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Question
My husband and I have been redecorating our home. We are stuck on what to do with the family room. Our budget is somewhat tight, for the other three rooms we have done we have been able to keep the cost to around a few hundred or less.  The dilemma is that in the family room we have a few pieces that are staples that my husband is not willing to change... A chocolate brown (suede looking/micro fiber couch, and a light tan recliner, black laquer coffee and end tables.. light tan carpet, and Ohio State Buckeye Memorabilia on wall...As well as an Ohio State Buckeye white rocking chair... How do I liven up, and brighten up this room without alienating my husband.  He was good enough to not object to my painting our bedroom and master bathroom with shades of violet, and the family room is on the lower level of our bi-level house..(affectionately called the man cave) but we spend most of our time, down there and I want it to not be so blahhh!!! Our son also keeps alot of his toys in this room, and our treadmill, and office area is in this room as well...

Answer
Hi Amy,

Well it sounds like you have discovered the fine art of compromise! You don't mention the color of the walls. Painting is one way you can inexpensively add omph to a room. Because of the Buckeye color scheme you can go with a rich neutral tan and a red accent wall. I would also add other red accents in soft, female-friendly fabrics in subtle patterns (throw pillows, throws, vases, etc). Lighting is an often over-looked means of infusing cozy warmth. Be sure to have at least three lamps in the room in addition to your overhead lighting. A mix of task, accent and overhead is ideal. A stained glass or pretty fabric shades will help. I don't know how much natural light you get in the room, but if possible add plants. They make a huge difference in decorating. Last but not least, a display of family photos in matching frames! It will feel more like a space for everyone. The family cave!

Yours for a luxe life,
Susan Matthews

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Susan Matthews

Expertise

I'm here to help you create a luxe look by making the most of any room within any budget. I welcome questions about furniture placement, colors, style, accessories and more.

Experience

I am a guest host and lifestyle expert for QVC - the premier home shopping network. I'm trained in redesign which entails using what you already own to create a new look. I own Decorvention - a redesign company based in the Philadelphia area. My articles have been published in national and regional publications.

Publications
Philadelphia Style, Glamour, Success, Las Vegas Life and Style, Medical Life, Philadelphia Weddings and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Education/Credentials
BA in Communications from Temple University and redesign certification from Temple University.

Awards and Honors
Philadelphia Press Award Marcom Award Writer's Digest Awards

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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