maryobkeogh

Make my room more impressive

maryobkeogh
8 years ago
Hi this is our library / tv room. do you have ideas re how to "finish" this room so it looks well designed and put together. it's already very comfortable and cosy but has a lot of stuff! how best to manage all that stuff? I am considering taking some of the books down and getting rid of them and displaying the pieces instead of both..

Comments (127)

  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Helena, thanks for the comments, I quite like the colour scheme you suggest and I understand your point re the overstuffed sofa. It is comfortable though and the kids love it - this is where they watch TV. Would the straightlined-style sofa be as comfy?
    Stacy, thanks also, I would love to paint everything in the cream colour, (although I'm not fond of the aqua colours) it's just a huge task and I would want to hire someone to do that. Would the bookcases need to be sanded, primed, etc and what paint type would work best? I'm not sure if I will make that leap, but would like to.
    I'm trying hard to declutter, it's been a journey!
    Thanks
  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    updated
  • Related Discussions

    Need help with my living room

    Q

    Comments (19)
    That wall paper doesn't go at all.. and you don't need wallpapers.. how about a cream shade on the fireplace part of wall with oxblood coloured (from your curtain flowers) horizontal band below mantel, while the rest of the walls be lilac? Ever considered stoenwork similar to your fireplace on that wall? Also lower the hung photographs.. should be at least four inches below the windows' top edge.. Your sofas are quite dark. they seem aubergine.. is there any way you can at least place one of the sofas across from a window so that light falls on it? right now it is in the shadows backed against the windows, therefore more dark (does it seem so when you're in the room too?) The mirror (though nice) is too solid and thick for the mantel. can it go on a clearer stretch of some wall? fourth wall? What is the fourth wall like? idk how the fourth wall is like but how about angling large sofa at 90 degrees to the window with the single seater also angled in the corner where the lamp is.. and place the side table with lamp infront of the window (i-e at the corner of the 'L' made by t he sofas).. If possible get lighter lamp shades (cream).. Love the cushions.. place two of these cushions on the single seater to relieve the large sofa.. Please turn the rug lengthwise along the length of the sofa.. get a glass/metal table (if tots allow) or cream ottomon as center table.. The TV is too large for the rack, no? The vase is being wasted under the tv.. Florals and stripes can be mixed depending on print.. but if you bring anymore florals in this room, it would be best to match the flower shape to those in the curtains. I find the curtains too short...
    ...See More

    Help with my living room

    Q

    Comments (791)
    I've been thinking of you,Fragle - I remember those sleepless nights when the babies first came home and everyone was sleep deprived but life-as -always still had to go on, esp for Mommy. So happy for you that you have a 'good' baby, I love the name too:-)
    ...See More

    need advice on doung up my living room

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Paint that wall behind the fireplace! A deep gray to pull out the grey/slate color in the brick. This will give you a blank canvas and accentuate that fireplace. Paint the mantel a creamy white to match the cream in the brick. Use simple accessories on mantel, no pictures with the TV. I would suggest a taller vase and lower potted green on one side. Maybe a slimmer vase on the other. Paint all walls grey, but use lighter that fp wall. Get rid of all the dark pillows and use creamy colored pillows with slipcovers for easy cleaning. (looks like there are young kids who live here too) Then add a couple accent pillows for color. I would replace that coffee table with a creamy leather (or pleather) ottoman. It can be used as a coffee table when needed by adding a tray. The rest of the time, it is a soft landing for young kids and a comfy place for your feet. :)
    ...See More

    Need help with my living room please.

