Need Your Input!

I occasionally post spaces from friends and ask my readers for input.

Jessica wrote:
I am trying to update our formal living room.  I need your input.  I have had this huge art piece of pottery vases above the couch and I needed to update it to something fresh…I went to Pier 1 and TJ Maxx yesterday and everything I am drawn towards looks exactly the same as that art so I wanted to know your idea….here is an art piece I found at Pier 1….but its kind of the same?

Below is her formal living room.



A photo she sent later on of the whole room from her phone.


She knows she wants to change out the art.  She’s also open to changing the color scheme and a general update.

Below are three pieces of art that she saw recently and liked.  However, she is concerned that they are too much like what she has.

Note that she has a thermostat over the sofa, so that cannot be covered.




When choosing art, be careful of the scale.  You don’t want it too large or too small.  So, first figure out what optimum measurements are for your space.

What are your thoughts?

A few of my thoughts on the art and space are –

- Though it’s not a bad room, I would consider lightening the space up some.  There a lot of dark colors, especially since the sofas are so dark. That can make the space feel heavy.
- Art-wise, I did like the blues and greens from Kirklands the best, but it’s not the right size for the space. So, I’d shop around for something that is the right scale.  Due to the thermostat on the wall, I like a gallery wall over the sofa.
- I’d also add lighter and brighter pillows that contrast with the sofa and that have a contemporary pattern.
- In addition, I would consider changing out the rug to maybe a shag rug for some texture.  I love the rug, but lightening it up may be good.
- The chandelier adds some glam.
- The curtains can be hung higher to make the room look taller.

A VERY VERY quick sketch of a possible after (I didn’t have measurements or anything):


I am so in love with those etsy pillows!


And, with more reds instead, as the home owner seems drawn towards reds.


Those are super quick and really basic thoughts.  I’m sure you guys have much better ideas!

What would you do?   Would you keep the rug?  What would you do by keeping the red and going with oranges and greens (what she is drawn toward most)?  What art would you use in the room?



  1. I like the first one, I think the room would seem brighter with blues and greens because the couches are dark. I like your idea of adding stripes on the back wall!

  2. I am a big fan of going with the reds. I think there is some great art from IO Metro that would be great in that room. More abstract and less of what she “usually” goes with. I love that pillow from Etsy too!!!!

  3. My initial reaction when looking at the before pictures is that the rug doesn’t go well with the overall look of the room. I would say maybe she could do more of a solid red rug and keep the pillows she has. Or a rug with more of a geometric look with a lot of red like this:

    or this:

    All of the art she picked is very nice, and the one she currently has is very beautiful. The vase she has over in the corner is absolutely gorgeous – and goes well with the painting she already has. I might change the centerpiece on the coffee table to coordinate colors a bit more though – maybe use a darker green color.

    I’m sure whatever she decides will be great! Hope it all goes well for you!

  4. Great solutions Kristy…….I agree lightening up the room will make a difference, a gallery wall seems like a perfect solution to the sofa problem…….I really think the rug will have to be changed….The Kathy Ireland fabric…Safi Suzani is a great red mix with other colors…..Maybe it could work if she likes red for the pillows.

  5. I really love your first mock-up … such great changes. I completely agree about the rug. It doesn’t seem to fit the space. I’m torn about the art though. I like the scale of the art she currently has in place, but I also like the idea of a gallery wall because she has such a big mirror on the other wall.

  6. I like your first suggestion. I am not a big fan of the vase picture, but I do like the last “new art” photo. I would play off of the hints of yellow and do some print drapes in yellow and all the way to the ceiling as you suggested. Something like this:
    I like the accent wall, and the chandelier, and maybe even painted red!
    As far as the rug, yes I think it should be swapped, for something like this:
    In the corner where she has the large vase, why not swap it out for a cool, tall lamp? Like this:
    And pillows in these fabrics:

    That’s just my opinion though! :)

  7. Jessica Montagliani

    Thank you SO much guys!!!! You have given me such amazing advice!! A BIG ThANK YOU to Kristy for posting this for me today…she is the best!!! I need to play around with a couple things and keep you posted!! Thank you so very much so helpful!!!!

  8. I’m with you – the cranberry color is lovely, but I think it makes her room feel smaller. With a blue/green influence it would feel much bigger. I always think lighter colors are better, though – so that’s just my opinion. =)

  9. Love the 1st piece of art…and that lighter blue would be a great accent color all around the room.

  10. I like your first design with the lighter colors. If she wanted to choose one of the art pieces shown, I would go with the first one (the trees with the blue). The furniture is dark and warm (colorwise), so I think it would help to pair it with some cool colors (blue, green, etc.) to balance things out and give it a fresh feel.

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