps..

  • Vik Vik on Mar 11, 2017
    Is this a house of late 70's vintage...perhaps in TX?

  • Carole Carole on Mar 11, 2017
    Close! Oklahoma.

  • Kayleen Kayleen on Mar 12, 2017
    Way over decorated, take half the stuff out and just add back what you truly love. Less is definitely more.

  • Marie Hoeffler Marie Hoeffler on Mar 12, 2017
    The paneling and wood built in next t

  • Carole Carole on Mar 12, 2017
    Today's living room....

  • Lori Kelly Lori Kelly on Mar 12, 2017
    this was a wall in my dining room. Notice how I mixed different sizes all together. That is what I would do to your wall behind your tv. Shelves to sit knickknacks on, maybe some little decorative baskets, etc. only you know what you like.

    • Carole Carole on Mar 17, 2017
      That's what my husband suggested we try! Great minds!

  • John John on Mar 13, 2017
    for the paneling...a cheap way to redo it is use contact paper...such as a marble pattern or if you like a floral pattern...seal with lacquer...just make sure all air bubbles are out by using a squeege

  • Linda Albert Linda Albert on Mar 13, 2017
    For the (bottom) paneled walls, , paint the paneling white. Lightly sanding, then priming, and finally paint. Use a soft color on the top walls, , light grey, or really lite aqua is soothing and both these colors are very popular.
    Trying just sample colors on different walls will make the decision easier.

  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Mar 13, 2017
    I'd paint the paneling and walls the same color -- and choose something neutral such as Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams.

    I'd remove the hutch/buffet and relocate it somewhere else. I'd purchase a new TV console/cabinet and then hang your TV up a bit on the wall. On each side of the new tv console, I'd put wood shelving for books, plants, decorative items, etc. I like the metal look with wood shelves, but you can do whatever your budget allows. Check craigslist or FB pages (buy/sell/trade) in your area for inexpensive pieces if your budget is tight.

    Good luck!


    • Carole Carole on Mar 17, 2017
      Hmn, some novel ideas there! I like the idea of shelving for books, etc!

  • Maury hill Maury hill on Mar 13, 2017
    Looks like you've hit upon a solution already; but if you still want some ideas (?):
    1. Looks like you have golden oak stained woodwork trim and for the piece by the fireplace... If you change the paneling on the wall in question, you may be committing to a huge job if like me, you think the continuity through out the house is important. If it is golden or honey oak, yellow paint on the wall would be a mistake. The yellow tones will fight with the paint color.
    2. What furniture I see is kind of a mix of styles, but it looks mostly formal rather than casual. If so, I'd take my cue from that and the existing paneling color and beautiful flooring.
    3. Consider adding large (minimum 8") crown molding in this room only. Match the stain color you have.
    4. Add a series of empty frames made of molding strips like on the paneling below. The biggest "frame would go around your wall mounted TV. Place your framed pictures within these frames. Possibly remat pictures in black, navy like the one just above TV on the right OR paint just the interiors of the new molding frames in black or navy and then hang your artwork inside. The molding frames should be fairly balanced in size openings themselves . Different size pictures inside those will be fine as long as you center them within each molded frame.
    5. Minimize small accessories or group them in odd numbers and different heights. Fewer but larger accessories will be better in that size room (and less to dust😊)!
    6. Perhaps an 8x11 or larger area rug in front of your seating area with just the front legs on the rug.

    I love color; but don't be afraid of dark colors. The room is large enough to handle them within the molding frames. So I'd focus on scale of items, painting the fireplace surround with a heat tolerant black matte finish paint, and keeping a traditional or formal tone.
    Good luck and post pictures.🏠

  • Marlene Haigh Marlene Haigh on Mar 15, 2017
    I would paint the walls a deep blue to complement your wood paneling. then bring in your favorite color as an accent with pillows, etc.

  • Lynn Lynn on Mar 15, 2017
    I would paint the paneling white...the room looks so bottom heavy. I'd paint the top a gray/blue...nothing dark. There is too much going on; take away 1/2 of the wall hangings or find a way to hang them in a group. It looks like just a mish-mash of things put up on the wall. A group of 3 or 5 at the most. Suggest a rustic/industrial shelf to put the pics on. Maybe even think about hanging the TV on the wall to get rid of the stand.
    Do a schmeer on the brick...antique it. It's easy and looks great.

  • Vic Nagy Vic Nagy on Mar 17, 2017
    Mississauga handyman Painting and Carpentry runs across this type of situation all the time. People by an older home with natural finished oak paneling and it seems out of place with the current trends. Just painting over the oak paneling will somehow disguise it but then they would look like painted over oak paneling. Lately we have actually been removing this wood trim work off the wall. This leaves a nice clean look not distracting from its surroundings. When someone has furniture they would like to display you don't want some additional furniture behind it which this wall paneling will be.