Fear Not The Big Living Room Wall – Help is Here!

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

A kind reader wrote me about her scary big living room wall. And she’s looking for some lower cost options, as well.

 

Dear Laurel

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found your blog. I’ve learned so much already and I’ve been devouring your blog archive as much as possible in my free time.

I don’t think I’ve seen this issue addressed, so I’m wondering if not, maybe it could be a blog post. Pretty please? Actually, it’s two issues.

 

First up is: I have this big living room wall; 20 feet of nothing but sheet rock. So, what do you do when there are no windows, doors or fireplace to break anything up?

 

And I do recall that it’s a big no-no to line furniture up against the wall. Right?

Two, do you have suggestions for a media center that

(a) looks good,

(b) doesn’t cost a small fortune, as built-in bookcase/media units do, and

(c) provide both a platform for the TV, as well as bookshelves and some hidden storage?

The units you see in furniture stores are God-awful for the most part.

Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs have some decent looking ones. But, they aren’t cheap. And I have an issue paying the price for Ballard Designs and still being required to assemble it myself.

Anyway, I’d love it if you could share some awesome ideas/products that serve the same purpose as built-in cabinetry but don’t cost $8000-10,000.

Thanks so much!

Serena

 

*********

 

This is 90% a real dear Laurel letter. Actually, Serena only asked about the media cabinet, not the long wall per se. But, after I answered her, she admitted that she had two long walls. And, since I was planning on doing this post anyway, I thought I would combine these two related issues.

 

However, I have only partially answered the part about affordability.

 

Certainly built-ins are always going to be the most expensive option. If you are thinking of doing them, consider if they will add value to your home or if the next owners are going to want to rip them out.

Also, think about how long you plan to be there. If you’re not sure if built-in cabinetry will add value, I would instead get free-standing furniture that you can take with you.

I also have two uninterrupted large walls of 19 feet each. And, it took me a few weeks to figure out how I was going to address this.

 

We typically see these big walls in apartments, townhouses and if there are other rooms on the other side as we have in this family room situation we addressed recently.

We also had quite a long, empty wall in our townhouse in Goldens Bridge.

 

But, oh man, BREAKING NEWS BULLETIN! I JUST FOUND OUT!!!

 

MY total cholesterol is now only 178, down from 240!!!

And my good cholesterol is up to 78 from 72.

WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOP!!!

Superb numbers. And, this was not a fasting blood test. If you have no idea what I’m talking about or missed the post, you can get the back story here.

I have been taking a low dose statin, baby aspirin, vitamin D and K2 and COQ-10 (doctor’s approval) and one and one-half of my beta blocker for the original issue which is not cardiovascular disease, but can cause debilitating symptoms.

But, since my meds changed, I’ve been able to take three strenuous ballet barres a week and am walking a lot. I’m almost afraid to say that most of the time, I’m feeling quite terrific. Thank God!

 

fitbit versa

Santa Laurel gave herself a Fitbit Versa for Christmas. She used her affiliate link at Nordy’s. haha But, I started using it a few days ago and it’s super easy to program. You use it in tandem with your smart phone.

I love that it tells me when I’m asleep and when I’m not. Freaky! It also tells me to get off my lazy arse and MOVE!  I highly recommend getting one of these, or one of the other models.

Okay, sorry, but I just had to interrupt myself.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled program. What to do with that durned BIG DRINK OF EMPTY WALL

 

The first thing I want to address is the lining up of furniture against a large living room wall. It is both true and not true that you shouldn’t do this.

 

What you don’t want to do what is in the post about 21 Interior Design Mistakes.

 

And what is going on below!

 

bad furniture placement - large wallvia Jill Valeri

 

As you can see there’s a long dresser, a night stand with an alien TV stand and a high boy. So bad, so bad.

I realize that bedrooms can present with an additional challenge, however, this kind of random lining up of furniture, as you can (hopefully) see is bad design. And not to mention, that it looks like a matched set. Shudder.

 

We will discuss in a bit how you can put multiple pieces of furniture on one wall.

 

But, let’s put the focus back to a large living room wall.

 

I like to think of the big living room wall as a composition.

 

And I also carry out the rule of thirds. You really can’t go wrong with this. And by thirds, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are three equal parts, they don’t have to be, but the two end sections need to be equal.

In other words, the best big living room wall compositions will be symmetrical.

