Decorating Dilemma: Soujanya’s Living Room

Helping Soujanya add eclectic accents to her modern living roomDecorating 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 so much to do in my living room that I don’t know where to start. We have this modern sofa which we got couple months back. All of the elements in the house (like cabinets, fireplace, flooring) are traditional, but I want to give a modern touch and appeal to this room with the accessories. Please help me choose pillows, a rug, wall art and anything else that can bring the modern touch to this room.



Dear Soujanya,

Thank you for your decorating dilemma submission. We do have some ideas about bringing a modern touch to your living room. We love the fireplace wall with the built in cabinets and the loads of natural light that you have. You were wise to keep the sofa neutral so that you have more options as the other pieces are layered into the room.

We like starting with a beautiful rug. The Suzanne Kasler Katarin Sisal Rug in Platinum has great texture and we love this color as a foundation for the rest of the room. We think it’s fun to layer animal hide rugs on this type of textural base, and suggest the Natural Cowhide Zebra Stenciled rug for this purpose.

Your sectional is very modern in it’s lines and even though it has built in tables, we think you could use a coffee table of some kind. We love using upholstered ottomans like our Keelie Octagon covered in Garrison Linen Steel. The extra touch of brass nail head trim gives a bit of shine to dress up the seating group. We’ll be adding some more of that detail in accent pieces.

We see that you have an overhead light fixture. This is another opportunity to bring some personality to your room. One of our statement pieces is the Nicoli 3 light Chandelier. It adds a special touch to the room without getting in the way of your television viewing. Another great way to light your space is with a floor lamp like our Brooklyn Floor Lamp. The scale of this lamp is in proportion to your sectional and we think it could be great behind the corner portion of your sofa. These lighting details really add the finishing touches you’re looking for as you bring the room together.

The staircase wall needs some attention too. Our new Hensley Console is a great size for this space and with the Panay Wall Decor over it the wall is not only beautifully furnished, it will reflect light from your windows.  

The wall between your big windows and the door is another area we need to address. We love using bar carts as accent furniture. The Jules Barcart will repeat the gold color we’ve been adding (have you noticed?) and it can be a versatile piece of furniture for your home. We’d love to see you put a fabulous abstract like our Flying Colors Wall Art over the bar cart. This canvas has bold colorful strokes that will layer well with the neutrals we’ve already added to your living room.

The large sectional definitely needs some colorful pillows. We have you covered with the Mazey Black and White pillow, the Norah Silk and Linen Pillow in Scarlet and Cream, and our Custom 20” pillow in Soho Lemongrass Velvet. These 3 patterns and textures will bring a touch of fun to your sectional, and pull the whole room together.

Our last suggestion is for your built-in cabinet. We’d love to see a collection of white ceramic vases like the Bunny Williams Rouleau, and Flaring Vase to add some interest to the shelving. You might even want to layer in some blue and white chinoiserie as well.

We think you’ve got a winning look!

Happy Decorating,

The Design 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.