Our living room is in need of help - It has a hodgepodge of things we had and items acquired from family.
The windows are floor to near ceiling fixed panes with a sliding door at the rear of the room. The dining room set (not including the tall cabinet) was the first furniture we bought together. The little table to the right of the end of the hearth is quite nice and was passed down to us.
Sorry, I'm not a grandmother or mother, so when I look at your pics, the toys seem overwhelming.
Otherwise, you might want to functionally divide the space in two to accommodate both play and adult conversation. The picture isn't close enough to make it clear, but the round table doesn't go with our style I think.
Annie - thank you - For some reason, I'd never thought of painting this fireplace despite the discussions here on painting fireplaces because the white doesn't irritate me. I don't think we could find matching tile to cover the dining room in the same material and taking it out to replace becomes a much bigger job - it's on a thick mud base, not thin-set. When the children are playing in the room, adults are generally present sitting on the couch or chairs and interacting with them so a play area behind the couch probably wouldn't get used. Dining table and sideboard (or we would replace with something very similar) - the chairs need to be recovered if we keep them. Our house has two open shared spaces - the other is the kitchen, family room and informal dining area.
The dining room is also used for holiday meals and sometimes when we have a larger group we put a second table on the tile. Create a reading area with a comfortable chair (or two if that fits), a small table and a lamp in the window corner (where the round table is now).
Some seating group with a coffee table and side tables from the back windows to the fireplace.
Color scheme - the current colors seem so pastel and faded (though they actually haven't faded significantly - they started out that way). Floor - I'm very torn over whether to put in hardwood and area rugs or replace the wall to wall carpet. I would probably keep the valance, this is the right kind of house for it and it's in the right position and doesn't amputate the windows in the wrong place like they sometimes do. I think the room could carry a sofa, two matching upholstered chairs, a chair with ottoman and maybe a couple benches to pull up that could be kept in front of the fireplace.
Right now I would keep the area by the windows mostly open for play but clear it out from in front of the fireplace.
If you are going to put things on the shelves using them for storage, instead of displaying or arranging things and books on the shelves, I would consider putting doors over at least the lower portion. Part of my negotiations for being able to play in that room is that they put the stuff that can be put away, Away when they are done with it.
I wish I knew what wood the bookcases were - matching them to make doors would be a challenge, though not a bad idea. Yes, I'd also lean toward keeping the valance - there is indirect lighting behind it and it matches the ceiling. That ripple fold link says that they use batons for opening and closing - I'm subjected to those in hotel rooms and don't much like that system. Any ideas on a color scheme that would work with the green tile (it is on the fireplace hearth as well as the entry)? I would try to put the large toy items somewhere to the side, so they wouldn't be in the center of the room.


