This post is sponsored by Circle Furniture. The designs and opinions within are my own.
I know I’ve mentioned this recently, but there is something about the last few months that has really brought into focus what I want to change in my own home. And I don’t think I’m alone – we have received inquiries from both existing and new clients recently who are eager redecorate ASAP.
The most commonly requested space we are being asked to address right now is, perhaps not surprisingly, the family room. Or, maybe you call it the living room. Wherever you hang out with your family and relax is where I’m talking about. And, the thing we are hearing most is that people want COLOR again…which is, perhaps not surprisingly, music to my ears!
But where should we put the color anyway? On the upholstery? In the accents? On the walls? Ceiling? Rug? Pillows? (Is your head spinning like Linda Blair’s in The Exorcist yet?)
Judging by the number of gray-on-gray-on-gray rooms I have walked into in the homes of new clients who say they LOVE color, I think this question tends to result in major head scratching! And a whole lot of inertia.
[Raises hand] Here to help!
I’ve pulled together two very stylistically similar family rooms, with virtually the same color palettes, anchored by furnishings found at Circle Furniture (which is always brimming with color and good energy!). They are both color-driven, but they use color in quite different ways.
My starting point was thinking about seating upholstered in a colored fabric, which many people find a little scary – a big commitment, and/or too loud and garish. You really can have a room that is balanced and calming that incorporates a lot of color (bold serenity, as I like to call it) – even on something as big as the sofa! Just watch…
Oh yes, it’s a blue chenille sofa we’ve got here as the anchor of the room. Vibrant, comfortable and cozy! Many of Circle Furniture‘s pieces are also available in Ultrasuede, which is one of my favorite performance fabrics – super soft and suede-like, but easily cleaned and stain resistant (of course, it also comes in a rainbow of colors!).
But look what happens when we pair it with a patterned neutral rug. The sofa stands out, but in a good way. The pattern on the rug helps balance the deep, saturated color of the sofa.
Patterned pillows with a light ground color also help keep the colorful upholstery from becoming too overbearing in the room. Varying the type and scale of patterns allows you to be bold without things getting too ‘busy.’
And how about a great looking exposed wood chair (Circle’s Bradstreet) in a fresh painted finish that’s really comfortable to sit in? So much yes. Trust me, I’ve sat in it many times and have also used it on a client project. You can actually choose any Benjamin Moore color! Customization options like this are a designer’s dream.
To round out the room, I’ve added a modern and stylish media cabinet, a steel-framed cocktail ottoman in green leather (yum!), a timeless semi-flush light fixture, black and white butterfly wing artwork, concrete-look table lamps, and, my favorite, solid wood side tables with cube ottomans tucked underneath for extra seating. We’re keeping it neutral on the walls to keep the sofa/ottoman pairing as the focal point of the room
Or, you could stick with your neutral upholstery and freshen it up with color in other places – and still achieve a vibrant, happy space infused with some new hues!
The Paige sofa is another personal favorite (there is a chair version, too) – many options to add detail if you’re nervous about color, including nailheads, trim, contrasting welt, and of course, leg finishes. And there’s the Bradstreet chair again, looking a bit more demure but still sharp in a stained wood finish.
This area rug has been on my radar for years and I still love it. It’s hand-knotted wool with a low pile, making it durable and easy to clean. With virtually every color in the rainbow, it makes for a great palette piece to inspire a color scheme. In this case, and the previous design, I have gone with a classic green and blue. By the way…it’s totally ok to ignore some of the colors in the rug. Their feelings won’t be hurt too much. 🙂
Zing! Nothing like paint to reenergize a room. Have you ever considered what a great deal it is that you can get such a big, impactful color for your walls, and it costs exactly the same as white? There is something about this green from Clare Paint – Avocado Toast – that is freshness, vibrance, peace, and happiness all rolled into one. Maybe the color that does this for you is different. Regardless, if you’re thinking of going bold on the walls, don’t forget about your ceiling (maybe paint that the same). And note that I wouldn’t suggest this in an open concept space.
If by chance you’re fearful of a blue sofa, perhaps a blue cocktail table is more palatable? I love the lacquered grasscloth finish, the round shape (great for babies, toddlers, and boys of alllllll ages 🙂 ), and also the ‘dipped’ white feet, which will really make it stand out on the black-and-rainbow rug. The color and texture provide a welcome contrast to the neutral upholstery.
I’ve welcomed in some whimsical lighting, colorful abstract art (love this on a brightly colored wall), the same media cabinet in a lighter wood finish, and another clever and space-saving side table trick – Circle Furniture’s Pie Table, which nestles into the arm of the sofa. In the homes I work on here in New England, I feel like I’m always struggling to maximize seating and make the end tables fit. This is a great solution! Please note that it works a bit better paired with a sofa with a more substantial arm…the Paige has a slimmer arm profile, but I really wanted to include the table here because it’s just awesome!
So what are some key considerations and takeaways on how to design with color in your family room?
- BALANCE. In most cases, you’ll want to ensure your bright colors and bold patterns are present in doses that are equal to or less than (more often the latter). You can be brave if you focus on balance.
- PLACEMENT. Where the color goes (and doesn’t) is important. When it’s gathered all on one part of the room, or on one large piece, you’ve created a focal point. Tie the room together by distributing your color around the space – and create flow by carrying at least one of those colors into the adjacent room(s).
- FLEXIBILITY. If you don’t want colorful upholstered furniture, (or you already have neutral furniture and don’t want to replace it), you can still add a big color punch by updating your pillows, area rug, paint, art, lighting, and accessories! There is way more than one way to do this (and way more than the two ways I showed you).
- HARMONY. Find something you love that has multiple colors in it, and use that as the jumping-off point for your palette. It could be a fabric, a rug, a piece of art. If the colors look good together on that (or in nature!), they will look good together on the furnishings in your room.
- FUN. Whatever you do, don’t stress! Color is not going to hurt you. It doesn’t bite. And it really does lift the spirit. We could all use a healthy dose of that right now. Enjoy the process. (And remember, I’m here to help if you need it!)
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Speaking of FUN…I am excited to announce our first giveaway!
I am giving away a $100 gift card to Circle Furniture to get you started on your colorful journey! It’s actually on Instagram, so jump over there to see the entry details on my post today. Enter between now and Friday 6/26 at 12PM ET – I will randomly select one winner from all qualified entrants, and announce the winner on Instagram stories that same afternoon.