Welcome to my living room. It needs help.

I always feel like people think my house is decorated beautifully because of my blog. It is not. I love to pick out pretty things but committing to buying them & placing them is a whole other story.

There is just too much brown. I have been trying to debrownify my house for sometime. For now the couches have to stay and I just couldn’t figure if I should spend my dollars (only have about $600 to play with right now) on painting or accessorizing, etc. I’m bad at paint colors so in my effort to debrownify when I do paint I paint everything white (linen whitish because my trim is not stark white, unfortunately). Martha had some great paint color ideas in her current issue.
I know I def want a cowhide rug like this.
And that is a giant map of Paris (all separate squares hung together with upholstery tacks). I love it but not sure if that is where it should be in the room). And I thought maybe a deer head (faux or just antlers) inside the frame?
These are chairs I found in the garbage. I’d love to recover them in a white slipcover. See I’m the worst at decisions and fabric is what scares me the most. Any suggestions? (And the lamps, I think I am going to exchange them. I like these shades, maybe).
See that corner back there….. it is collecting everything & anything. It needs a baby grand, right!

And this is my entry way straight across from the living room.
I love this 5 picture. Thought maybe something like that would look cool with a bench underneath (It’s the fabric on the bench & a coordinating rug that trips me up -so then it stays looking this forevah).

And the hallway off the living room. More of the same BROWN.
(Oh, see my gallery wall. Frames are hung and now I have to pick out pictures. I am notorious for half completing projects.)
So what do you think? Any suggestions? What would you do? I’ll take any advice I can get.

And to make this fun lets do a giveaway. All you have to do is leave a suggestion or two. Then next Monday I’ll draw a winner (at random for participation). I’m not sure of the prize yet but I promise it will be something lovely and sweet.


  • My Happy Place
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 10:27am

    I'm thinking a bright, springy yellow or light blue would take care of the brown note in your living room. Your house really looks good though even with shades of brown. I like the details.

  • A Perfect Gray
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 10:38am

    The 5 is way good. You could paint a big five on a canvas for a more economical route. Of course, I'd say pale gray walls. That would look stunning with the map, the 'five', and a cow hide rug. Add some crazy good pillows on the sofa and you've come a long way…

    oh, heck, what do I know….?

    you've already got a good start…

  • Jaime
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 10:47am

    i say a light sunny yellow on the walls. pops of beautiful green/yellow patterns on pillows. brighten it up, give it a spring-summer-earth-tree-sun type of color scheme. love the map where it is. no antlers needed. bring the chairs closer to the couch and unify with a rug and coffee table. there's too much space between them. but your stuff is gorg like your blog :)

  • LRW
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 10:53am

    I have a lot of brown in my place too. One of the first things I did was go to IKEA and purchase pillows with removable pillow cases. So, now I have some other colors to lean on. Also, I think white can easily make things brighter. So, maybe adding white accessories–vases. Much like your framed wall. It looks great!! Hope that helps!!

  • Laura Bradford Kirch
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 11:00am

    Well I see what you mean w/all the brown. Perhaps start with some new pillows or make some pillow covers in some fresh springy colors to get you in the right direction. I would definately make the entry a priority to refresh as that is the beginning to the entire abode, yes? Perhaps a new color for your base wall and look for a new bench or table a more appropriate scale for the wall. A cubby with hooks for organization. Or perhaps a mirror? A mirror is so fitting for that space and will reflect light and will widen the space. Just a few quick ideas.

  • Sarah
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 11:04am

    You have a beautiful home. BTW, I am a new follower to your blog and loving it.
    Paint – I am feeling Silver Sage by Restoration Hardware although I know Behr has it too.
    Then, I would swap your pictures. Paris to the wall where your clutter is, the empty frame to above the console and lamps {I'd paint it white and add the deer head}, then the typography to above the couch. Your two wingback chairs, I would use a graphic print with color. I'd add a coffee table above your new cow rug with some cool books and get all new accent pillows. If your curtains are cream, I'd add an accent trim to add interest. Entryway, a cool bright zig zig rug would be amazing and a simple cover would work for your bench. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you do.

