Want a 'cozy den feel'

minnesotasueJuly 29, 2006

Hi. I am beginning to think about re-doing our small (10x16) TV room. On a budget. I am considering a library or den-like room. Darker paint (not too dark-north facing room) in the taupe/brown family, something for the television....

It is not an easy room to configure. One long wall contains the slider to the 3-sason porch and one short wall is the entry way/closet. So, that leaves me with one 16 foot and one 10 foot wall. It is used for watching TV and reading. Has a dark red carpet and oak trim. My style is a little cottage, a little traditional, a little vintage sorta all over the place!!!!!!

Only 2 of us usually sit in there. I'm looking for any and all suggestions-I do not re-decorate often so I will have to live with this for a LONG time! Would like it to be comfortable and special. Thanks in advance, there are lot of great ideas on this board.

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You said you're on a budget...aren't we all! lol Paint and fabric will give you the most bang for your buck. We have had good results when we paint 3 walls white (or similar light shade) and one wall as an "accent" wall, usually the largest wall. It somehow makes the room more striking. Perhaps a brown w/ red undertones? You could also make a cornice for the slider (there are DIY kits online) and matching pillow covers. If budget allows, maybe new slipcovers for furniture... and please be sure to post progress and fnished pics!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 7:49AM
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One thing I'm preparing to do in my basement for that cozy feeling is I'm going to put brick veneer on the walls. I'm trying to go for a cozy, yet somewhat studio-like decor down here. If you want to DIY there are books in the HW stores that show you how to do it.
There's also stone veneer that you can use.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 9:49AM
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Sounds like the perfect situation for paint, you're on the right track there if on a budget. You might consider using a corner tv cabinet, placing furniture NOT against the wall. We had to do that in our small room to provide a traffic flow that made sense to the door and hallway, and we also had two unusable walls for furniture. Only works if you have small furniture though, in a small space. We did some downsizing, and now it feels cozy, not crowded.

The wall color you are talking about should look very nice with your carpet. It is very easy to find affordable curtains in the dark red color. Here's our layout:

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 9:56AM
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Thank all of you for your ideas. We have a rather large sofa now (against the wall of course.) Perhaps trading out for a love seat and one comfortable recliner. The corner cabinet is a good idea-less room to take up. I do not sew but have a good friend who is a whiz so pillows would be easy. Any specific color ideas for the walls? I am a bit afraid of strong colors!!!!! Will think about the brick idea. You gals are the greatest. Sue

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 9:21PM
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Our TV room is yellow with a blue accent wall. This is a really busy pic, and much of it is gone now. No more candles, speakers, old music cabinet. We took them all out & it's much nicer now. The vertical blinds were replaced with dark red and yellow curtains.

You might consider a reclining loveseat, and purchase smaller chairs that don't recline. They're easier to place in the room that way.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 10:53PM
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Terra cotta brown is also a new favorite color of mine, very cozy imo.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 10:58PM
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Pianolady: Your room looks somewhat like mine. TV angled the same. Sliding doors to porch where you have windows. I like how you pulled your furniture out from the walls. And I love blue and yellow. I have some blue in almost every room. That is part of my problem, I guess. I am such a color coward! The terra cotta is so pretty but I would be too afraid. Taupe is so SAFE. But maybe not so den-like.

I am just afraid of making a mistake and although it is "only paint" it represents lots of work-especially a dark color that requires multiple coats. I am realizing that I am totally lacking in vision-I think that is what I hope to gain thru this board. Thank you so much for taking to time to post pics and links. You have given me lots to think about. Sue

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 12:38AM
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We painted our living room a coffee with lots of cream color. This was odd for me, a "bright colors" kinda gal. It is a dark room (black woodwork), but the walls are a medium color so it works wonderfully. The other colors are mainly a darker green, dark red, and leopard print. It is very warm and with the built-in bookshelves we made, it was easy.
We have a smaller sofa since we did buy a vintage one. It is the kind with a wooden frame and seperate cushions. That is so easy since the cushions are simple for someone to make. So you might try garage sales to try and find one if that interests you.
I will say that taupe has greys in it. Grey is not always a cozey color, and so sometimes taupe can look cold or more harsh than a more beige or yellow toned color.
Don't forget your existing sofa can also be slip covered. There are so many places now that sell the slip covers.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 10:55PM
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Here is an example of a cozy looking den. It is a photo of Ralph Lauren's home from Art/Digest. It may not be "your style", but you can see the effects of furniture arranging and what is put in there along with color choices that can make a room feel cozy. Perhaps you can incorporate some of these concepts into your room.

