My House is a Blank Canvas by Courtney M.


Decorating Dilemmas is a weekly column in which our stylists answer your design questions, so you can tackle your home decorating project with complete confidence.

Dear How to Decorate,

I have just recently moved and my Living Room and Dining Room are in major need of decorating. It is basically a blank canvas. I bought the couch at William Sonoma Home at a going out of business sale. It is a very neutral couch. My sister in law has a friend who is a designer. She suggested the 2 paint colors that I used. The Living Room is painted Baltic Grey. The Dining Room was painted Willow Creek. Both Benjamin Moore colors are very nice shades of Grey. I was thinking of maybe dark grey curtains. Also, I wanted 2 occasional chairs and some sort of coffee table. I have a small side table that is black that I am going to put next to the couch and I have a very large mirror that I was going to hang above the couch. I also don’t know what to do with that funny little space with the stairs by it.  I am just at such a standstill with this room. I am nervous to make a decision. Therefore, I have made no progress. Please help me!

I need some advice and suggestions.

Thanks! Courtney






Dear Courtney:

Thank you for your recent dilemma.  We think your home has fabulous bones!  Just add a few great pieces and you will have a showstopper.  Let’s start with the living room.  For the windows we chose our Off White Twill Drapes with Bullion Fringe.  We are thinking one panel per window tied up on one side with the tiebacks on the outer sides and the drapes should hang from ceiling to floor.  We also chose two occasional chairs at the end of the sofa facing each other.  The fabric we chose is Como Ikat Dijon or the solid Lorenzo Charcoal fabric – it is up to you.  You have two choices for the chairs – either our Stratford Chairs or the Leyland Chairs would look great!  The coffee table that we think will work well is the West Indies Table which will bring a lot of texture to the room.  We think one of our Terrific Trio Tables would work well as a side table.  We love the idea of a coordinating fabric – Como Stripe Dijon – for the table cloth.  You could add a small side table next to one of the chair – the Olivia Table is very attractive and useful.  As far as lighting, we chose the Madison Lamp in clear and the Tribecca Lamp in dark bronze for a contemporary flair.  Across the room, we think our Newport Demilune in black with your mirror above would be visually interesting.  And for above the sofa, we chose a large giclee called Fresians which should tie everything together.  If you wish, you can add a few pillows in the Ikat or Como stripe.




In the dining room, we think you can start off with a rug if you wish.  Our choice for your rugs is either the Monterey Indoor/Outdoor rug or the Thema Rug for a warm softness.  On the windows, we chose our Deux Ruban Panels with white ribbons which can be hung as straight panels from ceiling to floor.  If your mirror is too large for the living room space, you can hang it in the dining room.

We do hope our suggestions help you to complete your living room and dining room.  It is such a beautiful space, we know it will turn out fabulous.  Happy Decorating!

The How to Decorate Team

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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.


  1. Reply


    November 6, 2011

    You really can’t go wrong if you hire a decorator. We redid our whole house and a decorator made all the difference. She found pieces for us that we would have never even seen, all our colors blend so nicely. No white walls for us! With needing so much, I would hire a decorator and put in pieces as you can afford them. Ours did a “board” showing all paint, colors and etc. so it was easy to later on just take it with me and find what I needed. Well worth the money unless you are not as challenged as me and my husband are. He would have gone with all white walls and tan furniture! I’m not as bad as he is but it did take the decorated to win him over on the paint colors.

  2. Reply


    October 25, 2011

    The colors are nice. post after pics once you are done!

  3. Reply


    July 5, 2011

    I love your blank canvas! So pretty! Good Luck =)

  1. Reply

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