    Q

    Comments (25)
    Wow, I didn't expect so many responses, thank you so much for your time and ideas. I do know that the art is wrong but had to put something up from our last house while we settle in. I do find the fireplace a bit un-friendly and so I would consider changing the colour of it even just the border of it like one of the photos shows. I'm not keen on the small computer cabinet or the ladder shelving I have to admit. I was thinking more of putting 3 full width cherry wood shelves, bottom one being wider and desk height, changing the light fittings to down lights and maybe having a wallpaper or painted backdrop behind the shelves?? I realise I would have to get rid of or change the wallpaper on the other wall and change the curtains too. I take your point, many of you said it, about the curtains needing to fall straight, but I will need a wider pole to do that. Again many thanks, AnnaMarie ps we are in Ireland now but lived in australia for many years and that picture over the mantle is of an old aussie shed with moon light on it.
    ...See More
  • greenthumb2
    8 years ago
    :=) looking good!
  • PRO
    Adrian Ramsay Design House
    8 years ago
    hey Mary,
    you have received some awesome advice here and made great progress, good on you!
    re the lots of pictures you have maybe Jan would comment on creating a cluster of photos on a wall, its a great way to make a big space out of a lot of small things, it takes a practiced eye much like the book cases, im sure she would rock at it.
    good luck im keen to see green or red? as well as get the rug size up so its a connecter of the furniture to the space

    cheers adrian

    ps please keep posting photos of your progress
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Now lay a medium sized book on its side and put the clock on top of it. It would be great if you could use a book with a red or a green cover.

    One the shelf with the 3 candles (top shelf above your wedding picture) the white picture frame is too tall. Remove it..then turn the tallest book on its side, sit the wooden box on top and put them right in the center of where the box and the frame are sitting now.

    Then I need to see pictures of all the shelves to give you some other ideas.
  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Thanks Janis, Here's the latest!
  • PRO
    Adrian Ramsay Design House
    8 years ago
    thats awesome great work!!
  • sfloy
    8 years ago
    You have done a great job of bringing balance to the long built-in; to further balance it, I would remove the items from the top shelves on the left and right ends and allow those two spaces to remain empty. The eye will not have as many places to travel and I think the shelves will be more pleasing to the eye. You have done an incredible job!
  • PRO
    Adrian Ramsay Design House
    8 years ago
    Hey janis
    Great work and advice, and Mary good on you for listening
    It all looks fantastic, I just went over the photos and it was a big effort by you both
    Cheers Adrian
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Mary...don't you have some red decorative items? There needs to be a shot of red here and there on the shelves.

    Please remove the basket from between the pictures of your children and put the tallest white candle there. Use the shorest candle to keep the stack of books in place. The middle candle can be used on another shelf.

    I think you are getting the hang of this. You can do it! What you are looking for is the height of the items. A way to remember what goes where: Big on Bottom, Medium in Middle.
  • PRO
    Closet Experts
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Congratulations Mary and Janis, great collaborative work here. You drew me in with the progressive ideas and photos, not just a before and after. May I offer a couple of ideas.

    First, I am not a fan of gobs of woodwork, but in this case, I would take a less permanent view and not rush to paint the built ins. I like the suggestion of inserts behind the shelves, particularly on the long wall. I am divided on the inserts being slightly darker brown , or somewhat lighter. Darker would be more backdrop and progressive in tone, lighter would be more picture frame mat looking. If it were me, I would experiment. This option would allow updating in the future more easily.

    Second, I think the TV right of the fireplace would be more comfortable. It would look too low if it sat on the mantle, and would be too high for comfortable viewing mounted where it looked good. I would suggest mounting a piece of plywood on the verticals in the area where it is at and using a swivel wall mount for the tv to allow adjustment when viewing. Then drill a hole to run the cables through the back of the cabinet. I would also raise the TV about 12".

    Finally, with the narrowness of the openings left of the fireplace, I wonder if hanging the pictures on the backs, raising them up might look better.

    I can't wait to see a picture with the mirror gone from the fireplace! If not for the reflectivity, I like the scale of it on the opposite wall.

