How to unclutter and unify furnishings.
Q. I'm at a loss as to what to do in my family room. Currently, we have a TV and kids' games in one corner and a stereo system in the other. I'd like to downsize the stereo equipment to something smaller, take away the kids' game boxes, and position the TV so it doesn't take up too much room. I would love some decorating help.
— Carolyn, Mississauga, Ont. (To submit your own question, see our Ask A Designer™ page.)
A. Create a new seating arrangement.
You have a lot of nice elements in the room — they just need to be tied together better. The leather chairs, rug, coffee table, mantel and mirror are all good pieces that you can add to.
Position a new sofa opposite the fireplace and leather chairs. A William Birch-style piece, like the Keynes sofa by Vanguard Furniture (shown) has a classic look, but the slipcover is casual and practical for family life. To free up more space in the room, invest in a new flat-panel TV, and place it on a console table along the longest wall. Pier 1's Jessamine media console (shown) has a rustic look that will complement your leather chairs.
Soften things up.
Go for more substantial drapes — they'll make a big impact in the room. You can probably reuse the existing rods, but choose a heavier, lined fabric and hang one panel on each window. A taupe linen with a rougher texture will look great. Tuck some cosy throws such as the Solid Cableknit throws from Accents de Ville (shown) under your coffee table, or drape them on the back of the sofa. Your current rug is nice, but a little small: layer it over a larger sisal rug.
Adjust the colour.
A lighter, warm grey wall colour would look great: take a look at Thunder (AF-685) by Benjamin Moore (shown). Update your coffee table with a medium grey tone — try Weimaraner (AF-155). Give the table a light sanding, prime it, and add the top coat in a satin finish.
1. Solid cableknit throws, Accents de Ville. 2. Keynes slipcovered sofa, Vanguard Furniture. 3. Paint colours, Thunder (AF-685) (left) and Weimaraner (AF-155), Benjamin Moore. 4. Jessamine media console, Pier 1 Imports.