Shore files: Living Room Needs Foufing

So you might recall that in my last beach condo update, I mentioned the living room had one more round of changes before its been frozen completely. So here we are. I added this gray console table (from Target in 2009 if I recall) which I absolutely love. And I moved the little slipper chair (originally purchased for my bedroom) here as well because we needed some extra seating.

ShoreLivingRoom

I should say that I really do like this room and when Im here in person it feels very calm and relaxed to me - all good things. But its also a bit flat. So how do I make the room more visually appealing without robbing it of that chill factors? Help!

ShoreLivingRoom3 ShoreLivingRoom4

You might notice that those plastic blinds are still there. UGH! I absolutely need window treatments. Im thinking grommet panels on either end but not sure. I definitely need a little side table next to that chair but at a loss as to what specifically. I could also use another little table under the set of four black and white photos to the left of the window. And maybe a more hefty bench near the stair railing? I'd love to put something huge and fun in that white space near the stairs but I'm no sure how I could handle the logistics of hanging anything there b/c its a hard to reach spot. I think I need to bring that lovely color gray into other parts of the room but not sure how. But even if I ever finish all that, I feel like its still a bit flat.

ShoreLivingRoom2

I'm quite sure that if this was the first time I was seeing the room I'd have all kinds of ideas but I have a problem. And that problem is after I've seen a space a few hundred times, I stop being able to imagine it any other way. Its a sickness, really.

ShoreLivingRoomToDo

So what do you think? Here is the questions I'm wrestling with now.

a) What color curtains? (Gray? White with a gray ribbon sewn on? A striped pattern? Plain white?) Should I do shades as well. If so, what?

b) Where can I find a cheap, tiny round table. (Why doesn't anyone make a cheap knockoff of the marble saarineen side table?) Also willing to do some kind of unconventional side table but I'm drawing a blank. (A stack of white, gray and blue books would look cool but I don't happen to have any of those laying around)

c) What else can I add in here that won't make it look like a circus or a theme room but will up the style factor?

I'll tell you what I don't want to do: I don't want to replace anything I have (I like the items in here - even if they aren't perfect, I don't want to waste money unless I hate something) Noo big plants (i kill them), no busy patterns (see chill factor comment above), no rope or jute (nothing wrong with them, I just get the heebies touching them). Aside from that, I'm all ears.

Phew- that was a lot of blabber jabber. I hope you're still reading.

97 comments:

  1. Well, I think it's off to a great start but I agree it needs a little "umph." (Is that the word?) Maybe some subtle touches of pattern here and there and a few more accessories. If you're interested, I would be happy to help you with an accessory idea board (as a little beach house-warming gift). Email if you're interested :) Of course, I know you will eventually come up with wonderfully beautiful ideas on your own.

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  2. Anonymous10:12 AM

    A ceramic garden stool would be great by your chair and curtains in a gray and white wide stripe fabric would look nice as well. I would move the bench underneath the four pictures and add a trunk to where the bench is currently. A big vintage, wood beach sign would look great above your stairs!

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  3. darlene10:13 AM

    Love the room. I see a gray metal/glass table by the slipper chair and defintely a touch of gray/slate blue in the curtains. Love your work!

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  4. To me it was obvious immediately what the room needs. Color on the walls. Grey blue, like the pillows....

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  5. Thanks Emily - that is very sweet of you. Im hoping not to need a full board (not much of a little accessory type of person) Im hoping a few large changes will make a big impact. But I'd love to hear your ideas.

    Anon - Oh a trunk is a great idea. It might be tough to find one in the right dimensions but I love the idea.

    Quinn - Thanks for the input. I absolutely love gray walls but its not the look Im going for in here. (Another apartment has blue gray walls and its a totally different vibe). Not to mention there is no way I could convince the husband to repaint! haha

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  6. The room looks great! I agree with you. Curtains would really help. I would go for a patterned curtain to add some texture. And as far as a side table, I would hunt for one at antique stores of flea markets. You can find cute little pedastol ones that would fit the space nicely.

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  7. Danielle - you would think I'd have no trouble finding a little table right? But Ive been looking for more than a year and nothing is right. I think its because the chair is so low and most older side tables tend to be higher. Also small furniture tends to go quickly at fleas here b/c everyone has a small apartment so maybe thats the issue? It low height lends itself well for something unconventional if I could just figure out what that unconvnentional thing is :)

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  8. I know these drapes are expensive, but check out the idea.
    http://www.potterybarn.com/products/cole-stripe-silk-drape/?pkey=x%7C4%7C1%7C%7C10%7Cdrapes%7C%7C0&cm_src=SCH

    I think the stripe and the texture would be fabulous. Have you given thought to instead of having a tall, small table to use something like a small trunk by the slipper chair. I like the idea of the books. You could use any color books and have the pages of the books facing out instead of the colored bindings.
    Can't wait to see what you decide.

