Decorating Dilemma: Raquel’s Living Room

Accessorizing a neutral living room with color

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,

My family and I recently moved into a new home and I am struggling with the accent pieces that will bring our living room together. Specifically, the rug, corner chair (the one pictured is just temporary) and pillows. I’d like to play off of the painting we have yet to hang 🙂 There are so many beautiful colors in it, I’m not sure which way to go. As you can see, right now, everything is feeling very neutral, brown, and boring so I’d like to inject some color, while still making the room feel cozy and “country”. If you have any thoughts on what might work on the TV wall, I’d love to hear those as well!

Thanks so much!

Raquel's living room

Raquel's living room


Neutrals may feel boring on the surface but they are actually the ideal canvas for creating stunning results. The neutral palette allows you to add most any colors to your space … just have fun with it.

Your painting is a great place of inspiration and sets the tone. Since a rug is the foundation for a room, we suggest starting with our Lugano Rug. This rug draws on the color from your painting but doesn’t take center stage. Pull up a Larkin Chair wrapped in Morrocan Stripe for the little bit of a country feel you mentioned. Every room needs a little animal print, so bring yours in on a pillow covered in Leo Brown. Paired with an stack of brightly colored  pillows, the Leo Brown will add interest to your sectional.

Now we are ready to infuse flavor into the room with accessories. Flank your painting with creative accessories like a pair of our Bird Studies and one of our Olive Topiaries. Maintaining the asymmetrical placement of accessories on the mantle will repeat the relaxed feeling of the space.

The wall above your television would look stunning with a grouping of mirrors in various shapes and sizes. The Bellesol Mirror in different sizes paired with various Suzanne Kasler’s sunburst mirrors would do very nicely. Top the cabinet with a couple of unique accessories, like our Swedish Cloche Lanterns, for a finished vignette. Another great accessory for your room is our Sienna Artesinal Tray — place it on your ottoman as the ideal spot for an evening drink. Remember to add plenty of light for your cozy evenings … the Orb Floor Lamp is a fun and functional option.

No matter what, have fun with the process and the results will be perfect lovely … just for you!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Accessorizing a neutral living room with color

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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


    October 14, 2014

    What about something for the windows?

  2. Reply

    Karen Borden

    October 5, 2014

    While I agree with all the choices you offer Raquel, I am not good at placement! I’d love to see a picture of the room as you suggested the things be placed. I have no problem with scale and color – I’m just not good with the “jewelry”. Thanks for listening.