  • DaniBP
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 12:04pm

    I just discovered your blog, and what a coincidence, I am currently redecorating my living room!
    I am also trying to keep my costs down, as my big purchase was a sofa and two chairs. So I am looking for accessories in thrift shops, and painting of course (labor-intensive but cheap).
    I would pair your brown sofa with some hits of coral-pale yellow-blue. Martha did have some great color suggestions in her last issue, and I agree that you are in need of color. I would go for some pretty shades to fem up the masculine sofa (which looks to be in good condition).
    I just returned from Paris and was inspired by the colors I saw there.
    What are your favorite colors? What colors do you look at and think "must have"!

  • Love2Love Event Planning
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 2:01pm

    Your style reminds me SO much of the couple from 9bydesign. Love that show! That number 5 is really cool. If only we all had an endless budget and could have $25 million dollar homes :)

  • Abbie
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 2:01pm

    I definitely think a big/oversized mirror (or the 5 picture you linked to) would be great in the entry. We have a skinny bench with two baskets underneath for mine and my husband's shoes, with hooks above for coats and a very large mirror just offset above. I love being able to take one last glimpse before heading out the door. We got our mirror at Pier 1 during a sale, but HomeGoods always has tons that are amazing prices. I suggest one with a wide/dramatic border– i.e. not thin– or even a large starburst. Just make it big!

    Paint would be an immediate de-browning tool!! There are some great blue/gray/green hues that would still look fantastic with your couch AND the wall gallery.

    Change out the pillows– add some bright/geometric/patterned ones that will pop against the couch. Just doing that will make a huge difference… and all of that is super cheap!

    Good luck… and don't feel like you have to tackle it all at once. It's always better not to settle!

  • Small Burst
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 2:52pm

    Hmmm. Yes, maybe a little debrowning is in order. Maybe not even get rid of your brown but just add a splash of color. I'm like you though. i have commitment issues with color so what I do is change pillow covers and accessories. I see the blue horses on the mantle. maybe cover the red pillows with fabric in that shade of blue. Recovering the 2 chairs in a neutral color would be great too. Such great finds!

    I wish I had an entry way like yours. You can do so much to it. Here are some cute links:

    Oops sorry. I got carried away! Can't wait to see other suggestions!

  • paula
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 3:06pm

    a cowhide rug would be fabulous! love mine. Love the map and frame and new lamp shade idea. could you move the two wing back chairs over by that brown chair and put a small table in between. then move the brown chair by the table and fireplace where the wing back currently is. Okay I am just going to email you:)

  • Post Grad Hair Cut
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 4:27pm

    While I don't have any advice, I have to say I love that geographical photograph with the frame in the middle! It is stunning. I may have to borrow the idea!

  • A-M
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 6:41pm

    'Debrownify'… fabulous word. love it! What a gorgeous big room you have… paint, that's all you need… just paint…everything else is gorgeous and will still work beautifully… great tips above. You are too hard on yourself. It's all la,la lovely. A-M xx PS I share your brown grief – I am moving into a mission brown rental.. how life can turn on a dime! Character building!

  • Miz.November
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 8:48pm

    Ok. Here's my humble advice. Please don't do a deer head/antler thing. Its so played out already. But the map is awesome and it looks like its in a great spot.

    I love the 5 pic idea, too. And you know what else I think would look cool in the hall? A pretty printed wallpaper from the wainscotting down. (I'm sure I spelled that wrong) I think that brown is a great base color. And I have to admit that linen colored walls are a great jump-off point for all sorts of colored accessories.

    But those chairs, darling. Those chairs should be done in something bold and colorful. I think I can find a link. I'll be back with that if I can.

  • hallie
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 8:49pm

    What a charming house and I love your blog. Why not paint the living room with thick white stripes? You can leave the brown,I love it, especially the way it highlights the map of Paris. You could always add a skinny chocolate stripe next to the thick white for a little extra pizzaz if you wanted. This way you don't have to make a big switch and you won't have white-out going on. As to the chairs, check out Ballard Designs for a stripe or little check, they have great sales on many slip covers which will keep those chairs changable! Good luck, it's very hard to committ to things that are permanent.