    Curious to hear the thoughts of others on these ideas. Regardless, you are making awesome progress!
  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    I like the painting over the mantle. See what you think.
    Thnks for the great inputs Closet experts, very intersting idea re the TV and also hanging the pictures on left of fireplace.
  • Tammy
    8 years ago
    Hello. Sorry I'm a little late to the disscussion but I just saw this and see what wonderful opportunities you have in this room! You can use the blank wall behind the sofa as a gallery wall! Use art, photos, awards, anything..mix it up! I love the painting over the mantle but I would hang a little higher. Mix up all your books with your vases and other decoratives in the shelves..stack some books put stuff on top..get rid of that tv! Or at least move it away from the fireplace..not above it..preferrably out of the room..thats my own peeve..this room is too pretty for a tv! You've come a long way. Have fun!
  • tomwinberry
    8 years ago
    I would try turning the piano, backing it up to that huge chair. This would open up that wall allowing for even bigger prints. It would also give the pianist a more charming place to play. Could also put a couple sculptural pieces on it. Can you vary the shelf heights? I think breaking up this very long horizontals could help.
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Mary...would it be a bad idea to put the TV in the playroom?
  • marvsten1
    8 years ago
    Hi,

    your room seems very lovely and functional. I recommend not removing any books, just group them by topics and then add your favorite piece of art next to each. Also clear away the middle of the built in and move the TV in that spot, and just add a door so you can close off the TV when not in use. where the TV is right now add a piece of the sectional for a warm reading nook. Is that an empty space above the built in? Use it to display small pieces of sculpture. If you have the room, try using the desk behind the sofa, making sure it's facing the TV and fireplace so you can multitask- while still hiding the computer wires from view. Keep me posted.
  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Hi All, thanks for the great inputs. Turning the piano is a good idea. As is moving the desk to that place, if I move the piano to the sitting room for eg. Removing the TV isn't really a runner as we recently made this our "TV room" and because of the open fire it is the cosiest room in the house. It's pretty cold in Ireland at the moment so this room is getting plenty of use! The TV definitely needs to be moved tho and I quite like making a home for it within the units - there were a couple of good suggestions today so I'm going to talk to hubby and see what he can do, I think the suggestion closet experts made is a possibility.
    Here's a current shot of the shelves. Hope it's getting better, not worse!
  • fran16
    8 years ago
    Hi Mary,

    After looking at all of your pictures, and all the suggestions, I'm going to add my thoughts on your room.
    First, I'd put the couch under the windows. Leave the piano where it is, and maybe put the mirror over it. You need a few large items, and the mirror fills that need.

    The TV can then be placed, (as was suggested) in front of your long bookcase. The armchair can go in either corner. I like by the fireplace. I like the idea of the little table as an end-table.

    Can you paint the fireplace? I can't tell if it's wood. Right now it's sticking out like the proverbially sore thumb. Just a few more tweaks on the bookcases, put the red rug back in, and I think it will start coming around. I know this is work, but the pleasure you'll have when it's done, will be worth it!
  • fran16
    8 years ago
    Want to add one more suggestion. Look at your picture of your new bookcase arrangement. The middle row is full of 'stuff' that is all the same size and height. Put some of the books back in.
  • 4402
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago
    Hi, so much advice , I hesitate to add more. But here goes anyway.
    I learn long ago that objects need to be married to each other or relate . Biggest mistake most people make is hanging pictures too high, same with tvs. You have too many activities going on in one small
    Room. I would move the desk. Or piano to another room. Maybe both.

    The room needs a tall palm tree to soften the room, either behind the sofa or in the corner to the right
    Of the fireplace . You could rearrange the furniture so you could put the plant where you have the desk , then put the chair across the room.

    Small green silk plants on the shelfs would help with the arrangement

    If you decide to keep the desk in the room you may consider painting it as the white is too stand out. A soft green would perhaps be a good choice.

    This room should not have a mirror as it reflects and makes everything busier. Not every wall needs
    To have something -- less is best.

    Define the room -- media, library Where you can curl up to read or watch tv , maybe use the computor. Not music!