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  9. What if you got a chinese ginger jar as a side table for your slipper chair? Not certain how much room you have to work with but that will add a bit of pattern and color and it's kind of a romantic accessory without being an accessory or too themy, or a small indian table with those great cutouts in the legs.

    Since it's at the beach it would be great to have white sheers hanging frm the window that let in the light and still provide a little privacy (not certain what's on the other side of the windows) and you could always hang grey panels on each side for a touch of color but you would not have to draw them across the window.

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  10. Don't know if the height would be right, but my first thought was a table with texture.

    Maybe something like this:
    http://www.sexyfurnishings.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=alanarattansidetable

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  11. Not as budget friendly but very nice

    http://www.wshome.com/products/1822733/index.cfm?clg=47&bnrid=5200165&cm_ven=GoogleProdAds&cm_cat=ProductAds&cm_pla=DataFeed&cm_ite=General

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  12. Ugh, I left a big long comment and then got kicked off! To sum up:
    I agree with Anon when it comes to the garden stool (next to the slipper chair) and the vintage beach sign. I'd put the sign or a folding screen on the wall holding the TV. I'm not against the TV, the eye just needs something to pull it away from the big black square.

    For the other chair, would a glass-topped driftwood table be too theme-y? I love the small white one James Duncan makes (http://decorati.com/product/6507/driftwood-table) but a google image search will give you lots of ideas.

    For curtains I adore these: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/drape-shade/?pkey=cdrapes. They'd be especially great if you could replace the ties (or dye them?) with gray ribbon.

    Good luck!

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  13. My first thought was to add more texture though some natural materials like driftwood, which would still be a nice soothing gray. Here's a little cheap side table that might work: http://www.napastyle.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=3590&rcode=OOP_Shop_Goog&utm_medium=Shopping&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=GPDatafeed

    There's also a driftwood basket from Big Lots that's been making the blog rounds lately which would be great for magazines. See it in this Southern Exposure post: http://southernexposure1.squarespace.com/southern-exposure/2010/4/9/i-have-a-confession-to-make.html

    For curtains, a very subtle pattern like these West Elm panels would look good: http://www.westelm.com/products/medallion-window-panel-r669/?pkey=csale-windows.

    Great blog!

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  14. too much white and beige going on in that room..blue too obvious....green is the way to go...all kinds of shades of green to choose

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  15. I see either grey or light aqua curtains. You definitely need some life, and some color to ground the light tones.

    Also I definitely think you should switch out the bench with something larger and in a darker town to balance with the TV/console. Currently the TV/console are the darkest things in the room, which draws the eye. I don't think you intended to have the TV be the centerpiece of the room, right?

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  16. Looks great! I would go with bamboo blinds and white billowy curtains. Will still be the soothing retreat you need.

    http://www.younghouselove.com/2009/04/easy-breezy-beautiful/

    Personally I think something jarring/bright/bold may defeat your purpose for this getaway. Just IMO :)

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  17. I completely understand, Mrs. L. I tend to have to hunt down the right piece for months. And you are right, low furniture isn't easy to find.

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  18. I would totally do a print for the curtains. Maybe a subtle print. But, a print. It will help it not feel stark. It will add interest. Whatdya think? It's coming along nicely though otherwise! What a nice retreat!

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  19. Claire11:35 AM

    Your book side table reminded me of this website. I just discovered it! There's other similar sites out there, but this seemed like on of the less expensive ones.

    http://www.wonderbk.com/productcart/pc/viewType_books_btf.asp

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  20. You have a great start but you could easily give it more personality!

    -White and Cream striped curtains over lightweight sheers and natural grass woven blinds.

    -I agree that the proportion of the bench at the stair is not correct and a vintage trunk would look wonderful underneath a vintage beach sign. (Customizable signs available on sites such as http://www.vintagebeach.net/Personalized-Beach-Signs-s/2.htm
    and http://www.antlerworx.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp_Q_page_E_1_A_ID_E_24_A_CatID_E__A_cat_E_VINTAGE+BEACH+SIGNS_A_maincat_E_)

    -For an quick sidetable you could paint the small bench a shade of gray. If you want something different I would agree with the comment about adding driftwood elements like those found at www.napastyle.com. You could continue that element in the space with a small item like a driftwood candleholder so as to continue the language.

    -I would add in some life in regards to plants. They will add a subtle breath of green and visual texture. Possibly some varying succulents.

    -I would paint the three picture frames behind the couch a shade of blue/gray/green to provide subtle contrast from the wall while creating a visual anchor for the space.

    -Lastly, it seems you have cream and a blue/gray going on in the space. Both are beautiful but to give depth to the space try playing with varying shades of both. That way you keep your relaxing theme yet it will be more layered.

    Good luck and I can't wait to see the results!
    Hillary F.

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  21. I LOVE the calm feel of the place! I think it looks great! Here are my ideas...

