This week’s “Dear Angela” letter is from a lovely and talented quilter from Missouri, Nancy from With Thread in Hand. Read on to hear about Nancy’s decorating dilemma.
I could really use some help. We moved to a new home about 18 months ago and although we have painted and decorated, I’m not happy with my family room. The blue plaid couches are from the last house and they really don’t go with my new theme of black/brown/tan with punches of red. I really want a dark brown sectional. My husband built white end table, along with a pie safe, desk and two Mission Style chairs in the living room. I LOVE the coffee table and red table and don’t want to give them up. I can’t quite figure out what to do with the bay window. I put up roman shades, and I would really like the finishing touch of window drapes or such, but there is no room to mount any hardware. We are a casual family with a white family dog. Oh, he sheds, and he DOES get on the furniture.
I know you said you want a dark brown sectional. And I hear that. But I suggest you consider custom slip covers as an alternative. Your pieces are charming and in good shape: custom slip covers will be a fraction of the cost of a sectional and give you the option of washability if you choose a such as cotton duck. And I do mean custom, where there’s a separate cover for each cushion and the couch body. If you are wanting a cleaner more modern look, consider removing the skirts on the couches as well. As for the color, I’d suggest a medium to light neutral that won’t show your dog’s white hair the way the dark brown will. If you’re tired of plaid, maybe choose a pinstripe, buffalo check or even a solid.
For the additional seating you need, a comfy armchair will create a cozy feel. If you choose one with a low back (or put your TV in a taller armoire), you’ll still be able to watch TV, but have a nice conversation area when you have company. In addition, try a larger rug with less pattern to make the room feel larger.
As for the bay window, simply hang casual tab top panels on a rod that extends across the entire opening. Then, for fun, try a small iron chandelier swagged over to above the coffee table, add some throw pillws and accessories, and the room will look beautiful.
I know you still may have your heart set on the sectional, but I hope this gives you some ideas to consider. I look forward to seeing what you do–please send me a photo if you make any changes!