    Vicky
  • 4402
    8 years ago
    Vicky again -- do you really need the chair for enough seating?
  • 4402
    8 years ago
    Vicky again -- do you really need the chair for enough seating?
  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    not necessarily no.
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Mary...so glad to see you brought some red items in. All the center shelves kind of look alike; 3 pieces with a round dish in the middle.

    Do you have any decorative plates?

    And I liked the clock with the wedding picture and the other thing (wedding lowers?) better.
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Cara...that is untrue. It will become cohesive. It may take time, but eventually Mary will get it .

    As for your other comment; it WAS rude and uncalled for. Not to be harsh, but not everyone lives in the US. Just so you know and hopefully can comprehend.
  • Aja Mazin
    8 years ago
    janishill,

    This is an open forum.

    It is not your place to moderate others comments based on YOUR opinion.
  • karelina
    8 years ago
    To disagree with everyone, a library is a library, even at home. Organizing books by author and/or topic makes sense, if you have a lot of books and want to find anything. Instead of using books for decorating, hide them all, organized in a rational manner, and use the shelves for display.
  • olldroo
    8 years ago
    Couldn't agree more Cara, and think of all the dusting she won't have to do.
  • hawaiidreamer
    8 years ago
    I've read most of these suggestions, and think all of them have their merit...in the minds of the people giving them. And the whole point, in my opinion, IS to get different perspectives, no matter where we live or what we do professionally. If everyone had the same vision, there wouldn't be all the choices out there. I think Mary has a handle on what she wants to do, and has done a great job so far...both with the room and dealing with all the directions she's been given. I have my opinions like every one else, but SHE (and her family, of course) needs to be happy with it, not us!! The one thing i will give an opinion on: do sit back for a few days (not weeks) and let all the changes you've made sink in. I know you want it "done" (been there!), but it might Be and you just don't know it yet!! :-)
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Aja...you and Cara may both be wrong. I did not disagree with her opinion. I thought to voice it was tactless and rude. I still do! Wouldn't it have been kinder not to have said anything?
  • olldroo
    8 years ago
    Well if it was tactless and rude for Cara to express a very valid opinion, then I am leaving this discussion. I'm sure you will enjoy adding many more comments to the 24 you already have here Janis without anyone daring to question them.
  • mno57
    8 years ago
    Ok everyone, let's just get back to the business at hand and be respectful of each opinion, they're all good and have merit.
  • suzeebeezee
    8 years ago
    Wow! There has been a lot of advice. The shelves look much better; I think you have done a great job with them and they will continue to evolve. The picture over the fireplace looks just too large to me, as was the mirror. I don't think it's the right scale for the fireplace. Also, the bright white of the fireplace and the wall it is on may be a bit too much of a contrast for the wood shelves. Have you considered painting them? How about a dark sage or soft gold? Get some paint chips and see what works in the room. I would probably slip cover the sofa in a solid warm fabric, maybe a corduroy, color to be determined by the color you use on the fireplace. I do like the idea of inserts behind the shelves in a color. Look at some coordinating colors for the fireplace and wall, sofa slip covers and fabric behind the book cases. Consider padding the inserts in the back of the bookcase to add warmth and softness. The curtains definitely look better. Put items in the bookcase that are more than decorative, make sure, at least most of them, are meaningful to you. Keep looking at pictures for colors and ideas. I can't tell from the picture if the chair is too big for the room. If you think it is, I'd replace it with a smaller one, if not slipcover it in the same fabric as the sofa, both look very comfy and inviting. I hope this is helpful. I used to do business in Ireland. It is a lovely country with warm, wonderful people. Good luck with your project.

