Decorating Dilemma: Richard’s Blank Slate

Decorating an empty living room

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 moved into a brand new home and need some ideas! There are houses just behind the living space, and I’d like some privacy. So, please send me ideas about what type of blinds, sofa, center table, colors, etc. I could use to make it look beautiful. 



Fireplace Wall opposite of fireplace


You certainly have a wonderful blank slate to decorate within your new home. We want you to have a pairing of beauty and function, so we will start with some foundational pieces.

The Baldwin Sectional, wrapped in Suzanne Kasler Blanc linen, will be incredibly comfortable and give you a piece to treasure for years to come. Since it appears in your photos that the television would be placed over the fireplace, we suggest placing the Baldwin so that it faces the fireplace.

Using our Montreaux Rug as the spatial anchor will bring in a neutral color palette of blue and gray … giving a relaxed feeling. Our Bornova Round Coffee Table in Brown will give a great landing place for books, decorative items, or a cup of coffee. The coffee table should be snuggled up to the Baldwin sectional for your best function. Place a Durham End Table at the end of your sofa.

Every family room needs lighting that is accessible. Our Sloan Floor Lamp is a wonderful example of interesting lines paired with necessity. We would pair the floor lamp with a gray Suzanne Kasler Table Lamp for the side table.

Your room is flooded with natural light and that gives a wonderful opportunity to bring in some curtain panels. Our Bingham Printed Damask curtain panels will add some beautiful texture and pattern. Using two panels on each of your windows will bring you the necessary privacy as well as soften the room.

The Bourdonnais Bookcase in the Belgian Oak finish has plenty of attitude for this room. Placing this piece between the two windows on the wall opposite your fireplace will give the room balance and some needed storage. This is a piece that is functional and beautiful.  As a final color punch, hang the Sand and Sky Art.  This art comes in different sizes so you can easily find the perfect size for you wall.

Painting the walls in Sherwin Williams Conservative Gray will bring all of the pieces together. Welcome to your new room.

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating an empty living room

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Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.