Hey there Remodelaholic readers! Dawn here, from AD Aesthetic, and I’m back this month with another reader question mockup to hopefully inspire some creative ideas for your space. If you’ve missed any of my previous reader question mockups, you can always see all my posts here.
If you follow Remodelaholic on Facebook, you’ve probably seen several of the reader questions that are submitted every month. Well each month here on Remodelaholic, I choose one reader submitted photo to offer my two cents on, and I create a Photoshop mock up of what I would do if I were in your shoes! (Pssssst— you can submit your reader questions by messaging Remodelaholic on Facebook!)
First though, my standard disclaimer: While I can recommend ideas that I think look nice, I have never seen this house in real life and don’t have accurate measurements. I am also not an architect or landscaper and do not know the planting recommendations for your area- I just like to make things look nice. I can’t guarantee that any of the items I put in my ‘virtual’ design will actually work in real life (or that they’ll fit your design style for that matter), and this is not intended to be a professional design consultation. So think of this as a just-for-fun rendering that hopefully gets your wheels turning and provides some inspiration!
On to the fun!
READER QUESTION from Rebecca —
I’m ready to update this living room from dark colors to lighter ones and I could use ideas and suggestions. I want to get get rid of the red accent wall and paint the fireplace. I’d also like a new area rug. The couches have to stay for now. Any thoughts?
I love the challenge of this room. Replacing a red wall is easy, but working around burgundy furniture? Not quite as easy. To get some ideas for a new color palette for Rebecca, I headed to the internet:
I bet you’re impressed with how great a maroon couch can look now, right? Some key things I picked up on in these shots- cool neutrals to balance out the warmth, and not trying to ‘match’ the decor to the furniture so much as finding pieces that work together. With those rules in mind, here is what I came up with for Rebecca’s formerly red room:
Sources for this Mockup:
click each photo to see the source for each item
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Decorating a Neutral Living Room
using existing furniture
If you’re going for a refreshed look, but have some older pieces to work around, here are my suggestions:
Neutrals are your friend: Especially in a case like this where you have a large piece that needs to stay, but maybe not forever. It would be the worst to try to pick colors just to work with the burgundy couch, and then feel like you could never replace the couch without redoing the whole room again. With a primarily neutral color palette like this though, you could basically swap out the couches for pretty much any color and the room would still work. The secret is layering the neutrals so that the room doesn’t feel too flat. For example, the gray walls, white fireplace and trim, wood toned blinds, and gold metallic accents.
Add pops of color: On the flip side, you also probably don’t want a brightly colored couch with no other decor that color in the room to make it feel cohesive. A few subtle pops of color here and there will make the space feel connected, but not staged. The nice thing is that these accents can be small things that are easy to swap out if you do update that couch later on – a few throw pillows, a blanket, some books on the mantle.
Space planning: In this space, even though the room was mostly bare to start out with, it felt oddly crowded. The abundance of overstuffed seating, combined with a rug that was too small for the space, and bare walls and windows just gave it an unfinished look. To balance things out, I removed one of the chairs and a side table, but added in additional seating/storage on either side of the fireplace. Not only does it balance things out and make the fireplace the focal point of the room, but the sleeker style makes the space feel less crowded and more streamlined. I also added a coffee table and floor pouf. The pouf can be moved around and used as seating, a side table, or a foot rest, while the coffee table makes the room feel more finished and pulled together, in addition to providing a handy place to set a drink.
Add living elements: I’m a firm believer that adding plant life to any room instantly makes it feel more welcoming. The plants in this space add a cool element and bring some life into the space that was lacking in the before shot.
So what do you think? What would you do if this were your home?
As always, thank you to Cassity and the Remodelaholic team for having me back each month. If you like this post, and have a design dilemma you’d like me to mock up some ideas for, you can ask your questions by sending Remodelaholic a message over on Facebook, or checkout my mockup design services over on my site adaesthetic.com. And be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram and say hello! Have a great day, friends!
More neutral decorating ideas:
Dawn is one half of the team behind the creative blog, AD Aesthetic. By day she works as the VP of Creative for a design and marketing company (getting paid to make things look good!), while by night she renovates her Midwest home, refinishes thrift-store furniture for fun, and works with her husband on raising two tiny humans. Dawn believes in the potential to design your surroundings and your life one day at a time, and lives by the motto, 'Make everything beautiful.' Get to know her better by visiting her blog, ADaesthetic.com, or following along on Facebook and Instagram.