    Best regards
  • Rosanne
    8 years ago
    Tons of comments. Too many that I feel like reading now, BUT you start out by saying this is your library/TV room and now almost all the books are gone. What a shame. Bring back the books and just simplify the furniture.
  • suzeebeezee
    8 years ago
    I recently moved and the new house doesn't have nearly as many bookcases. I seriously purged books I'd read and will never read again and, for the most part, I prefer to read on my IPad. I'm not sure shelves full of books will be a continuing trend. I, of course, kept special books, art books (my passion) and the books I hadn't read yet. I think a mix of books and favorite things works well. Please post pictures of your progress and Good Luck!
  • bellasmile2
    8 years ago
    First I'd like to say, "What a great room!" Your room needs color. Paint color. If you're not afraid of deep tones, I would consider painting your bookshelves a dark, deep navy. Then Shelac them to add more architectural POP. I would paint my walls either a warm latte or keep them light, like a china white. Add some red patterned curtains and bring back your red pillows. Good job so far. BTW: I'm a huge library person. I read my books so I order them by category. But, to each his own. Have fun.
  • movethisnotthat
    8 years ago
    great built ins ! where did your red chair go? red rug?, keep your shelves simple, good thing books are easy to move around. Use a focal point for the shelves. Music notes make harmony (different heights) all one note (same height) is boring and does not allow the eye to rest on any one thing, does that make sense ? Vertical and horizontal placement and empty space (rest) will help the eye and the soul of your library Mary.
  • Robyn
    8 years ago
    I love the idea of a "library" filled with books. It makes me think that the homeowners are worldly and well-read and educated. A few knick knacks or pictures are great to break up the books, but I agree that the entire middle shelf needs more books and less "stuff." I read or was told years ago, that if you are displaying photographs, then make sure the frames are all the same material. I have held with that, keeping all my loved ones framed in silver frames. They are all different in texture, size and pattern, but they are all silver. It puts the focus on the picture, not on the frame. I think it's true. I think the progress is really good so far; the picture over the fireplace is better than the mirror. I'd rather see the tv to the left of the fireplace than above it, but I'm sure you will find the perfect place for it. Keep going!!
  • maryobkeogh
    Original Author
    8 years ago
    Hi everybody. So much great advice. I really, truly appreciate you all taking the time to give me inputs. I have gotten so much great inspiration and look forward to adding some paint on the fireplace wall, (I tried a sample of Farrow and Ball, Folly Green, think it might work) inserts on the bookcases, and tweaking the furniture until we find the optimal layout.
    The challenge is that I am working with what I have and a limited budget. In fact, it's not a bad situation, and I hope, not like a charity store as suggested - I don't think I would suggest that any home enthusiast has failed so badly to resemble a charity store!
    In any event, I truly do appreciate the thoughts, suggestions, and support along the journey....many of you have followed the trail from the outset, and I appreciate your committment to helping me find the right balance (esp Janis.)
    I'll keep you posted as I make progress, and I appreciate all the inputs and suggestions, thanks again all!
  • pollyannagal
    8 years ago
    Mary you have done so well with styling your room and must be pleased with the results. It has been lovely to watch the progress and I have been impressed with your enthusiasm and determination. Ignore the few nasty comments and have faith in yourself - I certainly have never seen a charity store that looked so good! Folly Green is a lovely calm green which would go well with your red accents, and although Farrow & Ball paints are not cheap they are worth the money as they have such depth of colour. I would love to see updates on any future changes.
    PS I have the same gold lidded square box as you!
  • fran16
    8 years ago
    Mary, What a great difference from the beginning! You're really getting the hang of it. I'm sure you'll keep tweaking your room and shelves, and be able to relax in that fun room. Super job!
  • janishill
    8 years ago
    Hi Mary, I am doing a happy dance on the inside! You have done such a lovely job. It is all coming together so well. There's just enough red to add interest and no two shelves look the same.

    I think most of your rooms have been declutered, rearranged and reshuffled and I am certain it feels great to walk in them and see all you have accomplished.

    I first saw Folly Green in a Tradional Home magazine and wrote down the name so I could remember it when it came time to repaint. It is a beautiful color; seeming to change with the light.