RE wall to wall carpeting-- it is not trendy but I prefer it in my current living room given the layout. Maggiepie, the tile is hard to photograph because it's glossy, the apparent color changes depending on the light it's reflecting. In real life it is more like the color in the picture without flash, but not quite that dark.
The pickle color palette has too much green for me and generally yellowy greens don't appeal to me.
I like the produce seed, but think it's too pastel except for the yellow - I'd like to go bolder this time. I can see that I'm more drawn to the palettes that have two or more strong bright different colors. There is a window about 7' high and 8' wide to the left of the front door - a twin to the one across from it in the dining room that does appear in the pictures.
One thing triggering the redo is that the carpets and blinds need to be replaced - we put them in when we moved in decades ago and they are showing their age.
I still really like the looks of it and it is in okay shape except for the chairs which have been repaired many times (those spindly legs just aren't strong enough). And it looks like a lot of the furniture is pushed against the corners and walls to make play space.
Slide the piano down the wall it's on now to the far corner by the window and then place a sofa perpendicular to the fireplace, so the area behind the sofa where the piano is becomes play space, and the area in front is more formal seating space. The bookcase can be used for storing table-oriented activities like puzzles or computer use or card games.
So we'd like to work with the existing tile and just redo the living room and dining room floors.
Perhaps making the play area by the book case with toy storage on the book shelf and perhaps a small cabinet by the end of the bookshelf would work - that would keep the toys out of visual range when looking in from the front door. I'd like to bring some brighter colors in - probably with the upholstered furniture while keeping the floor more neutral.
If you want to change out the blinds I would use ripple fold curtains which are flat but snap onto a carrier to create an even sinuous fold when hung.
I would want a lamp and table at each end of the sofa, a lamp and table at the chair with ottoman and a coffee table. Obviously the larger stuff can't be put away, but with that many toys around, I would never be comfortable sitting in there as an adult--it's not relaxing., and I would not want to sit on the sofa and have the primary view of a mound of toys. It's the right scale, the right spirit for the house, and they carry manufacturers from various price points under their own label.
We had to replace a few damaged tiles recently and were lucky that we had some spares salvaged when we took the tile out of the kitchen.
I was thinking of using the fabric covered cubes or baskets for the small toys which would hide the contents.
I think your DR set is perfect-- if the chairs are truly not functional, I suggest you stick with the same style as it works so well, if you get a different set.
I don't care for wood furniture pieces lined up on a wall, and it appears to make the sideboard look off-centered.
We should make time to visit Bed and Board - I dropped by once when I had to be in the Bay Area for business but didn't have much time there and I should get my husband there with me. The table has the patina acquired from life with a family but really the only issue with it is that there are a couple of tiny chips in the veneer of the top at the edge where it opens to put leaves in. It has the same range of color as the entry tile, but the tiles are textured and mottled so that each one has most of the color range. It isn't MCM but it has simple lines and I really like the grain and the shape so I hope it doesn't clash too much.


Sushi light doesn't have any color in it that I love and while I can like salmon color in some combos it isn't something that I'm drawn to. The door faces almost due East with the roof covering a patio entry for about 18' in front of the door and the bedroom wing of the house on the south side of the patio. I'll think about what to do about the curio cabinet but there isn't hardly any place else in the house to put it. For the next 5-6 years we will need to include some toy storage until the grandkids get a bit older.
I'm thinking that it may be best for you to really define the actual function of the room first, and then decorate accordingly.
And the conversational cluster near the fireplace becomes the main feature in the room, the toys ancillary. If we got smaller end tables, that could make room for some toy storage between the piano and the bookcase wall.
Sometimes adults sit and chat while the kids play on the floor and at the coffee table and interact with us. I like the look of hardwood floors but this area is so comfortable and quiet with wall to wall carpet. Also, the hall is done with wide deep grout lines which might make it hard to move chairs in and out from the table even with an area rug between them and the tile - I'm not sure whether that would be an issue. What I suggest is to put ALL of them away (organized in a closet-- labeled), except the horse. I'd want a door with windows since the floor tile is also dark, and then I'd see how light from that direction changes the rooms.
You could warm up the color of the fireplace, but I'd be careful about painting it light brown or tan because it could start to look bee hive-ish. It is almost an outdoor room with a fence enclosing the patio and koi pond - pleasantly cool even on the hottest Sacramento days. I'm thinking of getting rid of the encyclopedias and other reference books on the bottom shelves of the built in so that might provide some of the storage.
We have large table in the breakfast room which is where crafts usually are done - convenient to water for clean-up.
The hearth is tiled with dark green tile that matches the entry way tile so we would want something that goes with that.
Or perhaps a shorter love seat against the wall with a couch perpendicular to it with its back to the windows.
I've thought about putting hardwood only in the dining room, but I'm concerned that that would look choppy.
Dusty (the rocking horse) needs to stay for now since he is dear to my granddaughter and we don't have another good place for him. And if that is occupied, sometimes the dining room table is used so we don't need more craft space.
The tile also continues down the hall to the bedroom hall and through the front door where it covers the two front steps. Rotating toys keeps them fresh in the eyes of children, and they get overwhelmed when there are too many. The little table next to the end of the hearth opens to a small card table size (the top is hinged and the back legs pivot to support the top when opened).



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