    For curtains on a budget, I really like these gray grommit panels from Target.
    http://www.target.com/Woolrich-Grommet-Window-Panel-Pair/dp/B002I0NARU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&searchView=grid5&keywords=woolrich%20curtains&fromGsearch=true&sr=1-1&qid=1280158407&rh=&searchRank=target104545&id=Woolrich%20Grommet%20Window%20Panel%20Pair&node=3151061&searchSize=30&searchPage=1&searchNodeID=3151061&searchBinNameList=subjectbin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin&frombrowse=0

    I also like this dark gray nightstand from Ikea (as a side table, maybe?)
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90162856

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  22. I have that console in black. Love it, too!

    a) pattern curtains and woven wood blinds

    b) what about this cute side table:
    http://www.wisteria.com/Acrylic-Table-Side-Table/productinfo/W4090/ or
    http://www.wisteria.com/See-Through-Side-Table/productinfo/W1813/

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  23. The side table needs to be round (a square or rectangle will be too much of a jut out and block the path). Love the driftwood idea but I don't have any access to neat piles of driftwood to DIY.

    I might have to check this Big Lots place out. Who knew they would have nice stuff?

    Those beach signs are great fun! They are a bit too colorful for this room but maybe I can use them elsewhere?

    There isn't much I can do about the tv. I dont want to add a bunch of other dark things in there just to compete with the blackness of the tv. But I do need to add some more gray..just not sure how much is too much. I hate to buy things and then not use them.

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  24. I thinkyou've done agreat job.But I do know what you mean with it not 'tada'!!
    You seem to have gone infor a bit of a focal point with the tv. Could you add to that focus, whilst also softening the tv dominance by adding something either side of the tv? Either prints of some kind, or storage,if you need more?
    My other thought is that you could add one, or perhaps two, (one slate and one a darker tone of the walls?)woollen blankets, folded up, and draped on the sofa and one chair. I think that softens rooms well - and would be good for snuggling up into during colder weather.
    Hope that's of some help.

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  25. It feels so refreshing to see a blogger (especially one as gifted as you) asking for advice. I'm certainly no expert, but I have almost the exact same slipper chair and I paired it with a garden stool so that it wouldn't feel so "lonesome":

    http://tellerallaboutit.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/homegoods-homebound/

    Personally, I *love* white curtains, especially with grommets. I'm a little biased, but I have them in my fam room and LOVE them. So dramatic without being over-the-top. Maybe pair those with some bamboo shades and I think that'd bring just the right amount of texture to this space that you feel you're lacking.

    I think the room is coming along beautifully!! One other though, though - have you considered making the TV wall some sort of focal point? Wouldn't tone-on-tone horizontal stripes or subtle painted mural (again, muted colors) just look divine?

    Love your blog!!

    Lindsay
    Tell'er All About It

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  26. Maybe a garden stool beside the slipper chair. You need some greenery which I know may be a little hard since you aren't there to take care of plants. Curtains will make a huge impact, maybe something tone on tone. A driftwood or bamboo curtain rod would be cool and maybe a huge piece of long driftwood on your stairs wall. I think grouping of prints on either side of the tv would be good too. Grey wicker on the coffee table.

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  27. Here's what you need:

    White based, pole top curtains (no grommets) that include a wide stripe pattern of grey and a soft brown color or two. (Wide says casual, brown brings in the nature of your prints over the sofa.) Hang these curtains high and wide on a pewter curtain rod. Under the curtain rod, hang matchstick roller shades to close when you are away or need a light window covering. Hang them high, too. (Again, the wood texture will bring in nature.)

    Beneath the window, place one large or two small open framed bookcases. (Flea market find?) Paint them in the same grey family as the tv console table. Nothing says relaxing like a bunch of great books to read on rainy days. Keep the bookcase tops empty to protect your view. Dress the shelves with some pictures and shells, too. You now no longer need a side table for the slipper chair, just pull the slipper chair a little further onto the rug/toward the window.

    Add one brown toned pillow with texture to the sofa. Take some great beach photos (or use botanical travel pics) and print them in sepia tones. Frame five large ones symmetrically around the tv on the wall. The tv looks odd by itself. Hang a few more where the black & white pictures now hang.

    Plants: You DO need some green. It really does bring calm and relaxation to a room. Although I am with you about the BIG plants, myself. Make a small round tray of succulents and/or moss and place it in the middle of your coffee table. (Leave room for your iced beverages! Stone texture coasters?) Also mix some small pots of succulents onto your tall bookshelf. Low maintenance plants are the way to go. I hesitate to recommend fake plants, but since this a vacation home, two medium height, rounded leaf faux plants in round containers flanking the tv console would even out the green in the room. The round shapes would also, psychologically, break up all of the square choices already in the room.