Therefore, I feel that it is perfectly fine to line furniture up against a big living room wall, but only if it makes sense.

Let’s look at some ways we can accomplish this.

If you are looking for TV decor ideas, please check out this post about decorating around the TV

This post that has more cool ideas about what to do with the television

and this post is about making your TV wires disappear once and for all.

 

Hmmm… I need to look at that last one too.

 

Here are some viable options to deal with a big living room wall.

 

Well, there are actually millions. In fact, I could sit here every day for a year and I wouldn’t be able to come up with all of them. But, let’s focus on some general ideas.

First, we could simply fill the wall with art. An art wall. And there are lots of posts here which you can find by clicking here for great ideas on how to make a gallery art wall.

 

I’m not going to address filling the wall with a sofa and end tables, but rather creating a focal point when there is none.

 

To that end, I made six quick boards to share some ideas for a big living room wall. At the top and left side you’ll see some boxes. Those represent one foot. Most of these walls are about 18 to 20 feet. If your wall is bigger, you’ll probably need larger furniture, or, it’s also okay to have a little breathing space.

Your wall is unlikely to be more than 25 feet long.

Please also note that these are not fully styled vignettes. There are only so many hours in the day. But, I think it’ll give you some ideas of the basic principles involved.

donald cabinet big living room wall composition

The first is from my living room. This is the Donald cabinet before Laurel impulsively (but happily) painted it Cotton Balls.  (you can see it painted by clicking on the link)

The mirrors and demilune tables came from Wisteria. And the lamps from One Kings Lane. (you can see a nice close-up shot here and find out why I had to cut the legs down a couple of inches)

Please forgive the tacky plastic tablecloth. If you read about my life with a drove of pigs, you’ll understand why.

The principle here is that there’s a LARGE focal point piece flanked by two smaller pieces. You could have mirrors or art. Lamps in front of a mirror are really fabulous.

 

Sarreid bookcase - big living room wall

Another option, might be a big free-standing bookcase and this one is quite large, from Sarreid. Here, I have it flanked by two occasional chairs, sconces and some art to round out the composition.

 

Royal+Library+Bookcase - Sarreid at WayfairI could see this in a library, home office or maybe in a mountain home. Please always double, triple check all measurements before ordering anything, but especially something as large as this.

 

Montclair Sofas - living room Crate and Barrel

Next up is something I have fantasized about having done in my apartment. If I could change one thing, it would be to have a fireplace. I loved my old one and miss it. I’m reposting this image above from Sunday’s post because it demonstrates a “furred out” wall.

 

If you don’t already know, furring is a technical term for the the bump out that would be necessary to create a believable looking fireplace wall.

 

One foot would probably be enough. It doesn’t have to jut way out into the room. I have had clients who’s furred out fireplace wall does jut out as much as three four feet (including the hearth) Of course, at best, I would only be able to have a gas fireplace and at worst, it would only be a total fake fireplace. Like I said: A fantasy.

Furring out the wall, would also allow a space to hide the TV behind something pretty. If you missed it, click here; this post has some great ideas.

And here’s one of the best hiding the TV solutions – ever!

Then, I still need the storage, so on either side would live a tall cabinet.

(although since Done and Done came and done their thing, the need is not nearly as much as before.)

 

big living room wall Gustavian cabinets

I love this Gustavian style cabinet from Wisteria.

The two thin lines are where the fireplace would come forward into the room.

Wisteria Gustavian cabinet

The cabinet in a real room.

 

big living room wall faux or gas fireplace

Above is an alternate idea with two large chests and beautiful mirrors.

 

long living room wall - chests
You could also do different color and styling. This would be for a slightly smaller wall. I think it’s best if there’s a little breathing room, like 6″-12″ on either side of the piece of furniture. But, if it’s tighter than that, it should be okay. But the moulding of the piece should not touch the wall.

 

Crate and Barrel Amma wood and glass cabinets

I love the Amma cabinet from Crate and Barrel. It’s only 72″ high, so better for a room with an eight foot ceiling. However, this height looks good with a collection of Chinoiserie porcelains.

amma wood and glass cabinet

Another thing you could do with this cabinet is paint the inside. Anything, depending on the room, wall color and other colors.

 

Silvia Etagere Ballard Designs - big living room wall

 

Serena mentioned Ballard Designs. I’ve always liked that company and in the past have purchased from them for myself and clients. I think that this etagere trio is quite handsome. For a longer wall, it could be balanced out by art or sconces and an extra dining or occasional chair could be on each side.

