Help me soften this room

by Kristen
Pics 1-3 reflect the "feel" I'm going for... Pics 4 and 5 are what I currently have (please ignore mess above fireplace, lamps, and printer on buffet - those are just temporary).
  11 answers
  • Shari Shari on May 20, 2016
    Well I think you're *almost* there. I would suggest adding some gray scale or black & white art in white frames around the mirror. The dark cabinet under the mirror looks a bit visually heavy compared to your inspiration rooms so I would consider lightening it with either some white or gray paint. You wouldn't have to paint the whole thing, maybe just the lower part and leave the top dark, or perhaps paint it to resemble the cabinet in the 2nd photo. In addition to the pillows you already have, some nubby light gray pillows (similar to the sofa fabric in the 2nd pic) would add some texture to your smooth leather sofa. Since your sofa is large, you could throw in a solid black pillow (or 2) also. You might also want to consider a black iron or white coffee table. I think I would look for one in a round or oval shape since you have so many lines in the room (lines in your rug, the trim on your drapes, the sofa is basically straight, stripes on one of the pillows etc.) Your walls look really beige in the photos (but I realize that could just be the lack of natural lighting in the room when the photos were taken). However, if they are beige, that obviously should be addressed too to get the same feel as your inspiration rooms.
    • See 1 previous
    • Shari Shari on May 21, 2016
      @Kristen Painting the kitchen cabinets white or cream and the walls a shade of gray should definitely help. When I study your second two inspiration photos, I see that the commonalities are dark wood floors, gray walls, lots of white and a few black accents so those are elements I think you should focus on as you are putting your room(s) together.
  • Pat whitmus Pat whitmus on May 20, 2016
    If you want dark beams?....they make them out of styrofoam and you can't tell the difference!
  • Mother Mother on May 21, 2016
    Is your carpet a dark brown? If so, think carefully about the grey you use on the walls - don't go too dark or the carpet will look horrible. Think 'slivery' - and paint the mirror frame the same shade, but give it some depth with a rubbed on/rubbed off - or dry brushed - top coat in a deeper shade. Fireplace - the tiles could be painted - either a graphite shade (not solid black) or a matching white. Shari has already mentioned your too-dark cabinet and I agree with everything else she's said - except the coffee table. I personally think a round or oval one would clash with your otherwise straight lines, so I'd go rectangular. A single large cushion in a bright colour - eg turquoise, lime, magenta - would add an interesting focal point, too.
    • Kristen Kristen on May 21, 2016
      The flooring is a medium brown but rug is cream and black.
  • Arts Be Crafty Arts Be Crafty on May 21, 2016
    A green plant to bring supple organic color?
  • Jennifer Thompson Jennifer Thompson on May 21, 2016
    Those are gorgeous inspiration photos and I'd say you are close to capturing it in your room. My suggestions would be to paint the room a darker gray, add bookshelves on either side of your buffet/tv cabinet piece in the same finish and add moulding to make the pieces look like one built in piece, Add a few wall sconces to create mood lighting, and add a mirror to the wall. Great work so far!
  • JCEllis JCEllis on May 21, 2016
    I think you are drawn to the restful, calm feel. So, paint the living room walls a grey. There are a lot of wonderful greys out there. You've already got the white trimwork. I think, too some black and white photography/art work. Love the mirror and black cabinet. You need something over the fireplace, too empty. You could frame out some really cool black and white fabric as art. I've seen that done successfully. Or even paint one feature wall a darker grey. Keep us posted!
  • Mother Mother on May 22, 2016
    Hmmm - with a medium brown shade you'll need to find a very soft grey paint that has elements of blue rather than red or neutral Because brown and straight grey are not a good match - and replacing a carpet is very expensive.
  • Karol Karol on May 22, 2016
    You need alot more light in the room. Think about painting your sunburst mirror white and putting it over the fireplace or put it into another room. Think about painting one wall white and adding lighting around the room. Your flooring is way too dark. I suggest birch or maple.
  • Sue Hill Sue Hill on May 22, 2016
    Your room is beautiful, but extremely angular from the architecture to the patterns in your rug and window treatments. To soften the design, you need more drape and swirl. I would add some pillows and a textured area rug for additional dimension. Maybe using swags in a muted floral pattern or jacquard would help take some of the "edge" away. Plants would also help and consider having some unusual objects in the bookcase for color and texture.
  • Rita Rita on May 22, 2016
    Hello, I would like to see an accent color pop out throughout the room so that the eye will travel around the room. For now when you look from left to right or up and down every angle is of the same color there is no wow factor. The colorful pieces/items will create attraction to that pacific area.