    You can rent an extension ladder for the day from Home Depot and Lowes for cheap. This will help you hang something large and fab over your stairs. (Or, two slim rectangular things and a nature-inspired mobile...)

    Every time you come down for the weekend, treat your self to a bouquet of fresh flowers for your kitchen, too!

    Hope this helps! Best to you!

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  28. StephT12:33 PM

    To add some green, you could use these super-cool planters (plants only need to be watered about once a month with them!) -

    http://www.dailygrommet.com/products/455-BOSKKE-Hanging-Upside-Down-Modern-Planters

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  29. Curtains that match (not contrast) the colour of the walls, with tiny ribbon in a darker colour at the bottom or on the ourside sides of the panels. I'm not sure if you're open to this, but I would put the couch facing the TV and the chairs - framing the TV. This will give this space a more finished look. I'm not sure if your side tables could handle the swich over, if there will be a problem walking around them. But I always try to put the sofa opposite the focal point -- in this case it is your TV. Also, I would add a floor lamp by that chair from your bedroom. It will balance the light in the room a bit better. AND last but not least, roller blinds in a nice calm contrasting colour to add visual interest, but not kill the chill factor. I think that's it for now :) Good luck

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  30. Cathelen12:58 PM

    Sounds like you need a trip out to Englishtown Antiques. I big, puffy heart that place! Thanks for introducing me to it!

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  31. Here are my thoughts! I think it's looking good so far, just needs some more.

    I like the idea of a shiny side table bec you dont have anything slick and shiny in the room. Target used to have a nickle tripod/tray table for $40, if they dont anymore Overstock had something similar for $80. http://www.overstock.com/Worldstock/Collapsible-Cocktail-Tray-Table-India/3261755/product.html

    Like white curtains with grey ribbon trim, I would add wood/bamboo roller shades underneath. They would had more texture and relate back to the wood floor.

    yes, get a large ladder and add something into that stairwell area, it would look great! I know you said no plants, but a large (maybe you can find a good looking faux version) fiddle fig tree would look good. Unfortunately plants ALWAYS add that extra bit of life and dimension! :)

    Oh, and I would add something beside the upholstered arm chair like another small table or stack of books, or I would move it over closer to the sofa. I think it seems a bit small and floaty over there by itself.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  32. 1) I agree with the poster who said bamboo blinds with long white shears a la YoungHouseLove.

    2) To bring in some more natural elements (without the raffia, etc) - maybe just a couple of pieces of driftwood to rest on the base of the coffee table. Or some leather things - really worn like an interesting trunk, box, pillow, ottoman.

    3) Needs just a few interesting objects (but only a few - not cluttered) - here are some suggestions...
    - a few really gigunda shells strategically placed
    - a large glass jar filled with smaller shells or sea-glass pieces.
    - a huge ceramic vase
    - a nice tray for the coffee table - interesting glasses, coasters, etc
    - a pile of travel books
    - a cozy throw blanket
    - If you want a super low-maintainance plant - maybe some kind of cactus/succulent? They need no water, and are easily and cheaply replaced.

    4) How about a huge wooden screen to be placed in the dead space to the right of the tv? It will add height and interest. You can even spray it light grey.

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  33. what about this:
    http://www.cb2.com/family.aspx?c=114&f=3701
    or this in silver
    http://www.westelm.com/products/martini-side-table-g057/?pkey=ccoffee-side-tables:

    and what about these in platinum:
    http://www.westelm.com/products/opaque-linen-grommet-window-panel-r296/?pkey=cwindow-panels-curtains-shades

    or these in pewter (which are lined which is nice):
    http://www.westelm.com/products/silk-dupioni-pole-pocket-window-panel-r867/?pkey=cwindow-panels-curtains-shades

    or these in charcoal:
    http://www.pbteen.com/products/guys-metro-panel/?pkey=cwindow-coverings-curtains-panels

    and any of those panels combined with something like these:
    http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3876377

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  34. and I heart these...i'm just sayin':
    http://www.lyonsglass.com/bigjars.html

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  35. Here's another ride side table option that's a little different than your typical garden stool: http://www.wisteria.com/Interlocking-Rings-Stool/productinfo/W3308/

    What about some old pale painted shutters on the TV wall: http://brookegiannetti.typepad.com/velvet_and_linen/2009/01/shutter-bug.html

    I'd hang them the same height as the shell prints.

    I've seen these and old doors at my local Habitat for Humanity store. You might check to see if there's one in your area.

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  36. What about grey and white horizontal stripe roman shades?

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  37. I agree, that it needs curtains...I'm not for pattern, I like the idea of white with a panel of grey sewn in at the bottom.
    I'm thinking one of those ceramic stool/side tables by that chair, nice chunky candle holders and if you could a chandlier would be so nice with sparkle!
    Also maybe better pillows with more texture and some great throw blankest in a basket!

