Need advice please!! (long post)
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  1. #1
    Registered User Patchworkgirl's Avatar
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    Default Need advice please!! (long post)

    I am going to re-do my living room/dining room(on a very limited budget) and I'm leaning towards 2 different looks, and I could really use some advice. I have a small cape cod house, built in the 30's, that has a dining room and living room that are separated with an archway, and are very open and visible to each other. Both rooms have hard wood floors. Currently my decorating style is somewhat victorian, with oak furniture, and lace curtains on the windows. I really want to change this. The major part of my budget is going to be used to purchase a sofa and chair- slipcovered in white. One style I am leaning towards is painting the walls in the living room taupe and the woodwork creamy white, and doing curtains in a black and ivory toile. Lots of toile, gingham and plaid pillows on the sofa, and an area rug that has ivory and black in it. Accents would be white plates hung on the wall and lots of black picture frames, and also a few pillows in red and yellow to throw some color in. If I do the living room this way I think I would paint the dining room a pale apple green color, and maybe repeat the black and ivory toile theme. I am seriously thinking of painting my oak sideboard, and curved front china closet a creamy white, and making new seat cushions for the chairs, and possibly little fabric tops, out of gingham and toile. (the chairs are ladder back style). Do you think this style is too formal for my small cape cod house? The second style I am leaning towards is a cottage/ shabby chic style-leaving out the toile, and replacing it with lots of floral pillows and curtains, possibly painting the living room a beige with creamy white trim and the dining room a soft green. Which do you prefer? Any suggestions or additions to my thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User Kimmomo3's Avatar
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    I don't think it sounds to formal, it sounds great!
    Both sound nice. If you think it might be to formal start with the less formal parts of it and adjust as you go.

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    Master Dollar Stretcher MJsLady's Avatar
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    Personally, I do not like formal (almost as much as I do not like green!)
    The cottage homey feel would suit me better.
    BUT its your home sweetie do what YOU would like to have the most!
    Enjoy it what ever you choose, thats the important thing.

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    Registered User mrscornbread's Avatar
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    I like the idea of the toile, and it si very cheap, (we are talking about netting right, I have never seen it spelled out) Anyway I think the idea of the black taupe and white sounds nice. Formal is nice, I would love to be able to do that, maybe after my livestock are grown and out on their own!!!

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    Super Moderator Darlene's Avatar
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    I was OK until you got to the part about painting your oak sideboard. I am a goofball about not painting good furniture( I love to see the woodgrains,lol). But it's your house and you of course can do what you wish. Enjoy, all your colors & fabrics sound exciting.

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    I think the toile she is talking about is fabric usually with a white background that has different sceneries and people it kinda looks victorian though i have seen some that look almost asian. The colored part is usually light blue or black..hope you kinda see what im talking about its kinda hard to explain. I love your ideas i would probably go with the first with the taup and such though i tend to agree about not painting good furniture..

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    Registered User doodlebug's Avatar
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    I lean more towards the flowers and cottage look. And I'm always willing to paint furniture, especially a white color, I just love the crisp bright look of white and sometimes stencil some flowers or a design on it, I figure I can always strip the paint off and then varnish it if I change my mind later on. I love green and think it would make a nice dining room color. I saw a decorating show that had a room done in a soft green with white trim and black accents, it was really pretty!

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    Can you just slip cover the furniture you already have? Thinking of a way to cut you budget. I like the look of the Toile and Taupe. Have you given any thoughts of the "cape cod" look? Just curious. You could also save by painting the picture frames you already have. I think the rug would be perfect in there.

    I'm not big on green either, but it's your house and you have to like it not me. lol
    Sounds like you are on the right track here.
    Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.

  9. #9
    Registered User voodidit's Avatar
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    Well..I LOVE Green lol....I think you just have to decide which style you want to live with with for the long run. I think either one will be beautiful.

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    Registered User heaven's Avatar
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    Love the formal look personally SOMEDAY MAYBE! LOL. think that is great idea. I think some black and white photos too in silver frames would look good. (find them at yard sales) JMO. GOOD luck in what ever you decide and keep us updated.

  11. #11
    Registered User Patchworkgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your great ideas!! I choose green cause it's my favorite color also- so relaxing I think. I think I should give you guys a bit more backround on the house- we do not use the living room to watch tv in, etc.- we have a small bedroom off the living room that we turned into a tv room. When the kids were real little this saved my sanity cause people weren't walking into my house and immediately seeing the mess of toys, etc. Right now I have a 1940's set of furniture in the living room that I found in a thrift store 12 years ago for $125, and my mom made slipcovers for. The slipcovers are shot, and I have tossed the idea around of making a new set, but everyone thinks the furniture is not comfortable to sit in, so they vote to replace it. I knew I wanted slipcovered furniture- (so easy to take care of), and found a very inexpensive set at IKEA. I can get a couch and chair shipped to my house for $1000. It's not the greatest furniture- but I think it will take me through at least until the kids are grown. In my opinion, there is no sense spending big bucks on furniture yet. The furniture will take almost all of my budget- I will have to squeeze the rest of what I need out of grocery money. I can sew- and will get the fabric at Joanns with my 50% coupons. Plates are cheap wall art, and I do have tons of flea market picture frames that don't match, but when painted all the same color, should make a nice grouping. Ellise- tell me more about the cape cod style of decorating- I'm very interested. Robin- the toile is how mtjsmom described- sort of a scene on the fabric- always only 2 colors- blue and white, or red and ivory, etc. Darlene- my daughter who is the interior design major just about fell on the floor when I told her I wanted to paint the furniture- so you are not alone! She would rather see me put a dark varnish on it- that may be another consideration. However, we are not talking expensive furniture here- everything I have came from flea markets, or rummaged from my uncle's barn, etc. The biggest expense was my table- paid $300 for it 20 years ago. I would not paint that. I think I can cover it with a nice table runner, and paint the chairs white (they are flea market finds). Heaven- I love the idea of adding silver to the mix- I think it would be great!! Keep the ideas coming!!

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