Stuck in a Rut

Stuck in a RutQuestion:

Hello Ballard Designs,

I am stuck in a rut with my living room. While I have tried to get the basics (you will notice your sofa and chair), I am at a loss as to how to make it all “come together.”

This is my formal living room, so I would like to have an elegant and chic look. I am not sure what to do for flooring? Accent tables? Drapes? Lamps? Accessories? The wall color is a pale grayish green, but on the walls it looks pale blue – Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated!



Dear Brooke,

Thank you for submitting your Design Dilemma. You have a great start to creating a beautiful formal living room.

We suggest the Dolci Rug for a formal look or the Norah Rug, which is less formal, to be placed in front of your sofa. Without knowing the dimensions of the room, it is difficult to suggest a floor plan. We do feel you need to arrange a conversational area with the sofa as the anchor. Everything seems to be hugging the walls.

Our Terrific Table Trio in Toffee Check should be placed to the left of the sofa with the Dunstan Table Lamp on top. To the right of the sofa, the Chartres Floor Lamp in Biscay Gold finish would provide additional lighting. Our suggestion for a coffee table is the La Roche Coffee Table in Distressed Brown. Hanging velvet on the window will keep the look formal – Camel Velvet Drapes would be a nice choice. Why not try the off-white tufted chair placed to the left of the sofa (where the tapestry chair is now) and place the two tapestry chairs facing the sofa with the Ethan Tray Table placed in between. This should achieve a comfortable seating arrangement.

We love the arrangement of plates and prints above the sofa, but feel that it is a bit too high. Try moving it down a good 6 inches. The center of the picture should be about 5 feet from the floor. This is considered average viewing height for most people. If you need instructions go to Style Studio “How to Hang Wall Decor 101” for further information.

The corner to the right of the fireplace would look great with the Full Chilton Corner Cabinet in Rubbed White. Place some well chosen blue and white pieces in the cabinet to pull the blue accent color through the room. The rectangular mirror above the x-back chair should be moved above the fireplace, and the chair below should be placed in another room. Sometimes less is more. You can replace the missing pieces with one of your favorite pieces of art (remember to follow the rules when hanging). If you are unsure, we think the Central Park Plaques would look great in that space if you don’t have a piece that works. Add a few of your own touches with accessories, and we know you will have a great look.

We hope we’ve given you a plan to follow while finishing your living room. Please let us know if there is anything else that we can help you with. We would love to see the finished room, so don’t forget to send us some pictures!

The Style Studio Team

Posted 10/1/09

Stuck in a Rut

Featured Products:
1 Dolci Rug
2 Norah Rug,
3 Terrific Table Trio
4 Dunstan Table Lamp
5 Chartres Floor Lamp
6 La Roche Coffee Table
7 Camel Velvet Drapes
8 Ethan Tray Table
9 Full Chilton Corner Cabinet
10 Central Park Plaques

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.