Melissa: How to make warm & inviting? Color?
1. Open Traffic - If you have a long narrow room, work with it, not against it. Keep traffic flowing through the room rather than cutting off. Spacious traffic patterns feel more inviting.
2. Lighting - The living space is dark and needs task lighting to make it work in the evening. Add 2-3 lamps to balance the space, give it appropriate task and mood lighting for evening hours. Plus it's an accessory, which always makes a home feel more finished.
3. Hang all art at eye level - Everything in this room is hung too high and needs to be brought down to eye level to feel welcoming. It also needs to be clustered together rather than spread out across a wall. Spreading it out is busy and distracting. Negative space is a necessary thing to bring focus to the areas you with to draw attention to.
4. Add drapes - finish the room by adding drapes to all of the windows. The vertical emphasis a drape provides is the perfect distraction from the tunnel effect of the room. Plus, window treatments make every room look finished, warm and inviting.
5. Update - Update the light over the table to be more on style with your existing furnishings. The existing one is a bit small and outdated. Update the entertainment unit to include storage and lose the outdated shelving unit on the wall. The shelving unit isn't style appropriate for the rest of your furnishings and it's difficult to access. Last but not least, update your paint color! Just a touch of color makes any room feel warm and inviting, as opposed to the harsh contrast of rich furnishings against a bright white wall. A cool, light mocha would be an excellent compliment to your existing palette, but if you'd like to introduce something with more color, then I'd recommend having a designer assess your home in person to give you the perfect color solution.
Renee: Floor plan dilemma
1. The largest piece of furniture should not be next to the door - Move it to the rear wall as a feature. If the fireplace is necessary, use it in the center of the wall unit and hang a mirror or piece of art over it where the TV used to be.
2. Two full size sofas are simply too big for this room - Reduce one piece to a chair & 1/2 or a love seat. You get the same amount of seating with a smaller piece.
3. The TV can be kept by the door if necessary but put it on a chest with storage for components, DVDs , etc.
4. Center the room and lose the tunnel effect with one rug. Stringing two rugs together just emphasizes the narrow space.
5. I'd recommend paint for this room as well if you're up for it!
Katie: Fresh bright colors?
I'm all for using color! And if you're up for trying some of the fun colors that are in trend right now, I say HOORAY for you! The spaces in a home that can generally manage bright, fun colors without overwhelming the home are the entryway, a sunny 3 or 4 season porch, bathrooms and kitchens. Where you choose to put them are up to you. If you think you'll be changing it again in a year or so and are just 'trying' it, then I'd recommend the spaces that are the easiest to paint. Painting around a ton of cabinets may not be the simplest solution. But for a very small amount of money and a day or so of your time, you can have an entirely new look to your room and a bright cheery color to enjoy for years to come. I hope you'll send us pictures of what you choose!
Courtesy: Cory Drajka, Art Van Furniture