A Barrie area couple sought advice on how to finish their Living Room. They had hired a professional designer (not me) to furnish their space but found that something was missing.

Dear Kat, “We had the help of a pro designer for some of our choices but I can’t help but feel that our living room is missing a few things. Perhaps a light rug, perhaps more gold accents, perhaps different paintings? They were a couple of paintings I picked up in Thailand.”  Sincerely, Paul & Tracey in Barrie


Paul and Tracey, let me start off by saying that your designer did a pretty fabulous job thus far but I agree with you, something is missing.

We holistic designers, like to work with the whole space, not just a few pieces. This is a very good example of the fact that a few great pieces do not make a great space. I am sure that if given the opportunity, your designer would have sourced the items to make your room complete.

When working with clients, I always try to coordinate the spaces. In your case that would mean layering your artwork colour in small doses throughout.

The 4 main things missing from your space are…

Soft Elements – drapery, rug, accent pillows and throw. Fabrics really warm up a space and add much needed acoustic absorption. Nothing echoes more than a space with hard surfaces! Choosing a light coloured drapery fabric will add another dimension to tie your room together. Search for an area rug that is a light tone with splashes of that orange/red colour and navy. Choosing solid coloured orange/red accent pillows will layer the colour but also coordinate nicely with your solid blue accent pillows. Finally, add a throw with your accent colours over the arm of one of your chairs.

Dark Elements – The dark navy ottoman and navy pillows need anchoring. A great place to start would be in your central light fixture. Choose a semi-flush fixture that mixes black and gold finishes. I would also like to see some dark accessories like a sleek pair of matte black candle sticks on the mantle. The black will tie in with your other dark pieces.

Mirrors – I use mirrors in most every room that I design. It is based on a Feng Shui formula of using energy to harmonize a space. The mirrors bounce light and energy around a room and balance the space. A mirror placed over the mantle in this room would send light around the space and harmonize it.

Touches of You! – Without personal elements, a space can feel sterile like a doctor’s office. These are the items that you pick up on your travels (like your artwork), treasured items that have been passed on and those pieces that you are just simply drawn to. These tell your story while breathing life and energy into your space.

Paul and Tracey’s room was already off to a great start! Since they have started implementing “Soft Elements, Dark Elements, Mirrors and Personal Touches”, their room is now beginning to feel complete.

Please note:
Names and some details have been changed to maintain privacy. Paul and Tracey didn’t contact me directly but rather a discussion board that I show up on every now and then to answer design dilemmas. This blog post was created with their permission.