  • EmmyLou
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 9:16pm

    What are you talking about? I love it! You go overboard in brown, I go overboard in white! To each his own. If I had to make a suggestion- it would be BRIGHT accents or fun rugs :) I'll be excited to see what you do

  • bink and boo
    Commented on May 11th, 2010 at 10:26pm

    Oh my gosh I feel the exact same way about our place right now. I am trying to "debrownify" as well.

  • Hello Lover...
    Commented on May 12th, 2010 at 12:26am

    Paint (maybe fieldstone by BM, it's a great grayish brown color – it will break it up a little, if not maybe a light color. Have you considered some slipcovers and then you could leave the brown walls? Love all your art and details!

  • anna lisa
    Commented on May 12th, 2010 at 10:48am

    First of all, I love the sideways print on the white parsons desk. What I would do is I would slipcover the chairs with a bold pattern might excite things a bit. Something white and blue (like the horse heads) and maybe some red. Something cool like a lattice print or a modern floral. I also notice a black birdcage… I would bring that into focus. Then just switch up the fabrics on the couch, add a rug and coffee table and I think it will be good!!!

  • meg duerksen
    Commented on May 12th, 2010 at 12:38pm

    i think….
    off white walls like you like.
    the cow hide rug
    a big coffee table…what ever style you like
    new springy summer pillows…white and turquoise?
    white slipcovers on your chairs…yes
    end tables with big lamps with either white shades or a turqoise pop of color too?
    i love the 5 idea for the entry way.
    with a bench in a bright color maybe?
    then pick a day on your calendar when you WILL sit down and order the pictures for your frames.
    i am no better….a frame on my bedroom wall has been empty for 4 years!!!!

  • Erin
    Commented on May 12th, 2010 at 2:33pm

    Move your couch forward from against the wall, add a table (like the parsons you already have) behind it with two colorful lamps. This will create interest around your map. Good luck!

  • Miz.November
    Commented on May 12th, 2010 at 3:13pm

    I'm back. I knew I could find it. Bright suzani fabrics. Awesome on formal chairs. Check this out. Of course, you could use other colors.

  • Vintage Girl
    Commented on May 12th, 2010 at 7:01pm

    I have just one word for you… PAINT… I would paint the walls white. And I would add clour with the cushions on the sofa, get rid of the brownor try brown and white.
    love your blog cheers, victoria

  • Jessica {lovely jubbly london}
    Commented on May 13th, 2010 at 12:10pm

    I'm seeing pale yellow. Something happy and warm.

  • Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    Commented on May 13th, 2010 at 10:09pm

    ok, in your living room- i love that your fireplace wall is set apart from the rest of the room, so i would leave that bit of wallspace the darker brown to highlight it, and then i would use the horses on the matle as inspiration for the rest of the room's color and lighten and gray it down so you have a very soft gray-aqua. keeping the one area behind the fireplace brown would tie the cowhide rug in nicely. and i love those blue horses- they need more attention!

  • banfflines
    Commented on May 14th, 2010 at 8:14am

    Fabric, don't all of us crafties love it! Living in a small town which does not have a fabric store I sometimes find the best fabric treasures at yard or rummage sales.…worth a try.

    Good luck and have fun

  • haley
    Commented on May 14th, 2010 at 12:48pm

    I'm having the same brown issue right now! So maybe suggesting things for you will get me motivated to do something! First, I would rearrange the furniture. I would place the couch perpendicualr to the fireplace, creating a seating area centered around the fireplace. Place the garbage chairs across from couch with a white garden stool between them. And a coffee table b/w couch and chairs. Next, I would paint the walls white. Then, I would recover the garbage chairs in a fun print. Lastly, Maybe move the desk where the couch is and that's that! Oh, and some colorful pillows for the couch. I'm thinking about adding yellow to debrownify my pad.

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