Decorating Dilemmas: Justyna’s Two Living Rooms

Justyna's two living rooms need finishing touches

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 need help with two living rooms. I’ve attached images below. The first living room is right off the dining room. What should I take out? Is the corner shelf too much?

Our den is comfortable but needs finishing touches. Something is bothering me, but I dont know what or how to change it!

Please help,



Both rooms have a great start but scream for the finishing touches. Just like a fabulous outfit, the final accessories can make or break an amazing look.

Let’s start with the living room off of your dining area, the shelves are a great idea but don’t have enough impact above your sofa. Consider moving your collection of pictures to your more casual den area. In it’s place, hang a piece of artwork that demands presence, like our Wild Bouquet Art.

The Wild Bouquet Art is bold and can be paired with bold throw pillows and a side chair. We suggest the Shiloh Chair in Everyday Linen Coral. The combination of these colors will echo the drama in the artwork. Add pillows that complement the chair fabric color and introduce an unexpected bright color for visual weight on the sofa.

We recommend that every living room seat six to eight, so consider pulling two small ottomans up to the sofa.

As for the corner shelf, we like the idea of bringing some height into this part of the room, but the corner shelf feels too scrawny next to your generous sofa. Our Fiddle Leaf tree would be a great replacement in this corner.

Moving onto your den, we suggest replacing your rug with our Celano Dip Dyed Tufted Rug in the taupe color. Size is important and the small rug you have now makes your space feel choppy. You’ll likely need either an 8×10 size. The important thing is to make sure all the furniture front legs can be placed onto the rug and still have plenty to cozy up to the hearth of the fireplace. Top the rug with a great coffee table like our Briar Square Cocktail Table. With its plush top your family will enjoy a spot to rest their feet.

Let’s discuss your built-in cabinet wall. Again, we have to play around with larger scaled pieces because of the oversized feeling of the space. Our Southern Oaks artwork will echo the colors you already have and will create a big focal point. Flank this amazing art with two of our Fiona Glass Table Lamps. To give them an even more grand presence against the expanse of wall, a great tip is to perch them on top of a stack of books for instant height.

We really need to create unity between your two different colored seating pieces so load them up with throw pillows in a couple of different fabrics for punches of color. A few suggestions to choose form are our Nicolette Sky, Sloan Camel, Soho Lemongrass and Dixon Coral.

The real focal point of the room is the fireplace. Currently, your mirror is too small to meet the expectation of what should be there. We suggest hanging our Grand Palais Mirror in ‘grand’ style. Talk about a focal point! Add a grouping of candles or flank the mirror with greenery filled containers like our Malta Pedestal Planter.

An amazing space is coming your way, we look forward to seeing the results!

Happy Decorating!

The Design Team

Justyna's two living rooms need finishing touches

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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.