Those of you who own the Laurel Home Essential Paint Collection which comes with the Palette and Home Furnishings Guide with forty boards have lots of far more detailed vignettes with walls. Some have windows or doors, but several of them do not. (by the way, if you have purchased a paint collection in the last year or so, I have a surprise coming your way. And no worries, it is coming to you no matter when you purchased.)

 

One thing I very much recommend is planning out your big living room wall.

 

Like doing a floor plan, you can create an elevation drawing to scale of what you are planning. You can use your quarter-inch graph paper, but I find for elevations, that 1/2″ scale is easier on the eyes. In that case, four squares will equal a square foot.

 

Another post which might spark some ideas is this one for rooms where there are no windows.

 

Below is a graphic image to pin to your pinterest boards for reference

 

furniture ideas - big living room wall

 

The last thing to address is Serena’s issue with having to put together the furniture.

 

This is what I told her:

 

Having unassembled bookcases is actually not necessarily a bad thing. If it came pre-assembled, you’d be paying much more to have them do it. AND paying a fortune to have it brought inside your home with all of the packing materials removed.

 

Plus, there’s an increased risk of damages.

 

In addition, doors and drawers are better left installed on-site because of variations in the height of the floor. I’ve had dozens of large cabinets delivered and believe me, 80% of them were a massive headache and required on-site adjustments.

My rec is to get the piece unassembled and hire someone to put it together for you for however much it costs. Depending on how long it takes and the size, I would say between $200-$500– tops. However, I might be wrong about that, so please don’t quote me.

Below are some of the pieces on the board examples from above and a few other things that I found. If you’re interested in any of them, please click on the image.

 

 

And please don’t forget to check out the updated Hot Sales Pages.

xo,

 

 

 

Oh, one other thing to look at is this post about wainscoting. Mouldings on a windowless, doorless wall can make a huge difference. And I used wainscoting in most of my the Laurel Home Palette Boards.

5th edition rolodex-post-graphic - November 2018 - A unique shopping guide with hundreds of sources created by Laurel Bern

  • Donna Reich - February 6, 2019 - 11:09 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    You are an inspiration. Nurture yourself and be well!

    Then please consider a blog on measuring rules for full height wall moulding and whether it’s good design (or not) to install moulding on just one wall of a room, or best to do the whole room?

    Thanks, DonnaReplyCancel

  • Margaret Vant Erve - January 18, 2019 - 6:42 PM

    Hi Laurel,

    Good news about your health. My daughter has an apartment with two long walls that face each other. On the one wall, she has put two tall shelving units from IKEA, not unlike the glass and gold one shown. The units were brown when purchased but we spray painted them gold using 18 Karat gold plate spray cans. Took a few cans but they are beautiful with the glass shelves. Then she inserted a low cabinet between them and that houses her moderate sized tv. Because the shelves are so beautiful with all the decor, and she has a beautiful decor above her TV, you don’t even notice the Television. Opposite this is a nice sofa with two end tables, a large curved lamp and she has plants in the corners. The room is so lovely with a beautiful deep red Afghan rug. She gets loads of compliments. Oh, and above the sofa is a gallery wall. It all works well and not super expensive.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 18, 2019 - 11:36 PM

      Sounds beautiful Margaret. I’m a big proponent of paint and creating new finishes when what’s there is not currently working, but otherwise, the piece is terrific.ReplyCancel

  • Ruby Hackman - January 18, 2019 - 12:17 PM

    Does the furniture on either side of the larger middle piece need to be the exact same pieces or just same general type or size?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 18, 2019 - 11:34 PM

      Well, I usually like them to match, but if it’s a fireplace you are flanking, you can have a tall piece and a short piece as long as the short piece is balanced with artwork or a mirror. That way, visually, the two sides are equivalent and balanced.ReplyCancel

  • Naomi - January 17, 2019 - 10:41 PM

    Hi Laurel, sorry i’m a day late. I’m in a lot of lovely (not super-luxe) pre-war apts., and am perplexed when the couch along the long wall makes the room feel frumpy and wrong. After thinking about it for a long time, I realized the problem: the wall (not picture) moulding had been removed for the purpose (I think) of enhancing flexibility of furniture placement. And today you mention your rule of thirds which completely backs this up. And and.. just now on IG Victoria Hagan posted a beautiful living room with all of your “thirds” in place. It’s very exciting to make all these connections!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 18, 2019 - 2:24 PM

