Modernizing a small living room

by Becky
(Charlotte, NC)

My husband and I bought an antique house a couple of years ago (built in 1920).

My living room is relatively small, but with a very high ceiling - the former owners raised the ceiling to follow the roofline. So the walls are all about 15 feet tall, and then the ceiling slopes to about 20 feet in the center of the room.

I have ugly beige carpet, merlot colored silk drapes, a dark brown leather sofa, navy blue cushions on the rocker, and several antique wooden chairs in either black or dark brown with dark blue and wine colored pillows tossed in several places.

There is also an antique secretary and a china cabinet in golden oak shades. The flat screen TV sits above the fireplace, which is mostly a golden wood color with dark green marble tiles around the insert.

The ceiling is popcorn, which I hate! The walls are painted white, which I also hate!

I want to paint the walls, but I can't decide what color (I'm thinking a sage color). My instinct is to go medium-dark but I don't want to close in the room.

Should I paint all the way to where the walls meet the ceiling? I don't want to try to "modernize" the old-fashioned feel of the house - help!

Comments for Modernizing a small living room

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 27, 2009
How to get your room in proportion...
by: Charlotte

Hi Becky

Your room sounds lovely! I know all about having a small room and a period house, although unfortunately my ceilings aren't quite as tall as that.

Some of the pages on my period properties pages could give you some ideas.

You can also check out the section on room proportions for some tips about dealing with small rooms, and high ceilings - an intriguing combination!

That sage green sounds a lovely color for a period property (one of my own favorite colors actually, although we don't have it anywhere at the moment). Try to chose a 'heritage' paint to get the best color. There are special heritage companies, and most commercial paint brands will do a heritage range.

I advise trying some out from a tester pot. Remember, that especially in small rooms, colors can often appear much darker once the room is painted than on a small test area - so if in doubt, go a little paler than the color you think.

One trick you could try is to fit a picture rail, a short distance from your ceiling. You could paint the sage green up to this picture rail, then either paint a darker color over the top (up to where the walls meet the ceiling - then the ceiling preferably in white) or (my preferred option) paint the area above this, and the ceiling in white. This will have the effect of increasing your ceiling area (making the room feel larger) and cut the height of the walls, making them seem shorter - and the room more in proportion.

All your antique and period furniture should look great, and the colors sound like they will all blend together nicely, for a 'antique' and comfortable feel.

Good luck with your decorating project. I hope it goes well.

I'd love to see photos when you finish :o)

Best wishes

Charlotte x

May 02, 2009
Sage
by: Jenny Gordon

Sage sounds like it would look really nice with the rest of the colors in the room!

Would it help make the room look bigger to do a runner?

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Your Kitchen-Dining-Living Room Q&A Archives.

Lotti Brown designer homewares and accessories - my own range
Interior Design it Yourself Practical Color Workbook

ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL 31 December 2014

The Practical Color Workbook ~ Get Creative with Color

Find out more here!


Also available:  Learn the design process made easy for real-life home-owners...

Take a look at my range of books and e-book packages...


Discover the easy way to
interior design it yourself


Buy the books now...

Click here

Pdf e-books only available until 31 December 2014

My pdf e-books will only be available until 31 December 2014  due to new EU VAT legislation incompatible with the capabilities of microbusinesses such as myself - read my announcement here for further information

It is not currently known when or if the pdf ebooks will return, and if they do, in what format this will be (may be live lessons/with teacher feedback rather than e-books).

Paperback & Kindle books currently continue to be available after 1 January 2015 but will be available for Interior Design it Yourself Vols I-III  only

WANT IT ON PAPERBACK OR KINDLE..?

My interior design books (Vols I-III only - paperback and kindle editions) are also available to buy on Amazon.com - see them below...

Amazon don't deliver to your country? Get it directly from the publishers...

Vol I - direct from publishers 

Vol II - direct from publishers 

Vol III - direct from publishers
 

Practical Color Workbook & Perfect Personality Palettes not currently available in paperback/kindle


Color and interior consultations are available

Need some help with your colors or your design?

Ask me for help



Top of Page

Search for words or phrases inside my site:

Custom Search

Home Page

Search My Site:
Custom Search

Printer icon

Follow Me on Pinterest




Listen to me on Change Your Life Radio - chatting about self-expression, creativity, design & the home

Most Recent Posts

  1. Traditionally-styled Christmas House Decorating Idea

    Dec 01, 14 11:23 AM

    For a warm, homely Christmas, choose a traditional Christmas house decorating idea. Create a gorgeous, welcoming home, for all the family to relax in, and have fun.

    Read More

  2. White Christmas Decorating Ideas

    Dec 01, 14 11:21 AM

    Go for something fun, modern and funky this Christmas. Look at white Christmas decorating ideas for a fresh, simple and wintery feel. Be inspired!

    Read More

  3. E-books announcement

    Dec 01, 14 06:29 AM

    Unfortunately I have a sad announcement regarding my pdf e-books - as of 1st January 2015 my e-books will no longer be available. This is due to new EU legislation which will require UK businesses who…

    Read More

  4. Cyber Monday FREE SHIPPING

    Dec 01, 14 05:04 AM

    Cyber Monday FREE SHIPPING -- Happy Cyber Monday My Spoonflower and Society6 stores have FREE SHIPPING offers for today only (1st December) - here's the deals... read carefully because they're both di…

    Read More

  5. My Interior Design Creative Trends Interview

    Nov 20, 14 09:15 AM

    I've been discussing creative trends in colors, furniture, textures and patterns with Tudor Davies of Terry's Fabrics....

    Read More

  6. My first interior designing

    Oct 20, 14 04:25 AM

    Welcome your suggestions and complaints about that......

    Read More


ALL THE BEST INFO FROM THE WEBSITE ...AND MORE! ~ IN HANDY BOOK & E-BOOK FORMATS


“This practical guide is a must for any DIY decorator!”

Interior Design It Yourself - Volume I-III - E-book package out now


"If you have no idea how to decorate your house or apartment or you're just not sure what you should put in which room...
"...Charlotte shows you, in an easy-to-understand way, how to tackle any project."
says David - New Hampshire, USA

-----------
"Love, love, love your site! I bought your ebooks and find them helpful and inspiring."
says Linda - United States

-----------
"I used Charlotte's book when designing my new kitchen ... I had my new kitchen planned in no time at all.
"I also used the personality colour palette to get the perfect colour ... Brilliant!"
says Sophie - Scotland, UK



CLICK HERE for more about the
Interior Design It Yourself Books


NEW!
Also available:

The Practical Color Workbook is OUT NOW




Charlotte - author of the Interior Design It Yourself website and books



Read what you say about us:

Your website is the best source of information for decorating homes that I have come across.
Sharon - Australia

I just love your web page it is fantastic for people who don't really have the design skills...
Elizabeth - Scotland - UK

'You are the first entry on my favorite places. Beautiful work, well (very well) written.'
Shirley - Laurinburg NC - USA

'U can't believe how happy I'm to find such a helpful website! it's over than great, really!!'
Lama - Sydney

'I really appreciate this amazing website & ur helpful tips... you really give us so much attention & I loved your advice...'
Mostafa - Cairo - Egypt

Thank you so much to all my lovely and loyal readers!

More testimonials and praise