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Decorating & Furniture/basement TV /computer/play room


Jenny- I really appreciate your comments - thanks a whole bunch.  2 more questions if that's OK.

What color would be best to pick up from the extra long blinds?  Yellows (which I don't think I could sell my hubby on, especially in a room with ox-blood red couches) ? tans? browns? or greens?  

Also - I forgot to mention... My fireplace is not centered on the short wall, and lies at max. only about 3 feet from the inside corner, so flanking with bookcases will not work.  Any other ideas?  This has been tough for making a layout that looks balanced.

Blessings to you and yours too.


Followup To
Question -
Jenny - What an awesome service!
Our very well used basement family TV room / playroom / office is the ugly step sister (just waiting to be a Cinderella) of my somewhat updated 1950's basement rambler house. I'm totally and utterly stuck! And my patchwork walls are a testament to various attempts at chosing a color palette.

This is a 20ft x 30ft rectangular shaped room with a 12' wide x 3.5' high, above grade window down the south-facing wall. The west wall has a fireplace insert with a white (painted) brick surround and mantel with terra cotta tiles on the floor.  The room has 8ft high ceilings, 5 recessed pot lights and a very neutral salt and pepper berber carpet.

The only furnishings in the space are 2 contemporary, burgundy leather couches and a honey maple desk and storage unit (complimented by a HUGE basket of Rescue Heroes!) I currently have a deep burgundy oriental rug in the center of the TV area, but it's not so important that it stay there if the color doesn't work. The adjacent hallway is painted Benjamin Moore Tavern Taupe and a nearby basement bedroom is a wonderfully sunny lemon sorbet yellow.  I'd love to give this lived-in room a warm, cohesive look, but all the darker colors that I've tried (dark reds/ red/browns ) makes the celing feel about 2 feet tall!  

We badly need bookshelves/toy storage, an open entertainment unit and something to help divide the room up a bit.  Please could you help out with selecting color(s), window treatments (I was thinking a bamboo blind), a fireplace paint color (?), furniture placement...etc for this room? I can't really say that we have a defined sense of taste, but my husband is Art Deco meets Modern lines while I like understated and northwest natural.  We plan on remodelling sometime in the next few years, so I would prefer to stay away from built-ins or anything that can't be used again.

Thanks so much for any advice you might be willing to provide!

Happy Holidays!!

Answer -
Thanks for writing.  Pending your remodel, here's what I can recommend.  Try taking your color cue from the "bamboo blind" that you're considering (and I would recommend that you do just that).  Select a color from the bamboo and paint your walls AND CEILING in that color.  Leave your berber, keep the surround white and keep the rug.  Arrange the furniture so that you have a couple of areas - one for adult conversation, one for more play.  Face the couches with the rug between them.  Situation your desk and storage unit on the opposite end of the room.  Next, purchase some inexpensive (like from Target, WalMart, etc.) bookshelves in the same honey tone (or close) and flank both sides of the fireplace with them.  

Add some floor sized floor pillows in honey, yellow, burgandy, and navy.  Add some (silk) greenery in the form of trees, to visually stretch the room.  

(Using the same paint color on the walls and the ceiling make the room seem taller.)


Check out my favorite taupe shade.  It's Glidden (available at Home Depot) "Toasty Grey".  It will undoubtedly work for you, give enough contrast to the white and be a beautiful backdrop for the sofas.  

If the fireplace isn't centered, then add a bookshelf/rack on the longest side.  Be sure to put some greenery on the shelf too.  That again will pull the eye away from the "lack of centering" in the space.  


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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