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Open concept--- it looks good but...

Posted by Cook4 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 19:58

We love our new house that we built just over 2 years ago. It's open concept which fits our style of living. But, although I think it looks good, I don't think it looks great. Maybe I'm just tired of looking at it, but I think it's missing something. How do you fine tune your look so it looks a little more "with it, trendy, polished, etc"?

One thing that MUST change is the area rugs. We have two custom-made rugs (from our previous home) under the dining room table and in front of the 4-window sliding glass door. And those work great. I need suggestions on what to do for corresponding rugs under the living room arrangement and the kitchen table. I would LOVE a soft, cushioned textured (like a plush shag) for the living room area, but that won't work for the kitchen table. And the kitchen table needs to be 7-9' round while the living room needs to be 10x12 or larger.

And that 18' curtain rod is complements of this forum! It's actually painted electrical conduit, joined with dowels!

The first picture is coming in the front door and being greeted by Cami the Cat!

(I'll post more pictures and I apologize for the multiple postings to post the pictures. I'm too lazy to open an account at Photobucket, Shutterfly, etc)

This post was edited by Cook4 on Thu, Jun 5, 14 at 20:16


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Looking into the kitchen


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

The living room rug that's GOT to go!


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Custom made rug under the dining table. The same rug (but different size) is in front of the 4-window slider.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

The kitchen table is on your left (notice yet another different rug pattern!) with the custom made rug in front of the large slider.


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View from fireplace looking into the kitchen


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View from the kitchen table.....and another rug! But I like this one because the texture feels great under my bare feet!


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Looking back at the front door (on your right)


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Living room area with fireplace


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Last view from living area into kitchen.....


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You have a lovely home!! The arches are so pretty, and I love that the sofa is curved to follow them :)


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Maybe in real life it look is different, but based on the photos alone, these are my first impressions. The space itself is great, but for my taste, a bit depressing ... too green/brown. The kitchen is unique/different, but seems very dark with the black cabs and dark green walls. I would have hung the curtains higher and wider ... they seem very squeezed and bunched up ... and again dark.

Really like the fireplace and built-ins.

With everything being very dark and monochromatic I find that there isn't anything that catches my attention ... it just all blends in. The space has lots of potential and can easily be jazzed up! New rugs will be a great starting point to bring in some contrast and colors.


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Love the barrel vaulted ceiling!


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I think it looks pretty darn good! I actually like the living room rug, it's interesting. I'm not personally crazy about the wall color but it's okay. A little more color would look good.


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I too like the living room rug. And I also agree that there is too much brown. I would leave that living room rug and pull the colors from yay for accessories and lighter drapes.


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Beautiful home! I think adding some bright punches of color would freshen things up a bit. And the curtains definitely should be hung higher - that and possibly add some type of cornice/trim above the sliders.


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Very beautiful home! Really there is nothing not to like, it's all done in very good taste. For me personally its too dark with too much heavy wood tables and such. A bit too match-y in woods. Love your rugs! Needs a bit of Mix for interest. Some colorful art would be great as well. The coffee table is so heavy and dominating. Maybe something with a glass top. Also lighter shades on the light fixtures. You have a nice wall color and it would look nice a shade or two lighter.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

It looks like a great house to live in and you have some lovely things. I agree that it looks very brown and dark. I know we all have our own ideas about decor, but for me there is a lot of "stuff" everywhere. There is something on every wall space, etc.

Here is what I would start with if it were my home....I'd get some more updated lamps with lighter shades. I'd remove at least one pair of the sconces, 4 in such an open area seem too many to me. I'd remove the throw from the wing back chair. I'd remove the wall piece that is partially covered by the (pretty) draperies - but they are dark, too. I actually like how they are hung because it continues the line from the shelf. The art to the right of the arched doorway looks too large for the space - if you remove the candle sconces, it might work to the right of the door.

I'd replace one/some of the end/console/coffee tables with some with glass for a less brown/lighter look. Or maybe travertine top on one. I love the couch, but might look for some more interesting colorful patterned pillows, depending on what rug you decide on.

The living room rug adds some life to the area - I like it, but can tell you don't and doesn't really go so well with your other things. I'm not sure a vibrant rug will work with your home, but maybe someone will suggest something. While the kitchen rugs are a pretty color they seem too vibrant/disparate from what else is going on in your decor.

I love your fireplace and I think you figured out how to help a tv blend in by making the mantel and accessories black, also. It's a really pretty fireplace in a beautiful home.


