Ask a designer

Filling an empty living room

May 26, 2012 

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I am not sure what to do with this small room that is just off the front entrance and staircase to our second floor. There is a hallway to the living room and the dining room is on the other side of it. This is an empty room, and we would love to make it a cozy library sitting room or maybe you have a suggestion to help make this a beautiful focal point. I am looking for a classy, rich and elegant look. I can change the room color if needed. I have a neutral eggshell color in the halls and goldish yellow in the dining room.

Gina Massaro

Apex

We asked Diane K. Tipton and Lindsey Koury of DKT Interior Design in Raleigh to solve this design dilemma. They write:

Gina wanted us to help decorate a small living room off her foyer. Our goal was to give it a purpose and look that would blend with the family’s lifestyle and the rest of their home.

Stair rail unifies spaces: The staircase is in the center of the foyer between the dining room and the empty living room. To make these two rooms work in concert, we suggested painting the handrail black, the accent we needed to bring our plan together.

Color strategy: We selected a soft blue-green from the dining room rug as our main wall color in the new room. We added ceiling molding, a new light fixture and a diluted, one-eighth formula of the wall color to paint the ceiling. We recommended painting the tray ceiling in the dining room in a half-formula of the new wall color. This pulled together our base colors in all three areas. We kept the existing white trim throughout.

Comfort and style: In our upholstery pieces, we used the style and color of our selected sofa to blend with the foyer and the dining room’s existing golden paint. The sofa will include a few pillows in a fun pattern within our color scheme. Stylish chairs in a blue-green linen blend with our new wall color and are corded in the golden tones. The kidney-shaped throw pillows are striped in all the colors to bring everything together.

Function and looks: Our case goods have to provide both function and looks. The side tables are in a warm wood tone, with whitewash lamps. The coffee table is in a whitewash tone, and the bookcase has the warm wood tone on the outside with the whitewash inside. The chairs have a small side table to hold a drink and a book. Gina and her family enjoy gardening and boating so we included lots of books about those subjects in her new bookcase, along with greenery and accessories.

Finishing touches: Gina had some special pictures that she wanted to use. We recommended framing them in black and displaying the grouping above the new sofa. Finally, we used an Oushak rug in the blues, greens and golden tones with a washed look and window treatments for warmth and texture in a white linen with a golden band. The rod and finial will be a bronze black finish.

DKT Interior Design, Raleigh. DKTinteriors.com919-844-9511

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