    Cindy

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  38. Get some things in there that have a little age on them for the personality factor; you have nice stuff but it all looks like it was bought this morning. Antique stores, estate sales, this stuff will add personality. Some natural wood for warmth; yes, you can mix white with natural wood. That new table could be wood.
    A large palm on a column or plant stand, behind the slipper chair, going up close to the ceiling to add some height to the room. An old, tall wood column,maybe with chipped paint, from a salvage store on the other side of the window could also add height and bring the eye upward.
    Pick a metal, (Are the bases on those lamps silver color?)and go with it. Get some old silver teapots, creamers, etc., whatever and add a new visual interest with a little shine. You might want to leave the tarnish on with the look you have going. (Or not, whatever you like...)
    The rug is way too small. I know rugs are expensive; you could do something where you add more rugs in the same color but other textures, like shag and sheepskin and layer them overlapping some of the edges.
    Get some funk and personality in there!

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  39. I feel like you need one of those tree stump tables by the chair (kind of a driftwood feel!)... you could make one if somebody could find the stump. http://www.marthastewart.com/article/tree-stump-table

    Or, they are fairly cheap at West Elm! http://www.westelm.com/products/natural-tree-stump-side-table-f655/?pkey=ccoffee-side-tables

    You could also do a cute little stack of vintage suitcases, as kind of a play on the vacation vibe of the space!

    I think it looks amazing so far, you're so lucky to have such a fantastic little spot!

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  40. Anonymous3:04 PM

    "no rope or jute" - does that include wicker? I think the colour/texture of a dark wicker side table (I've seen small round ones, just can't remember where) or even some wicker baskets with lids to store blankets/books would add some texture and balance out the darker colours? Also has a nice relaxed feel in keeping with the calm beach house vibe...

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  41. I think you need a pop of color. I'd buy cheap Ikea panels in white (they can be washed... just $20 or $40 for a set of two) and use bias tape in a fun color (or even black) to trim them. Then I'd add the same bias tape to the edges of your lamp shades. That's where I'd start and then see how it feels before adding much more.

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  42. Oops. Forgot to tell you. The Ikea panels are tab-top, but I would cut off the tabs and use with clip rings or hooks that are then attached to the eyes of curtain rings.

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  43. Anonymous3:44 PM

    I think the coffee table looks very bare. I'd get some big, beautiful beachy photo books to stack and a ginger jar in a cool color (Homegoods has a lot of ginger jars in so many colors!) Also, the room definitely needs some window treatments. I love the icy blue silk ones that they have at West Elm. They're inexpensive and make such a statement. They'd be beautiful layered over some billowy white sheers. Can't wait to see the finished room!

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  44. Anonymous3:55 PM

    I love the idea of the wood shades and white curtains. Needs some character.

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  45. I do not have any really amazing ideas, but I do think white curtains with gray stripes would be really great!

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  46. I also love the white curtains over bamboo blinds, a la Young House Love! Can't go wrong with a classic like that... it also provides some added texture, which the room can definitely use!
    To carry the bamboo / natural texture around the room, I think the tree-stump side table from West Elm is brilliant! Small, low and adds some natural color and texture to the space!
    http://www.westelm.com/products/natural-tree-stump-side-table-f655/?pkey=x|4|1||6|side%20table||0&cm_src=SCH
    Good luck, and looking forward to seeing the "after" photos.... I'm sure it will turn out beautiful no matter how you decide to finish it :)

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  47. Love what you have done so far...and i know you have pictures hung on the wall already, but how do you feel about floating your couch, not sure how long the couch is or how wide the room is, but it might cozy up he room to float the couch, and then get a large floor mirror for the wall with pictures (bonus, reflects window light) and set a chair just off set from it on the current wall, then you can put a sofa table behind the couch for more storage. Of course none of this will work if the room is to narrow or the couch is to big. Just some ideas to think about. I always try to do something a little less obvious if possible. Again, love what you going on so far.

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  48. I would build a bookcase in place of the stair railing. I would do white on white panels and sheers. Do these curtains need to be functional?
    Hanging light fixture. Overscaled Drum with a really light blue linen shade.
    Slip cover the slipper chair a linen in a pop of color (perhaps patterned).

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  49. I'd say that adding accessories would change up your space dramatically. Maybe some wire baskets underneath the tables with your colorful books. Adding a few more pillows with your blue accents, but adding a pattern or different shades of blue or silver. I'd say some sconces on either side of the tv with patterned shades (maybe wide stripe) can add some flair. As for the plants, I kill them too. I see nothing wrong with a fake one here or there and maybe a vase of fake hydrangeas. The possibilities are endless...Oh and for that white space above the stairs, I envision a mirrored sailboat wheel. I don't know why, or even where I've seen one but I know I have.

    I should also mention that before I read that you didn't want to change any of the furniture, that changing the rug into a patterned one with the blues that you like would do wonders...just a thought.