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I would lighten the living room rug and look for colors that tie in with your two custom rugs. If it has a bit of red, that could brighten things up and tie in with the kitchen one.

I think the table behind the sofa is too small and the rectangular end table seems stuck out there a bit. Can you move it over between the chairs?

I like the coffee table -- it's a beautiful piece of wood, but I'd put something shiny on it -- glass or crystal bowl, candy jar, metal tray

The rooms do seem dark, but they may read cozy in person. Some touches of color could help perk things up and keep everything from blending together. If it were mine, I'd try a lighter wall color in the kitchen and living room. The dining room looks like it might be able to handle it, not only because you have a lot of light coming in there but also because a DR can be dark and dramatic while linens, china and crystal can provide plenty of relief and interest. You can transition at that corner. Look at how the light is already doing that for you. Chances are that if you went same color a couple of shades lighter, they might look the same at certain times of the day, at least on that corner.


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I think you could do a cream rug in your sitting area and under the other table. Just choose a cream that matches the cream in the center of your custom rugs.

Also, about lightening up the space: maybe switch some lamp shades to something lighter. Or add some pillows in a lighter, creamier color.

I think you could also pair down some of the accessories around the room. Especially on top of the 'shelf' above the door to the bedrooms. Keep it to three items of varying heights. Also, the same with the little table by your back windows. With open concept, the eyes just doesn't know where to look and you're giving it way too many choices! And along that same vein: above the piano, I would remove the pineapples (?) on either side of the art and just keep the art. There is just too much going on with that wall due to the build-ins. (Which are lovely!!)


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Thank you all! Your comments are helping me get a better feel for my space! It IS a dark space but with all the natural light it's not dark--- if that makes sense? The large wall of windows faces the east, so the sun really pours in in the mornings. That being said, with all the wood tones, brown/greenish wall, dark kitchen cabinets, well, that's a lot of dark!

Concerning wall colors, since we just built the house two years ago, repainting or changing our drapes is not an option. DH would have a fit, to put it mildly!

So maybe my new rugs need to be lighter, possibly a bright or brighter color? I've tried to work in some blues and teals. Would it be too much to have a teal rug? I struggle with spending money on things that aren't neutral. Can't you tell? :)

And the cream-colored wing chair needs to be re-upholstered. I've just held off on picking fabric because I wasn't sure what to do. Perhaps a brighter, funky pattern?

I never realized I had 4 scones nearly side-by-side! I can easily take down the two scones on either side of the Susan Morrison artwork.

I've got a large tray to go on the coffee table and I'm planning on putting something with color on the tray...probably working in some of the teal/blue tones.

I hadn't realized the two lamps were so dark! I like the corduroy lamp shades however, I've got two large gold lamps with cream shades at our lake house. I could switch them out and see if that helps get rid of a little of the brown blahs.

What about the built-ins? Do I have too much "stuff" on them? Would it help to remove some items?

And lastly, thank you for all your compliments and suggestions! As many of you know, building a house is a stressful process! Like most people, we couldn't afford everything we wanted (I had to fight DH AND the builder for that barrel ceiling!!! In the end it only cost an extra $1,000 but the visual impact is awesome!), and fine-tuning my "building a house" wishlist was hard!

Other suggestions?

This post was edited by Cook4 on Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 0:00


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Architecture is great. Quality of furnishings is great.

But I think you need a bit of cream as counter point to the grounded colours in order to see everything. Right now, one thing blends into another.

I would add cream coloured accent cushions to the sofas and chairs - different fabrics and designs but all monochrome creams.

The draperies are beautiful but could you try them in a different room and use a cream translucent curtain? It will draw the eye to the window.

Could you paint the ceiling in a whiter colour so it reflects more light?

Finally for rugs - what about a rug with cream and accents of the earth tones and just a small hit of colour? Included an example - could be traditional or modern but just with a little more whimsy? Maybe a lighter throw?

I don't the room needs much - just some lighter accents...

Also, love the kitty :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: rug link


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Another rug example...

Here is a link that might be useful: another rug


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Your room has a very furniture showroom look. It is beautiful but it does look static. It needs some organicity to it. Love all the furniture. Love the house. Love everything but those things that we all change out from time to time.

I don't think your room is a place for the cobalt blue color. IMHO it just does not work. You need yellows, oranges, reds in your accents in order for the walls and furnishings colors to work.

You need new kitchen rugs. You know that. The two little blue/green rugs are a no-no.

The round rug does not go with the round table. It is too static. It looks to placed. You need something to make it look less than perfect and like real people live here.

