Help! Living Room Decorating Problem

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Old 01-07-02, 01:05 PM
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Help! Living Room Decorating Problem

This is giving me fits. I have a large (20'x20') living room. The entry door is in the North wall right against the East wall. My entertainment center is against the East wall then in front of that heading West is a large (8x10 or thereabouts) mostly navy with burgundy and gold rug on which I have my medium oak cocktail table and black leather sofa. Then there's about 3 feet to the West wall which has a nice Chippendalish sofa table against it. There is a large fireplace midway on the South Wall. All this looks pretty decent together.

Here's the crux, by the entry door on the North wall is a large, almost 10 foot window which has burgundy draw drapes topped with an ascot valance. There is this *huge* space (at least it seems that way) of about 4-5 feet between the window and the rug and sofa. It needs something in front of that window, but what? This is also the "aisle" to the rest of the house so I can't get too wild. It looked great when the Christmas tree was there, but now it looks so ... bare. The only thing I can think of is a decorator table with a floral arrangement (I'm on a budget, too) but I'm afraid it'll look like it was just plopped down in front of the window with no connection to anything.

Oh, I might mention that what seems the simplest solution, to just move everything over to get it more centered in the room won't work because right by the door on the East wall is a gas space heater which the previous owners had put in. It will be removed someday, but that's in the future.

Help?
 
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Old 01-08-02, 07:07 AM
T
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Solving decorating problems

The great thing about decorating is that there are no rules. As many books that have been published on the subject, one would think there are rules etched in granite by decorating gods and goddesses. Rules were made to be broken anyway.

A decorator table is an excellent idea. I once had a similar problem, so I placed an antique 3-drawer chest with a marble top on it and grew violets. It was a great place to put the jack-o-lantern at Halloween, the egg tree at Easter, Valentine tree, my Williamsburg apple tree at Christmas, and other things I had on my mind as the seasons changed. The table could be a special place where you are constantly changing what you have on display like the art galleries and museums do. A pottery vase filled with plants or greenery. A lamp. A collection of miniatures. Antique (old) plates from the flea market displayed in the little vertical plate holders. A collection of baskets, pottery, brass could be placed beneath the table. You are only limited by your imagination. And, when Christmas returns, replace the table with the tree!
 
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Old 01-09-02, 09:41 PM
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This is a discussion forum, yes? I respectfully disagree with the concept there are "no rules" in decorating. There are most definitely basic principles involved in design, just as there are rules in how to properly insulate an attic. (which I know nothing about, that's why I'm here!) Diylady expressed her problem with one of the principles, and that is balance. The wall LOOKED bare....because it was out of balance with the rest of the room. Most of us already have an instinct for the "basic rules" (some call it "good taste") and therefore we don't realize they do indeed exist. (and have done so throughout man's civilization...back beyond ancient Greek and Rome, gods and goddesses aside) Instinctively, something just "looks wrong" to us. The table solution is a great idea, it would balance out the room nicely and it sounds like it would be of the proper size/ "scale" (another principle). If the table is too small, putting something large like a tall floral arrangement on top of it and/or a half round rug beneath can "beef it up" so it balances out the rest of the room. It could be a half round table draped with coordinating fabric found on cushions over on the sofa. Or a half dozen other solutions as well!
 
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Old 01-10-02, 12:55 AM
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Most excellent ideas/advice from twelvepole and kkm. Indeed, I think this is a wonderful excuse to start hitting the antique malls in search of something suitable!
 
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Old 01-10-02, 01:03 AM
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A little hard to picture the space, but would a grandfather clock work?
 
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Old 01-10-02, 01:18 AM
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Not in this particular space, it's right in front of a ten foot long window which is covered in burgundy drapes. Picture a 6x20 foot "aisle" with the window/drapes to your right and the rest of the furniture to your left as you come in the front door and head for the dining/kitchen areas. The space is long and narrow, so probably something also long and narrow (but not too!) also? A sofa table or some such if I can find something I like that's not outrageously expensive.
 
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Old 01-10-02, 09:11 AM
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Ummmmm, lay the grandfather clock on its side? Sorry, couldn't resist.
 
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Old 01-11-02, 02:10 AM
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grrrrroooooaaan!!!!

I s'pose instead of going "bong" on the hour it would go "gnob?"
 
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Old 01-23-02, 08:27 AM
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snowman

How about a customized seating area undernieth the window sill. That will give you a reading area or extra place to sit for guests. It would also make the decorative table look less alone.

You could throw some pillows on there that match the room and since youare making the bench your selve out of pine (cheapest wood) you could give it hinges on top to make it storage bins as well.
 
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Old 02-04-02, 03:50 PM
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Lightbulb 10 foot window problem

Most of the replies involved the use of furniture, and I have an idea about the window itself. Are the walls white? Dark drapes will just draw attention to the big window space because of the large contrast. Some ideas I have are: paint the wall a color that is warmer, slightly different than the rest of the room. This will make the wall appear closer and cut down on the amount of contrast between the wall and the drapes. Also, if you have drapes that hang on the sides of the window, with a valance along the top, this will just emphisize the length of the window. I would try hanging two identical sets of drapes, that fall to the floor, to give the illusion that it is really two windows side by side. I would also use drapes with a small pattern; going for small details like tassels, etc. will draw attention to your beautiful window/view and not how much space is left. Good luck!
 
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Old 02-05-02, 05:27 AM
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Good suggestions. However ...the walls are panelled, with dark "pecan" panelling (not my idea, the house came that way!) and I just within the last year spent 400 bucks on those drapes and they are not coming down! The window faces a very busy street and the draw drapes are unfortunately necessary for privacy. If I had been building the house , the entry door would have led into the dining room, that "picture" window would have been two (or three!) tall "Williamsburg" style windows, and the drapes would be sheers and a scarf, privacy be hanged. But that's if I didn't have to live here. I also think that nothing is going to "balance" that monstrous fireplace (which looks as if it belongs in a lodge) on the opposite side of the room except some sort of physical grouping.
 
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