Olive Drab, Sea Salt Update and ???

edeeveeJune 9, 2014

I was going for coastal/modern/cottage. I think the cottage is there but the new rug (thanks raven cajun) and the new drapes push me farther away from coastal/modern. I think I like it anyway.

Still some work to be done. Waiting on walnut top for media cabinets, GC to fix/finish trimwork, DH to settle on which obnoxiously large TV he wants. Then it's on to lamps, accessories, art and maybe a console table/mirror combo near the entry.

Which brings me to my ??? of which there are many.

Should I paint/stain/replace the chunky old plant stand beside the chair?

Once we unrolled the new rug I had to redo the throw pillows. Do they look all right?

With the exception of one big seascape print that will go in the open-to-the-livingroom kitchen area, NONE of my old art pieces work in the new space. They're all either the wrong size, wrong colors or just plain wrong.

I love some of the photo ledge examples I've seen on here lately and think I might be able to use some of my old stuff if I group them with family pics on a couple of ledges behind the sofa but:

1. My floors are not level. Is it possible to install the ledges without accentuating that??

2. There's a mini-split AC unit that also hangs on that wall. I don't want to accentuate that either.

What about the TV wall? DH is thinking 60" tv. I'm thinking he's crazy. I'm also thinking -- how in the heck do you decorate around that?

And ... and ... and ...

I'll stop for now. I've already asked too much.

P.S. Apologies in advance for multiple (and blurry) picture posts. Still too busy/lazy to establish photo sharing account. And STILL haven't found the box with my camera in it. Argh.

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Chair with drapes, rug and stand. Wow, even blurrier than I thought. Lamp suggestions?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Sofa with reconfigured pillows and problem wall.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:58AM
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You're going to hate me for saying this, but replace the pillow covers with contrasting colors.

I never could find the right pillow for my sofa, and the matching pillows that came with it added nothing. I read online not long ago to not use those pillows and to get ones that contrast. It made a huge difference.

There's too much brown and olive in the room, IMO. If you like red that would be a nice color for accessories. You could paint the stand red.

You could always move the plant and set a lamp on the table, or if you want to keep the plant there get a floor lamp.

Colors that pop (people hate that word, lol) is all you need.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:24AM
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oakley, I tried taking out the pillows that came with the sofa and replacing them with a variety of contrasting throw pillows. The consensus was too many pillows. Can you be more specific in what you're suggesting? Also, I like the idea of a little "pop" of red (hmmm, which shade?) and I definitely don't hate you ;)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:04PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I think it is looking 100% better so you are definitely doing some good work! Personally I think that the rug really made a big difference from the other one you had. Sure does pull that couch color in and make it not look drab as it did. I love the little pillow on the chair too.
Since that rug has a lot of blues in it you could bring in some blues which could lead you more to the coastals you wanted. And cool the colors some. I use blues and browns with mine.
I agree you had too many pillows on the couch before and less is better. You could pull some blues from the rug maybe for a pillow.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:07PM
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raven, Thanks again for the recommendation of the rug. My husband LOVES it. I like it a lot. It's really pretty. I just wish it were a little lighter - but then, we put up the drapes at the same time, so they may be what's making the room look so much darker now?

Funny thing about the pillows - when we put the rug down, the blue patterned ones looked awful with it. Ditto the green solid one. The blue solid looks great though. Will probably look for a match to it.

Here's a slightly better picture of the sofa with the rug. the colors are truer in this one.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 4:25PM
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I just got this newsletter by Maria Killam in my email on how to deal with a new rug and sofa pillows and existing furniture.

Here is a link that might be useful: rug, pillows, existing sofa

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 5:03PM
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nosoccer: Well, there went a couple of hours ;) Great blog. If I'm applying her advice correctly, I need more cream to set my color scheme straight. That, and that $1600 rug, sigh.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:08PM
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Have you considered whitewashing the trunk/coffee table? Might make it look more coastal.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:51PM
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About the TV:

We have a big one in a living room with no other focal point (like a fireplace or interesting architecture-bit). The way I made the television NOT an obnoxious focal point was through furniture arrangement. Instead of the couch facing the TV, I had the two slipper chairs and the couch face each other with the TV on the left. That way, the focal point is still the conversation set-up, but the tv is still accessible.

I also think this furniture arrangement would take away from needing to decorate that big wall with the AC since it will no longer be above the sofa.

I attached a pic of the set-up for furniture I'm talking about.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:57PM
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doodle, I hadn't thought about it with the trunk but I was considering it for the chunky little stand - it's plain pine. The top of the trunk has a glossy finish on it that would need to be stripped first.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 8:59PM
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I really like your set up, Selcier. Unfortunately, I tried talking my husband into trying this arrangement at our old house and it was a no-go. "I should be able to sit on my couch and watch tv," he says. He's even memorized Magnaverde's Rule and used it on me a time or two: "Decorate for the life you really have, not the life you wish you had." Why oh why did I ever tell him that?