Artwork over the piano needs to be larger. Lose the sconces on either side and just get one bit piece of artwork. Make it modern art with strikingly bright colors. You need artwork that says you are alive and well, that you love life and enjoy bright colors. The Klimt piece, Music, would be great here or the Tree of Life (I may have the name wrong) but it is in bold light/bright colors.

Love the rug that you don't like in the sitting area. It needs a couple bright yellow or orange pillows on the sofa and perhaps rugs with some of those colors placed askew over it. Lose the current pillows on the sofa. Buy a basket and put all those pillows in the basket nearby for family to use on a regular basis and get new bold ones for the sofa. Try oranges, reds, greens in nubby textures of silk if you can find them or buy a faux silk fabric and have them made. Get rid of that blue thing holding magazines. Get organic baskets that match to hold pillows and magazines.

Take some of the little littles out of the bookcases and view a You Tube video on bookshelf arrangements. You need some "impact" items in the bookshelves and less insignificantly smaller sized items. I would paint the bookshelves a less optic white and go down to a color similar to the stone of the fireplace.

I would take the rug out of the dining room area, that rug that appears gray/black and either buy all rugs in that genre or get rid of that one.

I think it might be okay if you get rid of the little rugs in the kitchen. I think all your rugs need to look more alike and I think you know that. Not identicals but in the same family of color and they need to have some life to them. The one in the sitting area that you do not like is my favorite.

By all means,find a place where light shines in and place some plants, some large ferns.

I would add some crystal and silver or brass, maybe all to the room. You need some sparkle. I would put a silver or brass galley tray on that cocktail table. I might even line the bookshelves with mirror but those optic white bookshelves draw attention to the rest of the very dark room. The contrast is far too sharp. Find a place, perhaps on a side table or in the DR area to place barware. I love looking at E-Bay and finding the old whisky decanters from the 1950s that were so pretty. You could buy 2-3 of these of different sizes, a biskoti jar, a crystal candy dish and placed onto a bright shiny chrome tray or brass tray with handles.

If you have a silver tea service, add that to your bar. It is very formal but your kitchen is very formal with black. Black kitchens are lovely but they say very black tie.

One day I would lose the look of all the light fixtures looking alike. I see that done here all the time and it is so fake looking. Nobody who has a layered home look has identical light fixtures in every location. Don't make them look wackadoodle but I would get rid of the white white light fixtures in one location and add some metal ones.

So go to Overstock or someplace that has a lot of rugs and start looking at some maybe jute rugs for kitchen, DR and breakfast area. Do linear jute rugs in the kitchen area. Have a binder of a lively color on a sisal rug of the same genre. Keep the rug in the LR. I like that rug and I love your house. It just needs a little here-and-there.

These are JMHO and we all have them. Your home is gorgeous. It is too perfect!!!

This post was edited by patricia43 on Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 2:24


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Examples of bookshelf arranging. I like glitz and glamour in the bookshelves along with the books, more shiny. I think I must have been a crow in a different life. If it sparkles, I am all about it.

I have outlet plugs in my bookshelves and I place white Christmas lights in them and I love to light up a couple of them this way where I have crystal and books, books and candlesticks. I placed "antiqued" mirror in the backs of my bookshelves, makes the tiny white Christmas lights twice as sparkly in the evenings.

Is there a clock in your home other than on your computer? Did I miss it? Place one big honking clock in your bookshelves.

I collect clocks so I have big and little clocks mixed with crystal, books, silver, candlesticks, mercury glass, cloches and books and a magazine keeper of all my Romantic Homes magazines.

Did I miss your stack of coffee table books? I did not see them. You need a stack with a box placed atop which holds your remote control devices.

If you are tired of me by now, look at a couple of these videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DExLt2MoKGg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAMfF4tc9PU


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Pleated-Square-Decorative-Pillow/6624571/product.html?refccid=2KZDESQZAACLGYKHLXXYWNPKFE&searchidx=14

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/nuLOOM-Handmade-Alexa-Eco-Natural-Fiber-Cotton-Border-Sisal-Rug-8-x-10/5186345/product.html?refccid=YVAH7SOJLJXZR2SPL4GXZLSUBI&searchidx=13

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Hand-woven-Weaves-Natural-colored-Fine-Jute-Rug-8-x-10/4382771/product.html

(for kitchen x2) http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Hand-woven-Weaves-Natural-colored-Fine-Sisal-Runner-26-x-8/4382766/product.html

(or better yet for kitchen x2) http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Hand-knotted-Vegetable-Dye-Chunky-Beige-Hemp-Rug-2-6-x-8/7645973/product.html

http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Seville-Classics-Woven-Hyacinth-Storage-Cube-Basket-Set-of-2/8178980/product.html?searchidx=0

Just some ideas but look at your favorite places to shop.

