It starts off innocently enough. You finally purchase your first new home! Okay, now it’s time to decorate the living room and / or family room.
Your husband has been dreaming of a brown leather sofa for the better part of his adulthood, and convinces you it’s comfortable, classy and not to mention “easy to clean”. So you pull the trigger!
Yes, it’s definitely pretty.
But then you realize you need more furniture - a console for under the TV, end tables to rest your drinks, a coffee table for your feet…and you panic because you really do not know what to buy.
So you find yourself in Pottery Barn buying a lot of this:
Pretty soon, you end up with AN ENTIRELY DARK BROWN ROOM!! Noooo!!
It also happens in the bedroom, people.
I can not stress enough how widespread this “problem” is. Half of my clients have rooms full of perfectly classy and tasteful brown furniture. Nothing wrong with that! Except that when you put it all together IT’S A SEA OF DARK BROWN.
Okay, so what can we do to fix it?
The good news is that you can make some changes to achieve design balance, “break up the brown”, and to lighten things up a little.
How To “Break Up The Brown”
1) Paint it.
The best things to paint are bookshelves, end tables or TV consoles.
If you’re lucky enough to have new built-in bookshelves, do they happen to be dark brown?
This owner painted her shelves white and ahhhhh, so much better. Fresh and pretty.
Here’s another great example of paint transformation:
You could also paint this a beautiful light gray and it would be just as stunning.
2) Get a new coffee table
This is one of my “quick fix” decorating secrets. I’d say about 99% of the time, my clients have a very conservative, large, dark wood coffee table.
Talk about an easy way to change the feel and direction of a room. Don’t be afraid to do something a little different!
And you don’t have to break the bank. Here are a few options that are $300 or less:
Aiden Coffee Table from World Market, $290 (yes, it’s wood! But it’s not dark brown mahogany, and it’s mixed with metal which makes it okay).
3) No more matchy-matchy
Okay, not to pick on this room because the pillows and accessories are really beautiful. BUT the dark wood coffee table and matching end table is what I’m talking about.
You could really take this room to the next level by replacing the tables with different shapes, styles and media.
This is a great example. Is there brown? Yes. But look – no matching!
The ottoman is cowhide, one of the end tables is brass and glass, and the other end table is a reclaimed wood stool. Each table is a different style, shape and medium.
Love that marble topped coffee table and white end tables.
Okay, so you get the idea. The point is to try to make each piece of furniture you bring into the room different from the last piece. It’s okay to mix and match, I promise!
Don’t let the “Sea of Brown” happen to you. If you’re already starting with a brown sofa, then make sure every stick of furniture is not dark brown or “heavy”. If you’re already drowning in the Sea of Brown, then swap out your coffee table with something new! Paint a book shelf!
I promise it will take your room from “Blah” to “Brilliant”.
For help creating a home that you love contact me about design services.