Seeing your tv with no adornments around it gives me hope though. Mine won't look as good as yours but maybe it won't look as bad as I thought?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 9:11PM
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It looks lovely and so comfy!

I was just curious, is there a need for the brown pillows? Are the back cushions not comfy enough on their own? Typically, I see sofas with a two pillows on either side for adding decor and color.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 4:50AM
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You should have six pillows, three on each end. Three different pillows on the right with identical matches on the left. I think that would give you the look you want. Always work in odd numbers but make it symmetrical on the sofa.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:44AM
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aktillery: I tried taking the brown pillows off but the sofa is too deep to sit comfortably without them :/

patricia: I need to do more pillow shopping. These are the only ones I had that still looked good when we put the new rug in the room.

According to Maria Killam, I need to use more cream and sea salt, but that's tricky since the sea salt on my walls is sometimes blue, sometimes green and sometimes gray.

I'm starting to think Sherwin Williams is part of a conspiracy to get me to buy massive amounts of throw pillows ;)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 7:58AM
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I really like the color of the curtains with the rug and walls. Personally I don't like the green pillow, I would use blues and cream, or sand. I think a blue more in the range of the curtains would be nice, but maybe a bit lighter, then the cream or sand would provide contrast. I think I would go for solid color pillows or something where the pattern reads more like a solid. I really like what you have going and think it will come together nicely.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:24AM
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I would not whitewash the trunk. That will take you in a total, different direction of needing to go into a provence look. I would just do the pillows and yes, S-W may be part of a conspiracy but it makes money for them and we keep the economy going thereby. :(-

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:29AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I agree I would not whitewash the trunk.
My husband would definitely be standing with your DH LOL he wants to be able to be comfortable watching his tv in his chair! Works for us thankfully. The formal living room has no tv. The one we actually live in has a 58" tv and a fireplace, not on the same wall.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 12:35PM
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when shopping for more pillows; try to use larger ones. 22"-24" ; this will look much better on that sofa.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 5:42PM
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I love your rug, so no, you don't "need" Killam's 1600.00 rug. Some cream pillows may lighten up your room, and green, blue, gray. Not sure how to handle the changing color of the sea salt :)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 6:01PM
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katrina: I like your idea about using more solid pillows or pillows that read like solid. I pulled a creamy patterned pillow from my bedroom and tried it on its solid reverse side. Looks pretty good!

patricia and raven: Neither of you would whitewash the trunk - what do you think about whitewashing the chunky stand?

isabel: If I got the larger pillows, would you use them in place of the matching ones on there now - or in addition to them?

nosoccer: That is one gorgeous rug but I do like the one raven pointed me to and it fit my budget. I think with the sea salt I just need to decide which color to nudge it toward. I think I'm going blue.

Thank you everyone for your help so far. One more quick question?

I found a glass cylinder lamp on sale (the kind you can leave empty or fill with stuff). The price on it is great. It looks a lot like the photo I've attached. Do you think it would look ok in my room? Filled with shells, empty, or filled with something else?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:26PM
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I don't think that is a whitewash decor. If you want to have a painted piece (and every room needs at least one piece of painted furniture), I would go with a different color. You don't have to use chalk paint, but I love the color of Annie Sloan chalk paint, French Linen. You can find a color to match that in your local paint store. There are so many ways to create a great look without a limestone looking wash. Some ideas here, but I would not want a lot of painted furniture, just enough to make a statement.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:58AM
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I was thinking chalk paint too. This would add an element of fun. :)
I love how you worked the walls in, too.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:12AM
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Oh you guys! I followed patricia's link to the chalk paint pinterest page. While I like most everything there, one table stood out for me. It had something deccoupaged on the top and I started thinking ... hmmmm ...

What if I chalk painted my chest in a color near to my sea salt walls but a tiny bit darker, then decoupaged the drawer fronts and top with maps? I love maps and I think their colors could work in my room as well as, like loribee suggested, add an element of fun.

Here's an example of a piece that is darker than I'm imagining, and the maps are a brighter blue but -- what do you think?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Wow, I like that! A lot!
You could use maps of places that have special meaning to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: dressers decoupaged with maps

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:05AM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I love chalk paint too. It would be a good way to pull some of the blues that are in the rug into the room and might help the wall color settle a little. I can't really see much of that piece you want to paint do you have a picture that shows it more?

By the way my sister has a lamp very similar to that one and hers is filled with shells and starfish, she has a house right on the lake and it is fairly beachy/coastal.

I made her a glass totem that has shells and starfish in them the glass is all murano with swirls of blues in it, looks great in her decor. Here's a picture of it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:29PM
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Holly- Kay

Oooooh I love the chest with maps. That is such a neat and fun look.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:05PM
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I'm excited to work on my chubby little stand. I've already got a map in mind for it. (It's in a box around here somewhere.) Unfortunately, I have a couple plain old boring cabinets I need to repair/paint first :/

Cute totem, raven!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:50PM
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Take your time and make it your work of art.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:03PM
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