      Hi Naomi,

      So glad that the post was helpful to you. And, I’ve been a fan of Victoria Hagan for 30 years!ReplyCancel

  • Frans - January 17, 2019 - 12:42 PM

    Where can I purchase a big aqua urn like the one pictured?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 8:23 PM

      Hi Frans,

      Sorry, I don’t know where that’s from. I did check Wisteria but they don’t currently have anything like that.ReplyCancel

  • Susie - January 17, 2019 - 10:54 AM

    Has anyone checked out the photos of the 2019 Dream Home? Orange tones, turquoise tones and black in a mountain retreat? Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like it. If I win the Dream Home, will have to have Laurel do a little redecorating for me.ReplyCancel

    • Patti Smith - January 23, 2019 - 12:02 PM

      I agree about the Dream House, it is not my cup of tea at all!ReplyCancel

    • Caroline - January 21, 2019 - 8:47 PM

      I agree, Susie! I dislike almost all of it, sadly.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 2:27 PM

      I agree, Susie. It’s an odd palette and some other problems. Some of the spaces are okay, or elements are okay and then I feel that some aren’t working together. But, I often feel this way about show houses. Not all of them, of course.ReplyCancel

  • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 12:55 AM

    Sorry, There are several comments that haven’t been published yet. But I will tomorrow. I’m trying very hard to also go to bed earlier!ReplyCancel

  • Charlotte - January 16, 2019 - 10:59 PM

    We have a very long wall in our family room, but luckily for us, the previous owner not only added on the room, but also put a whole wall of built-ins (2 bookcases with cabinets underneath, a wet bar with doors that close, and a tv/media section with doors that close). Now if only they were painted something we like rather than a faux-finished look of peeling paint (brown and yellowish, crackle glaze, bleach). Estimates to repaint are in the $10-20k range so we are living with it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 2:21 PM

      Hi Charlotte,

      Wow!, that sounds quite steep for the paint job. I realize that it’s a lot of work to undo what’s been done. I’m wondering if there would be a kind of half-way solution with milk paint that at least would get rid of the peeling paint, yellowish crackle glaze, etc. I’m not sure. But milk paint is easy to apply and maybe all that would be required is a bit of sanding. It would still be on the rustic side, but not obvious.ReplyCancel

  • Patti - January 16, 2019 - 6:04 PM

    Dear Laurel, After I read your headline I raced to read the good news!! I love what your advice to us on a specific issue but this time I was more interested in the good news!! And it was great news, Way to go Girl!!!
    All the best,
    PattiReplyCancel

  • Jill Valeri - January 16, 2019 - 5:44 PM

    Oh my goodness! Imagine my surprise when I realized that your example of what not to do is actually the before picture of one of my first decorating jobs!

    The back story is that they bought the complete set (before they hired me). They were every furniture salesperson’s dream. And then they lined up the two dressers on that wall and had space left over so…they bought another night stand!

    If you look at the after images you can see how I tackled their room while keeping most of the furniture they had purchased. The television was a must so it stayed and I centered it above the long dresser and I created a sitting area at the foot of the bed and moved the high boy to the adjacent closet area and creating a dressing area with a bench and are rug. We put the extra night stand in another bedroom.

    The space didn’t need a lot. It just needed a better plan to create a serene feeling with balance and visual room to breathe.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 2:17 PM

      Oh, my stars, Jill! I quickly put a link to your site under the image! I’m so glad that you spoke up because I couldn’t find the original source. Your comment link back to your website is now embedded in your name. Maybe you missed it, but if linking back to your site, there’s a place to fill that in. Hope that makes sense.ReplyCancel

  • Inna - January 16, 2019 - 12:59 PM

    Laurel, I am very happy to hear your health is improving and you are feeling much better! It is good to hear good news!
    I am also the owner of a long, bare living room wall, which has remained empty since we moved into to our home as I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. Hopefully, my dream of a fireplace and surrounding built-ins will soon be a reality. Thank you for your blog posts, they are immensely helpful and I look forwards to each one!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 9:55 AM

      Hi Inna,

      Some people can’t stand the idea, but a really well-done faux fire-place, I think adds so much architectural interest. And even if it doesn’t work, there are ways to make it fire-place-esque in terms of functionality.ReplyCancel