I love your house so much I feel as though I am shopping for myself.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

From what everyone has mentioned, and also my thoughts, the key is accessorizing. Which is really hard to do unless you have the knack for it. I thought I did but I don't. lol.

I love the open layout of your rooms. When I compare open concepts at various homes I've been in, the ones which always stands out are accessorized perfectly. A couple of the houses had a theme to their accessories, and I can't do that because I have 4 walls in every room.

I agree there's a lot of brown, but that can be easily fixed with color in your accessories.

Figure out a decorating scheme you want to carry in the rooms and begin there.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I've seen this rug in person and I think it would look stunning with your curved couch and blends well with your custom made rugs. Your rooms look traditional so it's a nice choice.
I also think the room needs a little editing. You have that gorgeous floral art work next to the hutch and it should probably be put on the wall over the sideboard or over the piano as it would balance better there. I think all of the pillows should be replaced with much lighter and somewhat bigger ones with tones of the rug in them. As for your coffee table, it's a little large but, if you put something in a light tone like a large gorgeous bowl it would bring the size down and take away some of the wood look. I agree with others that the lamps are lovely but a bit skimpy for the size of everything else. You may want to think about a pair of lighter toned lamps with a bulkier base like an organic shape. You have a beautiful home, a few changes would make it even more beautiful.

Here is a link that might be useful: ivory wool rug


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

i would agree with some that there needs to be some brightness in the decor, (even though I love your colors) regardless of how much natural light you have. I definitely thin k the rug in FR could be a lighter pattern and then to balance that lighter, I might grab some brightness from a couple of mirrors in silvery tones for contrast or pale painted mirrors.Also a couple of bulkier lamps will make a difference too. And then there is always a pop of color from seasonal florals and throws/pillows. Otherwise it is just a gorgeous area and love your kitchen,. And that sofa! so cool.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I think your home is stunning, especially the kitchen ceiling--wow.

I do like the cobalt blue accents, and the colors in the rugs in the kitchen, and I think I'd extend those colors. I know another poster said red, orange, etc., but I disagree; but I'm partial to cooler colors anyway.

I don't particularly care for the prints in the soft goods and the amount of accessories but hey -- not my house! I would, however, encourage you to have some plants or greenery which I think always bring life to a room.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I stand by my thoughts above. The coffee table is a big part of the problem with too much matchy match wood tones and nowhere for the eye to land. Something like this would shake things up a bit. I really see a glass top in that area. Maybe not this exact table but something along these lines.  photo image_zpsb2520eb7.jpg


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Go ahead and bring the lamps you mentioned from your lake house--put them in place of the current ones, and see what that does to the room. It might be just enough.

If you want to keep the teal accents, look for a rug for the sitting area that has some of that color in it. I love the rug you have now--the pattern adds some interest, but maybe the new one can have a similar contemporary design with some teal in it.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I think as you are adding and subtracting things your mantra should be "Does this change make the room look fresh?". You don't necessarily need to add bright colors but I think your room needs a big dose of crisp and clean to balance the all the muted colors and patterns. You have a great start. Please post after pics.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Crystal! I think a few crystal pieces would look outstanding in your lovely home. I would add crystal lamps with creamy shades. Maybe a pewter bowl (Match) and some crystal candlesticks on your coffee table. I would also add books if you are a reader. To me, nothing adds character like a group of books that I am reading.

I would add color and more creamy white to your room via new rugs. I too would suggest rugs that are from the same collection. I prefer Karastan because they absolutely wear like iron, don't shed, and the price point is friendly.

Your home is gorgeous and with just a few tweaks it will be even more beautiful.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

You guys are GREAT! I'm soaking up all the suggestions and feeling better about my space.

I agree crystal/lighter/shiny accessories would brighten the space. I have to be careful accessories because that adorable cat/kitten you saw in the first picture LOVES shiny things! I've got two 12-15" antique lead crystal lamps that my MIL gave to me. They are gorgeous with dangling crystals that pick up the light beautifully. But....that whole dangling thing attracts the cat, so the lamps are packed away in a cabinet for a while until she grows up a tad!