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  50. The couch can't be floated - the room is not is not wide enough. It should also be noted that the living area is the area around the rug. That space not covered by a rug is a walkway to the kitchen and hallway. Its not meant to be one united space but instead a section is for the living room and the other section is more of an entry way.

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  51. I don't have time to read allll of your comments above, so I really hope that I'm not repeating myself, or maybe I do hope that because that means I'm on the same page with someone. What about adding some bright turquoise pieces? Like a lamp or some figurines or a picture frame? I wouldn't put a table near that chair in the corner because it looks like too much is going on with the tv right there, but that's just me. I think you're room looks great there. Just needs a statement color! :)

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  52. paint....sorry-I know that is a lot of work. I'd consider a pale sky blue or to really amp it up steel gray with all of your existing furniture and accessories.

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  53. What aout a long low bookcase under the window? White or grey. Then both chairs could use the top as makeshift side tables when needed. Also you can store holiday reading, games and the like in the bookcase. Shutters may then look good on the windows.

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  54. Love the idea of grommet curtains. How about gray with a wide blue stripe near the bottom hem?

    I love all the white - it keeps everything so fresh and beachy. But for a side table, it might be nice to bring in a little bit of texture. I don't know if rattan falls into the "gives you the heebies" category, but that could be nice. Otherwise, maybe a thin, leggy metal one?

    Finally, I think adding your accent colors (blue, gray) in a couple of more places will help with the foufing. Maybe a bowl of blue sea glass on the coffee table? A couple more throw pillows? Paint the bench in the same gray as the entertainment center?

    Good luck! p.s. so happy to see the slipper chair found a new home at the Shore. I always wondered what happened to her.

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  55. Curtains -- sheer, white and breezy. Ikea has some great ones that are sheer but not those super sheer stiff shiny ones.

    And I think you need a pop of color -- I get the restful feeling you're going for, but I think the muted tones are leaving the room a bit flat. A cushion with a red coral design, something with a touch of lime green, a red bowl of brightly colored seaglass on the table.

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  56. What have you unleashed!?! Pandora's box of interior design!!

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  57. I would take the focus off of the TV by surrounding it with some other items. Could that larger single chair go to the left of the TV? Might also make the room feel more open. Any chance the new slipper chair can go into the bedroom. Feels too modern next to the other more casual cottage style furniture.
    Any chance you could find at a garage sale or used furniture shop some tall bookcases. Paint and antique them, add some beadboard to the back of them. Some height on either side of the TV will help. Also would give you extra storage.
    Add some texture in the form of some baskets under some of those open shelf tables. Not a lot, just a few to break up the whiteness. The material on the pillows looks too formal. Try a linen or burlap type or ones with a coral print. (Maybe make one yourself with a stamp technique.)
    check coastal living magazine back issues. what you are looking for is there.
    good luck. can't wait to see the finished product.

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  58. Here are some ideas. A little bit of wood accents or bamboo can make all the difference as in the first too. It helps make it pop. Hope they help.

    http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/beautiful-befores-afters-00414000067820/page25.html

    http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/beautiful-befores-afters-00414000067820/page21.html

    http://www.coastalliving.com/homes/decorating/beautiful-befores-afters-00414000067820/page23.html

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  59. I think it is a lovely room as is , but drapes would make a big difference , I see white and grey bold wide horizontal striped drapes , and over the stairs what about this http://browndesigninc.typepad.com/brown_design_blog/2008/08/designing-to-bring-the-outdoors-in.html

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  60. i think a bit of shine and/ or color would be great. you can maintain a relaxed feel but make it more visually interesting.

    maybe a silver or mirrored side table and some teal/ orange accents?

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  61. Eileen Gray side table?

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  62. I would wallpaper that wall behind the tv...blue/grey subtle pattern. Side table = bleached wood log (stool) or clear acrylic small side table (overstock.com sells them), curtains = grommet top, grey/white stripe.

    It looks RELAXING.

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  63. I love how you're asking for help, it's so fun!
    Here are my suggestions:
    a) Linen panels in a color close to your wall - the nubbier the linen, the better. I'd also do white wooden blinds from IKEA.
    b) Don't know where you could find it, but think about a driftwood as a base for the side table, topped off with glass.
    c) And add some glimmer - maybe a silver leaner mirror behind the slipper chair.
    ...Can't wait to see the final touches.

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  64. I would add some natural linen draperies to balance out the height of the large artwork above the sofa. Also, one of those wood stump tables would look excellent. Target also has a good little side table that's made of marbled wood (I catch it from time to time but it never goes on sale). Looking good!

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  65. I think you need to start with curtains - have you seen "dipped" fabrics? Check out the latest BHG (I think) - white fabric, bottom 1/3 dipped into diluted blue/lilac dye would be very beachy - pull in some color on the wall, but not too "set" looking with a bit of an uneven line between the colors. Then see what else you need.