  • Julie S - January 16, 2019 - 12:08 PM

    Thank you a lot for this post – I don’t have a vast LR wall but I do have a wall stumping me in my master bedroom to which a lot of these tips/examples apply. It’s the first wall you see when entering and has two narrow windows wide apart – meant to have the bed in between them, but I hate having the foot of the bed oriented to the doorway so the headboard is against the right side window wall instead. I had been drawing some elevations with applied moldings for the focal wall but it still felt like a huge blank middle. These faux fireplace/large tall furniture piece in the middle ideas with smaller flanking items seems just the ticket!ReplyCancel

  • Susie - January 16, 2019 - 11:22 AM

    Glad you are feeling better!! I think take the ideas for normal-sized things and scale them up to take up more room. A Large Vase with a Large Arrangement in it. A Large piece of artwork, or screen, or quilt. A Large Mirror, etc. Think big. I like the idea of shelves that don’t draw attention to themselves as a place to house a personal library or display a collection. Also like the gallery wall. Also like hanging plates on the wall, not just artwork. Maybe also use salvage architectural pieces to add some interest.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 17, 2019 - 9:52 AM

      Hi Susie,

      Like I said, (or think I said, since I can’t see the post from the comments are in my back-end), there are a million options. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite ones.ReplyCancel

  • Kim Hill - January 16, 2019 - 11:18 AM

    Oh my goodness, Laurel, I have this setup in my open plan great room, with the endless wall opposite an enormous arch and breakfast bar. At one short end of the room is a double height French fireplace, flanked by French doors, and the entrance is at the other end, separated by a staircase. I have an old Ralph Lauren bookcase, almost identical to the Sarreid, on that long wall, flanked by a low antique French table and mirror. I have one old RL couch in front of the bookcase, and another, your favorite roll-arm, opposite, so the sofas flank the fireplace. They are covered by painter’s canvas throws so the dog can enjoy them. A very large, tall French armor sits at the the very other end of the wall, by the front door. Three old French wine bottles sit on top of the chest. A rug anchors the seating area. It really works. I’ve read your blog for years, and have learned so much from it. So surprised to see you recommended what I chose! Very happy to hear you are doing so much better.ReplyCancel

  • Mary - January 16, 2019 - 9:23 AM

    Good morning, Laurel.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful news. I’m very relieved that you’re doing better. And I know the ability to do your ballet classes must be bringing you immense joy. I’ve started taking Barre classes. I don’t know if that’s the same as your ballet classes but I love them!
    Now, back to the long blank wall. Besides the lovely furniture options you suggested, adding some moldings would also add interest.
    My girlfriend got rid of her TV & now watches everything she wants on her laptop.
    But her place is smallish. She didn’t want to “waste” a wall with a big black box & all the stuff that comes with it. I though that was pretty clever.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 10:12 PM

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks so much. Do you mean Pure Barre? When have one of those in town, here. I went in for a brief demo once and no, it’s not what I do. It is to ballet what an apple candy is to an apple. lol

      This is what I do. Please enjoy my favorite ballet company on World Ballet Day last October. At 2:56, you will see the glorious Marianela Nunez.ReplyCancel

      • Mary - January 17, 2019 - 12:40 PM

        Wow! So what you do is the real deal. Your apple candy analogy was spot on.
        LOLReplyCancel

  • Maggie S - January 16, 2019 - 9:09 AM

    Congrats on the great numbers!! Glad you are feeling so much better and you have the energy to exercise. I should get a fit-bit I’m sure I’d be appalled at how little I move!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 9:54 PM

      Hi Maggie,

      I’m enjoying my fitbit. But I can’t figure out how to get credit for taking a ballet class. It’s silly. I know that I’m doing it. But, it’s fun when the (silent) bells and whistles go off when you’ve met a goal.

      It’s like having a cheerleader on your wrist. lolReplyCancel

  • Madonna - January 16, 2019 - 9:05 AM

    Laurel, how did you know? I, too, have a long living room wall with NOTHING on it but paint! It is the wall the enormous, battleship gray sofa is on. I had such hopes this Thanksgiving. My lovely niece was coming and bringing her little boy, whom she has nicknamed “Badness!” At last, I was going to have to opportunity to take you up on your suggestion–namely, to surreptitiously give Badness (red haired and temper tantrum prone) a couple of permanent markers and let him loose! Alas, the aforementioned Badness was far better behaved than I was given to believe, and the sofa is still gray–solid gray.

