We’re so excited to share another post to our Design Dilemma Series. Every month, we’ll share design dilemmas submitted by readers and create design plans that solve these problems. We’re super excited about this because we feel like these solutions will help so many create a home they love.
This month we’re solving our friend Jamie’s design dilemma. Jamie has a beautiful home and great style, but she really wanted support with a couple of things.
1. Brighten up the home (specifically in the living room)
2. Coordinate the rugs in an open floor plan
JAMIE’S HOME CURRENTLY
HOW TO BRIGHTEN THE ROOM
Bright and airy is definitely trending in home design right now. The answer should be simple. Just paint everything white, right? If only it were that easy. It’s important to not only brighten up a space but also keep the warm and cozy feeling that every home needs.
Here are a few ways we brightened Jamie’s living room while keeping it cozy and warm:
A FRESH COAT OF WHITE PAINT OF THE WALLS
Jamie currently has beige walls. In our design rendering, we chose to brighten the space up with a warm white. We didn’t want to go to stark so that it still flowed with the other spaces in her home and also so that she could use a lot of her existing decor pieces. A warm white will give a European farmhouse feel that we’re loving right now. It’s timeless and so cozy.
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect white paint in your home we’ve rounded up our favorites here.
BRIGHTER UPHOLSTERY PIECES & RUGS
I know many people shy away from lighter fabrics in a home, but today we have so many options that are washable, durable and you can scotch guard. Taking out the two red chairs and leather recliner and adding these light farmhouse ticking accent chairs opened up the room and brightened it up. We also added a cream slipcovered sofa in place of the tan one she had. Slipcovers are wonderful because they can be washed and allow you to have the look without worry about stains.
We also went lighter on the rug. We chose one with cream, tan and blue hues. I found this one from Pottery Barn. It’s an investment but I haven’t been able to find a dupe just yet.
UPDATED MANTLE WITH A LARGE MIRROR
Mirrors are a great way to brighten up a room. The light reflecting opens up a room and gives that airy feeling we’re looking for. The original mirror I fell in love with for this space is from Shades of Light but is on backorder. Luckily I was able to find a very similar look from Home Depot. The distressed bronze frame of the mirror gives that European farmhouse feel we love.
SOFTEN THE WOOD TONES
Jamie’s husband is a talented woodworker and he built the coffee table, sofa table, and side table in their living room. These pieces are amazing and so easy to design around. Since he loves wood we didn’t want to paint the built in’s but rather than them refinished with a softer wood tone. In the design rendering, we mocked it up with a stain with less orange in it. Jamie and her husband had their kitchen cabinets refinished to remove the orange tone so we know they’ll be able to get the look.
If you have a similar problem with orange tone wood in your home we recently shared a tutorial on how to get a restoration hardware finish with paint on your furniture/cabinets.
The final touches to brighten up the living room updating the lighting and refreshing some of the home accents. We styled the built in’s pretty simple and didn’t over decorate. Sometimes the best thing to do to brighten a space is just to pair back your decor.
We also swapped out the art over this beautiful piece behind her sofa. The tapestry that was there before was a little heavy and the artwork really softened the look.
Lastly, we added simple cream drapes to level up the design. I’ve been loving these ones lately and I love most how affordable they are.
PICKING RUGS IN AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN
We love open floor plans, but they can sometimes make design a little bit more challenging specifically with rugs. It can be hard to coordinate rugs that are in separate rooms open to each other. We start by deciding if we’re going with warm or cool tones in a space. Here we’re going warm so all the rugs will be in this color family.
I like to mix patterned rugs with rugs that are simpler. Here is an example of the mix we suggest for Jamie.
SHOP THE RUGS
If you’re feeling overwhelmed choosing rugs that coordinate in your home, make a design board with them all together. It’s really easy using Canva or a collage app on your phone. I’m thinking about making an entire tutorial on this. Comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in.
BEFORE AND AFTERS
SHOP JAMIE’S NEW LIVING ROOM DESIGN
I hope Jamie’s design dilemmas help you to create a home you love and accomplish that bright and airy look. Thank you Jamie for allowing us to get creative with your beautiful home. You are such a joy to work with.
If you’d like to submit your own room for a design dilemma use the link here. Every month we’ll be choosing a space that we feel helps the most people!