I love blues and although some of you suggested reds/rusts/oranges, our lake house features those colors, so I'm going to stick with the cooler colors, like blues/teals,etc.

I'm sitting here looking at the built-ins and thinking what I can remove to simplify and "clean up" the look. When we built this house, we downsized from over 5,500 sf. I pulled favorite accessories from those spaces and felt somewhat obligated to use them in this space. Well......that feeling's gone now!

Rugs, rugs, rugs!!! I'm starting to envision a rug with a cream background and touches of blue, teal, beige, etc. Would that work? And would you suggest a more traditional pattern/oriental look, geometric, or solid with color in the border, etc?

We're heading to the lake this afternoon so I'm off to pack up the lamps for transporting! Poor DH, he's going to wonder what I'm up to! :)


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I like the rug yaya posted in the Overstock link and the coffee table with the glass top jterrilynn posted.

The curved ceiling is really awesome. Toning down the woods and the other browns will go a long way.

I'll take your current LR rug. I like it! Probably too big for my space though.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I love your house, and I love the paint colors and the furniture seems to compliment it well. The thing that jumped out at me was the blues. The bright rugs and the bright accessories just seem too deliberate, and I'm not feeling it with the main colors you have. I was wondering how more muted shades of blue would work: robin's egg or something with a grey tone to it. Maybe more pale teals and more grey-blues.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Cook4, this Karastan rug is lovely. If you click on the zoom images the first one is a close up the second one shows the rectangular version in a living area and the next zoom image shows the rug in the round version. It brings in a beautiful robin's egg blue with cream and other muted shades. Also when you are on the rug studio site you will find many beautiful rugs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Karatan rug


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

Very pretty house!

Open floor plans are challenging! Ive linked a similar thread I posted. It took me years to get our space to feel right.

You've already gotten some great advice. I agree with others that the space is too dark and brown. Dark and brown for a study, library, master bedroom is nice and warm and cozy but in a space that large, it doesnt quite work. The kitchen cabinegs are dark, the floors are dark, the rugs, window treatment and furniture are dark too. Personally, i would consider repainting to a lighter color. It will make your kitchen cabinets and flooring stand out. Also, I realized in my space, that i need to use use the full height of my walls for decorating. If you are not too attached to your window treatments, i woud move the rods higher and get something lighter and a bit more reflective like a dupioni silk.

Here is a link that might be useful: Open floor plan update


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

If it were me, I would go lighter and more minimal. I'd paint the walls creamy white, hang white linen panels high and wide on the windows. I'd go with lighter neutral rugs (maybe natural fibers or flokati or a combination of those) - I'd take everything out of the room and bring back in the furniture and only the accessories I truly loved. (I would probably pare back all the stuff on the walls and all the accessories sitting on the floor. I thinker fewer accessories that were truly great would be better in the larger space.)

I'd be tempted to go just with shades of brown, cream and white with lots of texture (so none of the orchestrated pops of color), a large organic tree would love all the gorgeous the natural light, and larger, clean-lined table lamps would update the space quite a bit. It's a great space but seems to me like less would be more here -


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

You have an absolutely beautiful home Cook4.
Can you still have rugs made to match the one under the dining table and by the sliders? Though I love the one in the living area, we had a similar color situation going on in our Gentlemans' Parlor, I know how much more light the whole room was when we bought a lighter colored rug.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I LOVE the dark walls, it makes the huge open concept area seem cozy!

Maybe I'd subtract a few of the smaller decor type things, but this looks like a real lived in home vs a hotel lobby.

Nice to see guard kitty at the door.


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

I'm still soaking up all the comments and starting to think lighter! Lighter rugs, specifically. I found this one that comes in a large rectangle and an 8' round. I like the lighter ivory background and it has a little blue and green. Plus.....these are affordable! (Several of the rugs that caught my eye were $4,000+.....YIKES!) I also like that these are wool = more comfortable on bare feet.


What do you think?


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RE: Open concept--- it looks good but...

The architecture of your home is stunning. However, your opening statement hits the nail on the head, "I think it looks good but not great." This home deserves first class treatment. I suggest money well spent would be to hire an ASID interior designer to help bring your dream to fruition. Hire someone who charges by the hour. That individual will help make most of what you have work but know how to better define each space, yet make the whole cohesive. I have a modest 1500 sq. ft. patio home and have worked with an excellent ASID designer to bring my vision to reality. I do most of the shopping and Lois sets the direction so the cost fits my budget. Lois was the third designer I hired to consult before settling on her to direct my remodel. The first two were duds.


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