    I have a Pottery Barn media cabinet bookcase-y thing, and I’ve found that when we cut the cord and transitioned to Roku with Netflix and Hulu and other programming, we no longer need the vast number of DVDs we once had. My hubby served in the State Department, and living overseas, well, you watch a lot of DVDs. Armed Forces Network is great, but some years sunspots will cause the system to go out, usually when you’re about to find out whodunnit! So, as I sift through our DVDs several times a year, two or three Hello Fresh boxes of the things get donated to Salvation Army. I’ve kept some books, my favorites that I reread from time to time, but new books go on my Kindle, my phone or I get them from Audible. Except for cookbooks I don’t really buy a lot of physical books anymore. I’m pretty sure that had this been the case when we bought our house, 2009, I probably wouldn’t have bought the media center. I’m not sure if those are going to continue to be needed or wanted. I do like how cozy and pretty they are when appropriately decorated (which is beyond me, I’m afraid), but I’m beginning to view them as the modern equivalent of the 1990s bedroom armoire that was boxy enough to hold those big-backed televisions! You can’t walk into a Salvation Army or Goodwill without seeing loads of them! Reasonably priced flat screen made not only the clunky old TVs obsolete, they also made the furniture that housed them less than welcome in many homes as they no longer served their original purpose.

    I’m keeping mine, by the way, because without it I would have two, long empty walls. Sigh.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 9:49 PM

      Hi Madonna,

      Well, armoires have been around for well before TVs even existed. Although, they are usually called a wardrobe or Pie safe, depending on what it was built for. So, you can store other things in it which you probably already are.ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - January 16, 2019 - 9:03 AM

    You are a genius filled with wonderful ideas! So glad to hear you’re feeling better.ReplyCancel

  • joelle - January 16, 2019 - 8:56 AM

    We recently bought a Florida home built in 2004 with the Mediterranean vibe… equals huge “Pirates of the Caribbean” bronze chandelier and other pendants, a terra cotta floor and mahogany kitchen cabinets… the walls are all painted in creamy “butter” color…. how can I bring it into the now? Would love to hear your thoughts!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 11:48 AM

      Hi Joelle,

      I feel for you. I have seen this type of home before and the problem is that everywhere you look, there’s almost definitely a problem of bad proportions, or bad finishes. I am looking into my crystal ball and I am seeing a wrought iron banister that’s in the so-called Mediterranean style– and niches and some curved walls? Am I right?

      I would knock-back all of the faux, heaviness with creamy-white walls and big white, (but classic) slipcovered sofas and chairs. Seagrass rugs. And then getting rid of all of the hideous light fixtures and replace with something more classic and casual. Balance out the architecture with some indoor palms and blue and white Chinoiserie pots.ReplyCancel

  • The Slipcover Maker - January 16, 2019 - 8:55 AM

    Thanks, Laurel, for so many good options! I’ve got a big, long wall of my own in a narrow space. Furring (my new favorite word) and a faux fireplace is my fantasy but I will probably go with storage inspired pieces. More importantly, congrats on your health report card!!ReplyCancel

  • Anne - January 16, 2019 - 8:50 AM

    What a great post – so many great ideas for big walls! You are one hard working woman. And I’m thrilled to hear that your health is improving! I’m now taking Vitamin K2 because of your posts. Thank you for all of it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 11:33 AM

      Hi Anne,

      Thank you so much! I do enjoy putting together these kinds of posts, especially. I believe that the K2 is ideally to be taken with vitamin D. Almost everyone is deficient in vitamin D, esp. once we hit middle age. But, they work in tandem together. I’m not 100% sure about this, but it probably won’t hurt. It is very difficult to get too much vit D.ReplyCancel

  • Maureen - January 16, 2019 - 6:02 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    So glad you’re feeling well! Great post! I have a long, difficult wall.

    Maureen

    PS: Ethan Allen Corp says they cannot help me with my sectional, only the local design center can. Still no contact from the owner of the local Ethan Allen Design Center.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 11:29 AM

      Hi Maureen,

      Thank you so much! And, sorry about the issue with your sectional and their slow response. Yes, it sucks all the way around. It does for you because you have an expensive piece of furniture with fabric that’s not doing too well. They are only seeing the dollars hemorrhaging from their bank account. But, THAT is the nature of this business. Over the years, if you add it all up, I had to cough up tens of thousands of dollars to fix things. And one time it was a similar situation, only it was two chairs and an ottoman.