    I suppose the one other thing I am kind of missing is something mirrored - to add a little pop of brightness. West Elm has some really great mirrors with cocoa leaves that is kind of the idea that comes to mind.

    Best of luck. Loving the blog.

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  66. Missy8:43 PM

    I know you received TONS of comments - but check out these grey curtains at ballard designs. I think they would be fabulous! Love your blog - it's one of the things I most look forward to reading. Can't wait to see what you decide!
    http://www.ballarddesigns.com/shopping/product/zoom/altviewmain.jsp?iProductID=11796&Default=available&Swatch=FD042GRY

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  67. I recommend adding some texture to the space to give it more of an organic feel. Add woven roman shades at the window framed by either billowing white drapery panels in a natural texture (linen sheers would be gorgeous) or white a gray horizontal striped panels. I like the suggestion of a garden stool for the slipper chair. It could be a fun pop of color you can take throughout the space or a more organic driftwood feel. I would put on the other side of the chair though (under the window)
    Have you considered flanking the TV with two tall cabinets or bookshelves? I think the room needs something to anchor it. Right now there are too many small floating objects. Making the TV wall more of a feature would help.
    I'd also like to see a more organic rug (grasscloth or sisal). The current rug doesn't really add much to the room. It's bad my any means but I think the key to a white and gray room is texture.
    I would steer clear of adding too many beach accessories. You run the risk of the space becoming too themed. It should feel like a relaxed beach inspired space but not scream it.

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  68. Anonymous8:58 PM

    I think the pieces you've chosen are a great start. However, I think there is a problem with proportion.The console under the TV is too small, making the tv look top heavy. Floor to ceiling curtains would balance the room too.

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  69. Okay, I'm a little late!

    I like the garden stool as a side table idea. They can be found almost everywhere. I hear big lots has some for like $20 (do you have a Big Lots?).

    Under the black and white framed pictures, can you add a small chest? Like the RAST chest from ikea? I used them as nightstands in my master bedroom, but one would be a nice little storage/catch all unit in the room.

    As far as windows, I would get some inexpensive bamboo blinds. Can you make drapes? If so, check out fabric.com and look for a fabric with stripes. Similar to the fabric i sold during the blogger tag sale. Find some in that pale blue and white (I've seen it!).
    Oh, and that space above the stairs, I like the idea of a vintage sign too!

    What do you think about that?! I love everything so far:-)

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  70. Foufing The Living Room???
    I'm still waiting to find out what you finally did with the Kitchen!!!!!

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  71. For curtains you could do a white on white pattern or white with a sheer burn out pattern. I got some great ones at Ikea, white with a twiggy/coral burn out pattern. Very subtle, but interesting. Unfortunately I couldn't find them on the web site anymore. There was a white burn out floral, but I didn't like it as much. Something with a loose subtle organic pattern would help soften the angles of the furniture.

    I also saw a little side table on a blog the other day that for the life of me I can't find again. It was essentially a bundle of reclaimed lumber scraps of random lengths strapped together. The top was flat and five or so of the pieces hit the floor for the legs. This is probably more rustic or industrial than what you are going for, but I loved the idea.

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  72. Beautiful! I think the room is coming along great!

    I would incorporate stripes or a pattern if I could... it could be a subtle stripe in the curtain panels or even a striped wall (two beiges, for example) behind the TV.

    I also vote on introducing just one more color. Perhaps a strong color in the marine/cottage scheme (teal, turquoise, navy, powder blue...).

    Great job!

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  73. Anonymous5:54 AM

    http://www.marthastewart.com/article/tree-stump-table

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  74. Anonymous6:01 AM

    http://www.houseofturquoise.com/2010/07/romantic-cottage-bathroom.html

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  75. It's a great room but does need softening up. Window treatments would definitely make an impact, perhaps a layered effect in soft colours so they're not to distracting. For a side table, maybe you could try looking for a foot stool? Some vintage pieces would really bring life to the area - maybe a simple display on your coffee table.

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  76. ps greenery would be great so maybe take plant cuttings and pop in a vase for the duration of your vists? I take cuttings of murraya paniculata and it lasts for weeks. Also, maybe pulling that small chair out of the corner a bit. Then you might be able to put a floor lamp in behind it.

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  77. i love your blog! just stumbled upon and its great! i love the room but i agree maybe some pattern? just on the curtains? but what a clean calm space!

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  78. Anonymous11:38 AM

    Many, many great ideas here. I would also suggest linen curtains with gray trim and also gray ribbon around the lamp shades. I suggest you move your larger white chair next to the sofa to create the look of a sectional and to be able to use the side table for both the sofa and the chair. Pull the smaller white chair into the room a little bit. Also, there was a table at target that you might want to consider that had interwined legs that looked like knarly wood. I think adding the curtains and perhaps some woven shades might get the creative juices going! I'm thinking you just need some texture and fabric in here along with some accessories. Good luck!