    Mary, I am sorry for the hurtful remarks that have been made on this board. It bothers me that people in this day no longer recognize the difference between constructive criticism and simply being critical. Not only does your TV room reflect the love you have for your family, your other rooms do as well. And there is nothing more important than that.

    I hope you will keep posting updates as you work out the furniture arrangements and other little tweaks.

    Oh...I had meant to tell you to bring the red rug back in. :-) Especially now with the red on the shelves.
  • rdeweese
    8 years ago
    Lots of ideas....couldn't resist adding my two cents.
    i copied your photos and did a little cut and paste- it's messy, but hopefully gets the main idea across. i'd put your sofa in front of the large book case, chair by the fireplace, tv on the stand on the wall opposite the fireplace - so you can either look at the fire or the tv. Someone suggested using frames of one color for your photos - an inexpensive way to do that would be to spray paint them all a dark color-black goes with everything. Since your shelves are a medium tone wood, display things that are dark or light so that they contrast against the wood. Limiting your display items pallette to a few values usually helps to unify things. (I think that's why so many people want to paint the shelves or put inserts in the back to help your nice things read more clearly...some get lost).
    If you want to "splurge" -you may consider having a carpenter make a few solid tall cabinet doors to provide a visual break in the shelving. I'm showing 3 doors - 1 on the right side of the fireplace and 2 on the left to leave two open vertical shelves for display on each side - with things arranged to frame the fireplace as the focal point. To add some height to your big vases, consider stacking some books beneath them.
    Enjoy experimenting untill you get something you're happy with - good luck!
  • deb jo
    8 years ago
    Hello Mary, your room looks really great, but I also agree with the other poster that said what shame about removing all the books. I have a shelf of books on which i just decided to arrange the books by spine colours. The ones that don't go you can put them in boxes with the spine side up and label by alphabetical order, but once again I have very few of them. Just brainstorming :)
  • PRO
    just-stage-it
    8 years ago
    I agree with decoenthusiaste on the drapes;. I would extend the drapes to close the open space between the windows and add the sheer blinds. This creates a 'wall'. Place the slip-covered couch against this wall. I would find a way to install the flat screen TV directly INTO the book shelves. Run the wires down through the shelf. You can cut a perfect hole with the drill attachment for cutting out the opening for door knobs. Have an out let installed; you can pull the wiring from another outlet.
    Go back to the photo provided by janishill and really look at the arrangement of books etc on the shelves. The best way is to take it all off and build your new look. What can you do without? What can go behind the closet doors? Make 'stories' of the books, by type or by color. Mix the decorative items into all shelves along with the books for more interest. Stack horizontally as well as placing vertically. Definitely add the large pop of color with a big piece of art (maryobkeogh). You can use that mirror in another room. If you want to use the red, get neutral slip covers on the couches and get art with the same red. Best of luck.
  • pcmom1
    8 years ago
    Mary, wow, lots of progress made! I just have a couple of suggestions. I think the books under the white clock should be slightly larger. And the books on the bottom shelves are wedged in very tight and too regimented by height (going from tallest to shortest).

    Put some on the tallest books at each end of each shelf, then lean a few against them, stack a few. But take just a few away perhaps, so their is a little more breathing room.
  • Aja Mazin
    8 years ago
    I think the books look great!

    You have great taste and style!!

    Trust your own instincts.

    You have a beautiful family and home!
  • jessic_82
    8 years ago
    Hi mary. Have loved seeing the progress pics. What an improvement. Have you progressed any further with painting the backs of shelves etc?? Would love to see more pics once done.
    Well done. Thanks for sharing.
  • PRO
    Gabberts Design Studio
    8 years ago
    Great transformation! Houzz is such a wonderful avenue for design help!
  • nasmijati
    8 years ago
    Mary, you have made such good progress in the last three weeks! The room is looking so much better!
Ireland
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.