I think if you buy 2 bookcases, a tv unit matching the bookcase in the same wood tone and put it along the wall it would give a cozy look that you want. To me books always cozy up a room. You would just put your tv in the place of where the fireplace is in the photo.
Add a great art work over the tv on the wall inbetween the bookcases over the tv.
For your drapes, how about a navy blue, it would look smashing with the dark red carpet.
For your walls: Perhaps SW Blonde, I did my dining room and living room in SW Blonde, it gives color to a room without "being in your face". It would also be easy to paint over if needed. It also looks great with navy and red.

As you can see by this attached pic, the couch is pulled away from the walls and there is even room for a desk right behind the couch, maybe that would work for you if you have enough room. Or you could use a sofa table, just something to anchor your couch so it doesnt feel like it is "floating" too much in your room.
Lighting makes a big difference in a room too. Have some table lamps and reading lamps, uplights in the room rather than using overhead lighting it definatly will provide the cozy look.
Hope this helps

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 7:35AM
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Judithva...that pic is so wonderful, wish my home could go this way. I need to get out of my minimalist side and try more. So much in decorating the smaller house is "less than more", getting rid of things. Obciously that room is filled and looks beyond great.

One of the issues I have with my living room is placing furniture. The entry door opens directly into the living area. Have always believed that furniture should not be placed in a position which blocks a full view from door to other side of room. Right now my couch has two options, but with the photo room this belief changes. Wonder where the door is in this photo. Am guessing it is from the direction taken and yet the layout is really welcoming.

I need everyone on this forum to visit me....so many ideas and strategies shared.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 8:36AM
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Sandy, my entry door opens directly into the living room too! What a pain!, but when I had a smaller couch, I did not have a problem with "floating" it in a small room. It does make a room interesting. I found what really helped me was to actually move the couch to all kinds of positions. I can be fairly visual, but nothing beats actually placing it in a new spot and living with it for a few days.
The picture I provided above of Ralph Lauren's room is his "den", not his living room. (Although I have a pic of his "formal" living room and he "floats" his couch there too.)
Yes, his look is "full" but I don't think it is cluttered IMHO. This is not a large room (den)I think it shows that even a small room or house can still benefit from many accessories but still "live large". I guess the key is knowing when to quit LOL

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:59AM
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My idea of warm & cozy is like an Irish pub. Lots of wood paneling (not tacky wainscott) and ornate trim. I was watching bits and pieces of a movie last night... Back To the future III" and there was a scene in an old timey western saloon. There was dark wood flooring and brick columns. To tell you truth it looked more like a modern day upscale bar than an old saloon but it was then that I realized what I need to do with my basement is put in a bar just like in the movie with a comfy booth where people can sit and watch TV. I've always wanted something like this. The estimate I came up with for just the brick was $850 but I have 60' of wall and I live in brick land which helps. An ornate mix of wood panelling, brick and mirrors is something I might go with. There is an upscale restaurant near here that is the coziest place around and uses a mix of those things. Paint is nice but anyone can do paint. There's nothin to it.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 1:33PM
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Judith: That picture is fabulous! Wish I could just move it to my house! Would love a fireplace in my small room, that would cozy it up immediately.
I do think leather is the way to go-of course these goes my idea of a room on a budget but it does add the best look I think. I agree about the bookcases too-have lots of books and other collectibles so filling them would not be a problem. Now maybe a plasma TV above the fireplace (hidden by some extravagant TV hiding system, of course)

QQ: I like the wood look too. A friend of mine's husband does electric work "on the side" and so he gets into lots of homes. One day he came across a home where they were removing old, oak paneling and were going to throw it away! It is heavy and detailed and just beautiful. The owners gave it to him and now they have it in one room in their house. It is just awesome. So, I know what you mean about classy, not tacky. I just lust after a room where you sit and do not want to leave!!!!!! Especially in the Minnesota winters.

Thank you all for your replies, These old wheels are starting to turn..... Sue

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:18AM
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Well then is this cozy...
or is this cozy?

A bit big but nice walls, eh?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:32PM
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Hi Minnesotasue, thought I would send a pic of my livingroom that is also the tv room. I used two very different colors on the walls and it has a warm cosy feel. Our furishings are quite a scramble, but we love it all. It's only 12x16 but everything we need in here fits. Hope you can get some ideas from this room.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 4:16PM
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Wow Lousit, your livingroom looks great. I love the colors could you show it from a different angle??

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Hi Sewigardnut, Here's the other end of the room. I'm very happy with the way this turned out.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Lousit: You have done a nice job of providing lots of seating in your small space. That is something important for me as well. I would like to fit a few more than the four I can now but do not want to fill the room too full. I like your paint colors. Can you tell me what they are? You did a nice job on your room!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 2:53PM
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