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  79. Well for window treatments I found someone who was really profesional and well priced the guys name is David from www.nywindowtreatment.com

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  80. Put a very low to the floor console right in front center of windows and put the t.v. on it. Then you have a whole huge new wall to work with. The t.v. is no longer the big black eyeball center of interest in the room. It also makes more sense and is just easier to view directly across from the sofa. Put a huge bookcase on the newly freed up wall and have great fun arranging it. It will be a beautiful thing to look at, add interest to the room and add storage. Then add your beautiful drapes, whatever you choose and some sort of blinds. I'd like to see the tortoise bamboo.
    (Note: People are hanging their t.v.'s way too high on the wall where it is very bad for the neck and will actually cause medical problems later. The best height for the t.v. is eye level when you are seated.)

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  81. I picture these drapes from West Elm (not sure if they were go with the paint color though - hard to tell from the website's photos):

    http://www.westelm.com/products/carved-circles-window-panel-r801/?pkey=cwindow-panels-curtains-shades

    Silver garden stool as an accent table:
    http://www.zgallerie.com/p-8110-Garden-Stool---Silver.aspx?ct=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=silver%20garden%20stool&utm_campaign=WP%20-%20Z%20Gallerie%20-%20Furniture&TRACKING_ID_K=34071c9e-8bbd-6389-0a96-000056ee8f4f&gclid=CKrYjd7HjKMCFcpS2godcgTJeQ

    And these pillows for some more texture:

    http://www.westelm.com/products/mongolian-lamb-pillow-cover-r643/?pkey=cpillows-throws

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  82. Anonymous5:51 PM

    I think it needs a splash of colour. To go with the grey, how about duck egg blue? or even teal? and to distract from the television, paint a thick band of the colour around the room and accessorise with scatter cushions and a throw.

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  83. I think that a soft tone-on-tone pattern in a set of curtains would be a great way to add interest while still maintaining a calm look. Maybe a gray and white? I'm a fan of these:
    http://lsfabrics.com/fabric_catalog.php?pid=9964
    http://lsfabrics.com/fabric_catalog.php?pid=9380 (more casual stripe)

    I also think that every chair needs somewhere to put a drink, so I'm in favor of end tables.

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  84. Check out the Andre table by Ballard Design, might work well!

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  85. amyks8:18 AM

    How about a couple of plants? or bring a big bouquet of flowers whenever you go. Cheerful and cheap.

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  86. Wow so many suggestions! I know you will figure out what's right for you.

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  87. Hey Ms. Limestone! It seems you have plenty of suggestions, but I'll throw in my two cents. :) I think the windows would benefit from roman shades in some sort of woven material that will add texture to the room. That is my favorite way to make neutral rooms pop- lots and lots of texture! I also think you should add some light metallics- like champagne golds or old mercury glass. Can't wait to see what you do!

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  88. Stefania11:59 AM

    Onekingslane.com has garden stools in a variety of colors for $99. The sale only lasts for a couple days. I think a silver or white one would look great in this room!
    Also, have you thought about linen curtain panels?

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  89. I would flip flop the tv/console with the couch--that way, when you walk into the room, your eye is drawn to the couch and you just see the side of the tv and console instead of vice versa. We did something very similar in our living room and were amazed by the result--very open and inviting, and less of a tv space.

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  90. I am long behind on all the post but I love the tv and console. I'm with you on that:)

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  91. I like the way the room was organized.

    there are also plenty sofas to choose from at http://www.ekkalin.com

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  92. What about putting the little bench that's by the stairs under the b&w photos and putting a tropical plant where the bench currently is to give a bolt of color?

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  93. Callista3:25 PM

    I'm with the texture crowd. I once had an "Ah-ha!" moment when watching Divine Design with Candice Olson. She mentioned that if a space feels flat, then you need to bring texture into the space. I realized that was what was missing in my apartment, and I think it might be what you feel is missing in yours as well.

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  94. WOW~ I'm like comment 94! lol.. I think def some to the floor gray curtains with a little white would make a HUGE difference! Can't wait to see what you put there!

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  95. Ok, I know I'm a lil late here, but I do have some ideas that I hope will help.
    I think one of these bookcases on each side of the tv would look great:
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20176263
    For the curtains, I would def incorporate some gray, whether it's ribbon or a subtle pattern since they will be hanging across from the seashell prints and it would balance out the 2 sides of the room.
    As for the table, you could do something like what I did here with a step ladder:
    http://honeyandmaplesyrup.blogspot.com/2010/03/stepladder-turned-side-table.html

    Hope that gives you some ideas!

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  96. P.S. I would stay away from prints on either side of the tv because they would compete with the prints on the other wall.

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  97. Aaaa, I realized you wouldn't have room for the bookcases so scratch that idea. Ok, last comment, I promise!

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