      I had to argue with Kravet to provide the new fabric, however, my upholsterer did not give me any kind of break to reupholster the two chairs and ottoman. grrrr… How is it my fault? He was the one cutting into that shit and sewing. He knew what was happening! But, someone had to pay to get if fixed. There went my entire profit on that order. And that client stiffed me on my last bill.

      I very much do believe in Karma.

      People who write in on internet forums complaining about customer service or a product or whatever, usually do not understand this business. It’s a mine field of problems and aggravation whether one is a pro or a consumer.ReplyCancel

  • Diana Bier - January 16, 2019 - 5:50 AM

    Great post,Laurel! Love all your ideas on furnishing a long living room wall.
    And SO happy to hear about your health news–lowering cholesterol in that short amount of time is wonderful! Good times ahead for 2019!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 11:09 AM

      Thank you Diana. I saw a new cardio on Friday and one on Monday and both are terrific. The one on Monday in Manhattan gets an A++++++++ There aren’t enough pluses! But, on Friday, I wanted to see the numbers and the doctor thought that enough time had passed. It’s not just the statin. It’s the three ballet barres a week. For those of you who do or have done ballet, you know. Ballet is incredible exercise and it’s also good for the soul! But, I’m curious what would happen with exercise alone. On days that I’m dancing, I’ve only been taking half a statin. I’m trying to take as little of that stuff as possible.ReplyCancel

  • Maggie - January 16, 2019 - 4:57 AM

    I live in a Victorian red sandstone house in Scotland. It was utterly rundown but we’ve renovated 3 rooms in 2 years (slow eh?). Although the original features are intact, the ‘new’ furnishings are cobbled together, eclectic (sort of ‘ charity shop antique meets Africa textiles’). Our styles differ but I am addicted to reading your blog (I’ve read the whole archive) – it is so packed with useful information, universal principles, really helpful example photos and all the while written with such a delightful light touch. It’s really helped me refine my own style.
    So a heartfelt thank you for working so hard to produce such content-full blog posts. You certainly are one of my influences.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 11:02 AM

      Thank you so much Maggie! That warms my heart to hear that. And nobody is more slow than me when it comes to renovating. I realize that the biggest problem is that I’m alone. And then there are the four books and six hundred blog posts and let’s see… (I just checked) And this morning we hit 25,000 comments! Holy crap! And at least 12,000 of them are mine. We won’t go into email and social media. Sometimes I rebel a little. haha. Who needs social media when I have all of you! I’m incredibly grateful!ReplyCancel

  • Clark - January 16, 2019 - 2:12 AM

    Love this post – bazillions of great ideas. Thanks! For the budget challenged, there is nothing like Ikea Besta. We did a floating install that looks like a million with their Laxviken door fronts. Glory be. Best media wall ever.
    Your sketches and the way you pull things together make me a forever fan. Thanks again for all the inspiration.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 10:56 AM

      Too funny, Gail Caryn was just talking about Ikea too! And thanks so much for your kind words, Clark.ReplyCancel

  • Gail Caryn - January 16, 2019 - 1:14 AM

    Yeah! So glad you’ve had good news on the health front.
    I’m not always a fan of IKEA but the BILLY bookcase is a great, inexpensive way to create attractive wall units. Here’s a sight that gives some creative ideas. ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 16, 2019 - 10:54 AM

      Hi Gail,

      Thank you so much for that reminder. It was in the very back of my mind as I’ve seen these hacks before. Some of them are amazing! Can you guess my favorite? It’s the one with the X doors. I pinned that to pinterest years ago. In fact, it might be on this blog in a very old post. Or maybe I’m just wishing it was. I am wondering how they did that, however.

      One way to do it might be with the O’ver Lays, I talked about in this post. There might be some ideas here. too.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - January 16, 2019 - 1:03 AM

    Wonderful news about your health! And, great ideas about the big blank wall dilemma. I’d love to see post about the opposite too- what to do with an open concept space with lots of windows and very few walls. The great room and kitchen are one big space with the dining nook next to the kitchen on the short side of the “L”. That is the dilemma that we live with, we just bought a house with almost the same floor plan.

    Congratulations, Laurel! I’m glad you are feeling so much better.ReplyCancel

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