Decorating Dilemmas: Kelly’s Family Room

Decorating a family room with an earth-toned color palette

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 cannot for the life of me seem to figure out where to go with drapery, accessories, tables, lighting and wall decor in colors that will coordinate with my Celine Cheetah Rug. I am also desperate to lighten up the space as I don’t have a lot of natural light that comes in this side.

The only permanent things in the pictures are my rug and dark brown leather furniture. My walls are done in Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter and as of now, but I think the only option is to repaint to an off white color which I am trying to avoid.

I have a color scheme of griege (walls), cream furniture and teal and dark brown accessories in my formal living room and dining room and would like to coordinate but not use the exact same color scheme for the family room so as to not get bored with all the same colors.

Please help!





Dear Kelly,

We think you are off to a great start with our Celine Cheetah Rug! The room is set up really well with a warm neutral color story, so now let’s see what we can do to tie it all together.

Because your main seating is dark brown leather, we’d start by bringing in an ottoman for a coffee table that lightens up the room. The Hayes Tufted Ottoman in Coco Tweed Camel will function as a coffee table for you. You’ll be happy to know it has storage underneath, and with our Woven Ottoman Tray you’ll also have a surface to put drinks. We think these warm camel tones complement your leather furniture beautifully. Directly beside your sofa we see a place for our Andrews Side Table. In the white wash finish, this accent table will provide a surface for the Helene Table Lamp. We still need lighting for the other side of the room but we think it’s time to incorporate a floor lamp to save on space. The Jane Floor Lamp in gray wash provides reading light beside your recliner. The gray wash will tie in your walls’ Revere Pewter paint color … and by the way, we think you can keep this beautiful color on your walls.

Now that we have your main pieces set, it’s time to layer in some accessories. Your windows provide the room with some much needed natural light, so we don’t want to put anything too heavy on them. We love our Firenze Panels in Ivory because of the tone-on-tone pattern. These will soften your windows without darkening the room.

Speaking of natural light, we have an idea to double the amount of natural light in your room. Over the sofa, we’d love to see a gallery wall of mirrors.  We have a Mirror Gallery with mix and match frames that would reflect light beautifully in your space. The wall space above your sofa looks substantial enough to fit 4 mirrors, but you’d want to check before you order. Using a mirror gallery will furnish your walls without them feeling too busy.  If you want an over the top look, you could add one of our Valletta Candle Sconces on either side of the mirrors. Our Southern Oaks Stretched Canvas could add a bit of color over the mantle.

Finally, we can’t leave your room without some cozy pillows to complete the look. A few custom pillows in Courtney Peacock, and Queen’s Velvet Teal will make your leather sofa a little jealous. Suzanne Kasler’s Parchment Pillow would be another great neutral choice to add to your leather pieces.

We know these ideas will show you how close you are to a finished room that is fabulous and anything but boring!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Decorating a family room with an earth-toned color palette

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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


    August 23, 2016

    I just bought this for my kitchen table! I LOVE it! I have the Simone Wicker chairs in driftwood for seating. Looking for something big & silver to place in middle of table. Any ideas? Also need a new chandelier of this table…please advise 🙂

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 23, 2016

      So happy to hear you love your new chairs! What about one of our Mercury Glass Ginger Jars for the center of your table — it would be great for holding branches or just as a focal point.
      And what about our Piedmont Chandelier over the table? What other colors/fixtures do you have in your room and we’ll make some suggestions!
      Happy Decorating!

  2. Reply

    Joanne B.

    August 15, 2016

    What a lovely room you put together! I love everything about it! I especially like how you worked with what Kelly had already, not just changing things for the sake of changing. Keeping the wall color and the leather seating allows her to spend the money elsewhere in the room- a big factor when we are trying to decorate. This is a room to “pin” for sure!
    I love Ballard!